Toto, I don’t think we’re in Pondy anymore!

This past weekend, our group traveled to Mysore & Bangalore for a few days, to see the malls and the Mysore Palace and the madness. We noticed some pretty distinct differences between our small, familiar home of Pondicherry and these new cities. Hence, this modest list:

You Know You’re Not in Pondy Anymore When…

You see a girl wearing a short skirt….and she’s not European (she’s Indian).
You see an Indian couple holding hands.
People wear helmets when riding their motorbikes.
Not everyone is wearing a mundu (the traditional, long skirt-type piece of cloth that men wear).
People wear shorts.
There are sidewalks…that you can actually walk on.
You see boars, pot-bellied pigs, and elephants instead of cows and goats.
People don’t automatically assume that you are French just because you are white.
The streets only have one name.

An Attempt at Explanation.

Via Facebook chat:

Zach (a close friend from home, attends Northwestern University): So what is the town like that you stay in? Can you just walk around and stroll? Or is it more rural?
Me: Basically campus is this gated area and we are 10 km or something from Pondicherry, which is the real city.
Me: So you can take the bus in for 4 rupees, it takes 20 or 30 minutes.
Me: So this “highway” called the ECR (East Coast Road) runs right by campus, and you can cross that and there are restaurants and stands and stuff. Today, after yoga class, Leah and i got a banana milkshake, literally on the side of the road.
Zach: Ohhhhh I didn’t know you had an actual campus
Me: Like, cars/buses/cattle are whizzing by
Zach: Haha whoa
Me: Yeah, it’s Pondicherry University
Zach: That seems like authentic India to me.
Me: For sure.
Zach: Except the milkshake part…
Me: Well, I never get any dairy in my diet.