Tag Archives: India

A Week in God’s Own Country–Stop 1: Kerala Farm Organic Spices

When we told our friends in Chennai we wanted to do some sightseeing, they all said, “Go West–to Kerala!”

“Never heard of it,” we said.

“It’s beautiful,” they replied.

While we were mulling over this possibility, we met a fellow hotel guest who happened to be from Kerala. I told Sandhya we were thinking of visiting Kerala, and she turned travel agent on the spot.

“You must go. It’s like nothing else you’ll see in India. First you should go to Munnar, spend two nights, then to Thekkady, take a boat ride and stay a night in the tiger preserve, then Marari Kollam, and then a night on a houseboat.” Continue reading

A Dosa a Day

The wall of the Vasanta Bhavan restaurant in the Phoenix Mall caught my attention soon after our arrival in Chennai:

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Recently I began to take this advice to heart. We can get these crisp, satisfying crepe-like creations fresh from the griddle at the Radisson Blu Hotel breakfast buffet. As previously mentioned in Food, Glorious Food, dosas are generally eaten with a side of sambhar and three chutneys: coconut, cilantro, and tomato. Continue reading

Services in Chennai: Doctor & Barber (and a little massage)

At one time, in both North America and Asia, the same person would have performed both these services. However, the professionals we visited last week were definitely specialists well trained in their respective fields.

Brianna had been suffering from a worsening earache for several days, probably induced by the combination of a cold and seven hours (yes, seven) in the pool on Tuesday. (There was a good reason for that, but I won’t go into it here). Not to mention a couple of hours swimming nearly every day previous to that.

Image result for dr benny benjamin chennai shishu clinic image Continue reading

Scholastic of India & Name that Spice

Yesterday, feeling particularly adventuresome, I told a rickshaw driver the general area we wanted to visit and asked him to recommend a restaurant. (Actually, the exchange was much more complicated than that and involved a passing motorcyclist, whom the rickshaw driver engaged as a translator while we were navigating an intersection. But I’ll skip the details.)

We ended up at Aasife Biryani, which the driver assured us had great food at a reasonable price. Some very reputable places are rarely frequented by women, but I was reassured by the sight of the first play structure I’ve seen at a restaurant in Chennai.

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Books in Chennai, part II: Kid Lit

The previous post on Indian authors principally concerned contemporary adult fiction and nonfiction on display at the Starmark bookstore in the Phoenix Mall. While there I spent a fair amount of time with the children’s and young adult books, and we have subsequently read a few of them.

So here is a sampling of what we found:

The Pterodactyl's Egg, Annie Besant, story for kids, cover Continue reading

Thali, Books, and Ice Cream

I’ve been thinking that maybe I should just dedicate this blog to finding books and ice cream in Chennai. Because most of the posts I have queued up (or circulating in my mind) seem to concern one of those two topics. More on books later.

First, a few food updates (see previous post here: Food, Glorious Food).

Last week Brianna and I went to Mylapore to see the 12th-century Kapaleeswarar temple.

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These elaborately carved gopurams are typically situated at the entrance to temples, but they don’t actually seem to be where the worship takes place.

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Saved by the Neighborhood Library

Before we left home, I made several trips to the Eugene and Springfield public libraries to return the 80+ books we’d accumulated at home. (One is still missing; I think we’re going to have to pay the replacement fee–I can’t believe I’m confessing this in public!)

It did make me a little insecure to leave home relying on my phone and e-books for my principal reading material. But today Brianna and I stumbled across a goldmine: the Renga Lending Library.

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