Are you returning from abroad?

வெளிநாட்டிலிருந்து திரும்புவாரா  நீங்கள்?

I took this pic when one of friend retuning to India from Kualalumpur, Malaysia(வெளிநாடு , மலேசியா, கோலாலும்பூர்).

Some of thing that my area people will by while returning to India fron abroad

Some of thing that my area people will by while returning to India fron abroad

I went to Malaysia as Senior Web Designer in 2003. That was my maiden journey(முதல் பிரயாணம்) to abroad. After one month of initial work I came back to India. That time I didn’t purchased much. I just got the salary and left Malaysia in a hurry. When the second time I came back to India from Chennai I bought few thing like dresses, sweets, medicines, toys, body-spray, …etc,. One of our family friend came to receive me in Chennai airport.
I thought of traveling in evening by train but I got a call from my house that I will have to leave Chennai immediately (Later I came to realize that my wife had few relatives over in Chennai).  So I took a government bus to go to Madurai along with my family friend. From Madurai I took a bus to Ramanathapuram.

Next day afternoon we reached Ramanathapuram(இராமநாதபுரம்), and my parents and my brother were excited to see me. After a while my family friend (15 year old boy I hope) said he has to make a move. So I opened my luggage and took a t-shirt, few sweets, pens and a body-spray . I thanked him for his accompany from Chennai to Ramanathapuram. He went to his native after a few minutes. I dropped him in the Railway station.

Ramanathapuram Luggage Opening Rules

When I returned to home my mum was in great angry on me, because I broke the RLOR (Ramanathapuram Luggage Opening Rules).  Latter I realized why my mum was angry on me. In my city, if any one come from abroad, all the friends and relatives will visit that guy to chit-chat with him about his trip, work over there. Most of the peoples main motive will be the uy will be giving them small gift (this is personal opinion). Especially it’s our duty to invite our close relatives and we will have open our luggage in front of them it seam.

Let’s consider my neighborhood friend last trip to Singapore(சிங்கப்பூர்). He gave me a two sets of best pens. So before opening my luggage (after I returned from any country) I have to call my neighbor.  I started collecting the full rules and regulations in the near by small towns and villages. The data gave a amazing trend and valuable information.

Let us consider our South Indian Marriage(தென் இந்திய திருமணம்) or any other function. In the day, after the lunch (Once the function got over) a guy or two will be sitting out side the function hall with a note book. Friends and relatives will give gifts as object/things or money. They will written their Name, Address, Relationship and the amount.  For example if I attended a friends marriage and gave a 1000 Rs. as gift,they will make a note of it in their notebook. Later, in my family if we are have any function, regardless of we are inviting that guy or not he will have to come and gift that 1000 rs or more. If he gifted more than I will have consider that extra money the next function which would happen in his house in future.

Lessons learned:

What I learned from this second trip to Malaysia, I always have two luggage boxes. One box will contain the things according to my wish ad the other box contains this like sweets, dresses, powder, body-spray … refer the above picture.

The funniest part is, you might have bought things by have a friend and relatives list in your mind and what to buy for them. But if they came there asked a specific thing which was allocated by you for a different person then you will have re-arrange the gifts for the other people.

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Expensive way to travel to Chennai from Madurai

But very helpful in emergency situations or unavoidable circumstances

Last week I had a tough time. After attending my cousin Jensi’s marriage on Saturday in Madurai, we thought of traveling back to Chennai on Sunday night in the “Pandian Super Fast Express”. I was holding an alternate option in the  “Senkottai Super Fast Express” as well, because my son’s school was reopening on the next day. Last year too he tried to get full attendance and missed it by an unfortunate illness.

When the chart got prepared I realized that both the trains were full and our tickets were in the waiting lists itself. So I didn’t know what to do. One can handle any situation except his wife’s “N” number of questions 🙂 . I discussed the depth of the situation with my wife’s brother Andrew and we both went to the “Periyar Bus Stand“. There he knew few of the travel agents as he was working in  a travel agency in Madurai for a couple of years.

We thought those travel agents would have business links with other travel agents. We consulted a few guys there. One guy pointed towards a stationary Volvo bus and said “The bus will come around 10:oo PM sir and will look like this bus sir”. I avoided him and almost gave up the thought of traveling on that day.

A guy came nearby and told me that he’ll be able to arrange for two tickets in the Government A/C Bus. I was so happy, but dint know whether to believe him or not. One side of my mind kept on telling me that “Tomorrow is the first day of my son’s school“.

He asked me Rs. 600 for the ticket which actually costed only Rs. 400. But we had decided to home somehow or the other so, I gave him the money. He then asked us to follow him, and we silently obeyed.  He went and met a guy who was sitting in the government booth. He spoke to him and that guy shouted in such a way that it almost sent this gut out!.

Then I started having my own doubts about this guy, so I asked my cousin to keep an eye on him. In the meanwhile I was looking for the remaining government buses as my alternate options. As he had told me the A/C bus arrived and it was full.  We were very puzzled as to what to do. Then he promised me that he will get us all seats in an ordinary government bus.

An Ultra Deluxe Bus came and stopped in front of us. We asked the conductor if we could board it, but he said that the bus was full. Suddenly this broker went and spoke to him, and gave the money in a dark place underhand. God only knows how much money he gave. He returned to us with a reserved ticket and Rs 200 as well. So the tickets actually costed Rs. 1000 for two adults.

After I was handed the ticket we boarded the bus and gave a call to my wife who was in P&T nagar. She rushed to “Mattuthavani Bus Stand” with the help of neighborhood brother Mr. Rajendran in his car. They joined me in Mattuthavani Bus Stand. Luckily, we got seats at the back of the bus .  Once the bus started moving the conductor came towards me and I took a half ticket worth Rs 120 for Alan. Hence, we reached Thambaram Bus Stand, Chennai on-time.

We took the underground subway from Thambaram Bus Stand to Thambaram Railway Station and traveled up to St. Thomas Mount Railway Station in an electric train and from there we reached home in my bike (Hero Honda Splendor).

Thus we were able to send our son Alan to school in time!