I spent yesterday taking a hop-on hop-off bus tour from Chennai to Mamallapuram (it took me 2 days to be able to consistently say that word), and have spent most of today, so far, on a bus from Chennai to Pondicherry. It's hot outside and I'm stuffed from a giant $2.20 plate of cauliflower masala that I just had for a late lunch, so I'm going to go ahead and start typing up another post. Actually, the one I just put up was from a whole 2 days ago, so it's about time for an update anyway.
So, here are some things recently added to the list of Things I Have Seen:
- A huge bus running over a mid-sized watermelon, causing it to blow up awesomely.
- A guy trying to contain a mass of chickens between his legs while driving on a scooter. Of course, a few fall out, land between his wheels, and he runs them over, then picks them back up and puts them back where they were.
- A healthy-if-old looking guy who takes a spit. It comes out a dirty orange. He was not carrying any sort of fruit or drink, and I don't think he came out of a restaurant.
- A pretty old man blows a snotrocket. It's deep red/brown and cakier than the mud it lands in.
- A little kid (2 years oldish) on his father's lap combing his father's hair and moustache.
- A completely unnecessary police officer acting as the middleman at a toll booth. He stands in between the driver and the toll booth operator, tells the driver the total, takes the money, turns around, gives it to the operator, waits for change, turns around, and gives it back. WHY, MAN? Actually there is probably a very good reason. I hope so, anyway.
- A Nissan SUV cruises by blasting some impressively loud Hindi (or other language, I have no way of discerning them at this point) hip-hop. They park (at the crocodile farm). 3 guys get out of the front, 3 out of the middle, and 4 out of the trunk.
- A guy with a sweet arm-pedal bike. You can put flowers or fruits or whatever on the platform in back.
- People having picnics in awesome forests under awesome trees between the East Coast Road and the Bay of Bengal. The trees are seriously perfectly shaped for picnics, with big thick leaves that extend 10 or 15 feet out but don't droop down too low.
- Also, trash (bags, bottles, wrappers, etc) spread out pretty evenly, covering about 25% of the ground of the forest.
- The front gate to a government-run "School of Management." Moss and such had grown all over the sign, the paint was peeling, and the gate was rusty and locked shut.
- Watermelons for sale at roadside stands with cute little vampirey-faces painted onto them.
- Cows crossing the alley. Cows crossing the highway. Buses stopping for cows. Cows pulling hay on carts. Why don't they just turn around and eat it?. Cows eating trash. A dead cow on the side of the road.
- A lady seated on the concrete island that formed the barrier for a triangle-rotary intersection. Kept on grabbing her head, twisting it, slapping the ground, rocking back and forth, splaying her arms out, stretching and trying to scratch her back, then pausing and staring blankly in one direction or another.
Sorry to end on that note. There's one more thing on my list (there are all things I jotted down while on the bus or at bus stops or just meandering), but I can't read it. Looks like "Bob's picnic."
News-wise, I left the crushing poverty of Chennai (families, including children, sleeping on flooded streets with trash floating around) and am making my way towards the farm. I'm in Pondicherry now, which used to be a French colony, but haven't gone snooping around yet. It's way calmer, cleaner, and less intimidating. Unforunately, it's hotter. Will report back.