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Back to the travelblog. On Saturday, I met up with a college friend who works in Mountainview. We went to Saravana Bhavan on El Camino (yeah, the same one I'd plodded to the other day). I had a nice south Indian meal. We then decided to go to Stanford University's mall. It really looks FAR from being a typical university mall. Just about every shop has very high priced branded goods. I wondered how the students afforded it. My friend informed me that Stanford students typically *are* rich but more importantly, Palo Alto (which is where Stanford is) houses most of the tech richies. The Stanford mall is the only big shopping centre in the area. We hung around the place, window shopped bigtime and then went to his house. He's a pseudo-bachelor now, wife in India [no gory details please. Don't spread rumours!]. He's married to a CM's daughter. So his wedding reception at Delhi was attended by everyone who wears Khadi (I am not aware of the equivalent attire/uniform for female politicians), right down from the PM to PAs. I got back home around 630pm to find a notice on my door which said that since there was a broken pipe in the apartment complex, there'd be no water supply. This dashed my hopes of giving the cupboard which hosts my unclean clothes some breathing space. Meanwhile my cousin at Emeryville asked if I was ok with turning up there on Sunday. Torn between washing my clothes (and having something to wear come Monday) and meeting people rather than being stuck alone, I opted for the latter. Lo behold! Shortly thereafter, the water started flowing through the pipes again and the clothes (and the cupboard) had their moksha. A note in passing: The last two times I'd washed my clothes, I'd wondered why they'd put up two washing machines next to each other in the flat. I thought one of them was a top loading type while the other was the front loading type. I was thoroughly embarassed (adding to the previous occasions) to find out that the other "front loading" washing machine was in reality the clothes dryer. At least this saved me the ignominy of spreading my wet clothes all over the apartment in the hope that they'd dry soon.
On Sunday, I planned to take the 950 am train to Emeryville. The problem was that it didn't arrive until 1030 due to some technical problems (or technical snags?!). When it did, after Fremont, the train just stopped for nearly 15-20 minutes. No explanations offered. I then thought to myself that I'd pretty much heard/experienced all that we think happens only in India - long immigration queues, massive powercuts, trains not on time, unscheduled stops (pottaanda signalla, in Tamil) and water not flowing in taps. In fact the last one made me feel fondly proud about dear old Madras. I landed up at Emeryville nearly around noon. We got a few DVDs to watch [Darna mana hai, Tarkeeb & Deewaaren]. We ended up watching Darna mana hai first. It was quite an ok movie, except perhaps a little too disjoint because there were a total of 7 plots/sub-stories. Some of it was also a little macabre. I liked the one featuring Vivek Oberoi and Nana Patekar. After a brief rest, we went to another side of the Emeryville waterfront. This time I caught a beautiful sunset and also managed to see the Golden Gate bridge in some clearer weather. Photographs uploaded. Some of the snaps were not taken at Emeryville, instead one was taken at the workplace and a couple of others in the parking lot of my apartment complex. We had some snacks, then took a long walk to the supermarket, bought some groceries, got back home and watched Tarkeeb while having dinner. It was an absolutely rotten movie. Too predictable, sans any story etc. I wonder how on earth folks like Nana Patekar & Tabu agree to act in such drivel.
I woke up on Sunday morning, took the 8 am train (instead of the 7 am one) back to the apartment ... or so I thought. The 8 am train goes uptil Oakland and I had to take an Amtrak bus from there. The bus left me at the Santa Clara Amtrak station (which is where I normally board/alight Amtrak) but I couldn't find a single shuttle in sight. Even the taxi service said they don't handle passengers at the Amtrak station (I wondered why!). So I had to depend on me being a biped, walked nearly a mile to the apartment, got ready to work and landed up to start a new week.
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