A painting of me

Chennai (and a day trip) — Feb 1st - Feb 6th

   21 October 2010, early evening

How did I not finish posting about my trip to India? Anyway, the last portion of our time was spent back in Chennai. For the most part we just loitered around in the city. My pictures of Chennai on Flickr. (Or IMG VQVZ) We made one day trip to the scenic coastal town Pondicherry, and to the archaeological site Mahabalipuram. My pictures of Pondicherry and Mahabalipuram on Flickr. (Or IMG VQVZ) You can see all my photos from India in a collection on Flickr. I took these notes to myself on my iPhone, hence the strange change in tense, poor grammar, and what have you.

Feb 1st

Taking the train, first class, to Chennai early in the morning. It’s not so first class looking.

It’s quite foggy this morning.

They served tea and coffee. Then breakfast. The food was alright. Like crappy airplane food. Only in India would the non-veg option be eggs.

Coffee in India is really sweet. It’s all sugar and condensed milk. It’s thick like hot chocolate.

Waiting at Katpadi junction. I guess it’s not quite express straight to Chennai.

Lunch at Ayyappan’s house. His baby is cute. The food was epic. My god it was so good.

Saw Latha auntie, Periamma, and Periappa. They leave tonight.

Wandered Pandy Bazaar and ate at Saravana Bhavan.

Feb 2nd

It’s nuts seeing people in saarams riding on bikes. Saw four people on two bikes chatting while traveling.

Pondicherry is much further from Madras than I thought. The road off the national highway kind of sucks. Looks like they are doing roadwork.

300 rupees to enter the city? This whole trip was full of tolls.

Quickly popped into an ashram. Left so Shima’s dad could pee. Finding bathrooms is a big part of travelling in India. I have never been more mindful of when I last went to the bathroom, so I can try and figure out if I’ll make it to the next reliable bathroom.

Lunch at the Promenade, a fancy hotel.

Pondicherry has a lovely waterfront.

Our stay in Pondicherry seems short. The drive up to Mahabalipuram is nice though. Passed through so many little towns, most recently Poonjeri.

Our driver is constantly playing chicken with oncoming traffic.

Mahabalipuram is pretty awesome. Shima and I did some off roading on some giant rocks they’d never let you walk on in Canada. Like everywhere else remotely touristy, there was no shortage of people trying to sell you shit you don’t want.

Shima thought it was starting to rain. It was just the AC outside our building.

10 rolls of Ektar, 4 rolls of Agfa, 1 roll of Life Brand shot so far.

Thulasi Mami is here. We had dinner at Saravana Bhavan.

Feb 3rd

Walked to Raj Palace with my dad for breakfast. Everyone else grabbed an auto. Fruit juice here is quite good.

Ordered a suit jacket. It cost $130. Assuming they put it together well, that will be quite the deal. My first fitting is tonight. I should get the jacket tomorrow some time. Also got a white shirt made. Why not?

Shima spent several hours sari shopping. I’m not sure her, my mom, or my aunt bought anything.

Beggars are on us all the time. We really stick out. I’m mean to them in a way I’d never be in Canada. India makes you a bit cold.

Lunch at Marrybrown’s, a fried chicken place. A surprising number of locals were eating there. I guess they get tired of dosa and sambar too. We had a chicken burger and a potato burger.

Wandered Pondy Bazaar at night. My suit jacket is looking like it will turn out. It’s so busy at night. Lost my dad and Kuhan Mama. Found them at the hotel later.

Dinner at a Chettinad place. The server would hover at the table and try and sell you more food. He was also really nosy. It was kind of annoying. Good food though. Pretty damn hot.

Feb 4th

Breakfast at Raj Palace again. It serves toast. I got a dosa.

RMKV for saris. Was empty when we got here, now it’s pretty packed. Random sales lady told Shima she was very pretty.

By the beach to see Baby Patta. Walked along a pretty dirty beach with Shima. Jeyanaden Patta lives down the road.

Dot Matrix printers seem to be the only printers people use here. They are all over the place.

Saw a dog doing dog yoga.

Went to the big beach. It wasn’t much cleaner than the one next to Baby Patta, but it was much bigger. It may be the longest beach in the world. The trek to the water was long. There were a bunch of kids practicing tumbling on the beach. No idea why.

Dinner at Marybrown’s again. Gave a big tip to the poor dude working out front by himself. Indian shops are usually incredibly overstaffed, so this guy working by himself was a bit strange.

Tomorrow is our last day here.

Feb 5th

One last breakfast at Raj Palace.

Almost finished all the colour film. Hopefully it turns out. One roll left in my camera to shoot in Pondy Bazaar.

Probably should have bought prescription sunglasses while I was here. My dad has been scoping out glasses shops.

One last meal at Saravana Bhavan. So damn full.

My jacket turned out pretty nice. Now to find times to wear it.

There are some pretty slick looking Tamil films coming out soon. Well, based on the trailers I’ve seen.

Shima and her dad are both napping. I was briefly too. We have to be at the airport at 2:00AM, more or less. Our flight is at 5:00AM. We are trying to get rested now.

Chettinad for dinner. Ended up with the same over attentive server. My mom gave 20 rupees to the bus boy. He was so happy. He was from way up North.

I have to wake up in 2 hours. Damn it.

Feb 6th

It’s 1:20 in the morning. Son of a bitch.

Due to road work at some point we cross an island and drove with oncoming traffic. Later we drove against traffic with cars driving towards us on each side. I will miss driving in India.

Two mosquito bites between the hotel and the airport. My first for the whole trip.

The security dude asked me if I was a commando. Har Har. I have been told I’m skinny by so many people here. I am skinny even for malnourished Indians.

The security lady asked Shima why she had a Talli on. Shima told her she married a Sri Lankan. She had to point me out to the security lady. Later the security lady grabbed all the other security ladies to point us out. We must be a rare couple. Or they are trying to figure out why someone so foxy married me. Shima was asked the same question in Kerela.

Watched the Invention of Lying on the plane. And tried to sleep a bit.

It looks to have rained in Abu Dhabi.

Watched the coffee episode of Futurama. Dave Chapelle and Portia De Rossi are in a new funny show together, Better Off Ted. Watched the Middle, which wasn’t bad. Saw the 90s episode of the Simpsons. The music was spot on.

Rani Mukerjee is so hot. Passed out half way through her film. Finished it after lunch.

The snow looks pretty from up here. Probably not so much on the ground.




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