Chennai, by smurphy
I’m in Chennai, which feels like Pettah, but somehow everything feels like Pettah. It’s a big town, big highways, big buildings, imposing offices. Walking around, it also smells a bit like pee. Around the train station at least. I really regret wearing shoes, and packing my things in a handbag. Now I’m walking around this strange town with duty free bags, wearing white trainers. And nobody speaks English.
That said, I got lost and found this Samsung Solar Guru phone which I’ve been looking for since it came out. It is solar powered, not fully, but I think enough for a few calls on vacay. It’s the correct price, and I think it’s real, so I got one. Plus those guys walked me to this Internet Cafe. What they seem to call an Internet Provisioning Center. Some backpackers are sitting next to me speaking some language I don’t understand. Polish?
This is only a cursory impression, but is damn big and cludgy, but I suspect it works. The Indian Rail website for example, is not the prettiest 2.0 machine around, but it has sorted me out. I registered there, checked available trains, chose one, booked it and then – chagrin – I was waitlisted, so I was like WTF. I read about this on India Mike and apparently they overbook. So I took it anyway, paid with my credit card through Axis Bank and I’m walking around with a printout.
Luckily I can check the waitlist status online, which I’m doing here, above this dusty, hot street where few people understand what I even mean by Internet. And I’ve got a seat, which means I’m getting the effa out of Chennai.