Saturday, June 22, 2013

"First Day of Summer"

"The solstice. Friday – at 5:04 am, Greenwich time, to be exact – marks the point at which the sun appears in the sky at the farthest point north from the equator. The Northern Hemisphere gets sunlight for a fraction of a second longer than it did on Thursday. From here on out, the days will get progressively shorter for those north of the equator, and progressively longer for those south of it. This will continue until December 21 at 5:11 pm Greenwich time, when the sun appears in the sky at its southernmost point, and the whole process reverses."

Lol. It was any other drizzly day with no sun. But lots of warmth. See how :)

As I went out today, I saw an old man right outside my building carrying a grocery bag way too heavy for him. Unsure at first, but I offered him help anyway. Fortunately for me, he accepted - for the walk till his home was a warmly informative one.

He told me how he was one of the first residents of the area, when there were no apartment buildings, and hardly any trees. This place was called "Docks" back then and had recently been renamed "Quays". He asked about me, and he told me about his family. It was all beautiful beyond words. <3

I then took out my map to make way for the Brunell Museum. Its walking distance from my apartments. The museum is about this guy Brunell (:-O) who got made ships and the tunnel under the Thames, back when they hardly had machinery and earth had to be dug up with hands.

Here are some snapshots of it. Frankly though, nothing that you will miss if you dont go there.

Entrance (closed due to an event rehearsal) of the Thames Tunnel.

After the museum, I set out direction-less-ly to explore the neighbourhood. I found a cramped Malviya nagar type colony here! Look!

And this this I found really weird. The combination of Church, playground for kids, and cemetery.

Playground with colouful slides at a burial ground!??

Cool, and continuous water cleaning

I saw this. I wondered- Bombay?? like our Bombay is it?

And then the next side of the gate was written THIS!!
It was a residential building, so I am guessing it belonged to some officers of the company. But I had no way of confirming as there was nobody at all there. :-/

There was also a small restaurant overlooking the river here, Mayflower. After so much of warmth throughout the day, I found the guys in the restaurant cold. I would rather go here:

Beautifully done restaurant on the beginning of the road. Huge trees and outdoor seating in their well maintained garden. Indoor seating also available. The menu is all home cooked, made to order from scratch. Dragging my husband here asap.

Oh look! (You cant really make out :P) but there are jams on round-abouts here as well!! :P

Beautiful Park. This city is unbelievably green <3

This tree is so green! Can you see the green-ness?

Can you now? The bottle green shade just stood out so much!

Within this park, I discovered a Bowling club. Not the Bowling you and I know of, its a different, engrossing sport needing a lot of concentration. The next post in the blog will be dedicated to that sport.

On my way back, the dark cloudy skies (On the first day of summer, mind you) gave way to little drizzling. As I brisked with my hoodie on my head, I spotted a Brazilian shop. What, an exotic shop and I wont go in? Is that even possible?

So, I sat down and ordered 2.20 pound Coxinha, which i suspected was something of a Chicken pakora

And lo! It was!

Oh! But not entirely! The outer most layer was that of very crispy breadcrumbs. According to the chef, the middle layer is made of out mashed Casava, more popularly known as Sweet Potoato. The filling was minced chicken breast, lightly seasoned with local herbs and salt. Quite a savoury for the weather outside! However, too bland for most Indians.

O! And I also went to two different shops. One, to get an itenary for Europe, etc. and one really nice shop of clothes and accessories to buy sunglasses. Both guys spoke to me in Hindi!! They were both Pakistanis. So sweet and friendly. And it feels really nice to be able to communicate in hindi, without putting on accents and taking help of gestures :-D

The day ended with a small get together at out home. Friends, jokes, whiskey and Biryani- more than a cherry on the cake, isn't it?

Wow, London, your first day of summer is indeed warm...

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Till the night of 18th June

You can't be that carefree!

  • A guy just mugged another in broad day light, right in front of my eyes. *stunned, shivers*
  • The beautiful lake with ducks and swans at my apartment isn't the only great thing in the area. See! I am a ten min walk from the Thames!

  • I got a couple of stuff here, at cheaper rates than India. BEAT THAT. :-D

The Day of Arrival

When I looked both Punjabi and South Indian. (I am neither)

From IGI to Heathrow: Highlights-

  • "Duty free" is largely over-hyped
  • Starbucks is not
  • Sleep is precious, at about 600 rs./hour/person
  • "Upgrade" in Air India culture means "just-buy-a-fresh-full-price-business-class-ticket"
  • I am asked by two different co passengers if I am "Punjabi" and "south Indian", as apparently, I look both.
  • Immigration counters have more that an hour and a half of wait before I get my turn. 
  • I do not need to show her the invitation letter as long as I "know what my husband does" here. 
  • Air India staff just forgets to keep some of the baggage on the conveyer belt and just leaves it on the floor near the start of the belt. Doesn't inform anyone. No AI presence at Heathrow for Baggage inquiries where all other airlines had their counters.
  • *Bloody hell, London summers are chilly!!* 
  • It is really disorienting to have the sun up till 9-10 pm.
  • It feels nice to able to sit, jump, dance anywhere, no one wears the judges hat.
  • Misplaced wallet comes back to you at times
  • Dinner at home. Husband relishes Indian food I brought along.