Saturday, June 02, 2007

Madras aka Chennai

The city of Chennai/Madras is a feast for the senses:

Women and girls wearing fragrant jasmine flowers in their hair

Delicious sugarcane juice, fresh pressed (and spiced with lemon and ginger)

San Thome Cathedral, named for St.Thomas, one of the first missionaries who came to India in 52 AD. Unfortunately, his missionary attempts were not well-received. He was chased by a mob to Saint Thomas Mount, where he was killed. His remains are in this beautiful church, along with a statue of the Virgin Mary that dates to the 1500s.

City Centre is a big building you'd think was city hall. It's actually a modern mall, complete with food court, where you can get gelato or pizza or Indian food. The third coolest thing there was a vending machine that sold magazines. The second coolest was their selection of paisley-and-gold wrapping paper (I resisted temptation!). The coolest was the view of Madras:

And then there was the juxtaposition, once again, of the rich and the poor. It's such a dilemma - overcrowding because of poverty, poverty because of overcrowding.

We finished with a trip back to Bombay, and then back to the US of A!

Eco-tip: Save energy and money by visiting your library. I always find the books I want to read there (or request them online and have them email me when they are ready). The same goes for DVDs - why pay to rent movies? Library booksales are a great source of gifts, their children's activities are fun, and some even have movie showings and interesting workshops!


Mrs. Pivec said...

Your pictures and stories of India are fascinating and I love your little eco-tips.

What does sugarcane juice taste like? Is is exceptionally sweet?

rani said...

thank you tons! yes, it's really sweet (the lemon and ginger help) especially when it's fresh. it's slightly foamy when pressed and has a flavor that's not quite molasses or caramel.

Gaia said...

I think the sugarcane juice sounds marvelous. I wonder why they don't do it in Mexico? All 3 things grow well there (and here for that matter).