Temples. Rajnikanth-worshipping. 200% humidity all-year-long. Temples galore. Jallikattu. These are just some of the things that describe the “Cultural hub of South India.” Unlike any other city, Chennai is deeply-rooted in conserving the local culture, so if you’re planning to move, there are some things you should know about Chennai. First off, you will need to get your facts and some skills in place. So here are some handy tips you should know before you shift base to the city most people associate with from the movie “2 States”:
#Fact 1: Embrace Local Food & Local Language
Probably the first thing you should do is get to know the local language. Some basic, everyday phrases will do in the beginning. Plus, if you wish to get on the good side of the locals (especially the Rickshaw wallahs), this tip can work wonders in your favour. Also, remember that while most may not know how to speak Hindi, they do speak English. So communication won’t really be a barrier. On the food front, the roadside dishes are to die for and are easy on the pocket too, so make sure to give it a try! Plus, with a wide range of vegetarian delicacies available (especially at the beaches), you may convert into a vegetarian! The iconic curd rice is another crowd-favourite!
Handy tip: The autos don’t run on the meter here so make sure to discuss the rate before you get going on your journey or you’ll be in for a ride that’ll cost you the world – literally!
#Fact 2: Weather’s a “Torcher (Torture)!”
In Chennai, the heat’s always on – quite literally. To put it in numbers, the temperature reaches 40 degrees in peak summer and humidity often surpasses 90% most of the time. So be prepared to sweat it out – day in, day out. It’s almost as if you’ll be working out without having to go to the gym. However, it does have amazing beaches that offer some respite and cool in the evenings. There’s your silver lining in a forever sunny sky!
Handy tip: Make sure to visit the famous Marina beach and enjoy a leisurely stroll in the evenings.
#Fact 3: You’ll have to Transition into an Early Bird
If you’re a person who loves to get up in the AM, you’ll have a dark time in Chennai (pun not intended). Typically, all shops and establishments open by 6:30 am (you heard that right) and normal work hours are considered to be from 8 am to 4 pm. The city runs on its own clock, following the “Early to Bed, Early to Rise” mantra.
Handy tip: Treat your taste buds to soft-as-butter idlis at Udupi or visit the temple for an early morning darshan, and start your day on the best note possible!
#Fact 4: Know your Neighbourhood before Shifting
Depending on the location of the house, you may be subject to slightly conservative or equally liberal rules. Generally, home-owners shy away from giving homes on rent to bachelors, live-in couples, or even single women (a trend that’s prevalent in cities like Mumbai too). Another point of concern amongst landlords is the “Vegetarian vs Non-Vegetarian” rules. So make sure to have an open, honest discussion about the general rules so that there are no issues later on!
Handy tip: Shifting to another city that’s poles apart from your hometown can be difficult, but furnishing your rented home doesn’t have to be. To make things easier on the pocket and your state of mind, rent furniture from Furlenco that’s cost-effective and creative all at the same time. Browse through a diverse collection that caters to designs and styles of every kind under the sun!
#Fact 5: A City that’s Culturally-Alive with a Vibrant Character
Chennai has its own list of festivals that people celebrate with much vigour and enthusiasm. Pongal is the equivalent of their Diwali. Another famous festival that has caused much debate – Jallikattu – is also celebrated by millions.
Handy tip: If you wish to visit the temples, try going on a weekday as it’s unusually crowded on the weekends.
We hope we’ve done a fairly decent job of being your pseudo-Chennai city guide. What have your experiences been like? Share with us and let’s get the conversation going over a hot kappi.