The Machines Fight Back, and I Lose!

My story begins in Oslo, which is a weird place. Beautiful, but definitely weird!

This happened on my first day there, just a little over a month ago (man! Where has the time gone?!) when my friend Ashi and I went to check out the famous Vigeland Park. I’m probably going to sound like a plebian to some people here, but I gotta say, I don’t get that park! The sculptures are just weird and it looked like the artist had a massive issue with babies, not to mention other things!

I mean… what the hell is this?!

The guy sure doesn't like babies!

Man kicking off attacking babies… erm…?!

And how scary does that baby look huh!?

Evil baby!

Evil baby!

Anyway… that is not what this post is about. This post is about my search for a toilet in this crazy park! You’d think parks come with public toilets, but not this one! Though the park had a couple of signs pointing to what seemed like toilets, all of them led to dead-ends and private office-like structures that were locked from the inside and showed no sign of habitation. I’d drunk quite a bit of wine before setting off on our stroll around the park and really needed to pee, so I was getting quite desperate for a loo and Ashi, sympathetically ( or cos she was laughing at me and wanted to hide it) walked ahead to ask other people while I looked around close by. Finally, someone pointed out to a structure around the bend up ahead and said we’d find a loo there.

I walked up there and saw the sign on the door with relief and ignored all the other  signs on it (something I would regret doing very shortly!). I opened the door, walked in, and no sooner had I closed the door that the toilet started ATTACKING!

THE Toilet!

THE Toilet!

There were nozzles in the corners that started spraying cold water at me, starting at an angle so it could reach me just at the beginning of my calf length boots, and working its way down to my feet. Obviously, I screaaaaaaamed like a banshee! Ashi heard me and panicked, yelling from the outside asking if i was okay while I was scrambling around trying to avoid the jets of water and simultaneously trying to dry myself using toilet paper (the only paper available in there, they didn’t have napkins). Then the spraying stopped, but it still wasn’t over!

I felt like I was inside a hair dryer! Air was now being jetted out from the nozzles, pushing away the water from the floor (and towards me). I tried to dry myself as best as possible with the TP and then dump it into the loo, but the toilet itself was fighting back as well!! The loo was now spewing out air!

So the long rolls of toilet paper that I tried to throw into the loo were flying out like streamers, with just the wet ends stuck to the seat. Try as I might, I could not stop the air, or flush the paper down or do anything really!

There I was, standing in the middle of a wet-now-but-soon-drying loo, dripping with what smelled like mild disinfectant, and fighting with the toilet to throw TP into it! I knew I was fighting a losing battle and just ran the hell out of there!

Poor Ashi was standing outside anxiously, waiting for me. Of course, I’ve never seen a person laugh as long as she did when I explained to her what had happened.

Turns out it is a paid toilet, one that cleans itself after every use. The person who used it previously hadn’t closed the door properly, so the toilet, in its limited intelligence, did not realize that a human being had already left. When I walked and closed the door, it assumed that that was when the toilet was empty and started the self-cleaning process. I had unfortunately become a part of it.

As I was walking out of the park, still damp, freezing and probably in the beginning stages of mild PTSD, Ashi chuckled and said “Well, at least it makes for a good story!”.

*grin*

I suppose it does, doesn’t it?

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Fancy Kitchen!

You know how you see and hear about people cooking while drinking a glass of wine? I thought I could pull that off last night. Except it wasn’t the elegant affair I had envisioned in my head.

 

For one thing, I wasn’t making something fancy like coq au vin or anything.  I was making bhindi fry (fried okra, Indian style)!  Which would have been fine, except, after a couple of glasses of wine, my co-ordination and judgement got a bit wonky! (you should know I have a very low tolerance for alcohol. One glass of red is usually enough to get me buzzing!)

Anyway… this is what happened.

You know how you clean veggies and then chop them right? Well, after drinking my glass of red, I decided to be a bit more conscientious and cleaner person and wash the bhindi before and after chopping them up! For those of you who don’t know any better… there’s this thing about bhindi- it’s gotta be dry! After washing, I usually (usually!) leave it in a colander so the water runs out and then stick it into the freezer for a few minutes so that the remaining water dries off.

But last night, in my wine-induced haze, I decided that the gooey-ness would be reduced if I soak it in water!  (I can see at least one person out there (hi TWC!) shaking their head at me and going tch tch tch!

So I ended up with a gooey mess of the damn thing, which I had to try and wring out before I put it on the wok to fry. And then, to steady myself for the rest of the process, I took a couple more swigs of wine and proceeded to take out some coriander seeds to crush. Like I said… hand-eye coordination went to hell!

 

The end result was something that looked more than baingan ka bharta  than bhindi fry! When I tasted it last night, I thought it tasted fine, though it felt and looked weird. But I’ve brought it to lunch today, and I’m worried that it won’t taste as good without the wine to help me numb my keener senses!

