Circus

Today we have had the best day. I woke up at 9 o’clock to Simon banging on the door, as our rooms are on 2 separate floors I decided late last night that I would feel more comfortable if we each slept with one of the kids.

For breakfast I decide to try the more healthy option and choose fruit salad but this is slightly spoilt by the fact that it is covered in sugar and bits of sweets!

We then go shopping, we have to buy a few things, nothing too exciting but it’s good to be able to get the stuff we need, that we have been unable to find in some of the smaller places we have visited. I found my sunglasses broken in two a few days ago and we both buy ourselves a new pair. We bought Maisie a skirt. Ali a book and a CD called The Alternative Album; it has The Doves, Radiohead and Supergrass on it as well as some other stuff. Although we have brought lots of music with us we are always buying CDs at home and I have missed that.

Most exciting of all, we buy The Lonely Planet guide to Singapore and Malaysia. It only costs us 11 quid which is much cheaper than in the UK and as I haven’t a clue about what to see and do in Singapore and have given it no thought, past drinking Singapore Slings in The Long Bar at Raffles Hotel I’m looking forward to reading up about it over the next few days.

The shopping plaza has a food court, an area selling traditional Indian clothing and craftworks and a large department store. Not quite The Bullring but good enough and we have a great day. The time flies by and we go back to the hotel, tired and all shopped out.

After a rushed early dinner we get in a rickshaw and head for the circus which starts at 7pm.The big top is lit up and we stop on the way in and buy candy floss, popcorn and cokes. We pay 100 rupees for ringside seats but it is well worth it for a good view, the acts are really good. Our favourites are the trapeze artists and the performers riding bikes backwards whilst juggling fire sticks.

Maisie liked the animal acts and these included huge parrots riding bikes, dogs carrying umbrellas and a performing pony. Although we enjoyed most of it, it was difficult not to feel that the animals are being exploited. We found an elephant dressed up, with its tusks sawn off playing cricket especially sad.

Last act of the night were 4 wild camels, which despite their trainers best efforts were determined to gallop madly around the ring, rolling their eyes and snapping at each other. It was an abrupt and chaotic end to a great night out and we agreed we had a great time.

We get in a rickshaw and the driver seems to think that we haven’t had enough thrills for the night. He drives so fast and madly I think he must be on drugs. Chennai at 10pm is amazingly busy still and when we turn into on coming traffic at breakneck speed I just close my eyes.

The kids think it’s all a laugh but eventually Simon tells him to slow down. When we arrive at The Orchard Inn in record time, we haven’t got any change and I begrudge having to pay him over the odds for a scary experience. Still there is no choice and he seems thrilled with the extra. As I watch him swerve off into the night I hope he will be ok and console myself with the thought that if he does kill himself tonight by driving like a total lunatic, then at least he will die happy.

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