Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Kodai Jan 4


Wendy recuperating
Sweater- cold and raining lightly and no power in the room.  I am sitting with my leg propped  up on a pillow for the second day, unable to stand on the foot without considerable discomfort.  It is not at all painful while propped up – just throbs gently with the regularity of a pulse.  I am reading Vikram Seth’s book, A Suitable Boy, knitting, listening to books on tape, and dozing – trying to make the time go by as agreeably as possible but frustrated by this impediment to our plan to go to a wildlife centre today.

Misty view from our "apartment"
 Fortunately, we have time to spare and the place we are staying has no other guests  expected, so there is no rush to leave.  The house is a four-plex and we are occupying one of the two upper rooms that has a terrace and a lovely view out over the valley – when it is not obscured  as it is today, by cloud.  Unfortunately there is no furniture that would make sitting on the terrace more of a pleasure – only two orange upright plastic dining room chairs and a black marble bench with almost room for two to sit that is attached to the wall.  We managed to scrounge two other plastic chairs that are a bit more comfortable but it is not set up for lounging.

Sun shines - view from terrace
 The arrangement was to include breakfast but that proved unsuccessful.  The evening we arrived I visited the caretaker and he seemed to be offering an array of Indian dishes as well as omelettes for breakfast.  Richard saw him the next morning when we realized we probably needed to say we would like to eat and went down to his house which is on the terrace below this one.  Again, it seemed he would bring some Indian food as well as eggs.   Well, his son was the waiter and he brought up a casserole with two omelettes in it.  No plates, no utensils and nothing else we expected, having had a lot of standard  breakfasts that included juice and/or fruit, eggs, toast, butter, jam, cornflakes, milk, tea/coffee.  
Looking left

 Fortunately we had bought plates and utensils and were able to eat the omelette on and with those.  Communication, needless to say, was difficult, despite best efforts of all of us and the clear wish of the caretaker to be helpful.   Since we are quite a distance from the town and not near a restaurant – which we always were the towns we stayed in – not having breakfast on site is a distinct inconvenience.  We have to take the bike into town but decided that was the better option, rather than try to make ourselves understood.  Now we are brought a little carafe of sweet tea and are on our own for food.

Since we are both quite attached to having our regular tea in the morning, we resorted today to buying the means to make it ourselves.  Richard went out and did a heroic shopping.  Found a mini immersion heater for boiling water in a cup, tea bags, sugar and milk.  So, when the power comes on, we can make tea!!!!!  Yay!
Much as we like and enjoy Indian food, we are finding it a bit tiresome – there is variety, of course, but not the real variety we are used to – Richard bought a local “cheddar” cheese, for instance, that resembles havarti – as a change from panneer which I love but have been eating nearly every day in one form or another. Plus he found a wheat bread – our first since we left home – so we enjoyed cheese and tomato sandwiches on whole wheat bread for lunch.

Kodaikanal is a hill station and coming  up here was like climbing up and around the sides of one tent after another, so steep are the hills and so narrow the roads.  While the views might have been spectacular if it had not been so hazy, the view was quite lost on me.  I was preoccupied watching the narrow, winding road and the crumbling or crumbled or non-existent concrete barriers that edged the outer side and the deep, often broad potholes that we and oncoming cars and busses and trucks and bikes all preferred to skirt around and thus move into the centre or opposite lane, hoping not to encounter vehicles similarly motivated.  I found it quite hair-raising even though Richard took no chances and was very careful all the way.  Kodai itself is no better, in fact worse.  There has been a lot more rain than usual apparently so the already poor roads are washed out in many places, all narrow and all busy with drivers who don’t ever want to be behind someone so are constantly on the watch for an opening to move into and get ahead.  My strategy here is to hold on to Richard, close my eyes, and bury my face in his back till we stop.  


  1. Are you enjoying 'A Suitable Boy' Wendy? It must be quite a different experience to read it in India. I do hope your ankle is much better by now. Your exasperation is evident. I'm assuming you may have moved on (or else you are still stuck in bed) as there has been no blog posting for the past 48 hours. We look forward to your next instalment.Take care.

  2. Wendy, I have been afraid to look at the blog since I heard of your spills and exhaust pipe burns. Burtt is avidly following it and reporting all to me. I was thrilled to read tonight that you are proceeding on with your travels and your ankle is healing albeit slowly. I hope we are both back on Gabe you and I will be back to walking soon. much love to both of you Noni