Move from Resort to Vinodhara Guesthouse
|Wiki Info on Mamallapuram
Amazing the difference, or should I say the lack of difference between rooms at a resort and a guesthouse...the major difference is price, ha! $140 vs $14 US...of course, we don't get breakfast here, but when we go buy breakfast at a restaurant it is less than $5 US!
But seeing the difference in the people who stay in each place is also an eye opener! Folks at the resort (not the help staff but guests) are aloof, needy, and their expectations w.r.t. service are very high! This is not to say the owner & help at the guesthouse do not provide service but it is at a correspondingly lower level, thus expectations are low. Even at that, our room fan (resort only AC) did not work and the owner had an electrician fix it before we turned in at night. At the resort, the safe in our room did not work, and the staff came and fixed it within an hour of our reporting it! Just small illustrations of differences but speak volumes, ha!
Today we were preparing to go on our morning walk when suddenly a monkey dashed into our room, took Bonnie's 2 bananas and rushed out! I made a dash for her (the female monkey) but she obviously had been doing this kind of 'hit' before and was gone! Thinking we had nothing else in the room I lay on the bed waiting for Bonnie (in bathroom) and AGAIN the little creep shot through the door and from a plastic bag on a shelf, took Bonnie's remaining orange and was gone...I was after them all this time, turned out to be a band of these critters. Not too afraid either! Growling and threatening them had little affect. I even tried to stare one down...NOT WORK! They causually moved away from me, but as I reached the bottom of the stairs to the street, down came a coconut within a few feet of where I stood!! Evil little bastards!
Really, REALLY crappy internet/wifi here...this is my 6th attempt today so will not try again before our return to Chennai...1/28
Really, REALLY crappy internet/wifi here...this is my 6th attempt today so will not try again before our return to Chennai...have spent many hours attempting to post on this site w/o success...this was typed off line and pasted since I keep getting kicked off after just minutes. This is only 60 km from what purports to be the center of Indian tech!! I hold out little hope for this country's future as far as what it hopes to accomplish! If it holds together which also in doubt with turmoil in Kashmir, in the NE, and also in Darjeeling plus other places we have not been, the Indian government is 'ruled' by corrupt politicians no different from those representing the public in the US! The diversion of public scrutiny from this corruption to a fabricated threat from Pakistan is very typical of what governments do world wide. Here it is even more tense in that both countries have nuclear weapons and the US government seems to be heading away from it's role of maintaining peace through diplomacy!!! It is like we have a bunch of clowns running things now!
We spoke to a Kashmiri young fellow (28 years old) who told us that, in fact, in 2008 when we were first in Kashmir...Srinigar, the first trouble began! We remember it well, although not knowing until now how serious it would become!
He said that at the time the Indian government, led by Hindu leaders, wanted to create a huge tourist attraction site north of Srinigar. The site was along side one of Kashmir's beautiful and to many sacred rivers. They peacefully protested but the Indian government ignored their protest and were going forward with their plans. It happened that a 12 year old boy was killed by Indian military and this further inflamed the protest!
VIOLENCE ESCALATES IN KASHMIR!!
Good internet at Sandy Bottom too!
One week more...wonderful discussion with German young fellow ....all sorts of subjects, very smart and though discussion!
So far during the last 4 days eating breakfast at Sandy Bottom Cafe, we've had the great enjoyment of not only getting to know MuMu bette and great breakfasts but also: a couple of young German fellows travelling for 2-4 months, one a teacher, the other a sociology major (Oscar & Fabian); Lorenz, an Irishman here for perhaps 6 months...semi retired; a retired Catholic nurse who was in Papua N.G. 50 years ago as a missionary; a young couple from Holland travelling for 6 months, he is a writer turned copywriter, she a nurse given a 6 mo. leave from her job (both +/- 30 yrs old); and a woman from Ecuador - teacher- late 50s...Great place to talk about things and meet people, like the old hostels used to be!
Today at Sandy Bottom met 2 gals, one from Taiwan(30) and other from Germany(17) who just met in a hostel in Chennai here and took surfboard lessons from Mumu. A couple from Ottawa, Randy & Connie, who are travelling with a group for a month but retired and have been travelling like this for last 5 years. They are going to Newfoundland for the curling campionship (Brae Cup) when they get home. Told us great stories about Newfoundland and skrei (rum drink) and bologna and just great entertainment there with locals. Just another fine chat session, ha! Lovin' it!