Sunday, 30-Oct-05

 

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Sunday, 30-Oct-05

Deva took me shopping today. We were glad to see each other!

A couple interesting side topics: Deva lost three days work this week because of the cyclone. He's okay though. I had a difficult time convincing him that I really, really wanted him to join me for lunch... He was trying to convince me that he'd wait outside the Chinese restaurant then take me back to the hotel and then he'd have lunch while I waited at the hotel. I wasn't about to have any of the class/caste separation thing! I convinced him to join me and we had a nice time and a fine dinner. First time he'd eaten Chinese in Chennai. While we were chatting he said he felt a little sick earlier in the week. Headache and fever. He went to a doctor who prescribed what looked like antibiotics. He didn't tell me what the doc charged him but the medicine cost him 20 Rupees. (45 cents) I don't think you can get Aspirin in the States for 45 cents.

We stopped at several places this morning. I was "commissioned" by my sister to buy a few yards of silk so she can make something from it. I picked two types of silks and bought 5 yards (meters, actually) of each.

We also stopped at some handicraft shops and I picked up some nice gifts for my immediate family.

Just before noon, we stopped at G. R. Thanga Maligai "Thanga Maligai" means "Gold Shop" the "R" stands for the region of the city. (I think!) This is what Deva was trying to explain.

Anyway, I've been wanting a "manly gold ring" for a while so I took the plunge and bought a monogrammed ring made of 22k gold. You can't get 22k gold in the States, everything is 18k or gold plate. It's nice and doesn't interfere with my typing. :-) 

The street outside the shop was fairly crowded today, even for India. It's the Diwali Holiday weekend and everyone is out buying gifts. They swap gifts for Diwali, also known as Deepavali depending on which region of India you're from.

My hotel has put up white lights out front. "Deepa" means lights and Deepavali means "Festival of Lights"

We stopped at another couple shops but I tried to explain to Deva that I was getting tired of shopping. He didn't seem to understand or didn't want to understand. :-) He wanted to keep taking me to more shops!

By the way, the saleslady at GRT gave him a gift of a very nice-looking utility bag monogrammed with  GRT's logo. They gave it to him for bringing me. He said I could have it because he's got lots of them. I didn't want it, I intended to buy a backpack later that afternoon so he's stuck with it.

After lunch we drove down to the shipyard. Seen one shipyard, you've seen'm all...

We stopped by the beach just for a photo. The Chennai Marina Beach is the 2nd longest in the world. It's stretches 55km, 4.5km of it belongs to Chennai.

The water in this photo is from the rain we had on Thursday. It was flooded right up to the road on the right. The ocean is to the left.

You can see (or can't really see...) that the beach disappears over the horizon in the distance.

By about 3:30 Deva dropped me off at the Trader's Hotel and we wished each other a "Happy Diwali!"

I wanted to go to the big mall in Chennai I'd heard about, the Spencer Plaza, so I got the hotel doorman to hook me up with an autorickshaw and negotiate the price for me.

It cost 30 Rupees for the trip to the mall and of course since there was no one to help the poor, lost American on the way home, it cost me 50 Rupees on the return trip. Big Hairy Deal, eh? That's a grand total of an extra 45 cents. I think I can afford it and Heaven knows these people certainly deserve higher wages!

The photo to the right is a picture I took from inside the autorickshaw, the little insert is an advertisement clip I copied from the website where you can buy one if you'd like one of your very own. ;-)

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