Sunday 25th of November 2012 and at 16:55 the Pilot got on the darn PA system again. And of course, the luggage fiasco was brought to everyone’s attention again. But we would make it to Chennai in time and we would land in 15 or 20 minutes. Very good, I could not wait to get of the flight
Jet Airways Flight 9W 467 were coming to an end and I can help but having noted that I had been on the receiving end of several (well, more than one) smile from Miss “Most beautiful in the aviation world” so I guess that the extension belt thing wasn't anything she was going to remember for the rest of her life. Maybe she will be on my flight to Suvarnabhumi next Friday. Or on my Jet Airways flight from Chennai to Indira Gandhi International in New Delhi where I will change flight to Bangkok.
One thing is for sure, the airport buses at Chennai were nothing like the buses in Mumbai. Here they don't have any seats at all and the bus reminded me of a cell where they keep drunk people over night. Not that I have any experiences of a cell, but as I imagine how they will look.
Of course, there were windows on the bus. Now I hope that I can get my bag without any problem so I can get to my hotel. I'm quite hungry now. I asked for my bag when I got off the plane.
The stewardess told me that my bag was checked and I didn't understood. My bag was obviously in the cabin, checked in or not. Well, I decided to hope that they would send it to the terminal.
And I was lucky, I got my bag and I could leave the airport behind. I found the hotel representative outside the airport and we were soon on our way towards the hotel and an hopefully nice restaurant at my hotel.
I saw several of the really old classic Indian taxis when we walked towards the hotel car. I had not seen any Hindustan Ambassador taxis in Mumbai. I have had several rides in a Hindustan Ambassador taxi when I was in India back in the days. I prefer the new taxis, but it was nice to see them again and they were more comfortable than the Premier Padmini taxis.
Premier Padmini was an automobile manufactured in India from 1964 to 2000, although the "Padmini" name was not used until 1967 - the earlier cars were sold as the "Fiat 1100 Delight".
The car is popularly called "Fiat". Premier Automobiles Limited, the erstwhile flagship company of India's Walchand group, assembled Fiat's 1100-series cars from the 1950s until 1997. Within the very limited Indian market, and especially in comparison with its main competitor the Hindustan Ambassador, the Padmini was considered quite sporting.
Premier manufactured it at their Kurla, Mumbai plant until they sold a majority stake to Fiat SpA in September 1997.
First sold as the Fiat 1100 Delight, the 1100D was preceded in the Indian market by the Fiat 1100-103. It was also briefly sold as the Premier President (only for the 1973 model year) until it finally settled down as the Premier Padmini.
I could not see any Hindustan Ambassador in Bombay this time. I saw a few white painted Hindustan Ambassador in Bombay. One driver told me that they were gone from the street sin Bombau.
The Hindustan Ambassador is a car manufactured by Hindustan Motors of India. It has been in production since 1958 with few modifications or changes and is based on the Morris Oxford III model, first made by the Morris Motors LImited at Cowley, Oxford in the United Kingdom from 1956 to 1959.
Sale of Ambassador taxis had been banned since April 1, 2011, a year after BS IV norms were rolled out in 11 Indian cities, including Kolkata.
Bharat stage emission standards are emission standards instituted by the Government of India to regulate the output of air pollutants from internal combustion engine equipment, including motor vehicles. The standards and the timeline for implementation are set by the Central Pollution Control Board under the Ministry of Environment & Forests.
At present the company is in an extremely challenging situation with plummeting sales and loss of ₨ 29.96 crore (approx. US$5.6 million as of October 2012) in 2011-12.The company could only sell around 2500 cars in 2011.
Despite its British origins, the Ambassador is considered as a definitive Indian car and is fondly called “The dinosaur on Indian roads”. The automobile is manufactured by Hindustan Motors at its Uttarpara plant near Kolkata, West Bengal. Some prominent Indian politicians, such as Sonia Gandhi, use the Hindustan Ambassador.
The driver told me that it would take us maximum 30 minutes to get to the hotel and it was just a few minutes past 6 when we left Chennai airport. The only had some strange cigarette brands at Bombay domestic airport and I asked the driver to stop so I could get Marlboro.
We stopped at a typical Indian kiosk and I could see that they had Marlboro. I bought a pack and I lit up a fag to try id it was a real or a fake. Seemed to be the right stuff and I asked for a carton.
I bought a can of Diet Pepsi and I tried to enjoy my cancer stick and Diet Pepsi on the side walk. Put it seems like we created a traffic situation, 2 or 3 motorcycles that looked like they were about to fall apart was behind us and 1 motorcycle was in front of us. They were obviously waiting for us to leave. Do they have to park just on the spot we occupied? Obviously.
They were building a sky train rack along the road and the driver told me that the sky train would open for service in 2014. We passed a Supermarket on the way to the hotel.
I had not seen any Supermarkets in Mumbai, except the one at the department store. Well, good to have if I need some Diet Pepsi. It didn't look like any Supermarket or convenient store I used to shop at. But they must have cold drinks.
We're passing a Supermarket on the way to the hotel
We arrived to the hotel and I was soon to discover that they only had Diet Coke at the hotel. I started in the restaurant. They asked if I wanted them to send some Diet Cokes to my room.
- No, I can take them now and bring them myself.
- We don't have them there, we have to get them from the bar
I took the opportunity to check out the restaurant and the buffet looked much better than the buffet at the Boulevard n the Orchid hotel. The restaurant was clean and I would be back for some food as soon as I had left my bag in my room.
I left the restaurant, the Bell boy was waiting outside with my weekend bag and we went to my room on the second floor. Setting up my computer was the first thing to do. Well, I opened a can of Diet Coke first thing, but the coke was as I had expected, nothing but a disappointment.
I was soon having music blasting high from my computer and I finished my Diet Coke before I left for the restaurant. By now I was hungry and the buffet had been looking good when I was in the restaurant asking for Diet Pepsi. And it has to be a good buffet, because I'm hungry.
