San Francisco

Posted January 4th, 2001 by Deepa and filed in Travel
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My flight was at 8.30 in the morning ..and it was at Reagan airport in DC.( that is D.C down town..) I had to reach there at 7.30 atleast and it was a 2.5 hours drive,,all which means i had to get up at the ungodly hour of 5 ..Whew! and with the temperature some thing like -5 we had a nice ride ( We is Seejo and I ) although the official version is that a Sagnik and Siddharth dropped me when they were going to see DC!!..”Seejo? would have to pick me up when i am returning!!:-) My flight had a brief stopover at LAS VEGAS .Las Vegas at least through the airplane seemed a like a small city tucked up among huge mountains : the ideal place for casinos and boy!! does it have casinos! The airport had these huge rows of luck games (video poker)at every corner and it was glittery and shining and it seems ?Oh! Las vegas!!?…

Arrived at San franciso airport to meet my cousins who were waiting for me…it was already evening by the time i reached here thanks to a 6 hour flight and the 3 hour time lag between the east and west coast..That day went in just visiting my relatives! The next day went to see San Jose downtown,,,It being Christmas eve ..it was decorated so beautifully…it seemed like a fairyland…christmas trees and and cribs and santa effigies…wow!! These ppl don’t ever have a white Christmas so there was an artificial snow machine which all he kids loved..( me I had enough snow for a while!!) Just for kicks let me describe San Jose and how it differs from East coast ( atleast Virginia) .Vidya pay attention!!( hehehehe)THe first thing that struck me was ?oh! my gosh kitne Indians hai!!I am sure Vidya you are not going to feel as though you are in ?America?..Plenty of Indian stores ,Indian restaurants , a theatre showing 8 hindi movies ( an occasional Tamil and mallu movies as well!!!) Or maybe it feels ?America? coming from India but after the east coast its too ?desi?!! You know what AParna you actually have ppl roam about in salwar kammez quite comfortably!! Shrirag?s School apparently has only 2 AMericans!! there are Indians and Chinkus!! and yeah there are Mexicans over here …and very few blacks!! Another thing that was evident that it was not a univ town ..all the cars were high end cars and GOOD ones..NOt like the ones in a univ which are sold and resold!!

OK now for the places i visited…

1) MYSTERY SPOT…A funny place which they say defies the laws of gravity….Interesting place : all the trees there are slanted at an angle..when we stand we too seem slanted at some absurd angle!! and if you roll a ball it rolls from lower level to higher level!!

2) Next Santa Cruz beach…. nice name wot?!!…..( San Francisco shows a lot of Spanish influence …all roads and houses are like San XXXX or Santa ****)In San Jose there is a EL Camino street where there are Indian restaurants and grocery shops at every other corner!! My first beach in America..But alas ..no chance of seeing bikini clad females sunbathing or lifeguards with rippling muscles ..it was Christmas day and the whole place was deserted and the water was cold ( what else can one expect in DEC???)

3)RedWood Trees: also went to see some red wood trees ..Huge monsters all of them!! We could go into the forest through a narrow guage train and that was fun…The trees are very tall ..I don’t remember the number of feet but really tall!! Some of them are over 1000 years old..

4) San Francisco down town: One day was reserved for San Francisco down town..It?s a nice city has nice big buildings good architecture without the hustle and bustle of New York!! Saw the Golden Gate Bridge, ( its actually reddish orange in color ..a color they call International orange!!) and the fisherman’s wharf..This fisherman’s wharf is a sea food lovers paradise,,,stalls of sea food crabs and shrimps and oyster …that place has an “Atmosphere”..any moment you feel like this old seaman will come and tell tales of the sea..! Nearby was a place called Gherardeli …all the ppl here told me it’s a must see..wondered why..cos all it is a well decorated mall like area..but is was very beautiful! Complete with Live native Indian Musicians etc!!

Other highlights of my trip included reading lots of books ,eating meals which I didn’t have to prepare, seeing TV(after 4 months!!) saw a number of movies ,ate in Indian restaurants , saw Raju Chacha second day of release in theatre …( Seemed like a kids movie with animation and over theatrical things ,,,but I really enjoyed it!!) They do not aim at any sort of realistic stuff,,,so could sit back and take the movie for what it was worth and anyway I like both Kajol and Ajay Devgun!!

Had an interesting plane journey..that of course is another mail!!!

That sort of ends my vacation …Back to work time!!

