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To begin at the beginning…

The break was from Saturday-Tuesday..euphemistically called the Reading Holidays!! But as usual the break started by Friday afternoon…

Seejo and i went to have a Japanese dinner and i had my first taste of Sushi…It did taste nice but the idea of tasting raw fish was so bad that i began to feel queasy…what a waste of a fine meal,,,anyway Seejo dropped me and Vrushali to Jayasreechechi’s place that day evening..(he was on his way to Boston). My flight was the next day at 2.30 ….Got up late .dropped Vrushali at the airport ( she was off to Wisconsin Madison)..came back had a leisurely breakfast…( food always tastes better if somebody prepares it for you!) Dressed and went to the airport again …My flight was via New Jersey…and the first plane was such a small one…I believe there are no such small planes in India….had a seating capacity of less than 40!!! NewJersey airport was crazy….It was a totally new place and i had this luggage and i was in dread of losing my way about and being late for the flight…but anyway i had plenty of time to spare…. The next flight was real fun….I had the window seat and the flight was right in time for me to see the sunset….and was it beautiful…It really is amazing…if you look down you see a field of blue…with puffy white clouds stretching like a soft blanket and just at the horizon the sky changes its character and turns bright orange in colour…its amazing that the sky can look so warm at one point and so cool and serene at another and that too at the same time….well so much of my nature rambling….

Santhosh ettan was there to pick me up and we drove to yet another cousin’s house..and it was for the first time I saw what we think of as “America”.. After Charlottesville which is a sleepy little place and Washington which was more like a city of museums …Atlanta was one city with tall buildings and all lit up and really jazzy!! Did nothing much that day except gorge on home cooked food …baingan bharta …( had 6 chappattis!!) If my mails seem full of food please understand that Indian home cooked food is quite a rarity here..!! The next day got up early in the morning and drove to see yet another cousin ..this time at South Carolina….the drive was a 4 hour drive,,and it was tiring..Atlanta is no way as beautiful as Virginia….The fall colors here are so beautiful …in Atlanta the leaves are already shed and the trees look bare! The day passed off quickly and it would a good 8 hours of the day i was in a car!! Another funny thing here is that all major cities are full of chains ..what i means is that there is a chain of Macdonald and Pizza huts and not only eateries even grocery shops ,Walmart, Bed & Linen stores, Gas stations , everything is a chain…Its nice continuous link at first but then it gets monotonous to see the same set of shops ..same decor just shuffled about at every same town…changes the originality of the place a lot!

Monday was the day I went to see Atlanta….First we went to see Underground Atlanta…This is a shopping mall like area but it is underground and is one of the major attractions of Atlanta..Its nothing much and it reminded me of the long line of shops near Fountain where the mallu shopkeeprs sell smuggled items!! The major attractions was the Coke factory….the Coke being an all Atlanta product,..Its nice the way these ppl package these tours…First they showed us a documentary of how the coke got to its present state…showed all the s all over the world about Coke and …pretty great! There was even a glimpse of Hrithik Roshan selling Coke And the best part was then we could taste Coke and its allied products all over the world…There was Apricot Coke from Japan ( my favourite) and Lychee coke from Thailand ( a close second!) Watermelon from China , orange ,pineapple, ginger ,grape…just name seems the most famous is Bitter Apertiff from Italy..easy to see why that was famous..tasted just like rum!!!

Afterwhich we went to see the CNN another Atlanta based organisation….That was fun too…Although the way they explained seemed like news gathering was a piece of cake!! THe building is a huge one and it houses all the divisions of CNN like their sports unit and the CNN web unit too ..Anyway the whole thing was quite interesting…saw many of the faces that appear on CNN …The day ended with a visit to the Indian store..You guys probably won?t guess how ?Indian? an Indian store can smell..anyway i went crazy seeing all what we could see in any store in India ..never thought i’d get ecstatic at the sight of Dabur Amla Kesh tel but there it is…and anyway most shops were stocked with sweets for Diwali…The next day saw me at the Atlanta airport and wonder of wonders I got a direct flight to DC.. Went back to Jayasreechechis place..ate again!!..caught the bus back to Charlottesville!! By the way I figured why they say in all the books that ppl do a lot of reading in planes…Well i did so myself Finished two Novels on the way to Atlanta and one on my way back….hows that for a reading holiday!!!

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