Chennai?  where is Chennai?  Of course it is in India but where exactly?  I had not clue so I downloaded a map to help me located Chennai.

Chennai formerly known as Madras is located on the Coromandel Coast of the Bay of Bengal. With an estimated population of 7.06 million (2007), it is the fourth largest metropolitan city in India.  The city was established in the 17th century by the British, who developed it into a major urban center and naval base.  

After 2 weeks of vacation in Vietnam Hoa had to go Chennai to visit his engineering team.  He decided to stay back in Asia over the week end because it is much more convenient and much closer to fly from Singapore to Chennai (it is still a  5 hours flight).

The arrival

Driving from the airport... Street of Chennai.

Fruits stalls on the side of the street.

Parking lot full of motor cycles.

People waiting on street for public transportation. 

 

The office...

 

Hoa and his team in Chennai.

 

Dinner at a nice Indian restaurant with his team.

 

The beach...

A quick stop at a beach before heading to Gangadhara's apartment

 

 

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Indian people are very warm and very hospitable!

Gangadhara insisted that Hoa stop by his apartment to visit his wife and his new baby.  Hoa was telling me it was so hot in the apartment and he is sweating like crazy

 

A snack prepared by Gangadhara 's mother in law to welcome Hoa to his apartment.

 

After a meal...

After a meal you had a choice of ripe banana or Betel leave concoction!

I know what my choice will be....

 In the West we drink coffee/tea or smoke a cigarette after a meal in the south of India People usually Chew on a concoction of betel leaves, reddish chalk and betel leave.  It is believe to cleanse your mouth and also to increase the capacity to work, by creating a hot sensation in the body and heightened alertness. It is an important and popular cultural activity in many South East Asian countries.  I remember seeing a lot of older people chewing on this back in Laos and in Vietnam...

 

 

Betel nut  also known as Areca nut  or Cau in  Vietnamese is the seed of the Betel palm. Betel nuts can be chewed for their effects as a mildly euphoric stimulant, attributed to the presence of relatively high levels of psychoactive alkaloids.

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