1) While riding in an auto-rickshaw (which they just call "auto") I wanted to try out some of my new Tamil skills. The driver asked if he was supposed to turn right, to which I replied, "Yes" in Tamil ("Amma"). He looked in his rearview mirror at me like, "What is wrong with you, lady?". I immediately realized what I had done. I had put the stress on the wrong part of the word. I had called him "mom".
2) (this one is both of us) We have been frequenting lots of shops in the area trying to get a feel of what is available in Chennai. There is one little treasure of a store that we found called Conne Xions (we weren't totally sure how to pronounce it, so we just called it "Connie Zions"). We kept giving auto drivers the name of the store, but they were always really confused. A few days later, Neil was cleaning up in the kitchen and started to throw away a "Connie Zions" bag. He looked at the website address and noticed that it said 'Connexions' all in a row. The store is called "Connections".
3) (I think this one takes the cake) I had been told that auto drivers strike fairly often in the city & that you have to watch out to make sure you aren't trying to travel very much on the days that they strike. We had just passed a group of auto's parked in front of a sign that said, "Stand for Auto-rickshaws". Me, trying to be really observant & savvy, leaned over to Neil while we were riding in the bus and said, "I think the auto drivers are getting ready to strike". I pointed the sign out to Neil and instead of the "What's wrong with you, lady?" look I got the, "oh my goodness, I can't believe you just said that," look. He responded to me by saying, "It's a place where the auto's park".