Throughout my entire trip in India, there was only once that I felt threatened.
And it turned out to be not-that-threatening after all but rather a funny piece of memory that will be forever etched in my mind.
On the second last day, if you could remember what I wrote in my post on the Government Museum Chennai, me and my friend from UAE, Ayesha, ventured out to the city centre. Yes, just two of us and a driver. We rented the cab from the hotel so we felt pretty safe in it and the uncle (ah-na, in Tamil) was really nice and responsible. He will just wait for us at every location instead of driving off, doing his stuff before coming back to pick us up.
So we told him that we wanted to go to Government Museum Chennai and a shopping mall called Express Avenue (said to be the biggest shopping mall in Chennai). He was happy with it and there we go on our expedition! Our first stop was the museum. When we reached, we were really amazed by how big and pretty the architectures are! What an enchanting sight! Especially for me since i am always particularly fascinated with cultural stuff.
After that, we just proceeded to get our tickets. And that was were it all started. After our driver ah-na helped us with the purchase of our tickets, there comes this random ah-na who popped out of nowhere. He just volunteered to show us around! First stop, was the Bronze Gallery. He introduced us to the place and then Ayesha and I just walked around the place. After we are done with the first level, he told us to proceed to the second level which has even more bronze statues. The ah-na requested for us to take pictures with him over there and we complied. Subsequently, he showed us to the third floor. That was the coins gallery so we just went up. Everything was perfectly fine until after the coins gallery, he told us to go to the fourth level. There was a board at the staircase that says “No Entry”.
I started feeling a bit worried – why is he bringing us up when we are not supposed to do that?!
However, I guess we really felt so super safe (or maybe too adventurous) in Chennai that we just decided to head up and take a look. It turned out to be a nice and quaint little gallery that displays very very pretty artifacts (i think they are related to Hinduism). Right after walking in, he closed the door…
At that point in time, what went through my mind was – Am I going to walk out unharmed?! Why did i even decide to follow this random ah-na?!
This was our only photo taken in this gallery and it was because the ah-na wanted us to take a photo there. Most of the time, I was so busy paying attention to the surroundings (Is there anyone hiding behind the displays? Will a group of men suddenly barge in?) After taking the photo, my immediate thought was to leave the place. We went out and the ah-na passed us this piece of paper with his address written on it and requested for us to send the photos to him.
I kept that piece of paper in my pocket. Thereafter, while we were walking down the stairs (we need to leave the place as soon as we can!), there was this Caucasian couple who saw us and the ah-na and they asked him what they could see upstairs. So for that moment, he was distracted by the couple. We made use of that short period of time and made a dash out of the building! After walking out, Ayesha and I were really relieved that we finally managed to shake off the ah-na. And.. deep down inside, I just kept praying that he wouldn’t find us again.
Fortunately, we were able to enjoy the rest of the museum tour. Looking back at this incident, I just felt pretty bad. One, I threw away the piece of paper that the ah-na wrote his address on and two, I think he is just an over-friendly ah-na.
Also, I guess if this was to happen again, I would never have gone up to the “no entry” gallery. Not exactly a smart thing to do in a foreign land.
So here it is, the entire account of my interesting (i hope it was interesting to you..) experience in India!
Lastly, people are asking me whether India is clean and all. For me personally, I feel that Chennai is pretty clean. And ultimately, you are going to India for the culture. You are not going there for the comfort (if you are looking for a comfortable travel, you should be going to places like Japan and Taiwan). So, go there with the right mentality (i.e. be prepared for power shortages, water that tastes a bit weird and curry & biryani everywhere) and you will be blown away by what the country has to provide.
Ending off with pictures of some of the Indian food I had over the entire three weeks!! 🙂
Honestly speaking, even though I really miss my friends in India, like my dear Didi (<3) and all, I really couldn’t stand eating curry every day!! So glad to be back in Singapore and being taken care of by my dearest bf, Jj. ❤