Friday, April 10, 2015

Chennai--Day 8

The Grand Chola also has a breakfast buffet. They even made me a dosa. It didn't quite measure up to the Westin, but I still looked forward to breakfast there.
Casey and Dan went to work on Monday morning. One of the two women from the Cognizant team had agreed to go around with us to help translate and guide for us. Her name is Heenu.
We got this picture later, because we forgot to on Monday.

We got a late start that morning. Gracia wasn't feeling great, a left over from yesterday's lunch, perhaps? 
Unfortunately most of the historical and cultural sites near Chennai are outside of the city itself. The team planned to take us to some of those later in the week, so we went shopping. Heenu took us to a mid-range shop where I bought a couple of saris at about $15 dollars each. I plan to use one of them as fabric. They are both a beautiful peacock blue that I just couldn't resist. I also got a couple of scarves as presents for my babysitting sisters at home.
Gracia had to request a bathroom while we were there, and was taken outside to one that had to be unlocked for her. 
Heenu took us to lunch at a hotel where they had a buffet--veg or non-veg. Less than 30% of the people we associated with in India were vegetarian. But I really enjoyed the veg buffet, especially the sweet jalapeno nachos. (Yes, another encounter with Mexican food in India.) Plus they had a great dessert section--fig ice cream was a new one for me. Gracia decided to skip lunch. 
During lunch we asked Heenu a lot of personal questions about her life--I hope she didn't mind. She is currently waiting for her parents and matchmaker to find her a husband. She hopes he'll be from her church and from Chennai. Speaking to some of the other team members we learned it's not uncommon to be matched with someone from another area. They might not even speak the same home language, so they would have to have a shared second language. It also makes it harder to visit family.
Heenu told us that when she is presented with some candidates, she will definitely check out their facebook pages. That shed some light on why the unmarried team members we'd met the day before had taken so many pictures. 

After that we went to a store that was four stories high and sold all kinds of clothing. It was early afternoon when we got there and Heenu told us that it would get more crowded the later it got. By the time we left it was hip-to-hip women, with us the only foreigners in the place. 
 I missed my chance to take a picture of the clerk when she got up on the glass counter in her bare feet to get down a stack that was too high for her to reach.

Kurtis for little girls.

As far as I can remember, we just stayed in that night. Didn't have dinner. We watched a little cricket. The World Cup of Cricket was going on while we were in India. They showed it on televisions in a lot of the hotel restaurants where we ate. Australia knocked India out of the running while we were there. 

Here are some more pictures of our fancy, fancy hotel:
 The "cloakroom"--for when you are eating at one of the restaurants or waiting in the lobby

A wall mural near the spa

The view from our room onto the roof terrace. Dan and Gracia's view was of the city=not so fancy

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