by Samir
We woke up in the morning, though still somewhat under the weather. We had breakfast … and then promptly went back to sleep 🙂 We got up around 12:30pm and decided to go to the Tea Museum (run by the Kanan Devan Hills plantation). It was only 1 kilometer away (supposedly), so we set out on foot. The walk to the museum seemed to take awhile, which we were more acutely aware of because the road was empty with few passersby. On the road up, we passed by the “Little Flower Girls High School”. We could see the play area down in the valley with over a hundred kids playing in it, though none appeared to be over 10 years old. We were confused about the name “high school”.
The Tea Museum had some interesting artifacts from its colonial past, and then led into a room with a 30-minute documentary, which was some serious propaganda about great each of the past owners had been, and how utterly fabulous the current ownership structure is – 69% employee-owned (approximately 13,000 employees – so about 0.5% each) – and how great the benefits were for the workers and their families. The video made it sound like they were the most well taken care of manual labor in the country. On a side note, this type of agrarian economy also made it clear why we kept on seeing signs for the Communist Party of India (CPI) everywhere!

Communist party sign

After the video, we got to see an assembly line of machinery that converted raw tea leaves into tea powder.

Fresh tea leaves

Tea leaves about to be crushed

Once we were finished with looking through the artefacts in the rest of the museum (old machinery, phone systems, calculators, etc.), we took some photos out in the yard and went back to town. On the way back in, we stopped off at Rapsy’s, a local restaurant. There were people that came in after us that got food before us – though they appeared to be regulars, and all seemed to order the same thing – porotta (pan-fried tortilla) and a boiled egg sitting in a bowl of sauce. The food came out after some time – Rachel was able to eat the “fruit n curd” (curd = yogurt) and some of the rice/chicken. As usual, I finished off the rest of the order. The food was cooked, presented well enough, but was bland/boring. Eh. After late lunch/early dinner at Rapsy’s, we went back to the homestay, uploaded some pictures and relaxed.