Sunday, December 20, 2009

The European Adventure, Chapter 2: Paris, Je T'aime!!

So I've finally gotten around to writing about our next destination Paris!! Last I left off was that we were knackered from our trip to Bath, Windsor Castle and Stonehenge. Well, our trip to Paris first started off as rushing to the airport at the crack of dawn almost feeling that we were surely going to miss our flight. It felt like deja vu, probably because we were rushing the same way yesterday when we were trying to catch our day bus tour. It was chilly and partly cloudy. Secretly, hoping that our flight was delayed but of course it wasn't. Not only was our flight not delayed, we managed to get there with ample time to even grab a nice English breakfast at the airport lounge. I, as usual, got distracted by Burberry while my friend ran to the loo for the third time! Sadly enough, I didn't buy the watch I semi fell in love with because now we really needed to board our flight. Soon we did and off we were to the land of crêpes, French onion soup, boeuf bourguignon and well Tour Eiffel, Louvre and hot French men avec croissants et cafés.
Bonjour Paris!! We landed at Charles De Gaulle Airport and I kid you not, the gate we exited out the plane from was literally on the other side of the terminal from where we needed to exit and take the RER train from! After trying to manhandle the machines pour les billets (tickets) we gave up and stood in line to get our Paris Visite tickets which we later found out that the machines were not working. For those who don't know, the Paris Visite tickets are basically a ticket with unlimited rides of subway, buses, and RER trains-- the sweetest travel deal for any outsider! Once we got to our station we were convinced that even though Paris is known for its well-connected subway system, we knew they had to have some sick twisted sadistic mind to make every train track situated so far apart from each other within the train stations. It was probably our tiredness speaking and the fact that our luggage seemed heavier than it actually was at that very point but nonetheless the thought or observation if you will was just as correct.

We finally made it to our hotel, the Idéal Design Hotel. The ultimate minimalist hotel, one could ever find. The funniest was when we saw the size of the elevator. My friend, I and our suitcase barely fit through, though it was quite the squeeze. Now we're not big girls so I wonder what happens when a fat person comes through. Clearly they have to send the suitcase alone and then them alone otherwise there is no other option! We walked out of the elevator and was greeted by a hot handyman who directed us to our room. My friend and I couldn't stop smirking at each other because we both were thinking of how we've seen this scene play in front of our eyes in many movies or tv shows that were filmed in Paris or with a French guy period. We were amused that it was happening to us. Granted, we didn't break into a passionate kiss with the man but he nonetheless smiled and left. We plopped on the bed and took a 15 minute power nap before we headed out to experience Paris. After getting ready and seeing our handyman yet again because our hairdryer was genuinely not working, we finally hopped on the train and got off on Saint Michel to first get some lunch; We were starved!!!
We walked around the little alleys which were nestled with little restaurants but then finally found the one we liked. It was an open restaurant that allowed us to enjoy the warm weather but also people watch. We ordered our food with excellent pairings of wine which we later found that wine was cheaper in France than regular drinking water. Not complaining and thoroughly amused! We were in Paris, so we had to taste French wine! Our waiter complimented on our fine choice and chatted us up because we didn't look like we were from there. Luc was quite friendly, flirtatious and most importantly CUTE!! As we ate away our scrumptious lunch, (french food is by far one of the yummiest cuisine, probably because it's not shy of using BUTTA' and lots of it!) we were looking at the map trying to to plan of action as to where we were going to start and finish for the day. Luc pulled up a chair next to our table and helped us out!
Once we were done, we headed out to Notre Dame Cathedral. Absolutely exquisite and utterly speechless! The detail on all stained glass paintings and the carved sculptures kept my mouth shut and in awe for once. There was a sermon going on at the time we walked in, so we decided to take a moment and hear it even though my friend didn't understand a word of it since it was in French and only I understood French. We then prayed and made our wishes to God, which hopefully will be granted this new year, and walked out towards the grounds. But of course the turds that we are, and the fact that we were on vacation we had the urge of being silly, in other words the french would call stoopid Americains. My friend dared me to ask the information where the statue of the Hunchback of Notre Dame was located. I know...tres istoopeed but when you're on vacation, all is well...or how Aamir Khan says it in 3 Idiots, Aall izz well So after the Notre Dame, we trekked down the Seine River...and what a view... We walked and walked in search of the Eiffel Tower...and we walked....we saw all the side attractions the Petit Palais, Grand Palais, Concorde, Musee D'Orsay, Assemblée Nationale to name a few...
As we walked down Champs Elysee, we finally saw our first siting of the Eiffel Tower! So even though our feet were about to fall off from all that walking, immediately we got a burst of energy and excitement! We were on a mission to find the Eiffel Tower! We continued to walk and even managed to take several buses but still could not reach to the tower! Finally we just got off at one stop (thanks to my knowledge of French and being able to communicate with them) we got a block away from our destination. There it was standing pretty fully lit from top to bottom. As we crossed the bridge to get to it, we were followed by a smirking old man. Of course I noticed this and nonchalantly told my friend to walk faster no matter how much it pained to even walk at that moment. We got to the tower finally and was completely enamored! How can the French find it ugly!?!So intricate in its own way! Anyway we walked around and feeling our stomachs turning and craving for food we finally made our way to dinner back in St. Michel! We decided that it was going to be crepes night! We searched and found La Crêperie. If we could sum it in one word of how it tasted then it would be " mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm" That's still a word! After it all, we barely made it to our hotel, showered and crashed immediately as we were heading to Versailles early next morning.
Once we were all ready the next morning, we picked up two small café au lait and croissants avec beurre (two small coffees and buttered croissants) and headed to the train that was going to take us to Versailles.
As beautiful as we thought the tower was, Versailles was breathtaking, and that adjective is an understatement of what it really was. Speechless!!!! Our tired eyes were awakened by its beauty and we hadn't even gone inside yet. It was 10 am and the lines were already long!! As we walked along the path of the palace from room to room, our eyes beamed through the windows looking at the vast endless gardens. If only we were there during the spring or summer time when the flowers were blooming!! But even then it was an attractive sight. After doing our rounds around the palace and buying gifts for the family, we headed back to the main city to finish the rest of our touring and most importantly have tea with the Mona Lisa!

