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India Chennai View

5 December 2005

The roof

After lunch, its time to go into town, to the office tower to meet the managing director of the entire company of 40,000 people, once again I had no idea this was happening in advance.
We arrive, my names on the sign in the foyer again, and I get more flowers.
I meet the big boss, and am left one on one with him. The other people I knew seem humbled in his presence and excuse themselves after introductions.
Not knowing what to do, I call him sir a few times, and he calls me sir, we exchange cards in the formal fashion (2 hands, careful to examine each others cards in detail, this is a japanese thing that everyone seems to assume every other country now expects).
We discuss things at a higher level, he gives an overview of his company, I give an overview of mine, discuss strategic I.T. decisions and directions and INSERT BUZZWORD HERE. He is a nice fellow and we discuss Chennai, the flood, local sites, the roads, the traffic etc. I chat for about an hour and my friends return and I get special permission to fetch my camera from the car and go to the roof.

India-Chennai-View - Chennai from the roof

Chennai from the roof

India-Chennai-View - and again

and again

India-Chennai-View - Here you see the main street, poonamalie road (I think).

Here you see the main street, poonamalie road (I think).

India-Chennai-View - one more time!

one more time!

It is now time to return to the hotel, on the way I exchange some cash for rupees, and at the hotel, I arrange wifi access, hooray!

I decide to venture out for a walk, it is...difficult, theres water which has receded somewhat, but it has washed garbage into piles along the 'street' which is now rubble along the edges.
I am the only non Indian person, and am followed by children, dogs and taxi drivers, there is no choice but to walk on the road, since there are no footpaths. This is quite dangerous, as it is dark, but on the edges is mainly bicycles, I decide the best tactic is to employ a human shield, find a group of people and walk in amongst them.
All I wanted was to buy some pepsi and chocolate or something, but this proves to be impossible. Earlier in the day I passed some areas that seemed to have these things, but they were nowhere to be found here.
Most shops are selling deep fried bananas and other fruits, fresh coconuts and various dried salted things. Some are also selling bottled water, these are not stores you can go into, they are just shopfronts, many have crates with planks as steps so you can see into them, as whatever was there previously has been washed away.
Eventually I find a store you can walk inside of, and decide to try my luck, they speak no english, one fellow keeps telling me his name I think. I ask for pepsi and chocolate, someone is sent out the back, another guy keeps talking to me like hes asking a question over and over, I just shake my head, wave my hands about, and realise that hes not italian so he doesnt understand talking with hands.
Someone different comes back eventually, with an opened bottle of pepsi, and a melted block of chocolate (it actually has a curve in it). I try to politely decline, and leave.
I now make the perilous journey back to the hotel on foot, the guy that opens the door who I had asked which direction I should walk, asks me if I enjoyed my walk in beautiful Chennai...yes, very much!

Since I had a huge lunch, I do not need a proper dinner, but I feel as though I need something.....for the first time in my life, I eat at the hotel (I hate doing this, its like an admission of failure).
The hotel has 3 restaurants, I examine the menus of each, and it becomes apparent that they have 3 restaurants that share the same kitchen, as the menus contain the same items worded differently in different fonts and colors.
I settle on a location and order a mixed vegetarian entree. It is quite nice, and cost $1 for some stuffed mushrooms, potatoes, mystery green rolled up things and paneer (fried cheese), the waiter apologises that the price has gone up.
Tomorow I will have to work out the logistics of getting to a better location in the evening....as tonight I am in my room, discovering that the same movie networks as Malaysia are in India, tonight we have kickboxer 2.

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