Sunday, June 15, 2008


I are here. I has arrived.

After a journey of a mammoth 13000 km in under 24 hours(not counting waiting times at airports for the connecting flight and various security measures which, if taken into account, easily edge out the Jurassic period in length), I am in friendly Chelmsford. Voted the 21st best place to live in the United States, according to a poll conducted on the Internet(haven of all that is credible and authentic), Chelmsford is a little, quiet, rather green town that nestles snugly in the shadow of its more illustrious neighbour, Boston. There's stuff to eat, drink, gaze curiously at. It's a proper little town.

Never mind that. Charles DeGaulles airport in Paris(Aeroportes de paris) is HUGE. I mean, if you thought a dinosaur was huge, this place could walk up to a dinosaur and make it wish for a quiet story with grandma. It's as big as a city and, walking into it from the plane and driving around in a bus to get to a different terminal, you are reminded of a lot of scenes from Francois Truffaut's 'Fahrenheit 451.' I love the way the recorded woman's voice says Terminal 2C, Terminal 2E and Terminal 2A. "Deux see, deux uh, deux aah..." Women should speak French; men shouldn't.

The journey to Paris was flagged off at the new BIAL. It's good, our new Bangalore airport. Except for the exorbitant "User Development Fee"(I paid a thousand bucks. I didn't feel any more developed than I already was.). The Bangalore-Paris flight, courtesy Air France, was wholly unremarkable. What strikes one the most about CDG(Charles DeGaulles airport. They call it that. Apparently, abbreviation is not a cool enough fad for the French.) is how expensive it is. Everything is expensive there. Perfumes(Givenchy, Hugo Boss, Nina Ricci, Whatever etc.), food, calls to India, everything. The Paris-Boston flight was livened up by two empty seats next to me and a baby who woke up at regular intervals, checked his place in the universe and emitted experimental, rudimentary wails, before going back to sleep. Also, never select your meal preference beforehand. I did that, selected the dourly named Asian vegetarian meal. Turns out, Air France have never met an Asian Vegetarian and have got his/her menu off a website somewhere. So the meal I got on the Paris-Boston flight consisted of a dish containing potatoes, spinach, tomatoes and curds and tasted strongly like toothpaste. But they had also made the best peas pulao I have tasted to date, so they're forgiven for the former transgression. If I hadn't selected my stupid food preference, I could have had pasta. It's vegetarian too. Speaking of which, never select your meal preference beforehand. Ask for a vegetarian meal when they serve you and you can get what you want.

Speaking of food, they really do supersize everything here, atleast in Chelmsford.

Kinship was also identified at Charles DeGaulles. Apparently, one of the men at the security checkpoint had the same brand of watch that I did(Swatch. We are gourment school.); he got right excited about it and told me he had purchased it not many years ago. I told him it was really expensive, being 5000 bucks and all. He was startled at this massive fluctuation of prices in the watch economy(he had bought it for a 100 Euros.) and refused to talk to me after that, as though it was all my fault somehow. I was sad, for this was a friendship of 'what was and shall never be' quality.

So now I sit in this lovely room they have allotted me, typing away at a little keyboard on a table in the corner. It will be three months before I see home again. I shall live out of a suitcase until then. I will not see my mother, and my father and my sister, whenever I want. Nor some of the more nefarious of my friends. I'm not homesick the first evening out of town. But it's a change that'll need some getting used to.

There's a place called Chili's in Chelmsford that serves huge glasses of rather delicious margaritas. Which is way better than the whisky and champagne they served on board Air France. One glass of very minute measures of each was enough for me to judge them all. Especially after the movies they had. I watched most of "PS. I love you." That was the only watchable movie. Everything else was like, "There will be blood" or "Harry Potter" or something. I hate crap.


Anonymous said...

Banni. Ee dodd mindri deshakke, welcome. Houdu, everything from hooters to a glass of "tall" coffee are really huge in this country, not just in Chelmsford.

And Yes, CDG is really huge. I didn't like the security guards there though. I felt they were racist (Not that I am not. Still).


nivedita said...

And I hope you're doing what you said you would.

Harish said...

Oho antoo talupidri. Shabhaash!

Anonymous said...

Madi. Olle regular updates-u.


CHEEKU said...

Guruve... bariyodanna nilsbedi :)
AA deshadalli enjoy madi..

Arjun Sharma said...

[karthikd] They weren't racist in any obvious manner. Atleast not to me. Maybe racists only do it to one of them.

He he, welcome-ge thanks-u.

[nivedita] What'd I say? I've said a lot of things to you. Which specific one?

[Harish] Houdu, talpebitte. Heege jeevana. Hortavru talplebeku. Talpdavru hordlebeku.


[sandeep] Houdu, maadtini.

[cheeku] Bidalla, ivre. jana beda andru maadtane irtini. Enanna? Updates-na.

Anonymous said...

Welcome-u !! Illi yella huge quantities-e ! So adjust maaDkoLi:-))

nivedita said...

omg, I can't believe you're weaseling out of it.

Arjun Sharma said...

[snippetsnscribbles] Maadkollebeku, ivre. Bere gati illa.

[nivedita] Oh relax, I'm not.

El said...

good writing. how is PS I love you not crap?

Arjun said...

[el] It's somewhat crap too. But it was better than the rest.