Sunday, December 20, 2015

Amsterdam - 2015

2015 has been an exhausting year for me. You would probably gathered that by now, given the lack of posts here. Whatever few posts I've managed have all been mostly rants. Probably the only good thing that happened this year was that in September, the husband and I managed a 12 day getaway to The Netherlands and Belgium. I was most excited about Amsterdam. I've seen so many many gorgeous pictures of those nicely lit up canals, all that hype over their "coffee shops"(weed anyone?), the famed red light area etc.

So we flew down to Paris and then took the train to Amsterdam(a good decision). We managed to revisit the Eiffel(didn't get to click pics since it was raining) but nevertheless felt so good reminscing our good times in 2012. We then took the train to the Amsterdam Centraal and it was almost 9 pm local time when we landed. We found the tram waiting outside and headed to our area(Leidsegracht). We stayed at Hotel Leidsegracht(check out the trip advisor review). Good choice. Not great but decent. The area was bustling, which I loved. Loads of eateries and of course bars. The people seemed to be having a great time, no matter what day of week it was. So so different from my good ol' Chennai. And they were the locals. Not tourists.
What we did there?
Well for starters, we did not visit the Anne Frank house! There were huge lines. Lol.
The only super touristy thing we probably did was to visit the Rijks Museum and go click pics outside the I Amsterdam sign.Spot me if you can?

 And oh. Did I tell you that Amsterdam is known as the "cycling capital of the world"? Seriously. Its truly amazing. The air that you breathe there just feels so different. Clean and fresh. And oh did I mention "weedy". Haha
But seriously, I saw bikers of all ages and sizes. They even have a separate biking lane in all the main roads. Amazing!

 I loved the colors of this bus. And in case you are wondering, no we did not use this. We are too cool that way! :D

What we did do is to take long walks in the evenings. Almost all the canals are lit up and they look absolutely stunning. Sample this - 

I mean doesn't that look so so pretty? I could just sit around and stare at it all evening long. I loved just sitting around and people watching - kids on bikes, parents and kids riding bikes together, a 70 year old granny wearing a dress and biking along, college kids smoking up the place(In case you didn't know, marijuana is legal there)... It was all there. Peaceful and serene it was.

Once we got sorta bored of the city feel, we took a day trip to a place called Zaanse Schans. It is a really pretty countryside. We took a train from Amsterdam Centraal and enjoyed the scenic beauty. The main purpose of going there was to see Amsterdam's famed wind mills!

Once we landed at the station, we took a quick 5 minute walk.


There were little shops selling loads of souvenirs. Needless to say, K went crazy!
And we couldn't resist clicking silly pics of myself.

I never thought I would say this but I actually enjoyed my visit to the Rembrandt Museum. I'm not the artsy types at all but the way the museum was set up with a fabulous audio guide which chronicles the life of the artist in such an interesting fashion, had me hooked! Please do visit!

The walk on the red light area was another different experience. Nothing wild but just different. Skimpily clad women just staring and trying to lure men. And oh, there are curtains in each room. If the curtain is drawn, apparently it means that its taken. No pictures allowed! Sorry =) 

We ate a lot of Continental European food at Amsterdam. We enjoyed delicious tomato basil soups, vegetable pastas and pizzas and had no problems whatsoever in finding good vegetarian food. And in case you are wondering, no we did not eat at any Indian restaurants :D

I've handpicked a few of K's random Amsterdam shots. I absolutely loved being here and will definitely come back!! 

Stay tuned for my posts on Antwerp and Belgium(where I talk in detail about Bruges, Ghent and of course Brussels!). 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

I'm still alive!

It has been a terrible few months. Life has been chaotic. Lots of things happening. The more I think of it, I more I start stressing out. Hence I shall let it pass. Blogging here used to help me destress. But I've decided I am not going to dwell on the things that have happened. But you probably guessed it right. Things have been really rocky in the home front. I've had to make a few important decisions. Life changing ones. Work has kept me busy. Too busy for my husband's liking. A lot of folks including my parents who I believe are my biggest strength, feel that I am not balancing work and home. They feel I am being unfair to K. Fair enough. I agree that we've had some miserable fights around it. But will things change if I quit my job? I don't know and I can't say it unless I actually do it I guess. Oh well. Its complicated. 

