Category Archives: Uncategorized

Travel Disaster pt 2

Standard

Okay I needed that breather. Now for the rest of the story:

All is fine at this point (so I thought) I got a good snooze on the plane since that didn’t happen at JFK, and we are in Chicago! I enjoyed the few hours I had in Chicago. It reminded me of my youth as I grew up in Michigan less than an hour from Chicago. There were a lot of Indians at the airport but they looked different than NY’ers. Midwest Indians, how do I describe them..I guess “us” because my roots are there, although now I am a complete New Yorker to the core. Midwest Indians are good kids from good suburban homes. Clean looking, interesting more exotic names. They talk just like white people do but they are very Indianized and very proud of it. They appreciate the beauty of our culture. They all go to dance practice, be it for Diwali shows or weddings. They are pretty and young. The girls wear thick, perfect eyeliner. These were my thoughts as I waited to board my final flight lol. Oh, also I observed how regardless of Chicago being a major city, people were still slow. New Yorkers are always in a hurry!! These people were smiley too. New Yorkers are friendly but not overly smiley. We aren’t overboard about kindness as they are in the Midwest. We are kind, but its more real.

So the plane finally reaches my parents Iowan town and its circling. The Midwest got hit with snow on Friday and they felt the conditions were not safe enough to land, so what do they do???? Take us to some RANDOM TOWN IN THE MIDDLE OF NEBRASKA FOUR HOURS AWAY!!! (when I say 4 hours I mean driving distance. It was like 30 mins in the plane.) So we get off and I am furious!!! I call my dad and am screaming on the phone while these farm children call their families and laugh at the situation. UM no. I have already been through enough on this journey and its not like I have a lot of time off. Finally they decide they think they can try to take us back…thank god!! We get on the plane again and get to my parents town…they circle a bit and DECIDE TO GO BACK TO THAT NAMELESS TOWN IN NEBRASKA!!!! This time was horrible because they were getting ready to book us a hotel!!! I WAS NOT ABOUT TO STAY IN THIS EMPTY, FREEZING GHOST TOWN!!!

They decided to give it one last try around 8pm. THIRD IS A CHARM!!!! We landed. Thank god!!!!

CONCLUSION:

  • I will never fly out of LaGuardia ever again in my life.
  • I will make a very good attempt to avoid American Airlines as well.
  • I will never travel domestic in the winter/end of fall/beginning of spring ever again.

THE END.

 

Advertisements

Travel Disasters pt 1

Standard

Thursday afternoon, busy day in the office. Like, a little too busy trying to finish a project that was never-ending yet due the next day! With time being a constraint I left for the airport at 2pm. Reached LaGuardia at 2:30. Perfect! Just enough time to check in, relax and catch up on important things like social media and picture taking! Side note – I just let out a long sighhhh because I do not want to repeat this situation again it was so stressful – but its good blog content so here goes:

I go to my gate, flight delayed. Great, the delay will make things tight for me to get to my connecting flight. Lemme chat to the lady at the help desk. As I stand there 3rd in line, I look behind me to see a way to ridiculous line behind me. Like, it was so long, if I was towards the end…even the MIDDLE – I would have said hell no! (we are New Yorkers, we don’t have patience, we don’t need to apologize for that (remember this for a bit later in the scenario))  The weather in NYC that day was extremely windy and rainy – flights canceled & delayed everywhere.

So I spoke to the woman and all she could do was put me on standby for the next flight out. I have never dealt with standby – and there was even a line for the standby too. On top of that, THIS flight got delayed!!!

Here’s the thing, I was off to see my parents, they live in the middle of nowhere, USA. Iowa (hahaha) There are only 2 flights/day that go to their town. One around 1:30pm CST and the other around 8. So in my mind at this point, I was trying to figure out what plan B was going to me. I figured I was gonna have to stay at the Chicago airport overnight. I was pissed at this point. I went back to the desk and politely, yet firmly told the woman this is ridiculous and I am losing a day which means I only have a day and a half to see my parents. She added on a free day. That was nice and all but then I had to contact my boss, tell her the whole situation and then take another PTO.

At this point, the lady told me instead of going on another standby flight to just stick to my original flight because ah ha ha hah…it still was delayed (it was around 6:30 now) so I’m waiting and waiting. Everyone is waiting. Everyone is at the airport bar. Everyone is drunk. Everyone attacks the poor lady at the counter with their drunk anger. Even an old European man in a wheelchair. He got out of the wheelchair and got in her face!!!

