Monday, February 07, 2011

India part 11c: Ooty - Willy's

"I looked at willies on the internet," announced Sarah. It took me a good few seconds before I realised she was referring to an elusive cafe - Willy's - we'd been searching for a few days before. The previous night, realising there was plenty of life in this joke yet - or realising there wasn't but pressing ahead anyway - Dave had enthusiastically told our uncomprehending rickshaw driver: "We're hunting for Willy's!"

Anyway, we found the damn place in the end, and it was a bit of a triumph, with chicken 65 burgers (never had I heard of such a combination) and full of student types who looked like they were plotting their own separate revolutions. It also had a library which contained many Enid Blyton books, perhaps left behind by the Raj as a companion to the railways. I spent our first afternoon in Willy's reading the first half of Mrs B's The Mystery of the Burnt Cottage, which features the Five Find-Outers and Dog, not to be confused with the more famous Famous Five. Sarah asked what the difference between the two was, and I struggled to explain, eventually coming up with: "The Five Find-Outers and Dog are more... parochial." (Although Blyton definitely shows a lack of consistency in her categorisations here, since one of the Famous Five was actually a dog.) For me, FF-OaD's main selling point is the presence of Frederick Algernon Trotteville whose unfortunate initials and substantial girth earn him the inevitable nickname 'Fatty'.

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