Sunday, April 1, 2012

Day 274 Chennai

I had 2 mission today of which only one was accomplished successfully.
Mission 1: Post. I spent more than half of the day trying to bring the prices of the Haiku competition on their way to Germany. In the morning I went to the local post office twice: first I was told that the only person allowed to pack stuff would arrive later, second time I was told that they could not send any electronic items (but I could try at the main post office). Once at the main office all items were checked and it was decided that since they did not contain batteries they could send it. Then the 2 hour packing procedure started: 3 of my 5 packages had to be first packed into a cardboard box and then stitched into white linen, I had to fill forms for each and finally put the addresses on the linen. Then everything was weighted, the price calculated and the mission was accomplished. Sounds like a pretty annoying procedure but actually everybody was very nice.
Mission 2: find a new pump (as mine was stolen). No chance. I tried at a normal cycle shop which did not sell any pumps (not even for the normal valves used in India). I went to a shop dealing some western stuff (Giant mountain bikes,...) but it was closed already. Anyway I could peek into the shop and it didn't look very promising either. The reason why noone here has a pump is that there is always a bicycle repair stall within the next km or so - at least in the city. I can only hope that my next puncture won't be in the middle of nowhere.
After these mixed-success missions the nice part of the day started. I met up with Kartik a colleague from my first stay in India in Baroda 9 years ago. We went to the beach and had a lot to talk about how our lifes went since then - he must be a brave man, living together with 3 girls: his wife and 2 young daughters. Later we went to a great rooftop restaurant where Kartik invited me to a delicious and cyclist-size dinner, hmmmm. Wonderful evening!

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