 

ALAS, 10pm and flight is CANCELLED!!!!!!!!!!!!! AAARAAAHHHHHHH!!!! My blood was boiling at this point!!! As was everyone else’s!!! A phone number for the airline was handed out. I spoke to some retarded kid who thought he would be smart with me and tell me there were no flights. He obviously didn’t know who he was messing with. He put me on hold forever but then told me he will put me on a 7am flight…out of JFK. I had to take a shuttle to JFK and stay there overnight. I was going to wait at bit at LaGuardia and go later, because I had all night (!!!) but I thought it might be sketch to go later and I would need to be there to check in by like 5 so I just went then and there. It was about 12:30am now, and thank god I decided to go at that time because it was THE LAST SHUTTLE UNTIL 5AM. If I waited for the 5am, it takes 40 mins to get there so I would have missed flight again. God was on  my side for this.

hold on a second, I need to breathe before I continue…..(breathingbreathingbreathing… ifeelthestressalloveragain)

Okay so now I am at JFK and its so much nicer than LaGuardia so I was relieved for about 5 minutes. Security was closed so I had to wait on the front side. It was cold. I had to sit on the floor, which I don’t like to do. I found a plug though so I plugged in my phone and sat there. There were about 10 people there. So as I am sitting there minding my own business this Arab kid comes by and asks to use the other plug. He sits next to me and starts yapping on the phone in Arabic. He has with him a bunch of pastries and offers me one, as he ended his call. I say “no thank you”. He starts talking to me and tells me he’s going back home to Dubai (here’s where I mess up because I hear “Dubai” and my eyes light up) so we chatted and he’s over-chatting. He’s in school in Missouri and said his flight back to Dubai is at 4pm the next day and I tell him to go explore NYC. He said he only has a light jacket so no. He had braces, that’s great but they kinda grossed me out. He said he has a female friend from India and our religion is very strict (really? You are muslim…uhhh) he tells me the girl is a virgin. I’m like okay buddy, BYEE FELICIA. After a while he thankfully wandered off for a long time, then came back and did his morning prayer…here’s when the security check points opened up and I bounced……

 

 

 

 

 

Happy Diwali !!!!

Standard
Happy Diwali !!!!

Happy Diwali!!

art,colors,diwali,festival,india,rangoli-48187291ec7a92e5c38f69a1efa3223b_h

What is Diwali says the non-Indians who might be reading this. I just told my coworker about Diwali and described it as the Indian New Year, then he asks me “so what year is it” – hahahhahaahhahah #Ilovefunnyjokes – he expects me to look that up and tell him …..errrrr….

Diwali is the largest, brightest festival in India. Known as our New Years, it is the festival of lights. Diwali is celebrated by Hindus, Sikhs, Jains and Buddhists to mark different historical events, stories or myths but they all symbolise the victory of light over darkness, knowledge over ignorance, good over evil, hope over despair. I won’t get into too much detail of the religious aspect, but the mythological story goes that  Hindus celebrate Diwali in honor of the return of Lord Rama, his wife Sita & brother Lakshman returned from his exile of 14 years. Villagers lit Diyas, or candles so he could find his path. Here is a fun, easy to read (because it’s directed to children lol) version of the story if you want to get the gist of some background in a quick, light, fun way:

Ramayana (feel free to print out the coloring pages if you are bored 😉 )

So what is Diwali to me? Diwali means (or meant) dance practice! Always! From junior high until college. If I remember correctly, we would start about a month and a half or so before our community (or school, when I was in college) Diwali function. Dance practice was always sooo much fun!!! I got to see my friends and we got to get creative and work on a dance. Well, when I was younger, we had the adults teach us and we had to follow their routines. In college though – we got extremely creative!! There were a lot of great dancers/dance groups and performances and my friends and I wouldn’t have that! lol! We had to be the best! We never repeated steps, always did some acting and shock factor, one time we did our entrance from the audience, instead of the stage and nobody knew where were at until we got on stage! That dance was awesome! We always did medleys too but that’s pretty standard. One time we carried “pots” which were actually pumpkin shaped candy baskets (Diwali falls around Halloween, lol) and we put sparkly confetti in it and threw it out at the audience hahahahah!!!! The people sitting in the front row freaked out!!! They probably thought we were going to throw water at them LOL.

