A Day in the Park

One of the things I absolutely love about Delhi is the number of parks they have (not to mention forts, but this is not about that).  All the neighbourhoods I’ve been to have at least a small patch of grass in the middle of a residential block, where kids play and people go for walks, or have laughter-workouts and whatnot.

The one in my neighbourhood wasn’t built around a block though. It was a short 5 min walk away but it was much bigger than usual, with a lovely, mostly tree-lined, track built around it for walks and stuff.

I was dating a guy who was a fitness freak at the time, and he would be outside my apartment building at 5:30 in the morning (seriously! NOT kidding!)  where I’d meet him to go for a jog around the park. Early mornings were perfect, as the park would be all misty and surreal-looking, and there was still a nip in the air, but not as cold as the night.  In spite of the early hour, the park would be quite busy, with groups of people doing yoga, jogging, exercising, walking their dogs etc. And despite so many people being there, the mistiness of the air would cloak the sounds making everything seem a bit more distant, and that much more peaceful.

After our jog, we’d exercise. And by we, I mean him! :P  I was the lazy one (of course!), and I’d sit on the swings and count the number of pull-ups he did on the monkey bars.

We’d then go to the nearby Mother Dairy booth and buy elaichi-flavoured  milk which we would take back to the park. There was a tree there with broad, low-hanging branches that grew almost parallel to the ground. That was our treeWe’d climb the tree and sit on a branch, chatting desultorily and just relaxing for a while before starting our day. It was the most indulgent time of day, where we’d talk about the future, dream and laugh and just be.

At the time, I don’t think I realized how damn near perfect life was. These little dates of ours cost almost nothing, but are more precious to me for the memories than I can ever explain.

Life only seems to make sense in retrospect doesn’t it?

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Pie, Anyone?

So I was in a bad mood ok?! Ok.  Things are not going well in my world. I don’t want to get into it, but let me just say that right now, everything sucks!

So earlier this evening, I pulled into the parking lot of Spinneys (local grocery). Their parking runs in a line in front of the store so we can only parallel park there. I got into a vacant spot and then saw that the couple in the car behind me was getting into their car to leave. So I sat inside mine, waiting for them to push off so I could reverse in and take their spot. But they just sat in the car, talking! I wondered why the hell they wouldn’t just GO already! I kept looking at them from the rearview mirror, waiting for them to make a move! But they just sat there, TALKING!

Grrr!

Finally, I gave up and walked out. But as I got out, I realized my parking wasn’t in line, so I rolled my eyes (WOE is ME!), got back in, parked correctly, looked at the rear-view mirror and saw that they were STILL in their damn car! What on earth were they waiting for! F***!

I got out… muttering abuses… and started walking when suddenly they turned on the ignition and drove towards me! The lady rolled down her window, handed me their parking ticket which had a good 45 mins of parking time left on it, and drove away before I could say a word.

They were waiting for me, all that time,  just so I, non-contributing ZERO that I am, could use their ticket.

#eatinghumblepie

The Journey, not the Destination

In August of 2008, we had a 3 day weekend for Eid and till the night before, I hadn’t a clue as to what I would be doing for the holiday.

Around 10 pm, I got a call from my friend and a plan was impulsively formed (these are still my favourite kinda plans! ) to go to Salalah. Right after the call, I went out to the store to buy some provisions. On my way to the counter, I saw a humongous pack of puffed rice as well, which I randomly added to my trolley (to this day, I can’t eat puffed rice without being reminded of this trip! ).

I got home, did some research online on all the places to check out in Salalah, (including a magic road! And yes, it’s pretty cool!) packed an overnight bag and went to bed all excited about my first road-trip! :D

The road to Salalah from the border is a two-way road that stretches around 1000 kms across the desert with no barriers in between. Also, no streetlights.

On our way

So basically, you drive in pitch-black darkness (cos we went at night) with nothing but the headlights of your car to illuminate your way. Occasionally, you get oncoming traffic and hope to God they’re not sleeping or drunk cos if they make a wrong swerve, you’re done for!

There were 5 of us, and one 4wd (which is NOT advisable btw. Always go in two cars when you head out into the middle of nowhere).  Our only pit-stops were the petrol stations that we could not afford to miss, cos it would be the only one on the road for the next 400 kms or so. So if you don’t fill up, you’ll run out of gas and be stuck in the middle of nowhere.

After daylight hit us, we went off-road and did a bit of dune-bashing ( we had an off-road enthusiast with us) and  afterwards stopped for breakfast at one of the petrol stations. There was pretty basic stuff on offer- shawarma and falalfels, not much else. And it wasn’t all that great either. It’s best to carry food with you. But since we only had our seemingly inexhaustible supply of puffed rice and some cold pizza left over from last night, we silently ate our shawarmas and washed it down with juice, with my friend pushing the accelerator down, aiming to reach our destincation faster than ever!

The most amazing part about going to Salalah via road is the abrupt change in scenery you encounter within minutes of going up the mountain (don’t ask me which mountain! A mountain that suddenly crops up after your 1000 km journey through endless desert!).

