July 25, 2007

Flying bad Irish airlines!

Yesterday! I took my flight back to Paris, In my dictionary the word Paris is always linked with stress. The stress started even before I boarded the flight to Paris. The cheap air lines are crap, but students like me who love to travel always stick on to that, but this time after the mess they made, I seriously made up my mind not to take it anymore! I did an online check in as I always do when I travel, but this time, they said Indian passport people can’t make an online check in, they made me run to their office in the last minute and pay some extra money to get another boarding pass, pass through the security check all again and jumped into the flight (literally running in the runway) just few minutes before the take off. Ooops! What a stress! I am not going to take Ryanair ever in my life again, if you guys ever read in my blog, that I flew Ryanair, you have all rights to fly to Paris and give me one tight slap (Don’t worry! I will take my revenge by paying for your flight ticket in Ryanair). To add fire to my stress, when I reached my lab, this is how it was!

Well! I am now sitting in my boss’s office, recalling all the nice time I had for the past 10days and making my blog entries, with fake dates, I am doing it just to keep a track of the actual dates, so my regular blog readers please! don’t get confused .

July 21, 2007

Joaquin y Raquel

It was the big wedding day! I didn’t have any idea about how it’s going to go, but from the previous party night, I was able to guess that it’s going to be with lots of food, drinks and fun. The wedding was at one o’clock in the afternoon, we all met in the groom’s house and the reception started short with beer and drinks and the traditional church ceremony! As we left for the church, with the groom!

The prince( Joaquin) and princess (Raquel ) of Elda, getting ready for their wedding!

We then drove to a small resort on a top of a small hill, a perfect place for 400 people to party without disturbing the neighborhood. The party started at 2:30 with a six-course lunch, which went on till 6:30 in the evening. After that, the party took a new turn; we were given accessories to disguise.

That’s Anton turned into a Spanish Guardia Civil (The Spanish gendarmery ) My camera was really very fast, to catch his serious face, which lasted for very few seconds and well! With the hand he used for saluting, you can know how patriotic he is!

And as the groom was a big fan of Elvis Presley there were many many Elvis around.Hmm! That’s right! That’s right! It’s me…Indian turned into a Red Indian!

The disguised people were checking the durability of the dance floor till 6 in the morning! Wow! What a (Spanish) wedding!

July 20, 2007

Moros y Cristianos

We started traveling towards the south of Spain and reached a small village called Elda very close to Alicante. We were joined by a bunch of Anton’s friends (from his Bachelor’s degree, most of them, he was meeting them after 10 years) Hmm! That was a big emotional moment. In the evening we were taken to a very strange old building, which looked more like a personalized bar cum discotheque. With very less people speaking English, I was silently witnessing the amount of food, drink, emotions shared between people. Suddenly I got a very interesting English speaking person, who started describing about the “ history of the place (the personal bar cum discotheque), they refer to this place as “cuartelillo” (the diminutive for the word "cuartel", meaning "headquarters"). Usually, a group of friends together buy themselves an old house and call it “cuartelillo”, and it’s just used for partying and specially for this big “Alicante festival” called Moros y Cristianos . People celebrate this festival by the first weekend of June, to mark the fights between the Muslims and Christians, which were frequent between 10th and 15th century, it seems. Each family inherits the role of either Moros or Cristianos, and they dress up accordingly and go in parade with fireworks. Seeing the photos of this festival hanged in the “cuartelillo “, my childhood image of Spain as a country full of colors, dance, festivals, music and fun came into reality. I saw this collection for Moros y Cristianos photos in the internet, check it out!

July 18, 2007

Paella Lessons!

Now back in hot Spain,sometimes I felt like being in India after a long time, oops! The sun in the afternoon was melting me down; I thought I would get dissolved in my own sweat. I didn't want to get tanned anymore. I had to prepare myself for the weekend, “the big fat Spanish wedding”. So, I was spending most of the daytime indoors, doing my favorite task, cooking! Thanks to Anton’s mother, she taught me how to make a very delicious Spanish rice dish called Paella and I taught her to make the Indian Chai. Paella is basically like Indian Briyani but with very very less amount of spices, so you have a very nice flavor of the vegetables added to it. It was great! Evenings were mild; six to nine was a perfect time to learn more swimming and snorkeling in the great Mediterranean! It’s so nice to swim with the fishes, what a nice relaxing Spanish summer!

July 15, 2007


After the wedding, we formed a small “united nations” with the representatives from India, Spain, France, Morocco, Algeria, Australia, Czech-Republic and Italy, went around discovering the Midi-Pyrénées region of France. We started with a holy dip in the beautiful lake with ruined castle, and driving around the valley and country side, reached a cute little village called Albi. South of France is indeed very beautiful with nature and historical monuments standing hand in hand.

