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December 5, 2003

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Back to India! From Sri Lanka we re-entered Southern India, a region that many consider to be a separate country. Tamil serves as the main language and Tamil Tiger activities in Sri Lanka demonstrate how seriously the Tamil's preserve their culture. We land in Madras (renamed Chennai in 1997) and it's like being dropped in the maelstrom. India's population knows no bounds and resources in Chennai have been stretched to the limit. We walk around the city sights and spend much of our time wending thru slums that line downtown streets and stretch along the coastline. The local newspaper runs a 'pothole-of-the-day' picture.
Naked kids use the sidewalk as a public latrine.
The Indian government provides an air conditioned booking center for tourists. Otherwise, good luck fighting long queues and incomprehensible forms (every train passenger fills out a form in triplicate to apply for a ticket).