Friday, September 30, 2005

Trip to Canadian Rockies, Part 3
Alpine Glow

First rays of the sun hit the snow-covered peaks and it looked like someone set it on fire. The full moon was still waiting, as if to witness it. Words can't do it justice so I let the pic do the talking, but in short: the view took my breath away.

The picture is a bit grainy and asymmetric, and there are two street lights standing right in the front in full view, but this pic was the first one taken, and here the moon is in all its glory. Which makes it Perfect.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Trip to Canadian Rockies, Part 2
Maple County

It is a strange country out there. The Queen of United Kingdom is the constitutional head, French is the national language, and yet it is American enough... From a die-hard British/French/American chauvinists' point of view, something doesn't seem right, isn't it?

So, in what seems like a good attempt to assert their unique identity, they use the maple leaf. In fact, Use of "use" would be an understatement: they overuse the maple leaf. So from the flag to the plastic leaves which decorate shop windows, to boxer shorts: it is the maple leaf everywhere. And then there are the subtle variations: Maple syrup in bottles shaped like maple leaves, Cookies shaped like maple leaves stuffed with maple cream. Surprisingly, I didn't see as many "real" maple trees. The only leaves I found shaking and swaying in all their glory with the wind were the ones on the ubiquitous flag.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Trip to Canadian Rockies, Part 1
a.k.a The Harrassed Flier

Travelling to US is on my list of least favourite things to do. Unfortunately its usually unavoidable.

Phase 1: 5 am, Changi International Airport, "Pre"-check-in procedure for a US bound flight.

She: Ma'am, could I ask you a few questions
Me : Sure.

She: "You are travelling to US"
Me : Is that a trick question?
"Yes." *Smile* "On transit to Canada."

She: "So what are the contents of your bags?"
Me : Oh, you don't want to ask a girl that!! At this moment, I make a mental check -- Zillions of clothes- winter clothes, going-out clothes, sporty clothes, shoes,.... did I forget anything? "Just Personal stuff!"

She: So, who packed your bags!?
Me : "Me, of course." Is that a rhetorical question?

She: Did anyone else give you anything to take with you?
Me : How I wish! A few more clothes would do me no harm. "No."

She: Are you sure ma'am?
Me :Sure, confident, lock kiya jaye? " Yes, very sure."

She: Do you have any electronics with you?
Me : Just a digital camera!

She: Ok, from now till you board the flight, please don't accept anything from anyone!
Me : *Kinda scared by now* I was just planning to get some books from the book shop, and theoretically that would be accepting something from some one, right? (Ha ha ha, the Smart alec strikes back!)

She: Of course you can.

Phase 2: Around 6 am. Boarding Gate

He: Miss, can you take off your shoes, belt, jacket and also remove all the cellphones, coins, knives, swords, bazookas, Ak-47s, matchboxes, lighters, fire extinguishers, nailcutters etc. from your pockets.
Me: Ok. Wow! Thats a long list.

*I trudge across and pull my shoes on.*

She: Can you take off your sneakers again?
Me : AAAAArrggghhhh. "Yes, of course."

She takes it and puts it on the table, then takes a small piece of paper and touches it all around my shoes. She puts the paper on a measuring device.


The machine label says something about "radioactivity". 3..2...1..*Beep*. She nods. I put on my shoes.

Me: Thanks and have a nice day.

The adventure had just started.

Friday, September 02, 2005

So we are 96% Percent similar to Chimps..

I thought being born in the year of the monkey was the worst part of the joke on me!