A New Beginning

Well, I have postponed this post for a long time. So it has ended up somewhat huge and winding. I had to cut out the entire prologue on my passport episode since it got too big (and no one would be interested to revisit that phase anyway :P) Bear with me, as you guys always have.

So things are going on great here. I am not pining for my weekly dose of Masala dosa and chutney as much as I thought I would. Oh god, why did I write that?Now I am not able to get it out of my head. I’ll go to Indian stores tomorrow and get some batter.The last time I went there I did this: $4*44.45=Rs.177.8,which would get me about 9 such boxes in India, but SHUT UP NOW! I’ll also find some coconut powder/cocnut paste/coconut extract whatever darn thing they substitute it here with. So I was saying,life’s going on good. Sure my birthday was “Meh”, but who needs a birthday when everyday of your life is a celebration? ;) :D

More on food,as predicted, vegetarians live miserably here.The other day, I wanted to have a chilli burger and the waitress said “OK,we can stuff the burger with veggies instead of the meat”.And she suddenly she remembers,”Oh we stuff the chillies with beef too”. Groan.But I had awesome Mexican and Thai food.Particularly that Mexican-Indian place in Downtown San Mateo “CurryUpNow“, they have burittos and rolls stuffed with Indian curries. I was not very hungry,and after dilly-dallying for a while whether to have a burritto or a roll(burrittos are huge), I finally decided on the former  (well, you guys know me,I can EAT). Then debated on which variety to order, finally zeroed in on “Punjabi by Nature” and told them to make it hot. Later, to quote myself exactly(as told to a friend),”Thanks a lot man for bringing me here. Its like a miracle just occurred. You saw how I was wondering what to order there and finally ended up with the perfect choice. Miracle indeed”. That’s how great it was(read spicy+++). I had a bad stomach the next day. Same with the Thai too. I believe it was called Soo kee mau. Something like that. Same routine followed. Yummy.  Very spicy.Bad stomach. Stupidly ironic thing to happen while you are in US.

Things are much more convenient at our hotel . (Seems like I’ll ramble on only about food in this post).We have a very useful barter system going here. Exchanging chapatis for tomatoes, puliyogre powder for garam masala etc etc.(I am not exchanging MY chatni pudi for anything though. Its priceless). Sometimes there are issues between roomies -“Yevveryday, I only prepare rice man. Today I prepared sambar, yesterday I prepared khara kolumbu, day before vetta kolumbu and that guy is always sleeping” or “Illa kano, avattu ello hogi 6:30 ge bandu nange adge maadu anta iddane avnu (No man,he came from somewhere at 6:30 PM only and and asking me only to prepare dinner). Premium entertainment.

Its all quiet here in Foster City(where I am exactly located,some 20 miles from San Francisco) . We have a nice,big lake nearby. I am yet to take pics there.  But  SFO down town is a charming place. It has this buzz of a tourist city. And there is always someone sitting in a corner and playing a musical instrument. Makes you feel as if you are on a long vacation. And China town is awesome! There is really cool stuff to buy there. And super cool knives, samurai swords,katanas, both really and fake.  The real ones are super expensive too. :(

Hey, howz it goinnn….

That’s how a stranger will greet you here. For the first week or so, I would be caught off guard and go “Aaa, ya ya fine..Aaa”. I’m doing better now. Nice people. If you ask them where the station is, they’ll stop and explain every turn until you have to say “Okay,you’ve explained me clearly enough. If you hold me any longer here, there will be no train to catch”. Another interesting thing.Everywhere you see there’s a sale going on.There are discounts in every store all the time.For flights,tour packages,everything. Even the TV ads focus on how much you’ll be saving if you buy their product.I asked a friend who has been living in US and he said “Oh Americans are very thrifty.They wont spend a dollar more than required”. Hmmm.

And coming to weather, its sunny and chilly. There’s always a cold breeze blowing as its the bay area. But I can’t complain. This is the best weather in the US. And guess what, I have acquired the California tan along with my regular Indian tan.  Apparently its a brand name and people pay through their nose to get it done.

That’s it for now. I will have to put the cynic within me tied up and locked for a while now. As they say,when life throws lemons at you, collect as many as you can, crush them and then make a big pitcher of sweet lemonade. And not follow what Calvin said – when life gives you a lemon, wing it right back and add some lemons of your own! For a while.

P.S: Our cafeteria serves Indian food along with chai tea every Thursday :D

P.P.S: I should visit happening places(if you know what I mean) to get interesting things to write about.

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9 responses to “A New Beginning

  1. There is only one happening place in US :D …. I heard some of ur other stories from Ash as well :D … It must be really hard for u to take ur chakuli packet to the trip :D .. Everywhere bari cheese anthey :P … Waiting for ur trips travelogue (hopefully about the happening places)

  2. Ha ha. Seems a lot different than how I felt when I came here for the first time. I didnt find the place totally strange. I slowly grew into it and accepted the hard life here. Vegetarianism is a problem but I did not feel it much as I had Subway, which became my favorite and then every pizza place had a cheese atleast. And I always ask for garden burger, if not I ask for the nearest Subway.

    Another tip. “Hey, how you doing?” is not a question. Its a way of greeting. You dont need to reply saying “I am doing fine” all the time. Acceptable answers are “Hello.” or “Hi, How you doing?”. Seriously, no kidding.

  3. Ah, you should ask for the dosa batter from a family member if you don;t know it. it is cheaper to make than buy. (sis lives in the US) and you call it chai tea too? it’s tea. not chai tea :'( or masala chai. chai is tea! :'(

    • Well, I know how to make it, but since I am here for a short term didn’t bother to buy a mixee ( and I’m missing it :D).

      And nooo, I do know its chai or tea :P :P. That’s why I pointed it out in italics :D

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