Sunday, November 20, 2005

Trash-talkin' granny

Shorter post than the last one, I promise. For that one I had a train journey to kill and culture-shock to recover from. Not to mention a train that ended up being six hours late...

... which was why the trash-talkin' granny was sssoooo pissed. "Damn this #$@!#$% rail-road. Six HOURS - what sort of business is this? And just one cigarette break since Los Angeles. And those sleeper cabins - I'm suffocating in them. I swear I'm going to get off in San Antonio and drive from there." This morning she was still there, bitchin' away to no-one in particular. Of course, after all those trips on Indian Railways I found all this terribly amusing, and my grin didn't improve matters.

The train journey was relaxing. Got on at Palm Springs

The train station was this unmanned shack in the middle of the desert, right next to the humungous Palm Springs wind-farm.

After running around like crazy on terra firma, it was good to have some enforced relaxation. Plenty of leg-room, a lounge car with humungous windows looking onto the hourly changing scenery (from the Mojave desert

to the semi-arid land cattle ranches in West Texas, to the surprising lush land with old-growth forests around Houston. I totally vegged out, listened to music, saw the movies shown (surprisingly good ones, like "March of the Penguins" and "Batman Begins"), and did absolutely no meaningful work.

My uncle (actually, my aunt's husband's brother - is there a name for that in Hindi?) dragged me around Houston. A very small-town feel to it (it actually has a Main Street which sortof functions like one), but of course everything is Texas sized. The Mexican restaurant we went to had absolutely *nothing* vegetarian, right down to the rice being cooked with chicken stock.

Anyway, next couple days are gonna be kinda busy - will be driving to College Station to give a talk at TAMU, and also stop by Austin to meet friends. Blog updated as and when.

Oh, Marena just forwarded a couple of nice pics she took of my front door in Avery, back at Tech.

Then-tentative itinerary. Since then much firmed up - my next stops after Houston/College Station/Austin are Chicago for Christmas, a day in Omaha, on westwards to SF, up to Seatle, back east to Chicago, and then Toronto just before my pass expires.


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