My hotel room
I took the elevator to the ground floor and I could not help to wonder if this elevator thing outside the walls is the latest things in India. I see it everywhere and it is Ok as long as I only go to the second floor. Above second floor and I suffer from vertigo.
And it is even worse with a hangover. I remember walking around High Street Phoenix last Saturday. They had like bridges over the atrium, maybe 4 meters wide and I felt dizzy every time I stepped out on one of those bridges and it felt like the whole building was going to collapse.
I entered the restaurant and I had some home fried potatoes with onion and cold spaghetti. I asked for a pot of Earl Grey tea with cold milk. Took quite some time before a guy arrived to my tea with a tray with a tea cup with a tea bag and the smallest pot of tea I had ever seen.
They had been at my table several times to ask how I wanted my tea and the Waiter asked if I wanted milk in my tea.
He put the cup with the tea bag in front of me and he started to pour milk over the tea bag. I could not believe my eyes.
- What the are you doing? STOP IMMEDIATELY!!
What the is going on? After several instructions and this is the best they can do! Pour milk over a tea bag. Foocking amazing, if you say the word tea to me the first thing I think off is “would be nice with a cup”
The second thing I think off is Ceylon and India and I had expecting the Indians to be able to make a decent pot of tea. I turned to the table next to me. There were 6 guys from India and they had been gaping at me like I was crazy. I could see them thinking “what is this stupid guy up to”. And they looked even more puzzled when they discovered that it was the staff foocking up. Yes, unbelievable that the staff in a restaurant don't know how to serve tea.
I had finished my Diet Coke, well, I force feed myself before going to the restaurant and I left the hotel to go look for a place to buy Diet Pepsi. The area around my hotel reminded me of India 25 years ago. Walking in mud and shit. It smelled of shit, yes, literally smelled of shit. So I returned to my hotel.
I asked for a car to take me to the shopping mall the driver had told me about while driving me from the airport. The hotel was going to charge me 850 Rupees for the car and driver and we took off towards the SKY WALK shopping mall.
We left the hotel in the wrong direction and when we had been on our way for 20 minutes we passed my hotel, the Radha Regent hotel when we came in the other direction. We arrived to SKY WALK shopping mall around 8 thirty and I went to look for a Supermarket.
I asked in the information and they told me to go down in the basement. I said thank you and I walked towards the stairs. I saw a logo, STAR Bazaar.
NO, I was not going to any foocking Bazaar and I returned to the information desk.
They told me that it was in the basement and I returned to the stairs and I walked down and I discovered that STAR Bazaar was the name of the supermarket.
I grabbed a basket and I entered the Supermarket and I walked straight to the chilled drinks area. They had 8 bottles of Diet Pepsi and I put all bottles in my yellow shopping basket.
I wanted more and I was looking for someone working at STAR Bazaar to see if they had any more bottles of STAR Bazaar.
I found a guy and he was mumble about something pointing towards the bread section. I went over but I didn't found any Diet Pepsi. So I asked a girl and she pointed in another directions. But no Diet Pepsi in that direction and I went back to the first guy. Now I could hear what he said and I discovered yet another 8 bottles and then it was empty. No more Diet Pepsi and I hope that they will last me until I'm leaving.
I decided to g have a ice cream at MC Donalds and that was not a nice experience. Well, the ice cream was OK, but the place! Don't they ever clean around here? Same when I arrived to my hotel in Mumbai. 2 o'clock in the morning and I went to the Boulevard for something to eat.
It was disgusting and I had to go back to my room hungry and thus I had to finish all the chips and biscuits in the mini bar. Well, I'm happy that the restaurant in my new hotel, the Radha Regent was clean and the restaurant is actually very nice.
I don't know why it is so dirty in India
I don't know why it is so dirty in India
I don't know why it is so dirty in India
Monday 26th of November 2012 and my alarm went off at 8 o'clock. I had plenty time to enjoy my morning with a Diet Pepsi. The van would come to pick me up at 9 thirty for transportation to Maersk Training Center. They called me from the reception at 9 o'clock.
- The van is here to pick you up
- They shall not be here until 9 thirty
- Well, they are here now
- I will have my breakfast first
I went down to the restaurant and they managed to foock up my tea and I was slightly irritated and I left the restaurant. I decided to try to teach them how to make tea.
And that is strange because as this is India they should know how to make some good tea. And I noticed already in Mumbai how all the CHAI people had disappeared from the streets nowhere to be seen.
Last time I was in India there were millions of people running around with a basket with tea glasses screaming CHAI.
There were also millions of people chasing you down the street while screaming “Polish your shoes” This time around I have seen neither of this and makin CHAI (tea) is maybe a dying art form.
Well, I hope for improvements tonight so I can enjoy myself with a pot of Earl Grey tea. I was in the reception quarter past 9 and the guy I thought was the driver turned out to be our Teacher. There were 2 other participants living at the hotel and we took off together with our teacher and the driver.
We arrived to Maersk Training Centre and we walked up on the second floor and we started class around 10 o'clock.
Our Teacher turned out to be a very nice guy, and my 2 class mates were quite nice as well so we had a good time at Maersk Training Centre. And our teacher was also good at teaching so it was both fun and interesting. And he was operating just the way I like and the way I use to do. No long breaks and we can go home earlier and thus dodging the traffic.
And why should we have long coffee and lunch breaks hanging around doing nothing when we could be back at the hotel doing home work instead. And I can't say that Maersk Training Center or the area around the Training Center is a place I want to hang around longer than necessary.
So I was looking forward to a non-stop stretch, or an almost non-stop stretch and we will go back to the hotel at 3 thirty in the afternoon.
Busy in the class room
It was fun and time turned quick so it was soon time for lunch, and I was not looking forward to the lunch. No restaurants in the area and we were hoping for transportation to the hotel for lunch. But we had to eat at the Training Center and I was a wee bit disappointed.
I asked the staff in the office how far it was to the SKY WALK shopping mall. And it was far away.
