Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Part 3 USA – Boston

Well, I did say we will jump scenes and so here is a jump across days. Later in the week we will jump back to where we left off in the last edition.

I think it’s amazing what moms and women who manage the household work do. Guys staying away from family in a foreign land in Europe or US are more than likely to appreciate the fact – especially if they are alone and have to do the veggie shopping, cleaning, cutting, cooking, cleaning up after eating, rearranging the leftovers in proper vessels to be dumped into the fridge and washing the vessels. Doing it once or twice a day itself can get irritating at times – imagine doing it three times a day everyday along with cleaning the house and taking care of washing the clothes. Things seem so simple when looking from outside – put this, put that, stir for a while, boil for a while, steam for a while, add a couple of masalas and voila – it’s that easy and quick to cook; hardly takes 30 minutes you think. Only when you do it, do you realize how time can get eaten away in cooking and cooking related chores. We take things for granted – mom or someone cooks at home and we just eat, go about our own business and enjoy; and end up forgetting about the other person. And through the day we lament about how tough our day is. Next time you brush aside lending a helping hand thinking, “I’ve had a tough day; let me take rest,” think about the other person who has to compensate for it; and they do it to keep you going.

And so after the mini wakeup, back to our story – my friend and I had our own ways; he wanted to know the night earlier what time to start while I liked leaving that decision to how the body felt in the morning – depending on when you wake up, you start the trip since Boston was just an hour and a half away. In the morning while in the car, he said, “I think we’ll miss the 9am bus.” We caught it; quite comfortably with more than 10 minutes to spare. We booked a same day return trip to save us a couple of dollars on the ride; coffee and wifi internet was free. The bus also had a toilet in the back – would be quite handy in Indian buses. It was a smooth ride on the smooth highways non stop. When we entered Boston, we passed through a tunnel and on one side there was a huge queue of cars – fortunately we didn’t go that way.

Out on the street

The bus terminal was huge – just like what is there in New York. The metro station was beside the terminal. I attended to nature's call before we went in search of tickets – the toilet was certainly not maintained well. It was just late in the morning and already there were toilets that were choked with tissue paper - you don't expect to see such conditions in the US. We bought a one-day pass at the ticket counter (it cost $9 - unlimited bus and metro rides). An individual ride costs around $2 and I had a feeling that we would probably use around 5 rides – breaking even with the day pass. Sometimes you buy these passes thinking you will save money but in the end find that you really didn’t save anything! And first-timers are the ones who would make the mistake – the pros know when to go for the unlimited package. Boston has some 6 colored metros – each color has a particular route in the city. We almost stepped into the pink line instead of the red one – no, not because of color blindness but because we didn’t know that there was a pink line and we though maybe pink was actually red! The sun was out but deceiving – you think it will be warm but instead face chillness. The sun sure deceives you in this part of the world. Wonder if it snows in sunlight!

The Aquarium was our first destination. We took the first station on the red line and then switched to the orange line and got off at the first station again. From the orange line stop we had to walk a short distance. The time between two stations is around a minute or two only. The city was pedestrian friendly – plenty of traffic signals and a fair amount of crowd on the streets. Suddenly there were sirens and two fire engines rounded up a building corner. We couldn’t see any smoke in the building but hardly had we walked a few yards when more sirens were heard – another two fire engines and a fire engine staff vehicle arrived at the scene.
“Must be for backup just in case the fire is bad.”

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