We went straight to the Louvre and covered most of the museum in 4 hrs. It wasn't hard to find the Mona Lisa at first because not only were everyone going to see her, were surrounded by Calcuttans calling out in their heavily accented Bengali, "Dadaa!! Mona Lisa dekhben na!?! Uni bolechilo okhhaaney aachey!" (Translation: Brother, Wouldn't you like to see the Mona Lisa, He was saying it is over there!) Amused as we were, hearing bangla from aged ladies in their cotton saris and sneakers, we enjoyed being secretly directed to Da Vinci. There were so many stairs going up and down but managed to see the exhibits that were most important to us! Already our foot was swollen from all the walking and going up and down the stairs but we held strong and continued on. We took the bus from the Louvre and headed over to Montmartre to see Sacre Coeur. It was such a cute area...little alleys with cute stores and cafes. Yet again we were lost and walked endless to see the Sacre Coeur but every time we were on a mission to find what we were looking for, we were rewarded!!! From the top of the Cathedral, we could see the entire view of Paris. What a site it was and luckily we had reached just before sunset! There were music artists playing their guitars and the French accented songs of Michael Jackson. Soon enough I got a call from my old high school friend who just got out of work and will be meeting us for dinner around 9:30ish near our hotel as she lived close by and since we were still looking around, it just seemed ideal. We walked around even more at a slower pace this time to see Moulin Rouge. Of course, as we walked the street, we were hounded by even more sleazy men than we had already met during the past two days since we were there. That is one thing... French men have no fear or shame and full of confidence! If we were in the US, most men would think twice about randomly hitting on girls of the fear of rejection. Whereas Frenchmen, if they are rejected by one, they immediately move on to the next with even more perseverance. This trait of theirs was truly an amazing site to see. I would even call it a French attraction that should not be missed, but I guess it's something hard to miss anyways.
Soon after we returned back to the hotel, freshened up to meet my friend and her sister for dinner to which I found out that I was allergic to pork. How did I find that out when eating pork is against my religion and the fact that i find the smell slightly revolting? Well in the dark restaurant to what it seemed like a tomato was a thin slice of jambon (ham) that i had no idea of. Later, I was itching all over and found red splotches all over my hand. We couldn't figure out what it was from, so the next day when we went out again to meet my friends who were visiting from London for a day, I walked over and checked the menu on the wall and found that it had pork in it and i had no idea! Oh well now I will never be curious about pork anymore. We soon enough met our friends in St Michel yet again which became my friend and my favorite place for food and hang out. We had breakfast and then went off to continue with the sightseeing. Some as ever, each attraction was just as exquisite. but the best part of the day was when we went up the Centre De Pompidou and enjoyed a bottle of wine at Georges Restaurant and just as Sacre Coeur relished yet another panoramic view of Paris! What a sight it was. Our waiter was again very chatty and jokingly asked about our trip because clearly we were out-of-towners. Once we were done, we at the end of the day were girls so how could we come to Paris and not do some shopping, so off we were to drop some Euros! We went to the famous wholesale designer markets and got all the things we wanted. Bags and Shoes. This was one thing my friend and I noticed. Not a single female in Paris carried an ugly bag of which we see lots of in New York. Finally we capped our wallets for the night and headed our own ways. The Londoners headed back to London and we continued our touring of Paris. We walked around checking out the final important places that we wanted to catch this trip around knowing that we wont be able to capture the entire of Paris in one trip because at the end of the day we also wanted to relax and enjoy Paris as well! Waltzing around town, we were getting slightly hungry so we headed back to the hotel and explore for a restaurant nearby where we could just relax our last night there to which we did. We found the cutest restaurant to which i think had the best meal the entire trip so far. We stayed there for over 3 hrs just chatting and and reliving the three days that we had been there and of course had heart to heart and somewhat philosophical conversations about life and the future of our lives as to where we want to be and what we want in life. it was almost 1am and was surprised to see that the restauranteurs didn't even budge us out. If we were elsewhere I'm sure we would have been getting dirty looks well into our first our there! The culture there is to really enjoy life which is what we really talked about. We are all soo busy to go to the next stop that we hardly enjoy the day we are living in! We returned back exhausted from our day and plopped on the bed planning our final day in Paris as in the evening we had to catch our flight back to London which also meant soon enough we will be back in New York and our vacation would be over. For once, we woke up late, enjoyed a proper breakfast and headed back to St. Michel. We still had some sightseeing left over so we finished that and decided to end our trip with the ultimate dish that I refused to leave Paris without eating it. Boeuf Bourguignon... As we enjoyed our meal, the gentleman that was sitting next to us was enjoying his meal alone to which i know we both thought we would never be able to do it ever! Not only did he order what we had, he also ate a bowl of soup and a dessert and a cup of coffee and yet he was not fat. Where did all the food go behind that sharp suit he was wearing?? and he was there even longer time than we were, and no, he was not jobless either? He occasionally was looking at his blackberry and putting through deals! Can you imagine taking a 3 hour lunch break? Surely you'd be fired if you were anywhere else!?! We moved on and because we still had a few hours to kill, we decided to go on the boat ride. around the island! I recommend everyone to take that bus ride because not only was it exciting, it was relaxing, informative and most importantly scenic!!
After the ride, we headed back to our hotel and off we were to get to the airport and of course our train luck, there were some mechanical difficulties and as usual had to run for the terminal once we got there. We said our goodbyes to Paris where the immigration officer taught my friend her first french words. J'aimes Paris! YES...I truly J'AIMES PARIS! Julia Child once said, "France was my spiritual homeland: it had become part of me, and I a part of it, and so it has remained ever since. [It] reminds me that the pleasures of the table, and of life, are infinite — toujours bon appétit!"
Couldn't have said it better even though we were just there for four days. It was love at first sight and it was Paris that made a lover out of me forever...
À bientôt, j'espère!!

