So I’m finally in Pondicherry (or Puducherry, to be precise)!
Took the early morning flight on Maldivian airlines yesterday to Chennai. Very pleasant flight, enough empty seats to get some privacy. Friendly smiling crew (unlike the last time I flew to India on Air India). I always wonder how cabin crew can smile so much, I know it’s their job, but!
This was my first international flight on Maldivian airlines. I used to think they flew the small domestic planes to international destinations as well (shows how much I know). But this was an A320, looked very new too.
Chennai airport was better than the stories I have heard. Airport staff were actually helpful. Maybe they aren’t so bad after all.
After waiting for my taxi (which the guest house hadn’t sent), I took a taxi from the airport to Pondicherry. Supposedly Rs 2800 but, in the end there was the addition of Rs 50 +Rs 50 +Rs 50 for highway toll charges, plus Rs 150 for entry permit to Pondicherry. I wonder if it’s much better to take a domestic flight to Pondicherry? Must look it up.
Chennai felt like a hot burning furnace! I was sweating so much inside the taxi. It reminded me of the hot sauna in Soneva Fushi. I think it helped ease my cold too. Flushing out everything. And when I opened the windows, the wind felt like it was coming from a hairdryer!
Nevertheless, I slept for most of the 3 hrs in the taxi. I can sleep anywhere, in any condition, it looks like.
I am staying at the Fullmoon Guest house in the muslim quarter of Pondicherry. It’s fairly alright. I’m paying about USD 240 for a monthly rent, for a room with a kitchen, free wifi, and I get a bicycle! The landlady is very helpful. She speaks French, as she had lived in France for 15 years with her husband and family.
A Frenchman I met at the guesthouse treated me to dinner at a little Tamil eatery. Guess how much this meal cost?
Now to go see what a bike ride will bring about.