Tired after a long-day of walking and exploring, I was rushing back to my hotel. It was 5.30 in the evening. The roads had already started getting deserted. In all the rush, I heard someone calling me from behind. I looked back to find Mr. Balan waving at me. “Going back?”, he asked. I said “Yes, I am going back”. “Come, have a cup of tea with us before you go”. I agreed to it and was there again, after having filling lunch with masala-dosa, chutney and sambhar in the noon.
“How about parotta and chicken curry with tea?” He asked again. I said, “No, but thank you, I am already full with the lunch, tea should be enough”. He replied, “Have one at least, you would like it.” I couldn’t deny after all it was about kerala porotta, I could manage to create some space for it 🙂
We had conversations around the pandemic, the struggles of the tourism industry and how the pandemic had badly impacted his business. He talked about how his restaurant had over 500 visitors each day and now hardly few. Which was evident from the fact that I was the only one even during lunch and then during dinner.
After the grand dinner, I started to leave, I asked how much I had to pay. He said, “No, this is on me”. I did not understand how to respond, I said,” That’s unfair, please take it you have a business to run especially during these trying times”. Despite the number of times I tried to convince, he denied politely with a big smile. I finally gave up for that day, but I thought to visit again and have lunch. I had to catch a train in the evening.
When I entered the restaurant, there were already few customers. After I took a table, there was one more person who entered and then two more and so on. After what I saw the day earlier, the sight was an absolute delight. I ordered the same as the dinner I had the day before. I had my lunch quitely, enjoying the delicious meal that was in front of me.
It was time to leave. “How much?”, I asked. “11 euros”, he said with the same big smile.
“Have a safe journey, know that we are here next time you come. “
This is from my recent trip to Lourdes. I am not a great travel blogger :), but I do enjoy the small moments and conversations I get to have with complete strangers while travelling solo, which I hope to post in next few days. 🙂
One of my goals for the new year to be consistent with my writing. I have tried to put my content on several other platforms but I have to say, I keep coming back to WordPress because this is the best community one can have to keep getting better. Thanks for all the love all through these years ❤