"Saputara," one of the few sentences in the Dangs section says, means "the adobe of serpents." [Emphasis mine]
Yeah, so Saputara must be where all those snakes produce those Acrobat Readers and Photoshops.
The Mahadev Highway Hotel in the bustling metropolis of Vansada in Navsari district has a grimy washbasin against a grimy wall. Immediately above is this legend in Gujarati: "Wos besheen."
And the menu is listed on the wall to the right of the "besheen", and that's where I learn that this august establishment has available for Rs 20 each Vegetable Pulao and Kashmiri Pulao and Vegetable Biryani and Hyderabadi Biryani.
I'm intrigued, but not hungry enough to check this out.
But later at the Hardik Chinese Corner in Ahwa, where a sign in Gujarati tells me I can get Chinese and Punjabi food, I am hungry, and the noodle section is a revelation. For I can make my choice from Manchurian Noodles, Mushroom Noodles, Paneer Noodles, Hardik Special Noodles, Hakka Noodles, Szechwan Noodles, Singapuri Noodles, Hongkong Noodles, Hyderabadi Noodles and Triple Noodles.
All written in Gujarati. All made in the same large wok by one sweaty guy in rolled up jeans.
What are Triple Noodles, I ask our friendly and attentive waiter.
"Woh kya hai, woh kuch triple system se banta hai," he says. "What it is, it's made from some triple system."
I ask for mushroom noodles.
And as I wait, I note idly that the ramshackle building opposite is home to "SMARTZ", "Zoom Graphics" and "Ganesh Kesh Kartanalaya" -- that last being a haircut place. Yes, all in one.
Fizzy drinks commonly available in Dangs: J.B. (looked like soda), Zipper (tried it, identical in taste and colour to my old favourite from Bombay, Sosyo).
Also Throne Up.
Not a wild success, I have to say, that last name. I couldn't bring myself to try.
A small chai-shop in Jharsol sells hot chai all right. It also sells Parle Gluco biscuits. It also sells Natkhat Energy Biscuits ("To Be Sale Loose"). It also sells Barbie toothbrushes.
Would you brush your teeth with Barbie?
When leaving Ahwa, you pass a large green sign that says:
- Waghai 32
- Sunset 1
Well, we couldn't resist. We set off for the sunset. Hours later, we still hadn't found it. Think that "1" is a bit of an underestimate.