Friday, December 29
Next to Lonely Planet, 14:12
The morning began with a long walk with Bruno, in which we walked almost to the National Highway and back. He seemed to like it.
At midday we took a rickshaw to SISP to see Paul and give him the other two bags of clothes that Irma had brought. The rickshaw missed the turning and took an accidental detour that enabled me to see how traffic gets to Lighthouse Beach through a tunnel under the new highway.
We then took the rickshaw to Temple Road and walked down to the beach.
Today we turn left and walk along the alley where I photograph the egg man. I stop in front of a building next to Lonely Planet, that served as a studio last year. I photograph the deliberately broken mural that the owner had created.
A few metres on we notice a single ant dragging a huge leaf across the path, and stop to look. While watching I turn round and spot the artist in his new studio. We go in and say hello.
We will end up buying several small paitings, some of them painted in bright colours on old, faded and used postcards. They remind me of Tom Phillips’ Humament when I first see them.
Naa and I will go to see Christine, but she and Hari have a shop full of customers, so we wave and leave.
We will stop at The Spice Village to quench our thirst. We will have papaya juice, papaya lassi, and papaya milshake. We will also have snacks, and Irma will insist that I try the momos, which she and Auo had in Tibet.
What a good idea that will turn out! They will prove delicious and come with possibly the best home-made tomato chutney I have ever tasted. We will watch them cooking in the open kitchen, thus proving that they do indeed make everything from scratch.
Later Irma will order a pair of sandals from the shoemaker opposite Udaya’s tailorshop. To my surprise, I will find myself buying a pair at the same time.
After a brief stop at Leo for more lassi we will go home to discover that, while we had gone, the workmen had laid the tar on the road. According to Molly they have laid it all the way to Kovalam, and they will do a second coat tomorrow.
We might have a new road in time for the new year.