A couple of days behind blogging, and a couple more before we catch up.
Vizag is the common/affectionate name for this city of Visakhapatnam. It’s a good and mostly low-key place. A couple of things they’re proud of are the cleanliness and the policing. The cleanliness is relative, but the large main roads that meander through this hilly seaside are immaculate and kept that way. There are a few large modern semi-expensive western-style but tasteful hotels on the waterfront that set the tone for its ambitions. A bit like a seriously off-the-map Monaco waterfront without capital, or something. But this is Andhra Pradesh, way off the tourist routes (the only white people here are either outsourcing or in mining export, so I’ve been told) so it seems to be done for the right reason: themselves.
I had one of the most interesting experiences yesterday. One minute I was instructed and helped to hold tightly a thousand year old ultra-ornate pillar and the next I was reversed face outwards and bound to it by cloth and ribbons, being guided through the Hindu significance by Nootkaratnam, and lightly painted and flowered by Hindu elders, in a deep deep ancient temple in near darkness, after having got through 3 previous intimate either short or lengthly involvements before that. We were led past maybe a thousand Indians, for reasons I have no idea about, there was no money involved, Nootkaratnam has some kind of pull she didn’t explain. Way, way off the grid.