Chennai Here We Come

[Edited 6/17/11: OK, I’m not going at this time, perhaps later in year. Next time I say “I really mean it” won’t blame readers for not believing!]

Yes! This time I say we’re going, I really mean it. We’ll hopefully be running around Chennai in late June and early July, making purchases and decisions about the bathrooms, kitchen, furniture. Can you tell I always arrive in India with expectations of how much we’ll do, but within a few days I give in to the slower pace. That’s the charm of India. Plus how fast do you really want to move in the summer months of Southern India, anyway.

We’ll make a short trip to Kochi to wander through the wonderful antiques warehouses there, as I blogged about previously.

The thing is, our “pied a terre” is not the ultimate vision of a getaway place yet — it’s only “very barely there.” We’ll have working toilets and shower (with glass walls and doors!) by the time we arrive, but I refuse to settle on sink vanities now. So, no sinks yet. That’s OK, we would use bottled water for toothbrushes and not having faucets is a foolproof way to prevent a foolish mistake I made on a previous trip to India. In Sikkim, I totally forgot where I was. The place felt like home. So I drank from the faucet. Yeah. That’s really all you want to know. That’s really all I want to remember. We’ll just skip  memories to the good parts of that trip, after the, um, “recovery” which followed the “oh God just kill me now please” phase.

Ahem.

If we do need a sink, we can just run a few flights down the stairs to the in-laws place. That should be enough to remind me that I’m not drinking from my Chicago home’s well water tapped right into a crystal clear aquifer.

So. Our first order of business in Chennai will be to get a mattress to sleep on, sheets, pillows, towels, etc. Staying in a hotel doesn’t make sense when we have our own place there, unfinished as it is. Plus, that leaves more to spend on furniture and other critical things, like saris and fabrics at Nalli. Truly, it’s super critical. We need curtains.

So for the time being, we’ll have a super classy set-up: the ol’ mattress on the floor. Yeah. Nice, huh? Here’s how others have done this austere style …

Mattress on the floor, via ohdeedoh:

Mattress on the floor, via Popgadget:

Mattress on the floor, via Apartment Therapy  (Eames chair and nice floor detail does make the low-living look more palatable):

Mattress on the floor, again via Apartment Therapy (actually pretty stylish):

Mattress on the floor, another from Apartment Therapy:

This isn’t looking so bad here. I’m feeling a bit better about the situation. But  enough of the pics of mattresses on the floor. Makes me feel like I’m in college again and that’s half a lifetime away now!

It’s all a very temporary situation and part of the process of building your own place. There are some really funny pics of my parents eating dinner at a card table in their basement in front of their washing machine when they entirely gutted their kitchen to renovate it. They definitely weren’t laughing in the pics, but maybe now they would look back and find it funny. Somehow I think that’s what a few weeks in Chennai will be like for us soon.

And always remember, I know in my mind’s eye what this place will look like when it’s done and it’s going to be fabulous.

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