February 27th, 2004

the Auslander is still in India
interesting stories, nice photos.

[….] And a few nights ago, temple music and amplified chanting and speakers blaring throughout the night. Another deity, one for every day of your life. There’s not much quiet, because when the Hindus shut down their sound systems at 3 or 4 a.m., it’s only an hour or two before the first amplified call to prayer.

We take a rickshaw over to Natraj Restaurant, all locals, almost all men, sit down and there’s no menu, the waiters just circle around filling your thali with delectable veg. dishes and sauces. One waiter has the chapatis, one has the sauces, one has the rice, one has the pappads. All you can eat. Best food in town. Lunch for two with 2 colas = 80 rupees ($1.80)

Last night at dinner (macaroni and cheese, Kashmiri pullao, butter naan, lemon soda, and a couple masala chais), we watch the old James Bond film “Octopussy.” Part of it was filmed here, and all the local restaurants make a really big deal of that, so much so that every restaurant in the tourist ghetto (otherwise known everywhere universally as the “old city”) screens the film every evening at 7 p.m. As if restaurant work wasn’t hard enough already, you have to watch that silly film every god damn night while you’re waiting tables? Anyway, the rickshaw chase scenes are actually quite similar to ordinary Indian rickshaw traffic, and seem much less scary and impressive now that we’ve been here awhile. [….]

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