Tuesday, January 27, 2009
One such incident, when they went to watch a movie. Movie was to start in 10 mins or so. When they entered, the hall was nearly full with places here and there, so if you wanted to sit together all you had to do was just ask someone to shift a seat. This was the conversation they had.
H (P’s husband) : See we are late. Lets come tomorrow.
P: But there is place to sit.
H: There are no seats together.
P: We can ask them… Ok… I’ll ask someone to move
H: No lets not disturb them, we’ll come tomorrow
And they went to the movie next day. Right after this conversaiton C remarked
C: ಸಧ್ಯ ಮಧುವೆ ದಿನ "ಇವತ್ತು ಇಷ್ಟೊಂದು ಜನ ಇದ್ದರೆ ಇವತ್ತು ಮಾಡುವೆ ಬೇಡ, ನಾಳೆ ಮಾಡ್ಕೊಳೋಣ" ಅಂದಿಲ್ಲ
(Thank God, on the wedding day he dint say “there are too many people today, we’ll get married tomorrow)
3 of us burst out laughing. We just couldnt imagine him saying like that.
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Then with broken English we had a conversation. She asked me if I was a student (I am super happy everytime anybody asks this question). I promptly refused and said, no working. Then she asked if I am married and even said I looked so young (again super happy). Now it was my turn to ask her questions. I got to know that she was from Korea and has come here with husband and 2 kids. They go to Korean school in US (I never knew they had these).
In the meanwhile the driver called out that he was taking a turn, and if the lady wanted to get down. Later he just asked people in the bus knew about the particular street. Luckily one guy seemed to know which stop would be nearer and so she got down at the stop thanking me.
I felt relieved that she got the right place… at the same time I thought how would I handle these situations if I landed up in a place where they dint speak the languages I knew and I wouldn’t understand a word of what anybody would say.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Tuesday evening I went shopping. We don’t have a car, so I had to keep in mind that things I buy don’t weigh too much and should be easy to carry. First I went to a shop where I could find some plates on which I could decorate the stuff. I was looking around and found some cute little cards (for personalized messages) and some small bags. I picked up these, some mixed nuts and a few chocolates. The next destination was for fruits. I had thought of 5 fruits, but then I was giving these for 10 ppl, so getting 5 fruits and 10 each would be heavy. A little bit of searching and I found mini apples, mini pear, strawberries, raspberries and bananas. So except banana everything else was light weight… Hurray!!! Mission accomplished. Now the last thing left was to go home and pack.
Me and G conferenced and called both the homes and wished everybody. By the time the calls got over it was 8.30 PM. I still had to start the packing. This went on till 11.00 PM, had dinner and then continued with the personalized notes. By the time I had everything packed for the next morning, it was 12.30 AM
A sample bag
Close up of all the bags
All the bags finally
Rolling back to Sankranti day:
All of us had to come ethnic that day. Out of which 5 of us even agreed on a saree. So off I went in the bus wearing a saree, with a bag full of goodies. It was a fun day. So many of them had got Pongal (Sweet/Non sweet). I had decided to take it the next day. Later I gave the gifts to all my friends here and they were extremely happy with this. After lunch we people even had a photo session. My mom said doesn’t look like you were not in India.
It was so much fun. Finally for dinner we had rice, sambar and sweet pongal.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Once I reached Houston, it took us nearly an hour to reach G’s home. “Houston is big”, G always said and I had just got the glimpse. By the time we reached home had dinner and slept, it was 3.00 AM. Oh yes!!! Dinner was yummy rice and sambar which G had prepared. He is a pretty good cook, though he knows just 3-4 dishes but very good at these. The next day (Christmas Day) we got up pretty late. We dint have any plans to go out, since everything would be closed. G had got some dosa batter from the Indian store. We had some yummy dosas, lazed around, had lunch after some time and slept. This was an ideal lazy day and we were just happy that we both were together. In the evening we went around Houston, went to one of the Indian chat houses. We had yummy chat there. After this drove around and came back and watched some movie on the laptop.
The next day after lunch, we started for San Antonio. The plan was to go to Sea World the next day. That day we drove for 3 hrs reached the hotel (Omni – 4 Star Hotel). We were on the 11th floor and view was pretty good from there.
In the evening after some snack we went to the RiverWalk in San Antonio. After initial hiccup of getting lost, we reached the place. And what a place that was. The roads were full. They were beautifully lit up.
And once we parked and went down to the river, it was a beautiful sight. The River was nothing to speak about, it was more of a canal, but the walk was something we enjoyed the whole evening. There were so many restaurants on the walk.
