February 5, 2010

First Evening in the new city

So where was I?? uhh aaah…. Just reached my apartment, and as told by my colleagues it was at the heart of city, right at the nerve center of all the hustle n bustle….. (psst- it happens to be the only such place around here) ….Let me check with Mr.Google as to whts the exact area of this place, damn y didn’t this exciting (time wasting) task strike me earlier :) …..my place is on the seventh floor and corner most flat…. It did have a very picturesque view from my balcony….

It took me a few chilling seconds outside to take this snap…..n I promised myself to venture out again n again to feel how the whiff of ice cold air feels filling up the lungs…..

Anyways, I was asked to freshen up and come to
“THE TEMPLE”… well tht’s how the SHOPPING MALL here (a.ka. sort of Hyd Central but much larger than that MINUS the cinema halls :( ) had been christened by my colleagues….It’s called the temple ‘coz, we have to/ must visit it daily to gather by daily necessities. It has got ‘all the varieties’ of bread served through various shops (our daily routine breakfast, unless we are prepared to experiment on our own), some Asian (read Chinese) shops, a huge dept store etc etc

I arrive at THE TEMPLE and my colleagues are all the bit excited as any school kid wud be showing off his new compass box….they give a whirlwind tour of the entire place explaining from where I could my necessaries…. In actual they gave subtle hints, bĂȘte kal se tu apne aap ghoomega, humse kuch madad ki umeed mat rakh!!! …..

So be it… I decided to lock, stock n barrel for the next few days and told myself to buy some groceries n stuff…. N then I came face to face with the deadliest challenger in my life so far, he wouldn’t talk to me and even if he did I couldn’t understand him…I wasn’t sure if he is the one I want to talk to…. Hmm pardon my poor sense of humour, but here I am talking about the THINGS tht I need to purchase… everything was written in the native language….I couldn’t make head or tail of the items….. there were some 10 or more varieties each of milk, yoghurt, bread, eggs, cheese, n wht not with varied compositions …. N I couldn’t make out where the masala items were…. I read through the ingredients list, tried to decipher something from the image pasted on the bottles, make my own inferences of some words and finally bought my items… n then I realized why my colleagues come here daily, may be they pick the wrong item the day before n come searching for the correct one the next day … !!!!

By the way, my first purchase here was a muffler, everyone scared the ahem ahem out of me and told that I cudn’t survive without it and I take one…. And me being an Indian at heart, wht do I do??? Well, do the arithmetic of how much it costs in Indian rupees and get shocked !!!! This is followed by the same arithmetic of groceries bill and said it aloud
‘OH DAAAMN…*******’ ……

And then we dispersed…. I come back to my place n frantically search through the items to find out my menu for the night… I hoped to find some noodles (Maggie sort, so easy to prepare) and disappointed I am, as I don’t find….. So decide to make the easiest item around here ..DAL (read dal n tomato & not as some wud affectionately call
‘muddapappu’) n I have pickle, so chill maar bĂȘte, khana ready !!!! I discovered that the guys who used this apartment earlier were kind enuf lo leave a lot of utensils behind, thus making my task much easier…..

I freshen up again, serve the dinner to myself and eat it…….. Some might ask how it tasted?? Was it harmful to the digestive system?? Did it put ur resistance to test?? … hmm I may not be in a position to answer all of them, but the very fact that I wrote this post means that the MENU wasn’t as harmful to humans as it was perceived to be…. I SURVIVED!!!!!!!! What a ‘nice’ cook I turned out to be and surprised myself!! Actually surprise might be too little a word to describe my horror, amazement, shock, astonishment n .. n… well I ran out of adjectives as always :)

Aahaa…. There we go, I found the subject for my next post… MY COOKING!!! A.k.a MY EXPERIMENTS WITH TRUTH (rather my own life :( ) ….

First day in “A New place"

After a brief battle with the shower in hotel (which it won hands down, by rationing my HOT water supply) and a long drawn out war with the room heater (eventually WON by IT again) …. I geared up to begin my first day … at A NEW PLACE!!!

