Incredible India! It’s been just over a month and I have no idea where to begin. Hopefully that will make this blog somewhat of a metaphor for India; a chaotic mess that somehow still manages to work (Everything I do has a deeper meaning, it’s not because I’m disorganized at all).
Every day I see something that makes me laugh, something that makes me want to cry and something that makes me want to vomit. India is a bamboozling paradox of extremes with rich and poor, the beautiful and the disgusting. Oh and did I mention it’s hot, really hot.
As most of you know I’m living in Chennai (Madras) which is in the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The population of Chennai is 4.7 million basically in case you hadn’t realised India has a lot of people. Tamil Nadu is touted as one of the most conservative and traditional states of all of India, I would generally tend to agree but as I haven’t been to the North yet it’s a biased statement. Check out
this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chennai.
Chennai and scorching heat are synonymous. When I first arrived here I thought I was going to die either by sweating out every ounce of water in my body or spontaneous combustion. Sunrise is usually around 32C and it can reach the mid 40’s at noon. My albino skin is not designed for these conditions, needless to say I am supporting the Indian economy with mass purchases of sunscreen, deodorant and body wash.
So where do I live at the moment? A good question, one I realised I couldn’t answer on my first day in Chennai when I took an auto to buy food and then tried to get home again (rookie mistake). I live in the area of Egmore, in an apartment block called Halls Towers on the eighth floor with some other really cool AIESEC interns. When giving directions we just say “Baby Hospital” and people usually know were to go. The living conditions aren’t fantastic (although better than what the majority of Indians experience) but it is the people who make it an awesome place to live. You might also have heard mention of Hyderabad, I lived there briefly for 2 weeks had some awesome experiences. I’ll make a special post about the cool people I met and what I did there.
But first some photos
The living arrangements in the apartment are pretty fluid and people are always coming and going. At the moment I’m lucky to be sharing a room with a super cool Dutch girl called Emma (more on Em’s later). We share a double bed so really we work together, sleep together and chill together. I would take and post some photos of our room but Emma is sleeping at the moment and it could be a little creepy.
In the interest of posting photos because that’s what everyone (i.e. Mum and Grandma) really want to see, I’ll put up some of a trip to Marina beach. Marina beach is a massive beach that’s close to where we live.
It is really more like a gigantic extended fair ground and doesn’t really fit what New Zealanders think of when we say beach (except for the fact that there is sand and sea). Everywhere there are people selling things, from mangoes to jewellery. There are also boys galloping around on horses offering rides, merry-go-rounds that are powered by men not machines, kites, candy floss everything BUT women in bikinis or togs. The star attraction at the beach however is us (westerners). We are constantly approached for photos by families, children and even teenagers. I have also had people come up a stroke my skin and stare at my eyes. It’s usually harmless and fun but sometimes it can get a little tiring. It is also why I now have thousands of photos of random Indian families and children on my camera.
My photo’s are not really showcasing India as I see it but I promise I’ll try and upload some more (and better) photos. ASAP.
Now I’ve started writing there is so much I want to share with everyone and I’m having trouble working out what is actually important and what is really interesting for me alone. I’m going to try and catch up on everything I did and keep you informed. PLEASE leave me comments about things you want to hear about so my blog doesn’t become too boring. I also spend as much time as I can out experiencing India so I don’t always have time to updates (sorry Mum) plus the internet is temperamental.
India hasn’t all been smooth sailing. Most of my problems have steamed from my employer and AIESEC and I could probably write a soap opera about what has happened, it’s hilarious in a very depressing way. Next blog I’ll try to include Hyderabad, Mahabs trip, my work and how I’m now a Tamil movie star.
Aroha Nui. xx