- You will never make it in time
- Any hotels nearby?
- OK, I just take a walk around in the area
So I decided to take a walk looking for something to eat. Well, I was hungry and I decided just to go for a walk and if I found a place I could have a quick snack. There is a temple next to Maersk Training Center so I started by going over there to have a look.
When I was ready at the temple I walked up to the main road and I turned left. I walked down the road for a few minutes and I passed a kiosk. But as no surprise there was nothing that I wanted to buy.
There is a Temple next to Maersk Training Centre
There wasn't any 7 Eleven in the area, but there was a kiosk around the corner
There wasn't any 7 Eleven in the area, but there was a kiosk around the corner
I crossed the main road and I walked back up the road on the opposite side. I saw a sign saying: CAKE POINT. WOW! Maybe I can have a piece of cake and a cup of tea. I went inside and I turned around again, it was not the kind of place I had expected. Well, it was the kind of place I had expected, but it wasn't the standard I wanted.
I walked back towards Maersk Training Center and they told me that they had put out the lunch on the floor above us. I went up to have a look. Nothing I could eat, OK, I found a bowl of potato chips and the bowl was empty when I left to discover our roof top. It was possible to have a smoke on the roof top. At least as long as you don't leave any butts behind.
There are 3 floors in the building. Maersk is located on the 2nd floor. There are some other companies on the ground and first floor. 3rd floor is the roof top, well, half of the building is a roof top and Maersk have a room on the 3rd floor and there is another company with a entrance from the roof top. No elevator so the guys working at the roof top got exercise walking the stairs.
My 2 class mates were soon coming up for their lunch and we had a chat about the good ol' times. I was waiting with the Teacher for them to be ready and we could continue with the course. It was soon 3 thirty and we finished for today. We got our home work and I went down to see if the car from the hotel was here to pick us up. The car had arrived and I waited for my Teacher and class mates. Well, I was soon going back up to get them.
- Our ride has arrived
When they came down I asked them to post in front of the car and I got my picture and we returned to the hotel. We passed through an area with very beautiful and colourful buildings on our way back to the hotel. My Teacher asked if I wanted to have some pictures.
Ready for today and we are ready to return to the hotel
We arrived to the hotel and we decided to meet in the restaurant at 8 o'clock. Our teacher could not join us because he was going to see a colleague. I went to my room to enjoy a Diet Pepsi before going to Pondy Bazaar to look for fabric.
I was hungry, I had only had have some potato chips for lunch so I ripped open a can of Pringles. And I didn't feel too good. Here I am in India and I'm coming back home looking like Graf Zeppelin. Not what I had expected. Last time I was in India I came home smaller than I had been at arrival.
There was an e-mail from my friend in Bangkok. She and
some of her friend might have something to tell me. WHAT!!?? Did I won the “Asshole of the year” award? Have I done something stupid and they are angry? I don't know. And there was also an e-mail from The Orchid Hotel in Mumbai.
When you coming back, we might have something to tell you.
We are Jeab, May and me.
Take pictures and show me.
And there was only one reply that I could send:
Tell me what? Have I won the “Asshole of the year” award?
And who is May?
They are obviously taking the survey very serious. And as I could not rate the hotel between 0 and 10 because I didn't knew the price. I sent them an e-mail that I really liked the hotel and the service was very good and I have had a very nice room. Friendly staff, but the
Boulevard was not according to my standards. I also told them that I have had some excellent meals at Mostly Grills during my stay. The lamb chops and the white chocolate mousse was excellent.
Dear Mr. Aladdin,
Greetings from The Orchid Mumbai!
Trust you had a comfortable stay with us.
We strive hard to exceed our guest’s expectations and create a memorable experience for them by valuing their feedback.
Apologies for the inconvenience caused to you during the stay.
We request you to appraise us with any area of improvement to allow us to create a perfect 10 stay experience.
Looking forward to Welcome you back and be of your service.
Thank You & Warm Regards
Guest Relations Executive
But they can't expect me to give them an evaluation without mentioning the state of The Boulevard when I arrived Sunday morning. But it was nice to see that they were taking it serious with the survey and that shows that they are willing to please their customers. That's the spirit I'm looking for.
And I never mentioned the added VALUE of staying at The Orchid Hotel in Mumbai: All the beautiful air hostess that was living there. And there must have been a flight landing at about the same time I finished school because when I was back from school the reception was full of beautiful Air Hostess everyday. And they were flirting, well, might have been my imagination. But I won't be surprised.
Last time I was in India there was for sure no one flirting with me. Well, the Air Hostess from back them must be 50 by now. Time has changed, might be because of the internet. Now the Indian girls know that they can find something better than Mr. “You are in the wrong part of the world”
Well, anyway, I attended to my e-mail and I went down to the reception to get a car. My plan was to get to Pondy Bazaar to buy fabrics so I could be back before 8 o'clock. I wanted to finish my homework before it was time to meet the guys in the restaurant.
I got out of the car at Pondy Bazaar and I asked the driver to come back to pick me up in 1 hour. There were 2 female Police officers on the road side when I got out of the car. One of them was smiling and I started to talk with her. I also asked if I could get a picture. I suggested that the colleague could take our picture.
- YES YES!!!
- NO NO!!
The Police Officers just ignored me even though I was stamping my feet’s. I went in to the first fabric shop and I bought 2 different fabrics. I went next door and I found some nice cotton that I bought. I asked the guy if he knew any shops that sold colourful cotton. He suggested that I should walk up the street and turn left at the first intersection.
I passed a shop where they sold statues and I went inside. I'm looking for Ganesha, the Indian elephant God. I had a look for the statue at the shop in our hotel while waiting for the car that was going to take me to Pondy Bazaar.
He had two Ganesha idols, one was perfect size bit I didn't liked it. The second one was a wee bit too small and it was too heavy.
