At home in Chennai

This week we have guests in town, so we played tourist in Chennai once again today. Although I often feel like I have seen it all, Chennai keeps surprising me. After trying out a Greek restaurant that I had been eyeing for a while, we gave a mini tour of the city.

Another visit to Marina Beach was in order. It was far less busy than it was when I last visited during Ganesh Chartuthi. As I have mentioned before, Indians do not seem to use the beach the same way that Americans do.

After visiting Marina Beach, we wound through some less travelled streets heading towards a few other notable sights. This drive through the less travelled city streets was by far my most favorite part of the day. I ended up manning my Dad’s camera and captured some really awesome street scenes.

This is one of the first times that I have had a chance to take candid shots in the street here. I often leave my camera home thinking that I am just looking at “normal” things, but fail to recognize that they are not typical for home or something that I will see forever.

When I took the above picture of these little boys in the street, I didn’t realize what they were doing. I was pretty far away and we drove by fast enough that I didn’t comprehend that they were using the outdoor bathroom until after Chris pointed it out. It is a scene that he sees all too often during his morning commute.

As we drove through the streets today, I reflected on this opportunity that I have been given and how special it is to have this experience. In the past few days I have had mixed feelings about Chennai. On one hand, as I prepared to leave China, I was happy to be returning to Chennai, if anything for the security of being “home”. Odd considering that just days before I was pretty jealous of Chris for being “home”.

In the end, I think it is difficult to say what home is in the first place. For me, it is come combination of people, comfort foods, familiar routines, and maybe a few favorite things. Somewhat unexpectedly, I am realizing that, as odd as this may sound, home has almost nothing to do with a specific location.

All of that said, I’m pretty excited to be home for Christmas!

  1. Lisa said:

    I think your thoughts make sense! Home can often be about smells, sounds, people, and familiarness more so than geography. You’re also right about capturing candids in India. So much different than back here.

    • Brit said:

      I wonder how my perception of home has been impacted by having visitors here? We have been fortunate enough to be visited by three family members and one close friend so far and we will see two more friends in November. Technology has also played a big role in disconnecting location from a sense of home. I interact with many of the same people each day as I did in the US. The world really is shrinking!

  2. We can’t wait for you to be home in December! Bryan and I miss you guys like crazy! It was nice having Chris here with us for a few days, but we really missed you too!

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