Archive for December, 2008

The vacation guide for a desi in US

Friday, December 19th, 2008

The word “vacation” brings a different reaction to different people. Some look at it as a lifeline with stars in their eyes (yes people like me), there are those who do it because they are forced, blackmailed and dragged in it and then there are those who do it because the world expects them to take one.

My vacations are planned much in advance, dreamed about and often lead me to off-the-beat places. Like the dream one I am in right now – off to Galapagos and Quito. The minute I annouced I was taking a vacation – friends, co-workers, family, and any one and everyone poses the standard question “where are you going?”

And whenever desis ask me the the question and  I happily annouce that I am off to Galapagos I was met with blank stares, the standard question – do you have family/friends there? and looks that conveyed that I am insane. I thought long and hard about why I got such a reaction and here is my analysis.

The Vacation Guide for a Desi in US:

  1. Vacations must be to either of the following places only
  • Niagara Falls
  • Orlando aka Disney Land
  • Las Vegas
  • California
  • New York

Other acceptable places in US include the Grand Canyon, Hawaii and White House DC.

2.  If you have family in any corner of the earth, you should vacation only there. Note: the term family includes, your uncle’s wife’s sister’s co-sister’s family and beyond. Any location on earth is a perfectly acceptable spot for vacation if you can trace a relative there.

There is nothing as perfect as combining points 1 and 2. A 4th cousin in Bay Area is a god-sent gift.

3.  And if you are the adventerous type and want to head to exotic locales you need not look further than Europe. To clarify things further Europe includes (a) London (b) Switzerland and (c) any where you find a relative (Refer point 2) and (d) Paris

4. There are few who want to see it all and for them is the 12 day all Europe tour (desi run ofcourse). Ideal way to enjoy gondolas in Venice, the Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower without missing out the spice laden Indian food.

5. Snow is not everyone’s idea of fun and if you want to spend the Christmas and New Year break warming up, look no further than Mexico. The jeera-laden food is quite close to Indian food and if you convince yourself really well – nachos turn into appalams and pico de gallo is just tomato chutney.

6. Your vacation destination must have at least one Indian restaurant. Maps, driving directions, menu (yes the price list) and reviews must be read aloud and printed before tickets/hotel bookings are made.

7. And finally for those who want to do something really different and exotic – cruise the Caribbean island. Unlimited food is just  an added bonus!

And I do not deny it, I have done quite a few things from the list above. Do you have any more to add to the list?

Off to make a dream come true

Friday, December 19th, 2008

We are off to one of our dream destinations – Ecuador and the Galapagos. What a way to end 2008 and welcome 2009! I am sure we will have lots to see, enjoy and report back…