We were hoping for more of a quaint vibe – like in many of the towns we’d stayed at in the Himalayas. Having said that, there are a couple of buildings that have an olde worlde charm to them, like the aromatic “Siva Eucalyptus” shop I walked into last night to ask for directions.
We were told by several folk that we would love Ooty, which has been a good lesson in expectations for us.... And also a good note to self not to tell anyone that they will love something. Whilst ultimately we are all one, relatively we are incredibly different. What works for one will not necessarily work for another. I found myself telling people at Shantivanam Ashram how brilliant Srirangam was. However a couple of Germans at the ashram returned from a Srirangam day trip and had nothing good to say about it. Michael asked them how their day was, and they responded by saying they couldn’t get into the temple areas restricted to Hindus. That was it – the sum total of their experience. When we were there that made no difference to us and seemed so trivial compared to the vast richness of experience we were having.
We were kept up till the early hours of the morning last night by a room full of exuberant young stoned travellers in our corridor. I am sure they would offer a different appraisal of Ooty as they seemed to be enjoying themselves. Which goes to show – meaningful relationships and interactions also greatly determine our experience of a place. We haven’t really had any of those here, probably because we only arrived yesterday afternoon, although the locals are friendly and helpful.
To conclude, some places undoubtedly capture the imagination more easily than others. Ooty hasn’t done so for us. And that’s OK. My feeling of gratitude for being in India has not abated. Time to find out about bus schedules to Mysore so we can continue our journey tomorrow....