My 3 day short holiday was indeed an eventful one. For starters, this was the first time I went on a holiday and did not take ANY work with me. No laptop, no papers, and no guilt. It was an unadulterated vacation, and it felt great! I will recommend it to all, even if it doesn't feel like the time is right. For me it certainly wasn't, but I just felt like I had to do it. I decided to drive to my cousin J's place, 2 hours away from here, and we were flying together to NJ. The early morning of friday, two of J's friends were also with us taking the same flight. Now after ALL that dhindora peetofying on the news these past few days about inflight luggage, and BIG signs all the way through security, J's friend K decided to carry his shaving kit in his backpack. siiiigh. We were there half-an-hour before departure as it is, and I was already putting this down as another missed flight to add to my repertoire. K, when stopped at security because of his bag, decided to go back to check it in, instead of just discarding the contents there. Now another huge concern to me was why a guy needed 8 different kinds of tubes and creams and lotions in his backpack. Beats me! But whatever. Of course he was too late to check it in and had to make his way back through lines and everything after throwing out the offending items. Like his loyal friends, we were standing near the gate, waiting for him, till the security guy said we could choose between catching the flight or being with our friend. We decided that two of us would go and the other would stay back. The plane had waited about 7 minutes extra now. Finally K showed up, huffing and panting, and we were like a happy reunited family on the plane. Except, we could hear in hushed voices all around us "they're the guys with the shaving cream in their backpack". Apparently word was out, and carrying shaving cream has now clearly acquired criminal status.
The three days at my sister's were typical family stuff. I worked on befriending my niece right from the airport where she and her father came to pick us up- and by the time we reached home she chose me over her father. He wasn't impressed, while I was busy gloating. Ironically, for being on vacation- I was waking up at 6 AM everyday! Perhaps to make the most of it..sleeping took a backseat. (literally, even, when I was dragged to see that stooooopid movie KANK). Lots of plans were made and argued over and cancelled over what to do, where to go, blah blah. Gosh, put four adults in a room and it's so hard to come to a consensus. Luckily there were some areas in which we all had our priorities common- one of them being eating. My cousin and I coming from small gaavs with excuses for desi restaurants, wanted to eat at all the chaat-samosa and dosa places that abound in South Jersey. So we made sure that was given enough and more coverage. Monday since the hosts had jobs to do and offices to go to, my vela cousin and I decided to go see New York City. Although it was not my first time there, I was overwhelmed and wide-eyed as always, to be in the midst of crowds and tall buildings. One of my favourite things about NYC is the huge variety of people- of races and backgrounds you see milling about in a crowd, all striding quickly with a purpose..(and irritated at stupid tourists with cameras). :) hehehe. The other thing I love about going to NJ is taking the trains to get around..something I miss so much. Again at NYC we chose to spend 2 hours at what they call Greenwich Village- which has quaint little eating joints and restaurants that offer cuisines from all parts of the world- quite a laid-back section of the city in fact, very european feel to it. I had the most kick-ass Italian gelato there, and some other yummy food as well. My idea of a perfect afternoon- eating ice-cream and walking on the streets- it's sunny yet breezy- and you've no where to get to. W-O-W!
Tuesday morning we left NJ at the unearthly hour of 4 AM to make our 6:30 AM flight. (that's what you get for discount tickets). After an uneventful flight as I set out to drive back home, Basanti decided to act up- even after getting warmed up- she would keep stalling. Perhaps she was just angry for being neglected in a strange parking lot for three days. (What attention seeking-draama- certainly a laterally transferred trait, methinks). Anyways, just before getting onto the interstate, she refused to move and we had to pull over to the shoulder. I was experiencing very painful deja-vu, and this time all I knew was to check all the fluid levels and the battery. They all seemed okay. Now we didn't know what more to do. A good samaritan stopped his van and came over to help us. He diagnosed the problem almost correctly (as to why the engine was idling too long) and said that I could keep driving it and pushing the accelerator everytime it started stalling..do that till I reached a mechanic to take a look or even do that all the way home. After driving around in the town for 5 -7 miles and dropping my cousin off, the weird behaviour stopped, so I confidently drove the 2 hours back on the interstate to home, occasionally chatting her up and pleading with her to behave. I reached home safe, relieved, and actually happy to shower in my own shower and get back to the lab. I think the parasites missed me too, they looked as happy to see me back! :)