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Adventures from Here and There

Random Ramblings November 13, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — travelchokri @ 6:26 pm

Why do all second hand stores have that distinct smell? Do they use a special spray to get them to smell that way?? I find it odd that they smell different than first hand stores because my closets are second hand now. I mean once I wear the clothes for the first time, they become second hand. And my place certainly doesn’t smell like that. Perhaps they clean all the clothes in something that gives off that smell. But then wouldn’t you find a solution that smells a bit more inviting? Maybe I will just ask the second hand lady in the shop around the corner from me that sells everything from shoes to cutlery.

Today I went for an Excel training that I had signed up for 2 weeks ago. I’m not sure why I force myself to learn new things that I don’t need to know…well at least right now. I’ve rarely used it in my last…well, many years. And if I have, it’s just basics that I’ve needed to know. Today, we talked about….see I cannot even remember! I apologized to the trainer and left half way through. Shouldn’t I get a ‘half excel advanced training ‘certificate??

It never amazes me how I still cannot buy the right size shoes at this age. This time, I bought a pair of boots which were a tad big when I bought them and of course, since they are leather, they’ve stretched! And now my heels lift inside and move, scraping them during each step. How annoying and painful. If you look at my heels, you will see that they are not flat in the back. From years of wearing either too small or too big shoes, damage has been done. My uncle actually asked me this past summer what I had done to them. Maybe he’s too perceptive. I wish I could just always be in flip flops, or better yet, barefoot.

Geneva is beautiful right now.

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Something Beautiful August 26, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — travelchokri @ 4:53 pm

I close my eyes and think of all the things i do not want. And visualize them rolling by, vacuum cleaners, 3D TVs, new phones and cars and handbags, a neat house  in the suburbs. I think of how unhappy these things would make me and then I am free. If you don’t want these things they can never truly have you. Then I think of wood and I think of my bones as wood, something slow and put here a long time ago.

Author Unknown

 

Madness in Geneva? August 9, 2012

Filed under: Random Stuff,Uncategorized — travelchokri @ 8:24 am
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Being back in Geneva has been alright. I was somewhat worried as to how I would feel after being in India for 3 months, surrounded by madness. This is a calm and quiet place. I guess a good one after 3 months in chaos. The Fete is on, which is the Geneva festival in the summer, so whenever I have the need for craziness, I just go there. It is 2 mins away from my place. The Middle Eastern folk are no longer here, as it is Ramadhan. Last year, the city was full of bhurkas and fabulous cars, which they fly down to Geneva for the summer. Strolling along the water, roller blading and biking have been somewhat tougher with all the people around, but still doable.

I have been getting more sleep than usual, which is good. Perhaps the days of insomnia are over? The energy is still there and it is difficult to find things to do at all hours. I work 9 to 14 hours a day, depending on where I am. I sleep for 4 to 5, which gives me 6 to 9 hours to play with! I read. I write stories. I blog. I facebook and now instagram! I watch movies. Go for walks. I meet with friends. I sometimes do scrapbooking. Tried knitting. Looking at online courses.  I think the next step might be meditation.

I had friends come into town the following day after I landed, and they continue to come. I went on a trampoline with visitors and fell many times. Farrah arrives this evening. My pregnant Farrah. More strolls along the lake and picnics at the waterfront. Cannot forget shopping and eating good food.

I am having many chai lattes again from Starbucks. Why do they call it chai tea latte? Isn’t chai and tea the same thing? Yesterday, a man was talking so loud on his phone and walking around, as though we all wanted to hear what he had to say. And then he complained about his drink twice about how watery it was, while he was still on the phone. Be nice. And get off the phone and explain to the person what the problem with the drink is. I felt like pouring it on his head. Did I say that out loud? I remember when my brother was about 6 years old. I was reading the famous Superfudge, by Judy Blume, which still happens to be one of my favourites. Fudge was being a pain in the butt and not eating. So his brother said…’eat it or wear it.’ I recall wanting to try that myself so I pushed my little brothers buttons and ended up creating a scenario where I could use that line too. Poor thing, he ended up with milk and cereal all over his head and lap. He pays me back now with carpet burns whenever I go home for a visit. He is much bigger than me now.

Dima left for Sri Lanka today. She was my noisy neighbour. She used to have parties through the night on weekdays too. One day before I met her, I banged on her wall with a broom very loudly. But I do not think she got the point. Then one day, I was watching a movie at 11pm at night and the girl had the audicity to knock on my door and ask me if I could keep it down…that she was trying to sleep! I did. Then some time later, I needed a bottle opener. I knocked on her door because I could not find mine. We became friends from that day onwards. I think we saw each other at least once a day ever since that day. I will miss that girl.

Time to go.

 

India Days continued July 9, 2012

Filed under: Travel,Uncategorized — travelchokri @ 9:42 am

Written a couple of weeks back….and continuing….

