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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Deep Fried Indian Street Food – Oh Wow!

I love deep fried foods – french fries, nuggets, gobi fry etc. Name any deep fried food, home made or otherwise, and I am in for it, it tastes so good and when it is hot and crispy, water starts filling in my mouth. And there is this guy who knows my love for deep fried foods and starts his lectures, “deep fried foods aren’t good for health. They have high calorie content, and blah blah blah!”. I always refused to believe/ accept the truth but then it seems like there’s more truth to the facts.

1) I think this point might not be applicable for home made fried items provided the oil is changed after each frying. Who does that anyway! In case of street foods, I am sure that the food is deep fried in oil that is used for days at a go until maybe it turns dark black. Oil naturally has high saturated fat. When the oil is heated multiple times, the trans-fatty acid content in the food increases. These trans fatty acids enter the blood stream, clogging arteries, leading to cancers, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes and many chronic diseases.

2) Not something new, a known fact, Indian snacks are very very dense (148-603kcal/100g) in calories and trans-fat varies from 0.1 to 19.8g/100g.

3) Street foods are fried at high temperatures, for quick frying, to produce large quantities. We usually see smokes from the oil. Free radicals present causes cancer.

4) Who doesn’t love food that have a yummy cover of maida? Maida has a high glycemic index, that spikes blood sugar, and promotes fat storage, besides increasing risk of diabetes & heart disease.

5) To increase shelf life, and flavour, street foods are loaded with salt (one chicken burger or one small french fries pack can contain more than 1000 milligrams of sodium). This high consumption of salt can lead to hypertension and to water retention.

6) How clean do you think street food is? From sweat to other bodily fluids, you really can’t be sure what is reaching your plates. The unhygienic handling of street foods , use of unsafe water and exposure to street pollution, are just few of the things that increases the number of  bacteria in the plate.

Are you still willing to take a risk

 

 

 

 

Simplified Guest additions setup on Linux

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Fullscreen virtualbox debian

The VirtualBox Guest Additions for Linux are a set of device drivers and system applications which may be installed in the guest operating system.

I was looking for ways to scale the screen geometry to enable virtual box take full-screen. To make this happen I had to setup VirtualBox Guest Additions, which provide many other features, it’s a tedious task to install on Debian. So, I went through below setup process:

In the guest Debian system, insert Guest Additions image by selecting
Devices->Insert Guest Additions CD Image from VirtualBox menu. This will mount the VirtualBox image into the guest machine. mostly in /media/cdrom0
I was able to see all the setup related files, that was easy. Let’s try running it
as root user,
>> su –
/media/cdrom0 >> ./VBoxLinuxAdditions.run
then came error message
./VBoxLinuxAdditions.run: Permission denied
Seriously!! for root user permission is denied. Ufff
Lets dig deeper to see whats happening here:
>> mount | grep cdrom0
/dev/sr0 on /media/cdrom0 type iso9660 (ro, nosuid, nodev, noexec, relatime, user)
There you go! Guest Additions ISO image has been mounted as non-executable, noexec flag is set,. Cool, one more thing to fix
What now? Let’s mount again as executable, I mean without noexec flag

 

firstthing >> umount /media/cdrom0

next

>>  mount -t iso9660 /dev/sr0 /media/cdrom0
mount: /dev/sr0 is write-protected, mounting read-only

lets check the properties just in case,
>> mount | grep cdrom0
/dev/sr0 on /media/cdrom0 type iso9660 (ro,relatime)

Cool. The Guest Additions image has been mounted successfully.
Let’s run the install script;
>> /media/cdrom/VBoxLinuxAdditions.run
Verifying archive integrity… All good.
Uncompressing VirtualBox 5.1.8 Guest Additions for Linux………..
VirtualBox Guest Additions installer
Copying additional installer modules …
Installing additional modules …
vboxadd.sh: Building Guest Additions kernel modules.
Failed to set up service vboxadd, please check the log file
/var/log/VBoxGuestAdditions.log for details.
Again failed!! Ewwwwww
Well, let’s examine the log file:
# cat /var/log/VBoxGuestAdditions.log
vboxadd.sh: failed: Look at /var/log/vboxadd-install.log to find out what went wrong.
vboxadd.sh: failed: Please check that you have gcc, make, the header files for your Linux kernel and possibly perl installed..
As the log file states, we need to install some necessary packages first, because it needs to compile the Guest Additions from sources.
# apt-get update
# apt-get install gcc make linux-headers-$(uname -r)
Finally, we are ready to install Guest Additions:
# /media/cdrom/VBoxLinuxAdditions.run
Verifying archive integrity… All good.
Uncompressing VirtualBox 5.1.8 Guest Additions for Linux………..
VirtualBox Guest Additions installer
Removing installed version 5.1.8 of VirtualBox Guest Additions…
Copying additional installer modules …
Installing additional modules …
vboxadd.sh: Building Guest Additions kernel modules.
vboxadd.sh: Starting the VirtualBox Guest Additions.
It may be required to restart the the Window System to enable the Guest Additions.
# reboot
Finally, I am able to see FULLSCREEN 🙂
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Fullscreen virtualbox debian