There was also an amphitheatre, and as we kept on walking we came to a mall and they had some live music playing on the river side. They had a huge beautiful Christmas tree. This was called the River center.
The cool breeze and the river walk, made this walk so romantic. As usual G forgot where our car was parked and we had a discussion on which way to go, and as usual I won. If we were hungry we had the option of taking a boat ride along with dinner there. One Mexican restaurant had this dinner on the boat option. I would have loved that, but by then we too tired walking along the river. They had boat tours, with a guide, but the queue was so long that we dropped this idea, and decided we would come the next day for the same. After a very long walk and talk, we came back to the hotel tired, had some pizza and rested for day. It would be a long day next.
Saturday : We were near Sea World by 10.30 AM. This is the third time I was visiting Sea World and I still find it so amazing. Ofcourse it was a different one this time, last 2 times it was the Orlando Sea World. It was a bright sunny day perfect for a outing like this. As soon as we entered I gave the camera to G so that he could start taking pics. There was this beautifully decorated Christmas tree as soon as we entered. Then we scanned through the map and decided which shows to attend.
The first one was Sealion and Walrus show. This was about the Christmas spirit. How the sealions responded to the humans was just amazing. They were so cute too. And all of sudden comes out a huge Walrus. It was fun to watch these wonderful creatures.
After this we rushed to the most famous show in Sea World. The Shamu Adventures. Shamu is the Killer Whale. It’s very huge, and they had number of Shamus with them all of them equally adorable.
We were awestruck by the acrobatics performed by all the Shamus and their instructors. They seemed one with each other. It seemed like they were inseperables. The funniest moment is when these whales wave at u with their tail. The best is when from underwater, they just rise high with the instructor on their top.
I could go on and on, on this 20 min show, but the experience of watching it can never be justified. Out of all three times this was when I enjoyed.
First time we went, Shamu had given birth to junior Shamu just the previous day, hence show was cancelled and we could just watch the bonding where junior and senior swam together. Second time, we went to the last show, and probably the whales were tired too, so not too impressive. But this time they bowled me over.
Once this got over, our stomach started grumbling and we rushed to eat something.
After this we went to ride, which was called steel eel. This was a long roller coaster ride which would go up an down. We first thought its not good to go right after food, but still went ahead looking at the long queue. So we knew we would have enough time. And it was a great ride, not too scary but quite thrilling and too much fun.
Our next destination was another show, Viva as it was called. This involved dolphins and humans and belogua whales (white cute ones). This show was spectacular too.
We enjoyed this as good as we enjoyed Shamu. Once this was done, we wanted to go a ride Atlantis and then we wanted to just roam around and look at the dolphin feeding area and sharks and corals.
Off we went to Atlantis, This is a water ride, but the trick is to sit in the right place so that you don’t get wet. I dint want to spoil my pretty dress so sat right in the middle. The ship in which we sat went up, we could see the whole of sea world, then gave us a 360 degree horizontal view, then we zooped backwards to the next point. Again we turned around, so that we could have a fall a few foot from the ground. It was amazing. I wanted to do this again, but then me and G were just talking and dint realize when we came out.
We went towards the next thing in our agenda, but came across few huge horses. I don’t really remember their names, but when you look at that and talk about horse power, I sure can imagine how damaging it could be. Awesome horses, I must say.
Once we crossed these, there were dolphins in this area, and we could buy fish and feed them too.
I was too excited and bought it so that when they come near to eat we could touch them. But due to some problems, I could touch nor feed them… G could do both and I was really angry coz of this.
Anyway a small tiff is always a sign of a good trip. Then off to the shark viewing and other types of fish in the large aquarium.
Somehow this dint interest me, possibly coz I dint have the mood, since I couldn’t touch the dolphins. But they are so adorable. By now the day was coming to an end. And so we ended this splendid day by going out to an Indian restaurant. We had some nice food. We were too exhausted and dint have the energy to go back to the river walk so ditched that idea, just went to the hotel and saw TV. It was fun. It was really long time when we both saw TV together.
Then came the last day of the trip and we had to go back to Houston. We decided on visiting Natural Bridge Caverns and Safari nearby. These were on the way to Houston. Within an hour we reached the Caverns. It was a cold day, and we rushed in to get the tickets. As our trip started, we were briefed on why it was called the Natural Bridge Caverns.
This is the natural bridge which broke down due to some natural calamity
We then got to hear stories of several Stalactites (ones hanging on the ceiling), Stalagmites (growing up from the ground) and Columns (are those where stalactites and stalagmites meet). I am very much fascinated by caverns.
They grow for hundreds of years and growing only probably just a cubic cm per year. We had big halls filled with these, along with the tallest of 50ft.
