Child of Ganga


Posted in Uncategorized by Nadia Kamil on November 18, 2008

The first thing that hits me about Chennai, apart from the dust and heat, is the severely skewed gender ratio. Where are all the females? I’ve probably seen fewer than 20 women since I’ve arrived, and hordes and hordes of men.

Am swarmed with auto-rickshaw drivers as I step out of the airport. Very pushy, these people. I tell a driver I need somewhere cheap to stay at for just 2 nights, and he says he knows just the right place. After a harrowing hour or so in traffic, which of course consists of cows and buffalo and donkeys, where do I end up? R K Lodge — smack in the middle of what seems to be some weird run-down manufacturing district. There are no tourists, no fellow backpackers. The shops all around are selling stuff like car parts and hardware.

My flight to Varanasi is at 6am tomorrow, which means I have to get a taxi/auto-rickshaw by 4 to reach the airport by 5. I ask my driver if he would be able to fetch me from the motel tomorrow at 3.50am, and he says okay. But later when I pay him for the ride from the airport, I stupidly agree to pay for tomorrow’s ride too, so now I don’t know if he’ll turn up since he has no more incentive to.

I am the only guest in the motel, and when I arrive there are 4 to 5 porters who help carry my bag a few steps away to my room, after which they stand at the door expectantly but I am too distracted by the state of the room that I just say thanks and shut it in their faces (politely). Only later do I realise I should have tipped them.

The room costs Rs 1,000 (33 SGD) for 2 nights, way too much for what it offers: a tiny, dirty place complete with baby cockroaches, no showers, a door with a suspicious lock. I buy some bottled water from a provisions shop nearby and stay in my room the whole day yesterday, surviving on my energy bars and whatever scraps of food I have saved from the flight earlier. I go to bed at 7pm (!), waking up every now and then to check on my stuff.

Today I see a bunch of smartly-dressed Indian men checking into the motel and I ask them if they know of any internet cafes in the area. They tell me to take an auto-rickshaw to Spencer Plaza, which is where I am right at this very moment.

I guess the adventure only really begins tomorrow. Can’t wait.


8 Responses

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  1. mimimama said, on November 18, 2008 at 5:04 pm

    Auntie!!! OMG! Did you bring that umbrella i asked you!?

    Please dun go anywhere with it! And how’s the weather there? Please please wrap yourself up like a dumpling. Told you to bring more food like maggi… Sigh. Always listen to aunties, auntie. I may nag and nag. But trust me, aunties know best! (you do too! Hahaha)

    And i cannot imagine living with baby cockroaches! Please just squash them and destroy the entire family if you see them. And i hope that stupid driver arrived!!!

    Take care auntie!
    Call back if anything, dun worry about the charges! SAFETY FIRST!

    Alright, i am done nagging here again!
    Take care and enjoy yourself!

  2. meowie said, on November 18, 2008 at 10:23 pm

    eh you idiot, never ask me along!

  3. hazariah said, on November 19, 2008 at 12:20 am


    india’s superrr patriarchal!

    okay call if there’s anything!


  4. sinyee said, on November 19, 2008 at 12:39 am

    yuck…………… cockroaches,so disgusting….omg.u really should listen wad your friend said,wrap yourself n etc,haha….
    anyway,good luck to u n we all will support u forever.!!!

  5. Hee-haw said, on November 19, 2008 at 1:31 am

    OMG! Princess!! I really could imagine man! This is gg to be a tough trip! U must be really becareful with your belonging ok! Especially, keep your money in different places, keep some in your clothes. My god, I’m really so worried ok! How can you pay the money in advance?!! See la, no hee-haw everything can’t work properly! Haha..

    And if i were those guys who carried your bags I will put in a few cockroaches in your room secretly! So stingy! Hahaha.. Pls, don’t ever do this again! Hahaha..

    The room condition sounds really bad, that’s also why I don’t like India! Haha.. But I’m sure you can pull through cuz you are Nady! I think your tough trip is going to be fun! Really fun! hahaha.. Take care ok! Remember! Dun keep your money in your purse only ok!! :)

  6. Pocahontas said, on November 19, 2008 at 7:28 am


    Gender-wise, in TYF, the chicks are going places in comparison to the blokes. I’m so proud of you and hang in there. I’ve never realised what a tough cookie you are till now! Keep the adventure update coming! Also, can I get the password to read the other posts?

    Kak Mis

  7. dorky daren said, on November 20, 2008 at 12:52 am

    Hi Nadia!! sounds like your epic adventure has definitly begun!! man eating cockroaches and taxi drivers ripping you off. Keep the postings coming and have fun “Indianna Kamil” miss you, Daren

  8. regina said, on November 21, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    suspicious lock… man that was dangerous. Reminded me of the time my auntie got robbed in a russian train becos of that stupid lock.

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