Friday, September 12, 2008

Trip to Chennai, part 2

Here are some pictures from our trip, with just a little commentary.
Barely out of Bangalore, we stopped at this bakery for a snack.
While all the fruit enticed me, Sub didn't think the place was clean enough to have a juice. That happens far too often.

Our trip was made longer because we got a flat tire.
Amartya, of course, wanted to help.
This could be Mexico, don't you think? Until we pan over and see the signs and the temple.

Odd geological formations, we'll have to learn about the region more. This is just into Tamil Nadu, outside of Hosur.
One of the amazing things was to see rest stops along the highway, with relatively clean toilets (both of the Turkish and Western styles), a dramatic change from only a few years ago, where the bathroom was likely a field in back of a shack.
And the snack bar is labeled in Tamil, Hindi (quite a step forward in a state known for its Hindi-hostility), and English. The food was okay, a bit spicy for me, but served on a banana leaf on top of a plate.Just as surprising, and pleasant was the view across the way: wind turbines being transported. There is a big plant outside Chennai.

I missed the good photo op here of the guy with his herd of goats, but at least you get a sense of the size of these blades here.
Here's more of the kind of scene one expects to see in South India: an elaborate Hindu temple, with colors that wake you up.In the South, one also increasingly (?) sees the influence of the Gulf, and the money from it. Here's a shot of an eatery right outside of Chennai. Note the mosque on the side. Apparently this is a chain in Oman, now spreading to India. Outside of Chennai, which is becoming the center of the auto industry for India, earning it the nickname of the "Detroit of India," there are some huge factories. Their products (i.e., cars) need to be transported, and below you can see some of the trucks used to do so. These trucks line the highway for miles and miles. There seem to be inadequate parking/storage spaces for them.
I also worry about their stability. Look at the little wheels. Okay, I wanted to get these up quickly. More reflections on the trip will follow this weekend if I find time. So much to say!

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