Chennai Entry 5: Rain and Radical Eyebrow Stylings

The third day in a row of tipping rain. This time it was heavier than I’ve ever seen rain before – bouncing off the ground and rebounding a foot or so before adding to the lake of water on the floor. This amount of rain is not usual for Chennai, we were told today, and the city is ill-equipped for it, so they’re suffering flash floods in some parts this week. I know from my walk yesterday lunchtime that it’s not long before the water on the floor is mingled with rubbish, dirt, and all things worse, so it’s no wonder disease is such a problem. My hotel room is just outside a huge, echoing conservatory with a glass roof, though, so it’s rather soothing listening to it beat down at night.

Today we were with the QA team – Quality Assessment. They check the completed proofs, and their job is probably the most important of all. We spent the morning with Gopal, a tall, spindly young man who crouched over his desk like a long-limbed spider. He had a toothbrush moustache and a magnificent right eyebrow – it split into two like a forked arrow. The result of a childhood scar or deliberate styling? I dunno. He was quiet and careful, with a particularly endearing way of saying ‘style guide’.

I also, today, discovered the joys of room service. Do you know, you press the button, tell them what you want, and it just arrives on a fancy tray, ten minutes later? It’s amazing! It’s the only place they sell hot chocolate, which I miss more than I’d anticipated, so I ordered some this evening, with some lemon cheesecake. I wish in real life you could just sign your name and your room number, and small be-uniformed men would appear bearing whatever you wanted. It’s a system that could use some wider application, I think.

I have not yet been back to the bookshop. Nerves. Of. Steel.



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