So what better way to begin a new day, than a good n ahem ahem HEAVY proper breakfast…. Here I go into the room expecting to find
garama garam idly (deadly), pesarettu (aaha) or better even Masala Dosa (dis is too much)…. Uparwala bola, “tu kuch zyada hi expect kar raha hai bey !!! ahahaha… ye le” n he gave me bread :( , not one but 6-7 varieties of it…. Bhagwaan kya karu isse??? Back home, bread was n I suppose is still considered to be the STAPLE food of …. The people falling sick!!!! N tht’s what I had to have…. On top of it I chose a certain variety (I picked it up based on the fact that I liked its colour, dimensions & it ‘appeared’ good:D) and it tastessss…. YUKKKKKKK!!!!!!! Then I realized “Beta, dikhao pe mat jaa” ……

(Psst: I was xpecting the best out of a NON ASIAN hotel)

After the exciting morning adventure (well there were more in store for me), I arrived at my office {maan, straight to work!!! :( }… got an blitzkrieg of introductions and managed to remember quite a few faces
(I do have an affinity for pretty faces n remember them well, just as others of my side of the species do …but where there any at my work place… naah- just one or two !!!) n perhaps some names, I wanted to get home immediately and do a quick ‘Match the following’ :D, least I forget anyone ……. I was shown my workplace and there I found the most beautiful thing ever, something which I wished was all along with me through all times n all journeys, something that ensures u r not too far away for your dear ones…… guys!!! Don’t strain urselves, I was talking about the phone :) and I curse those stupid Vodafone guys again….

I immediately got to work….. heheheeh of making calls to home and faced the barrage of questions which I used to hear on TV or during calls with my cousins abroad and schmuck at…. What’s the time over there?? Hows the outside temperature?? Breakfasy khaya? Kya khaya??? Etc etc…. I surprised myself and answered all those questions with loads of patience……

Morning session was like….shuru hote hi khatam ho gaya!!! Wish it happens always :D …… internal body clock was still UPDATING itself to new specifications; n in due process alerted my tummy at the wrong time with the wrong message… I mean whn it was supposed to have a proper lunch it wanted to finish off with just a snack (as done back home)….. But me being stubborn (am I???) tried to shove in some nutrition into it….ahha but for that to happen I had to take a 5 min stroll in the wonderful environs outside (it was just -8 deg) and I had to get ready all over again (the sweater, jerkin, muffler, skull cap, gloves)… now I had to eat something…I really meant SOMETHING, damn I didn’t knew even one item on the menu. Luckily my colleague ordered something edible n in normal language was supposed to taste good too but………
it was like half boiled …yeeeksss…..

Back home, I used to make fun of guys eating out at SUBWAY or having some salads (filled with sprouts & green leafy veggies) … I used to say abhey yeh
GHAAAS POOS kyo khaate ho… eat something cooked properly…. Guys!!! My sincerely apologies to you, wht I call GHAAS POOS is like a common item here on every menu n probably the only thing that I can trust and eat with my eyes closed!!!!

And I was done for the day …somehow!! Don’t bother asking me how… it happened…. I had to reach my apartment which was a new place, and I had to call a TAXI… the person at the other end knew NO ENGLISH and definitely cudn’t understand what I spoke & proudly called HIS language!!! But I managed to make him understand the name n location of my place (again don’t ask how, it just happened beta)… I reached wht I can call as, ‘MY PLACE’ for the duration of my stay here…..

N owww oww oww…how did I forget this/ rather how could I?? Back home, we used to talk about the weather for say hardly 5 mins in a day… maan it was hot yesterday!! ….Dude I got drentched in rain!! Its chilly out there !!! ….. n IF someone was actually talking about weather at length like…
“When I was in USA…” ahem ahem hope u guys got the hint as to whom I am referring to …. We used to make mockery of them……. N here AT MY NEW PLACE, it was the hottest topic … ALL DAY ALONG, people discussed n discussed it at lengths….

In total culmination…. It was a great day to begin with, got to meet new people, new work culture, new environs etc etc….. Hope to set the things straight and get set with my daily activities….

Anyways….tht’s it from me for now….. the day didn’t end yet, but the rest of the evening is altogether a different experience and deserves a separate posting for itself… :)