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San Francisco

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 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 chance of seeing bikini clad females sunbathing or lifeguards with rippling muscles 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!!

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