Delhi is hot as hell. I guess I am here during the monsoon season. Weird, almost each visit to India has been during these months. A colleague from Geneva was in town last weekend. We went to Chandni Chowk, the Red Fort and the Pacific Mall on Saturday afternoon after sleeping at The Taj. Wearing sleeveless today. No one else on the metro seems to be. Girls do not walk around with wet hair…like me! Maybe they think it looks too oily….the days can be tiring with the heat. Right from the am it’s bloody hot. I walk 5 minutes to the metro, then have to go through security. The great thing is I can be in the ladies only car. However, it is packed. Transfer onto another train after 30 mins of riding and pushing my way through the crazy crowd. Always get shoved as there is no concept of waiting for people to get off the train first. At some of the stations you see men run to get a seat. I’m not kidding. My colleague who was visiting from Geneva thought I was joking, until she saw it herself. It’s such a hoot. I want to film it but no cameras are allowed. Though I’d love to do a flash mob on the metro and see what happens. Maybe wear a saree….that easily comes off…and then underneath I’m wearing the shortest shorts and a tank top. Of course i have to wear a few janjhars on my ankles…and maybe a bhindi too. So ya, back to my journey. Then i get off and have to try to run across the road to the middle without getting hit. Then i usually have to wait on the island until traffic is not so bad and then run again to get to the other side! Then i walk about 12 mins to the office. By the time i get there, im soaked in sweat. It sounds like the stories some of our parents used to tell us…’I used to walk miles to get to school’.

I’m sitting at a place in Hauz Khas village called diva piccolo. Going to have dinner here tonight. It looks like I will have to head out to Bihar and Gujarat again to do some documentation. And I will be here for a week more than planned. So basically ill be here for another month…more. It definitely is not easy here.

I haven’t  picked up any more Hindi than I already knew. today I saw men fighting on the bus. The bus driver was getting a beat down. It was not nice. My arm hairs stood up. Yes, I’m in India and I have not waxed my arms. Girls here hate hair on their body. I don’t feel full at all. That meal was not satisfying, which is unusual for India. I am usually satisfied with the portions and the quality of food in India. There is too much good food here…most of the time overly spicy though.

It’s the following day now and I’m on the metro. Feeling tired. Not sure when I’ll sleep like normal again. Insomnia has overcome me this past half a year. There’s always something to do. 1am, lets read. 2am lets watch tv. 3am, lets post pics on Facebook, 4am, maybe I should get 3 hours of sleep at least. After I leave India I’ll head back to Geneva. Figure I should go home for a bit. Then the states for a weekend. Then back to Geneva. I’d like to see some more of Europe while it’s summer.

On Saturday, I ended up going to the national art gallery, khan market, then INA market. I definitely cannot buy my chicken and fish from there, even if it’s more fresh and less expensive than in the shops. I don’t want to see live chickens being slaughtered, heads of animals and the flies, my goodness! Not my scene. Later that evening I went out for dinner with a few friends. We went to a restaurant called the yum yum tree. I met a girl there from the states and ended up going to a German diplomats residence with her. Wow, to see how the other people live. The house was massive, on a lot of land and had a fabulous pool. Him and his wife throw parties there often. The crowd was mixed. And the dj preferred playing African music for most of the night. Some songs reminded me of Kenya. the unplanned nights always turn out to be the best. Yesterday, I went to the park hotel for an all you can eat and drink brunch. 4 hours of both. We then hit the pool, where there was a private party with about a hundred Indian kids. The average age mus’tve been 22.
It is now Tuesday morning and I’m on the first leg of my journey to the office. It doesn’t seem as brutally hot today…well at least not this morning. Last couple of days have been long, trying to get a report done on our end in India, so that we can pull together 3 countries and do a final report in Geneva. I miss that I’m not in Geneva for the summer. My handbag smells like chicken. Probably cus there’s chicken in it. Not a live chicken or a head of one. Just cooked chicken breast.

 

A Fabulous West USA Tour June 10, 2012

Filed under: Travel,Uncategorized — travelchokri @ 7:44 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

It has been a while since I’ve blogged. I arrived back in Delhi at the beginning of May. Most of my time went to working on 2 proposals – to get funding for programmes in India. I headed to Patna, Bihar for a few days for an inception meeting. Did not get to see anything other than the hotel and conference rooms, as days were long.

On the 15th, I left for my long awaited trip to the West side of USA. I flew from Delhi to Phoenix. I have to say here that I tried No Jet Lag, a herbal medicine that is supposed to eliminate the feeling of jet lag. I landed in Phoenix 26 hours later and i have to say that I did not feel any jet lag that day or in the days thereafter. I hadn’t even slept in the 26 hours! I got to spend some time in Scottsdale, drinking and eating as the late afternoon turned in evening. Went to Crudo for more eats and drinks, then ended up at Roxy lounge. Pizza, mozeralla sticks and salad, late night! Good food. Good drinks. Good company. The next day, Zahra, who flew in from Toronto, and I began our afternoon with some yummy cocktails at the Biltmore Fashion Mall, which we realized later was not the mall we really wanted to go to- Scottsdsle Fashion Mall.

