Art Stanton’s No Reservations–Chennai, India

When I got off the plane and in the airport I could smell India.  It isn’t a bad smell; it’s a distant smell.  Now that I’ve smelled it I can easily see myself associating it with scenes in movies that take place in exotic locales, like Casablanca or Anaconda.  My first impression of it was ‘smoke’, but then I shook my head.  Smoke, but not quite smoke.  More than smoke?

Driver’s wheel is on the right.  Not sure why that surprised me.

So far I’ve only been in and around my hotel and 200 feet down the street.

There is a walk-through metal detector and a bag-scanner to get into the hotel.  I wonder if this is new… since the Mumbai attacks?  The equipment looks fairly old.

The hotel employees are very VERY hospitable. Everyone serving you is very hospitable. People who aren’t, aren’t. 

The road outside the hotel is very busy, always.  Mostly motorcycles (no helmets) and buses.  The white lines on the road are there for decoration, not function.  There is an article in the paper about a man killed on his motorcyle by a bus.  The bus driver got arrested for negligent driving.  Seems like that would happen a lot.

Other articles in the paper, “Inflation eases to 8.23% in Jan”, 2 suicides, Jokes: “Q: How many yogi’s does it take to change a lightbulb? A: Into what?”, political stories, “Proletarian god to get temple in TN (Tamil Nadu)”, cricket.

80% (estimate, not scientifically proven) of the 75 channels on TV are Indian music videos.  Maybe because it was 4am.  HBO is censored (they were showing Airplane II and I KNOW that scene had boobs in it).

The ATM I walked to 200ft down the street had a guard in front. I walked towards the glass-enclosed ATM and the guard let me in. Then rushed me when I didn’t finish fast enough because someone else walked up.

There is a lot of chocolate for sale in the hotel.

Out of the 30ish people working in the hotel that I have seen, only 2 are female.  They work at the front desk.  The population on the road seems to support that ratio, too.


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