Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Good bye Miami!

Four days in Miami and now it was time to move on. Couldn’t procrastinate any more. I am sure I will miss every thing there. But time to move on.

My kind host reminded me to fill the gas full tank before I left. He had a reason. The other day as we were entering the freeway his car suddenly stuttered and stopped as we both looked horrified. He called the AAA and the man on the phone was nonchalance personified as coolly he remarked that there wasn’t any big problem. Fill gas and you should be fine he said.

I never thought I would be here in USA walking all the way to the gas station and asking for a can. But the Americans are smart people. they have figured out every single way in which a man can make a fool of himself and found out a solution for that, ripping the hapless victim in the bargain. Filling gas on the exit to the high way is liking playing a video game. You require the same skill. Sharpness. Keep an eye on the coming speeding cars and get on the kerb. Getting killed by a speeding car is perhaps the stupidest way of dying. Remember President Reagen’s comment when he was shot! “ Honey I forgot to duck!” here you wouldn’t be alive to tell that to your wife.

Ever been in a car driving for six/seven hours alone? I did . every messed it up. I did. As I was crossing Ocala, thought of having a coffee. It was already eight in the night. I was already behind the wheels for over seven hours, thanks to huge traffic hold ups in west Palm Beach and Naples. To my horror as I was exiting the highway , fatigue took over and I entered the wrong direction. I only realized it when I saw cars coming from the opposite direction. Suddenly I wondered if I was in India!. luckily there was no mishap. Lucky there were no cops around. or perhaps my bad luck was fatigued and had taken a break! Shaken , I decided to sleep in a motel. Unfortunately the only motels there were the richie rich ones. The Hiltons and the Marriot kinds. The receptionist told me that I could find something cheaper if I went a few more miles. I told her better to be alive and poor than to be rich and dead! She didn’t understand a word. Nor cared. The Americans can take Buddhism to another level!

Thanks to that wise decision , I am still writng!

Sometimes in life you wonder if the wound is deeper or the hurt. When I narrated this incident to a friend fishing for sympathy , he nonchalantly remarked, “you are incorrigible”! Ugghhhh?

When I opened my laptop, saw my sister’s message, “ Happy Gudi padva” the Maharashtrian new year. My adopted home Hyderabad calls it Ugadi. As a kid I remember we used to hang the gudi outside our home. I still remember the creamy srikhand that mom made. It lessened the pain of eating neem leaves first thing in the morning. The neem was meant to purify the blood. We just hated it!

Jacksonville is the largest city in the USA in terms of land area. I entered the city through downtown. Any idiot can tell you that it’s the trickiest place in a city. But not me! and so I spent a good one hour going through a maze of small lanes,my GPS incapable of shooting commands that fast. And so invariable the command came only after I had negotiated a wrong turn. There is virtually a turn every few feet! Its like a honey comb.
So here I am cooped in a hotel still not got a place to live. The owner of this motel is expectedly a gujrati. Its virtually a Patel invasion. Every motel is owned by them. almost like Motels are meant to be owned by a Patel just as every corner shop in UK has a Patel stamped on it.! It’s a tribute to their ingenuity and hard work. I daresay they give value for the money they charge.

Hopefully shall find a place in the next few days. The room in the motel is so comfortable that I am almost reluctant to leave.

But motels can never be home.

Even for nomads like me. Inevitably I too would have to find a home.

1 comment:

  1. Florida brings memories back...Although the pan handle had snow this season..strange bt true...