There were ones shaped like a jelly fish, and a hall filled with these as if there was a gathering about some discussion.
Our imaginations could run wild and far. Once we were done with this, we came out to bright sunlight. It was fun.
We then headed towards the Safari. At the entrance, we were given the feeding food for animals. We could take our cars and go into this safari.
There were no carnivores animals. As we went on, there were so many deer, antelopes, bisons, zebra. All of these running free in the wild. Ok… ok they all were not running, but they were surely engrossed in their own worlds.
As soon as they saw some one from the car with food, they would come near, gobble up the food which was provided.
That's my hair... we were this close
There were even a ostrich, and it was fun when it came running towards our car and started pecking on G’s window. The speed at which he rolled up the windows was awesome.
If we dint have power windows, I am sure G would have holes on his face.
Well it was fun to be with these animals. As it neared the end of the day, we left to Houston.
We reached home by 8. I cooked after a while. And we called it a day hoping for a beautiful week ahead.
I wasn’t sad that the weekend was over. I still got to be with G for the whole week.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Sunday night was filled with dreams. It had a mixture of the characters in both the books. So many times I couldn’t relate which one belonged to which story.
Today morning when I told my colleague about this. He said if I had read for my certification with so much concentration, I would have cleared it :)
Thursday, January 08, 2009
These were the thoughts on 24th Dec, when I was to fly to Houston to be with G for 10 whole days. There were very few people in office as many had taken the whole week off. And the remaining of us were busy discussing what each of us would do for the holidays. After a short day at work, my friend offered me to drop me to the airport. Airport is just a 10 min drive from office. There was a long queue at the check in counter. I was completely excited so dint mind it. My turn came, I checked in my luggage and started moving, I realized the guy forgot to give my boarding pass. I went back and got it from him. We then moved towards the security check. We had to take out boots, belts, laptop out of the bag. I went through and it beeped. I was asked to take out my earring. Again.. I went through, it beeped. I realized it might be due to my chains. I told the security officer. He asked me if I could take it out. Without second thoughts I said, no. I dint want to take out my Thali (Mangal sutra). It would have seemed very filmy to me if I had seen somebody else do it, but I don’t know what me so adamant that I dint want it to be taken out. It was like a sense of pride. I am not the completely traditional type. I harldy wear bindis, I only do when I wear Indian outfits, I have my bangles safe at home. But this one thing has never been away from me. Anyway I had a through inspection and was left after they found I am not carrying any harmful things. As I went further, I just realized I lost my boarding pass to LA. I panicked a little, but got to know that they can reprint my boarding pass. All the while I was standing on the gate the plane was about to take off. Then I just overheard that the gate has changed. I just reached the correct gate of boarding, and collected my boarding pass, and off I went to sit on a window seat.
The flight was to take off at 4.10, but as luck would have it, it was postponed for a few minutes. Its my reputation in US, none of my flights take off on time. It was sunset time, by the time we were high and in mid air. I was reading a book and was completely engrossed. I just a looked out the window and saw such a beautiful sight. I see the clouds everytime we fly but this time it had the orange tinge.
I completely loved it. Took out my camera and captured a few moments. It made me feel so happy. After a while, when darkness engulfed the beauty, I just got back to my book. When the pilot announced that we would be landing, my eyes went back to the window again. The city of lights looked beautiful. It was such a beautiful sight. I wished my camera could take night pics as good as the day ones. Oh we it does, but then a lit bit shake and it becomes so difficult to understand what the pic is all about. Well, coming back to the sight, it was treat to my eyes.
We then had to wait for an hour or so at the next gate. I was again stuck to my book with a pack of fries and a vanilla milkshake. Randomly I would pick up my head to look around and then go back to my book. In this process I saw an Indian couple. They weren’t too old, but my guess is their son/daughter lived in US. At first I dint pay much attention (its like mini India out here). But all of a sudden my eyes caught a nostalgic sight. The lady had the Tulsi (holy Basil) plant next to her. I don’t know why, but there was a smile on my face looking at that. It reminded me on how we used tulsi at home, how mom packed it for me to take it to mysore. After those refreshing moments, I went back to my book. After a while I got bored of the place, so changed seats and was getting impatient, I just wanted to get on to the flight. Again the take off was a splendid view. I finished off my book in the flight and reached Houston in a couple of hours. I just had to wait few minutes for my baggage to come out. I rushed out as G had come to the airport to pick me up.
And finally when G pulled over the car and I sat next to him. It felt great
Tickets to Houston: $500+
Shopping for the trip: $100+
Expression on our faces when we met : Priceless