We had a long journey ahead of us the following day, so we just hopped over to a restaurant next to our hotel for dinner. Very Jersey Shore. We ended up in Phoenix because the original plan was to hang with Natasha Kassam in Youngstown and then do the drive to Vegas. However, Youngstown seemed too far from all the action and Natasha’s work got in the way of our plans. Zahra and I headed to Sedona the next day, after having the best pancakes in old town. Thelma and Louise picked up their red convertible and set off on their journey. Of course, on the way we had to stop at an American Walmart and Best Buy to get Norah Jones’ new cd. Walmart was the best! We stocked up on goodies like red velvet ice cream, turkey and cheese! The drive was amazing as we saw lots of cacti and enjoyed the hot air, roof open. Sedona itself was beautiful. Spiritual. Earthy. We had a fantastic view of the sunset from the hotel terrace, which was near the airport.

The following day, we left for the Grand Canyon. We got to the south rim, walked around, took some pictures, and then hopped back in our sweet ride, as Vegas awaited us! I had the most wicked driving experience. I felt like I was in a game. At some point, I was in Fast and the Furious, racing with 3 other cars. Zahra was a real good sport about everything. We made it to Vegas in only 3 hours and 15 mins, rather than 4. The Cosmopolitan Hotel. This would be our home for the next 4 days. Great location, right on the strip. Beautiful hotel. Super packed. The other girls that we were meeting up with were already there and were eating dinner at STK restaurant in the hotel. It was Zahra Hemraj’s birthday. Shazeen had also come down with her friends to hang out for those 4 days. 15 girls in Vegas! I must say that I found Vegas too overwhelming at first. I had a small panic attack after leaving STK, leaving Zahra to calm me down on her own. Perhaps it was too much after being in India, in not such glitz and glamour. The dressing was obviously very different too! I felt a lot better after I molested the red velvet cupcake that was in our loot bag, left in our room by Raheema, the birthday girls’ sister. What a thoughtful and amazing idea! After our quick showers, Zahra and I met the other girls at Club Marquee, which was in our hotel. It was quite big with different rooms and a huge outdoor partying area near the pool. Cabanas, tons of people and good music led us through the night. It was a fun night, nothing too crazy.

The next morning, we walked along the strip and had some breakfast at the mall across the street. We wandered through the different hotels and malls, taking in all that Vegas had to offer. The partying continued that night at white oak and XS. Wow, what a night! The next day was spent wandering on the strip, seeing the other hotels, and window shopping. The final day was spent sunbathing by the pool. By this point, I had gotten used to Vegas and wanted to stay longer.

Next, San Francisco. Got to Rahim and Raheema’s in Santa Clara. Rahim had bbcued and dinner was great. My birthday was spent in Napa Valley. A limo ride and visits to the wineries had been organized by Raheema, who I must say was so awesome. The company was great and everyone made sure that I had an amazing time. Have I mentioned yet that I got a ton of cupcakes too?! We went out for dinner in San Fran. Zahra and I did the hop on and off bus and went to a painting party in the hood! She was so worried at first…but very quickly felt at ease. We met biggie small. San Fran was quaint. Cute.

The last stop, LA. Loved it! Stayed with Buck, who was a great host. Hung out with Hafeez, Kiran and Sonal. It was so nice to hang with them. Huntley was swanky and we danced the night away. More cupcakes and red velvet truffle! The beaches were insane. I felt like I was in a movie while at Venice Beach. Hermosa, not Mimosa beach had a street fair going on. Really nice. Rahim had flown down for the night to hang with us. We all had a great time. Went to Hollywood of course and Beverly Hills. The last day, went to a bbcue. Good food again. And then back to Delhi….another 26 hours! The trip overall was fabulous.

Being back in Delhi was a bit difficult the first day, as I missed my good friends. I really realized on this trip how much I miss them. It was nice to catch up with Shazeen and meet my new friend, Ayesha, aka Junglee bheli. Seeing Rahim was good as always. And I finally got to spend qt with Raheema. Zahra and I had great fun together and it was nice to be feeling and wanting to do the same things almost throughout the entire trip! We had a lot of McDonald’s and Starbucks during our drives. It was nice to see the other girls in Vegas after so long. Buck has not changed. I love California! Thank you.

 

Insomnia February 20, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — travelchokri @ 11:21 pm

Has taken over…

 

Living in a Winter Wonderland January 31, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — travelchokri @ 8:45 am

oh my goodness! the excitement i feel today…i cannot contain myself! i have finally seen a real snowfall after 2 years and it is the most magnificent sight ever! fine, the cold is not very welcoming, but who cares! it is super beautiful! i am living in my own snow globe…

how does one scrape snow off their bicycle?