Last night was our first night in Chennai and, as expected, things are not going exactly as expected. We will be spending the next ten or so nights in one of the finest hotels that Chennai has to offer, which in Chris’ opinion, is not so fine. I actually kind of like the hotel but, if you recall from my last post, I think that Chris is kind of hotel picky. In all fairness, he did spend several weeks in this hotel just last month, so he might be a bit over it.
Please forgive what will probably be an endless stream of hotel room pictures. Certain members of our families are concerned that we have embarked on a six-month long “day in the life” of Slumdog Millionaire. This is making it difficult for us to get them to commit to visits and nerve-wracking for those family members who have already booked their trips. Hopefully actual photos of our accommodations will put them at ease and maybe even convince more to visit us here.
No, I have not yet learned that I can’t shoot pictures into the sun. Chris has figured this one out though. Good for him. Get ready for some über bad pictures from me though! I am suddenly inspired to dig the DSLR out of my bag and stop posting phone photographs.
Since it was our first night, we decided to go out to Chris’ favorite restaurant in Chennai which is a Thai place nearby. Although it was a bit pricey by India standards, it was wonderful! I hope we go back often, although I am pretty sure that it will be reserved for special occasions because we tend to be fairly budget-conscious. We shared a vegetable dish and chicken pad thai. The pad thai was outstanding and I found my jet-lagged self eating some of our leftovers for a pre-breakfast.
Preparing my pre-breakfast made me quite excited for moving into our apartment. This would have been much easier with a microwave.
For those of you who do not recognize my cooking equipment, this is an electric tea kettle, standard in many Indian hotel rooms. It heated the plate, and thus the food, pretty nicely. Best of all Chris was totally impressed with my MacGyver-esque skills.
After eating pre-breakfast, we headed to the hotel gym for a run and an attempt at lifting. I eked out all 3.1 miles that I had planned, but it was pretty rough. I do NOT recommend eating pad thai immediately before a run. Yeah, big surprise, I know.
Fortunately for my ego, running on a metric treadmill leaves me disillusioned enough with my pace that any run looks great! After all, in metric you don’t run at 6.2 mph, you run at 10 km/h. Sounds way better, right?
Post-run I decided to jump back into my recently neglected New Rules of Lifting for Women program. Fat chance. First off, the gym did not have adequate equipment. There was no olympic bar, no squat rack, and only advanced Barbie dumbbells. (None in pink.)
If lack of equipment wasn’t enough of a barrier to workout completion (or should I say lame excuse for half-hearted lifting) the fact that the weights were half English and half metric was simply too much for my jet-lagged brain to process. I know, not that hard, but trust me when I tell you that it just didn’t compute this morning.
I realize that these look like far heavier than advanced Barbie dumbbells, but trust me when I tell you that they are not. I can curl the heaviest ones. I’m not entirely sure how much they weigh, the heavy ones were 17.5 somethings, probably pounds, although I’m surprised if I can curl 17.5 lbs.
Finally, as I complain about the lack of equipment in this gym, let me clarify that although there are two bars in the floor, the weights that you see on them are all of the weight plates in this gym.
In an effort not to be a total downer, I would like to add that they have several pieces of Life Fitness cardio equipment which are pretty nice and a no-name treadmill that is quite possibly the most awesome one that I have ever run on. It has a huge built-in TV with a full set of cable channels and all touch-screen controls. If Apple made a treadmill, this would be it!
Now to beat Chris to the gym every morning so that I can run on the good treadmill. I feel a turf war coming on!
Tonight we will head out of Chennai for a weekend in Pondicherry, a beach town a few hours south of here with a strong French influence. I’m pretty stoked about trying some Franco-Tamil Creole cuisine for dinner tonight.