Monday, September 9, 2013

The Blue Sky of Chennai, and other Indian Adventures

28-31 July 2013

Chennai, India

Familiarity breeds contempt. Or in this case, it breeds complacency. This was my third trip to Chennai, and my second solo trip there.

As a result, I neglected to bring the face masks and the glasses and the sense of heightened alertness. I didn't check the hotel booking or transport arrangement, easily assuming that it would have been all sorted for me. Unfortunately, the hotel got the timing wrong and there wasn't a car to pick me up. Credit to me-- I didn't panic or get neurotic. Instead I got angry, shouted at some people and made my own arrangements. My only safety precaution was to turn on my Tracker app so that I could be tracked, big difference that would have made in a rapist situation.

On the plus side, being more  comfortable with the place also meant I relaxed a little and started to enjoy the city a little more, laugh a little more at its idiosyncrasies, even brush my teeth using tap-water (living dangerously, I know!).

Some things which cracked me up along the way (literally, as I explored Chennai via taxicab)

Pizza Hut Delivery
The Indian obsession with qualifications
Scores of old-fashioned taxi cabs reminded me of photos of 60s Singapore

Roads doubling up as public toilets. Men, back facing the main roads, taking a leek at polite intervals from each other.
Even saw a guy rolling up his dhoti ready to take a dump. I didn't linger to watch his progress.

Other discoveries:

1. Chindian food! Never thought to pair black pepper chicken with plain noodles but it goes together so well!

2. Beautiful beach setting 5 minutes from the city centre, and its not even tarted up for tourists. Where is the Sentosa development board when you need them?

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