Notes from far-away

I am really not good at this. Blogging when I actually have the time. So most of , in fact all of that I blog is from work. No, please don’t go about assuming that I have a lot of free time and no work at work. Fact is, I cannot blog as much even from work, if the day is relatively free. I am at my blabbering best only when I am neck deep in reports and deadlines and submissions and incoherent meetings. Which explains why I always hit the publish button in the standing position in front of my system, with a note book in hand all set to leave for a meeting which starts on the other end of the floor in another minute, or with someone screaming from behind me, asking me to go pick up those damn print-outs. Such is life.
But I had to do this today, because the current position deserves a post. Imagine this. I am at my desk, in my Hotel room, facing huge french windows which open into a somewhat pretty courtyard sort of thing, songs from ‘Ajab Prem ki Ghazab Kahani‘ in the background, at 10:00 PM, in Switzerland. Yes, that is where I am. India is sleeping. The Dude, mom, ‘lil sis, all of them. The best friend being in Singapore, is further behind on the time schedule, so she must be like almost waking up tomorrow.
Back to the point. I am here for work, which I think is the worst reason for one to travel to one of the so-called most beautiful places in the world. I mean, come on, I was the kind who used to write Switzerland against dream destination in almost all slam books at school. Blame DDLJ, and ‘Zara sa jhoom loon main’, and for that matter Yash Chora movies in general. The snow, the Alps, wow, how romantic! Only, right now, there is no snow, no Alps, and the romance is sleeping soundly back home. All that is there is rains, grey, gloomy, London like weather, sticky cold winds, and a lot of alone time to contemplate.
Plus, agreed the place is downright systematic, almost like a clockwork, but it is frigging confusing. When I was handed the tram map of the area, I was impressed. Wow, like London, I thought. And it is, in some ways. The connectivity, the timeliness, even better than London at times. But, seriously, the names! What is with the names! It took me a day in London to know that I lived in Holborn, and that Oxford circus was not far, and even if I did get lost, which I wouldn’t, I could ask anyone and they would guide me. Here, it’s just not the same! People are exceedingly friendly and helpful, one must agree, but the names! I have to carry the map everywhere, and whenever I get lost, which is quite possible, ’cause Barfusserplatz, can really sound like Brausebad in the German accent, I have to whip out my worn out map, and point my numb finger at the station which I have circled, and say ‘ This is where I need to go, I know I need to take Tram 10, but I am not sure which direction.’ Then it got better, but twice, I get into the right tram, and right before my stop, there is an announcement in German of course, which mentions my stop, and then just doesn’t go there. Why? Oh because the announcement said ‘This is Aeschenplatz, and if you want to get to Bahnoff SBB, get off here, cos this tram is going to M Parc to rest’. But of course, all I know and understand of the sentence is Bahnoff SBB and I wait to get there. Which I obviously don’t, so I walk back two stations. Phew.
Anyway, it’s not that bad too. I had a weekend here, with no company or plans. So I decided to do something I always thought was a cool thing to do. Walk around the place, with no idea of direction or destination, and in general soak in the culture, the buildings, the atmosphere. And that was done quite well. A  walk around the town, a walk on the banks of the Rhine, a visit to a small, colorful fair, some time in a medieval cathedral, a trip to the top of its tower from where you could see the German Black Forests, a coffee and doughnut at a roadside cafe, all of this ensured that the one weekend I had was not wasted. Also, the 5 hours spent on foot would probably ensure that I still fit into my clothes once I am back, considering I’ve eaten my weight in Tiramisu in the past one week.
Well, that being it, I still have a week to go. Only, it is a full working week, and I won’t have much time on hand for anything else. And fortunately so, ‘cos I just can’t wait to get back. This is an experience alright, but there is only so much of change you an handle, however exotic it might sound. And of course the one thing no one has any doubts about. There is no place like home.
Oh, and yes, I just realised that I had spelt the names of all tram stations correctly without having to check even once. Yay me. And yes, that’s the high point of the trip. So, all of you can go ahead andpray that this week passes by fast. I know I will.

12 thoughts on “Notes from far-away

  1. Yes! That seems to be the only cool thing about the place btw ;)! And oh yes, it’s cold already, and rainy, which kinda makes it even worse! But yes, I do hope I enjoy 🙂

  2. What about tirumalgherry and tappachabutra?
    😉 They get some food for thought when they come here. Reminds me of the times when I used wonder how Chinese and Japanese people differentiated each other. To me they all looked the same. To each his own.
    Just imagine the plight of a phirangi in the by lanes of old city.

  3. Re: What about tirumalgherry and tappachabutra?
    True! It is definitely about to each his own 🙂 And I now totally understand (and have in fact heard it from quite a few specimen) how difficult they find it in India, if we find it tough in otherwise extremely organised europe!!

  4. Anonymous

    Ok, first off Congrats for getting some ‘gyaan’ from a certain anonymous reader about how open minded you should be to enjoy foreign countries. That enlightened me too! We all need that, dont we? :P:P Sigh!
    I totally agree with you on the ‘names’. Sometimes its a tad difficult to get it right everytime :))

  5. Yes I guess! Why else would I always get the most amazing advice for making my life better right here!
    And yes, the European languages are not a joke! Tongue twisters :). And like someone said above, imagine how they feel when they have to say ‘Tirumalgherry’!

  6. Anonymous

    nice one! on site in swiss is too good 🙂
    btw all stations are called bahnhoff in German.. rang a bell in my head too 😀 😀

  7. Re: nice
    Yes, Swiss does sound nice doesn’t it? Ah, I realised the same thing too btw, stations are called Bahnhoff in German, but ofcourse took some time to understand that 😀

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