Friday, September 17, 2010

Bellissimo! (Peaceful easy feeling)

G and me
Went to Italy
Ate a pizza or two
And tiramisu.

Danced late into the night
Saw the late evening light
At Lake Como.
And the Duomo?

Was pure brilliance.

I'm out of rhymes
But the next time
With some patience and wit
I'll try not to look like a giant git!

That, dear reader, is only a little sliver of the craziness that goes on in my head. But not crazy as in I was hallucinating, because we did in fact, totally go to Italy and have a fantastic time.

CC, host and dost (I know, I know. It's dumb. But I don't have the time or the patience to edit that. And that is how it shall remain. So anyway,) was so gracious and he showed us around. In the 3-4 days there, I
  • saw how crazy people are about fashion. And how huge fashion in Milan is (as it should be). After this realization, it struck me how lame most of what I had carried along was in comparison to the swaying, swooshing, kisses-in-the-air smartly dressed (and voluptuously thin) girls there. I will definitely be thinking (and doing) a hell lot more the next time I'm preparing for a trip to Milan.
  • didn't shop the way I might have/should have/could have. My stupid (and excruciatingly painful) white heels were found snapped as I unpacked, which I had barely worn twice. And all over town were these giantesses in beautiful heels, looking so elegant - which made me reconsider wearing heels on a regular basis again (something I've almost completely stopped doing).
  • partied at Just Cavalli, where Hugh Grant was attending too. Apparently.
  • ate genuine Italian pizza at Solo Pizza (twice) and was so tantalisingly delicious, I don't think I can eat pizza anywhere else again. 
Navigli, Milan

  • also ate lots of gelato. And Tiramisu one time (And it was sinful. So sinful.)
  • tried Sushi for the first time ever at a place CC goes to often (and no, I can't explain what CC stands for. Not without blushing, anyway), where he very patiently taught G and me how to eat with chopsticks, which is not easy. Sushi and Goan fish? Very very differently prepared. I think I need to try it a few more times to really start loving it. The seafood soup with sea weed (I bet it had a different name though) was yummy.
  • went to Lake Como which you must visit if you're ever in Italy. And the town of Como too - really picturesque with little alleyways - which were also there in Milan. Along with charming cobbled streets. I felt like I was in a movie.
  • found that the people are warm. And loud. And Italian sounds musical and makes me smile.
  • loved the architecture. And the weather. 

All in all, I am a very content Cyniqueen right now, but as the time to say goodbye to Europe draws to a close, a strange fluttering, squeezing, pounding, rolling feeling sits in my stomach. A hunger stirs, a craving to return growls fiercely. I know now, more than ever before, that I'll be back. Feels good :)

Yours pensively,
The Cyniqueen 

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Here we go

Berlin, it seems, sort of likes me. I feel its warmth in the gentle swaying of the evening breeze and in the smiles exchanged on the street with people I've never seen. The little, smartly dressed dogs everywhere (not traipsing alone but accompanied by their owners, obviously) and people carrying cycles in the trains (which is allowed here.). I feel a longing to come back here even when I'm exasperated - like when I got bored of bread last week, which is all you get here. I wanted, more than anything, a piping hot Medu Vada for breakfast and settled for bread and cheese instead. I'm coming round to it though. Discovering croissants for breakfast was a wonderful moment.

Oh lord, I'm doing that vague thing again, aren't I? I don't know what that mood is, that simply takes over my fingers and flows out on to the screen, one abstract word after another, but I just have to let it run its convoluted course. Which I think it has. Now.

So anyway, getting back to normal writing, I was in the Netherlands last week! Two days in Rotterdam, followed by a day and a half in Amsterdam, and it was the most fun ever. I met some great people, saw some lovely sights and finally, finally visited the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.

Anne Frank's writing and the Holocaust aspect of the second world war is something I have been interested in since I was a child. I have read a lot about it and I did my B.A. project on the diary of Anne Frank. So it was nothing short of a dream come true to visit the Anne Frank House at 263, Prinsengracht on a sunny Monday morning (where the queue behind us seemed to stretch on for more than a block at 11 am).
The fact that the memory of this remarkable girl and all those who perished during this tragic time has not been commercialized is something I deeply respect. The Anne Frank House is not simply about the house in which  eight Jews went into hiding, but a symbol of the atrocities meted out to a group of people simply because they were Jews. Visiting this monument reminds one that discrimination lives on even today and there is much to be learnt from the past. I hope to go back there as soon as possible.

Rotterdam was made fun by our friend Ruma, who showed us around the town and with whom we traveled to Amsterdam. Ooh, you get these delicious things in Netherlands called Swirl's  - an ice cream with self-chosen toppings, which was great to eat in the chilly weather . And speaking of weather, it was cold and rainy for the most time when we were in Netherlands and the strong winds made it worse - especially since I get cold quicker than a snow flake in winter (does that sound right?) but it was a lot of fun-ness and frolick-ness anyway.

What else did I like? The trams, the canals (so romantic), the ducks, and the cycles (hundreds of which I saw parked, but honestly, not half as many out on the road actually being ridden), and the language, which is a comprehensible mix of German and English. And definitely on my list of languages I want to someday learn. Someday.

And now, dear reader, I must go. Packing awaits, but I'm not complaining. Off to Italy for a long weekend. And it seems the weather will be nice and sunny. Hurrah!

The Cyniqueen.