But the guy would bring some more idols tomorrow. He only had
metal idols and I wanted something colourful. But I really need one of those Ganeshas to bring back home as he grants success, prosperity and protection against adversity.
also spelled Ganesa and Ganesh, also known as Ganapati, Vinayaka and Pillaiyar is one of the best-known and most widely worshipped deities in the Hindu pantheon. His image is found throughout India and Nepal. Hindu sects worship him regardless of affiliations. Devotion to Ganesha is widely diffused and extends to Jains, Buddhists, and beyond India.
Although he is known by many other attributes, Ganesha's elephant head makes him particularly easy to identify. Ganesha is widely revered as the Remover of Obstacles and more generally as Lord of Beginnings and Lord of Obstacles, Vighneshvara, patron of arts and sciences, and the deva of intellect and wisdom.
Ganesha is worshipped on many religious and secular occasions; especially at the beginning of ventures such as buying a vehicle or starting a business. K.N. Somayaji says, "there can hardly be a [Hindu] home [in India] which does not house an idol of Ganapati. Ganapati, being the most popular deity in India, is worshipped by almost all castes and in all parts of the country". Devotees believe that if Ganesha is propitiated, he grants success, prosperity and protection against adversity.
“Devotees believe that if Ganesha is propitiated, he grants success, prosperity and protection against adversity” Foockin A, I should have bought the elephant years ago. there has for sure not been any success and prosperity in my life
Well, anyway, back to Pondy Bazaar, they had a Ganesha I liked but I left to look for my fabric. I made a mental note to come back for the Ganesha if I could not find any else. But I was worried about my luggage, I don't want to fill up a removal truck when I go back home to Bangkok.
I left the shop and I continued up the road towards the intersection where I should turn left. I spotted a shop on the other side of the road and it looked like they had plenty fabric.
I risked my life crossing the road and I made it in to the shop. They had plenty fabrics and I started to look around.
I found a shop with fabric
Busy measuring fabric for me
He get help to measure the fabric for me
He get help to measure the fabric for me
There were plenty fabrics and by the time I was ready I was already late for my waiting car. And it was like a cubic meter of fabric so I needed something to carry the fabrics in when I'm boarding my flight. I went in to buy the Ganesha in the shop and while they packed the elephant in a box I went to look for a duffle bag for my fabrics.
I didn't found any duffel bag but when I saw the girls in the shop filling up the box for Ganesha with papers I got an idea, a foocking excellent idea!!!
They used a cubic ton of papers and I told them to remove the paper. When I left the fabric shop for the elephant shop I saw my driver waiting so I went to the car first thing to drop my bags. Now I went back to the car and I picked up the fabrics.
I returned to the shop and I asked the girls to fill up the box with fabric instead of paper. They managed to get one of my bags with fabric down the box and I will have to look for a duffle bag or another paper box for the rest of the fabrics.
My weekend bag is full and I don't want to fly back home with a lot of plastic bags.
I took my stuff and I went to my car. I discovered that the 2 Police women were back. Obviously expecting to see me again when they spotted my car coming back. Delirious with anticipation, at least one of them and she was jumping up and down when I approached the car.
Well well, looks who is in a good mood. I put my bags and box in the car and I gave the camera to the driver. And now it wasn't any problem to take pictures.
Police in India
I put my arm around the Police and I took her cane with the other hand. As soon as I put my arm around her the colleague started to sound like a siren.
- OEE OEE OEE OEE OEE!!!
The driver had problem with the camera and I had to instruct him. So I let go of the girl and while doing so I touched her behind and instantly she started to sound as a siren as well.
- OEE OEE OEE OEE OEE!!!
I had 2 female Police Officers sounding like sirens while I gave my instructions to the driver. We got the picture and we took off towards the hotel. Of course, bye bye to the Police and we were soon stuck in the traffic.
The driver had some excellent Indian music on the entertainment center and I asked him if it was CD. I asked how much for the CD
- 30 Rupees
- I give you 100
Well, turned out it was a memory stick and I copied the music when we were back at the hotel 20 minutes before 8. It had been taking us about 1 hour to get back to the hotel from the Bazaar.
They are building a sky train and the traffic is almost at a full stop when passing the work. But we made it in time for 8 o'clock. I even had time to copy the music from the drivers memory stick to my computer before going for my dinner.
I returned the memory stick and I went to the restaurant and I instructed the manager on how to prepare a pot of tea. Yes, it sounds incredible, but after 2 times of making my tea in to a fiasco I wanted to monitor the process of making a pot of tea.
Take an empty pot, fill it with hot water and add a tea bag. Yes, I only use 1 bag, some time 2, but then there is the risk of the tea getting to strong.
I hate it when they put 4 bags in one pot, then the tea is getting bitter after just a very short while. Well, anyway, I got my tea and I had the whole staff around the table making sure it went without any problem. And the staff kept on coming by asking if the tea was good.
OK, I know what you think, Mr. Aladdin the pain in the arse. Yes, maybe so, but the MINIMUM requirements to get a job in a restaurant are to be able to prepare a pot of tea. And if it was for free in the restaurant I would not have any right to demand a good pot of tea.
But as a paying customer there are some minimum standards that are expected to be full filled. Well, anyway, I enjoyed my first cup of tea since arrival to Chennai. I had asked for few butter naans that I was munching on. I was waiting for my class mates and one of them arrived 10 past 8 o'clock.
I asked were our other friend was.
- He is enjoying himself with the ladies
- What ladies? Are there ladies? In the pub?
- No his wife, she is with him at the hotel.
Yes, he is getting married to a girl from Denmark next year and they arrived at 8 thirty.
- What happened with 8 o'clock? I asked.
We enjoyed our dinner, excellent butter naan and tea. And they had a delicious mustard potato salad that I had 3 plates of. There was some kebab, but it didn't tast anything. It was just burning in my mouth.
But the food is really good at this hotel and no need to go for dinner at the hotel next door.
And I had a wee bit too much to eat, and the pastries and cake was not improving my weight loss. Coming home looking like Graf Zeppelin it is.
