CDG – MSP

The journey continues.

Such a confusing airport, am talking about CDG now. So many flights, so much to walk. Climate was chill. I regretted not wearing a jacket. To board the flight DL 141 to MSP (Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport) operated by Delta, I had to go to a different Gate. The flight takes off at 10:20 am (local time) to reach MSP at 1:05 pm (local time). Someone read and told the gate is L and so like a goat following the master, I decided to go to gate L. It is required to take a train to different gates. I reached near the train and boarded it. It stops only for a certain time, beeps and then door shuts. Similarly to open.

When I reached gate L, they scanned my ticket and said “no, gate M”. I was so frustrated with so less time left. I didn’t even get time to look around and see Paris airport or the shops. I didn’t even eat anything at the airport. Again boarded train and reached and completed scan. Too much stress and strain. On top of that, no network coverage, so no way to communicate my whereabouts to people back home. Luckily used the free wifi to send a message. Advantages of free wifi 🙂

The only picture I have of CDG is this. See the clouds, feel the freshness…

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I just paused in front of the boarding counter where again I was asked some basic questions of where I am going, how many days etc. Then had to swipe the boarding pass in a machine which didn’t allow me, so had to be manually checked in the system. I noticed the machine didn’t allow anyone who didn’t possess US or Canada passport, so much of partiality 🙂

In this flight, I had a middle seat. Seating on delta is 3-3-3. Headphones were provided and I started watching movies. Once in the air, food was being served. My HNML sucked. There was no non veg, just veg sandwiches and stuff. I was irritated. Then and there I decided, no more selecting HNML.

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Meals were pathetic. Atleast the drinks will be better, I thought. I gathered all courage and asked for a glass of red wine. A whole glass was served. First sip and I knew ‘this is not what I asked for’. The wines I had tasted, barely once or twice, were sweet. This was so bitter and so strong. Since I didn’t want to waste it, I started gulping the black liquid down my throat. It went inside with a burning sensation down my food pipe. I started feeling heavy head and that I was floating. I couldn’t concentrate on anything, forget the movie. When next meal was served, I couldn’t even understand how to open the package. My first black drink on the Delta truly sucked.

I tried to sleep, no use. Then the air hostess passed again and I asked for a cup of coffee. ‘Coffee should help go off the hangover of wine’, I thought. Well I was wrong. The dark roasted coffee without an iota of sweetening or milk made me nauseous. I felt like I would throw up any moment. I tried to sleep again and again covering my eyes, adjusting the blanket and the pillows etc. The second black drink also sucked.

When the air hostess passed again, I asked for a well known drink. I didn’t want to take risks again at all. ‘A glass of coke please’. I sipped and to my dismay, it didn’t taste anywhere near to the coke I knew. It was horrible and terrible. I felt Terrified, mortified, petrified, stupefied. My third and last black drink aboard Delta sucked.

After a long uneventful flight, landed at MSP, my first time in the United States of America.

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Making my first Waffles

Do you know what a waffle is? Seriously I am yearning to hear a NO. It’s a breakfast dish that originated in France but eaten all over the world. But I had no fucking clue about it all these many years. I didn’t know how a Waffle tasted like until today; I didn’t even know what a Waffle was until yesterday. Am I dumb? Am I so ignorant about the world? Holy crap! So for the uninitiated like me, a waffle is a dish made from leavened batter or dough that is cooked between two plates of a Waffle iron and the dish has a peculiar honey comb pattern. The waffle iron looks something like this.

Cuisinart® Rotating Belgian Waffle Maker

Let me explain my first waffle making experience, this is hilarious. I had seen this Waffle iron placed at a corner of the pantry and being used by one or two people before. I had seen a woman pouring something onto the pan and I thought she is making a bull’s eye or something. Anyway I didn’t want to make a bull’s eye when an omelette is readily available, so I didn’t give it much importance.

When someone at office asked me whether I have tried a waffle, I was baffled, I didn’t even know what it was to say I like it or I don’t like it. When I was assured that waffle would be there in my pantry, I went to the corner of the pantry where I had seen the lady earlier. Well, this was yesterday. I went close to the waffle iron and started reading the instructions written on it. The instructions were pretty basic, anyone could follow it. 1) Pour the batter on the iron 2) Close and Flip it 3) When beeping sound is heard, flip and open. Well that’s it, very simple. I was hesitant to even give it a try. I waited a while hoping that someone nice would turn up and ask me ‘ do you need a help’ or something but no one did, so I cleared off the place.

Back in my room, I started watching YouTube on how to make this waffle, what this waffle is etc. For some strange reasons I still cannot explain, I feel waffles have a strong resemblance to rose cookies that have their origins in India and which also happens to be my favorite sweet dish. Anyway, after watching a couple of times, I gathered courage to give waffle a try.

