Kia Shnette 2010 travel blog

Temple

Fire Truck

Ceiling, Palace

Ceiling, Palace

Interior wall

Temple


So I skipped Kumbakonam. It is another temple town and I have had about enough of temples. I am now in Thanjavur about 4 hours by bus from Chidambaram. My plans for the next few weeks are: 2 more nights in Thanjavur, a couple of days in Tiruchirapalli, and then possibly Kodaikanal which is in the hills and I here it is much cooler there. Then Madurai, and maybe Rameswaram. Then to Kanyakamuri the Southern tip of India and on to Kerala state.

It is a lot I know.

I stayed last night in Thanjavur at the Ashoka Lodge near the old bus stand for 195 rupees. My one and only night in Chidambaram was pretty terrible. I had cockroaches living inside my squat toilet. The first time I saw one I thought it was a mouse because of the size. But no, it was only the largest cockroach I have ever seen in my life. I was terrified to go to the bathroom because those roaches were so huge. I an glad to be out of there and in Thanjavur where my room was devoid of bugs except for spiders. I have a tv and I have also discovered the best thing ever. They have this little plug in device that they give you and when you plug it into an outlet it keeps the mosquitoes away for up to 30 days. I may buy a 100 of those things. Maybe I will take a picture of my room so that you an see the large number of clothes that I have washed and hung up all around.

This morning I saw some big temple and the remains of the Thanjavur palace. There was a basketball court out back of the palace so I played with some boys and a couple of young men. I taught them how to do high fives whenever they made a basket. I climbed up to the tower of the palace and I have to tell you those stairs were meant for people no taller than 4 feet and extremely skinny as well. It was a chore getting up those steps and even worse coming down. They must have been designed for children or skinny pygmies.

I had my requisite thali (meal for lunch which is pretty awesome. In South India they don't eat on plates but on banana leaves. The thali usually consists of rice, dal, coconut curry, some kind of chutney, hot sauce, a vegetable curry, and a piece of fried flat bread. It is very chap and filling. They just keep adding more and more food to your leaf even if you tell them no, they will come by later and just plop some more food on your plate. It's pretty good eating for less than a dollar.

Afterwards, I went to an Indian sweet shop. I tried one sweet a month ago, it was a ball of dough soaked in syrup. Disgusting. So I was very nervous about the sweets but the guy in the shop kept giving me different pieces to taste until I found one that I liked.

My only other issue is a fear of worms. Everywhere, they want you to take off your shoes before entering and there are so many cows, goats, dogs, cats, water buffaloes and the occasional other animal walking around shitting everywhere that I am afraid I might have picked up some worms. I am definitely buying some deworming pills. Yuck.

Other issues:

1. Men piss everywhere. They will just whip it out on the street and start pissing. There are bathrooms here I don't know why they can't just find one. On top of this is the spitting. Spit, spit, spit. Yuck. There is a big difference between the north and the south. In the south there is less pissing, and much less spitting. Even so, it is all too too much for me. If I never see men pissing on the street again it will be too soon. Yuck.



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