Home    Classes    Tidbits    Pickle Power    What’s this?    Links    About


The Thy Tracker (continued)


May 15–23  Peranakan  24–25  27–29  Sireh  30a  30b  30c–31
Malaysia: Melaka June 1–2, Kuala Lumpur 3–4, Penang 6
Vietnam: Saigon 13–16  19-20  22  26  27 30
Nha Trang July 7a 7b, Hue 14a 14b, Hanoi 19–20
India: Pondicherry 31, Bangalore August 2–4, Kerala


July 31, Tuesday

My first day in India is a bit of a rush. I have barely enough time to visit with Meera’s parents and taste my first meal in India (a breakfast of dosas, or crisp-tender rice crepes) and wander along Bangalore’s MG Road (as in Mahatma Ghandi) before we’re bouncing along in an overnight bus to Pondicherry.

A small town in the state of Tamil Nadu, on the southeastern coast of India, Pondicherry boasts a thriving French community. Very strange, to disembark in India and then see Le Bistro on Rue Dumas, hear perfect French spoken on the streets by sari-clad women, and eat salad with chicken liver and crème caramel. The French colonists established their serene quarter by the beaches, with wide streets and grand estates within view of the Bay of Bengal.

Although Meera tries to interest me in the good works of the famous Sri Aurobindo Ashram that drives the local economy, I continue my search for Franco-Indian cuisine. But the restaurants all serve undiluted French classics, and the estate gates are securely locked. Perhaps before I leave, I’ll figure out a way inside one of these very plush, very private homes to taste the famed though fading cuisine of this tiny community.

Next: Bangalore, India >

July 2001