India Immersion Day 7
On that midnight train to Chennai!
26th October 2023
Today we woke up bright and early at 7am for an 8am breakfast start, including toast, dosas, daal and little chicken bites. Today was particularly warm and muggy, with many of us melting before we even left our rooms.
We began with jam session one, unfortunately for us starting with Kohta’s dubstep mess which I don’t think any of us appreciated. Thankfully Freya saved the day with her music, serenading us with Toto, Taylor Swift, Stereophonics and the Killers (to Mr Beesley’s delight). For how long the drive was, great music taste was a dream come true.
Our first stop was the Saravana Stores in Madurai, a large chain store in India. With 6 massive floors, getting around was a bit of a trek. Even when trying to buy a simple necklace, we had to visit one desk, and then another desk, followed by another desk to actually collect the necklace. And even once we’d bought the necklace, we had to walk back up to the top floor to collect Mrs Needham’s crisps from a locker. Very confusing, but very entertaining to figure out. After the shopping, we got on the bus again and had jam session part 2, this time featuring Britney Spears, Toto and () (what a reprise after some of the dubstep music we’d heard from Kohta for the past week…).
Once we arrived at the temple, after taking our shoes and socks off, and boiling in the mid-afternoon heat, our feet suffered greatly at the hands of the scalding hot floor. Inside the temple there were 1000 pillars, and many of them were intricately carved with patterns and animals. The ceiling above the walkway was painted with circles that looked like flowers, and was last painted in 2009. Parts of the temple were made in the 6th century, with the most recent additions being done in 17th century. It was a great experience, and thanks to our lovely guide we learnt plenty about the history of Hinduism as well as the temple itself.
Afterwards we had a brief stop in a nearby shop for some selfies, with some of the guys making friends with the worker whilst overlooking the fantastic view. Our penultimate destination was the restaurant. To our surprise it was rather fancy and formal, so we looked a bit out of place with our baggy trousers. The food itself was amazing, with the boys eating around 4 plates each alone of chicken wings and garlic noodles. The desserts were the star of the show, with a variety of cute, dainty slices and large pieces of chocolate gateaux (yummy). We ate until we could eat no more, with many of us complaining we felt a bit sick.
Finally, we returned to the overnight train once again, now hoping we don’t freeze as much as we did the first time! Night!
Kathryn and Evangeline