Thursday, September 28, 2006

Que Pasa?

I may not have a hold on the European languages, but I’m off today- 15 days in Europe.

Just pray that I don’t-
- Lose my passport, wallet, tickets, friend and mind
- Wander into someone else’s room in the hotel (by mistake of course)
- Take a train to Wisbejiesgystan (I bet that is a country)
- Get caught for illegal possession of rice cooker
- End up reading map upside down thinking its French
- Spend more than 3 days in the Louvre and kill myself
- Sing ‘The hills are alive with the Sound of Music’ in Salzburg and kill others.
- Get too high on hash brownies that we don’t wake up for two days straight and miss the hash brownie plans for the next night. Shudder!
- Use my friend’s toothbrush –ewwwww!

But do pray that I get hopelessly lost in the lovely cities never to return to reality.

Philly girl

I did find a friend in the gym... no points for guessing that she is someone who laughs at my jokes. I am blessed or what. When I saw her, I almost jumped up and kissed her in sheer glee. It can happen to the best of the people when they haven’t interacted with anyone other than a grocer for weeks. Actually she seemed equally desperate which explains her enthusiasm to wake me up at 6 in the morning to chat up. Do I have to admit it that I made her call? When she said she thought there were theives in her house and she got up, locked her bedroom door and went back to sleep, I knew we would get along.

Today she stunned me by suddenly asking me if I blogged as Alpha. I thought it was a very well concealed fact barring a few hundred individuals who know I blog as Alpha but who don’t even read my blog.

As the story goes, this newfound friend of mine was gloating about meeting me (yeah me) to her oldfound friend in Philly (Philly girl) ‘This girl is nuts, needs her eyebrows trimmed, almost kissed me ..yeah here, has red eyes, doesn’t exercise in the gym and just moved from Chicago, claims to be married but looks like a teenager (the last bit I made up).’ Now Philly girl is into something sinister and illegal, which makes her read my blog on regular basis. So she said, ‘Oh that is Alpha.’ Just like that! My freaking real identity got compromised by my blog identity. Not really complaining as I did get a healthy dose of on-behalf compliments from Philly girl. Thank you, thank you. I swear this world is round- the size of a golf ball.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Pittsburgh and Beyond

Almost forgot I had a blog. Don’t get stupid notions that the city is keeping me busy with its charms. Actually it’s the other way around. My charms seem to work on no one here. Not that I can claim it ever did in the past. But you get the drift. With Pi out of town for a whole month, and my office consisting of furniture and a front desk lady who doesn’t pick up the phone (coz she is at home), I am desperate for people to talk to. I have to talk to someone who can respond. My plants are stooping over with my incessant chatter and my bathroom mirror shattered when I asked the obligatory ‘Mirror mirror on the wall’ question.

So I smile, say hello to random strangers hoping they would smile and hand me over their horoscope and family medical history. I invited the bank ATM lady home for dinner when she said ‘Have a nice day.’ She is my best friend in Pittsburgh! I lost one friend the minute I got to know him. The Indian grocer. I asked him if there was a better Indian grocery store around and he took it personally.

Gym is a good place to pick up friends. It’ll freak you out to know that I am going to the gym more than ever now. All along I realized I was burning calories by tripping over sheer guilt of never going to the gym. The only humans I see there are Ray Romano if I go at the right time or Susan Lucci (the fifty year old who sells microdermabrasion kits) if I go at the wrong time. The fact that I bought one of those kits by ordering it while I was on the treadmill proves my miserable existence and why Susan Lucci is getting that glow on her skin. Because of all that money she is making from poor suckers like me who’d call and order a 40 dollar kit just to talk to another human voice. Fine, I will agree that my derma layer was having serious desires to get microabrased by sponge rotors dipped in suspicious looking goo. All this gym time hopefully lets me eat all the Belgian chocolates I want and still keep me in the 20 Most Sexiest Women Alive list. If you haven’t noticed, Pittsburgh has surely hasn't taken away my objectivity.

Moving on to my Europe trip... the reason behind this post. Now the people who didn’t even reach this far wouldn’t even know why I was writing what I was all along. What a pity!

Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany (maybe Luxemborg), Austria and Netherlands. I was hoping you wouldn’t notice the repeat. Parmanu, Aggressively yours Colours and Hardu were kind enough to let me stay with them for three whole days while in Germany (This might actually come as a shock to them. Since I was a little worried about dejection on the phone, I am resorting to this method). If they are still friends with me, please do not judge them. You’ve gotta love this blog; not only has it brought me closer to wonderful people whom I can stay for free, it will also make them strive to be wonderful hosts so that they can be written about gloriously after the trip. Sigh!

This trip planning has brought my cool factor to the abyss and my Patel factor to the top. I started off wanting to go alone, backpacking in Europe, meeting strangers and connecting with people (as you noticed Pittsburgh was my practice arena), taking in the sights unhindered by a set agenda.

See, that’s what I mean by cool. A cool that would get my grandchildren writing books about me. I was all set when in a weak moment, I invited a good friend. We found ourselves reserving hotels to stay. And yesterday while I was packing I realized that we are really not backpacking, much to my utter shock and dismay. We knew exactly where we would be and when. I had to shed my pride and my unwieldy backpack to reach out to my stroller suitcase. Ashamed as I am to admit it, I have to say, the clothes fit in perfectly with extra space for souvenirs. Heck, while I am at it, I might even take my camcorder and rice cooker (with seed for curds, of course!).

Sunday, September 10, 2006

A deep sigh for every wish not granted

In Pittsburgh. In a three bedroom rental townhome. Never lived in such a big home before so I have to keep reminding myself that those are my clothes in the walk-in closet and not that of my friend’s. That I don’t have to throw old jeans every time I buy a new one due to lack of space. I can ride a bike in the kitchen. I can finally own a dining table! This has been exhilarating. At the same time I am missing one key element. I have the space, but no one to occupy it other than just the both of us. We left our friends behind in Chicago. And that’s a trade off I am not willing to make. Take two of the bedrooms and give me my friends back. Give me the rocks on Lake Michigan back. Give me the white chocolate milkshake from Kafein and the retarded folks next door. I want to be able to peek into the lit up windows of every high rise building driving on Lake Shore Drive. I want to fall in love with the blue placid waters at the Montrose Harbor once more. I want to trip and fall on my skates when I suddenly recognize a Frank Lloyd Wright style of architecture. I want to sit in A’s house and talk to him till its dawn. I want to go back to a place I have known. I want this and much more.