Uncategorized

One travel service to rule them all? If only.

I was working in London the past five weeks, and with that over, I’ve been travelling a bit across Europe. 

In this last six weeks, the realisation has dawned on me that 95% of the travel-related research and purchases I’ve made have been online. Local transport is one I just wasn’t comfortable purchasing online, and wanted the assurance of going to a station and buying that first ticket, getting any stupid questions out of the way with a person. Quickly. It’s fine buying a ticket, but essentially not knowing how to use it, and getting lost is not a prospect that’s fun.

Back to that 95%.

Continue reading

Standard
Uncategorized

New York, I love you

What a day. I have never been as in love with New York as I am right now. It’s my third visit in three years, but today won’t be topped.

It started with a walk through the NYU campus on West 4th Street and into the magical Washington Square Park. A park packed with locals, tourists, squirrels, dogs, wiry trees, chess masters and a grand arch. You can sit there and take it all in for hours on end, being at complete peace with the world.

Continue on West 4th Street and the West Village awaits. Walking through the West Village and its tiny, exquisite cafes, zig-zaggy staircased apartments and archway of blossoming trees made me want to live there instantly.

Img_20120321_160545

Continue reading

Standard
Uncategorized

Bangalore revisited, six years on

What a strange, delightful feeling it is returning somewhere that’s so familiar, but so different at the same time. Hell, even the name of the darn city’s changed; “Bengaluru” just doesn’t sound right. Yet.

Clearing customs and what not at the airport was surprisingly quick, calm and organised. Step out the door of the airport though, and the chaos and cacophony of Bangalore greets you warmly!

Continue reading

Standard
Uncategorized

Photos from my U.S. trip

Yes, it’s about five months late, but better late than never I tell you.

I took a lot more photos, and they looked a lot better at the time on that tiny viewfinder, but scrolling through them this morning and seeing the monstrosities I’d captured, this is sadly the small, somewhat acceptable subset I’m left with. Lesson learned; stop taking photos!

Click the set name to view them on flickr.

Oh, and they’d probably be better in the context of all the blogging I did for the trip, but I can’t be bothered contextualising ’em.

Standard
Uncategorized

Days Fifteen to Eighteen

“The security guy brought you to the room at around 10am. You had a huge, cheesy grin on your face and you were carrying that half empty bottle [Bacardi 151] in one hand… I tried to wake you, I even shook you hard a few times, but you wouldn’t get up.”

I woke up four hours after this and missed the World Cup final as a result. Sigh hard.

Vegas is a special place, and I sure as hell have never seen anything like it before. This place has no limits. Anything goes. And when you marry that with a person like me who has very little self control, well, fun [albeit very expensive fun] will be had.

Continue reading

Standard
Uncategorized

Days Eleven to Fourteen

I think I can safely promise a relatively very short blog post.

I know, I know, I should be doing this daily, but I’ve either had too much to do or been absolutely buggered, so now I finally have some free time, sitting on-board Delta Flight 1529 to Las Vegas; you have to pay for their in-flight wifi, but the Gmail app seems to work without having to login and pay!

Half of Day Eleven [I really need to stop putting these days in title case, but it’s too late now] was spent driving to Pittsburgh to a cousin’s place, and in wondering how to kill a few hours with my cousins, I suggested the movies, because I’m slowly falling behind on my quota of a 100 movies for this year.

Continue reading

Standard
Uncategorized

Days Six to Ten

Apologies for the lack of posts, but I’ve been unbelievably busy with all things wedding and alcohol related. I’ve finally got some time now, sitting in the car while we drive to Pittsburgh for a family road trip to Niagara Falls.

This will most definitely be very Indian wedding heavy, and very different to the previous travel posts, so, be warned, and click away if you want!

The wedding. I really didn’t know what I was in for, as I haven’t been to an Indian wedding in a long, long time, and boy was there a lot involved!

Continue reading

Standard
Uncategorized

Day Five

I fear that I’ve left this too late and have forgotten some of the details of the past 1.25 days, but I still think this will be one long post.

Day Five [yeh, I’ve switched the format to just days now, as @jymmysim said], well, the first half anyway, was all about museums. I’d always thought the Smithsonian was one museum or something, but I found out yesterday that it’s this gigantic complex of around 15 museums, of which I only visited two.

