We had a nice three days in Chennai over New Year visiting the beautiful Amethyst restored building on Whites road which is now a restaurant, expensive clothing and book store and a florist shop. We spent New Year’s eve at the Raintree hotel close to our hotel where we had delicious Indian food on the roof terrace on a nice balmy night. We visited our Chennai friends and had a nice dinner with them on New Year’s Day and then took the taxi to Pondicherry on the 2nd January for two month stint there managing the Mantra guesthouse. The first two weeks were peaceful before the French family from hell arrived with their two noisy children and totally obnoxious attitude.
Unfortunately due to an error (not on our part) they made our life a misery for the next three weeks trying their best to get us to leave. The husband would make the most awful noise on his clarinet only when his wife and two children were not there. We looked at renting another apartment but could not find a suitable one so after poor Maurice was verbally and physically threatened by the husband for asking him politely to try and keep the noise level down due to other guests being in the building we asked to move anywhere and after a few days we could move to a small room at their sister property ‘Gratitude’ for the remainder of our stay which allowed us some peace in the evenings and I was able to help out there before we cycled over to Mantra for 8.30am every morning. The family were away for most of the weekdays so that made it bearable during the day. We never want to have that kind of experience again with such ignorant and nasty people. We at least had a lovely couple (Chris and Gordana) move in to the guesthouse and also Aarti who was in one of the self catering apartments upstairs.
We were able to attend a couple of Indian movies at the auditorium of the Alliance Francaise.
It was much cooler in Pondicherry this year with some high winds and a few days of rain. I was getting over my extended flu so did not even use the lovely pool.
There were a couple of new restaurants in the French quarter and on the Tamil side which we tried out with some friends.
Maurice had more Ayurvedic treatment and felt much better after that. My flu persisted for the whole stay with a nasty cough and my right hand was also giving me trouble. All in all not a good few months this time in India. Better luck next time.
The owner of the properties broke her ankle and was confined to Delhi and her partner who was to return to Pondicherry stayed to look after her.
We were very much looking forward to our R and R in Indonesia where we were going to meet up with several friends over a two month period before making our way back to India for a couple of weeks and then back to Italy and Europe for our final time with the van in Europe. We had a nice night in Chennai, then at the Sama Sama hotel at the airport in KL and then a flight to Bali on the 2nd March.

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