Edit: Because i didn't have much more to say on the conclusion of this trip i decided to combine my next post on the time in London here. Hope you guys don't mind!

The European Adventure, The Final Chapter: Back in London!

So as exhausted as we were, I still had a few more days before I had to head back to New York. The next day, the day I will never forget, came in a whirlwind. We stuffed our face with Nandos Peri Peri Chicken and the other fixins and off we were to do our necessity final shopping at Marks and Spencers. As always after marks & spencers we headed to the next store called Dune which is where my bag got stolen. All my prized possessions which included my recently acquired Bvlgari sunglasses, Ipod touch given by my friends, my friend's camera, phone, my disposable camera of all our Paris pictures were gone. This incident dampened the rest of my trip and erased all the good memories we had captured via our camera! The rest of the trip remained a little uneventful which i didn't mind because i was tired and just needed to relax catching up with friends that i didn't get to see when i first arrived in London! Oh well SHIT HAPPENS I guess...

The best of it all I guess was how cooperative the London Police was. Not only did they meaning Detective Michael called me to check on me several times, he called me in New York, in addition with a written letter, that they could not find the perpetrators and that he is having to close the case a month later...How sweet of him! What can I say but say C'est La Vie!

And now that I'm done recollecting this trip, i can now go back to writing all the things I've been meaning to write about all this while.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Imran Khan on "How to Win the War"

I know another distraction but much needed post! Finally a man who knows what he is talking about...

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Facebook

Before I go back to writing about my Europe trip, I just had to share this!Recently, I've been feeling really iffy about Facebook. Almost to the point where I really want to deactivate myself from it. It's not entirely due to the fact that there is no sense of privacy in the network regardless of how much privacy settings you've altered. It's more of this whole "fake-friendshipism" that it creates. I've seen more fakeness from the moment people adding you to the silence you hear there on after. What's the point in adding then? But then i hear a story like this in the video below and it warms my heart.



As I see this video, I still wonder, is Facebook for me?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The European Adventure, Chapter 1.3

Every once in a while, one needs to step back to think and come to the conclusion that they need a break. To step away from their comfort zone and get a fresh perspective on life, and well also, to appreciate the city they live in a little more. This is exactly how I felt when I left for London and Paris. I'm currently on day 3, and already got accustomed to all tube stations regardless of the weekend changes, although I will admit that it was partly because I met a girl on the replacement bus to Baker Street, who gave me her tube map. It's a funny story really. I asked her a quick question about which train to take to Hammersmith, since I was meeting my friend to watch the play Punk Rock, really funny and is a must-watch. So anyway we got to talking and she asked where I was from because my accent was a little mixed (part Brit and Americano). When I told her that I was from New York, she jumped and said she was going to be in NY for an internship. Instant connection. So I gave her a brief lowdown on the ins and outs of NYC. We exchanged numbers and come January, I will be meeting my very first tube friend from London in New York. Yes, there was one more but will share that much later.

When I recounted this story to my friend, while we waited for the second entry point, he couldn't believe how I could befriend a stranger on the train. Even though secretly I didn't know how I did it myself, but it just happened. (Side note: for those who are wondering what second entry point was, in London, once a show starts you have two more chances to get in and if you miss both chances, you’ve basically missed the entire show without a refund. I know, here in America, we are a little more capitalistic, call it generous or lenient if you will, that if you have a paid ticket, you can enter at any time during the show, quietly of course! But luckily I made it in time for the second entry point!) Anyways, he then shared that he was jealous of the fact how he hears stories like this but can never have the guts to do it himself. What can I say, I'm a natural, or maybe that the very trait I tease my mother about, I found myself committing the same... Am I becoming like my mother? So soon?

After the play and realizing that I haven't had a meal since Nando's for lunch the day before, filling this utter starvation feeling was becoming quite important. Yet, distraction by a wholesale bookstore got us to our lunch destination much later. We ended up in Chinatown at a restaurant I can't remember the name of but recall that it rhymed with something like feng shui. I know it's terrible of me considering how good the food was but seriously I can't remember. We then walked around oxford circus and just enjoyed the rest of the evening because the next day, the friend with whom I was staying with, was throwing a bhorta party and as much as I wanted to save my freshly manicured nails, I was tricked into being the chef for the successful night that it turned out to be in the end. Mind you, the next early morning, my NY friend and I were going to head for our jam packed day trip to Windsor Castle, Bath, and Stonehenge. My New Yorker travel buddy finally joined us at the crack of dawn, and poor thing had to deal with the disastrous tube changes as soon as she landed in London which of course would damper anyone’s mood but was soon enough regained when she saw our familiar faces and when we were in Camden Market for lunch. Camden Market is like a bustling hippie area with a lot of shopping and food stalls; a really fun joint and a quintessential avenue where London meets the rest of the world. I recommend all of you to go there when you get a chance to visit London. Soon enough after a scrumptious meal we walked around for a bit to burn off the calories we just gobbled and hurried back to start cooking for the said successful bhorta party.