That’s the lake with ruined castle in Mont-roc!

That’s the members of eight nations having their lunch in a very beautiful square in Albi.

And we spent that night in a small camping site! I slept in tent for the first time, counting the stars and listing to the music of the night birds!

More photos from Midi-Pyrénées

July 14, 2007

Marc weds Lila

After a short break in the beach and snorkeling, we drove across the Spain boarder and reached this beautiful house between a green valley and a lake; in a small village Mont-roc close to Toulouse in south of France! That’s Marc and Lila’s wedding venue! How romantic!

That’s the group photo of my lab and friends of lab, with 13 people representing 11 countries and 4 continents! Friendly people! Nice food! Beautiful nature! Wow! What a wedding!

Check out more photos from the marriage of two continents!

July 13, 2007


End of a very hectic week, I didn’t have time to plan or even dream about my summer vacation, but very first day of my holidays was filled with surprises, landed in Spain in the morning and as I was having stroll in the historic center of Girona with Sui and Anton, we just entered a shop and had my more than 10 years old wish fulfilled. I got some additional ear piercing. (Sorry mom! I know you will be mad at me for this, but I really wanted to do it…I am sure you will like it). Then we slowly got settled in a small and beautiful mediterranean beach in the evening. Even before India was attacked by tsunami, I never dared to put above my knee inside the sea, but today Sui and Anton wanted to introduce me to beauty of under water that they always enjoy, they gently introduced me to the sea, sea floor and beautiful sight they enjoy under the water. Wow! I did my first Snorkeling and the first sight of the underwater was…wow! What a way to start my vacation! more photos from the little historical center of Girona and the saint pol beach!

July 11, 2007

Beating my own drum!

Hey guys! Check this online travel guide! Below is a Paris map with its 19 top attraction and few photos from those top location! click the photo tab in the blow Schmapplet!If you have enough patience wait for Musee d'orsay and you can see one the of Paris's most famous, fast emerging photographer's photo published! If not, just click on this link.. "click here!"

July 09, 2007

Lost and Found!

“Show me your friend and I will tell who you are”, “Birds of the same feather flock together” I remember reading these quote as child and as grow up I disagree with this more and more. I guess, we don’t have to have similar ideas, thoughts and life style to be friends, just mutual respect and not trying to impose each other with their views, can lead to a healthy, enjoyable relationship. Vijay is one such friend; we don’t have anything in common except for our mother tongue and our common friend George. But still we had great time together three years back, till I lost him (as he forgot to take a backup of his outlook mail box, when he moved out of his old job) Thanks to the internet communities, I got him back, that too just across the English channel and recently had a very nostalgic phone conversation.

Say hi to my Lost and Found friend Vijay! My friends and family list in UK is growing! Should make a visit, on a non-rainy day, to have some tea and cookies!

July 08, 2007


I will be off my Paris home, almost for a month. Today morning as I started planning to pack my things in my backpack, a thought came to my mind. If I have to permanently leave Paris, I felt that I can happily leave behind all the things I possess in my home, I was not emotionally attached to anything. After living in 15 different towns and at least in 20 different houses for the past 30 years, I guess it’s quite natural to left with an empty feeling for a place. Forget the houses, among the places I have visited so far, I guess the only place I miss or not get enough of is Thiruparamkundram temple, a small temple very close to my home town Madurai. Well! Even if you are not a religious person, you can’t deny the peace that surrounds these over crowded temples. Even in a hot and disturbed summer, entering a completely stone carved ancient temple of Madurai can cool your body and mind. During my restless days, I dream about the pond, and the fishes I fed there in this more than 2000 year old temple.

July 03, 2007


Almost for the past 10 years, it was never difficult to reach a friend on their birthday; they are either online, or with a fixed/mobile phone. For the past 24 hours, I am trying to reach Anton, to wish him on his birthday, and this young doctorate birthday boy is hiding in the woods of Costa Rica, very far from this ‘Information Technology ’, dreaming to live a life of a pre-historic man. I am not surprised; Vanaprastha” may be the only solution to get rid of the Phd stress. Anyways! Happy Birthday Boy!

Ps: I stole that image from his brother's blog

July 02, 2007

Thank God it was a weekend!

When I don’t update my blog regularly without prior announcements, means I am in a deep shit. Fifteen days to go for the summer vacation, along with the preparation for three weddings, and handling three work deadlines, with all these last minute stuff, when you have to redo your last one week of work (for no fault of yours) …how does that feel? That’s how I finished my last week, now where can get more energy to start the new week, obviously from a good food. That too when it’s a very exotic “German Jewish poppy seed lemon cake”, Hmmmm! What would have happened if I had only friends from my work? What would have happened if I didn’t have friends like Micha, who do magic with his wonderful cake! Thank God it was a weekend!