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

 

Classic Cheese Omelette

Eggs are the easiest dish to make anytime of the day. I am adding a twist to the normal Omelette by introducing Cheese. I can assure you this is the best cheese omelette I have ever had in my life, so yummy.

So into a frying pan, first you need to add some oil/ghee. Now spread it on the surface of the pan by gently swirling the pan. Keep the flame low, you don’t want the eggs to cook fast. I am starting with 2 eggs. Break the eggs into the pan. You could instead break the eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk them and then pour it into the pan. In this way, you could get a more fluffier omelette. Well, I am keeping it simple by breaking the eggs directly into the pan, I can owe it to my laziness to wash an extra bowl. If you see that the yolk hasn’t spread enough, just use a spoon to spread it a bit.

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Sprinkle salt and pepper. These are the most important ingredients in any egg omelette.photo6275811105339189237

Place the cheese slices somewhere along the diameter of the omelette. I have just taken a full cheese slice and cut into 3 small pieces and placed it over the omelette. You could very well use grated cheese or any variety of cheese.photo6275811105339189238

Now you need to fold in the omelette from both sides over the cheese. The aim is to see that the cheese is sealed inside the omelette. Cheese tends to melt quickly and ooze out, so ensure the sealing is perfect.

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Turn it over to cook the other side. You can see some part of my cheese has come out. Well, my sealing wasn’t perfect. Perfection comes with practice.photo6275811105339189240

Once both sides are cooked, transfer the cheese omelette to a plate.photo6275811105339189241Now what are you waiting for? Devour this delicious mouth watering dish and let me know how it turned out for you. Were you able to seal the cheese perfectly the first time? If so, you are going to be a classy cook 🙂

Sausage Roll/ Wrap

I do cook on all weekdays but when weekends comes, I tend to be so lazy that I am hesitant to even get up from my bed forget entering the kitchen. My stomach doesn’t agree with my laziness and insists on being provided with food by growling out loud. There are 2 options at this juncture: 1. Order food 2. Make something under 5 minutes. I picked option 2 as ordered food for a long time hasn’t satisfied my sophisticated palate.

Enter the kitchen and add some oil/ ghee into a frying pan. Place 2 sausages into it. Since you have taken it directly from the freezer, there’s high chance that oil would start to splutter, so keep the frying pan covered. Turn the sausages around and see that they are cooked well.

Take a ready to fry chapathi and fry it on both sides in the same frying pan. Don’t cook for long, else it will harden up and start to break up.

Place cheese slices/ strips over the chapathi. Keep it along the diameter of the chapathi.

Place the sausage over the cheese strips.

Now I am going to add some sweet chilly garlic sauce over the sausages. You could add any sauce of your choice.

Next step is to make a roll out of it. Fold from bottom first. Then from the sides. Your delicious sausage roll is ready to be eaten.Serve hot.

Tossed Mushroom

I feel it absolutely unethical to not include such a delicious dish in a post. This recipe is already doing its rounds of being famous on its own ever since it has already been mentioned about in another post – Mushroom fight!

For this dish, you require button mushrooms. I am using close to 100 grams of button mushroom.

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You need to clean the mushrooms first. 2 ways of doing it. One is use water – ensure the entire water is drained off properly from inside mushrooms after washing. Two is wipe it thoroughly using a damp cloth.

Into a frying pan, add some ghee/oil. Add the mushrooms along with some salt and freshly grounded pepper. Allow it to cook in medium flame. Keep stirring constantly. You can alternatively keep it covered for a while.

Once an awesome aroma starts coming, or when you feel mushrooms are cooked properly, you need to add some tomatoes and capsicum, diced. I have used one half tomato and one half capsicum, The main reason why I added this is to increase quantity.

The capsicum pieces and the tomato pieces starts to blend with the mushrooms. Now one last step. You can skip this if you don’t want to add any sauce. Add a bit of sweet chilly garlic sauce and toss it well with the mushrooms.

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Mouthwatering tossed mushrooms are ready to gulp.