Monday, June 28, 2010

On the streets of Chennai

Apparently on the streets of Chennai, the cows are safer than us measly, little, unholy humans. During a grueling walk searching for a working ATM, where we got lost, walked in circles, and Lisa almost passed out from heat, we came across this family of holy cows. They sauntered down the center of the street criss-crossing from side to side with cars, bicyclists, and people moving out of their way as they stopped to drink from a puddle or explore the garbage bins. One would fall behind and the others would stop in the center of the street to calmly look back and wait for the other all while traffic snarled around them. To put this in context, when we step into the street to walk or cross, we look both right and left and behind and above, then right and left again, then when there is a tiny break, run halfway into the street, backwards, forwards, breath held until we reach the other side (imagine the old video game of Frogger!) The totem pole of seniority on the streets is: cows, buses, trucks, cars, auto rickshaws, bicycles, and finally people. I think even the dogs are above us because they have street smarts! :)


  1. Ah, dodging traffic and cows. I remember it well. We found committing to a speed and direction worked well. It was when we stuttered or tried to change direction that we got into trouble. Hmm, life metaphor or one of those times when a cigar is just a cigar?

  2. Wow, this is interesting. I can't wait to take pictures of all the different sights. I even have a camcorder to record the sounds...:o)

  3. I love reading your posts! Thanks for dropping me the note to check out the blog. I could literally feel the vertigo and humidity in Lisa's post about jet is almost (but not quite) as humid here. I just drank a cup of coffee and am sweating underneath the fan.

    The idea of sipping tea though, and doing art is lovely. Serene.

    Will look forward to reading about your continued adventures,

    PS -- It never occurred to be ...but I now know the derivation of the phrase, "Holy cow!"

  4. hey Lisa ... water, water, water ... remember we talked about that! Just kidding (sort of)... am enjoying being in India with you (vicariously, of course) again this year!