Saturday, January 9, 2010

Final days in India

Yesterday, Friday, I left Kanyakumari at 5:15pm for a 13 hour train ride to Chennai. I was slightly worried because even though I booked the ticket in advance, I wasn't able to get an AC ticket and I thought it might be a hot and uncomfortable overnight trip. As it turns out, the temperature of the car was just fine (maybe even a little chilly with the fans on and the windows open); it was the bugs that had me skeeved out a bit. I've seen mice on trains before and that was no big deal. I've seen bugs, too, actually, but there seemed to be a lot more roaches than normal. Ok, but, whatever. I'm not going to focus on it because I slept fine and even if bugs were crawling all over me in the night, I'm not aware of it. :-) There was a family sitting across from me and they were all very sweet. The 11 year old boy was translating because the rest of his family didn't speak a lot of English. He also taught me how to play a game that I'm not sure the point of, but somehow we were all playing it. Mom offered me food that they'd brought from home. The two year old girl could NOT stop playing peek-a-boo wherein she would seriously shriek with laughter every time. And Dad didn't say much, but he was keeping an eye on things and he smiled a lot and was friendly enough. They got off a few stops before I did and they all stood outside the train, waving and saying goodbye. Like I said, sweet family.

I'm in Chennai now, but it's just a stopover on my way to Bangkok. The 13 hour train ended up taking 14 1/2 hours (so, pretty on time, actually!) and I headed to the airport with Amiri. His flight back home to Dubai was leaving at 12:45pm and mine doesn't leave until 9:15pm. So why was I at the airport so early? Well, I'd made plans to meet up with a CSer for a bit today since I had lots of hours to spare. She'd told me that there wasn't a whole lot to see or do, but we decided we'd at least have lunch together. So, I had plans in Chennai, but I didn't want to be bogged down with my pack so I checked it at left luggage and I'll pick it up right before I have to check in at the airport.

CSer Lata told me which subway stop to get off at from the airport and she picked me up from there. We went to a big temple, one of the only "sights" to see, and then went to her favorite restaurant for lunch. She even drove me to a couple of bookstores because I was looking for a Thailand guidebook. And now, I'm at an internet cafe, whiling away time until I have to head back to the airport. I have a three hour layover in Sri Lanka (Dad, looks like I'm going there anyway!) and I'll arrive in BKK at 6:40am. In case you're keeping track, Thailand is one and a half hours ahead of India which will put me 12 hours ahead of US Eastern Standard Time.

Btw, check back later and this post will have pictures to go along with it. And one of them will be of me wearing my salwar-kameez! (I've worn it before today, just didn't have the chance to photograph it til now.) **Now updated with pics!**


  1. Looking forward to that picture! I added Chennai and Sri Lanka to your map. I'll add Bangkok tomorrow. You're getting closer to home every day. Love ya!

  2. I love that pic of you. Your hair is finally below your ears, your outfit is beautiful. You wear it well. Is that a new ring? (When you click on the pic it gets really big, so you can see deatils :) Plus those two kids behind you look like they're having a great time. :)

    I am linked to ToadMama's virtual map of your trip, but I've got my own low tech version here on my wall. But you've been moving so much every pic I take of it is old! Damn analog...

  3. i just got a look at the map! it looks very impressive! reading your updates and watching Tony Bourdain in Vietnam . . . almost like i'm not in Linthicum . . .

  4. Damn! Eagle eye, Aja! Yes, that is a new ring. I bought it for myself in Agra as a late birthday/early Xmas present. :-)