Arrived a little late, just after midnight. Getting out of the airport was nice and relaxed, even if it took a long time.
Not sure where to start after that…!
So much has happened already. EJ and Sophia picked me up and we were chauffeur driven to her boss Vesanthi’s house where we are to spent the night. At nearly 2am, the city is still quite busy, it’s humid, there’s people sleeping on the street, potholes. Salaman doensn’t understand where he’s supposed to take us, but in the end we get there, which gives me a little extra tour! The bed is spacious enough for 3, but because everyone is asleep we don’t know where we can find water to wash. Fortunately, I have wet wipes and the next morning we are told where the working tap is, so we can fill the washing bucket in the bathroom.
First trip: we are taken by Vesanthi to Kanchipuram to buy silk saris for EJ and Sophia who have to attend a wedding. She gives instructions to the shop keeper and leaves us there. We’re given coffee and spend a good hour touching and choosing amongst many dozens of saris.
Then we get an auto rickshaw to one of the three huge temples there and get an educational tour even though we don’t want one, and tourist blessings in 3 shrines, dedicated to a deity each. Blessing is by donation.
The real religion happens in a place where only Hindus are allowed.
The auto was instructed to wait and takes us back to town, where we have a “meal’ in a ‘hotel”. This means we are eating with the locals in a street cafe. And the bus back to Chennai.
We’re hadly in town that we are phoned to go to Vesanthi’s daughter in law, so she can sort out the tailor for the blouses.
I get measured up for a sarwar too, and the whole tailoring, lined sari blouse and sarwar will set me back RP185. We’re going to pick them up tonight.
Again, I am staying with EJ and Sophia at their hosts. They live in a modern house, with Western fittings. There is hot running water, into a bucket.
Today I’m tired. I’ve been left to roam around alone, and struggle a little. I don’t want to venture very far today, I feel a bit dosy. I find a Western cafe till the shops open, then have a meal in a local self-service. Food is wonderful. I can order more or less anything knowing I can eat it, as everything is vegetarian. And it tastes so good….
Later I checked in my hotel and had a kip. Very western. It has a shower!! It almost feels strange.
I noted the past day how out of place Westerners look, there’s so few of them. I imagine i must look just as exotic and stick out like a sore thumb, but I don’t really feel like that. When I looked down at my feet yesterday, waiting for a bus somewhere, it surprised me to see them so white… it looked odd.
I feel more nervous in the presence of Westerners. Making mistakes is ok when there’s none about…!!
I need to log off now and go to the Nokia shop to see if buying a local sim card will allow me to upload my moblog. Right now it’s not working.