The next early morning, a.k.a. crack of dawn, I hurriedly woke up to the alarm on my iPod that didn’t ring because I forgot that my iPod was in NY time and not London time (bless the body alarm) and somehow we managed to gather ourselves and rush to Victoria Coach station. Half asleep, all we could think of was coffee, so when we reached there we saw nothing but Starbucks even though there was a Costas right there. So the American that we are, instead of trying some European coffee, we forgot to look left or right and ran to "our nearest Starbucks location", where we did get to see some yummy items apart from what Starbucks had to offer. Heeheehee... Yes distraction yet again but soon after we were running to get to our tour bus which of course had to be on the other side of where we were. We barely made with 2 mins to spare after having to run to the smelly loo which we had to pay for. What's the point in taking money if you can't make it a point to make it smell like peaches n cream?? Anyway, we finally made our tour bus with the funniest tour guide ever. Before I delve into the intricacies of our trip, I have to recommend Evan tours to everyone reading this blog. You can find them on their site or aviator.com because this trip was worth every penny.

Off we were to Windsor Castle first which is known to be the largest inhabited and longest occupied castle in the world by a royal family. How cool was that!! Apparently it is the queen's summer home. Side note: As I find myself to be no less important than any royalty, having a castle as summer home would be quite nice. Actually having a maid and a butler in an any-size home would be just as divine. We strolled around the castle looking at all the bedrooms and the offices. Apparently the only reason the castle started providing castle tours was because they needed to raise money to repair the burnt tower and well cover the expenses... You would think the queen wouldn't be soo cheap but when we heard the damages cost it was quite exorbitantly unreal. We looked at our watch and realized that we had just enough time to grab some lunch and head back to the bus and be off to our next destination, Bath. Funny story. So when I told my friend about the day trip I booked for us and that it included a trip to Bath, she thought I was going to take her to see an exclusive shower...loll she didn't know it was the name of a famous city known for its roman baths dated back to 43 AD. It was quite hilarious pulling her leg about it. So off we were and of course luck would have it one of tour members realized that they had left their really expensive camera back somewhere in the castle. How can one be so careless to leave a camera behind especially when you're on such a picturesque tour!! So lo and behold we had to turn around and were already 30 mins behind because some people didn't understand the meaning of being back by the time we were asked to. FYI don't ever be late on these tours because the amount of beef the tour guide gave the couple and openly made fun of them which was quite embarrassing for them but funny for us. The drive to bath was so scenic that as much as I wanted to take a quick powernap I just couldn't. I was just mesmerized with the vast quintessential European greenery and well the size of British cows. These cows made our Bangladeshi massive cows look anorexic and malnutritioned... I was just in total disbelief with the size…. I’m still in shock….

Finally two hours later, we arrived at Bath and the very second we entered the main town area, literally it felt like we just walked into a painting. This city was sooo pretty that we already started planning our nonexistent married lives being settled there especially when we drove around Nicholas Cage's home. LOL!! But really Bath was nestled on top of many hills and the valley of River Avon and boys and girls there are no words to describe how riveting the view was! We then walked around the King’s Bath which was the principal source of Bath’s hot waters. Apparently you could taste the water in the Grand Pump Room but the water inside looked soo disgusting and shady that we decided to skip it and just stick to our Marks & Spencer Evian bottle. Because it was such a beautiful city, my friend and I were convinced that people just lived here to just enjoy the view and well life because why would anyone want to work there? But apparently it’s a large service sector with growing information and communication technologies and creative industries as well…who knew?!? We soaked as much of Bath as we could while enjoying our cappuccino and dessert at Café Rouge, a very cute French bistro. What can I say; we were getting ourselves ready for Paris the next day. We headed back to our bus, the tiredness slowly creeping on us, and off we were to see Stonehenge.

What can I say about Stonehenge?? I will admit that I was really excited to go there especially after seeing this documentary on it on the National Geographic Channel. But when we got there and heard that we’d be staying there for 45 mins, I kind of felt a little let down. I expected more from it and in the end it was just set of rocks. As sad as it sounds but it was. Maybe it was my tiredness speaking or what but it was quite blah. In a way I was glad that I didn’t do a special Stonehenge tour but expected more from the heritage site; maybe more guides or information, even though I knew quite a lot about it on my own. In fact, I wished we spent more time at Windsor and bath instead and maybe spent 25 mins at Stonehenge because everyone was clearly done seeing the site in 10. Finally we were done as hit the bus and as soon as we sat down, we were out. Nap time because we were meeting my aunt and uncle who were also visiting from Dubai for dinner at Garfunkels for fish and chips! I know we could have gone to a better and more authentic place but it was just convenience at that point. We freshened ourselves at Selfridges where of course I ran in to a fellow New Yorker. Yes, it’s official. Either I know too many people or too many people know me. My brother-in-law would argue that it’s a bit of both and more of the latter. Finally we got some fish and chips into a stomach with of course some stellar company because we laughed and laughed as we recounted our stories from since we last met. We finally reached our friend’s place, showered, packed for Paris the next day and soon enough caught up with all our zzzs while dreaming of the Eiffel Tower and Gilles Marini….or well maybe just I did.

