Thursday, 28 May 2009

A hole in the floor of heaven

I wish things would just happen and leave out the suspense and the build up and what not, you know?! Or just leave me out of it anyway. No, this is not leading to a specific incident related rant of any kind. Or any rant actually.A bunch of stuff's happened since I last hung out my thoughts to dry out here. I've been on a boat ride where I wasn't driving, for a change, and subsequently got very very wet. Then there was that little excursion to the back-deck. Which, though I ranted and raved about a fair bit, went quite peacefully. (Now we'll have to wait and see if I've just totally screwed it up for the rest of the trip or not.)
Fantasy football for the season is over, and I've finished with a very respectable 15th in the league. And guess what? I did sweet f***-all with my team for like 90% of the time >:)))). And of course now I'm rubbing it in the faces of all those who still claim that 'strategy' has anything to do with it :P.
Finally the F1 season's brought home something to write about. Ferrari's managed a podium, and Braun might just be feeling an outside hint of some pressure. Of course the fact the McLaren and Hamilton are languishing has been some source of joy, but not a whole lot. Hate all the drama over threats of pulling out of next year's championships and what not though!Then of course there was last night's thrashing of ManU by Barca :). Oh man! It was way out of my waking schedule, but I actually managed to wake up to the alarm... Just never made it out of my bunk :P. Oh well, I'm not sure why I'm this happy about it though, but I am :D.Oh! There's another TT tournament happening on the boat this trip :). So yeah, there's quite a lot of stuff going on. And then there's that other thing. As usual, all the caveats and ifs and maybes apply. But, if everything goes through, I should remember yesterday as the day the ball started rolling :). Maybe the latter half of this year will take an entirely unexpected turn :). We shall see. In the mean time, I'm really looking forward to leaving the boat early (compared to the majority of the rest of the crew) for the first time since my first-ever trip, back up in the Sea of Okhotsk, what now feels like a lifetime ago...

Currently: all kinds of hopeful :)
Listening to: Boston - More than a feeling

Friday, 22 May 2009


When I look back on those times now, I cant see all the reasons any more. I remember the effects of the supposed reasons though, of course. It is ironic how when you shut out an apparent source of distress, to try and stop it from hurting you more, you are probably also barricading yourself from the very things that could help alleviate the pain at the same time.It is all very good to say that it's never too late, or better late than never. But there are times when the opportunity has well and truly passed you by, to make up, make amends. Surely. No? Well, sure as hell feels like it on this one.

Currently: idling
Listening to: Eels - Flower

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Snooze interrupt :(

I mean, come on!!!!!

I don't ever do this! Well, not within the first week of the trip anyway. Decide in earnest to go to sleep early, that is. But for some reason I was feeling just so hammered this morning, it was unreal! Especially with absolutely no alcohol involved, obviously :|.

So I decide, right, that I'll go pull one of those sleeping 10 hours straight things! And what happens? Wham! I realise it's laundry day X-(. So now I've gotto stay up at least an extra hour, if not two :(. I guess that would depend on how strongly I feel about avoiding creased up tee-shirts n stuff at work.

=)) Yeah right, so 1 hour it is then.
Feeling: a little bummed :|
Listening to: Stereophonics - Handbags and gladrags

Monday, 11 May 2009

In-between places

A part of this I should have put in last Wednesday. The rest, surely sometime on Friday. Yet here we are, and it's Monday. What can I say? I am getting lazy :-<. Better late than never though, I suppose. As far as crew changes in Angola go, this one was a dream :). Well, close enough to the good kind anyway :D. As I might have mentioned at some point, I'd started out being totally fascinated by air travel (I know, I know, I was young and stupid :P). But these days, while I'm not entirely mortified by it, it's a close thing :|. Making my way from CCU to Luanda was therefore a welcome surprise!

For one thing, the Kolkata - Delhi flight was the first leg of an international flight, so I ended up bypassing the domestic thing entirely! Since this meant I didn't have to go through the terminal transfer ordeal at Delhi, I was pretty happy :D. Even managed to catch a movie on that flight!! Had been meaning to watch Yes Man for a while. Sounded like an interesting premise for a film. Plus, I love Zooey Deschanel :D. Not necessarily because of this film, but just.. in general. Oh, just to avoid any misunderstanding, this is not exactly a masterpiece, but I found it quite happily watch-able.

Turns out they've extended Wi-Fi coverage in IGI, so that was another bonus. With a bunch of hours to kill, I was quite happily shocked to see how well the battery lasted on my laptop! You don't usually figure Dells for longevity really :). Anyway, a little bit of catching up goes a long way sometimes. And before I knew it, my flight was boarding!! By the time I managed to get to my seat, all the overhead space was gone :|. But I had an aisle seat, so I managed to sleep through the night without too much trouble.

Addis actually has a pretty neat airstrip! The area is quite hilly, and the airport is on a little plateau sort of a thing. So as you land and take off, the ground falls away at either end of the runway quite steeply. Sort of accentuates the feeling of ascent or descent somewhat alarmingly, if one were so inclined :P. It also has one of the smallest and most compact international terminals I've ever seen, which is perfect for layovers, if you ask me!
Finally at Luanda, we got through the whole immigration and visa thing in barely an hour and a half! And then we were dropped off at one of the really nice hotels! Doesn't get much better than that, I can tell you! My room even had a view of the beach!
I don't particularly like the way a lot of movies these days flout the standard beginning credits protocol, so to speak. No title. So I catch this one film on the telly, right from the start, decent cast, but like nothing I've ever seen before! The plot sort of catches my attention though, so I keep watching, postponing the much needed shower :|. Somewhere down the line the interest fades a little and the need for the shower takes precedence. But then I'm back, and the ending's getting really interesting! I'm left wondering if I'll ever manage to see what I missed! I barely get to the end and catch the title before it's time for dinner.

