Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Sprouts and Waffle Ex-pee-rience


Enroute to Brussels on Eurail, my friend was mighty disappointed that the view outside the train wasn’t as pretty as they showed in DDLJ. For the uninitiated, DDLJ is a Bollywood blockbuster starring Shahrukh, Kajol and a cow. After much deliberation, the blog name for my friend will be Simran. So when I realized Simran was actually in Europe for the DDLJ experience, (people have weird reasons to travel…some travel to buy magnets and some to sing ‘Tujhe dekha to yeh jaana sanam’) I knew for a fact that I had better recreate Amrish Puri quickly or deal with huge sighs of disappointment through out the trip.

‘What yaa, the stations don’t look like the ones in the movie,’ she sulked.

If I could get my hands on that Chopra fella, I’m demanding a freaking explanation. Why Europe? Why Eurail? Why make such movies available to all and sundry? Can't wait to get my Sound of Music revenge in Salzburg.

Anyway, Brussels was very tiny. If we had actually moved from the two blocks we kept wandering in and out of for the fear of getting lost, we might have felt the city was enormous. The Grand Place square was incredible. Since we just stumbled into it, we were struck by its beautiful cathedral and gothic buildings. Many roads just end in such open squares all through Europe. But none compared to the grandiose of this particular one. It’s lovelier by the night. Coffee shops and restaurants line this square. A local artist painting, kids playing, a concert in progress, a tourist taking the 56th picture (not me, I stopped at 52) didn’t mar the beauty of this place. Waded through the tourists to check out this little peeing kid, Manneken Pis (name doesn't leave much for imagination) and that's exactly what we saw..a bronze kid peeing away to glory. I am sure tourists avoid buying his statue as we saw loads of them in the stores. We also saw a bronze dog peeing on the road. Belgians must surely come to India and see the real thing!

Brussels is also known for its cartoonists like Herge of the Tintin fame. So there are many murals/cartoons throughout the city giving the historic city an element of fun.

And like every cool traveler, we did a very cool thing. Ate at an Indian restaurant that sent magnetic forces towards us the first day. We decided to eat in a local joint and got cheese and more cheese into our blood stream. How much chocolates and waffles can a man eat…same as a woman. By the second day, we succumbed to the smell of aaloo baingan. Those restaurant people did have some sense of humor. The samosas had brussel sprouts as filling. Try this at home by all means, but not when I am invited. Thank you very much.


Big Ben in Belgium (not as big)


We took a train to Mini Europe. Now this place had always caught my fancy in pictures. Whenever someone showed me photos of walking among tiny scaled models of the Big Ben and Eiffel tower, I was quite enthralled. I didn’t mention to Simran and her hubby (chalo, let’s call him Narsim, who was a kabab-mein-haddi during our initial travel..so much for Shahrukh Khan bouncing towards us) that I had seen these pictures when I was a kid. So they played along and accompanied my excited self to this theme park called Mini Europe. I can’t tell you how I escaped strangalization by this suddenly turned violent couple. The park was at its cheesy best. I could have strangled myself…but put a brave front to ward off any more disgusted stares. ‘Wow, look at this…miniature Grand Palace Sqaure.’ I think that was when all of us developed allergic reactions towards the Grand Palace Square and decided to stay away from it for the rest of the day.


‘Let’s buy lace.’ Simran declared out of sudden fascination for procuring items that a certain place was famous for.

‘What?! That granny stuff? No way are we buying lace.’ Narsim simmered.

‘Why not’, I asked. ’They’d look lovely as head rests on your couch so that when I come to your house with my head full of Parachute oil, it wont stain the backrest of the aforementioned sofa. Also you could use lace to cover your telephone and TV when they are not in use.’

‘If you are buying lace, then I am buying a pipe and placing it over the TV.’ Narsim protested.

‘Pipe? Like PVC pipe?’

‘No, a smoking pipe.’

‘That might actually go with our décor. Forget the lace. Let’s buy a pipe. Is it famous here?’

So while this couple sorted out their differences over pipes and lace, I bought knives. It might come handy to slit throats in case it became necessary.

30 comments:

leftit said...

Was Narsim supposed to be an anagram of Simran.. or was it just coincidental? ;)

Nice blog btw..

pravin said...

lol :P

alpha said...

titfel- on purpose..why would i come up with such a preposterous name otherwise..apologies to all the narsims.
thanks.

pravin: i loved your blog layout. who is dushyant?

