Sunday, June 27, 2010

Arizona Dairies

Trips are such a respite from the 9 to 6 monotonous company routine when you just put all work stress on back burner and chill out. I was jaunting to phoenix for a 3 day family trip to see my sister who is here for 3 weeks to visit her husband.

I was using METRO rail to reach airport for the first time in states which is supposedly very rare here; thanks to the oil and car companies bombarding rail networks and setting up road webs to spread their business in corporate US. So it’s just California, Georgia, New York or a few more who have some internal rail network but nothing similar to TGV in Europe exists across states with aviation left as the only option unless you want to spend days on a road trip.

For the first time I have left my laptop back at home since he companied me during sophomore year and rather decided to grab my pen instead to put down my thinkings. Part of the motivation was watching REMEMBER ME recently where Tyler goes very morning to a coffee shop to write a dairy to his dead brother about his what and where about .I could sense the soothing touch from it when you write your mind on a piece of paper and your thoughts take a graceful form. Now that I think of it, it is making more and more sense to pen down the travel dairies as memories are really lush green as you live them and you don’t fail to mention half of the things you experienced.

Left for Grand Canyons the next morning……..

Every place is peculiar when we view it from holistic perspective. Phoneix is sitting in the middle of cacti clad naked muddy mountains. These cacti are really fun looking trolls with hands protruding from literally anywhere. There are a just a few cities spread across Arizona and you travel like for hours till you reach from one to another not even seeing a fluttering bird for miles. It’s just the shining beacon of the sky making mirages and companying you all the way.

Rather than the curled up snake roads of the Himalayas making you puke out all the time, these mountains have straight gradually steep roads resembling like Aravallis of Rajasthan. The well developed road network makes the road trip such a fun with no hitches and jerks in the feel like airborne vehicle.

It was so endearing to see how the barren spirits of the desert gave away to the country side grass land kind of vegetation when the beautiful town of flagstaff came over. This city is designed with a European outlook to it with the same stony roads and restaurants serving outside on the streets.

Plateaus were nowhere visible for miles now and there were huge grass lands on both sides of the road and we felt like lost in middle of nowhere. The sign board to the Grand Canyon after miles was such a breather and so it became clear that we had already reached the pinnacles of Colorado plateau already and huge gorge canyons carved out by the Colorado was sitting below us shining in different shades of orange.

It was amazing to see how the canyons were being carved out with the forces of nature looking like a stack of plates on top of each other. I felt like a humungous old city came out of the earth’s womb. As I read on wiki that nearly two billion years of the Earth's geological history have been exposed as the Colorado River and its tributaries cut their channelsthrough layer after layer of rock while the Colorado Plateau wasuplifted. I had never seen such a huge valley and the best part were both wind and river chipping the mountains in their own styles.

PS: Grand canyons have awesome appeal to save in the hard drive of brains. Nothing seems better than a road trip in Sonata humming songs and watching the sun setting on the horizon through the vast grasslands.

Take Home Message :Stone is the most mutable thing given sufficient time.

American Peculiarities

The fun part about travelling and working with new people is getting a bunch of new experiences which keeps carving out our individuation at subconscious level. Every culture carries its own peculiar traits and you just end up saying "Oh boy!! Never mind, just a cultural difference".

As it turned out that all CISCO interns with me are Americans and I am hanging out for the first time with just them. So just felt like penning down their peculiarities.

Americans are a fairly new cosmopolitan breed sprang up with European base tinged with natives Mexicans & Cubans and Africans imported as slaves in the beginning. How can I blank out Asians who keep pouring in everywhere for better prospects (and of course that includes me).Like an alloy, they have altogether different traits from comprising cultures.

They are nurtured to be self dependent from child hood itself as 2 month baby starts sleeping in his own room and hence doesn’t get the habit to cry on the top of his larynx if his mom doesn’t watch out for him for some time. Even when the baby hasn’t even learned to walk properly, he is just being dropped in the pool and swimming gets in his reflex itself. I know it’s like a tradeoff between being emotional and impassive but we Indians are really on the other extreme with really irritating and pampered kids.

You don’t have anyone on your disposal to do all menial stuff unlike in occidental world where lack of jobs makes people adopting all sorts of profession and you end up never learning to rectify anything other than getting the thing to a repair guy. I have to admit that I can’t even change the tire of my bike.

AMERICAN EXPRESSION is neat and most of my blog readers would agree too I guess, watching SIT COMS unfazed with unblinking eyes all the time. It’s sometimes funny how Americans even change the pitch of their voice to describe their IT'S LIKE and keep using phrases every second sentence. They are interesting raconteurs explicating everything with full visual expressions.

These people are binary programmed being either fitness freaks or fleshy crumbs with a ton weight and flesh literally hanging out. I have also started caring about calories in my food intake never even thought before but you really get the hang of it once you start listening about it all the time and then it’s like “Ohh boy ,I really got to have salad tonight as I ate French fries in the afternoon”.

The sports facilities are really awesome here and being a surprise to myself too but I started sports as a graduate student unlike most folks who lose interest at this stage. I started with table Tennis and pool and now can do at least average in them. I am learning ultimate Frisbee , lawn tennis and basket ball these days. Let’s see how far I travel…