South Indian scenes

Aaron Loh, my nephew who’s based in Perth, is now in South India with his university course mates for a 4-week practical stint with a medical college there.

Aaron [Standing 2nd from Left] with uni mates and
coach driver in South India
Three and a half weeks ago they arrived in Tiruchirappalli, a city fondly called Tiruchi or Trichy, situated more than 300km south of Chennai (formerly Madras).

Besides being busy with his course activities, Aaron has been updating the family with his adventures and experiences while exploring the sights in Trichy.

We are enjoying the use of modern technology which is making it very convenient for him to post photos and updates for us to keep abreast with what he’s up to.

Their accommodation is provided in the college campus but on weekends, they would move into a hotel in the city.  This gives the group the opportunity to experience the city as well as food at the hotel and city restaurants.

Aaron [Left] in a we-fie with his uni mates on a picnic
Clearly a fan of South Indian cuisine, Aaron had his fill of vadai, idili and appam, both from hotel restaurants as well as freshly made, from street vendors.

During weekdays the college provides their meals and Aaron shared with us his amazement when he first collected the group’s tiffin meal from the delivery van!  Tiffin is the Indian custom of eating a light meal for afternoon tea.

We are used to seeing our traditional tiffin carriers that are usually stacked with three, or at the most, four bowls.  But Aaron was pleasantly surprised to receive a tall tiffin carrier of five bowls, with the bottom bowl being the largest!  

Check out the size of that tiffin carrier!
It surely looked like a lot of food in that tall tiffin carrier and I was curious enough to send him a quick question to ask if that tiffin portion was for one or to share.  

My curiosity was satisfied by his reply that this was a portion enough to share with the group!  

While Aaron is familiar with Indian culture and cuisine, it’s a whole new experience for most of his Aussie course mates and he’s having fun introducing it to them.  

Aaron has the company of course mates like a Singaporean girl and a few Aussie friends who are a bit more adventurous to join him to explore and experience the local culture and cuisine in Trichy.
Aaron and his adventurous uni mates enjoying cups of chai
Sometimes accompanied by their coach driver, who also helps with language translation to communicate with the locals, Aaron even ventured to eat a meal at a local restaurant and drink chai, Indian brewed tea, from a street chaiwalla.  

While South Indian food is traditionally served on sheets of banana leaves, the humble restaurant he visited served their meal on what looked like pieces of greaseproof paper!  

In his free time, Aaron explored the neighbourhood and could not resist taking selfies and we-fies at interesting sights to post in his Instagram page under #GoGlobalIndia16.  

Enjoying a South Indian meal, eating with hands!
He's clearly having much fun taking selfies, with sights like a lady farmer working in a field and even with a herd of cows wandering on the streets!

Born in Johor Baru, Aaron and his brother, Andrew, are football enthusiasts who stay in close touch with local football news, in particular on the achievements of Johor’s popular football club, JDT.  

Imagine Aaron’s surprise on one of his excursions around Trichy, when he spotted a boy wearing a familiar matching set of shorts and T-shirt printed with the JDT Southern Tigers logo!  

Check out the JDT Southern Tigers logo on this boy's outfit!
The boy’s confusion is obvious because he must have been absolutely puzzled as to why this foreigner wanted to pose for a photo with him – and even deliberately adjusted his outfit to show off the JDT logo!

It looks like Johor’s football club merchandise is really going places – even turning up at the Trichy countryside!  

Thanks Aaron, for sharing with us some fascinating scenes of South India!

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