I remember how nerve wracking it was while we waited back stage during the dance before ours. It was hot and cold at the same time! I remember this one year we had this really difficult step. I was so worried I was going to screw up once on stage!! The step involved a jump with a turn and then a pose. When we were to jump though, we had a mid-air pose and then had to turn our leg the other way for the turn. We got it off a Bollywood song and it was complicated. I never got it right during practice but somehowww when I was on stage, I aced it perfectly!!! And when I saw the video the effect looked so much nicer with our lengha’s on. I’ve learned the outfits make the steps look soo much nicer sometimes!

Speaking of dressing up – yessss…of course Diwali is the best excuse for women to dress up and break out our best jewels, bindis and mendhi (“henna” – btw I hate that word. Never heard it until I heard Gwen Stefani say it) Men dress up in their best kurthas as well.

In India, they light firecrackers (that are more like bombs, dare I say with the risk of some ignorant terrorist comment) they hit up the temples, decorate homes with beautiful diyas (lamps), lights, they decorate entryway in the front of their house with rangoli (basically an art form in which patterns are created on the floor in living rooms or courtyards using materials such as colored rice, dry flour, colored sand or flower petals.)

simple Rangoli example

simple Rangoli example

Diwali-rangoli-Multi-color-designs-photos-3_PerfectlyClear

And just like every other place in the world during the biggest holiday of the year, families get together and eat and eat and eat…and then drink chai!

Hopefully I’ll be able to be in India during Diwali one of these upcoming years!

http://www.indiatimes.com/culture/who-we-are/11-little-known-stories-about-diwali-you-need-to-know-before-you-light-your-first-diya-247121.html

Here are some Diwali related celebration images/art, diyas and rangoli I would like to share with you:

diwali_fullspreads-8-1 part-2-body diwali-10-638

Christmas-Beautiful-Wedding-Hand-Mehndi-Designs-313443_200082917032_670267032_3848829_5647669_n cracker-touchd26_20763081

Works-of-art-by-Adobe-employees-e1352504091418 il_340x270_576294086_mw4p

1025200855521

maxresdefaultwavjigwvyrcgsbhc_D_0_Diwali-2011-Diya-DecorationDiwali-Diyas-Decoration-Ideas-Wallpaper Diwali-2015-Designs-Rangolis-Paintings-Greetings-for-Kids-Students-3

??????????????????????

847%20rama%20copy p-044

6280700942_bdf451be21diwali rangoli designs

Latest-Mehndi-Designs-2015-for-Eid-Season-1681x617xNew-Rangoli-Design-266_jpg_pagespeed_ic_N6tB0c2p87diwaliPAGE-DIWALI-FREMONT-01-IMG_0726diwali-milan

Kind Strangers in Abu Dhabi

Standard

I had a 6 hour layover in AD on my way to India last year. I planned this on purpose. Actually, I was trying to find an 11 hour layover in Dubai but that didn’t happen! I love long layovers (most of the time) because they are like a mini trip within a trip!

My plan was to see the Grand Mosque and then go to a mall, not to shop, but to people watch. They seem to be  big on “mall culture” there.

After an extremely long flight, the first thing I had to do as soon as I got to the airport (the American in me) of course, was to switch on the wifi and check my phone like crazy as I was going through security!! Nowwww, don’t roll your eyes!! The only reason was that I wanted to message my family in India and tell them I arrived at my layover okay!! 😛

Next, I went to exchange currency. I was a little confused because what they told me didn’t really match the research I did. At any rate, I wasn’t exchanging much so I didn’t argue over it.

I got outside and it was GORGEOUS….and very hot!! LOL! I ran into a bit more confusion with dealing with the cab driver and the cost to go to the Grand Mosque. I remember being really tired too so nothing was really comprehending! Luckily there was a nice person overhearing what was going on and offered to allow me to join him in a cab and drop me off on the road not too far from where the Mosque was. I was a bit hesitant since this was a foreign land and you never know how people can be, but I agreed. if he was going to kill me, at least the cab driver would be a witness!

This person (whose name I don’t even remember) basically moved to AD from London and seems to be living THE life! Works from home, travels to London for work here and there. Works 4 days a week, vacations a lot, lives in an amazing home. He was returning from a business trip in London and was planning on golfing that afternoon after a nap. He said he would never move back to London and life is amazing in Abu Dhabi! We had an interesting conversation and he was kind enough to tell the driver to drop me all the way off to the mosque. He also told me all about the Mosque and its history ect which was good to know! I’m the type, where whenever I make friends or meet people, its instinct to try to keep in touch, but in this situation there was no need and probably awkward and unnecessary. So when we got to the mosque I thanked him, offered him money which he refused and said goodbye and that was it. It’s amazing how God brings people in your life to help you out and then you never see or hear from them, but they are people who do kind things for you who you will never forget.

