More random observations from the road: I took a 2 day trip with people who are tangentially related to me. From The Village, we headed to Munnar to experience the fresh air, drive the winding roads through the tea estates and check out Rajmalai Park.
I once visited Minnesota in June and people, to my shock, had shorts on. For me, while it was not actively cold, it certainly wasn't warm - and it was nowhere near hot enough for shorts. Indians strike me the same way - they seemto find it much colder here than I do. People have donned "monkey caps" and sweaters. For all the care that people take while dressing, cold weather measures are apparently exempt. I have seen some truly horrifying sweater and sari combos! Wearing a cardigan on top of a sari gives aunties sliken, pleated tails.
Indians don't seem to have the notion of a walk just to see the scenery, or or simply ('zimbly') the walk's sake. Like seeing some Nilgiri ibex up close wasn't enough, a man asked us if there was anythign to see up ahead. One of the uncles amusingly said "a few gods." The questioner went on to ask about number and type to see whether the gods would be sufficient motivation for his family to continue on.
So far, Munnar has been my favorite spot o the trip. The rolling sea of tea, bushes set in strips. Oddly, it reminded me of wine country (but maybe everything reminds you of home when you are away.) The views were beautiful - totally different from the Keralan coast. It was obvious where the tea money ran out - the road suddenly because dramatically worse a few miles beyond the last tea estate.
Periyar sanctuary was also beautiful. We didn't see very many animals, but the boat trip on the lake was so peaceful and serene in comparison to being on the road. While on the boat, I realized that taking photos has become like game hunting - less about the experience itself and mroe about baggin the "trophy." (Obviously, photo safaris are much better for animals!) All the people who scramble to take pictures of the animal's retreating rump - I wonder how often (if at all) they will look at their snaps.