Hope you’ve enjoyed so far and are hungry for more…don’t fret I will be back with Chapter 2: Paris very soon…or shall I say tous de suite….A Bientot mes amis!

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Hi Boys and Girls!! I know I promised you guys that I would give a daily account of how my trip went. But let's just say that it has been soo eventful that by the time I reached either home (aka friend's pad) or hotel, I was soo beat that I didn't have much energy to type. But fear not..I am now waiting for my mini london cab to pick me up and take me to the airport. Soon I will be back in the comfort of my own bed and computer and will dish all...till then...A bientot mes amis! Je vous ecris tout de suite!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Europe 2009 - Day 2

Ok its 1230 at night and I was supposed to be partying with my friends right now but this afternoon i was feeling soo ill and jetlagged that i slept and I just woke up. Nothing is really coming out of me now. so here i am posting a random and useless post. However, looking forward to spending time with friends and going to watch a play. I'm going to have to start making plans with all my friends.

oh well...My update is that I am loving this London weather. Sunny with VERY light breeze! I got my eyebrows done by a Turkish lady and it looks great!!
Next stop hair cut....maybe....

Till tomorrow! Adios mi Amigos! Yes I had Nando's today and the Peri Peri Chicken Extra extra Hot was sinfully brilliant!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Europe 2009 - Day 1

The countdown comes to an end and I have finally arrived in London, whilst my friend from NY will be joining me on Sunday. Just like many others who blog about their exotic adventures, I have decided to blog about mine. Destinations for this trip are London and Paris. I finally finished packing literally 10 mins before I had to leave at the latest and barely got some dinner to eat so that I wouldn't have to force myself to eating overpriced and gross airport Mcdonalds food. Finally, all my luggages were kept in the trunk and off we were to the airport. My flight was at 1120 pm and it was already 845. Yes running slightly late.



As we approached the airport, I clearly saw that terminal 1 was for American Airlines only to find out that American Airlines was not in terminal 1. It was already 940 and my father scared me that I might miss my flight as we headed towards to an area that similarly looked like shady noman's land....We finally found our way back to the terminals and found that I misread Aeroflot for American Airlines and that it was in Terminal 8 and not 1. I finally entered, and checked in by just scanning my passport and all my details popped up. this new system is quite cool. Printed the suitcase tags and off were my suitcases to head on the plane. As we boarded, I faintly saw that a crying kid was 4 rows down from me..OH lord!! Did I jinx myself by saying that I always have a good experience with AA??? Anyways, thank God for inflight movies and extra high volume! I started to watch My Sister's keepers and was miraculously able to drain out the screaming and wailing. God sometimes I JUST HATE KIDS! (Side note: My Sister's Keeper is a beautiful movie! and yes I cried in the plane)



Midway watching the movie, the captain had informed us that we will be reaching London 20 mins earlier than as planned. and I thought not bad, I can run to the loo, take my time, beautify myself and then come out of customs and baggage claim looking like I wasn't hit by a bus like most passengers do when coming out of the arrivals. I watched the entire movie as I devoured the surprisingly delicious chicken lasagna. Still not feeling completely sleepy, I started to watch this other movie which seriously I can't remember the title right now and honestly I dont think anyone should even bother to remember. It was with the main duo actors from My Big Fat Greek Wedding. Like seriously, it was soo bad that it just knocked me out. Finally I woke up moments before we landed and believe it or not I came to find that not only did we arrive 20 mins earlier, we were landing at London Heathrow Airport 1.5 hrs earlier. My phone didn't work nor did my aunt pick up her Phone calls. I basically had to wait there for 3 hrs, until my aunt showed up.

As I exited the baggage claim area to meet my aunt and cousin, I was thoroughly surprised that for a change I saw more white people than brown compared to the last time I was here. Last time, I literally felt that instead of arriving in London, I had landed in some part of India. Anyways, I'm wondering if it's just me or do I actually look more Arab these days or what?!? While I was waiting at the Meeting Point are, 3 different Arabs came up to me asking for the time or directions in Arabic. Maybe it's just london, I say this as I recall several other incidents in New York and Dubai Airport. Funny thing, the last time I was in London strolling down Edgeware Rd with my fellow brown friends, I was instructed to hang out with other Arabs instead of brown people. Little did they know I was brown myself. They were in disbelief when I told them what I was! It was quite amusing the whole incident. Anyways, I finally made it to my friend's place and immediately devoured my aunt's biryani. Apart from the baburchis of Bangladesh, she makes it the best, outside of bangladesh.

The moment of truth was to now pass the jetlag test. I refused to fall asleep now so, we headed out to hit London town. Walked around the streets of Leicester Square towards Covent Garden. Sat down at this nook and cranny coffee shop to have fine European coffee. It's beyond me why Americans drink and make such shitty coffee!!! I endulged myself to a proper machiato. Divine!
After a long flights journey, I was finally in bliss with my caffeine intake. We then strolled around the streets as I engulfed London town and being whisked around by the London fall breeze, I realized how much I missed it. If only this weather was all year round!

Soon enough, we reached Sandersons Patio, which is a very cute lounge nestled in a hotel. The ambience was nice and felt like we were sitting outside in a patio. Similar to La Bottega at the Maritime Hotel, NY. Had a virgin Martini with Lychees and Chillies. It was quite tasty. As my friend and I caught up even though we had seen each other 2 weeks before in New York, we relaxed and took a few pictures, which is when my body was telling me to call it a night. it was already 8pm. I managed to last this long. After walking around all over Oxford Circus etc, we took the bus and headed home. I showered, we had yet another mouthwatering meal and soon enough I drifted off to my ZZZsss...I'm now awake and writing at 3am, jetlagging away and thinking of what to do...

