January 24th, 2007


NYC, N Y....

This time, we only got to spend a few hours in New York..or to be precise, with our favourite place in NY, Manhattan. Our luggage was booked through (ah, one of the 4 suitcases hasn't come to Bangalore, that's another story, the story of a loooong saga at dawn at Blr airport this morning) so we were free to take the AirTrain to the NYC subway and thence to Manhattan, where a friend's daughter lives practically on Times Square (W. 43rd Street). Then another friend who works close by met us and treated us to dinner at Carmine's, an Italian restaurant on Broadway . The food was superb and came in mountainous quanitities(but I was surprised, when googling for it, to come up with several less-than-complimentary reviews too!)...then, in spite of the flurry of snow, we walked around until it was time for us to take the subway back again.

New York...is SUCH a city....the vibrancy sets up chords in you the minute you step out into Manhattan...it's scary, exciting,awesome, awful, all at once....what a city....well, I suppose I really mean Manhattan, but then, to me, Manhattan will always be the vigorous heart of New York. It sometimes seems to me that New YorK is a law unto itself, different from all the rest of America...and sometimes it seems that it IS typical of America, a melting-pot of everyone and everything, with the strength that only such cross-breeding can produce...


Whenever I tell an Indian-American that we are visiting our daughter and will be in the US for 6 weeks, the answer is, "such a short visit!" and when I say the same thing to an American-American (you know what I mean) the answer is, invariably, "a very long visit!" People may be the same everywhere...but this IS one cultural difference I have found!

Rant (yes, started)

I will talk about my missing suitcase later...came home and switched on the gas cylinder to hear a horrible hiss and a dangerous stench (a stenching agent is added to the odourless cooking gas for just this purpose) and called my gas agency. I waited the entire morning and finally someone ambles in at 3 pm. (Well at least it prevented me from sleeping due to jet lag). He then pokes into the cylinder with a screwdriver and then announces, first, that "the washer has gone", and then that "the regulator has gone", and that I must change the regulator.

But I must have XYZ papers (luckily, I do...that paper dates from 1976, I kid you not, when the connection was first issued to us)...and ONLY the person whose name is on the connection (KM, in this case)can come, can you beat that? And he must go to the agency before 5 pm, no matter that he is at work, about 50 km away...or there will be no cooking tonight...

Then we must bring home the regulator and try and stuff it safely into the rubber hose...another danger-ridden procedure. Why cannot the guy bring another regulator, fix it, charge me for it, and go?

I deTEST the consumer-unfriendly tactics that our services still get away with. The attitude is always "you MUST do this" and always, totally irrelevant paperwork is cited as an essential.