To sum up my two week trip to Madurai, I thought I’d just post an email I sent today to a Grinnell friend named Dean. I was in Madurai to surprise other friends studying abroad there with a program called SITA, and he had previously offered me some tips (thanks, Dean).
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The trip was great! After sleeping off some of my train ride hang over, I used your directions (specifically, “across from ICIC Bank” was an essential bit of info) and got an auto ride over to the SITA center. “Hey,” I said to the two students sitting out in front of the building, “my name is Linn. Are Kelly and Blake here?” “Oh, you’re Linn,” they re-stated. “We’ve heard about you. Kelly said you haven’t been answering her emails.”
They led me back to the computer lab, and Kelly, Blake and (unexpectedly) Mike Kober and I had a little hug-fest. Fan-tastic! Kelly and Blake called me “sneaky,” and I was very happy with this.
I’m on my way back to Chennai now, where I’ll start an intership with The Hindu tomorrow. During my great two weeks in Madurai, I visited Meenakshi Temple twice (the newly repainted gopurams were reopened on April 8), drank beer and read Hemingway at three different rooftop restaurants, cooked pseudo-Mexican food w/ Mike’s family, saw a goat have its head sawed off in sacrifice at Pandykoil, feared for my life climbing Yanai Malai, got better at riding on the backs of motor bikes and off the sides of buses, got solicided for donations to a Muslim madrasah and for investment in a coastal tourist resort, learned useful words like “poodum,” danced to “Cotton Eyed Joe” at a surprise birthday party (to an utterly astonished audience), and bought several great DVDs, including a Tamil remake of Mrs. Doubtfire (photo above). I give it one and half thumbs up, but two big thumbs up for the fight scene where Mrs. Doubtfire levels five crooks at the market.
All the best,
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