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Another terrible, weary, feverish night, made even worse when I woke with a throat feeling like it was full of razor blades and grunge. There were also strange intermittent clacking sounds coming from somewhere in the suite (probably from the small fridge), and at 6am an air conditioning unit above us turned on with a sound like a nuclear reactor coming online. I have slept so badly during my time in India, plagued with a mixture of crook guts, fever, sweats, and restless legs.

Thankfully things improved in the morning, and while I’m coughing and snotty, I can function, and my guts seemed to have settled. We had a big continental breakfast in the courtyard, and didn’t leave the hotel until about 11.30am. We wondered around the almost deserted French Quarter streets with their grubby, crumbling Colonial architecture like something out of an abandoned Interview With The Vampire set. We found a decent shop and I bought a shirt, but we couldn’t even find a place to get a cool drink – Lonely Planet is hopeless these days and Google Maps not much better – so we went back to the hotel.

Then, I started to get sick. Really sick. Really, really sick.

Carol got dinner brought up to the room. I was utterly stuffed, so I slept and listened to podcasts, but I was really bad by the time I went to sleep. Carol went out and found a small chemist and supplemented our bag of medicines, and I popped pills and tried to sleep.

28th February

Looks like we’ll be here a while longer until I recover. At noon we had to move to a room down on the level below, but it’s still spacious; we’re moving to another one tomorrow. This is the worst flu, or whatever it is, I’ve had in years. My throat is agonisingly painful, and I had another feverish night full of bad dreams.

After Carol packed our bags and moved us, I got drugged up in the new room and watched Netflix on my iPhone while she went out for a wander by herself.

This really sucks. It’s so disappointing how much of this trip I’ve been sick. I really hope I get some good days again before we go home, and most of all I hope Carol doesn’t get this truly awful bug.

We had dinner brought to the room.

29th February

We moved yet again to another room on the same floor, which bizarrely was larger than the more expensive one on the top floor. It’s basically the size of a large apartment, with a sitting area and dining area.

I was in bed all day watching Netflix and dozing. Carol is starting to feel sick too, but insists she’s working through it quickly. She went out and did some shopping, and bought me a shirt and some presents to cheer me up. Dinner in the room again. If I had to be sick, at least this is a spacious, cool place to be sick in. 

1st March

Finally, some improvement. I wasn’t dosed up as much last night (though I did have to take something in the small hours as my throat was so sore), and felt better when I awoke. At first I thought I might be up and about, but I stayed in bed, as did Carol who is snotty and coughing, but still says she’ll be OK. About 5pm we actually went out for a walk, Carol showing me the places she’d been over in the less touristy part of town, on the other side of a canal that looks like a litter-strewn sewer. The usual Indian street madness, with the occasional modern shop looking strange amidst the squalor. It was very, very warm and muggy, even late in the afternoon. We visited an uncomfortably hot shop – no air-conditioning, no ceiling fans – that sold products made by the nearby Auroville commune, where one of the female staff sat on the floor in the middle of the shop eating her dinner.

The locals seem a bit grumpier here – perhaps this has something to do with the fact that the town changed hands between the French and the English nine times in its history! There are many French tourists about – we’ve had a few experiences on this trip and an earlier with rude French tourists – in the hotel, they all seem to be smoking and talking loudly, and one man walked into our room while I was asleep and Carol had to tell him to get out.

On our return we sat downstairs and actually had a drink. So I guess I must finally be on the mend, which is good as we finally move on from Puducherry tomorrow. I feel like I’ve been in this hotel for months, and I’m still in a bit of a daze; my ears are blocked, my eyesight blurry, and everything seems weird.

It’s going to be a very hot and dusty week, I just hope I can stay healthy through it.

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