When I arrived at the airport in Chennai one of the first things I noticed was the lack of maintenance around the place, which permeated out into the city as well. There are old and broken things just hanging all around the place, unless it’s worth money, no one comes to clean it up. There are buildings that look half built or completely abandoned but they aren’t and people actually live in them. There are tin sheds along the side of the street where people either live or have shops or both. There are cows, stray dogs and chickens roaming all around the place too.
You have to get security-screened and bag-checked just to enter the local shopping centre (which is something of a haven compared to the squaller outside). We had to walk 10 minutes from the shopping centre to a man with a photography set-up in a leaky tin shed on the side of a busy street teaming with beeping vehicles and motorcyclists without helmets, just to get passport photos taken so that we could get local SIM cards for our phones.
We ate street food which was amazing, real Indian food is even better than I imagined, the spices are so flavoursome and authentic. Even the Subway vegetarian options are off the chain.
We met some very helpful locals, one young man that I gave a hug to sent me an email later on to say that I was the first ever person to give him a hug and that he hopes we don’t forget him. We added him to Facebook and promised we will show him around Sydney one day when he comes because “he loves Sydney.”
We took a taxi ride without seat-belts in peak hour traffic and unless you have experienced the traffic in India it is virtually impossible to fully explain the madness, all I can say is pretty much anything goes on the road, there are people driving and riding motorcycles all over the place and there is a constant beeping of horns because that’s how people indicate. I saw a truck with about 6 people standing in the back and I saw a man riding a motorbike with his wife and sleeping child on the back, none of whom were wearing helmets. Barely anyone wears a helmet whilst riding and not many people even wear shoes! I wonder how many people die on the roads out here. The system they have seems to work for them though and they actually seem to get along better on the roads than we do back home!
The place we are staying at in Chennai is reasonably cozy, the beds aren’t the most comfortable (although last night I could have slept on rocks and I wouldn’t have minded) and it’s been muggy and raining non-stop since we arrived, which is probably why I’m awake at 4am, but the rain sounds beautiful on the rooftops and I’m happy it’s warm, so I don’t mind. It is quite smelly over here but I think that’s something I won’t notice before a few months is up.
We are heading to the beach and the markets tomorrow and I think that part of Chennai is more tourist friendly. We are heading to Goa the day after tomorrow where we will be doing yoga, meditation and hitting the beach parties. Goa is one of the wealthier, more developed parts of India so I’m presuming it will be a fair bit different to Chennai which is quite underdeveloped and poverty stricken. Hopefully we can head to Mumbai after a month or so, but we haven’t planned that far ahead.
Missing everyone back at home already.
My name is Kylie and I am on a journey through India for the next 3 months. I have a passion for naturalism and a background in beauty.
I practice Buddhist meditation and philosophy and enjoy using art as a form of self-expression. I like to combine all these aspects into a holistic way of looking and feeling my best and to help inspire others to do so.
Hi, I’m Ian and I have made it my life mission to travel and experience everything this world has to offer. Follow me on my quest to live outside the boundaries of conventional society and see the world through the eyes of all our fellow inhabitants. I hope to inspire and motivate you to make your own path in life and push your own limits.