Thursday, February 03, 2005

Ahmedabad II

Well, I think I may have experienced the "ecma" that Hotel Serena boasts of. I ordered boiled eggs for breakfast via room service, after having had the ghastly idlis that the Nutan Restaurant dished me up yesterday. The 2 eggs arrived - soft-boiled & helpfully cut up for me into 8 pieces, arranged sunnyside up on a plate, and doused in ground pepper. After the none-too-clean looking room-service guy put his hands all over the tines of the fork before giving it to me, my appetite seemd to evaporate and - I feel embarrassed to admit this - I flushed them down the loo.

This was planned to be a very early breakfast so I could get to the rendevous point for the "Heritage Walk of Ahmedabad" by 8am. I duly arrived, as did a couple from South Africa (Mo & Acacia). Unfortunately for us the guide didn't - we were told he'd gone away for the day. What a drag. However, the 3 of us managed to get a copy of the map of the walk & decided to do a self-guided tour. Mo was a whiz with the map & at asking locals where things were, and the resulting tour was a fascinating look at the side of Ahmedabad that had thus far eluded me. We walked through numerous pols - local micro-neighbourhoods - and saw Jain & Hindu temples, Muslim tombs, striking architecture. The walk left me feeling that Ahmedabad was a pretty interesting town. After that, we paid a visit to the Calico Museum of Textiles - an absolute mecca for those interested in textiles & weaving, I'd reckon - and I later cycled out to Ghandi's Ashram, about 5km out of town. It was an exhausting day, and it took some self-control to not flip-out on finding that my pants had been replaced by a pair of green socks when my laundry was returned to me. Luckily, they were found. (It is amusing to see all the numbers appearing on my clothes so laundries can identify them - so far, my white shirt has 133, 406 and 303 written on the inside collar.) Acacia, Mo & I caught up again that evening for a meal. They were a nice couple & it was good to spend time with them looking at stuff & chatting.

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