The next day we manage to catch the supply boat that's to take us to the Trident. Once everyone's settled in, we start rummaging through the DVDs, and there it is! Stranger Than Fiction :). This time I watched all the way. I must say I quite liked it! Especially Emma Thompson's slightly neurotic author character :).
So yeah, it was definitely one of the better crew changes in recent times, all in all. As an added plus, for the first couple of days I was quite happily left to watch rather than do anything much :). But now things have gotten back more or less to normal. And I have my regular PC back :P. Don't have the pics at hand right now though. I guess I'll get around to those later...
In the mean time I'm trying to figure if I want to try and settle in quietly for the five weeks or give in to the temptation of throwing a tantrum. For no particular reason :D.

Currently: trying to find my stride
Listening to: Tricky - Over me

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

To go, or not to go...

There's still over a half-week left of my 'three week break', that I might never get to see. Then again, I might! So yeah, details of the coming crew-change rather rudely interrupted my break a few days back. Right in the middle of a somewhat impulsive trip to Shantiniketan actually. Oh yeah, I went off on another visit.

But now I'm back in Cal of course. And there's a flight booked for me leaving Delhi in 11 hours, unfortunately, I don't have a visa for Angola, which is where I'm supposed to land, and neither do I have a flight to Delhi. Heh, no, they better not be expecting me to hike my way from here to there in time for that flight :D. Obviously, the flight would be a somewhat redundant issue without the visa...

I'm not sure if I want things to arrive within the next couple of hours or not, to be honest. I wouldn't particularly mind an extra night or more at home... But I wouldn't really want the crew-x 'schedule' (that is so in name only now, and bent so far out of shape it's not even funny) to go even further out of whack either. Thankfully, no part of this is dependant in any way on my actions, so I'm just waiting and watching.

And hoping that the lights don't go out again, leaving me unable to check mail :S.

Currently: packed and ready with nowhere to go :|
Listening to: Leroy - Good time

Imagine that! Not 2 minutes after I hit 'Publish', tinggg!! I get a bunch of emails with everything I need to travel :|. And now I'm supremely un-thrilled. Ugh! So in another hour, I'm off to Luanda, again :-<.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

By Thunder!!

It's officially, properly summer. No, it hasn't gotten any warmer, quite the contrary! You see, summer in Bengal isn't summer, without the kal-boisakhi, and today, finally, we had the season's first :). It is a rather sudden thunderstorm that is often seen in these parts this time of the year, but had been ominously absent so far this year, letting the mercury soar to unprecedented heights!

And when I say sudden, I mean it in the extreme sense! One minute the sky would me mostly cloudless and the sun bright and unbearably hot. Then, as soon as you turn away from the window, the sky would cloud over and the driving winds build up to a crescendo! Of course when, like today, the earth's been particularly dry, a dust storm is inevitable. You can more or less see (and sometimes hear) the consequences in neighbouring households as people scurry to shut the windows and keep the rooms from sprouting mini sand dunes :|.Then when the rain does come, well, let's say this the kind of rain I like best :). It has none of the brooding nature of the monsoon rains here. Or the long drawn out, somewhat depressing nature of the Mumbai rain. (Yes, sacrilege, but I never liked the Mumbai rain, with its rather overly persistent nature and therefore its lack of character, in my mind.) Definitely none of the barely-there annoyance of the Norwegian spring rain. Or the hide-and-seek short-lived exuberance of the Perth variety... This rain has character.

Part of it is the total authority with which it dictates life! Commanding reaction at a speed that is otherwise quite unbelievable for most people in these parts :D. Then there is the rapidity with which the first drops are followed by the rest of the millions! This rain means business! And you better not get caught out! Within seconds you would get more thoroughly drenched than if you were standing under a shower-head! And the best of rain gear gives you only minutes :).

Once it is in full swing of course, it has the ability of drawing out that kid inside of you :). Maybe it's just the sudden and absolute relief from the heat, or just the joy of the first rain, but it is not surprising to see people out on terraces and streets :). I usually stick to watching the sheets of torrential water that's just everywhere!!! Water that is driven almost to madness by the invisible whips of the shrieking wind! It's hypnotic :).

I was reminded of times when there'd be hail stones with the rain, and then the rooftops would quickly be littered with these pebbles of ice! And we'd go trooping up to collect them :D. You learn very quickly that an umbrella is absolutely no good, you need a metal or plastic bucket on your head! And there's no stopping the stinging on the rest of your body :). Just get out, get the really big hail stones, the ones that wont melt away by the time you're done, and race back under cover :D.
But the best part of this rain is how once it's done cooling down the earth, it doesn't linger. Most of the time the sky is back to it's bright blue self quite quickly. The sun shines down on the now lush and rejuvenated, and the happy :). Now we'll have a couple of days before it'll get really bad again, and then everyone will be waiting for the next one!
Well, except for the owners of these hoardings I suppose :D.

Feeling: cooler :)
Listening to: The Weepies - World spins madly on