Finally home sweet home from a wedding in a new place with new faces and LANGUAGE. Everytime I’ve travelled to India, I’ve only visited places where people (majority) speak Hindi. It was a very unique experience, and a good one at that.
I remember when I went to Leon (Spain) people only spoke Spanish, maybe only 1% speak English whom you probably won’t meet. But I expected this as it was a foreign land, in Europe and learnt about it in my Spanish classes. But Chennai blew my mind, completely! English is usable but just vital words, which again you wouldn’t know about until you say them.
I was in Chennai for my sister/friend/bhensi’s (cow in hindi-her”pet” name) wedding…it went very well and too fast. I was more busy in her wedding than my own sister’s wedding. Weird but true! This wedding made Chennai more fun maybe.
Weddings are most fun when it’s not your own
We got busy from Day 1, arrived at the Sri Balaji Guesthouse (many places are called Balaji). This wasn’t located in the heart or happening place of Chennai, however, fortunately we had 2-3 malls within 6-8 kilometers.
Besides this and Pantaloons and Shoppers Stop, the nearest happening place was Asif Biryani. A restaurant recommended by my “bride to be-then” friend. Biryani is a huge deal for Indian non-vegetarians. It’s stir fried rice with Indian spices and herbs. I was starving that day, I hogged on a lot of Biryani and Chicken Masala. Hot and spicy does it for me.
We even had local food served to us during the events by the caterer. It’s a tradition to serve on banana leaf, have it on a plate or directly on a table, but banana leaf is the “south style”.
Besides all the food, we shopped a lot of Indian wear as it’s cheaper in India (than Bangkok) with more variety. And I got to wear lots of fun Indian clothes during my stay in Chennai…with a touch of south -style in silk and jasmine flowers. And it’s a new trend of “flower jewellery” for the bride.
Lets get the gallery started 🙂
After the wedding shenanigans we got busy touring around to shop, eat and just see places. We unfortunately didn’t have much time to get to famous destinations such as Mahabalipuram and Pondicherry, however, we visited a nearby famous temple. The Kapaleeshwarar Temple. We even fed cows/buffalos there as they are “respected” and sacred.
Reminder/Notes on visiting any temple around India:
- Full Sleeves
- Jeans or Long Pants
- Keep a scarf/stole
- No camera/photos inside the temple (where rituals are take place)
- No footwear (You leave them outside the temple, hopefully you get your’s back!)
Later that day we shopped at Pondy Bazaar. Bought traditional Indian apparel and enjoyed fresh pomegranate mix orange like fruit. And on the last day went to hog at Hard Rock Cafe at Phoenix Mall relishing huge meaty burger and fries, and steak!