So there was some sort of general strike today in Tamil Nadu, which meant that Silvia and I were seemingly thwarted in our plan to move on to Mahabalipuram. Everywhere we went the story was the same: “You can’t go today, there is a general strike. Everything is closed. And no cars will be on the road. And even if you did find someone to take you, it will be dangerous, as you could be attacked by people supporting the strike.”
We were done with Pondy, so we threw caution to the wind and worked out a deal with some local thugs to take us anyway. There were three of them riding in the front two seats (they told us this was necessary in case there was “problem”). About 20 minutes into the ride, Dipen called me to say that it was too dangerous to go, and that we should stay in Pondicherry. This caused all manner of angry mob scenes to dance in my head as we made our way along the east coast road. The ride wasn’t cheap, but it was fast as there was no one on the roads. We made it here in about 1.5 hours, surely an Indian record.
Tomorrow we will visit the monuments and generally take in the sites. So far, I’m not too impressed with the general tourist atmosphere here. It is overpriced and underclassed. But I am happy to be with Silvia, she is a lot of fun.