Having so many mixed reviews, I decided to just talk about my district, rather than my city, so that my views are backed up with my own personal experience and are completely true to life. It is a conservative, curious district, with a relentless price boom that is NOT parallelled with improvements in products or serivces, leaving informed customers like me, quite distressed. Some argue this is the case in all districts of Chennai, not just mine. However, I dont live in all districts, just this one. So of this one I shall speak!
On the positive side, I can tell you that my district's charm is that it is home to so much religious and musical history, which my reason for being here. Nonetheless, I shall not name my little district in case my list gets me brickbats from fans and fanatics who are extremely sentimental about this place, and can't swallow anyone else's tongue-in-cheek take on it. So, let's call my district Yourlarich. So, "You know you're in Yourlarich when..."
- Eating medu idli for breakfast, curd idli for lunch and sambar idli for dinner constitute three very different menus for the locals but is pretty much the same dish for you.
- Flat rentals can go through a 100% hike in 24 hours!
- An Indian female laughs out loud in public, she's chided for attracting attention, but if an Indian male does, he's adoringly looked at, for being genuine. "Foreign" women (i.e. caucasian, oriental, etc) are excused if they laugh out loud, because they "don't know better", apparently! But if you even look remotely Indian, you've simply got no excuse!
- The art of stocking supermarket shelves is a new concept - i.e. if something moves fast (e.g. Coffeemate) it will not be restocked...in fact, it'll be removed altogether because it's moving too fast compared to the locally made milk powder that tastes like flour, and isn't moving at all.
- Dressing well and carrying yourself confidently, gets you a significantly higher auto-rickshaw rate than if you wore a frumpy outfit, didn't wash your hair for a week, and looked like you've never had it worse! The logic behind this is that if you look and feel this great, it must be because you have an obscene amount of money to spare on the auto ride!
- You are more likely to get run over by a speeding vehicle if you cautiously looked right, left and right again before crossing, instead of darting across the road. This is because the fact that the pedestrian is being cautious, somehow translates to the approaching driver that he/she is absolved of the pedestrian's safety and can drive into any solid object obstructing his/her path with a clear conscience.
- The idea of variety in food is North Indian, South Indian and Indian-Chinese as opposed to what Malaysians are pampered with: Malaysian Malay, Indonesian Malay, North Indian, South Indian, Malaysian Chinese, Chinese-Chinese, Hong Kong Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese, Lebanese, Danish, Irish, French, American, Tex-Mex, Korean, Japanese ....and the list goes on and on and on! So if someone in Yourlarich asks you what you want for dinner after you've been there for 2 years, you won't have to worry if you have issues making decisions - you still have the same 3 options you had when you first arrived.
- As a female, wearing jeans and a kurti-top (mid-length blouse), gets people looking disaprovingly at you and asking, "So why aren't you wearing a dupatta (shawl) with that?"
- When the newspaper classifieds claim a double bed room flat is available at a reasonable price, it will be wise to call and enquire first, if the 2nd room is in the same building as the first and if the bathroom has walls that go all the way up. (Serious!)
- You note that a rice cooker in March that went for its regular price, is sold on "cheap sale" for Deepavali in October, priced 30% more!
- Jewellery is waaaaay cheaper in your home country than in Yourlarich, but almost every local woman who sees your crappy, cheap, 3-for-10-ringgit stuff wants it anyway!
- The idea of exercise is 2 rounds around the local park in a saree and sandals at a snail's pace, while chatting about the best poori curry recipe, followed by sitting for 1.5 hours on the park bench, discussing the neighbour's second daughter-in-law. And after this, wash down with one badam kheer at home!
The idea for list above is inspired by my cousin, whose blog presented a similar list on Melbourne. Last but not least, there's more to the list above, but I need hurry now and buy that rice cooker before the October sale.