Yesterday made it 1 month since living in Chennai, India!
Rewind to me scrolling through Facebook randomly seeing this opportunity, applying and then getting through! Sounds easy doesn’t it? Not really. It was really difficult getting here. Definitely one of the biggest obstacles I had to overcome.
I faced a lot of opposition before actually getting on the plane however here I am… still striving to make it through this course.
One thing for certain is that even though my employer did not grant me permission to be here I was determined to work for what I wanted!
Chennai, claimed to be one of the safest states in India, is everything I expected it NOT to be. Prior to coming here the advice I got was misleading and it made me scared and afraid to leave sweet T & T. Basically I was crying in Piarco “like ah big baby.”😪😭
My experience thus far, has been AMAZEBALLS! From the food, to the people, shopping, culture, transport, education system and the environment this experience is definitely one that has changed me FOREVER!
Food- tasty, spicy and cheap! A lot of their dishes taste similar to Trini food! The only issue is you don’t know what it looks like😪. So far I’ve tried chapathi, poratha, idly, egg dosa( which I love) and with apps like Swiggy and Zomato being hungry in Chennai simply does NOT exist!!!!
People- super friendly, always willing to help, never negative and they ALWAYS make you feel welcomed at all times by greeting you with a smile, clasping their hands and bowing their heads to show you respect and even addressing you as”SISTER.”
Shopping- TOO MANY THINGS!!! Going shopping leaves you more confused than ever because there are soooo many different stores with soooo many different items😭. On the plus side, I got my phone screen replaced for just 650 TT which was a bargain deal! There are traditional shops like Saravanna and Cotton House where you can find just about anything reasonably priced. Also, shopping malls like Phoenix are more on the expensive side with the American retail shops.
Culture- I haven’t seen much about culture but what I can say is they are very community and family oriented! They do everything together! Imagine all campus members coming together once a month to clean up specific areas of the campus!!! YES! Just picture lecturers and other high ranking staff cleaning and picking up rubbish and cutting grass as well😳. (Not in Trini🤣). If this was done in Trinidad we would be much better off as a society! The people here also work really long hours like an 8-4 simply does not exist here😩🙅🏾♀️🙅🏾♀️🙅🏾♀️🙅🏾♀️
Transport- Crossing the roads issa whole scene! My gosh d amount of times ah almost get bounce! 😭Not to mention how crazy they drive but what is sooo amazing is the fact that in this entire month I haven’t seen not 1 vehicular accident.🤔How allyuh does do that jed?😦 Also,when you see the bus coming and you wanna get on you better sprint and get in because the driver never waits or stops for NO ONE😭So if yuh not fit doh beat up to come here na🤣. Honestly at this point if I see them carrying a house on a motorbike I won’t even question it because anything is possible here!
Education- The people of India are highly intelligent. Basically I feel really dunce because every person has a PhD and everyone is Dr. this or Dr. that! You never really know who is who because they are soooooo humble about it😐.One thing for sure is that while I was just aiming for my masters, these people really inspired me to reach for that Dr. Shadé Francis title 😩😭. Every single thing I’ve been doing in my course is new but advanced and we’ve been learning soooo much on a daily basis!My brains need to relax a bit but I will rest when this is all over! Study tours of different libraries is also part of our course outline and it allows us to explore every week!
Environment- First week in Chennai I had one of the nastiest nose infections ever! Honestly I think they can do sooo much better for waste management and disposal! While the campus I’m based at is clean, once you go outside the atmosphere is really dirty. Some parts are really smelly and I think those first weeks my body just had to adjust to the environment. All is well now and I’m just happy I got over that nose infection!
1 month down! 1 more to go 💪🏾 I knew coming to Chennai was a once in a lifetime experience, an experience I’m so glad my mother encouraged me to take when I felt like giving up because things got hard. Maybe Jesus wanted to give me a lesson about being humble or just living the simple life and that not much is needed to have a good life… for whatever reason I am where I am, I feel so blessed and grateful for this opportunity and honestly wish everyone can come to this country to renew their minds and perspective on life. I’m definitely enjoying myself and living my best life but I’m also editing and deleting certain parts of me that makes life much more difficult than it should be!
Special thanks to the government of India and the High Commmission of Trinidad and Tobago for this opportunity to learn from the best! Chennai, thank you for the lessons thus far and I look forward to all that you have to offer in the days to come.💜🙏🏾😊