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Entries about chennai

Holy Cow - I'm in India!!

i know that heading has probably been done a million times but anymooooo..

sunny 29 °C

So get into Bangalore airport at 9 am, sun is shining, smarmy man offers me a cab for a trillion rupees... I decide to take the bus - I have plenty of time to kill and I hate making small talk with taxi drivers. 8) So off on the bus with the local lads.. met the guy who was peering over my shoulder again. :D
Oh what sights I saw.. saw a man dressed exactly like a sheriff, a man with a giant teddy bear on the front of his motorcycle, a woman hugging a cow, a man with a very old typewrite on the side of the street, obviously typing very important letters, men weeing up against the wall, people shining tin cans.. a bit of everything! Anything goes!
There were great signs on the walls such as 'anything can happen over a coffee' and ''fancy office boys wanted''. It was pretty interesting.
Got into Bangalore and I was quite the oddity. People stare their heads off at ye.. but it doesn't actually bother me.. if I was at home in Dublin and someone was staring at me, I'd be quite intimidated.. but here, they're just nosy. I dumped my bag in the station and decided to brave the city and go argue with a tuk tuk driver. Got rightly ripped off on my journey to Tipu's palace but to be honest I can't be arsed haggling over 20 c... Basically you can't get anywhere as a foreigner in a tuk tuk for less than 100 rupees. If you do, let me know how it's done.. Down in the South of India, if you say 'eh that's a bit dear' or 'i only have 40 rupees' - they just walk off. :D lol. So I've accepted that all tuk tuk journeys will be 100 rupees. Anywho - I paid that dude 170 - which was pretty dear, but anyone who can drive in such conditions deserves it imo.
There are cows, goats, people on the streets, everyone's turning every which way, everyone's honking, the dust is in your face.. It's pretty mental. Yet strangely cooling.. probably the dusty breeze.....

Anywho off I went to Tipu's palace in this tuk tuk.. Tipu was a great guy, loved his people, abolished police bribes, tried to make things better for his people. He loved tigers and had tiger print on all his stuff.. He hated the English. He invented small rockets that could travel 2.4 kilometres before exploding! Anywho I don't remember any of the boring stuff.. at this stage my brain was starting to melt and I really needed some kip, but he did have a harmonica in the shape of a tiger mauling an English soldier. You turned the tiger's tail and then music started to come out of the holes in his body. :D

Decided to have a quiet sit in the garden of the palace but every 2 mins people kept asking me to take their photo with the temple! I should have started charging! Then two local lads - about 19 or so - asked me to take their photo. I didn't realise they each wanted a photo with me shaking their hand.. ahhhahhahahahhaha. Like they'd won a prize and i was awarding them a cheque. Anywho, we chatted away, one of them didn't have any English, the other had some English and we decided we were all going to the railway station. They haggled with the tuk tuk driver and got him down to 50 rupees for the journey back!! I'd never get that... Foreigner tax and all that..
So off we went, they bought me a coffee in the station and then sat and waited for me til I got on my train and then waved me off. hahhahahahaha. We swapped numbers OBV - and I'm definitely going to call him. :D Actually I got a text from an Indian number later in the day and thought it was them already.. but it was just Telecom India or some such.. He had shown me some pictures of other blonde, white women he had in his phone meeting his mam.. :D hahah

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Off I went to Chennai on the train - may I say, this is now the LONGEST day ever in my life. I kept falling asleep on the train, only to be woken up every 2 mins by someone selling something... chai tea, coffee, pancakes something or other, fried stuff, water. etc. I had some fried stuff and potato in pancakes which was nom. Finally got to Chennai about 9 and got a hot shower and a good night's kip. 8)

Posted by squeakylee 05:03 Archived in India Tagged india train bangalore chennai Comments (0)

Chennai

sunny 35 °C

Got my breakfast of cornflakes and eggs.. (had to turn down the curry for breakfast - I'm not quite there yet) and met Clara , this lovely Canadian who is also on the trip. Then met another English fellow called George who was just checking in. George has been teaching in Goa for the past month, so we will get some top tips from him..
The three of us decided to head out and see the Fort.. I'm not sure there was even a Fort, if there was, we didn't find it.. We walked round and round Chennai in circles, taking in the sights, smells (ahem - the smell would knock the hairs out of your nostrils) and people everywhere doing odd things. there was a guy with a typewriter typing out letters on the side of the road! I wonder who he was writing to...
Anywho after an hour or two, we caved and got a tuk tuk to the beach.

The beach itself was very long and a humoungous distance down to the sea. All the way down to the sea, there were stalls of jewellery, full fish, balloon popping stalls, get-your-pic-taken-with-a-hollywood-star stalls, sea shells stalls and lots more. We couldn't make it 10 metres without lads wanting to get a photo with us. Some dudes offered us some freshly squeezed sugar cane juice i return for photos with us. We gladly accepted! cept for it was mega sweet - mad for the sugar the Asians are so they are. i didn't really drink it as it was a bit too sweet for me plus I reckoned this was one of the things people probably warned ye not to drink...

