Went to the beach on Monday. Just for a look-see.
We decided to see how easy it was to travel in an auto-rickshaw. Husband and Millar had done it the day before, but I wanted to see if we could fit all of us in there comfortably and safely.
When I say safely, I don’t mean with any child restraints or seatbelts or doors, but with a vague feeling of safety and no one sitting on the roof. I have new standards of safety these days.
We all survived, and I even enjoyed it.
Even while holding Millar tight with one arm and my hand gripping the bar in front of me, I managed to see more and take more photos that I have been able to from a car. The auto rickshaw is also about a tenth of the price of a car. There is no room for groceries, so we wont be using this form of travel all the time, but it is definitely our new preferred mode of travel for short trips. The auto rickshaw driver doesn’t take us to overpriced rug shops either, which is good.
We decided to go to the light house because that begins the part of the beach that isn’t covered with fishing boats.
The auto rickshaw driver did not know what we meant by “light house”. He spoke much more English than I speak Tamil, but I think the accent was troubling him. After some gesturing and repeating the desired destination in a few different accents, he said “ooooh, the light house” except he said it “lit hooose”. So at least now I know how to say it if I want to go back there. I guess he thought we were saying “Lhyt Howse” due to our kiwi accents.
So, we all pile ourselves into the vehicle. Husband first with Xanthe on his lap. Then me with Millar on my lap.
It’s funny, because when I’m in the back of a car in Chennai, the traffic scares the hell out of me. Especially the auto rickshaws. When in the auto rickshaw, I was not worried. I couldn’t really see the madness. I guess it’s harder to see when you are a part of it.
When we got to the beach it was almost deserted. There were carnival rides set up but they looked abandoned. I thought they might be there for the Kaanum Pongal day the next day, but they looked like they had been there forever and abandoned over winter. There was also plenty of rubbish on the sand – but not much more than on St Kilda Beach.
I’m glad we checked out the beach on Monday, because on Tuesday it was crowded due to Kaanum Pongal, the last day of the Pongal festival which is the traditional gathering day for families and a lot of them gather on the beach.
Check out this article with a photo of Marina beach on Kaanum Pongal to see what I mean by crowded.
We walked on the beach for a while. Millar kept asking for a bucket and shovel to build a sandcastle. We walked down a street near the beach and saw some goats. They appeared to be stray goats, just like, roaming around town. There were about ten of them just hanging out being goats.
It was a bit strange. I had expected to see a lot of cows that day as it was Maatu Pongal, but I didn’t even see one. Apparently that is more of a village thing, and we live in the city, where the goats are.
Anyway, back to the auto rickshaw. The trip home was just as easy and cheap and fun. I took a video but the traffic was unusually well behaved. Everyone staying in their lane and acting like there is a speed limit. It was a lame ass boring video. I will take another one on a busier day.