Monday, October 04, 2004
And where do I begin?
Ah! Of course, on the 18th when I left Chennai.
However, I had not yet left India; I spent two days in Gurgaon with my cousin before boarding the flight to higher education. Talking of which, I second Kingsley's opinion about grad-school giving you very little time to blog.
Getting back to my story, I did a few things in Gurgaon - probably the most desolately overpopulated (ah! An oxymoron) place I have seen.
The most important thing I did was to buy some warm clothes that have come in very handy. You are right Prince Roy: The empire had a reason.
I then did a rather crazy thing. I went bowling with my cousin. Not very crazy considering the fact that I was getting perfect scores, until the beer started to take effect. My balls (bowling balls) were veering away until I lost all the lead I had collected until the final attempt (or thereabout... never quite remember!) when I brought down all of them pins in one go. Very filmy, but I did not quite come first, my cousin's husband won though.
After getting tipsy in Gurgaon, it was British Airways hospitality all the way through to the UK. My response to the hospitality was rather bizarre. You see, I had got very excited about north-Indian food and had hoggen on all the rotis and aloo I could lay my hands on. So I was pretty 'gaseous' on the flight. Thankfully, the nice lady who was in the seat beside my had a cold (thankfully for her!)
So after farting my way through the 747, I finally got to gaze at London from upstairs. I have this boardgame called Scotland Yard back home (every other reference is 'back home' isn't it?). This game has a map of London on the board with the Thames running through it. I saw the very same image from up there. The pilot played tour guide while the air-traffic-controllers were playing dice.
Once I got off at Heathrow, it was 'really nice' (with emphasised quotation marks): I was made to wait for hours in a queue for international students until at the end of the line was a lady who wanted my to take off my clothes. So my very first experience in the UK was of being naked and straightened out against an x-ray machine by this smiling very courteous British lady. Not bad aint it?
Then, I boarded a bus from Heathrow to beautiful Bristol (I don't want to talk about the �1.50 phone call I made from the BT %^&*$� phone). Bristol is a nice place and I got a whiff of its character the moment I got here. I got a free lift to the Youth Hostel and was boarding with the cast of the Lonely Planet TV shows: Americans discussing politics, Australians discussing beer, South Africans discussing cricket and Gandhi, Britishers discussing women, Spaniards discussing English... For a few days I had truly Ashok Hariharan type encounters.
To be frank, I did not feel too much culture shock. I mean, you get so much British TV in India that you 'know' that everybody talks like the've got sumthin's stouk sumwhere! Frankly, there is nothing like meeting different people. Almost all stereotypes are broken. Yeah! The accents are true. The Spaniards do talk like Benicio Del Toro, but not all Americans like Bush; not all Britishers like Mrs Thatcher! And not all Italian women look like Sophia Loren.
My next set of adventures involved getting to grips with the topography of Bristol. I had to find a place to live in; and after countless phonecalls (free, because they were made from the Univ office) and many more house-visits, I ended up boarding in a large room which has a view to die for in a house with a resident landlady, a landlord, and the landkid. Nice people and a nice very large Victorian house.
I also 'checked out' Bristol; its sight, sounds, liquor... (OK don't get any ideas already). One of the reasons I find this place interesting to study creative arts in is because it has a tiny Indian/South Asian population. But out of curiosity, and because of a need to buy some provisions, my new Pakistani friend and I set out see Easton - the area! Not bad, I met a Tamil speaking lady who helped me find the right foods to buy. The other time I encountered Tamil was on the historic Clifton suspension bridge (of which I have a sexy view of from my window). I met this group of (what else, but) IT guys from Chennai.
So, My classes have begun, and I am on this absolutely crappy slow computer (The difference between India and here is that the internet is faster than the machines) typing away into the evening while the clicking noises around me in the Univ computer centre slowly dwindle.
More adventures to come as they happen, and when I find the time to blog them.
Comments to And where do I begin?
Hi Anand - gald to see you back in action! And glad to hear that you have started to settle in OK. Hope it goes well - and keep posting your stories!
Best regards - Jag ( at Route79: http://www.route79.com/journal/ )
posted by2:04 am, October 05, 2004
Happy settling down! Must be bliss to hear the Whites speak English...Not quite the same when they speak French!
The Tamil bit sounded very very familiar :-)
posted by Vijay4:45 am, October 05, 2004
U lost control with beer???.....
posted by Nilu9:43 am, October 05, 2004
glad to hear you have started to soak up life there!! you could be excused for thinking that graduate life offers hardly any time for blogging..thats the impression created by the initial busy schedule. as you settle into a rhythm i guess (and hope) you do find time!
posted by3:22 pm, October 05, 2004
Glad to note the happenings Anand. Take care.
posted by Chakra Sampath12:51 pm, October 06, 2004
"Gaseous" huh! And i thought I'd be the only one floating on hot air while on air. But mine due to empty stomach and the lack of palatable food! And a couple of African men who were in the seat in front of me on a transatlantic flight (my first one) were repeatedly turning back to look at me! So nowadays I eat everything damn veggie thing that the airlines throw at me! Theres a lesson for everyone here!
posted by anantha12:59 am, October 07, 2004
Just stumbled upon your Blogs..interesting:)
Wish you were a woman, would like to invite you to join our E-Group..too bad:)
posted by9:13 pm, October 07, 2004
Dude can u chk ur HOT(mail)... thnx
posted by Ari10:27 am, October 08, 2004
In other news, BA is suing a certain Anand Krishnamoorthy for inflicting permanent damage to their in-cabin airconditioner and freshner
posted by Ravages5:27 pm, October 10, 2004
hehehe...SIMPLE PLEASURES OF LIFE AIN'T IT? ( to be read with an ENglish accent) :) Aloo and fartin away in the 747..so typical of the brit who was travellin with me too:)
Anyways..By far the most interesting post I've read all day..( ok now don;t evaluate my readin skills or my choice in blogs) hehehe...Take care and Have fun...
ANd yea..U lost control with BEER? ahh...
KALYANI SARUKKU MARANDHUTAYA?
posted by arvindiyer7:50 pm, October 10, 2004
There's free beer on the flight. You missed the free beer on the flight. Oh no.
Dig in to the Guinness Mate !
posted by Just Me3:45 am, October 12, 2004
Well, seems that you have settled there.
Tasted the traditional English breakfast of Bacon and eggs yet.
And how busy is it? And broke yet? Or how long before u do?
Do post some pictures, so tha tothers can see what yu can....
posted by satosphere1:41 am, October 16, 2004
Hey Anand...you must be getting laid..how else can you explain not blogging? Fire away, dude. I mean, on your blog! :) Ravi
posted by8:41 pm, October 19, 2004
Looks like you're settling down well into life in Bristol. I hope we're going to see some nice pictures happening soon. And no excuses about not having time to blog, etc. You've hardly started your course, so it doesn't count :) Find the time!
posted by Anita2:43 pm, October 21, 2004
Sophia Loren: the two best things to ever come out of Italy.
Also, notice how Indians outside India are a much more homogenous bunch than Indians in India?
posted by Kingsley12:32 pm, October 22, 2004
References to And where do I begin?
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