Today is my waffle creativity day. So there is this vending machine kind of thing that has 2 taps and a ‘push’ adjacent to it. It is from this that the batter comes out. There were 2 variants – one is original and the other blueberry. I decided to make blueberry waffles. I took a small cup which was kept adjacent and filled it with blue berry batter. Opened the waffle iron and poured it in. A sizzling sound started coming. The iron was really hot. I followed the instructions and did the flipping. Now am waiting for the beep sound. I didn’t know how long I had to wait. I started getting impatient and worried and panicky, what if I have done it wrong? what if it burns out and starts to burn the entire place down? What ifs filled my head when a continuous beeping sound alerted me. I flipped as instructed and opened the lid. Using a spatula, I removed my first ever waffle from the hot iron to a serving dish.

Well here it is, my first blueberry waffle, not bad I guess. My first taste experience, it tastes pretty good, it was soft, I think it might become more crispier if I use more dough, I am not quite sure though but I would definitely want to improve on the shape of it. The dough needs to be spread a bit more to cover the entire mold surface.

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I went on to make a waffle out of the original too,  I guess I have improved a bit with my second waffle.

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The small squares you see, they can be filled with honey or butter or fruit or any toppings of your choice.

Past Midnight Coffee

Oh, it’s 3.30 am and I need something to drink

I search in my room, and there isn’t any liquid

Should I ignore my thirst or should I find a solution?

I need to go down to the pantry to see what I can do.

Of yes, coffee jugs are there, only coffee though, no tea

Coffees of different types – regular, decaf, this and that

No water to be found, so I decide to make a coffee

Making coffee is really a tedious task though

Grabbed the cup and obviously its cover, I don’t wanna spill

Pressed for regular, filled up half a glass

I can’t drink it this way, I can’t bear any bitter

Now begins the exercise, adding half and half

A simple blend in between cream and milk

I keep adding, I want the coffee colour to fade

3, 4 close to 5 small packets and there it is

A colour I can relate to, my favorite coffee colour

Oh next comes the sweetener, I can’t bear any bitter

Adding sugar, that too close to 5 small packets

Use the stirrer, and taste the fruits of my efforts

Delicious, put on the cap of the coffee cup

And there I go back to my room to drink

Oh, it’s 3.45 am and I am having my Past Midnight Coffee.

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BLR – CDG

To write something different or interesting, there are 2 ways, either you should be super creative, or you should experience something interesting. This post is regarding my first solo international travel experience.

AF 0191 – Departs from Bangalore airport to Paris at 1:25 am (local time) and reaches Paris Charles de Gaulle airport at 8:20 am (local time). For international flights, it is usually advised to arrive early at airport, so I started at around 8 pm from home reaching airport at 9:30 pm. I had already done my online check-in. I had got an aisle seat. Okay, the seating is 2-4-2 format and I never wanted a window, ‘ anyway what good does a window seat do when you are traveling at night?’

Showed the printed boarding pass and passport and was allowed inside by the security. Then there was this guy who randomly called people and asked name and flight number. Somehow he wrote AF 0191 as AF 019 and stopped at it. I didn’t care to correct. Off to the Air France counter. The priority travelers went quickly whereas the economy people needed to stand in a longer queue. A big bag and a medium bag to check-in. I lifted both the bags and placed it to weigh. Then the Air France lady told that she will check in one by one, so place one after the other. She offered to upgrade from economy to premium at a nominal rate for which I had to say no. She then went on to ask about my travel reason and stuffs. After both were weighed and tags attached, she said she will give me a new boarding pass, am not quite sure why she decided it at the last moment. Anyway she asked to proceed further.

Immigration check has mobile not to be used messages displayed. The authorities seem very strict. You need to show your visa and then be ready to answer a couple of questions. And there you go, sealed. Next is the hand luggage and frisking counter. Removed mobile and laptop from the bag and then passed it through detector. After all checks, time is just 10.30 pm, 3 more hours to go. If I sit anywhere, I would sleep off, and then might lose my flight. Kept calling, chatting and finally decided to have some dinner to while away some time.

Buying anything from airport is really expensive. Went to the noodles counter and ordered the cheapest item available – Schezwan chicken fried rice. Quantity was too much with sufficient chicken pieces. By the time I finished half, my stomach was about to burst. Remaining half was forcefully pushed down my throat as I didn’t want to waste food. Time 11:30 pm.

Still 2 more hours to go. I started observing people to pass time. There was a family with everyone in yellow. I walked up and down the moving walkway or flat escalators, go to the end come back, if I sit somewhere, I am bound to sleep. It was like a competition, between me and sleep. People playing music, reading books, browsing, charging mobiles and what not.

