A Chennai Landing

I departed the Washington DC area late in the evening on an Air France flight to Paris.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMy seat was at the tail end of the plane. At least it was an aisle seat.  Unfortunately, the guy from West Africa in the middle seat insisted on spreading himself out.  His thick leather jacket did not help.   I kept my cool for the whole flight.  Was a little concerned about the time it would take to deplane and get to the terminal for the next flight, especially in light of the layout of Charles De Gaulle airport, but it turned out to be OK.

The only notable adventure in Paris was the insistence by the security folks that the cans of tuna I was carrying could not be taken through.  My argument that the folks at my airport of origin in the US had let me keep the food, and the fact that it was mainly solid material, did not convince the lady.

It was late in the morning in Paris when I departed town on the second leg of the trip. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI experienced the second sunset of the trip from the Jet Airways A330-300 aircraft from the window seat as we passed a mountain range and a couple of snow capped mountain peaks, most likely in Iran.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAArrived in Chennai after a long flight at an ungodly hour of the morning, something that is typical for international flight flights from the west arriving at Chennai.  Trip home from the airport through the then quiet roadways in a call taxi was uneventful.  Got home and managed to get into bed without waking up the folks until a more reasonable hour of the morning.

Good to be home once again.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe house looks more exposed to the elements since the cyclone last year took down a lot of the trees in the compound.  It is a pity.  But the birds still come around occasionally.  This one might have been looking to build a nest somewhere close by.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI have not gotten a picture of the night heron yet although I did see it on the first day I was here.

Been taking it easy with a couple of trips into town to meet with old friends from school and college days.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAUber and Ola seem to be the new ways to get around in town, but I am still working on getting this new technology under control.

Chennai still seems to be a place in a perpetual state of chaos during the day and absolute quiet (except for the stray cats and dogs) during the night.  Traffic is crazy over here. You are at risk of losing life and/or limb if you try to cross a street during the busier times of the day.  There are very few crosswalks, if any.  The place where we live also experiences a dangerous and somewhat puzzling breakdown in the public infrastructure at the street level.  Sidewalks, where they exist, are quite often in shambles.  There are also the open drains that should have been covered a long time ago. Animals wander around and defecate wherever they wish. Pedestrians are forced onto the street to compete with the chaotic traffic of both four-wheelers and two-wheelers. You play chicken with the buses and other vehicles that are careening through the chaos and around the blind corners of the road.  But life for the locals goes on in spite of this and other challenges.  This is their home, and nobody can take this away from them. It does feel good to be back.

The weather is good and the mosquitoes are mostly leaving me alone, which is good.  Waiting for the rest of the family and for further adventures to continue.

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Kuriacose Joseph

I am an engineer by training. I am exploring new horizons after having spent many years in the Industry. My interests are varied and I tend to write about what is on my mind at any particular moment in time.

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