Chennai’s awesome. I am not even gonna build-up to it. It’s just a really really cool place with a very rich and diverse culture. Hell, some of the things that are actually quite normal in Chennai would be met with confusion in the rest of the country, probably not as much in the rest of the Southern states as it would anywhere else.
1. Getting a delicious plate of sea food from street vendors for about Rs 70-80 bucks is common practice.
Nowhere else in the country, in a city this big, will you find sea food, even exotic ones, this cheap. Obviously, it’s not all priced that low but it’s still really really low.
2. You will get looks for asking for spoons to eat Indian food.
Let’s be honest here, guys. People who use spoons to eat Idli, sambar, chutney, biryani, dosa, fish curries, etc are just embarrassing. Just stop and use your hands, please. Isn’t it just simpler?
3. No matter what the weather is, Chennai is always, always breezy.
80% humidity might be a bit of a hassle but the vicinity of the Indian ocean and the plethora of flora around the city means, you always feel the wind on your face. Again, the 80% humidity is a real bummer, but I would rather have the nice breeze in April-May than make omelettes on the streets of the capital.
4. Lungis all the way, wherever you go. This is not to say that’s all people wear. Because they don’t. People wear whatever they want. Whatever they want also includes Lungi.
Now, you might not like lungis but that piece of garment is the most brilliant sartorial creation in history. It does the job while allowing proper ventilation. Now, if we could only try and not fix them while wearing them in public, that would be nice. Nobody wants to see boxers peeping out.
5. It’s common practice for restaurants around the city to provide second servings of food without extra charges.
Yup, you heard that right. Now, this is something commonly practised in smaller restaurants in multiple parts of the country. So, I am not taking anything from anyone but boy, the sheer number of places in Chennai where they do this is amazing. And it makes sense, you shouldn’t have to pay Rs 100 for an extra cup of daal!
6. It is also extremely common to hop into an autorickshaw with a fresh sea food sitting right below you, behind you, maybe even next to you.
It’s a coastal city. A lot of people make their living from the oceans. Now, you can’t love eating lobsters and fancy fishes while crying about the smell. Can’t have it both ways.
7. You will also find quite a few hawkers selling Appalam early in the morning.
Much like how you see vegetable vendors walk through your colonies or societies early in the morning, selling their produce, you will find vendors in Chennai selling homemade products that they have carried from villages and other small towns. Oh, and if I haven’t made it clear already, the food is f***ing A!
8. Nobody celebrates a new film like the people of Chennai.
Honestly, I can’t begin to describe how nuts the city gets when a new movie is releasing and BTW, this isn’t only reserved for Rajnikanth films, as much as Bollywood would like to convince you. Man, it’s a festival every time. People really love their heroes in this town and they aren’t afraid to let it known.
9. Nobody really likes paying more than Rs 120 for a single movie ticket.
You can imagine my horror after trying to book tickets in IMAX for a thousand bucks. Jesus Christ, Chennai has some awesome legendary cinema halls, and they are dirt cheap compared to any city of that magnitude.
10. In Chennai, you can only buy alcohol at TASMACs, the Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation, a company owned by the Government of Tamil Nadu.
NGL, while government owning alcohol distribution does help regulate prices and offer better platforms to Indian brands, you will need to spend a little to get good alcohol. It was a bit of a hassle and TBH, Old Cask is not the same as Old Monk. The former will kill you sooner.
Look, if you have reached here, you have already probably realised that the writer was operating with a certain degree of bias. You’re god damn right, I am!