The handicrafts, idols, perfumes, watches shops were so empty like a graveyard. Not even a single person entered even to do window shopping. It’s close to midnight…(MJ giving me some thrills)

Boarded the flight. Passing through business class into the economy, oh man, you could clearly see how cash distinguishes you from man to man. Importance of money in life can be seen on a flight. With leg rests and leg space and side tables plus special food, awesome. Moving forward to the cringing economy. Movies were there to pick, as it was night, decided to sleep instead. Back was hurting even with the pillow given. Eye patch was useful. Legs felt a bit tired hanging, so kept twisting them. Headphones were provided. There was snacks served and in morning, breakfast was served. I remember breakfast was quite delicious with egg omelette and potatoes. My food preference was Hindu non veg meal but I got a standard breakfast for which I am thankful. In HNML, the egg was bull’s eye.

About the drinks, I wanted to try red wine. Prepared myself to ask the air hostess for a glass of red wine. I have had wine before like a small sip or so and I expected wines in the clouds would be really expensive and delicious. Moreover in case of a hangover, I had hours ahead to set it all right. But finally when she came near, I ended up asking for apple juice, pity me. Apple juice is really good. Tossing, pulling blanket up down, adjusting pillow, watching movie-no clue which ones, watching flight status, turbulence and intermittently sleeping, the 10 hour flight came to an end.

Landed at Charles de Gaulle airport on time, terminal 2E.

 

I am lost without you!

Where are you?

I am missing you

Though you trouble me when you are here-

You trouble me more when you are not there

A dress was arranged to receive you

Since I know that Maya never lies

Though you give me pain when you arrive-

I feel strangled when you don’t arrive

 

Where are you?

I am missing you

I know Maya never lies

You are a value proposition for me

Your first arrival is a big festival

You get intermittent and my time starts ticking

You pause and sadly I get promoted

 

Maya never lies

I am lost without you

This isn’t the time to leave me alone

Please do come back soon

 

Mushroom fight!

I like to eat mushrooms ce129260-aafe-4578-9afb-284a2c30b4ac

So I asked her to make some

She made some mushroom ce129260-aafe-4578-9afb-284a2c30b4ac

But it was very little

She showed me the mushroom ce129260-aafe-4578-9afb-284a2c30b4ac

And placed it close to her

She ate all the mushroom ce129260-aafe-4578-9afb-284a2c30b4ac

She asked me ‘how is it?’

I told her.. ‘you ate all of it moron’

‘how could I tell about it’

I told her I am putting this in blog

She begged me not to do so

She tried to bribe me with a lime juice

ewww!! I won’t fall for that

She ate all the mushroom ce129260-aafe-4578-9afb-284a2c30b4ac

And asked me ‘how is it?’

 

 

Day Out at Pyramid Valley

You are in Bangalore spending your weekends watching television or browsing things just to while away your time. You have no idea how to end your weekend or to make it productive. Big planned group getaways ends in vain. You have no car or a bike, so travelling long distances is a nightmare to you. That’s when you start googling ‘ places to visit within Bangalore’ and on one such search, ‘ Pyramid Valley‘ pops up.

To PYRAMID VALLEY

Origin: Majestic bus stand

Destination: Pyramid Valley

I read in a couple of blogs about a direct bus (KBS-5H) from Majestic to Pyramid Valley whose timings was supposedly every half hour. So I waited close to an hour at platform number 11a for the so called bus that never arrived. Then after enquiring with some conductors, I decided to board the bus to Banashankari and then proceed further. By the time, I got on the bus, it was 11 am. I should say, ‘ please start early’. With a hell lot of traffic, travelling in bus can be very exhaustive. Reached Banashankari after a very very long time. It’s 19 rs point, ended up losing 1 re.It was sweating hot. Only some snacks and water made the journey bearable. From Banashankari, boarded the KSRTC bus to Harohalli. It’s 40 rs point. I asked the conductor to let me know when my stop comes. Anyway I noticed Metro lines operational at Banashankari. I have never been to this part before, so I decided I will return by metro.

The travel was a bumpy ride with lesser and lesser traffic as we proceeded. It was like a countryside with tall apartments. I counted a building with 20 floors. On the way, there were many lakes all filled with water to the brim. After a long while, the conductor asked me to come to the door and get down. Saw the arrow to Pyramid Valley. Now it’s almost a km inside. Time: 1:30 pm. Need to rush for the free lunch. Literally ran inside. On both sides of the road, were small huts and shops that reminds of a rural village, cow dung on the way, grazing cows, dogs, hen and its chicken, goat, ladies washing clothes by beating it on stone, a high chimney giving out black smoke etc. Many cars passed my side moving to the valley. A temple on the way plus a lotus pond in the valley were refreshing.

