You can never be too prepared to live in an alien metro. The change would be enormous, the lifestyle, the kind of work you do, the kind of people you engage with and on top of that the very city you live in. If your destination is Chennai, you can take off the last one from the list of worries. Chennai is one metro which embraces all kinds of people, which has got something in store for everyone, for the dhoticlad conservative to the pubhopping GenZ . Nowhere in India, you can see such a wonderful blend of tradition and modernity, both coexisting peacefully without losing their respective essences. Also since Chennai is home to a bunch of topnotch educational institutions, you will find that it is very student-friendly. Read further for a bunch of things that can make your life outside office exciting.
Before you land: It is generally hot throughout the year and gets extra-hot during summer. Also, you will be under the three pronged attack of hot, humid and salty air. So pack a lot of cotton clothes, sunscreen, an umbrella and all the devices known to humanity to keep the heat at bay. English works with Chennaites most of the times, but Hindi doesn’t. So come armed with southie accent or a few Tamil words. Most of the cheap messes serve southie food. If you are not a big fan of sadams and sambar, bringing some nonperishable food won’t hurt either.
When in Chennai: It’s south, it’s fabulous. Experience it in all its glory.
The discerning gourmet:
- Thayir Sadam/Idli-Sambar/Masala Dosa – Saravana Bhavan or Namma veedu Vasantha Bhavan
- Jigirthanda – Murugan Idlikkadai
- Drumstick soup – Anjappar
- Kozhambu – Karaikkudi Chettinad
- Mutton Biriyani – Thalappakkatti Dindugal
- Filter coffee – Anywhere in the city
Moving around: Buses are abundant in every route. Also, autorickshaws including the shared one are available. A rule of thumb is Bus fare * 3 = share auto fare * 3 = auto fare. If you wish to hire a cab, book with one of the agencies beforehand since you won’t find too many on the streets. The intracity train service is another option, quicker and safer than other methods, though it can get quite crammed at times.
- Malls – Express Avenue, City Centre, Skywalk and Spencer’s.
- Beaches – Marina, Besant Nagar and Covelong
- Coffee shops – Mocha Mojo, Café Coffee day, Movenpick, Lattitude by The Park, Barista’s, Coffee Vanilla, Anouki Coffee World and Amethyst.
- Amusement parks – VGP Universal Kingdom, MGM Dizzeeworld, Kishkinta and Queen’s Land.
- Getaways – Pondicherry, Ooty, Mahabalipuram,Tirupati and Yercaud.
- Nature – Arinagar Anna zoo, Crocodile bank, Snake park, Guindy national park, IIT Madras, MCC
- Sangeetha Sabhas – Carnatic music might not be the call of everybody and is certainly not something you can gossip over. It is an experience which is so Chennai that you won’t get it anywhere else. Choose the one near your boss’s neighbourhood if you want to score that extra point.
- Art – Government museum, Egmore, Birla Planetarium, Tamil Nadu State Science And Technology centre, Cholamandal artist’s village, Kalakshethra and Dakshinachithra.
- Parks – According to the corporation there are around 260 public parks so that you never can complain of not finding one near to the street you live. Most notable parks are Anna Park in Royapuram, Secretariat Park in Rajaji Salai, Murasoli Maran Flyover Park in Perambur etc.
Shopping: You can get cheap clothe bags, glass bangles, miniature sculptures from Mahabalipuram etc. The popular shopping centres are Pondi Bazaar, Purasawalkam, Egmore Fashion Street, George Town and Besant Nagar beach.
Even if you couldn’t do anything above-said, make sure you find time to do the following
- Storytrails – A customised one day tour to taste the true flavor of the city.
- Heritage walk with Pradeep Chakravarty – Learn about investment banking in ancient India.
- Spend an evening savoring local snacks at Marina beach/ Watch sunset at Besant Nagar beach.
- Get overwhelmed by the grandeur of Mahabalipuram.
- Go Pondi and get a glimpse of India’s own France.
Keep in mind these for a smooth life.
- Sun can be scorching and the streets are dusty. Be sure to take the needed measures if you are allergic.
- Start an hour early for anywhere, Chennai is known for its traffic jams.
- Meters are yet to be popular in this part of the country. Bargain as much as you can with autowallahs.
- Notwithstanding the status as a metro , the people are still a little bit conservative. Get someone to show you the ropes so that you don’t do anything that might be offensive.
All the Chennaites out there, chip in to guide the fellow interns through your city. All those who intern in Chennai, forget whatever you have read till now and just enjoy the city. Trust me, it is indeed an amazing place to be and can teach you more than what any internship can.
Want to do an Internship? Check out the latest Internships in Chennai.