Ever Wonder What a Trip to India Would Be Like?
My husband and I had the opportunity of attending a wedding in Chennai, India. The trip was an experience I will never forget.
We are from the northwest of the United States, our travel time to Chennai was twenty-four hours however on our way back it was thirty-six hours, although coming back the same route, flight delays and other unforeseen events lengthened our return.
Despite the travel time being long; the experience was priceless. We arrived in the morning and met our friend, the groom, at the airport. Hundreds of people were waiting outside of the airport behind an iron fence watching all those who enter into the street.
That is one thing I would suggest when traveling to India, to have your transportation arranged before hand. I was fortunate to have my friend and his brother pick us up and travel with us to the Green Park Hotel, where we stayed.
The hotel was a beautiful place to stay at and the personnel were exceptionally friendly and helpful. Green Park had restaurants, room service, a business center equipped with internet connectivity, and several other perks or necessities.
We also felt very safe there, when entering the front doors everyone had to go though a metal detector and there seem to be quite a few security men.
I would say everyone I encountered in Chennai was very pleasant and welcoming. A majority of the people spoke English thus communication was fairly easy for us.
The next day after our arrival we travelled via taxi to the marriage hall. What surprised me was the number of vehicles and method of driving. It seemed as though no one was following any given lanes nor obey traffic rules, but needless to say everything seem to be getting to where they needed to go, safely. I could not believe seeing families on small motor bikes, a toddler in the front, the dad behind the toddler, the mother side saddle behind him, and yet another child behind the mom. We saw a lot of families traveling on motor bikes.
We also saw 3 wheel taxis, I saw one tip over once, but the driver simply got out, tipped it back upright, and traveled on.
We noticed that the more comfort in transportation the more expensive. For example if you want an air conditioned enclosed taxi, these were the most expensive.
At the marriage hall we greeted our friend and his relatives then prepared for the wedding.
Before the wedding we had lunch, we were served on banana leaves, these were our plates. Our friend told us that we should only drink bottled water because we were not used to the local water.
The majority of the food in India seemed to be fruits and vegetables. There was little if any prepackaged prepared foods, however, my husband did enjoy a grilled cheese sandwich and fries at the hotel.
The ceremony extended several days and was elaborate with beautiful flowers, silk, decorations, music, chants, food, and fire.
I was fortunate enough to be given a sari, a traditional Indian woman dress, to wear during one of the events.
We were treated like royalty there; people gave up their seats, spoke with us, and went out of their way to make us comfortable.
One thing that I thought was funny is that when watching television I noticed that the commercials were similar to American commercials except in the other extreme. For example there was a commercial advertising a skin lighting lotion and it showed gorgeous people with dark skin becoming light. I compared this to in the US, we have commercials of lotions that will have instant tanners or gradually give us a golden tone. I guess no matter what part of the world you are at people will be people.
The trip was worth the long travel.