Namaste from Chennai

 May 7, 2011

After more than 25 hours of travel,  (including a WONDERFUL but much too short layover visit with the Robinson's in Frankfurt) we finally arrived in Chennai our first stop in India.

We arrived around midnight local time and we welcomed to the hotel with a sort of welcome "blessing".  A woman dressed in a  red and gold sari held a gold tray with fruit flowers and candles.  In the center of the tray was a small bowl contain a crushed red paste I am told is called kumkum.  

She moved the tray in a circular motion and said something about welcoming us and wishing us a blessed stay and then she dipped her finger in the pot of red paste and then marked our foreheads. This mark is called a Tilak and it is a Hindu ritual common in southern India when welcoming important guests.

Beyond our hospitable welcome there's not much more to report.  We arrived in the dark and can't really say more than

it is REALLY hot,

and there are lot of people...

standing very near one another,

and the driving is impressive if not improbable.

Hoping we get some sleep and find an adventure in the morning.

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