Monday, 6 April 2009

Real First Impressions of India

At the time I'm writing this blog, I'm waiting for my 2 pm train in Trichy, Tamil Nadu, India.
Here are my quick snapshots so far:
  • I saw a hugh rainbow this morning at 7 am as I was boarding the plane. It put a smile on my face for rainbows remind me of God's promises. I thought that was a great sign.
  • I stood out like a sort thumb on a plane full of passengers from South India.
  • I definitely got the stares.
  • The smell wasn't as bad as I thought.
  • The one and only ATM machine at the airport was out of electricity until 10 am. Then I asked the officer there if I should wait until 10 am to withdraw my money, since it was already 9.45. He flashed a white smile and said this one and only ATM machine also had no cash.
  • Trichy reminds me of Phonm Penh.
  • Every woman in this city wears sari. I wonder if it's a taboo to wear jeans?
Ok, after the snapshots. Here's a bit of a video clip of my first eating experience in India. Since I had 4 hours to kill, I decided to find a place to sit down, eat, and relax a bit. First I saw a hotel sign boasting to offer the best Indian hospitality. I walked in only to find out it wasn't a hotel but some kind of government office. Never mind the sign then. So I kept lugging my bags around, annoucing to the people that I was such a tourist. A few kids ran up to me and asked for money. I remember in some Indian movies that if you give some change to a kid, the whole village will run after you. So I politely declined their request.

Eventually I found a decent cafe. Still no air con. But I couldn't stand the heat and wasn't going to be picky anymore. I walked in, looked around, and saw that everything on the menu was in Tamil. So I simply asked for anything chicken only to be told that it was a vegetarian restaurant. But surely they must have Naan. No, the waiter told me. Then I asked what kind of food do they have. The first waiter must have sensed how pathetic I was and rushed off to take order from another table. A minute later, the second waiter came to my table and rattled off some names that I still had no idea what they were. All I could make out was something Dosa. Yeah, get me that, Dosa. He paused and gave me a puzzled look. Did I say something wrong? Then he dashed off again, and a few seconds later, a third waiter came to my table. Finally I looked over somebody else's table and pointed at what the boy there was having, a crepe looking thing. Just get me that please. You want Dosa? He asked. Yeah, yeah, that. Whatever it is, please give me one. Thank You.

I really hope to get some good sleep on the train. I'm beginning to feel somewhat suspended in time.

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