Day 2 was the main highlight of our journey to India as we will be spending a longer period of time in a place called Tiruvannamalai. Surrounded with Hindu temples, ashrams and the revered Arunachala mountain at it’s core, Tiru as the locals call it, is a place where people from all over India and the rest of the world come to seek peace and enlightenment. For us, we are simply looking for a fast break from the 1st world facilities in Singapore where we often took things for granted. Here, cold drinking water, undisrupted electricity, internet and hot showers are luxuries that one shouldn’t take for granted.
Arunachaleswara Temple aka The Big Temple is the main attraction here in Tiruvannamalai.
A systematic way of life is non-existent here. In short, there’s order in disorder.
You have to give it to these Indians on how they find a way to adapt in this congested and polluted chaos of a town. What’s even more respectable is after a close shave with death on the road, they are back to normal after a few seconds.
Oh, and in Tiru, the Kashmiri boys are the hotties for obvious reasons (hmm, i think i should take a picture with one of them and show u guys how delightfully chaming they look). They are like the Jersey Shore boys from The States (without the muscles). lolz.
Tailor-made quality clothes for only SGD 18. A knock-out price as compared to the ones back in Singapore. We manage to tailor 4 pairs each. whahahahahaha! The only setback is that they take their own sweet time to sew it, but it’s a small price to pay.
Parading his Jubah looking like a Bollywood star
Firman finally managed to rent a bike. For only SGD 2 a day. Envy no? Oh and his bike is assembled from a bunch of scrap metals right from the start. Even the license plate was printed on a sticker from the shop next door with some random numbers. But we’re not complaining. heee~
Petrol is SGD 5 for 4 litres consisting of a dirty mixture of low-grade petrol and mineral oil. Yupz, u read that right. MINERAL OIL. The outrageous thing is that 4L can bring us around for 200km. What we’re afraid of is that we’re not sure if we can still be alive to top-up the next round of petrol after 200km here in India’s traffic.
Our bike called “THUM B”
Ever wished of having a semi-detached 2-bedroom house with a rooftop overseeing a countryside? Here, you can get it for as low as SGD 100 per month, fully furnished. Yupz! you read that right. SGD 100. Imagine renting your claustrophobic 4-room flat earning SGD 2000 and exchanging it for a house made for a Singaporean elite for only SGD 100!! Oh, we forgot to mention, because of a kind Singaporean samaritan, we sealed this house for the whole of September FREE OF CHARGE!
A preview of our humble cottage
OK, now time for the ugly side of Tiru (and maybe the whole of India). Firstly as I’ve mentioned, the traffic is horrendous and it’s generously laden with cow dung both on the roads and walking pavements. Secondly, power disruptions are so common that you need to sleep with a working torchlight and a Chinese hand fan. Not forgetting you’ll be sweating due to humidity (way worst than Singapore). Thirdly, the tap water is saturated with so much lime that calcium spots emerge out immediately once the water evaporates. Speaking of which, you need to brush your teeth and only drink bottled water. Lastly, Tiru is quite suppressed in gender equality. Women are not allowed to exercise in gyms and pray in mosques.
Sidenote: On Day 7, we went to the Orchard Road of Tiruvannamalai called Pondicherry. A 2-hour drive which can cure any depression or suicidal thoughts due to the constant surges of adrenaline thanks to the traffic. Pondicherry is a small French colonial town. Giant supermarkets much like Sheng Shiong and unisex gyms are available here. The locals had nicer rides and there were definitely more tourists compared to Tiruvannamalai. Cafes lining the beachfront pampered by a soothing sea breeze made walking down The Promenade parallel to the beach a de-stressing affair. Ironically, we began to miss Tiru (weird) and headed back Home.