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!).