I hope you enjoyed my first post from London and will be looking forward to reading more...

Till my next post, Lots of Love!!!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Fallen Souls of 2009

Is it just me or have you peeps noticed that too many legends have passed away this year! I'm sure it's like this every year but I guess what I'm trying to say that people with bigger names and larger than life characters have passed away and surprisingly all around the same time!!! Michael Jackson, Farah Fawcett, Ed Kennedy, Bea Arthur, Ed McMahon, Billy Mays and many more! Anyway, I didn't really have a long post ready for this, but just wanted to point it out that soo many people are leaving us....and sometimes it makes me think, are we all coming to an end soon?

A prayer to all the departed souls...

http://www.whosdatedwho.com/celebrities/people/list/celebrity-categories.asp?FD=yod&ID=2009


Wednesday, September 02, 2009

USOPEN TENNIS!

It's September 2nd 2009 and it's already day 3 at the US Open Tennis Championship!So who are we looking out for this season. Well for the Men's Tennis, immediately I'd say Roger Federer. He is my current favorite. But boys and girls guess what!!! Rafa is back!!!!! And I can totally sense that the fight this time is going to be harder for all the big boys!! Federer, Nadal, Djokovic, Roddick, Murray etc...have many new guns to battle with. Monfils, Witten etc.. The new guys have matches after matches to check out what the big boys' weaknesses which I guess becomes the ultimate test if the big leagues are meant to remain there!

Amongst the girls, of course we all expect the Williams sisters to be them warrior selves though i prefer the eastern European girls because even though they screech more, they seem more female like!! I know it sounds mean but hey, if I look like a skinny midget next to a woman, clearly something is not natural there! lol But the woman underdog I will be rooting for this season is Natalie Oudin!!! (As a joke, we pronounce her name as UDDIN..dont know why but it's just funny!)

So anyways, Hope you kids are enjoying the US OPEN season and hope to see some of you there on the courts!!!!

But before I call it a day with this blog entry, I say final championship matches with

M: Federer vs Monfils or Murray

F: Oudin vs. Williams

Bets anyone?

Monday, August 31, 2009

It's the Final Countdown!

My friend and I are finally booked to make a trip out to Europe! I fly out September 23rd and she flies out September 26th! The trip starts in London! Let's see where else this trip takes us!!!!


MySpace Countdowns

Friday, August 28, 2009

Single??

The reason why some girls stay single....

The story is this: a girl was out with friends having drinks on King St (in Toronto). This guy approaches her and won't leave her alone -saying how cute she is. She finally gives in and hands the guy her business card to get rid of him. The attached is an MP3 file of not one, but TWO voicemails this guy left. This goes down in the history books - especially the second voice mail. After hearing them you can clearly see why she didn't call him back - instead she called in to the Z103.5 morning show & had them play this on the air.


Ladies: He is out there... :)




Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Mohammed Hamaki

Every few weeks, I go through these phases where I have to listen to every Arabic song I have and well also search for new. These bursts usually come out when I miss home! Yes, the good ol' UAE. Earlier this year I was bellydancing to Nancy Ajram's El Dounia Helwa which in my opinion is a fab tune and the chick is hot...(ahem: Boys and a few girls out there, she surely is eye candy!). But now i'm addicted to Mohammed Hamaki's tunes! His songs are equally as hot as he is!!!

Check out his music courtesy of Youtube and his picture courtesy of google search!




Mesh Maool



We Aftakrt

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

So I've been sick since Saturday and basically since then, I've had limited internet or computer activity since then. Well until today. I felt slightly better today so as opposed to staying hours and hours in front of the computer when i am normal and then barely staying a total of maybe 15 mins per day since Saturday, I've managed to stay for as long as an hour and already I've started to get a headache!

I hate Sinus pressures...I'm actually thinking that I should get referred to an ENT specialist. If you guys know of any, do let me know!

Another thing that i noticed in my limited brain function for the past couple of days that since my lack of interaction with fellow friends and etc....my blog hasn't been getting much hits....does that mean i always have to be on my toes? Can't ppl come to check on me on their own???

Yes im in the mood to nag and demand some love...it's allowed when you are sick!!!

Seriously what's up with that people?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

How Michael Jackson can never be a cheater!

Today my friend and I were chatting online, and we came up with the theory that Michael Jackson can never cheat on his significant other...He just wouldn't know how to.
He: Hey you!
Me: Hi!
He: I was listening to this song and it made me think of you so I'm dedicating it to you
Me: Konta?
He: Michael Jackson - Girlfriend



Me: Boyfriend? What boyfriend?
He: haha...
Me: And what are we doing? You're gay!!

I'm going to spare you peeps from the rest of the conversation but we came up with this theory because if you read the lyrics, it screams of a taddle-tale. And it's not just this song, there are several songs out there that promote the devoted lover image. Not that either of us are promoting infidelity but we're just saying that if any of you randomly go to a high end lounge and u come across Michael, you couldn't have an affair with him especially if you have a significant other... though I wonder who would hide the fact that they had an affair with Michael Jackson!!!! Ok fine many of you would probably dump your current to be his girlfriend but what if you had to choose between MJ and Bono...who would you choose??

Yes, I'm on crack and am talking rubbish...this is exactly why im not posting the conversation. It's usually how our conversations go...full of rubbish! But you do see our point right???