Maybe I’ll just order a meatball sub eh?

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*

“Tripping… Stumbling..Clumsy cos I’m”… well… Born this Way!

Last night, I read this post and suddenly just needed to have wine! I didn’t have any sauvignon blanc or chocolate on me, but I settled for pinotage, except… as I was opening the bottle… I somehow spilled the wine… all over me! And also a bleached-wood chopping board that was in the way. It now has purple splotches on it. I think I’ll just call it Art! :P

Unfortunately, none of my friends will be surprised by this little incident. In fact, it’s tame compared to the kind of skirmishes I’ve gotten into! I’m one of those people for whom “tumble spec rating” is actually an important factor when buying electronic hardware.

I don’t want to list out all of the little accidents that have happened to me (or around me, or because of me), cos of course, that would be tiresome! But here are two from the top of the list:

1. The One with the Amrutanjan bottle

Now this is NOT as bad as it sounds! I sweaaaar! We were all in our hostel room in college, and one of my friends, Gowri (not Gauri) was lying on my lap … and someone said something funny… and we all laughed and she did too and very unfortunately, the tiny lil bottle  I was tossing from one hand to the other slipped off my hand and fell right on her tooth, and it chipped juuuuuust a little bit. It wasn’t even noticeable ! And it didn’t even hurt that much … I think. :-\

I was very sorry. Still am. But no one will let me forget it! *sigh*

2. The Phone Incident:

So the Nokia… is an amaaaazing phone! Those Finnish guys know what they’re doing! I now have bowed down to peer pressure and have a BB,  but I miss those simple days of Nokia when all I needed to do was text or call.

So anyway… my friend and I walked out of a movie hall on that cold winter’s night in Delhi. We were walking through the parking lot with cars parked in a line against the wall. We walked past several of them, and suddenly, I stopped for a beat and did a double take.  I turned back to make sure I was seeing right.

Was that an elephant  in the car-park?!

Yes, yes it was an elephant.  In the car-park! I grabbed my friend’s arm and pointed wordlessly. We went back and stared back in awe at the creature, nonchalantly waving his trunk and standing quite still otherwise, unaware of how incongruous he looked amongst all the other modes of transport parked there. We talked to the mahout about a stroll around the block sitting astride ol Jumbo, negotiated a price, and went on a grand tour of the car-park and the surrounding neighbourhood on the elephant. It was bumpy and quite uncomfortable, but loads of fun nonetheless!

But, after the ride, as I was clambering down… my trusty lil Nokia 1100 (with a torch and all! Yessiree!) slipped out of my pocket and fell right beneath the great beast’s foot. As he gently stepped on my phone, the backlight on the phone lit up, I screamed bloody murder and the mahout urgently gave instructions to poor confused Jumbo to retract his foot. He obeyed, but casually, and as he stepped away, my friend kicked the phone from under his foot and I ran to get it.

You will not believe this, but the phone still worked! It would no longer ring though, the sound was damaged and it was like my phone was permanently on silent mode, but it would still light up when I got a call and I could still use it! I just had to keep an eye on it to make sure I didn’t miss calls.

This is the stuff Nokia ads should be made of don’t you think? :D

Now, is this just me, or does everyone have their share of incidents such as these? (Please let it not just be me!)

This gym ain’t for the weak-minded!

As I walk out of the gym, exhausted by my work-out, I notice that right outside the entrance there’s a Studio R.

Fair enough, good sales strategy. People who join the gym, will come bouncing out filled with the manic fervour instilled by their trainers to get in shape nowww and be prompted to buy the latest work-out shoes, clothes, watches and what-not.  And have you ever noticed how in the gym there are always a lot of people with lithe bodies covered in spandex  that make you feel like you’ve stepped into some alternate reality where you’re the only girl in a size 12? I mean, it’s not that I’m fat. Cos I’m not. But I should lose around 6 kilos to reach my ideal weight. I used to be a size 8, which I wasn’t happy with then, but now I’d be happy being a size 10 and still be able to enjoy a red velvet cupcake from Magnolia’s once in a while. See, I’m being practical! :D

So anyway, I walk out, and there’s Studio R on my left, and then comes Fruitesca, where they make all those smoothies. Again, health food. Good stuff.  But it all goes downhill from there.

They have this place called Seattle’s Best Coffee, with pastries and muffins and chocolate-chip laden cookies  displayed out, designed to test your will-power to the max! I somehow manage to move my starving body past the damn coffee shop only to be assaulted by the cheerfully pink and inviting eeevil that is Dunkin Donuts, with the Boston Cremes calling out to me, begging to be eaten!

How is this fair? Since when did a trip to exercise your body become one for the mind too? I survived yesterday. But how much longer before I succumb?  I go there again tonight. Hopefully will be able to get past Paul’s without incident!

I wonder if Studio R sells blinders!