Madras ISN'T a very nice city at all. It's noisy and polluted just like all the other cities, but there's nothing there. A temple, a couple of churches, a fort, nothing new. My illness stayed on into Thursday so we changed some money - my last Traveller's Cheque (!) - tried to sort out our flight (failed) and went to the museum.
Museums are boring now, every one in India is exactly the same. Bits of temples, sculptures, Indus Valley Civilisation... Not much else to do, so we went to the beach. I was very rude to this bloke who approached us in the park, but then felt incredibly guilty because he had this collection of amazing carved pendants. I spent Rs400 on quite a few of them, partly to assuage my guilt, but mostly because they're excellent and it tones down my present (as in souvenirs) worries.
Our ticket is now sorted out - You'll have to wait until the 15th for the 25th and you'll have to go to Coimbatore to get your ticket if you get seats - we resigned ourselves to going on the 21st. Our brilliant plan of having an extra week in Ramnad and then going home on a Friday so we won't be lonely in our first couple of days back has been foiled. Just follows the pattern of my life - make a plan, sort it out, watch it fail. Hey ho.
I'm going to be glad to be at home with people who understand me again. I'm sick of being misconstrued, especially by C. who always thinks I'm much more serious than I really am. C. and I are so different and I still feel as if we're making a special effort just because we have to. Naturally we like each other a lot more now and we understand - or at least know about - each other's little quirks.
But the way C. is, is just not suited to me. He's still inhibited and I hate the way he never let go of England. He talks about being 'Indian' in a kind of detached, seen-it-on-TV kind of way. We are too far apart, an introvert and an extrovert, one always (at least trying to be) happy and careless, the other stressed, miserable and paranoid. Some of the time.
C. gets angry at Things. He curses stones and shouts at doors. much safer, because they don't shout back. But what's the point? Why not stay happy, don't get angry at anything and stay positive? But it's still just another page in the vast encyclopaedia of difference.
So we're in Tiruchirapalli and it's one of the Big Places to see in Tamil Nadu. There's a rock fort on top of a big rock and a temple that covers 2.5 square km! These are what we're going to see today. On the train last night, the chap next to me told us to go to Tanjore because there's another temple there, but I think we've seen enough. Just these last few, then back to Madurai tonight.