Sunday, July 27, 2014

Around Chennai: Chetpet

This weekend my neighbor and I went to an event with his regular photo-walking club. It was led by Ram, the same person that led our Triplicane walk. As all outdoor walking events in Chennai seem to do, it started at approximately "Too Early." Fortunately, the juice vendor was already set up and ready to go.

Each jar (apparently) contains a different juice.
Our walk took us down Harrington Road starting at Pachaiyappa's College.

Anonymous Hindu temple
Kolam(ing) in action!

A goat, doing what goats do best.
Along one of the side streets I noticed a man feeding pigeons. When I say feeding pigeons, I don't mean in the "scattering food" kind of way. He's literally holding the pigeons and shoving food in their mouths.

He was very excited I was taking a "snap" of him.
The rest of the photo walk group arrived shortly thereafter and began to take pictures. I'd describe their proximity to this guy as "all up in his business," but he didn't seem to mind.

I continued walking and spotted a rare migratory garbage truck. This was a pristine specimen in that it was way cleaner than any I've seen before or since.

These guys sell cement y'all.
Harrington road was lined with some of the best kept murals I've seen. I question their choice of bright green for the Chief Minister's face, but I've never actually met her so...

I passed by a group of guys who noticed me taking the above picture and adamantly encouraged me to "snap" them also.

I assume the flag has some significance.
When in doubt, add a lion.
Only yellow autos (99.99999999%) are for hire.
The photo walk group had some interesting taste in pictures.

Here are a ton of people taking pictures of... Uh... asphalt?
I found a hole in the wall.

Apparently it's functional.

We also were able to answer the question of what you do with excess train rails.

I guess no one steals them on account of being insanely heavy.
"Keep Calm and Make Out"
Note: It's scandalous to hold hands with the opposite sex here.
How do you defend YOUR house against demons?
I guess Sunday morning isn't a busy train time.
SE Asian style house
I was informed this house is being demolished.
They start with the roof and remove all wood to be refurbished or reused in antiques.
I guess 20-30 people walking around taking pictures is a suspicious activity in Chennai. We were stopped no less than 5 times by police officers and had to explain our recreational photography. In this case, Ram even had to present a news article about the club to convince the officer that we were harmless. (He carried the newspaper around for just this purpose.)

No Parking RIGHT HERE! No idea why.
I enjoyed the order of the bullets on this bill.
I guess we're not the only country worried about weight.
What's wrong with this lamp post?
It's only attached to the tree, it was fitted on a branch, rather than to the ground. 
That's how I spell it.
The locals we were with were stunned to see this.
Everywhere you go in Chennai you see people, mostly women, sweeping the streets. I'm never sure what the purpose of this is, as they appear just as dusty and litter strewn before and after... but here's an example!

Fancy roof to this entry gate.

This truck is used in sewer cleaning.
Bricks. Lots of bricks.
This had the word "cement" on it, but we couldn't figure it out.
We took a small detour off Harrington road onto a beautiful residential street. The street eventually dead ended and we found a group that self identified as "the breakfast club." 

They told us that they have breakfast (or coffee) together every day. They have a covered porch nearby for rainy days. The houses around us were incredibly high rent, and these guys were likely quite wealthy. They were very happy to talk and joke around with us.

Our walk continued with a crossing over Coovam River.

Also known as a trash dumping point.
The colorful bill caught my eye, but the yellow one is more entertaining.
All of the waterways around Chennai have a bit of a smell, in this case we could see raw sewage running off into the water.
We're talking gallons per second here.
Even with all the trash, I'm a sucker for rivers.
You can see some cows scavenging through the garbage.
We ended the walk with our standard South Indian Breakfast: "Idliy, Vada, Coffee." Though in this case, I also got a Dosai.

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