Friday Jun 26, 2009

Driving in India

Chennai traffic
Driving in India is a daunting experience.

Lanes are just a suggestion and stop signs and lights are ignored if they exist at all.

Chennai traffic Traffic often comes to halt and vehicles of all sizes and shapes press forward into any available space jockeying for the most advantageous position.

Chennai trafficAn horn is an essential part of any vehicle, used more than than the brakes and indispensable for crossing intersections where it's every man, motorcycle, SUV and tuk-tuks (auto rickshaws) for itself.

India's cities are filled with a cheerful cacophony of beeps that can be heard inside of buildings or in the distance while walking Chennai's Marina Beach.

Pedestrians take their lives in their hands to cross the streets and many die.

Ravi and Mahindra ScorpioMany just don't drive, rental cars come with drivers and are cheap. Ravi said it took him a month to get used to the driving. His Mahindra Scorpio is "specially designed for India" and an even better choice than it first appears, as it is a favored vehicles for ranking government officials.

After a few days of driving around Chennai, we came to an intersection where all the cars were stopped and the pedestrians were safely crossing the street. It was so odd and out of place how everyone was obeying the light and letting the pedestrians cross. The reason? There was a traffic cop.

Many hours later, sitting in a snarl of traffic to cross the Bay Bridge, I caught myself wanting to nose my car between the lanes of traffic Indian style.

Wednesday Jun 17, 2009

Tour of Chennai

Mall in Chennai Due to my delayed luggage I had to find something to wear. Ravi was kind enough to come and get me at the hotel and take me shopping and to visit a few other sights. I found some clothes in this pleasant mall. Available was a mix of "normal" and traditional Indian styles. While India is known for the sari, salwars etc. are gaining popularity as more practical.






Marina Beach, Chennai IndiaChennai is on the Bay of Bengal and known for having very long beaches. Don't let the picture fool you, it is very hot on the beach at mid-day, and fairly deserted. At night the beach comes alive as a social gathering point. There are even playground style structures for the kids to play with. Per Ravi there is ongoing tension between the economic development forces that want to bring more tourists to the area and the fisherman whose rows of boats are not far from this picture.





St. Thomas BasilicaA Christian church is not the first thing to come to mind as an Indian tourist attraction, however India has a diverse background of many religions and St. Thomas, the one and the same "Doubting Thomas, spent much time here and was dubbed the Aposole of India. This church was built in the 1500s and the original tomb for his body. Legend has it that he died not far from this church on a small hillhock, known as St. Thomas Mount.



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We are part of .Sun, a group in Marketing that operates and designs Sun's web presence. So naturally we focus on the web in this blog but random musings slip in often.

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