Today Nipsi and I met up with Mushtaq and Sayeed who were visiting Chennai with their mom. They were just stopping through en-route to Kannur, their family's hometown. We decided somewhat last minute to join them for a screening of 'The Avengers' at Express Avenue mall but, having underestimated how popular the movie would be on a Thursday afternoon, we found that it was completely sold out. Unfortunately the boys proved to be more organized than we were and so they already had their tickets. So, we improvised in slightly stereotypical ways: boys heading into the movie, girls heading back out to the mall.
|Express Avenue mall|
The mall itself is huge. It's amazing to think that Chennai now has several malls this size (I blogged about one previously - Skywalk Mall, where I got my kurtis) since when my parents were here none of this existed. My mom was shocked to find out Chennai is now building its own metro rail - something that would have seemed ridiculous twenty-five years ago.
|Hamleys in Chennai!|
The one thing I'm continuously amazed by here in the malls around both Bangalore and Chennai is the number of foreign stores. Sometimes it feels like I'm still in the UK. For example, today in EA there was a Hamleys toy store. I pass the big one on Regent Street sometimes when I'm walking home from university so it was a bit strange to walk past it here in Chennai. Makes you really think about how small the world has become. The mall itself was super modern and could have been found anywhere in the world. The only difference is that instead of people walking around in jeans like they would be back home, they're in saris and kurtis.
|Walking up to the cafe|
After meeting up with the boys and their mom after the movie, we made our way to Amethyst, a little cafe near the mall. The cafe is part of a larger store that sells clothing, accessories and jewellery but we barely noticed because the seating areas are nicely separated from the shopping side.
|Outside Amethyst cafe|
|Inside Amethyst cafe|
Nipsi and I had stopped for a coffee while waiting for the movie to finish so we weren't very hungry unfortunately. We decided to share the avocado, tomato and mozzarella salad and the grilled basa fish with potatoes and green beans. Sayeed and his mom both chose the beef burger while Mushtaq was still full from his mid morning "snack" of two shwarma wraps and a grilled chicken.
|Avocado, tomato and mozzarella salad. Some assembly required.|
|Grilled Basa fish with potatoes and green beans|
It was so nice to meet not only the boys but their lovely mother as well. She was so sweet to share her time with us. With Mushtaq living in Delhi and Sayeed working on the Andaman Islands, it was her chance to see them as well. They're currently on a thirteen hour overnight train up to Kannur while we sit here in Chennai contemplating her kind invitation to join them at some point this month. I do think it would be fun to experience an Indian train journey (and I definitely prefer the thought of that to the overnight buses!) so maybe we'll sneak away one weekend. Nipsi's parents have also invited us to join them in either Coorg, their hometown, or Bangalore so we're feeling quite loved. Need to make sure my research is coming along properly before heading out on any new adventures though!