A first uneventful day in Vienna. Ethernet at the Hotel Atlas, too much walking, an expensive orange juice and a nice girl on the train.
So here I am, in Hotel Atlas, with free ethernet, a non-feather pillow, a bathtub, and already a few more books to add to my collection.
BlogTalk will start on Monday, so I have the week-end before me to do some exploring. I’m open to suggestions, still!
My first day here has been pretty uneventful (barring “rain” from the “events” category). I’ll just make three notes.
Firstly, if you go to have breakfast at Café Westend, just opposite the station, and the waiter asks you if you would like some orange juice, be prepared to pay as much for it as for the whole breakfast (approx. 5’€, perfectly reasonable for the breakfast, perfectly overpriced for the orange juice — even though it is freshly pressed). I made the mistake of thinking it was included, and was nastily shocked when I got the bill.
Second, I tend to walk way beyond my limits of tiredness. I just don’t stop. It’s so annoying. All the more now, as I actually catch myself doing it, but still can’t stop. I really have to find a way to avoid walking myself to death this week-end.
Third and last, I made a friend on the train to Zürich — fate had me sit right opposite Andrea, who lives in Geneva and was also making her way to Vienna. We’re meeting again tonight, with her (very nice and local-now-expat’) boyfriend.
I’m regularly told that I give a bad image of India (the horror stories and all that). Here is some of the nice stuff that I never write about. Things I like about India.
I’m regularly told that I give a bad image of India (the horror stories and all that). Here is some of the nice stuff that I never write about. Things I like about India:
- the rivers
- riding on the back of Madhav or Shinde’s bikes
- the shopping stalls near Laxmi Rd
- walking in the university campus
- going to the movies
- mad shopping binges
- kathi rolls and kheer kadam from Radhika’s
- the smell of incense and fresh coriander
- people who smile at me or compliment my dress
- rickshaw drivers who go by the meter
- chatting with people on the train
- coloured clothes and cloth
- travelling by train
- changes of plans and surprises when they go the way I want them to
- painted signs and boards
- sari bags
- krack cream
- the dampness of the air on arrival in Bombay airport
- kulfi and gulab jamun
- butter naan and butter chicken
- the warmth
- having all the time in the world to take my bath and eat my breakfast
- glass bangles and silver anklets
- reading for days on end
- children in school uniforms
- eating on the kitchen floor
- the cup of tea offered by the internet café manager because I’m waiting for the end of the power outage
- Hindi and Indian English
- negociating seating arrangements and luggage storage with fellow train-passengers
- sticking 46 large stamps on the 6.5kg book parcel I’m sending home
- the Kal Ho Na Ho ringtone on Anita’s cellphone
- sweet-smelling flowers in the night
- Hindi music in the car
- chay with milk straight out of the goat’s udder at Taramai’s