Thursday, September 28, 2006

Scenes From A Memory

The following paragraphs are some of my random musings on life here and other memorable elements of the past 3 months...they will seem very unstructured and un-important I guess to some..but you gotta bear with it! :P

People
One notion that I had and that I will accept was wrong (something you will NOT see me doing often) is a certain mental picture I had of the people here. I don't know why, and maybe it was media-influenced but it was this notion about people here being kinda dumb and indifferent. OH NO...that is so wrong. Yea you do see certain Americans who may not be as brrrriiilliant as we Indians 'think' we are..but not everyone is! Far from it! I've seen so many extremely intelligent here that I'm very impressed. But more importantly, everyone is so nice to each other, something we can take a hint about. Like I said in my first post after reaching here, you do get to hear more ThankYou's and Excuse Me's and other general greetings here in an hour than you will in a day in India..why can't we be like that? I've always felt that we tend to use a "sorry" or a "thanks" as the greatest sacrifice we could do for a person. We have huge egos - we really do, and maybe we feel awkward and low doing it. But people usually tend to match their behaviour with others in the same environment. So when people greet you, say "Hi,How's it goin?" or "Good Day" you will gradually pick up and act the same way. It makes your day much better I tell you. Something I really think we Indians can be better at. Anywayz, what I wanted to say is, that is the most important thing I will remember about my stay here -the people. I've met so many nice people and have made some great friends too.

Food
Ahhh..I zimbleee love eating..and trying out new stuff. So in a land where you find you get everything...the epicurean in me wanted to try everything! This led me on a mission to try out as many different cuisines as I could. Thankfully, some friends at office were huge food lovers too, and so they helped me out a lot cos they knew places here. Here's a list of the cuisines I've tried out -> Mexican - My favourite cuisine!!! Ohhh..I dig the enchiladas, the tacos..the burritos. Very spicy and extremely tasty I say! Authentic Chinese - very different from what the Chinese cuisine we have in India, that is actually "Indian-Chinese" I learnt. Thai - Similar to Chinese, but better - a lot of emphasis on pork! Korean - crazzy dishes..and very different too.I was shocked to find about 10 bowls of appetizers placed in front of me the first time I went..had no idea what to do! Beef bulgogi is everyone's favourite Korean dish. Phillipino - similar to Korean again..lots of dishes, lots of variety. Burmese (or Myanmarese?) - Very ethnic and spicy food - lots of meat again. Italian - Very saucy, and salsa-ish..the calzones and pasta are a must try! Spanish - again very classy like italian, but slightly different..bow down to the calamari. Japanese - I was very hesitant to try out stuff like 'raw fish' and 'raw octopus' at first..but boy! It's all in the mind I realized..sushi has become another favourite of mine..and using chopsticks is the most addictive and entertaining form of eating I say..I had to control myself to stop picking everything in sight with the chopsticks..cos the waiters started giving me dirty looks! :P

Television
Well...television (atleast the 40 odd channels I had in my hotel) were pretty good, especially the Travel channel and the Food channel (awesome - makes me hungry all the time!) with the exception of a few channels...I mean..I had like 5 ESPN channels, and all showed only american football and baseball! When you don't get to watch football..errr..soccer, everything sucks! But something has changed. You see, I was never a talk-show lover..but after coming here...I've hardly missed NBC's Tonight Show (with Jay Leno) and the Late Night Show (with Conan O'Brien). SNL (Saturday Night Live) has become another favourite of mine. It's the best way to learn about everyday headlines (I don't get to read the papers here...rather no time!), you do get to see celebrities and beautiful women speak, you get to see the usual suspects made fun of (top priorities being Bush and P.Hilton). And some jokes can crack anyone up...get this one from SNL.."Demi Moore turned 42 today but she says she feels like a 26-year old inside." hee hee heeee.

Momentary Lapses of Reason
There have been some unforgettable incidents in the past 3 months...for instance, my two-day NYC trip..I honestly believe that New York has the highest percentage of "hot" females in the world..almost everyone I saw walking in the streets could have passed off for some Victoria Secret model man! Well..another unforgettable incident was my NYC subway incident. *sigh* We've had some really funny happenings too. During one of our (my projectmate and I) many dangerous experiments with cooking here, we burnt something up so bad that the smoke alarm in our room started blaring...and we had no idea what to do..after many attempts to stop the stupid thing from whining, my projectmate started hitting it and finally wrenched it out from its socket! (Gulp! I still have to checkout). My projectmate-the-destroyer left for India last week. Well, the next night after he left, I was sleeping soundly when I started hearin LOUD sirens in my sleep..I was startled out of my slumber - and then realized that the sirens were for real. So loud that my ears hurt. I looked at the time and it was 3:35am, and then it struck me what the sounds where -FIRE ALARMS. I got out of bed and stepped out of my room into the corridor, to see lights flashing everywhere.Many females from adjacent rooms were running out screaming. Other sleepy hotel guests like me were stepping out of their rooms too and getting out. I didn't feel like getting out into the cold, so I stood their waiting (what for dumbo!!?). Well, I had no idea cos I was inside, but within 10 minutes two fire engines arrived. Next thing I see is a group of men, heavily equipped and wearing yellow, walking towards me in the corridor. Here's the weird part, I had gone to sleep watching a show called Engine 54- about this firehouse that was involved in the 9/11 tragedy and how the firemen that day became heroes. And when I saw these men walking towards me, it was just as I had seen it on TV a few hours earlier..like in slow-motion, and I almost had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn't still alseep and dreaming. They then started shouting, "Sir, you have to get out please!" and so I snapped back to reality and ran out. All of us hotel guests stood out there in the blistering cold (Eminem lyrics? Stan?) for 15 minutes and then they came and informed us that it was only a false alarm. Bah!

It's been a nice 3 months.
I feel kinda sad leaving this nice place.
But nothing beats your home and your motherland, I can't wait to get back!

9 comments:

Anu Nair said...

Damn u stan...did u have to write this blog on the very day i decided to go on a diet plan??? Dat too with all ur mexican, italian n chinese crap...
Oh god save me... i'm hungry...

But i tell u... the foodie part was the best...

Also that thing abt being nice to each other... that was also good... I mean its a nice thing to start ur day with a "Good morning to all" greeting...

Keep up da good work... n plzzzzzzz dont forget my chocolates... :-)

US said...

Most of us in India are waiting for choclates only! And you can be assured that none is going to say Thanks for them - as if it were there birth right.

Further, I have several of my own personal theories which I blurt out from time to time
1. Looking the other way
2. The Greedy Indian
3. 1 greatest blunder by free India
...
...
There are so many

But as they say - it all should come with the following disclaimers -

"The only thing to do with good advice is pass it on. It is never any use to oneself."
- Oscar Wilde

AND AND AND
"Take my advice; I dont use it anyway " - Anon

--
US

Anonymous said...

Stan, I didn't know if you were leaving on the 30th or the 29th. I tried to call you a few times this week around 11pm. If I don't get to talk to you, have a safe flight and say Hi to everyone there for me.
~Bijucha

stan_da_man said...

@anu: ohh so sorry..i didnt know u had decided to go on a diet plan! hee hee hee...yup..i will not forget ur chocs.. :)

@us: exactly..i accept all those disclaimers :P i am gonna spread d love in MT..hahahaha.

@bijucha: yea.u've called me now :) will giv ur rgrds to all out thr.

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