Monday, December 12, 2005

Of Tubes, Tabloids and Christmas Lunches.

The London Underground or "The Tube" as it is popularly called is one of the best, if not the best example of the great things that we humans are capable of. It is a public transport system which carries over 2.7 million passengers a day !!! Most of it is automated, which means if you want to catch a train to victoria at 08:37, the train will be there at 08:37:00. no less, no more.

More than anything, the swiftness & efficiency with which the system operates simply blew me away. We Indians would use the term "phata-phat" to describe this!
It usually doesn't take you more than 10-15 mins to reach anywhere in prime london area using the tube. Here are some stats of the LU.
Y'know, one by one... I'm beginning to see the reasons why UK is called a "developed" nation.

Change of subject> Tabloids.
Okay, here's the thing that beats logic. I go to watch Harry Potter and they flash the "12A" rating on the screen atleast 3 times before the movie making it clear that some scenes may contain "fantasy" which is "unsuitable for younger viewers". Okay. I get it. You guys are very concerned about what your kids see. Good.
Next morning, I walk into a departmental store. At the entrance, there's a full stand of magazines and tabloids containing... "topless" pics of some women... on the COVER.
The Sun says "Page 3: Lesbian Girls bare it all".
Well... what if a mom walks in with a couple of young kids? what is she supposed to say? "You boys stand outside while I buy some milk"???
And its there everywhere... railway stations, malls, supermarkets, u name it. And I've seen thousands of parents with their kids at all these places.
But hey, don't blame the tabloids.. what are they supposed to to? Put an "18 only" stamp on each picture.. that would probably block all the stuff they want to show!
Y'know, one by one by one... I'm beginning to see the reasons why UK is called a "developed" nation.

Topic Change> Christmas Lunches
I had 2 extremely different christmas lunches in the space of a week. One of them was an official lunch party organised at a roof garden at kensington high street in london. It was a theme party and the theme was "1920's Gangsters & their molls" !
You know, these theme parties are a big thing here.. people go to great lengths in order to make the best impression at the party. The food was very average.. but I heard people telling me that the non-veg option was much better... well, not much of use to a veggie like me.

It is quite common here for people to drink like crazy during these parties. After the lunch, there was a mini disco-thingy.. which was empty until they started playing the latest Madonna, which rocked the hell outta most people, including me.
We had to have a burger at McD to feel alive after that so called "meal"... man! how these people survive here after eating so little still beats me.

The second lunch I had was at our VP's home near Southhampton. It was a beautiful experience.
Picture this: 1.3 acres of "landscaped" land in the countryside. A luxurious house. Scenic views from the windows. Nearest neighbour: about 100 feet away. I found it incredibly romantic!! Only wished "someone" was with me.. *sigh*
They had these 2 cats (Cats are the most common pets in UK). One of them was so adorable..all of us just loved playing with it.

Lunch time...They treated us to a typical English Christmas Lunch, which was quite interesting and surprisingly tasty too. They'd even cared enough to prepare separate vegetarian dishes for us, which we really appreciated. Then they told us about all these silly christmas traditions, like crackers, silly hats,etc... They also made us go through some of them, which was so much fun. It was quite a memorable experience, I'd say.
On the way back, I tried to imagine how it would be to have a party at a location like that... dancing with "someone"... to Madonna, of course..

Y'know... one... by.... one...reasons....

Currently Listening to: Rang De Basanti - Rang De Basanti

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