Snapshot Sunday: Do you prefer your street names in French … or Tamil?

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge

Almost ten years ago now, I had my Indian Adventure, when I travelled first of all with a small group of like-minded English travellers, and then solo round southern India.  That’s when I started blogging, using TravelBlog, though I later transcribed it onto WordPress which may be more user-friendly.

The culture shock of arriving in Bangalore with its constant traffic noise, its motor horns, its street-cattle, its monkeys, its people, its eagles and vultures wheeling overhead is unforgettable.

A back street in Bangalore, and a few rickshaws.

A back street in Bangalore, and a few rickshaws.

Arriving in Pondicherry some three weeks later was just as much of a jolt. Suddenly I was transported (after a motorway journey which included goats grazing on the central reservation) to colonial era France.  Here were policemen in kepis, elegant public buildings, corner shops selling baguettes and croissants.

Dept of Public Works, Pondicherry

My guesthouse was a charming 19th century throwback which would have been totally at home on the French Riviera.

My verandah at le Rêve Bleu.

Yet I was undoubtedly in India.  There was a spot of building work going on outside my bedroom window.  Here’s the delivery wagon:

A delivery from the builder’s Yard

Here’s a more up-to-date delivery lorry:

They don’t usually need reminding to ‘Sound Horn’

Here’s the school run:

School run, Indian style

And here’s the beach:

The beach at Pondicherry.

Here though is the photo which answers this week’s WordPress photo challenge: ‘Names’. A street sign which represents the many-faceted cultural references of what I thought of as my favourite Indian city.

Cathedral Street, Pondicherry

Cathedral Road, Pondicherry

In a couple of days I plan to re-blog an old post of mine which has something further to contribute to the ‘Names’ theme.


30 thoughts on “Snapshot Sunday: Do you prefer your street names in French … or Tamil?

  1. I think the best part of being in another country is observing every day life. Love your photos of the school run and the builders delivery. What a wonderful holiday that must have been.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It was. As far as the school run went, one of the jaw-dropping things to watch was how many children could be crammed into an auto-rickshaw.


  2. Your photos brought back so many memories. Before I was married, before children, I spent several months travelling around India, I loved everything about it and still have the fondest memories of the country and the people, it was a time I shall never forget and I think it changed my outlook on life forever.

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  3. What a fabulous trip that must have been! I’ve not done a lot of foreign travel – I’ve never left Europe so India seems so very exotic. A close friend of mine – my ex-husband’s aunt – works for a few weeks every year in an Indian hospital and loves it there.

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  4. This all looks very charming although I’m sure as with everywhere there was a grittier side…very impressed you travelled part of it alone! Your accommodation looks a bit ‘Marigold hotel’ like – love the photos!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My Pondicherry accommodation was the most charming and picturesque of the lot. But you’re right, there were many sights and experiences that were unsettling and difficult. I recommend solo travelling: you can just please yourself!

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  5. I fell, that old charm is no more. There is definitely a French Street in Pondicherry, but it’s just too overrated now. The buildings are crumbling, paints are peeling off etc. Irrespective of this, we Indians still love Pondicherry, and it still is a major tourist city probably because of its proximity from Chennai..

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    1. It’s such a shame if Pondicherry loses its genuine French charm. I was disappointed to find that schools are no longer French medium, but have changed to English, and I can see that over time the Frenchness will fade except in a few artificially cultivated spots.


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