A moo point, basically …

Arbit/ Random

The Emperor’s Club

with one comment

Bagel and cream cheeseAs I sit at my desk with a nice and warm Bagel-and-cream-cheese and a cup of hot Mocha, still reminiscing about the wonderful burger-and-fries I had last night, I am forced to remind myself that New York is so much more than the food. Yes, you have pizzas and pastas and antipastas and salads and sandwiches and sushi and shrimps Big Whopperand beer and onion rings and Paninis and other ancient sanskrit grammarians … I forgot what my point was.

<pause for a quick bite>

So anyhoo, New York and Mumbai are so alike, it can get a bit freaky. It is heartening to see poor and homeless people here – i know that didn’t come out right, but still – it is heartening because it gives me hope. It gives me hope, that in these troubled times, we americans need to stick together. We cannot allow divisive forces to be divisive. But we cannot disown the divisive forces, because they are the reason why we exist. And everybody needs some divisivity in their lives. Now is the time for change. Will-I-am says it, lots of other people say it. If George Bush was the Decider, Obama is our Liberator. It’s amazing to see the amount of rhetoric generated on racism, black-blue-purple-white-ebony and people of other hues during election season. And this is just the primaries. Wait till the secondaries come up *rubbing hands in glee*

Man that Barrack dude is one smooth talker. If I was an American citizen, I would vote for him just because I’ll be glad to not have someone in the Oval Office who uses words like ‘misunderestimated‘. This, even when my gut tells me that McCain will win eventually (my predictions, archived for future ridicule or adulation).

But then, I digress. So I’ll get back to summarizing the great insights you can get when you stay in a new city for less than three weeks and are cooped up in the office for 12+ hours and resting at home for 8+ hours. Once you get past the food, you realize that NY can be a bit of a pain-in-the-neck, especially if you stare at all the tall buildings here. The engineer inside me marvels at these awesome structures while the arithmeticist tries to count the number of floors in each skyscraper. A trip to the top of the Empire State Building in daytime and the Rockfeller Centre (Top of the Rock) around sunset is, in my opinion, necessary to give you a feel of the enormity of the structures here. This kind of compensates for this bad habit people here have of calling the ground floor the first floor (totally unnecessary and extremely confusing).

You turn on the TV, and you see mainly 3 types of advertisements, which essentially summarize the American lifestyle (apologies right away for being too generic) –

1. Exercise equipment/ Gymming classes: There are two categories of people here: those who are thin and like to believe what they are eating is very healthly when they consume anything that’s green, thereby creating a problem for St. Patrick’s revellers; the other is the category of people who have breakfasts equal to the size of people mentioned in category one. It is hence not surprising that the variety available in clothes sized <=S and >=XL vastly outnumbers that in the ‘Indian’ sizes – M and L.

2. Cars: The distances are so vast and the public transport system virtually non-existent (especially when you leave the metros) that a car becomes a necessity. The roads are pretty good and the traffic is orderly even when crowded, which makes driving a stress-free activity. And it is fashionable to have HUGE cars. If you can’t have a large car, the only other option is a Mini Cooper -the unfortunate intermediate sedans are more or less reserved exclusively for taxis.

3. Credit: You can get credit which is specially customized for anything and everything- from houses and cars to holidays to something called ‘the purple pill’ to bridal wear – which is quite ironic given the current credit crisis. I strongly believe that ‘An excellent credit profile‘ is one of the must-have items on most kids’ Santa lists here. A survey showed that most people when given the choice between paying off their credit card bills and their mortgage bills preferred to pay the card bills lest their credit profile gets screwed, irrespective of whether they actually have a house to stay and enjoy the benefits of their spending.

(I shall gloss over the fact that I’ve watched a bit too much of TV; although in my defence, the weather hasn’t been too encouraging for strolling around on the streets)

Now that the official part of my US trip comes to end, I’m getting all pumped about the unofficial US visit part, where I will be essentially going around North-North east US as follows –

NY – Minneapolis – Fargo (Cousins) – Champaign (UIUC people) – Ann Arbor (UMich people) – Detroit – NY.

US Sojourns

Woo hoo!


Written by sujaybedekar

March 20, 2008 at 10:36 pm

Posted in new york, news, politics, US

Tagged with , ,

One Response

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  1. Nice travel itinerary. Enjoy wandering!


    March 22, 2008 at 1:37 am

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