We visited Svalbard (formerly known by its Dutch name Spitsbergen) for a week and it was as magical as ever. Being the northernmost human settlement in the world with a permanent civilian population it offered us the comforts of the modern world and the wilderness at the same time.
This time it was 10th of December 2016, when we arrived in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. We have been here before.Jayalalithaa Jayaram (very famous Tamil Nadu state Chief Minister) had recently died (5th December) and we were expecting some sort of unrest. However, the public sentiment seemed tamed, perhaps subdued by the unraveling of the recent banknote demonetisation (8th November – 31st December 2016) of all ₹500 and ₹1,000 (rupees) banknotes of the Mahatma Gandhi Series. The latter caused cash starvation, difficulties transacting among the common people and tourists, frustrations and barter exchanges. The reason was the short supply of notes to ATMs by the banks (only few ATMs were actually working in the country), the daily limit on personal cash withdrawals and larger banknote nominations being given out to people.