Hit and Miss - The first 2 days in India
Chennai Travel Blog› entry 2 of 26 › view all entries
Heathrow airport had been pretty easy t manage. Security was a 2 minute stroll through, small terminal and easy bag drop since I checked in the day before online. No trouble. Sauntered onto the plane to find that we had to sit on it for an hour and a half before it left, thanks to some debric on a runway or something. Great, BA and Heathrow at its best. Still my luggage arrived with me at Chennai airport about 11 hours later with the delay, at a local time of 4.30 am. Of course the airport transfer wasn't ther to pick me up, not that id have known with the hundreds on indian people crowding at the barriers outside the airport terminal.
still i got the hotel, and it sucked to be honest.
The first day out and about in Chennai was a massive culture shock. The hotel was in real india, so to speak. So a dirt track with all sorts of street stalls and small dark shops, bicycles, people, rickshaws, animals, cars - you name it and it was running around the street. I tried to get into the vibe but as my first lone travel, i must admit, i freaked out a bit.
add to that a cockroah storming towards me and i ran off pretty quickly to eat alone in a hotle i hoped would be clean, and getting the usual stares and feeling of being a complete muppet. Decided to hide away watching bbc news 24 on my lice ridden bed that night until i joined the tour the next day and might get more of an idea of what India was all about. Because so far i was really confused and exhausted - with only a live ridden bed and a fill it yourself toilet for comfort.
The next day things improved markedly. Met the intrepid group and moved into a far nicer hotel opposite, with clean sheets and a clean bathroom. Finally. Went out with the group for some beers and shared stories of travel etc, and felt much more confident to explor the town. We went out for a pretty posh indian meal in a trandy restaurant - pretty much like London. This was in a much posher area than we had stayed in, and I was told Chenai is generally quite poor, as I had seen, especially the shanty areas of make shift woodhouses by the river, and doesnt have as many rich westernised areas as the other 3 major cities in India.
Chennai had certianly shocked me at first, btu even now, i was quickly getting used to the ways of India. Especially after the 3 hour talk we had with the intrepid group leader, which made me realise why I kapt getting laughed at every time I tried to do even the simplest things! The next day we were getting a local bus to the seaside fishng village of mammallaporum, so I got some rest ready for the dirty and polluted journey!