|I took the overnight train from Bangalore to Pondicherry (it is too hard to go back and forth between the old names and the new names so I will stick with the ones people know). Pondy (as we call it) was a french colony and still has a strong french influence. There are quite a few tourists here with French representing the largest group. Since Pondy is on the coast, it is more humid than Bangalore, but still not too bad.
I have been asked to talk about the people I am meeting. I met a woman on the train last night. She invited me to come visit her but since she lives about 45 minutes from here, I probably won't. I had lunch today with the friend of someone I know in Seattle. She and her husband have an extra room so I am going to move in there tomorrow. We sat at lunch with two french women one of whom lives here and the other was visiting. At dinner I sat with a woman from England and her Italian husband. He had been in India twice before, roughly the same times as I was here, and we compared and contrasted our earlier visits with this visit. We both felt that we saw more similarities than we expected.
I have also been asked about the food. So far I have just eaten Indian food and mostly vegetarian. I don't think it is quite as hot spicy as it is in the north. I have favored dosas which are like very large, thin crepes that are eaten with various sauces. Most food is eaten with the fingers. They often give foreigners a spoon which is actually usually harder to use than just eating with fingers.