An Indian Odyssey

Somewhat to my disgust, the World Championships have clashed big time with my personal life – rather as they did last year when I was out of the country leaving Mark to pack the house up ready for our big move.

This time I am in India while Mark does battle with decisions about the building that’s going on … things like windows, lights, plugs and door sizes. We had hoped to be further along with the build before I left but it wasn’t to be (thanks to the decorator …) but Mark is being wonderful, emailing me pictures of different styles of doors and things so that we can still decide together. And it is all going on apace as you will have been able to see from his blog and the photographs.

I was decidedly nervous about the flight out because it had been booked leaving me just an hour and 10 minutes at Edinburgh to change planes and another hour and 15 at Heathrow. My baggage was checked right through from Kirkwall, Flybe did what they are supposed to do, BA likewise and it all went smoothly. And my case was one of the first ones off the plane when I finally landed, so I was safely re-united with all my clothes.

So – I am in Chennai, which was Madras, about ¾ of the way down India on the right as you look at a map. Outside it is hot and very humid. Inside it’s downright chilly ! I brought some sleeveless tops but won’t be wearing them – it’s cold even for me !! But the hotel is lovely .. excellent wifi, the desk in my room has hdmi connectors, usb charging points, sockets for English plugs, audio/video outlets. All the services are controlled from a customised i-pad, even ordering from room service is automated, as are all the lights, the TV, the air-conditioning – the only thing I can’t seem to do is switch the shower on from the bed !!

 

The bathroom is palatial – three rooms, one with the bath and basin, one with the shower and the other the loo. I could live without the mirrored walls in the loo cubicle but you can’t have everything.

You may or may not have seen news of the cheating scandals that have rocked the bridge world and as a result have made the atmosphere here … interesting. A lot of meetings ( and I mean a LOT) to try and close stable doors etc. But the players are all just getting on with playing and everyone seems quite cheerful – I was afraid it would be quite toxic but it isn’t thank goodness.

The hotel food is very good as long as you stick to the Indian cuisine. I have now tried a club sandwich (bleurgh) and a cheese and ham panini (double bleurgh), but the chicken tikka wrap was very good ! And last night we were taken to the Madras Gymkhana Club for dinner – quite a long bus ride there through the most appalling traffic (memo to self and all friends : don’t even THINK about trying to drive a car in India) but the bus ride back was about a quarter of the time thank goodness. Anyway, it was a buffet, but then we were told that the food had been “toned down” for our palates but there was some spicy food that would normally be served if we wanted to give it a rock. I couldn’t get my hand up fast enough and I am so glad I did – it was DEEEEELICIOUS. Only about 4 others tried it, I was amazed.

Tonight it is the President’s dinner and we are going to a different hotel for an Italian meal. It’s a posh frocks occasion so I am going to stop this soon and go and change.

More to follow ….

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