Monday, March 17, 2008

770 Miles. In Three Days.

That's right! One helloffaa Road Trip is what you get.

I'm pretty sleepy already so I'll be sadly making this post short. We (Shrek + me) rented a car and drove all the way up north to Pittsburgh this weekend. We had friends who are currently at the Carnegie Mellon University, so accomodation was no problemo. I've never been to CMU before so just visiting the place was an experience itself. It easily gives you a feeling of standing on sacred ground. And the place looks steeped in heritage and history. Simply brilliant. Oh, and the Pittsburgh University's Cathedral of Learning is just like Minas Tirith! Sweet.

Next up was a visit to the Andy Warhol museum. Ron Mueck sculptures were so scary and yet beautiful at the same time. Nice Experience. Saturday evening was the big event. The Bon Jovi concert at the Mellon Arena. Daughtry opened for them and man, I really like them now! The stage and the whole setup was brilliant. My first indoor concert. Bon Jovi rocked the house that night and we couldn't help jumping of our seats for his biggest hits. Richie Sambora take a bow!

On Sunday we drove further north to Cleveland, Ohio. To the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. Brilliant experience again. Located at the shore of Lake Erie, now frozen due to the winter, and just next to the Browns stadium, the Cleveland NFL team's home, the sight was almost unreal. The Rock n Roll hall of fame had some great exibits, especially the latest one on the Doors. The Pink Floyd props just made my day. Seeing all the artifacts they had in the place just blows you away. Real-life outfits and belongings of artists ranging from Elvis Presley and Jimi Hendrix to MJ and Madonna. The museum has a great store too, and I ended up blowing quite a bit of cash here.

We returned back today morning, tired from all the travel and lack of sleep. Yeah, and a lot of wrong exits too :) Here's some pics from the trip!

@CMU: Rise to the Top

Just the frozen Lake Erie and me.

Downtown Pittsburgh.

I love this pic - the Cleveland Browns stadium is in the background.

The men, the machine, and the map :)

The Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, Cleveland, Ohio.

PS: Three of the above pics have been taken by my teammate, Shrenik, who's one of the most amazing photographers I've seen (ahem, ahem..I'm doing major advertising here Skrek!). To see more of his pics, goto his flickr photoblog.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Live-In Jeans. Literally.

Warning: This post was written well past midnight, while waiting for my laundry to finish up. So please excuse the pissed-off nature of this post...I just couldn't help it given my helpless situation.

Well, I guess the title should say it all. If not, let me explain a lil more.

I'm back in the US of A for again. I'll be here for the next two months, so it's the not the shortest trip. Arrived here three days ago via Emirates (and hence via Dubai, which for me was a big thing, cos it was 14 yrs since I last lay foot in that place). Anyway, everything was fine until then, the flight, the complaints. We arrived at JFK (this time I have a team-mate travelling along with me) at 7am, got our luggage out and re-checked them in again for our next flight to DC. Arrived at the Reagan airport at around 2pm in the afternoon.

That's when everything started going downhill.

We waited at the baggage claim area patiently..all the people in our flight got their bags and left, one by one. My team-mate Shrenik got one of his bags (luckily the bigger one), but that's all. I didn't get both of mine. We then went to the airlines office and spoke to them. They took down our baggage codes and filed complaints. Then they very sweetly told us that there was nothing to worry about and we would get our bags by the next flight from JFK, which was that evening. They took down out hotel address and promised it would be delivered before nightfall.

That was 2.45pm, Monday.

Right now, it's 12.27am on a Thursday.

It's been three freakin days!

Well, almost three days till we got 2 bags. We had no updates of any of them till yesterday, but yes, we got two bags today night at 10pm. One of mine and one of Shrenik's. Unfortunately, but not very surprisingly, the way my luck has been recently, it was my SMALLER bag. The bag that had my sandals...around 3-4 used clothes..and some maggi and stuff. That's it. Everything else is in my other bigger bag! (sob, even my ext. HDD). To make things worse, the dharwad peda box I'd packed in had broken and all the pedas were lying crushed in between with my clothes. :(

The attempts to contact the airlines and enquire about my bag have been at the least, frustrating even bordering on sadistical humour. Bad enough that its a 1-800 number and you have to first answer a mechanical voice which sounds like a retarted robot. Then after all the pain and giving your reference number and other details, they route you to a helpline where finally get to speak to a human. That's when you start wishing you could instead have continued speaking to the robot. I ain't joking..they speak to you as if they were only supposed to read off 10 given lines. If they don't know the answer to your question, they just repeat any one of the 10 lines randomly. Today the guy asked me to give him my Indian address. I was like.."whhaa..what do you want to do? Deliver it back to India!?" But I didn't tell him that, I just gritted my teeth and told him. almost makes you wanna bang the phone down and start laughing at the same time.

Anyway, enough said. Truth is I still don't have a single update as to where my other bag is right now. I can only hope and wait that I get it, better late than never.

Alright, that's that..I''m off to the laundry to get my clean clothes..and I'm actually feeling excited. Why? I've been wearing the same pair of jeans non-stop for the last four days, ever since I got out of home.