But. It is September. It is THAT time of year. It is time for that much awaited, much needed break. I've not had a "proper break" since probably May when we took off to Yercaud. I really need to do a post on Yercaud and especially Allepey where K got some fantastic shots! I promise I will put up the pics soon. 

But. coming back to our upcoming holiday... we are eagerly awaiting Saturday morning when we take off. The plan is to fly into Paris, took a quick tour of the Eiffel, take the train(ooh yes!) to Amsterdam, go to Antwerp, and then to Belgium where we will be traveling to Bruges(think Anushka Sharma in PK!), Ghent and of course Brussels! I absolutely cannot wait to take off. I need a break. I really do. I am sincerely hoping and praying we have a good time and more importantly that we don't fight or argue. Sigh. 

I will be back on the 22nd and I promise to spam this space with my not so great pictures, with K's amazing pictures, stories and so much more!! =) 

Friday, May 29, 2015

4 years up!

Dear Chintu,
Ok heads up - this is going to be one helluva short post,compared to Year 1 or Year 2  or Year 3 since I am sitting at work and blogging :D You may wonder if I am doing this annual posting as a ritual or a compulsion.. but the fact is I know I am a weird person who doesn't express my emotions. I rarely surprise you, I rarely make you feel special and I can't remember the last time I told you "I love you". I just do this because I want you to know there are some things that I really value and appreciate in you. And what better day to do that than our anniversary :) While I may not say it in as many words, I still love you to pieces and will continue to do so!
If there's one thing I really need in my relationship, it is space. And you give me so much of it! I make plans with colleagues, I make last minute party plans with my friends, I disappear for an entire day with my family (a jamboree as you call it)!. Although, you hate every minute of it, I don't leave you with too much choice. Like Yercaud for instance. You really didn't want me to go. But the stubborn me fought and still had my way. You just stayed at home, supervised the cook, the housekeeping and spent the weekend playing PS3. I'm really not sure how many husbands out there do that! Of course you sulked for a good 10 days after that, but I know I can make it up to you ;-) I know I am crazy but I just want to let you know how much I appreciate you giving my space and letting me breathe. Thanks!!
I absolutely loved our trips this year too - Kumbakonam was fantastic, Yercaud and Trichy were super relaxing especially in our new Vento baby.. but of course my favorite has to be Turkey... Istanbul was a dream destination and a place I really enjoyed visiting. Not once did you scrimp or crib about how much we spent on eating at those fancy places or shopping at the Grand Bazaar. A big thank you!!
Next up my work - Argh. I know you absolutely hate it. I know you've made it clear you want me to quit. Again my stubbornness comes into play. Gosh I really don't know how you deal with it. There are so many days when I just leave you to yourself... I just text you about dinner, where it is kept etc and I just continue working. So many men in my office are amazed at how you put up with this but I just shrug it off.. Honestly, not much I can do. But I solemnly swear to make more time for you this year.. I promise you I won't unnecessarily stay back or take calls really late or check emails in the middle of the night! Again, thanks for putting up with this nonsense!!
Of course all these seem small when compared to how well you took care of me when I was really sick in May. You know what I am referring to. And believe me, I was amazed. I always knew you are caring but that was mind blowing. I saw a very different side of you and it just moves me to tears every time I think of it. How incredibly lucky am I? Ok I shall stop the mush now.
But you get the drift right? ;-) I love you and I will always be thankful to have you around not just as a husband but as a friend - my BFF! :D
Leaving you with one of the cutest selfies of us, taken this year - pic taken outside a pretty church in Izmir.
Happy 4th anniversary, Chintu!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Speaking my heart out

