India Rant Matt Atkinson


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We left Hampi after 2 weeks of rock-climbing, moped-ing, off-white water rafting & generally lazing around and doing nothing. We even found out about getting some land there (but then again, why would I want to live there with no supermarkets or shopping-centres?) We went to Bangalore from there which is basically abig city - very westernised. There are lots of fake designer labels, fast food chains, pouting pretty girls, and fat blokes with moustaches and shiny shirts tucked right in to chest high trousers.

From Bangalore to Mysore which was good. We had a very 40's style hotel with verandas and wicker furniture. We did more motorbiking, a bit of sight-seeing, some temples, banyan trees, etc. Also got constantly hassled by underemployed rickshaw drivers, and everyone asking "what is your name?". Even if you drive past them at 50mph they shout out 'what is your name'. Everyone must think I'm called Mmmmaaa. I'm going to have a T-shirt printed saying "My name is Matt, I'm from England, No I don't want a rickshaw/watermelon/sarong/incense/you to put that in my ear/etc/etc." Several rickshaw drivers have pulled up beside us when we're riding our bikes, asking if we want a lift. Next time it happens we're going to say yes just to watch them struggle to fit two motorbikes and two blokes in the back of a rickshaw. It'll be worth the 30p.

We're now in Pondicherry, on the south-east coast. It's an old French enclave, very relaxed with beaches, and really hot. Much as I love Indian food, it was good to have a bit of French nosh earlier. Tonight I shall drink french wine - Indian stuff is good, like a cross between Thunderbird and 2020 - but it isn'treally wine. We've found some good beach huts beside Auroville (the hippy commune) and I'm going to spend the next few days doing nothing on the beach after the city hustle-bustle.


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