22/12/12 17:00

I’m relieved to have a normal sized breakfast at Graceful Homestay. We’ve eaten so much over the past few few days.

Started the morning at the Zoo: it’s the oldest in India and set in lovely leafy woodland. The highlight was a black bear, in a decent sized enclosure. The lowlite was a tiny marmoset all alone in a small wooden-backed cage with a few sticks. I haven’t been to a zoo since I was a pre-teen, and won’t be rushing back. We wandered around for a couple of hours, saying hello to lots of children as we went (under 15s have free access on Saturdays).

Headed over to the Mascot Hotel, in search of a light lunch. The hotel was nice enough, but with incredibly slow and indifferent service in the coffee shop. The waitress waved back when I tried to attract her over to take our order. Masala cheese on toast and a lovely plate of fresh fruit (two types of banana) sorted us out, eventually. But we did get a good rest.

Next a wander down to Connemara Market, which was small and had no hawking which was very pleasant and we were able to wander in peace. I tried on a few shirts, and found even the XL were too small around my tummy and hips—so, pride dented, we walked quickly on.

I had another go shirt shopping in a trendy ‘Future for Men’ store in the basement of a shopping centre. These were XL again but this time not as waspishly waisted, so I bought one and even enjoyed the haggling with the young guy at the counter. The brand is “So Me”! I paid ₹650 and it started out at ₹900: so I wasn’t too awful at the haggling.

Found an Indian Coffee House shop on MG Road, although it was very well hidden in the basement garage of a shopping centre. This is a workers cooperative society where the waiters wear fancy uniforms, I guess dating back to the start 1900’s. The ‘set coffee’ was coffee in a pot with warm milk, and they had no biscuits.

Spent the rest of the afternoon on our comfortable balcony at Graceful Homestay, and finished Gulliver’s Travels, which I enjoyed more than I thought I would. I particularly enjoyed the ‘flying saucer’ island in the third if his travels.

Dinner in the evening was a 10 min walk to a local hotel, with a buffer meal at ₹275. No licence sadly, so no beer, but they did have fantastic pickles: very spicy beetroot, fresh lime, mango, pineapple, ginger and more… the waiter was very sweet and explained to me that that it was a buffet so us have to serve myself. I don’t like Kerelan-style soup: white and pasty with only a few bits of veg in.

Met a nice Indian family from Bangalore staying for a few days.