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Location: Penang, Malaysia

January 26, 2008

Vannakum!

I am travelling again today, but this time I am going to the most boring city in the world. It sounds like a little exaggeration but so far among all the other places I have been this is one of the places which "you can't do much".

Welcome to Chennai! The capital of the state of Tamil Nadu, India. I had been to Chennai twice and this will be my third time. In my last trip, I met a guy from Latvia who had been there for many times. He works for a Finnish company and he is setting up the first Indian branch office for his company. Coincidently, we went to the hotel restaurant at almost the same time every night and that at least, provided us with someone to talk to. Hahaha… no Brokeback Mountain, OK?

As a new guy there, I asked him about places to visit, nightlife, etc. Guess the answer? "The best place to go in your own hotel room". Yes, that's true though. "Everything" in Chennai has to be closed at 11:00 pm. Yes! Damn it, I thought 11:00 pm should be the starting time? Lights at watering holes will be turned on at eleven sharp, and that is it. Time is up, pay your bill and go home.

Since you can't change the law, so you change yourself then. Ok, I went to the bar and the pub at 8:00 pm. To my horror, pubs and bars look like places for gays to hang out. These half and fully drunk Indian males smoke, drink, and talk crap there. Music sucks, the deejay sucks, and I don’t think they heard of live band. Well, I know that you might not in favour of getting someone to fuck for the night, but at least, there ought to be some girls around right? No! Customers are 101% male, waiters, bartenders, etc. are 101% male. So, forget about washing eyes at all. No "pang-puah-liap" breasts for you to examine. Take your own Penthouse magazine along.

As a consolation, depending on the hotel you are in, you are provided with crappy internet access. During my first trip, I stayed at Taj Connemara, a 5-star hotel with "British flavour". The provided wifi access and it took me 15 minutes each time to get my laptop connected. Anyway, once you have connected to the internet, Skype voice chat is not a problem at all.

However, during my last trip, I stayed at Green Park. I bet this fucking hotel is definitely not a five star, maybe not even a four star. The so-called FREE internet access is damn fucking crappy. The maximum bandwidth you can get is 200 kbps, which is also inconsistent. So, forget it if you plan to watch some movies using peer-to-peer video streaming software like TVkoo! or http://www.vttv.com.my/.

With that kind of bandwidth, to my horror, talking on Skype is like using your cell phone inside an elevator with no additional antenna. You keep being cut off, significant delay, strong echo, the other party has to keep shouting "Hello", and much, much more. People said I am talking in the mud. Tew niamah! That's enough. No more next time, low fool dew high yard bye gore! (in Cantonese, go figure it out yourself) … hahaha.

Oh yeah, I almost forget to mention that if you are downloading something, they will "throttle" you down to at low as 2 kbps. I went down to the front desk and offer them money for broadband (don’t misunderstand, I am not bribing them). "Excuse me, do you all provide high bandwidth broadband? I want to pay for that." Even if I am not on business trip, I am willing to pay.

After reading books about India and its culture, the response I got was, "Sir, our broadband is free of charge. Just plug in the network connector to your laptop. You don’t have to pay anything". Look, the speed is down to 2 kbps now, I don’t think that is usable. "Oh sir, we are having network problem and IT department is working on it." Alright, time to go to bed then…

Yeah, talking about Green Park, they are really "green", I guess. The lights in the bathroom / toilet is damn dim. If I recalled correctly, there is only 3 units of 5W compact fluorescence lamps. This spoilt my hobby, reading. Ah, reading in the toilet? You need some reading materials to do your business, don’t you?

There are more stupid stories about Chennai to go, but I think this entry is getting too long. Gotta go now. Poitu wahrenggeh. Naandri!

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