That was about the people at the hotel. But what about site-seeing, you ask? That pretty much sucked. It turned out to be prime ‘tourist’ season: spitting, pushing, lungi-tying hordes of tourists. We hired a car and queued up dutifully at the ticket counters of all the sites. The tea museum we took one look at and fled. Somehow, though quite an avid tea-drinker myself, I could not find it in me to pay admission and look at different kinds of tea leaves from between the shoving shoulders of my fellow tea-enthusiasts. My husband’s plight was even more pitiful, he didn’t even like tea.
We squared our shoulders and shoved our way to the ticket counter at the botanical gardens. I’m glad we did, because the gardens were lovely and very, very old. We took each other’s pictures in front of a lot of flowers and left.
We begged off going into the boat house of the famous lake at Ooty after a particularly muscular woman pushed past and planted herself before me in line. I made a few loud comments in Bengali to the effect that I thought she had cooties, and having thus revenged ourselves on her we fled for quieter tourist spots. We were told that the Rose garden would be as crowded so we headed for St. Stephen’s church instead. This at least was tranquil and picturesque. After taking permission from the people there, we looked around the old graves behind the church, though we restrained our vulgar, macabre instinct to take photographs. But it really was lovely. The epitaphs told so many stories…it made us quite thoughtful.
And then we went back to our hotel, satisfied that we had done our duty as tourists and had earned our right to a hearty slap-up meal of chicken stuffed with cheese and ham for dinner. The next day, though I made some mild comments suggesting we dive back into the sea of site-seeing humanity, my husband made it plenty clear that there was a bench with his name on it on the lawn and I was welcome to join him. So after a very, very good breakfast (suffice it to say there was a lot of cheese and meat involved) we hit the benches and only came off for a lunch of pasta with cheese sauce and bacon.
We decided we shouldn’t waste the entire day lolling about indoors, and went for a walk in the afternoon after it stopped drizzling. By the end of it we were half-dead for want of breath, and made a beeline for the kitchen to calm our nerves with a plate of French fries and two steaming mugs of hot chocolate.
We spent the entire next day on a bus, sleep deprived, and cheese deprived, but happy that our weekend had been well-spent.