Trichy & Chennai
Trip Start Jul 02, 2008
60Trip End Jun 19, 2009
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Last you heard from me I was in Pondicherry (a lovely place, but not so much of an Indian town) and I was thinking about staying there until I fly out of Chennai to go to Sri Lanka. Well I got bored and decided to take the bus about 6 hours to Tiruchirappalli, AKA Trichy. It's a bustling town of about 800,000 people with a few nice temples to visit.
The highly recommended Rock Fort Temple, and the only temple I actually visited, sits atop a large rocky hill. The climb is only 437 steps up and on the way is a large temple that non-Hindus are not allowed to enter, a covered stairwell filled with sleeping bats, and lovely views of the city. Sitting at the very top of the hill is the small Vinayaka Temple dedicated to Ganesh, the elephant-headed God of Good Fortune. Here are some pics...
I took the train to Chennai yesterday. From reading my guidebook there is nothing even halfway exciting about this large city of 6.4 million people, but I fly out of here on the 18th. This morning I went to the Indian version of Starbucks, Cafe Coffee Day, to read and have my morning caffeine. The caffeine part was lovely, but cafes in India I have found are not exactly places to sit and read. I was the only customer in the place and within minutes of me sitting down they turned on the music...super, discoteque loud. Couldn't they see I was reading? And it wasn't pleasant soft rock like Elton John shit, it was hip-hop. The first song to come on is by the Black Eyed Peas. I'm sure many of you are familiar with it. It goes something like this, "What you gonna do with all that junk? All that junk inside your trunk? I'm gonna get, get, get you drunk. Get you love drunk off my hump. My hump, my hump, my hump, my lovely little lumps..." Now please forgive me but I think there are supposed to be more "my humps" in there. So I obviously put my book away since there was no way I was going to be able to concentrate, finished my coffee and went for a walk.
Not far from there was a brand new shopping complex, Chennai Citi Centre, with a movie theater. I've been in India for 3 months and have now seen 3 movies. And I'd like to add that these are 3 movies that I would never even see at home, not even rent the DVDs from Blockbuster! And I don't think I've even seen 3 movies in the theaters at home in the last 5 years! Anyway, I had the choice of The X-Files or Body of Lies, Leonardo DiCaprio's new film. Since I don't think I have ever seen one episode of X-Files, I chose the latter. It was an entertaining movie, but again, not something I would go see at home. What I did find interesting was while I was waiting for the movie to begin, I was doing some people watching. There weren't too many people walking around the shopping mall, but there were people congregating around the escalators. This is not the first time I've seen escalators in India, but it seems like it was the first time for many shoppers. It would take some people up to ten seconds to take that first step onto the escalator. I even saw quite a few people turning around and heading towards the elevator!
From what I hear after the last presidential debate, the polls show that Obama is leading by double digits? I know the polls don't mean too much and that things can change drastically in two weeks, but please tell me that that's true and please reassure me, since I don't hear too much about the elections here, that our country may finally make a rational decision about who their next leader will be. I feel totally out of the loop here!
Next time you hear from me I will be in Sri Lanka probably SCUBA diving. The capital, Colombo, sounds a bit like Chennai, large and very uninteresting, so I'm going to try and take a bus straight to a beach/diving town a couple hours south of the capital.
Hope you are well.
Where I stayed