It’s a sudden transformation from brown-nothingness…

Nothing but sand

… to lush greenery!

lush-nessss!

After 10 hours of staring at sand, we drank in the soothing greenery like parched souls in an oasis! There was a cold mist around us as we were quite literally walking in the clouds! I breathed in the cool air and could feel myself relaxing already.

This was gonna be good!

a sight for sore eyes

But now that we were in Salalah, we needed to find a place to stay, which, due to our last-minute planning, was an issue we’d completely disregarded.

And unless you’re one of those who’ll go knocking on doors in a strange places asking for accommodation (and those kinda people exist! I know exactly one person like that), you need to book in advance!  Of course, this may seem obvious to you, but look at what happened to us with our lusty impulsiveness to get away! We didn’t have a place to stay!

Of course, we eventually found a place… but that is fodder for another, more whiny post!

For now, let’s just enjoy the greenery!

mera-wala green! :D

A Dear Diary Post

So I spent most of the weekend sulking and walking around in self-pity.

You see, the house I was busy checking out  purple couches for was supposed to be MINE as of the 6th. It is the 9th today and not only has the handover been delayed, it also looks like the apartment I had my eyes on will not be available to me. :o(

I hate real estate agents! They’re all the same! They never tell you the truth and they lead you on and keep you hoping and waiting! And this is just for rent! Imagine if I wanted to buy a house! *Shudder*

Worse still, I was supposed to be on a mini-break to Jaipur and Agra, but I cancelled it as I was supposed to move this weekend. So half the group is traipsing across India, with one guy sending in pictures through  BB of what I’m missing out on! He even sent a pic of the train reservations with my name on it and titled the pic ” missing passenger”. *sob*

Plus on Thursday I watched Horrible Bosses. One word – Ugh!

So all in all, not a very good weekend.

Today though, I finally stopped moping. I decided to get stuff done! That’s what adults do right? Stop moping and get going!

So first, I stopped playing Angry Birds (harder than it sounds!). Then I called a few other real estate companies and set up appointments to check out some other apartments tomorrow.

Then, I tried to quit the gym. (Yes, the very same).  Since I’m moving, I’m going to be living about 50 kms away from the gym, which is extremely inconvenient. Plus, I’m doing yoga everyday now, so I don’t need to go to the gym. I’d tried quitting before, but couldn’t. When I first went up there I felt like I was like Chandler in this episode of Friends, except, no hot guy behind the reception. Just a very rude, effeminate man who said “Sorry, you signed up for a one year contract, you can’t quit unless your doctor says you can’t exercise or you get fired”.  I went again today with the doc’s letter and was told I would be called in 3-4 days with an “update” on the situation. So it’s a wait and watch situation now.

I went and got me a late lunch from Potbelly (easily the best sub in dxb! Prove me wrong, come on! I dare ya!). They have a guy playing the guitar and singing lovely songs there now, which just makes your heart dance!

Oh, and funny thing, this guy waiting for his sandwich in front of me started chatting with me, and he seemed quite nice, joking and laughing, and kinda cute. Then I realized he was hitting on me. Offered to pay for my lunch, have a meal with him. I’m never sure how to respond to stuff like that!  I got all flustered and laughed it off as a joke. I left with my sandwich, wishing I’d known how to respond in the positive! Damn! I wonder if they have classes for these things!

Oh well… que sera sera and all that.  It’s all meant to be, or not …isn’t it?

And since this is supposed to be a travel blog, I’m gonna leave you with a picture taken on a trip to Cape Town. This was at Stellenbosch. We’d gone there for lunch after which the others went to check out the animals at the sanctuary. I went for a walk.

Bling It Onnnn!

I’m shifting houses, and looking to furnish the new place with all new stuff!  So I went window shopping for furniture today (well, technically, yesterday, cos it’s almost 2 am now!) and found some real “gems” that I’d like to share with you all!  (Please note that the pics were taken on my BB, so the quality and the garishness of the colour has been reduced a LOT!  In real life, you’re eyes would almost start watering from the brightness ! )

This couch actually has fake diamonds sewed onto  each depression! Big fat pointy ones too!  Made my eyes water this one!

And ah! How can I forget! The ultimate in space-saving! Ikea doesn’t hold a candle to these guys! Ladies and gentlemen… I present to you… *drumroll*…  the table cum aquarium!

We were just dumbfounded by this one. I mean… who would even think of such a thing?! Who would have thought  “Wow, my aquarium is so pretty that I’d like to eat off it!” ?!

Strangely enough, two of my guy friends actually liked  this one! Boys are weird!

Oh, and I didn’t find anything I liked at this store (not surprising) so we headed over to another store, where again, I didn’t find a single couch I liked! Why do they have so many browwwn couches everywhere?! Ech!

I did finally find a bed I liked, which wasn’t ornately carved or too high or too low or anything… but it was part of a bedroom set with a bunch of stuff thrown in that I didn’t want. So it was back to square one again!

This is clearly not as easy as I thought it would be!

Tomorrow, I check out The One. Hopefully, the name will hold good for me and I will find what I want!

*fingers crossed*