Saturday, June 27, 2009

From the Other Side of the Globe

Man, Chicago is FAR.

Yes, I know. I don't quite know how I got here either. All I know is that Vijay was obsessing about this holiday for the last few months. Somewhere in between my busy schedule, he managed to get me to go ahead for a Visa interview, which by itself is another story. Anyhow, Friday evening, I was in office till 5 p.m. He came and picked me up and took me shopping for three hours. At 8 p.m, I asked him what time we were supposed to be leaving for the airport and he said 9.30 p.m. would be good. I flipped out because we hadn't even begun to pack. It's been a crazy blur but somehow we have made it to the other side of the world, relatively without incident, except for the fact that I seem to have not brought any warm clothes and it's a teeny bit chilly and Peanut's head is feeling a little warm.

We're going to go off to Ann Arbor, Michigan in a couple of hours. I'm still feeling a little disoriented but not so disoriented that I haven't noticed that some Americans can be pretty darn rude for no reason - airhostesses, and other airport officials. I am left wondering whether it is the consciousness that we are not 'in home country' that makes us a bit more aware of this, or whether it really is a not so subtle form of discrimination. What's with the resentment people? It's our planet, even if it's not our country. Sheesh.

Then again, I know for a fact Vijay and me used to also get rudeness from the people like security guards and so on in good old Bengaluru, one of our favorite cities ever. So I guess, it's just about the 'outsiders' phenomenon. Either way, makes me glad I'm just here for a couple of weeks and hats off, by the way, for those of you, including members of my family, who've made America their home despite it all.

Well, that's a lot of judgement based on 3 experiences in a span of a mere few hours. Should be an interesting trip. Let's see what this country is all about. I wonder if I'll get to see Central Perk with Ross, Rachel and the rest of the gang hanging around.

Also, I've noticed there are a lot of tall buildings here. Very tall. I write from the 17th floor of one myself, staying at a friend's place till it's time to drag ourselves out of bed to catch the train.

Am going to try and post now and then - been rather a lot happening of late, just haven't had the time to pin it all down anywhere.

So take care of yourselves and be around. By the way, skipped over to any new continents lately?

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Sunday Morning Drama

My baby and I are in the shallow end of the pool. It's a windy day, and because it rained so hard yesterday, the pool has more mud and leaves in it than usual.

I am just about making up my mind to get out when the Lifeguard and a Security guard come rushing up towards the pool, shouting terse instructions to us to get out of the pool.

I grab Peanut and the two of us are out in a flash - my heart is beating fast because I've already spotted the cause of alarm - it's a snake that's entered the pool and is gliding along with some speed to the other side.

It's some distance away from us and we're out already so I feel relieved - until I realize that my husband is still in the pool. I scan the pool with worried eyes for him and am shocked to realize that he's still in it - oblivious floating on his back, with occasional lazy strokes with his long arms propelling him backwards - right towards the snake.

I am shouting his name, over and over again - the lifeguard and security guard are nearer him and they are also shouting at him. He doesn't hear any of us, he's in his own world, just floating, enjoying the Sunday morning backstroke. I think he briefly spots the lifeguard waving frantically at him, but appears to mistake it for a friendly greeting, because he just carries on regardless.

He is a mere five feet away from the snake and I am beginning to really panic -I continue to shout, while resolving to myself in a fairly detached manner that if the snake doesn't bite him to death today, I will.

Luckily, the snake is swimming much faster than him and passes him by, emerging on the other side of the pool - turns out to be this really, really huge lizard-iguana-type thing - the lifeguard runs towards it with a stick and tries to beat it - although I'm not sure what that would have achieved - but misses, and it scampers off into the nearby plants and disappears.

At this point, Vijay reaches the shallow end of the pool and sees me glowering at him, clutching a bemused Peanut at the edge of the pool. He casually asks 'Kya hua?' while the security guard, Peanut and I all look at him with a fair amount of disbelief.

That's my man.