I returned to my room to do my homework that i had planned to do in the afternoon. But it took longer than expected at Pondy Bazaar. And I started to read one of the books that I bought at Mumbai airport. My alarm is set to 8 o'clock tomorrow morning and we will meet in the reception at 09:15 and I will hopefully be full of vim by then.
Tuesday 27th of November 2012 and I had had enough sleep when my alarm went off at 8. I enjoyed a Diet Pepsi before my shower and I was at the restaurant just before 9. My class mate and his wife to be had their breakfast and I joined them. When I left the restaurant after the dinner yesterday I asked them if they would remember how to make tea for the breakfast tomorrow.
- Yes, no problem
- Good, I see you tomorrow.
I got my tea without, well, almost without any problem and I enjoyed my first good breakfast since arriving to India. A good cup of tea and bacon with home fried potatoes.
I was in a really good mood when I left the restaurant, a pot of tea and some really good tasting bacon, what a difference from The Boulevard's breakfast. I'm sure that I will survive the day, at least until we finish school in the afternoon and I can come back for some snacks.
We waited for our car and there were no sign of our Teacher 20 minutes past 9. So I asked the girl in the reception to call him and he came down a few minutes later.
Today they came with a very small car and we asked them to change the car to the van we had yesterday and we took off towards Maersk Training Center.
Waste of time? Sweeping the street
We had a new guy in class today. He would join us for the Para 16 course when we had finished the exam on our Danish Maritime Legislation course. We started the day by checking our home work and then we did some other stuff that I have forgot about. We started with the exam around 12 o'clock.
I was the first one to finish my exam and I asked the Teacher when I should be back
- Come back in 45 minutes
I checked one more time if there were any places for “fine dining” around. But they suggested that it would take too long and I would never make it back in time.
So I decided to explore the area trying to find a Diet Pepsi. I walked up the road for 20 minutes and I saw something that looked like a Supermarket on the other side of the road so I decided to go check it out. But there is a concrete divider along the road so I had to continue walking up the road until I found an opening in the concrete divider.
There was an opening, about 1 meter wide outside the College or University and I could cross the road. I took the opportunity to throw myself out in the traffic when 2 girls from the University crossed the road. One of my rules: Always follow the locals.
I turned right when I had crossed the road and I passed an ATM promising to get me my V-shaped torso. I was soon at Mc Rennett and it looked like a place where it would be possible to find Diet Pepsi. I stepped inside, and Mc Rennett looked better than many other places I had been in to in Chennai. But it was not like I was going to buy their pastries and cakes. But they had potato chips and cookies in packing and I was so close to buy something.
But there was a fridge with fizz drinks and I stepped forward to the fridge, no Diet Pepsi.
Only Coca Cola, but they had “FAMILY” size bottles of Minute Maid. I bought a bottle and I paid 55 Rupees before I left Mc Rennett behind.
I opened the bottle as soon as I was outside Mc Rennett and the Minute Maid did not taste as good as in Thailand. But it can be my imagination. The surroundings with all the shit does a great deal with my taste buds. It might have been the best tasting Minute Maid in the world if I had enjoyed it outside my local 7 Eleven in Bangkok.
Same with my stomach, I have had some stomach ache since arriving to Chennai, but it is mostly imagination. The restaurant is OK and no need to spend thousands of Rupees on taxis everyday to get to a 5 star hotel restaurant as in Mumbai.
It was kind of convenient in Mumbai even though it was a hassle with the taxi drivers hanging outside the hotel pestering everyone with a Caucasian appearance. Constant bargaining and haggling.
In Chennai the 5 star hotels are far away and I don't want to go through the trouble, and no need since I can enjoy my tea at the hotel.
Well, the Minute Maid was better than nothing and I drank my Minute Maid while walking down the road towards Maersk Training Center.
I found Minute Maid at Mc Rennett
I walked down to the street leading towards the training center, but I had to cross the road and luckily enough there was an opening in the concrete divider at the street.
I was back at school and we were soon starting our class again. Now we were study the Para 16 course and now the other guy joined us. He's an Electrician from Walen Shipping.
Time turned quick and it was soon time to go home. But first my class mates had to take pictures of our exam first. We need to send them to the Danish Maritime Authorities so they could correct the exams.
They had some technical difficulties at the office so our Teacher could not scan and send the exams to Denmark.
And this needs to be done so we can get our certificates before we finish our courses on Thursday. When my class mate had taken the pictures he sent them by e-mail to our Teacher. The van was waiting for us when we came down and we took off towards our hotel without our Teacher. He stayed behind to take care of our exams.
Queue to buy government subsidized rice for poor people
I was hungry when we came back to the hotel and I was approaching the restaurant when they opened the door. The Waiter spotted me.
- Yes Sir!
I ordered a chicken sandwich and a pot of tea before going back to my room where I spent the time until 8 thirty when I went for my dinner. One of my class mates and his Danish wife to be were having their dinner and I joined them.
Excellent food and tea. Irish stew, butter naan and way too much dessert. So I really didn't feel so good with myself when I went back to my room and my new book. No home work, I had finished my home work while waiting for the chicken sandwich earlier in the afternoon.
Wednesday 28th of November 2012 and my alarm went off at 8. I was a wee bit tired, but after a Diet Pepsi and a hot shower I was full of vim. One of my class mates was sitting outside the restaurant when I came down for breakfast. And when I was ready with the breakfast my other class mate and his Danish wife to be arrived for their breakfast.
We took off to school and we started the day by discussing the home work. I walked down to Mc Rennett for a bottle Minute Maid during the lunch break.
I was in a pretty good mood when I left the Maersk Training Center bound for Mc Rennett and my Minute Maid. I took the stairs with 2 steps at the time and I had just put my foot on the floor when the cleaning lady that was sitting on the bottom of the stairs started to scream.
- SNAKY SNAKY SNAKY SNAKY!!!!
- Yes, snacksy snacksy snacksy, I will go for snacksy
- NO NO NAKY SNAKY SNAKY!!!!
