Saturday, July 30, 2005

Happy Happy Happy Happy, Happy days are here again....

I am enjoying these days... Past 2 weeks or so have been really great!!!.... After a good, long month; feel as if Cleveland has finally accepted me, and I have accepted Cleveland. This mutual acceptance is important for survival.

There have been lots of parties and cricket thru out. It started with a hearty dinner at Vivek Walimbe's place, with Devayani, Meghna, Sameer, Rashmi, and their kid. It was a delicious Indian dinner with Andaz Apna Apna in background, followed by Ice cream. We kept on talking for a couple of hours in Vivek's balcony. From there one can see a lovely view of Cleveland downtown. I want to take its pic one day.... will do it as I get time.

It was followed by Sunday nite dinner with some Case guys (and girls) at Tommy's, and a short trip to Edgewater park by Lake Erie. Its a cool place.... there were lots of people fishing there, and were actually catching a lots of them. I am looking forward to fishing someday by the lakeside.

Then we hosted a party at our place for Siddhath's friends, and they hosted a party the following weekend at their place. So obviously had a great time.

Also, I got my boxes from Clemson, so most of the spare time at home is spent in arranging all the stuff. And then rearranging it. Now my room looks the way I want, with a big (5 ft by 4 ft) US road map and also the world map on the walls, and a poster of a cute little lazy puppy with the quotes "Lazy Days" on the wall near my bed. Plus there are 2 small cabinets, a table, a chair. I would settle for this for now.

A few days back, went to see the hindi movie "Viruddh". Its a serious movie, but I liked it because the first half is well made, portraying the lives of upper-middle class parents living in Mumbai and having their son studying abroad. A few scenes got me thinking about my parents. I was going to talk about it to them, only to realise that they also had been to the same movie a day back.(its been a while since I have had a hearty talk with my parents either. Life is little too fast at the moment. When I went home back in June, hardly got a day to spend with them. Sometimes miss my parents and miss them for not there with me to share my happiness; but its OK I guess. One good thing is that they respect my personal life and do understand that I have a life beyond them and my other relatives. Not all parents are that nice)... They must have read the reviews somewhere.

Anyways, in between all these things, I am going to cricket practice every week and then also to Asha meetings every week.

Its good to be busy, ain't it?

Friday, July 15, 2005

Clemson to Cleveland... life moves on

Its been more than a month since I have shifted to Cleveland. Getting adjusted to it bit by bit. Never imagined it would be so tough to get used to this place, especially after spending good 3 years in Clemson. I mean, even my backyard in Mumbai is bigger than Clemson, so thought that since I am moving to a bigger city, things should be much easier at Cleveland, but soon realised that it was not the case.

Cleveland is a nice little city, but its weird in the sense that one struggles to find people to have a hearty talk with. Coming from Clemson, where I knew almost entire Indian community of 300 and so many others, felt as if coming to a desert, as there was no one to talk with.

This is something bit unusual. Its not that there are no people. The place where I work, the Cleveland Clinic, has tons of employees, but somehow all are in a hurry to do something. They don't walk, they run. That was a huge contrast from Clemson life, where we didn't walk either, we crawled. Another fact was that, since I am joining early ( in June instead of August), there is no one who's with me to start off with. So, it was bit unusual not to have a good company in day-to-day life.

Soon, things got better. Got a nice little apartment in a very good locality. Its called Little Italy, as it was primarily an Italian community, and has many nice Italian restaurants. It like lovely little castle. We have a nice backyard with a cherry tree (with cherries on it), and its a homely apartment. After settling in with the utilities, and the furniture, and all; the next task was to get a car. I was done with sitting at home on weekends.

And got a nice car as well. Its a Toyota Camry. Its runs smooth, and is a great comfort. I have already made a couple of small road trips here and there, and its cool.

Nowadays trying to meet people and make new friends.... its like whole new cycle.... did it after school, at engineering college, at Johnson Controls, at Clemson and now at Cleveland. Nowadays, am going for cricket practice every Friday with CSU guys. Its fun to be all padded up and playing with leather ball. And yes, I am not getting out on zero anymore :).

Met Suneel Sai, a VESIT senior last week. It was great to meet someone after 5 long years. He was accompanying his girlfriend Sindhu. We had a nice time first at the Omnimax dome. Watching something on a huge 160 degree dome screen was amazing. Its supposed to be one of world's largest screen.

Then, very interestingly, went to an Ethiopian restaurant, Taytu, and it was a cool restaurant. I would recommend anyone who likes to try something spicy and something new, at a good ambiance. We tried some Samboosas (similar to Indian Samosas), some spicy shrimp and some extra hot beef stuff. The shrimp was worth it. Excellent taste.

"As you walk in the door, the aroma of ginger, cardamom and cloves greets you. The walls are decorated with photos of Ethiopia, and servers are garbed in long white dresses. Here you'll dine as the ancient Abyssinian did: at basket- like tables (mesobs) where you scoop up food with injera, a pancake-like buckwheat bread, from tabletop-sized platters. Dining here isn't just a culinary experience, it's a cross-cultural experience, too. For starters, try the sambussa, fried turnovers stuffed with jalapeno±s and onions -- hot hot hot. For dinner, share a meat combo with marinated chicken, tender stewed beef, lamb and ground beef in their appropriate sauces, and/or a vegetable combo with spiced peas and lentils, well-flavored greens, string beans and potatoes in their appropriate sauces. Both come with good-sized "American" salads. Desserts are tame here (sweets aren't part of Ethiopian culture), so for afters, opt for the enchanting Ethiopian coffee ceremony. Green coffee beans are roasted to order and brought to the table still hot, then ground. Then, as your coffee brews in a clay pot, your soft-spoken server lights incense and explains Ethiopian coffee customs."

All in all, I am having a nice time in Cleveland. Never felt so relieved and relaxed in years: was always under some stress or other. Things are much better now (I hope I can get back some of my hair on my head :)) ). Making some nice friends at the clinic, and in community as well.

Signing off,