slivka.com > Trips > India 2011 > Thu Apr-21

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Thu Apr-21 Chennai walk, Mahabalipuram, DakshinaChitra, hoops, France/Thailand dinner
Ben again set the alarm for 6:30 a.m. but was up by 5:30 a.m. The video upload was complete, so he added commments and posted a link to Facebook. After a quick tea, Ben and Andy left about 6:30 a.m. for a roughly hour walk around the neighborhood.



We walked past small groups of semi-permanent squatter shacks, perhaps only a half mile from the Madras Club, where we walked one lap of the the 500m track.

Ben had a quick breakfast of oatmeal, Andy left for work, and Ben worked on his trip notes for an hour or so. Then Ben and Bess headed out for the one hour (~34 miles) drive to Mahabalipuram to see the stone carvings by the Bay of Bengal. Luckily the sun was mostly hiding in clouds, so it wasn't quite so hot.

About 12:30 p.m. We headed north back and stopped at DakshinaChitra to view the buildings and artificats that they have been collecting from all over India. DakshinaChtra is very similar to the Open Lucht Museum in the Netherlends (which Ben and family visited in 2001). We ate thali (rice with several vegetable curry sides, raita, and sweet dessert paste) for lunch at the restaurant at DakshinaChitra.

We got back in the car about 3:00 p.m. and continued north, stopping on the outskirts of Chennai at a road side coconut stand. For 25 Rupees (about $0.50), the vendor chops away at the top of the coconut, pokes a hole in the top, and gives you a straw. After you drink the milk, the vendor splits the coconut in two and separtes the flesh using a piece of the husk. Unlike the coconuts we've had in Hawaii, the milk here is very watery and the meat is very soft, almost the texture of squid.



We returned home about 4:00 p.m. and had a chance to meet Geethu Anna Jose, the top female basketball player in India. She will be traveling to the USA shortly for tryouts with three WNBA teams (Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Antonio).



Before Geethu arrived Ben challenged the assembled media to play 1-on-1. One of the sports reporters agreed, and after a hard-fought game Ben prevailed 5-3. His opponent was 27 years old, 6'5", and had played basketball in college. :-)

Then it was off to a large dinner party with a lot of consular folks from France, Thailand, Switzerland, Russia, and beyond! Ben got to bed about 10:30 p.m. because he had an early flight the next morning.

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