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similarities between chennai and vietnam

after having lived / visited different parts of india , and few parts of north america and east asia, i lived in chennai for an year. being born n brought up here must be a different experience, i am sure. but, from point of view of someone who has seen other better-adaptability parts of the world and then come here, heres a short fact study –


chennai and vietnam do have quite a few things in common.

  1. rush hour is defined by lot of  two wheeler vehicles, alongwith four wheelers  running chaotically in all directions at the same time. both places have fewer traffic lights (statistics show) and more traffic policemen who have to stand at signals, ward off vehicles, shout, whistle etc. compared to other places. chennai’s traffic in the biggest bottleneck areas though is nowhere close to big cities, but is complained of much more by common man.
  2. in vietnam there are no grocery stores freely available. in chennai too, it is not easy to find a vegetable vendor in your area. people have to weekly visit markets in pockets of the city to get these.
  3. staple food is rice and different items made of rice . in chennai it is – dosa, idly, idiappams, curd rice. in vietnam it is noodles, pancakes, fried rice or steamed rice.
  4. food has to be picked up fresh, and carefully, as due to the weather and lack of refrigeration in markets, it gets spoilt quickly. in chennai a packet of milk bought and stored in the fridge today night in all probability goes bad by tomorrow afternoon.
  5. summers are unbearably hot and are never compensated by colder weather in the rest of the year. they are accompanied by hot air flowing, which makes the ‘feels like’ degree rise higher.  the effects of this heat on health/ hygiene / household living conditions / outings etc can/should be imagined by the reader. resistance of the body to infections / illness goes down.
  6. the most popular newspaper in vietnam is the cong an thanh pho ho chi minh which is published by the police in ho chi minh city . its weekly circulation is more than 500,000 copies. newspaper vendors say it sells out almost immediately. the newspaper is filled with lurid tales of sex and violence, of gang crimes and prostitution. it is often the forum of attacks against any person that is critical of the party – it frequently attacks writers, artists and social activists for their work and is often hostile to foreigners. the most popular newpaper in chennai is hindu. it has good local coverage, but unsatisfactory national, international coverage, lesser open views and columnists.however since, an average non-tamilian in the city is kept disconnected from most of the contemporary life, due to strict use of only tamil language, he cannot relate to the newspaper.
  7. extension of the above point, unlike rest of india , where newspaper vendors, milkmen provide daily services for distribution, it is unlikely and irregular here and life feels uncomfortable everyday due to basic necessities missing.
  8. water supply is bore well water, which can only be used for cleaning, washing. for drinking, cooking people buy canned and bottled water which is also ridden with controversies about purity. in vietnam , living amidst glistening wet paddies, marshes, lagoons and rivers, vietnamese lead an amphibious existence. access to safe drinking water is a concern for many citizens. water wars exist as taps run dry or dirty.
  9. very few to negligible hanging out spots, holidaying spots in and around chennai for entertainment. in vietnam , there are two main cities – hanoi, ho chi minh city. apart from a few tourism spots including museums, monuments etc, not much of hanging out as such.




lunch in cascade

sameer kaka from mumbai, came down for a day’s work visit to chennai.he was to leave today evening and hence couldn’t come to see our home.i went out to lunch with him to this place called cascade.

this is a good place to take someone out, whos new to chennai.

unfortuntely though, it was a short notice, we could have arranged for a better plan, i felt, anand could’ve metup too…

 they make some amazing crackling spinach. almost every dish i have tasted in my many visits so far, everything has been good enough to recommend and crackling spinach is the common favourite starter. the ambience is classy, spacious and comfortable seating, and theres lot of natural sunlight, makes it a good lunch location…they have bigger helpings of the dish you’ve ordered, and they serve you portions in your plate, as you eat, so you can say, its good service. 

rating : tasty variety food. people (like me) who aren’t fond of chinese can start from here.


i had traveled on british airways, air malaysia, indian airlines, air deccan, goair (brave me!) , indigo airlines so far…

this was the first time with jetlite.. for a economy airlines they were unexpectedly good… they served some simple food… air conditioners were not meant to freeze ppl..safety instructions before flying were better and more user friendly…the vacation and travel this time around has left me dead tired, so am not going to think of the next one in some time to come… but if someone is considering any domestic travel soon… i recomend jetlite…