Hopped on a flight from Delhi to Chennai, jumped into a tuk-tuk and got (almost literally) thrown onto a bus for Pondy - ie driver suddenly stopped, said - that's the Pondicherry bus and dashed out of tuk-tuk to stop bus and grab my bag. Slightly insane, very amusing.
I settled into a big seat and managed to keep it to myself for the whole 4+ hour journey. The trip took an hour less than I'd been told so I don't know if the driver was racing like a madman or whether the ticket guy gave me the wrong time but the journey was lovely. The Tamil Nadu scenery was beautiful. Spectacular and calming. And soundtracked by my iPod on random shuffle mode throwing all manner of tunes at me.
I arrived nice and relaxed at realised at that point that perhaps I liked cities a lot more before than I do now.
Pondicherry can be split into two. A very Indian side and a not so Indian side. The Indian side is a little bit like a very very watered down version of Delhi - complete with normal temples, shops, etc and a botanical gardens that may have seen better days. Or maybe not!
The non-Indian side is French colonial. Lots of bright old crumbling mansions. I can imagine how amazing they must have once been. A sea front promenade, with no beach to speak of. Lots of small quiet streets. Character. Real character. I loved it instantly and had the best time just wandering around, snapping random pictures and observing.
I stayed in a cheap guesthouse run by the local ashram. Very basic. No TV, no hot water, a curfew, hard mattresses, but clean and very very convenient.
Went to a meditation session at the local ashram... but more later. Need to see if my credit card is working again yet and book a flight...