Happy Independence Day! While I didn’t grill anything today, I just finished watching “Independence Day” the movie, and let me tell you, there is nothing quite like watching Will Smith kick alien ass to fire me up about my nation’s birth. Today was a nice relaxed day of tennis (anyone see the Wimbledon final last night?), swimming, video game playing, and movie watching, but I did celebrate in the more traditional sense on Friday, when I helped to put on the 4th of July event for the Consulate. It went well, with distinguished guests, wine, and even fireworks!
As I mentioned earlier, I recently spent a week in Chennai. I wanted to briefly post up some thoughts on my trip.
I liked Chennai, but after a week there, I have to admit that I like Hyderabad better. Somehow, Chennai finds a way to be even hotter than Hyderabad. The roads are a bit wider, and have lots of vegetation on the sides, but the drawback is that I think there are more bicycles there. They also seem to have a lot more one-way roads than Hyderabad does, which can make it seem like you’re driving in circles when you’re trying to get somewhere.
Chennai, like Hyderabad, is a very conservative place. However, Chennai has some strange rules about alcohol. The only places you can serve drinks are in hotels with more than 40 beds. This means that there aren’t really that many places to get a drink, and furthermore, the ones there are close down at 10:30! Plus, these hotels can be pretty nice, and that means the bars and clubs inside are pretentious and exclusive. Saturday night, I tried to go to one club with some friends and they refused admittance because our guy to girl ratio of 1:3 (in our group of 4) was not sufficient. It was infuriating. On the flip side, they seem to have a lot more ex-pats there and I went to a house-party hosted by a French guy that was a lot of fun. Apart from Microsoft Steve, I don’t know too many expats here in Hyderabad.
I’m an idiot and I forgot to bring my camera on my trip, so I don’t have any pictures to share. Most of the trip was spent in the Consulate anyway.
As for their consulate team, its totally different that the one we have in Hyderabad. Roughly 2x as big as we are, It feels like nearly every one of them is married with children. Going to a consulate event there is like going to a day-care. That’s a dynamic that we don’t really have in Hyderabad. Though I don’t want to sound like I’m bashing them, they are really nice folks and have excellent cook-outs! Its just I hadn’t spent that much time around children in a while. It helped that my batch-mate Maureen’s child Noah turned 2 years old and was absolutely adorable.
I also hear they have some good restaurants (including a nice korean place?) but I only manged to make it to a nice Thai restaurant during my trip, so I can’t give too many recommendations.
So I apologize that this post wasn’t terribly inspired, but that pretty much sums up what I saw in Chennai. All in all, it has a lot of similarities to Hyderabad which didn’t make too much stand out. I think I’m planning a big trip at the end of August somewhere up North, so stay tuned for those updates.