INDIA (2010): TAMIL NADU
I traveled for a couple of weeks in the southern state of Tamil Nadu including Pondicherry, the former French colonial town, and Thanjavur and Madurai, both World Heritage sites. South India is the ancient cradle of Dravidian culture where darker-skinned people speak Tamil, the oldest of Dravidian languages in India. The region is characterized by rice fields, masala dosa, strong coffee, women with jasmine flowers in their hair, and a slower rhythm than in the north. I made my way on crowded trains, and on buses where I tried to find a seat on the left side, away from oncoming traffic. A notable stop was the guesthouse in Pondicherry on the beach, watching a cyclone blow in from Sri Lanka over the pounding waves of the Bay of Bengal.