An Interesting Flight

Posted January 4th, 2001 by Deepa and filed in Uncategorized
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This is to describe my return journey fron San Francisco to be more specific the second leg of the return journey…by now I have become a veteran of intra US airplane trips …so the moment I got my seat number I knew I was going to be in a middle seat..My seat mates were the perfect Laurel and Hardy! The one on the right was so FAT she filled up the seat and more ..In fact the snack tray rested on her tummy,,,..the other female on the left was painfully thin..a sure competition to Scarlet O’Hara’s 17 ” waist was the first thought that popped into my head.

It is the thin female who is the reason for writing this …Before I could “sit back,relax and enjoy” this female decided that I must be the recipient of her lovelife tales..I have DECIDED there must be something that attracts lovelorn ppl to me…I mean desi to desi ab to videsi bhi..and that too a person on a flight!! Firstly she whispers to me that she is here with a “guyfriend”: “oh he is so young ,only 26, doesn’t really know what to do ( she is 24 by the way) He is so nice ..he is working ..you see… has lots of money ..paid for my entire trip and food and stuff’ he is really nice but I am not in love with him y’know…..I know him over ( her voice drops down to a whisper) 6and a half years…he is sweet but really young ..I don’t like young guys they are so kiddish”.

I learn that she is studying business at Maryland, lives alone has two brothers ,elder one is married and has two kids , mom and dad are still together and have a business and that she intends standing on her feet and working and she loves to travel and the guy who is behind is 26 years old ( very young!!!!) and she is not “really really “in love with him!!

Oof! I tell her I am from India …wonder of wonders she knows a bit about India..She knows about Sonia Gandhi losing the last Prime Ministerial elections And interested in the Aids figures in India ,asks me about the state of economy and whether the impact of the 93 bomb blasts still are there….I try to explain …anyway she soon leaves the topic and returns back to her favorite topic..”GUYZ..She asks me whether I have a boyfriend ” I sort of mumble .. She informs me that she likes DC because there are a lot of rich men and she like to date only rich men because ..well because they have money ( its not an original reason but ..) and that is why Dc is the place to be…Rich men abound there ( hmm me thinking of going to Dc as well!!)

And yes she likes her men older ..She was seeing a guy who was 46 and is really nice and only he is mentally depressed and takes 6 pills at night but is very sweet and takes her to Canada for Halloween night but he is still single and don’t you think there is something unnatural with a man who is still single at 46…may be that’s the reason he has a lot of problems …But she really likes her men old because they are successful ( another word for rich!!) but her mother tells her that older men will die early which is the biggest problem with older men ..what can a girl do ???

There was another man friend of hers whom she was dating ( she never really was in love with him) she just dated him with a lot of others ..he was a dentist and 41 years old and had his own plane ..He is considering buying a jet and he took her to Brazil in his plane and he is really nice but wht to do I am not in love with him you know …but he is really nice

But the guy behind he really loves her and (whisper again) wants to marry her but she knows him for 61/2 years, loves him a lot but she is not in love with him so what to do?

By this time I decide its my turn so I launch into how marriages are conducted in India , arranged marriages , the rituals and the customs ,believe me I was glad for the first time that Indian marriage process is so long…by the time I was half way thru she decided she wants to listen to music ” I speak Portuguese Spanish and Italian so I listen too songs in all,,,”I said I listen to Hindi songs plugged my walkman and pretended to sleep…only waking up long enough to wolf down the food and back to sleep!!

But soon its time for the descent and I have to shut my walkman…

By this time she feels I am her confidante..so she whispers again…I am seeing a Congress man now (Whew now I was confused what of the guy behind..what happened to the dentist and the 46 year old pill popping bachelor??!!) I have been seeing him for 2 years …(oh that’s long time I state..the only thing I could say confidently!) Yeah he is sweet spoils me rotten ..I don’t really need to work you know gives me 3000 bucks a month to shop and I am going to ask him for a car this new year ,,he has a car dealership you see…(AH!! I SEE!!) he comes on CNN and he is powerful and that’s why she likes DC because the men are rich and powerful …He is married though that’s the only problem ( I DIDN’T REALLY FIGURE OUT WHETHER HE WAS DIVORCED!!)..He is really nice and she loves him but she is not sure and she needs a guy and she feels its time to settle and ………………………………

Wasn’t that fun….Believe me I was never so glad that a flight ended!!!