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
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.
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
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
||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. ;-)