By then I had both my feet on the ground floor and thanks to the Thai boxing training I was able to make an impossible gymnastic move. I jumped backwards, 2 meters up the stairs.
- What the are you saying
- A SNAKE??
-Yes, she said while pointing to the security guard behind the desk.
The Security Guard was obviously looking for something behind the chairs.
- Are you sure it is a snake? I asked
- Yes, but very small, she said holding up her hands showing the size, at least a meter, according to her measurements
Thanks for letting me know! Now I know we have snakes in the house, a knowledge that I would have been better off without. Now I'm constantly afraid of being attacked by a snake. Same with the maid from Maid Delivery back home in Bangkok. She is actually the reason for me to buy my LG washer & dryer combo.
I was in the kitchen when she was cleaning my balcony. I went to my room to change for the boxing and I came around the corner just as she was jumping backwards in from the balcony. She squeaked while she was jumping backwards with eyes big like saucers.
The sound was actually quite cute and she looked quite cute during the second it took. I could see that she was afraid and I thought that she must have seen a bee or something.
I went to have a look and I saw a big lizard climbing on the wall. Well, thanks for letting me see this one. I could not even in my wildest imagination think off a giant lizard climbing on the wall outside my condo. And when I built my laundry room years ago I asked the nitwits to make a duct for the dry tumbler.
Of course, this was too hard for them so I will have to open the window in the laundry room every time I was drying laundry. This came to a halt, I was for sure not looking forward to have a giant lizard to come in through the window.
So I washer & dryer combo was needed so I could wash and dry with closed window. And an LG it was. But I still avoid my balcony and if I need to go outside I have a really good look around before stepping out on the balcony.
Well, anyway, now I now we have snakes at Maersk Training Center and I will feel bad every time passing the reception.
And, thinking of it, I haven't seen any snake-charmers in India this time around. Back in the days there was snake-charmers in every street corner and I was obviously keeping my eyes out for escaped “ATTACK” snakes.
When I came in to Mc Rennett there was a guy unpacking stuff and I asked if I could have one of the empty boxes. I was reminded of my fabric and I need yet another box to carry home my fabrics in. I don't want to carry the fabrics in bags.
Well, they didn't want to give my any box so I left Mc Rennett with my Minute Maid. Walking back to Maersk Training Centre and we were soon back to class again. We had 3 exercises that we had to do. Tasks with questions requiring us to look through the Act of Safety at Sea §16
We had had to report our home work on the white board and when we had done the §16 exercise we had to go up to the white board yet again.
Well, this was exciting and the other guys started and I was the last one up to the white board.
I looked at the watch on the wall before I went up on the floor and it was 10 minutes past 3 o'clock in the afternoon. So I had 20 minutes before the van was here to pick us up. It was quarter to 4 before I was ready and we could return to the hotel.
And when we were about to leave there was a guy from the office that came in to the class room. He wanted to take a group picture of us before we left. And who are we to say no? The guys were pretty excited.
- What? I asked
- We will end up in MAERSK MAGAZINE!!
Well, I asked the guy who he was and what he would use the pictures for. Magazine, of course, when there is a handsome guy from Skåne around they are better off getting some pictures for their Magazine.
We said good bye to the Teacher, he was going to stay behind today as well and we left for the hotel. One of my class mates was interested in buying a Ganesha. He asked me about the Ganesha and I asked if he had one at home.
I thought everybody had one at home for good luck
- Yeas, I should have one. So I want to buy one before going home tomorrow.
So we went in to see the owner in the shop at the hotel and my new friend choosed a Ganesha idol in brass. 6500 Rupees and he was going to buy the idol.
This one is nice, I take this one
- There is no rat, I said
- Yes, there should be a rat.
- Well, the God Ganesha comes with a rat. Very important.
We looked around and I discovered my new friend's Ganesha on the shelf.
- You don't buy it?
- No, you said it wasn't good enough
What the foock!!?? Here I am in India wanting to buy a Ganesha with my Indian friend. I had been in the shop everyday looking and I was very happy to learn that my Indian friend wanted to buy one as well.
- Let's go together, I said hoping that I could learn something.
And now it turns out that I have to teach him the little I know!
And the symbols of Ganesha is not easy, everywhere I look there are different symbols. And some symbols have different meanings in different pictures. Well, we picked 2 Ganeshas and we told the owner that we would be back tonight. We went to my room to check out internet for the symbols. And yes, we found yet some other meanings of the symbols.
Never mind as long as we got good luck from the darn thing.
I was in my room when my new friend knocked on the door 10 minutes before 8. Time for dinner and I told him that I would be down in 5 minutes. He waited outside the restaurant and we decided to go have a look at the Ganesha before dinner.
We found 2 that we liked and as we liked the both of them my friend asked me to choose first.
- Then I take the other
- OK, I also like both of them. Let's play the scissor, stone and paper
I won and I chose the bigger one and my friend took the dancing Ganesha. Well, I changed my mind and I asked if they had another dancing Ganesha.
They had another dancing Ganesha and I bought both my first choice and the dancing Ganesha. We offered them 13000 Rupees and we would go have our dinner while they were thinking about our offer. We would come back after our dinner and tea.
Buying Ganesha at the hotel shop
Buying Ganesha at the hotel shop
Buying Ganesha at the hotel shop
I asked for a pot of tea and 4 butter naans when we entered the restaurant. They have really got the hang of the tea making thing by now and I was soon enjoying my tea. Today I had 2 different Indian styled rice with onion sauce that I found in the “Italian” section. I poured mustard dressing over everything and I returned to our table.
Our other class mate and his Danish wife to be were soon joining us. I had one and a half plate, well, less than that before I was full. The smallest piece of cake I had ever seen with my second pot of tea.
We were talking about the good ol' times and the time was soon turning 9 o'clock and my friend and I left for the shop to pay for our new Ganeshas.