Here is a photo of my first glance at the Grand Mosque!
10422023_10105466481978230_1048731874514185749_n

Grand Mosque Selfie because you have to! 🙂
10801635_10105466572147530_5611423624371051444_n
 

 

 

 

One year later…

Standard

Hello world!!

My apologies!! I have been missing in action. Why? No reason. But I am back!

I look forward to continuing my blog with no breaks in between. I’ve had an interesting year with a couple travels including my trip to India which I have thousands of stories and photos to share! I would say that was the most amazing trip of my life so far and I look forward to sharing the details with you!

I also made a domestic trip to Miami and I have a couple trips planned before the new year as well which I look forward to blogging about! So stay tuned fellow travelers!

I will leave this “Hey I’m back” post now with a quote I recently stumbled upon (at the nail salon – haha!)

12074727_10106789898460990_7201305138476882002_n

Motherland Travels

Standard

Well I am off again!! And it’s about time!
So let’s back track – Around September-ish I was on the phone with my father. He randomly mentioned that they are going to India in November. Back then I had in my mind that November will be a good time for me to jet off somewhere, since it’s been a few months. When he told me they were going to India, my first thoughts were OMG! I need to get my shopping list started!! My second thought was that I needed to figure out how to go on vacation somewhere and then go home to see them and collect my gifts from the motherland. A few hours later the light bulb clicked and I thought why don’t I just join them! Two stones in one hit.

So that was that! Honestly, India hasn’t been on my list. I always figured I could go whenever and I had no plans to go anytime soon. Now that I think about it, I like the idea of joining them and having them show me their city, their country, our roots, our heritage, our culture and all the places they used to go to, work at, live in, pray at ect. It will be nice to see family I have not met since I was 5 yrs old as well. I think it will make India a lot more meaningful than if I go on my own or with other people. I’m thankful that my parents taught me my culture and I was raised around a nice sized Indian community growing up to appreciate it. I was heavily involved in Indian/bollywood/bhangra dance growing up and I know and understand it is not the same back in the motherland, so it will be such a great experience!

The first job I had to do for this trip was get a visa. A quick 2 page form filled with some really strange questions, followed by a trip to the Indian embassy – Cox & Kings!
Upon arrival to the embassy, I was pretty nervous because all these people had all these forms and documents and were taking really long and here I was walking in with my 2 forms and I.D./passport. When it was my turn at the window, she took my papers and sent me to the next line. Once I was called, she again took my forms, I paid the fee and done! I would get a message in a few days to pick up my visa! I was pretty surprised it was that easy! I happily called my parents afterwards and my dad was like “It is because you are a citizen by birth!” – he repeated that phrase while laughing happily about 3 times and indicated how lucky they have made my life by giving birth to me in this country lol.

This trip just seems so last minute and like I said above, I feel so happy to be able to join my parents and see their homeland with them and have them be my tour guide! Part of me was thinking earlier how much it may suck to spend 3 weeks (I only wanted to go for 1 week, but my parents insisted I go for 3!) out there with no cousins that I know of my age. All my cousins my age who are from India are all now in the U.S. now. I can always go out and party with my friends. I can always go travel with people my age and hang out the way young people do, but this probably will be the only opportunity I will have for an experience like this, and it’s not gonna be about partying.

Anyways! Tomorrow is the day. It will be a long journey with two very long layovers. I don’t really mind layovers. They are like a trip within a trip! I intend on updating with pictures and stories throughout my trip so hope you enjoy!

Welcome to my Kaleidoscope!

Standard

image

Welcome to my blog and to my first blog entry! My blog is going to be a kaleidoscope of travel, experiences, culture, beauty, fashion, advice and other random thoughts.

Traveling is my biggest passion!! I want to go everywhere and see everything!! I’ve learned through past travels how small this world is, and how similar as human beings we are. I’ve had some memorable experiences so far, and knock on wood, not too many bad experiences. It’s interesting who you can meet, what you can see and experiences you can partake in when you are out in this world! The world Is a very colorful place.

The Wikipedia description of a kaleidoscope is that it is a cylinder with mirrors containing loose, colored objects such as beads or pebbles and bits of glass. As the viewer looks into one end, light entering the other creates a colorful pattern, due to the reflection off of the mirrors; hence, observation of beautiful forms. I invite you to observe the beautiful forms of life through my kaleidoscope. I promise it to be a colorful ride!