Thought I might write about a typical day for me in India. Could be incredibly boring for some, could provide useful information for others…who knows?!
My day usually starts around 9:30 – 10am when the maid comes in and starts cleaning the apartment. You don’t have hot water on demand, so you have to turn the heater on and wait 15 minutes or so before it’s hot enough to have a shower.
When I was in India last time, breakfast consisted of rice and curry (the sauce is called ‘gravy’ in India). But now I have my own place, I’m embracing traditional Western values by having muesli or cereal with fresh orange juice for breakfast 🙂 I plan to start making tea in the morning too, but I haven’t gotten around to buying a kettle yet…
I get to work between 11am and 12 noon, getting there either by car if Aravind stayed over or tuk-tuk if I’m on my own. Trying to get a tuk-tuk is always an experience. The office is located in an area called Nungumbakkam, but thanks to my wonderful British accent, the tuk-tuk drivers simply can’t understand me when I tell them where I want to go.
Getting a tuk-tuk would cost a local about 70-80 rupees, being white, it’s extremely rare for me to get 80 rupees, it’s usually 80-100. For reference, 100 rupees is about £1.25 or $2.50.
I take lunch around 3pm. Sometimes I bring a packed lunch with cheese sandwiches and an apple, or I’ll go down to the sandwich shop below our office (think: Greggs, if anyone is reading this in the UK). If I buy lunch it’s around 60 rupees (£0.75).
Work generally finishes around 8pm and depending on the plan, I’ll either go out to a nice restaurant for dinner or go home and cook some pasta. Going out to a restaurant at a 4/5 star hotel costs about £15 for three people – not too bad!
If I have to make my own way home then the fun and games start all over again with the tuk-tuk drivers. I live in an area called Mandavelli, but once again, I say this word and a look of confused incohesion crosses the drivers face. It’s always an adventure to find out where you’ll wind up at the end of the journey…
…Since I live near Mandavelli station I use that as a local landmark when explaining where I want to get to, but it’s still incredible how many drivers have no idea where it is. This evening for example, I was taken to Mandavelli bus station.
I’ve also just discovered that apparently the way I pronounce ‘Mandavelli’, it sounds like I’m saying ‘head hurting’ in Tamil. That caused a lot of amusement in the office…grrr.
Anyhow, back to dinner and food…
Pasta is rediculously cheap, this evening I went and bought 2 packets of pasta, 2L bottle of coke, some milk and some juice and it came to 110 rupees – about £1.30.
Since they also have Pizza Hut and Dominos Pizza here, we’ll occasionally order a pizza, this is a bit more expensive, costing around £4.50 ($9.00) for a medium pizza, 4 slices garlic bread and a bottle of Pepsi. The pizza’s are all made from the same ingredients, so they taste exactly the same over here as they do in England (surprise?!).
In the evenings I’ll kick back and watch TV, I’ve got a nice 32″ widescreen flatscreen TV mounted on the wall with cinema surround sound – it’s all good 😀
Umm, so there you have it, a short ‘day in the life of’ someone living in Chennai. Not all that exciting really, except maybe second guessing where you’ll end up when you climb in to a tuk-tuk!