Saturday, October 05, 2002

India Departs.

Trip Day 9-B
Saturday, 10/5, 6:15 pm Chennai Time

Shopping like a Rock Star!

Aparna and Mani get to the hotel a little late, but I have had breakfast already, these yummy chicken sausages are so addictive, I have no clue how I will live without them when I get home. Also had some bacon, potatoes Aloo, hash browns, toast, fruit cup, grape juice, REAL Grape Juice, not made form concentrate, and not yet wine. OMG is this stuff the bomb! Some coffee, and then to the room to clean up.

Aparna calls from the lobby and away we go on a whirlwind tour of Chennai. For Keith, and other folks coming here, I now know THE hot tickets. I will try to list name, address, what we shopped for, in order hit.

First:
Cane & Bamboo Indian Handicrafts
20 Commander-in-Chief Road
Chennai, Madras 600-008
Ph: 8275180

These fine folks carry wooden elephant carvings, clay pots, shirts, table linens, brass dishes, and many small “things and stuff” that are definitely gifts, and definitely the flavor of Madras. I cannot recommend them enough, and a bunch of my pals will be getting gifts from there.

Second:
Amethyst
14/30 Padmavathi Road
Jeypore Colony, Gopalapuram, Chennai 60-086
Ph: 8203582

This was a beautiful little shop, with a jewelry store, clothes, linens, candles, and then some more of the same, in an older, restored house with a beautiful garden. When we first arrived, Aparna was hungry, so we ordered a small sandwich, and I had a watermelon juice. Yep, Squeezed watermelon, without all the pits. The builing feels like a southern plantation, big porches, verandas, plants everywhere, a restaurant and a shop. I also liked them because of the boom box playing Dixie Chicks on tape when we walked in.

Third:
SriSukra Jewels
40 North Mada Street
Mylapore, Chennai 600-004
Ph: 4940699
http://www.sukra.com/

Okay, Keith took me to the fancy shop last Sunday, Aparna took me to a less fancy, more “put yo hands in it and see” shop. You can look at their website, but basically, you sit at a counter, and tell the young lady what you want, bangles, bracelets, toe rings, earrings, necklaces, and what color stones, and she will start bringing trays of goodies.

While you start adding and converting rupee/dollar in your head, and looking at stuff, you pick certain items, like a bracelet, then she sees what tastes and colors you like, and pulls out more trays full of same looking stuff. Then you seem to settle on stone color, and she pulls matching stone, different jewelry, so you have a bracelet with blue stones, she will pull a tray of necklaces with blue stones, to match, then rings, etc…

Oh my, the females in my life are gonna be happy when I get home, and that is all I have to say about that. J

Fourth:
Benjarong
146 T.T.K. Road
Chennai, 18
Ph: 4322640

Lunch at a thai joint Aparna favors. It was incredibly pretty, they carved the carrots into flowers, designs int garnish, etc. And you are right, “Charles, Thai makes you have rumbley belley in US, what the HELL are you thinking eating in India?” Well, I wasn’t, but it was very good. Delicious. I had chicken fried in banana leaf, coconut milk chicken soup, chicken green curry, veggies, and noodle salad. OMG yummy.

Fifth:
Interim stop at Kapoor’s Fabrics to pick up swatches for Aparna’s mom for some drapes. This store is cool, and there is some stuff that would look great on Sara’s chair, but I cannot remember how much, or if it would be something she would like, and I am starting to feel hot and pale. I am sweating and feeling lightheaded. It is not air condition, it is hot, I am looking at fabric, and I feel woozy. We need to get to the hotel.

Rest stop at hotel, I “mind the needful” and pop a pill, drink some water, splash my face, and I am back and ready to go. Still have not fulfilled Mark’s “pants crappin” prediction. HA!

Sixth:
Thakurdas Choitrhram Fabrics
No. 173, (Near LIC)
Chennai 600-002
8516967

This is the big fabric shop. Of course, they see a dude in a cowboy hat and they go nuts, straight for the silks. Well, I am not really after silks, I am after fabric to make Sara some new harem pajama pants. She has a pair of heavy green silky looking pants with a blown out knee. So I think, buy new stuff, make new pants! And boy do I find stuff. Lots of beautiful fabric. I only buy as much as is reasonable. Ha ha ha. I also found some grey and white fabric with what looks like explosions of liquid metal drops on it. This stuff SCREAMS “Rebecca wants me” so I grab some for her.

If you need fabric, this is the place to go. The staff was friendly, and definitely surprise to see a guy in a cowboy hat.

Seventh:
Landmark Books
Spencer Mall
Chennai

Bought some really cool CDs for Sara, got a few gifts, postcards, etc. Bookstore. Saw Ashish and family. And yes, I am getting tired. However, at the mall, people were slack jawed and staring, saying “look Look, Cowboy” Much to Aparna’s delight.

Eight,
Sorry, no name or address,

Samoza stand, stopped for snacks. Yummy samosas, my most favorite food.

Then back to Taj, where I am writing this, catching up on emails, and recovering.

More later




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