I had been back to my room in the middle of the dinner to get the last of my fabrics. The plan was of course to pack the fabric with my Ganesha so I could check in everything at the airport when leaving India on Friday.
They found a box after some looking around and all my fabric went down the box with my Gashenas without any problem. Now I only need to find some string.
They had some string in the reception, but I will try to find some string tomorrow and if I fail I will have to use the string from the reception. Well, anyway, I was in a good mood when I returned to my room. My weekend bag was empty so no problem to pack my shirts and stuff when I'm going back home.
And I will be able to check-in everything so I can carry some Indian snacks to the girls in my condo office. Well, I had finished my homework in the afternoon so I could continue with my new book that I bought on Mumbai airport. And I will hopefully be able to fall asleep early so I will be full of vim tomorrow morning when my alarm goes off. Last day in school and I'm soon back home to finish the work with my air conditioners that should have been ready in October.
Thursday 29th of November 2012 and I can't say that i was full of vim when my alarm went off at 8 o'clock. But it wasn't so bad and I felt really excited about our last day in school after my Diet Pepsi and shower. I went down to the restaurant for some tea and my class mate and his Danish wife to be were soon joining me.
And our Teacher came for a cup of coffee a few minutes later. Our other class mate was waiting for us outside the restaurant and we were soon on our way to our last day at school.
Last day in school and we had a new class room
Last day in school and we had a new class room
Last day in school and we had a new class room
We started the day by going through our homework. OK, homework isn't exactly what it was. We had to read chapter 12 of §16 for today’s class. And when we were ready we made a quick review of the course. We were watching a movie that we had tried to watch when we arrived to school. But due to technical difficulties we could not watch the movie.
We would have lunch after the movie and I suggested that we should skip lunch and go home earlier.
Well, they had prepared lunch and I was disappointed because of two reasons.
1) I had to kill time walking around during the lunch break
2) I had really hoped that we could go home earlier
I left school to go look for some strings or rope for my boxes with the fabric and Ganeshas. I had asked in the reception and they had some string, but it didn't look strong enough so I decided to go have a look for rope on town.
I told the girl in the reception that I would happily use their string if I could not find any rope.
- You are welcome!
So I took the opportunity to go have a look for a rope while my class mates ate their lunch. I crossed the street trough the hole in the concrete divider and I asked around in the shops for rope. The first shop had nothing and they told me to go 3 shops up the road. Same story in the next shop. But they told me to go to Singapore shop in the next building.
Shopping Singapore was a real Bazaar, a bazaar in the bad meaning. In Sweden a Bazaar is a shop selling knick-knacks. A socket set for 3 US and other shit, mostly made out of plastic looking like fancy goods. Looking like a place where they would have ropes. The first thing I saw when stepping inside was a fridge. I took the chance, maybe they have Diet Pepsi.
They didn't have any Diet Pepsi, only Coca Cola products. But no Minute Maid and I closed the door. But what was that? I Opened again and I discovered a bottle of Mango juice.
- Is it with gas? I asked
I bought the bottle and I opened the bottle to try and it was actually a very good mango juice. I enjoyed my mango juice while they showed me some ropes and I bought 2 coils and I walked back to Maersk Training Center.
And the guys were busy with their mobile phones when I came back. And I was soon to discover that they were busy on www.aladdin.st and they had millions of questions.
Busy on the internet
We were just waiting for our exams and when we had done the exams we did an evaluation of the course and we were pretty much ready to leave. We just waited for our certificates of completed course. Now I have finished 3 courses in India but I have only got 1 certificate of completed course.
Our Teacher in Bombay was going to print the documents when he was back home in Denmark and he will send it to Maersk.
The Danish Maritime Legislation course, well, I don't know what happened to the course. But they didn't open in Copenhagen until 13 thirty or something Indian time. This might be the reason for our Teacher to stretch the last day as long as possible so we could get the documents from Copenhagen. But we got our certificates of completed course from the Para 16 course and when it was almost 2 o'clock we were ready to leave.
Our Teacher had just received the documents from the Danish Maritime Authorities in Copenhagen. We had passed the course but the Teacher would not print the certificates until he was back home.
We left school and when we came down on the street the van was waiting for us. I took a picture of the guys while we waited for our teacher, the last picture from Maersk Training Center.
Certificates of completed course
Last picture from Maersk Training Center
We took of towards our hotel with smookin' and screamin' tyres. The last day we managed to go to school without using the horn. Our Teacher and I were hanging over him making sure he wasn't using the horn. Every time he started to make moves to use the horn our teacher and I went off.
- EH EH EH EH!!
Going back home was a wee bit different and our Teacher and I were soon giving up on the horn thing. When we reached the hotel I asked the driver to give us one more horn so I could get a picture. My friend suggested that I should take a video, but by then it was too late.
We decided to meet in the pub at 4 o'clock and I went to the coffee shop with one of my class mates to have a pot of tea. And of course, a basked with naan bread, but I had to eat all the naan by myself because my class mate didn't wanted any bread. Well, up to him, I don't mind. Butter naan is a very good bread.
I spent an hour in my room before I took the elevator to the ground floor. My class mate and his Danish wife to be told me the pub was closed. So we went to the hotel lounge and we ran in to our other class mate on the way. Our Teacher arrived 10 minutes later and I asked for a soda water.
There was a terrible noise in the lounge, a table full of Indians drinking and screaming next to us. And some terrible music on full blast from the other direction and it was
impossible to talk, at least for me.
(Tamil:எக்ஸ்பிரஸ் அவென்யூ) is a shopping mall in Chennai promoted by Express Infrastructure, a subsidiary of The Indian Express Group. It is South India's largest shopping mall with 900,000 sq ft of retail space. It is also home to the largest gaming arcade in South India. Built at a cost of INR 7,500 million, the 1.75-million-sq-ft mall has 10 anchor tenants and 150 vanilla tenants.
