I flew into Trichy from KL yesterday and rathar than explore the city I chose to find a hotel and crash. I spent last night at the KL low cost terminal which is not that great of a place to sleep and knowing I had to take an overnight train to Chennai the following night I felt that sleep was definitely the priority.
Believe it or not, but traveling can be exhausting!
My idea of India has been created through the numerous Tamil movies I have watched growing up. This is the reason towards my deep desire to explore this country, specifically the south. My first train ride in Tamil nadu proved that every image I have had of India is completely accurate and as a result, I am in love with this country. If there is one word to describe India it would be chaos.. actually organized chaos (ok, 2 words!).
I took a sleeper train which I paid $4 dollars for and rode for 8 hours sleeping in the top bunk amidst army soldiers from the north, a family of 5 and another solo Tamil girl. Of course I am drawing attention like crazy with my huge backpack, the lack of cultural clothing and the fact that I am smiling at everyone. Knowing Tamil has never proven to be more rewarding!
Chennai is small in size for a city with so many people. It is split into various little neighborhoods and I’m staying in the outskirts with a couchsurfer. It’s a lot more quieter here but a few mins ride on the back of a bike will get you ride in the middle of all the action… or rather the chaos.
Chennai is again filled with contrasts; western style shopping malls with street stalls, women in saris, skirts, and capris, men in lungis and t-shirt and jeans, fresh jasmine flowers sold on the same street as European style bistros, and pizza delivery for 5 times the price as an all you can eat vegetarian thali.
The sights are not what Chennai is known for, it’s the feeling it creates. By hanging out with the few people I have met here I am content in knowing I have gotten a real feel for this place and truly understand why people choose to call it home.