There are days(actually plenty of them!) where I feel like I don't know my husband at all. I mean, I don't understand him or his behavior patterns. Long before we were to be married, K always used to tell me that he wasn't sure if our marriage would work out given our extremely different personalities, interests etc. He often used to tell me this line "I'm a very difficult person to live with, I'm not sure if you will be able to handle me. I suggest you rethink this entire idea of getting married to me".
Almost 4 years later, I'm sitting here thinking how true this is. Not the rethinking part. But the part about me not being able to handle him. I swear there are days when I feel he is a complete stranger. I was talking to M, my bestie and she said that there was a possibility of me not offering him "companionship". I think what she meant was he wasn't sure if talking to me would make him feel better on those days when he was upset. But my point is out of the 365 days, he will be grumpy on 360 of them - the exceptions being our birthdays, our anniversary and maybe 1 or 2 other days. I'm perfectly serious.
I really don't understand how to put up with such an unhappy person. Best part is I don't know why he is unhappy or upset. And that probably makes me sound like a horrible wife. But in my defense, the guy has never opened up to me or talked his heart out. He has very few friends whom he hangs out with and he probably uses that time to speak. I know he has been extremely upset with my work timings. I come home late. Very late on certain days. I'm doing my absolute best to balance it out. But there are bad days at work too. Where I've to literally wait until my bosses come, talk to them, sort issues out and then head home to a grumpy person. Not like when I come home early, he makes any conversation. Nope. He has never been a conversationalist. We just read or watch tv, have dinner and sleep early. Now I probably make us sound like we are the most boring couple on planet earth. It is a possibility; however, we do take breaks whenever possible. And that's one thing we both enjoy. We recently drove to Yercaud, it was so calming and stress free. We had a wonderful holiday. So we do have our good days; but as I mentioned earlier, it is 5 to 10 days in a year.
All these years, I've not reacted. Whenever we fight, it is mostly I who makes up. I don't know why. He throws that kind of guilt at me. He makes me feel like every single thing that I do is a mistake. He sulks so much, throws tantrums. Yet I've been so patient. I've accepted him for the kind of person he is. I've still managed to keep going, despite him being extremely difficult and unreasonable. But tonight, I am so miserable. I don't think I can go on like this. I can understand if a person has a genuine reason to be pissed. But I'm miserable because I don't know what mistake I have done for him to be pissed. Looks like in our case, there's no need of a reason. We are just that kinda couple. Call us incompatible or imperfect or boring or mismatched. I'm in no mood to make up or try and reason out with him. I want to see how long he can go on this way. If he is perfectly capable of being this way - where we don't even acknowledge each others' presence, where we don't speak a word and mostly converse via email or texts, then I'm also capable of ignoring him and his annoying behavior. In short, I'm going to rebel! A perfect anniversary month! Phew.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Aloha 2015!

Happy New Year my lovelies! I've been enjoying the glorious weather in Chennai, I've been busy partying with friends, colleagues and K's friends. K has been traveling quite a bit since December and I got a much needed respite from the cooking! His best friend, AP and his family had come down from Canada in December and I got to meet all of them for the first time. AP is a real sweetheart, his wife Soo is super fun and they have 2 adorable kids. K and AP took off on a trip to Valparai for a few days while I went and stayed with Amma. Oh man. It was so amazing. I woke up late, I kept eating and I did everything I wanted to do - I read, I read, and I read...I listened to music, I spent time with my grand mom and grand pa,  I watched nonsensical Tamil films, I played with my little cousin, I caught up with friends.. In short, I relaxed! I realized that vacations needn't necessarily mean going to exotic places... Just packing your bags and going to Mom's place is more than enough to recharge :)))
On New Year's eve, I partied with my colleagues. We danced the night away, was super fun! Glad I have some fun people to hang out with at work.
Life is slowly coming back to normal now(a phase that I hate). Work is getting busy and just when I am getting grumpy about the ending holiday season, I realize it is January & Pongal holidays are around the corner. Jan 26th is Republic Day  which is again a long weekend. K & I may do a road trip somewhere close to Chennai. Looking forward to all these extended breaks :)
Edited to add : While K was away, my actual self came out a little. I came from work and threw my bag in one corner, carelessly threw my keys in another random corner, walked all around the house with my shoes not worrying about the mud and the dust, slept on K's side of the bed and kept reading through the night, eating chips and spilling them all over the bed, didn't wake up before 8 am, didn't step into the kitchen(I'm pretty sure I've mentioned this before, but I'm saying it again because its a a big deal!),  didn't do any washing or folding clothes.. Gosh I think I could go on and on and on. Phew. So basically I had a fabulous time while K was gone. My darling K - I hope you are reading this and I hope you go on a trip again real soon :))))