Here are lyrics to the song:

Michael Jackson - Girlfriend

Girlfriend
I'm Gonna Tell Your Boyfriend (Yeah)
Tell Him (Woo Hoo)
Exactly What We're Doin' (Yeah)
Tell Him What You Do To Me
Late At Night When The Wind Is Free

Girlfriend
I'm Gonna Show Your Boyfriend (Yeah)
Show Him (Woo Hoo)
The Letters I've Been Savin' (Yeah)
Show Him How You Feel Inside
An' How Love Could Not Be Denied (Oh No)

We're Gonna Have To Tell Him
You'll Only Be A Girlfriend Of Mine
Do-Doot-Do, Etc.

We're Gonna Have To Tell Him
You'll Only Be A Girlfriend Of Mine

Girlfriend You Better Tell Your Boyfriend (Yeah)
Tell Him (Woo Hoo)
Exactly What We're Doin' (Yeah)
Tell Him What He Needs To Know
Or He May Never Let You Go

We're Gonna Have To Tell Him
You'll Only Be A Girlfriend Of Mine
Do-Doot-Do, Etc.

We're Gonna Have To Tell Him
You'll Only Be A Girlfriend Of Mine
Do-Doot-Do, Etc.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Classic Hindi Film Songs

Earlier last week, a friend of mine had updated her status on facebook asking everyone to share their favorite old Hindi song titles with her so she could build her old Hindi music collection. Although I gave her a title, it made me really think of which is my ultimate favorite old Hindi song. I came to the realization that it is just simply impossible! It's like asking which of your children is your favorite. You just simply can't choose. So I decided that I would share some of my favorites with you guys! I will try to link a youtube video to it so you can listen as well but you know how hard it is sometimes to find old songs...Just click on the titles that link up and you can listen...

  1. Baghon Mein Bahar Hai - Aradhana
  2. Chaudvin Ka Chand - Chaudvin Ka Chand
  3. Kabhi Kabhi Mere Dil Mein - Kabhie Kabhie
  4. Jo Wada Kiya To Nibhana Parega - Taj Mahal
  5. Sawan Ka Mahina - Milan
  6. Aap Ki Aankhon - Ghar
  7. Mere Piya Gaye Rangoon - Patanga
  8. Dil Cheez - Umraao Jaan
  9. In Aankhon Ki Masti - Umraao Jaan
  10. Mann Kyun Behka - Utsav
  11. Bhooj Mera Kya Naam Re - CID
  12. Churaliya Hai - Yaadon Ki Baraat
  13. Tujhse Naraaz Nahin - Masoom
  14. Mere Samne Wali Khidki - Padosan
  15. Choo Kar Mere Mann Ko - Yaraana
  16. Ab To Hai Tumse - Abhimaan
  17. Aaja re - Noorie
  18. Jab Hum Jawaan Honge - Betaab
  19. Hume Tumse Pyar Kitna - Kudrat
  20. Phoolon Ke Rang Se -Prem Pujari
  21. Gaata Rahe Mera Dil - Guide
  22. Dekha Ek Khwaab - Silsila
  23. Pardesiya - Mr. Natwarlal
  24. Tere Ghar Ke Samne - Tere Ghar Mere Ghar
  25. Achaji Mein Hari - Kala Pani
  26. Udhi Jab Jab Zulfein Teri - Naya Daur
  27. Mehbooba O Mehbooba - Sholay
  28. Jhoot Bole Kauwa Kaatey - Bobby
  29. Hum Tum Ek Kamre - Bobby
  30. Om Shanti Om - Karz
  31. Main Shaiyar To Nahin - Bobby
  32. Jawani Jaaneman - Namak Halal
  33. Chup Chup Khade Ho - Badi Bahen
  34. Ankhiya Milake - Rattan
  35. Na Jaao Saiyan - Sahib Biwi Aur Ghulam
  36. Saare Badan Mein Zeher - Inquilaab
  37. Loote Koi Man Ka Nagar - Abhimaan
  38. Tu Maike Mat Jaiyo - Pukar

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Playlist.com

Those of you who have been reading my blog, Thank you! The comments and suggestions in my inbox are really great! And Really thank you for all the feedback I've been getting on the music I have going on my blog! Playlist.com is a great feature...and all you bloggers should get it! There have been instances when my ipod died and i had my blog/playlist.com to save me because as you know, my life without music is just beyond comprehension. They say silence is golden. Yes to some sounds it is golden but for the most part I can't think of any waking moment where I prefered silence to music.

I enjoy being a portable boombox with discretion. I don't walk down the streets with a boombox on my shoulder blasting my music. I let my ipod do it on my headphones.

Breaking the Hiatus!

It is Tuesday 14th July, 2009 and I've finally sat on the computer to write a blog entry. All this while, I would write a sentence and then lose motivation or attention and then move on to doing something else which at that moment seemed more interesting. So this entry is just to say to all you readers that my mojo is back...especially after being dissed for not writing a recent post.

Sorry! Why? because I've noticed that every 3rd of 4th post is of me writing that I'm back to posting again and then I disappear again. Although, I can't make too many promises but I really am going to try more to write often.

Cheers!!

Friday, May 08, 2009

The Man Ring

With so many friends getting married, topic of the ring always seems to come up. How much should one spend on a ring? 2 months salary they say....But that's just for the woman's ring. What about the Man's ring? Now I personally just like the platinum solid band look but nowadays I'm noticing that men are pulling off rocks...not the little diamond dots but the big rocks...Is it just me or is that just too girlie?? The other day, a friend of ours got married and funnily enough instead of looking at the girl's ring, all of us were busy looking at his. The rock was huge! Or maybe it just seemed huge because it was on a guy's finger but even then! So peeps, what do you think is appropriate for a man to carry off?