Anonymous said...

Why Simran???? I remember that she wanted to called something else.. she will be disappointed. ;)

alpha said...

Hardu: Kajol's screen name, aint it? Too bad..my blog..I could have called her cow..lucky her!

upsilamba said...

Hail Alpha!
Glad to see you back on track.

pravin said...

umm that would be dusty-ant. i'm a tiny critter. and i dont wash myself much :|

bloghopper said...

Eating brussel sprouts in Brussels ! Ha ha now that is something to write about :)

Rationale said...

Brussel sprouts!! Yukkk! The first (and last) time I had that was at my sisters place during a traditional christmas dinner. Never again... brrrr... (Yuk again!)

Haha Peeing kid and dog- too much. Makes you wonder why they are so fascinated by it.. hmmmm.....

Anonymous said...

LOL! It's great to have you back!

By the way hardu mentioned in her blog about your culinary skills and that you would do the dishes too...

Dallas is a nice place. There are lots of empty places to see around. I can even show you a peeing dog and a cat also (bonus!)

You can bring your Knives also... just in case ;-)

Anonymous said...

hey shark:

i have dibs on alpha, if only because i have been reading her blog longer than you have. plus, she can relive her previous incarnation as a student (aka uffff) if she visits us :-). i do hope she does not spring brussels sprouts on us though!

other readers:

alpha typically does not post any patel photos, maybe because she is from down south. for those interested in such photos, this is the place to be, thanks dustyant.pravin-->ashish.gupta-->etc. :-). it even has a picture of a paree from pari(s), if you know what i mean. a good diversion from the babes that pee(k) from alpha's blog!

alpha:

"strangalization" ain't in my dictionary, you might want to try "strangulation," though your intended victims might outrun you if you really wanna feel like trying!

enjoyed skimming over your write-up - i have become a real bloghopper now :-(!

- s.b. (green with envy and yellow with jealousy!)

Anonymous said...

LOL :)
nithya

Fishy said...

alpha... ur bacccck :)

Cherie! said...

So did you clear the p.e.e. then?

alpha said...

upsi, fishy, nithya: thanks!

sharky: Harudu was paid hefty sums of money. i am sure you wouldnt mind that too...but now i am pauper. If I come to Dallas, I know what to do... unless s.b. lives in Dallas too.

sb: UF? ..whats with all this anonimity unless you were the guy who stole my roomate's bra while in UF.

Your link doesnt work. And please do read every word I write..if the few jobless people I know start skimming, I'll have to make my blog dad friendly.

cherie: aiyoo...i did just now. you better not hold yours in too.

Hardu said...

I should say you are lucky, she doesn't read your blog. :d

Anonymous said...

for a minute i thought one of two things had happened - dudes running away from your blog for patel photos (or for the pari) had brought blogger down with them, or blogger was up to some mischief. sadly, neither of those is right. i am to blame. here is the now corrected link!

the only reason i ever came to your (previous) neck of the woods (and i bet neither you nor your roomie was around then!) was for carnatic concerts, not to pull a dushshaasana!

and yes, i will read the rest of your post (when you are on your next trip :-).

hardu:

duh?!!

fishy:

what's wrong with alpha's back? i thought i read that she had the knife in her hands right after she bought it!

- s.b.

Fishy said...

s.b.
now now dont make me say things i didnt intend to say...
your and you're need to be specified while saying "ur"
Kutti mistake :)

rads said...

That was lovely reading about good ol Brussels. Loved the place, and dying to go back again. Btw, which desi restaurant did you go to - The one on Rue de la Chambre - Punjab is gooooood. None else.

alpha said...

hardu: she knows my blog... so dont lucky anyone yet. My knives have also been given away as gifts.

rads: thanks. i did like brussels..i even bought a book called 'Brussels through Cartoon strips'. We ate at a decent place next to Grand Palace..it wasn't bad...except for the samosas with brussel sprouts. Did u live there? Did you like it? I am sounding like my friend.

Dog's Best Friend said...

well your backpacking friends aren't going to be too thrilled at all the throat-slitting business and sundry insults you've thrown in...
Stay safe my friend...may the Force be with you

pravin said...

s.b. = saltwater blues?

Zoheb said...

strangalization

Aiyoooooo !!! This girl seems hell bent on inventing a new language !!!

Zoheb said...

strangalization

Aiyoooooo !!! This girl seems hell bent on inventing a new language !!!

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