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Over Chai As I read, for the umpteenth time, Dr.
Seuss Green Eggs and Ham to my insatiable toddler, my eyes glazed over and my mind began to there is something charming, a je ne sais quoi, about travel by train. Most of my recollections from India, Europe and Canada are happy ones; from meeting different people and having interesting conversations, to watching picturesque landscapes roll by. I was impressed by the extensive rail network, and even more pleasantly surprised to discover the system's renowned reliability. One of my fondest memories is of a time I overly relied on that reputation. I was travelling between and London. needed to go via Bordeaux to collect some bags I had left there while I backpacked. In my typical type A kind of way, I meticulously organized my journeys to take me from Bordeaux to Paris to Calais and then on to Dover and London. This was some undertaking as I had to switch trains four times, but I had timed it perfectly, leaving me an hour or so between each train and travelling overnight so as to avoid another night in a hotel. Hey, I was a backpacker after all! I thought I was doubly smart since I had converted all my remaining Swiss and French currency to English sterling since the transaction and conversion fees were far less in Swiss banks. Ugh. Which meant that I was going to miss every one of my subsequent connections. But more importantly, I was going to arrive penniless in Bordeaux on a Saturday at midnight in the days before you could walk to any ATM and use your Canadian convenience card. Serious problem. My fellow train louis vuitton alma small compartment passengers could see my growing discomfiture as we journeyed from Geneva to Bordeaux. One of them, an elderly French Nun, engaged me in conversation and, after discovering my dilemma, tried to force enough French francs into my hands to allow me to spend the night in a Bordeaux hotel. Somehow I didn feel quite right in taking money from such a kind soul who undoubtedly led a minimalist life herself. Perhaps I was foolhardy in declining her charity, I now like to believe that she instead arranged for some divine intervention on my behalf, since, in the end, the who was supposed to have left her apartment in Bordeaux for a weekend away decided rather spontaneously to stay and wait for my arrival. I was saved from a night second hand louis vuitton bags japan of homelessness and hunger in the streets of Bordeaux! On to India, where train travel is an adventure unto itself. Indian Railways is the single largest employer in the world and the network is incredibly vast, if not exactly rapid. Having said that, there is a certain joy in unhurried train travel in India. Indians are by nature social and curious. They are gregarious and generally have less social boundaries than do Westerners. As such, whether you desire it or not, you end up in conversation with fellow travellers. They will share their tales and even their food with you. (Not that you need their food, since delicious warm Indian food is served you on the trains.) That may sound as though I am romanticizing rail travel in India but I have had my share of challenging experiences as well. Once, we battled Delhi notorious traffic to arrive at the station just barely in time to catch it. Unfortunately, we were louis vuitton artsy gm cost at the platform furthest from our train, and that too, with large suitcases in tow. We hired help us race to our platform. We jumped on as the train was already pulling out of the station (can't even conceive of doing that here!), while the same time negotiating the to pay the porters and hauling on our cumbersome luggage. We ended up getting completely fleeced, but hey, we caught the train! On another journey between Mathura and Bombay, there happened to be a derailment, so instead of arriving in 16 hours on an direct, relatively comfortable express train, we leisurely meandered through 4 states and 32 hours later arrived safely if not slightly worse for wear. At the time it was frustrating, but in retropsect, amusing our annoyance was easily tempered by examining the aplomb with which a fellow traveller (who had struck up a conversation with us in true Indian fashion) was handling the inconvenience. He had journeyed from Darjeeling to Calcutta to Delhi to Bombay over a period of 5 days only to be arriving 2 days late for a company medical appointment that would need to be rescheduled for a future date! So, louis vuitton agenda youtube he was going to have to trek back to Darjeeling and make the odyssey all over again. He good naturedly smiled throughout the fiasco. When it was completed over a century ago, it was a remarkable engineering feat to have built such an amazing and state of the art (at the time) rail network linking Canada coast to coast. The train remains an important means of transportation for many Canadians and train travel has always been enjoyable calm, peaceful and comfortable if not quite as rapid or reliable as in Europe. In fact, in my view, this most civilized means of transport has become remarkably On the past couple of journeys, it struck me as sad that as soon as passengers seated themselves, the ipods and laptops come out and nary a word nor a smile was exchanged between them. For the entire journey! Everyone is content to communicate solely through electronic media, with the real human to human communication limited to the perfunctory or absolutely necessary. How isolating. How sterile. I like to think it goes full circle and that I share a little something of myself with those whom I encounter. A meaningful exchange between otherwise complete strangers. take a few moments to smile at those around you and exchange a few pleasantries. You never know how your life may be enriched. Last weekend, my husband, my sister and I befittingly tucked into our sumptuous meal as we watched the elaborate culinary delights being prepared in Julie and Julia. The movie was exactly what I needed light, entertaining and inspirational. much to my surprise, it had another rather unexpected impact on me. It was my Eureka! moment on of all things blogging and social networking. be honest. My husband and I resist change, especially technological ones. Many of my friends are guffawing now, since they have lived through it with us. "How do you live without caller ID??" "When are you going to get a cell phone??" On principle, my husband and I had resisted the temptation to buy a cell phone, that is, until public pay phones started to disappear from street corners! Let's not even talk about Blackberries or iPhones, home theatre systems and the like. We are not complete dinosaurs, though. We are the proud owners of a MAC and I did join facebook for the sheer pleasure of adding friendsthose who found me, that is. But that's the extent of it. And as for blogging, I barely understood this new word in the English lexicon, let alone who did it and where. While it seems the whole world was saying blog blog blog, all I heard was blah blah blah. I was clueless. And then I bore witness to the power of the cyber word. A woman, struggling to make her life meaningful, transformed her passion into a personal challenge and shared that challenge with, wellno one at first, and then the world! She blogged and gradually, more and more people read. So popular became her blog that Julie Powell now has two published books to her name and a movie in which her inspired project was brought to life by Hollywood greats. All due to the transformative power of the blogged word.
Truly amazing. So, in keeping with the new year, a fresh beginning and firsts, here I am with my maiden blog, and with a public declaration of the passion that I intend to transform into a reality. Dream: and Host a Talk Show.
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