The college rings seem ok but are you ok with them carrying a 2 carat ring as opposed to u carrying off one? I wonder....I really wonder....

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Oblivion

After finishing her days work,  she quietly sat on the bed all curled up. As she painted her toe nails with a shade of vermilion, merrily, she hummed along with the tune playing in the background. The music, bleeding into her body with every gun shot beat, somehow relaxed her. She always looked forward to this very moment every day, when she would be waiting for his return with a piping hot and delicious meal on the table to celebrate each day of their newest union. The newlywed smoke was seeping into her breathing space, which is when she realized that her dish was probably overdone. Rushing into the kitchen, she was on a mission to save her dinner with her husband, the man she hardly knew and yet loved unconditionally nonetheless.

Caught up with her surroundings, the muted television with an army marching on screen did not connect with her. Bodies were being taken out for identification to the many families crying their wits out. Earlier, she was watching an action movie and assumed it was another war movie that had started. The high-pitched voice in the next song startlingly synchronized with what was showing on TV, she thought. Although this made her slightly feel uneasy, the continuous thought of being in her husband's loving arms in less than two hours relaxed her and continued to delve into her oblivion.

She was a woman in true divine love; the love she craved for since the time she couldn't even remember. Her dream had finally come true. At that very moment, while lost in her own dream, the music stopped and she looked down to see that she had forgotten to finish painting her nails. Love, being the new house guest of her soul, she couldn't stop herself from thinking of him. The sound of the door bell startled her and with utter excitement, she jumped for joy so much that she didn't even realize that she had spilled the nail polish all over her outfit. She hurriedly fixed her hair and makeup while the doorbell continued to buzz profusely. She was soo happy that her husband was finally home, desperately wanting to see her, that his impatience made her skip to the door. Little did she know that after all this anticipation, she was about to open the door of loneliness yet again and that oblivion of the cries from the television screen earlier was at her doorstep to haunt her for the rest of her life...

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Men That Flutter My Heart!

Chatting with my aunt, uncle and mom, the topic of my wedding plans came up (of course). Yes, my dear family, I would like to get married but not to any random bloke. Then of course, they asked me what kind of man I would like...and it made me think...I knew what I didn't like, which I did mention to them...So then it made me think...of all the guys I've dated/liked, including celebs...what are the commonalities between them?

I'm going to post pictures of male celebs that I like and maybe you can help me come up with a logical answer of the type of guy i like...so much for all those random and stupid quizzes on facebook and elsewhere...

1. Salman Khan



















2. Hugh Jackman





















3. Simon Baker
















4. Hugh Grant




















5. Matthew McConaughey




















6. George Clooney




















7. Dermott Mulroney





















Got any ideas? If any of you can find me a man that fits all of these men's qualities then I will always love you!

Monday, April 20, 2009

The End of An Era - Le Souk CLOSED...or is it?

So this past weekend, I was at a friend's house just talking about the many randoms out there and lo and behold the biggest shocker came up! Le Souk is CLOSED! Not WAS but IS!! Based on reflexes, my initial reaction was, "April Fools was two weeks ago, you're a bit late," but believe it or not, it was. Apparently more than one person heard it from various sources. At that very moment, I felt something truly devastating had just happened to me! How can Le Souk be closed!?!

My friends and I have had the fondest and funnest moments there!! And it's always packed so it clearly can't be the recession. After a weekend of being in complete denial, Sunday night, when I was rooting around due to sheer boredom, I decided to Yelp it. Yelp, Clubplanet, Google all confirmed the news. It was closed!!!

Posts like these were floating all around

NEWS: LE SOUK CLOSED

"the placed has been shut down by the IRS and ABC for countless violations. the owners marcus and sameh jahcob are also facing criminal charges!"


Something had died in me yet again. Days before, I was looking forward to telling everyone that I was going to celebrate my birthday at Le Souk and today I hear it's gone. Still in disbelief, I still picked up my phone, scrolled down to the letter L and hit call. It was RINGING! and went to voice mail. With my fingers crossed, I left a message.

It was Monday, still dreary from the news, I sat down to check my email and in the corner of my eye I see my phone flashing with a voicemail beep. Who could it be? I dialed in and the sound of her voice made me smile from one end of my cheek to the other!! Le Souk is NOT CLOSED! I mean not closed for business but closed for renovation!!! As I was done checking my message, she called back!! We spoke, it's official...Le Souk is not closed you morons!

I instantly started living again...I was jumping for joy! One of my places are back! Not that it was gone anywhere but its back in to my life! More hope for more fond memories!

Woohoo!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Boyz II Men Waltzed Back Into My Life

It almost got to me with the fact that I had almost forgotten about the highly musically talented Boyz II Men. When I saw them on Dancing With The Stars last week, it brought back soo many fond memories. Where were they all this time?? They were...I mean, THEY ARE...so talented, why did they ever disappear?? Though I did notice that Michael wasn't part of the quatro anymore! A little birdie said that he had to quit because of chronic back pain...hmm...couldn't he still have sung? I guess I just miss his deep voice. What can I say, I'm a sucker for deep voices. Anyways, the point of journal was to bring back Boyz II Men back into your lives as it came back to mine. Until the next post, here, listen to some of their tracks I absolutely LOVE.

P.S.- Go buy their album titled "Motown - A Journey Through Hitsville USA"


End of the Road



On Bended Knee



Water Runs Dry



I'll Make Love To You



Song For Mama



4 Seasons of Loneliness



One Sweet Day ft. Mariah Carey