You need to sign at the entrance and then you can move in. Rushed for the lunch. It was written you need to take coupons for lunch but since it was 1.45 pm, I didn’t take any coupon. They allowed me for lunch. There was pickle, ridge gourd curry, sambhar and buttermilk as accompaniments for rice. The food was good, decent. Pyramid valley promotes vegetarianism. Anna dhanam or free lunch is provided to all who visit the Pyramid.

I had to answer nature’s call so enquired and found a loo near the vegetarian canteen where you have to pay for food. Filled clean drinking water and started walking to the Pyramid. There were lot of people, mostly couples enjoying the scenic beauty of the surrounding. Lush green grass and coconut trees lined on both sides were amazing.

You are not allowed to take pictures inside the pyramid. Leave your shoes outside and switch off the mobile. You have to meditate for minimum 30 minutes before you proceed to King’s chamber. So you can sit on chairs on or floor on meditation chair. I sat on one like this. It was pretty comfortable even though it was hot inside the pyramid.

It was very silent inside except for occasional whispers. After meditating for a while, I climbed the spiral steps to reach the King’s chamber. Now this is the place which is said to have more concentrated energy as it is situated at 1/3rd the height of the pyramid. They have table fans installed. Without it, I think people would literally burn to death in there. There were people who were sleeping and snoring as an end stage of meditation. These people were woken up and asked to leave. I spend some time there meditating. It was really difficult to control one’s own mind. When people were climbing up, you could feel the place you were sitting shaking as if there was an earthquake.

After climbing down, took the steps to the right. After coming out, there is a shop where you could buy a lot of things. There were pyramid models, books of Osho, Meditation books, pure herbal products, ornaments, pictures, herbal juice, soaps, salts, repellents, cleaners, air freshners and what not. Most of the cosmetic products are from VitroNaturals. I bought a few stuffs but now I regret I could have bought more as the prices there are cheaper compared to that online.

There is a wooden bridge that connects pyramid to cafeteria.

Had a cool lassi at the cafeteria, filled the water bottle and started walking around. There were some dhyana pyramids were you could meditate night and day, a trekking path to Tapasthali, a statue of Gandhiji and Buddha in meditation. There was also a trodden path to a Muruga temple. Anyway since it was getting late and had started to drizzle, started walking back to the main road. No need to sign again on way out.

From Pyramid Valley

Origin: Pyramid Valley

Destination: Home

On the road, got the bus within a minute, a bus bound to Banashankari, 40rs. Stood for major distance of the route, got down at Banashankari, boarded a Metro as planned. Was at my destination in half an hour.

So my suggestion is make use of the Metro, it saves a lot of time and frustration.

My verdict of Pyramid Valley: I will visit again and buy some more natural products.

 

I’ll be there for you!

You know you need me

And that you love me

You never wanna stay away

But you are scared to admit

Don’t worry, you can trust me

I’ll be there for you…

You laugh heartfelt with me

And then you gaze into me

You wanna hold me tight

But you are scared of losing me

Don’t worry, you can trust me

I’ll be there for you…

You fight and scold me

And then you cry with me

You wanna lie in my arms forever

But you are scared of  even dreaming

Don’t worry, you can trust me

I’ll be there for you…

 

 

 

 

What wrong did I do?

Forgive me oh Lord if I have wronged you
But I swear I would never do that to you
Oh would you listen out to me once please
I need to speak out before my heart cease
Tell me, ‘what wrong did I do?’

When you got no time for me and my talks
And was embroiled in your life and stocks
Disregarded me as if I did’t matter anymore
I felt left out and ignored to my core
Tell me, ‘what wrong did I do?’

When I kept on calling and texting you
You thought I was trying to conquer you
You never thought what I was going through
Loneliness and isolation to mention a few
Tell me, ‘what wrong did I do?’

Being a human I did speak with a few
You were not interested in what I do
Didn’t want to bore you and kept it away
Now why do you think I am just a stray
Tell me, ‘what wrong did I do?’

I have fed you always with food and water
And been there always whenever it matter
No One was, is and will be as significant
Forever for me, you are the most magnificent
Tell me, ‘what wrong did I do?’

Forgive me oh Lord if I have wronged you
I swear again I would never do that to you
Now that you have heard out my heart’s pleas
Do pardon me please before my time flees
Tell me, ‘what wrong did I do?’

I won’t disturb!

You do what You want

I won’t disturb you

You can go on any trip

With whomever you want

It doesn’t really matter

I won’t disturb you

You can have meals and snacks with anyone

I won’t disturb you

You can laugh and flirt with anyone

I won’t disturb you

No need to lie and work behind me

I won’t disturb you

You can make friends in no time

And so you might not miss me

Or even notice my absence

I won’t disturb you

All the Best for your future sleepovers

Goodbye, I wish I never see you again.