I couldn’t have been more frustrated.
More people in India have mobile phones than running water– and yet, here we were stopped in front of Sandesh the Prince — another palace cum hotel, not a one of us with an address or telephone number for Sandhya’s.
Did I mention that this was a group of people who, in general, didn’t much care for groups of people?
Figuratively and literally, we’d been down this road before. A week prior, we had ended up at Sandesh, our driver having misheard our request for Sandhya’s. This time, we had made SURE that the driver knew where we were going, asking repeatedly and determinedly if he knew that we meant the yellow house near the park. You know, the one that serves the yogis. The one with the sattvic food.
At first a kindly bobble, and then a more assured “yes madam” upon further pressing. Hesitantly, we believed him.
Bipedal locomotion and interpersonal communication at arms distance were all I wanted, back during that first trip to Mysore. I had no telephone. I was certainly not brave enough to have my own ride.
My intuition, however, was still firing.
You can feel it when the turn is wrong. We pressed for more assurance that our driver knew we meant Sandhya’s, at least two kilometers before we were in front of Sandesh for the second time in two weeks.
Bobble bobble, “yes, madam”, bobble.
When we pulled up, Zoe got authoritative with the man. After battling to find the address amongst those that were telecom ready– and perhaps making enough calls to get through to Sandhya herself– we were gobsmacked with the tuck’s new demand: He intended to charge us for going to the wrong place, the drive to the proper place, and the time it had taken us to find the correct address (which he had promised US he knew).
Someone had to put their foot down. Zoe did. Fatty Hall over here was properly hangry, so I had no problem functioning as a proxy for that kid from the “The Christmas Story”– the yes-man-sidekick. I had her back. It didn’t end well. I believe that she got called a witch, and then had a hex of some kind put on her.
We missed all the chapattis by the time we finally arrived at this warm yellow house with the not-too-spicy food.
A story of this nature can happen every three or four days in Mysore. Never again, I swore.
The following year, I made sure to bring an unlocked iphone and rent a scooter.
Google maps works in Mysore.