This time of year always brings about the customary reflections on the past 12 months; causing people to wonder if they’ve effectively spent them becoming their best selves, and achieving the lofty resolutions they may have drawn up last January.
My time in Chennai this year was sort of an exact reverse of my work structure over the past few years.
Instead of working mainly in EST, with some freelance and part time work that abided by Indian Standard Time zones, I began working and living an Indian existence, with a bit of Canada on the side. Now, after returning home for a while I have plans to formally operate by a professionally dual existence’ living mostly in Canada but working in India, with the help of technology and espresso.
On my second visit to Chennai in January 2015, I went out to lunch with a few of my co-workers at Behindwoods. I wanted to try the soup starter but I knew I wouldn’t be able to finish the large portions I saw being served. One of my teammates said “we’ll share” and as the waiter came by he told them “We’ll have the sweet corn soup, 1 by 2”.
“Madam, neenga eana language pesureenga?” (Translation: “Madam, what language are you speaking?”)—an Ola (the popular, app-based cab fleet service) driver asked me about 5 days ago, after I got off a business call on my phone. I laughed and said “umm English”.
“It’s the quality of your skin that matters, not the color.” I was actually pretty shocked to see this slogan for a lesser known brand of skincare products at Health and Glow last week (India’s cosmetics and beauty supply chain). This advertising is starkly different to the messaging of nearly all other skin products I see being sold in Chennai, which all promote their skin lightening powers as their number one strength.