First up, after a bagel breakfast [did I mention that I now love cream cheese?], was the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Wow. Just. Wow. This place was absolutely amazing. I’m sitting here shaking my head just thinking about it now, actually. The amount of real life examples of everything aeronautical you can ever dream of, coupled with the interactivity and educational value that comes with each exhibit is really astounding. The highlight though, was the flight simulator!

Continue reading

Standard
Uncategorized

New York: Day Three & Washington: Day One

I knew this Day business would screw me over >.<

New York Day Three got off to a particularly lazy start and also signalled the beginning of the wedding festivities, with a crapload of people and food.

After watching Argentina whoop Mexico, I headed into the city with my cousin and his mates, specifically [well not really since I don’t know the exact name of the place] ‘The Village’.

Ah, The Village. It’s quite easy to sum up really; 5 shots for $10! I think you can extrapolate the kind of night that I had from that, but the added bonus was $1 pizza slices [yes! $1!] and fries with crazy jalapeno sauce!

I woke up today with a pretty bad hangover, and of course, it had to be a very early start to train it to Washington.

First reactions of Washington; a WiFi hotspot that actually worked at the gorgeous looking Union Station, and, HOT as hell. Like, mid 90s and extremely humid.

I played the model tourist today, and it felt like Washington was made for it. It really is a beautiful looking city, with picturesque parklands and water features surrounding historic buildings like the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and World War II Memorial. In comparison, The White House was a total disappointment, since they’ve become extremely paranoid and stringent on the procedures for getting in and getting a tour; i.e. having to book it months in advance for a relatively lame tour.

I did see a lot of people on segways and saw later that they do segway tours! That would’ve definitely been a fun way to get around, and speaking of, it didn’t seem like the kind of city that lends itself to sight seeing via public transport, and we ended up catching quite a few cabs, but most were $10 max, so, /shrug

I also finally got data access on my T-Mobile SIM! Some APN info had to be added -_- And yes, this post is being written via gmail on my phone, so I’m expecting some whacky formatting.

Also also, this bed is quite possibly the best hotel bed I’ve slept in!

Standard
Uncategorized

New York: Day Two

If I’d have to sum up Day Two, I’d have to say it was a day filled with highs and lows.

I woke up late and watched on as a valiant South Korea fell to Uruguay, and then headed out into Manhattan to meet up with Arvind and watch the USA v Ghana game.

I found this Mexican restaurant / bar off 42nd Street, which was pretty darn packed with World Cup supporters and a fantastic atmosphere, from the initial disappointment of the first goal, to the equaliser, greeted with absolutely raucous applause [it did take a while to get drinks since most of the bar staff were fixated on the game the whole time, and occasionally turned around to serve customers], and then the final blow in extra time, after which the bar turned into a ghost town.

More drinking at a place named the Rum House [!] followed by dinner and then dessert, which was both glorious and tragic at the same time.

We went to Carnegie Deli. Now, I had no idea how popular this place was, and it looked innocuous from the outside, even with the large queue snaking around the corner, but to then wander in and see the Wall of Fame, good lord! Thousands upon thousands of photos of celebrities that have eaten at this place, and they’re famous for their cheesecakes!

So we sat down, somewhat full from dinner, but more than ready for dessert, and out it came, a New York Baked Cheesecake with blueberries. It tasted absolutely amazing. For the first 15 minutes that I was eating it. Then, Struggletown… It was the biggest slice of cheesecake I’ve had, and I know that I haven’t been in cheesecake training lately, but the sad realisation that I’m so out of cheesecake eating shape [I ate a whole Cheesecake Shop cheesecake back in the day] kicked in when I had to retire my spoon, with cheesecake still residing on the plate. Sigh.

I couldn’t move for the next half hour, and it took an hour walking around Central Park [Arvind summed it up nicely, calling it “Centennial Park on steroids”] to somewhat reduce the bloatedness, but I am damn well going back to Carnegie Deli and finishing that cheesecake, dammit! And this time, without so much food beforehand >.<

On a totally unrelated note, checking the scales when I get back home should be fun…

Standard