Doug Faunt (n6tqs) wrote,
Doug Faunt
n6tqs

Chennai - auto row

I did the bus tour of the city, which only had a few stops, and didn't
make one I'd hoped for. I was temporarily adopted, by three pre-teen
girls, into the extended family that occupied most of the minibus, so
that was pretty good. But the traffic!! Even just riding in a minibus
I was shattered by it. And I've now been behind a bullock cart in a
traffic circle. We got to the government museum, and their bronzes are
magnificent. I didn't quite figure out Bhadrakali, though. It's Kali
with 8 arms, that's clear. But we didn't get to the Fort Museum, and
it's closed tomorrow (Friday). Feh.

This hotel is OK, although the AC is struggling to keep it cool enough
in here. It was failing until I realized that the bathroom is open to
the outside, and the door to it wasn't staying shut.
Thanks to the Deccan Chronicle, it now is jammed shut. The newspaper is
modeled on some of the British papers, but with a a few pages of
international news from AP and the NY Times and is delivered daily to
the room.
The hotel seems to be in the heart of auto row here, and you can get
bull bars, stereos and sunroofs installed within a few yards of here.
But there's a couple of bookstores within walking distance, a reasonable
internet "cafe", and a very good vegetarian restaurant called
Annalakshimi, for a fine dining experience. So now my baggage will be
another kilo overweight, and I'll never eat again. I can also get 4
liters of bottled water for 32 rupees right outside. Good thing, too.
Rare is the meal at which I don't consume a liter. And I keep trying to
absorb more through my skin by taking lots of showers. I think I used
up a liter in the walk to the bookstore and dinner and back. I am
staying hydrated.

The street in front is apparently nominally one-way, but two wheelers
regularly go contraflow, and the occasional three wheeler. And there's
little sidewalk, with what there is being mostly taken up by groups of
people hanging out. I'd expected the large number of people to be a
problem for me, but it's the motor vehicles that get to me most. This
is not a good place for someone who dislikes motor vehicles.

I realized that writing this blog is my way of keeping in touch with all
my friends who will read this, and when traveling alone, that helps a
lot. I've pretty well got the mechanical parts of traveling single down
pat, but... I'm having dinner with friends tomorrow evening for another
connection.

written at 21:30 Thursday evening local time, 16:00 GMT.

Friday early evening: I went to the Theosophical Society to see the largest banyan tree. The guidebook steered me wrong, but my driver straightened me out, so I let him take me to a very nice shop, where I bought a couple of small carvings of Ganesh. I probably paid too much, but....
I can't get in touch with my friends, so will just go to the rendezvous.
It's listed as a good place to eat in the guidebook with friendly helpful staff, so it won't be a big loss if they don't turn up.

I see that the weather in Delhi is even hotter than here, but I can hope by the time I get there it'll be a little better.
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