Mar 1, 2009


J'adore Pondicherry, a lovely town of 200,000 on the Bay of Bengal.

This little enclave was colonized by France in the 18th century. Like another former French colony that I know and love, Pondi has hung on tightly to its French roots. The coffee shops are cafés and the restaurants serve passable coq au vin. Furthermore, Pondi has extremely low liquor taxes, so you can purchase a 600 ml bottle of Kingfisher froide from your local dépanneur for a mere 40 rupees. (Half what one would pay in the rest of the conservative state of Tamil Nadu.)

As a haven for tourists, ex-pats, and ashramites from France and Switzerland, Pondi doesn't need Bill 101 to preserve its French culture. Guesthouse owners, waiters, autorickshaw drivers, and yoga instructors speak a more refined French than most Anglo Quebecers. Present company included...

Vive le Pondi libre!

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