We begin our cycle tour today! Running slightly behind schedule: our hotel was supposed to have breakfast ready at 6:30, and at 7:08 Josh had tracked down the receptionist who had tracked down the security guard who had tracked down the manager (who swallowed the fly to catch the cat). The manager led Josh to a kitchen and proceeded to watch bewilderedly as Eagle-Scout Josh found bananas, a couple pieces of bread, and even scrounged up a knife to slice some pineapple.
This scene reflects a theme in India – personnel seem unable to make decisions, fix things, and generally the standard of work is baffling. We watch brick walls go up, the bricks crooked and the concrete incompletely filling holes; except for the nicest one or two hotels in a city (and forget towns) towel hooks in the bathroom are hung crooked and slightly broken, dish washing would not past the test of either of our fathers and over 50% of the clothes or blankets we inspect for purchase in the markets have stains on them. There are signs in every city for “Management” schools and degrees, but again we are curious what “management” means here, because this word certainly entails a different concept in America.
Today we ride to Thattekad and camp at Hornbill. We are somewhat nervous, as the farthest either of us has ever ridden on a bike is about 15 miles, and Houston is as flat a terrain as it gets outside of Kansas, but excitement far outweighs the anxiety: this has been one of the most anticipated segments of our journey.
Until the next internet connection 😉