We also acquired a man called Sam, who was of Indian descent, but lived in London. He was dressed in slippers and a tracksuit!! In what must have been 35 degrees. He was also a diabetic and didn't like spicy food. You're in the wrong place pal! :D
he told us his wife had died and he was over to see his children in India. Anywho he had hours to kill before his bus so he tagged along with us.
We soon discovered he didn't like paying out money for anything and went on and on about how people were trying to rip ye off all the time. I mean really - you live in feckin London you tight wad. He gave out to me for buying a photo on the beach - ''when I could print it out myself at home''. He was also going on about how we could be kidnapped for large ransoms... sheesh man - you live in LONDON! ;)

Anyways, back to the beach - every Tom, Dick and Ravi wanted their photo with us so it took us yonks to get to the sea part - plus it was actually miles down from the road. Eventually we got to the bottom and saw the sugar cane juice lads messin around in the ocean with a man on a horse.. :D yum!
We went to dip our toes in the Indian Ocean and it was delightful. We were quite enjoying it, til we saw the fishmonger dude emptying his fish heads back into the sea.. EWWW. And the circle of life continues..... The locals didn't seem to mind though and had a right auld splish splash.
As we posed for more photos, i noticed the horse getting antsy and starting to kick back so decided a kick in the head on the first day of the trip wasn't the best idea, so legged it back up the beach.

After all this shenanigans, we decided we had earned a beer. There is bog all beer in India. We set off on a quest, and after Sam asked nearly everyone of the locals on the street, this mad yoke decided he would lead us to a hotel with beer...so off we went... :D
The bar was downstairs in a basement under a local hotel. The room was really dark - so everyone who was drinking, couldn't see anyone else who was drinking - but it was air conditioned and had giant bottles of 6% kingfisher beer. It was the most delicious beer of my life. Dunno if I mentioned this but India is HOT and SWEATY. As in 2 mins in the sun and your clothes are soakin. I'm getting used to it, but it can be very uncomfortable.. especially as we must stay covered up most of the time.

So anyways, our ''friend'' who had delivered us to the bar was still standing there afer we had given him a few rupees, so we were all like.. eh.. thank you.. bye bye.. but he replied with ''me - beer - you''. So under the frowning gaze of the management we bought this mad yoke a beer and he sat at the table beside us, overjoyed and laughing away to himself, slapping his thigh. Now we all only had 1 beer each, but the bill came back saying 6 beers (This happens frequently or you don't get your change, or you may get your change in candy. Upon questioning the bill, the waiter said yer man had had 2 beers!! 2 beers! At these prices!!! lol. We never saw him getting another one so either he was some drunken evil beer-sneaking genius, or the lads at the bar were making it up. I reckon it was the latter, but we paid the bill anyways.. and yer man still there lolling away to himself and wanting a shot of our sunglasses and photos with us.. lmao..

After this adventure (we hadn't even met the rest of the trip yet) we headed back to the hotel, but poor George got stuck dropping Sam to the train station. Sam got out and refused to pay.. telling George to come looking for him in London if he wants some money.. LOL - we think he was annoyed cos he lost his tracksuit top on the beer quest earlier. Either that or that 1 kingfisher went to his head.

So met the rest of the gang back at the hotel at 4pm. 12 of us in total. Kay fro Bromley, works as a hospital physio, John from Letterkenny who lives 10 mins up the road from me in Santry, Bill - also from Letterkenny - didn't come with John but their Dads lived together in the 50s. . Bill - ex British army - loves to curse, lives in Bromley - down the road from Kay. Emily from Canada - geological engineer, Corey from Canada, Dave - casino card dealer from Oz, Evelyn - Swiss medic, Lia - loves all things Bollywood and hung out last night with a Bollywood Prince til all hours, and Charles our leader - nice funny guy, lkes a drink.
Had our intro meeting and some chai tea (tea with hot milk and sugar - delicious) and went off for a stroll. Later Charles brought us for dinner where i had PUri something something - 3 large puffballs and a green dip and a red dip. :D Had a beer in the tropical bar after - 5er for a beer!! Feels like home..... ;)

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8606233483_b84a50d592.jpgMe, George and Sam

Me, George and Sam

Myself & Clara in our tuk tuk

Myself & Clara in our tuk tuk

there he is now, the prime minister himself.

there he is now, the prime minister himself.

Squeezing the sugar canes

Squeezing the sugar canes

Marina beach

Marina beach

Marina beach

Marina beach

Silver... AWAY!!

Silver... AWAY!!

the Cricket team The Rhinos

the Cricket team The Rhinos

bar snacks in the basement bar

bar snacks in the basement bar

Posted by squeakylee 03:12 Archived in India Tagged india trip chennai Comments (0)

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