Chennai Express!

Hey there! What’s up?

So I’ve been writing at length about what to do in different places around the country, recommending what you should check out.. not today.

I decided to shake things up a bit around here, so this post is going to tell you instead, what not to do in a place like Chennai, and I don’t mean to cause any trouble with the phrasing “a place like Chennai”, it’s a compliment, really, there’s only one place like Chennai, and it is Chennai! Here’s the 5 cardinal sins (so to speak) that you must steer clear from when walking along the streets of Chennai.

#1 Don’t go around asking for trouble

Yes, it is possible.
Yes, it will have been your own fault.

Not to sound accusatory or anything, but um, they’re very particular about the smoking, drinking and idols of worship (actors included.) So it’s better not to light that cigarette in public, expect a hard drink on every eatery’s menu, dress rather “objectionably” or poke fun at actors whose temples are as grandiose as God’s are.

Long story short, don’t act like an irreverent pig headed tourist, and you’re good to go! 😛

#2 Don’t forget to carry Water/Juice with you at all times

Not to imply that there’s a dearth of either in Chennai..

The weather is hot hot hot, and unless you’re a big fan of swooning in the arms of a sweaty stranger, or directly onto the floor of a bustling city, I’d suggest, drink on from that bottle for dear life.

#3 Don’t forget to Learn the Language

It makes it a whole lot easier to hit the loo, when you know the word for “public restroom”

And not just that, general courtesies would also be nice in addition to the very basic yes/no responses.

You may be traveling there for  short while, why cause trouble when you can just learn the language, and perhaps not go on a rage rampage simply because you’re hungry and no one can point you to a good restaurant.

#4 Don’t take local fares as the Gospel

Picture courtesy:

Especially for auto rides, you will be taken for a ride, both literally and figuratively speaking. I would have suggested that you always carry a tariff card with you so you can tell the erring cabbie to get his meter checked; but since short distances are subjected to random estimations based majorly on the driver’s emotional state (speculated theory); you must either ask someone trusted to accompany you and take care of the bargaining, or take up an intensive Learning Tamil course. 😛


Same applies for Hotel Rates as well, before you book, it’s a good idea to do a comparative price check online and scour a testimonial from someone whose travel sensibilities are similar to yours. Or you could perhaps couch surf, which gives you the option to get in touch with the host before you zero down on an accommodation arrangement – that way you know, first hand, whether or not, you’d want to live under their roof for the duration of your trip.

Just to give you an example here’s one of our own listings in Chennai – (check it out!)

#5 Don’t stay confined to one place

Yes, it’s hot.
Yes, you’re supposed to dress rather conservatively unless you want to be stared at, in a not so polite manner.

But chill out guys, it’s hot, well, so are you. Go out there and seize the day, Chennai has a lot more to offer than just the sweltering heat.

Go on, meet the Sun God, eye to sunglasses.

On that note,
I’m gonna go.
Until next time,

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