Our Teacher and one of my class mates will fly home in the evening so we said good bye to them and I took off towards Express Avenue, a huge shopping mall according to our teacher and I was hoping to find a barber shop. Well, there is a barber shop in every corner, but my Teacher told me that there was a Marriott close by and I wanted to go to experience some fine dining. So Marriott and fine dining it was!
I rented a car and driver from the hotel and we took off. We had some traffic, but we made it to Express Avenue in 45 minutes. We had some stops for red lights and I took the opportunity to talk with girls in cars and on scoters next to our car.
I counted to at least 11 people in this very small car
I counted to at least 11 people in this very small car
I girl waiting for green light on her scooter
She see me in the car and she ask where I come from
We have a quick chat while waiting for green light
We found Express Avenue and we parked the car and my driver would wait outside while I went inside. I had asked him if he knew Marriott and he didn't know the hotel. He asked what i wanted and I told him that I was looking for a restaurant.
- There is KFC at Express Avenue
- Well, not what I had in mind
I paid 620 Rupees for a haircut and I left the shopping Mall. The driver had to ask for directions to Marriott before we left and because of traffic it took us quite some time to reach Marriot. I thought that we were lost when I saw Marriott in the horizon. I was happy and disappointed, Courtyard by Marriott, not exactly Marriott but I hope they have a nice restaurant.
It was not exactly like Marriott in Bangkok, or any other Marriott I have been to. But this is Courtyard BY Marriott, but there was a buffet and I found something that looked like spinach lasagne so I took a table.
I had 2 plates of this spinach and a plate of pastries together with 2 cups of tea. I asked for the bill and I was surprised, 1038 Rupees. So it was a good buffet for this price. But otherwise I wasn't very impressed. They only had one bred and the bread wasn't very good.
But it was a good buffet regarding the price, but the buffet t the hotel is not bad, but a change of food is always welcome.
We encountered very heavy traffic on the way back to the hotel and it took us almost one and a half hour to get back to the hotel.
So I was a wee bit later than expected so I was in a hurry to pack my bags and get to bed. My flight is 08:30 tomorrow morning and my alarm will go off at 6 and the van will leave the hotel at 7 and I need to be full of vim.
Friday 30th of November 2012 and my alarm went off at 6 o'clock. But I never received my wakeup call from the reception. I enjoyed my last Diet Pepsi and I was not so tired even though it was early. I had a sleeping pill yesterday evening and I managed to fall asleep quite early.
I had finished half of my bottle with Diet Pepsi when I went for my shower and then I brought down my luggage to the reception. I meet my class mate and his Danish wife to be outside the elevator. They were also checking out. My plan was for a quick cuppa in the restaurant before going back to get my laptop in my room. I was loading music to my iPod. I managed to erase all the music yesterday and I needed some music for the flight and of course, the longer the more music would be copied.
But I was in a hurry so I just had time for very little bacon but there was no time to wait for the tea. Back to my room to get my iPod and computer. Only 4000 songs copied, well, better than nothing and I was down to the reception to settle my bill.
We left the hotel a few minutes before 7, of course, delayed a wee bit becasue of all the SIRs, open doors and carry luggage.
Yes, I might be a wee bit impatient and I jump up and down when they give me all the Sir this and Sir that. Grabbing my luggage and holding up doors. I can carry my own bags and for sure, I don't need anyone holding up the car doors. So I told the driver to get behind the wheel.
- Get behind the wheel. I can open my own door
They are building a sky train in Chennai so there are work taking place on the road to the airport. We had some heave traffic and we were moving slow. But as soon as we had passed a truck that had broken down on the road the traffic disappeared and we made it to the airport in time.
I went to Jet Airways check-in desk and they told me that I had to go back to scan my luggage. Well, I had not seen any scanner when I went in to the terminal. I turned around and my class mate and his Danish wife to be were at the scanner.
The security asked if I had bought statues and I looked at the monitor. Could see the Ganeshas in the paper box and the Security started to interrogate me about the darn statues. I was afraid that I would have to open the box. But I could get my luggage and I went to check in.
I got aisle seat all the way to Bangkok but they told me that business class was full when I wanted to buy a biz ticket. I was disappointed, but I will try to survive the flights, 3 hours to Delhi and then 4 hours to Bangkok from Delhi. It was 10 minutes past 8 when I had passed the security and I went straight on the bus to the air plane. I was finally on the way back home to Bangkok/ FUNKY TOWN
OK, it has come to my knowledge that we have senior citizens visiting my web page. How hard can it be? So it's not very easy for them to see the blue coloured links to the next page.
So I put a “Next” button here and I hope that there isn't any problem to understand how to use that one.
Jiffy (also jiff)
noun [in SING.] informal a moment: we'll be back in a jiffy.
ORIGIN late 18th cent.: of unknown origin.
So as you understand, in a jiff pretty much depends on your internet.
So just CLICK the “Next” button on your left hand side and you will be on the next page in a jiff!
Marunong ka mag-tagalog? Walang problema! Magpunta sa kabilang pahina pindutin ang “NEXT” button sa itaas
Faites vous parlez le français? Pas de problème! Pour arriver à la page suivante faites s'il vous plaît un déclic le bouton “Next” ci-dessus!
Haga usted dice el español? No hay problema! Ver la siguiente página sólo hacer clic el botón “Next” encima!
Farla parla l'italiano? Non problemi! Per vedere la prossima pagina lo scatto per favore giusto Il bottone “Next” sopra
Sprechen sie Deutsch! Kein problem! Wenn Sie die folgende Seite sehen wollen gerade klicken der Knopf “Next” oben!
คุณพูดภาษาไทยได้ไหม ไม่มีปัญหา ถ้าคุณต้องการไปหน้าถัดไป ให้กดปุ่ม “Next” ข้างบนนี้
Вы говорите по-русски? Просто нажмите синюю кнопку "Next" с левой стороны и Вы моментально переместитесь на следующую страницу!
E ni Svenskar och inte förstår Engelska så ska ni skämmas. J och Björn, med det menar jag inte att alla mina stavfel ska ältas varje gång vi träffas.
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