Greetings from Chennai

I have now arrived in Chennai – it’s a huge place and very busy. I can see I’m going to have problems crossing the roads. I nearly got run over by a motorbike earlier! It’s also hotter than I expected though I am fortunate that it was a little cloudy today.

I am staying in a small apartment, just outside the city centre. My hosts are Usha and Sitara – a mother and a daughter. They are both very friendly. 

I had my induction on the veranda at a cafe called Amethyst. The project leader in Chennai, Mandira is very accommodating and has organised lots of things for us to do. Her husband worked in Newcastle for five years in the 1970s so she has some knowledge about where I come from.

The journey went very smoothly. The worst bit was when I was confronted by two taxi drivers when leaving the house in Tooting. It seems that one of the places I went for a quote thought it was a booking. The cab firm called me on my way to Gatwick to berate me – oh well. At least I’m out of the country for a month!

Everything from then went very well. Qatar Airways were very good – though it has to be said that the service on the London to Doha leg was much better than on the second part of my journey. I had a bit of trouble using the In-Flight Entertainment at first and ended up watching The BourneUltimatum by accident. On the second leg, I watched a Indian film about a devious man who cheated five women out of money. The food on the flight was good, too.

I have spent much of the day recovering from jet lag, trying and failing to sort myself out with a local SIM card that works on my phone and eating – I am very familiar with the food, but still getting used to a different way of eating! 

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