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foodie foodie

USA provides a wide variety of cuisines which are quite interesting. Its a home to varied cultures who have preserved their cultural tastes (or so we think they have) atleast at some authentic restaurants (or atleast we think they are authentic). Staying here and having some foodie friends has led me to explore some quite interesting cuisines.

The Ethiopian cuisine - The nature of the food is quite Indian. The idea is to have roti and sabji. Except the roti is a really really big one spread on a big plate, with the vegetables on it. As per the ethiopian culture, everyone present at the table have to eat from a large bowl or plate placed at the centre of the table. So they don't provide you with side plates (unless you ask for them) and they have bharatiya baithak, you sit on the ground and have a low-lying table infront of you where the food is kept.

Image:Alicha 1.jpg

Mexican cuisine - the most popular mexican dish (which I don't think is quite authentically made here) is the burrito. A tortilla wrap with rice, beans, veggies, salsa and guacamole. The most authentic feature of mexican food is the guacamole, guac for short. Made from the squash of the vegetable avocado, its quite a healthy and tasty spread/sauce/taste adder to food. The specialty drink is ofcourse margaritas.  

Image:El tango guacamole.jpg

Thai cuisine - the most important ingredients of thai cuisine are coconuts and peanuts. Interestingly they also use bamboo shoots in their curries (from the perspective of a vegetarian ofcourse). The most common favourite dish is the pad thai and the most lovable drink one can order is coconut juice (nariyal paani with malai) or thai iced tea. Thai iced tea is a recommendation for all those who haven't tried it :)

Image:Pad thai.jpg 

Spanish Cuisine - The most famous spanish dish is tapas which is a variety of appetizers to be had with drinks. Tapas are small pieces of appetizers (like aloo tikki, pakode, etc.). The idea is to have one tapa with one drink. So the purpose is to just relax with lots of drinks and small bites of really tasty tapas. The specialty drink with this is ofcourse wine. I tried it with a spanish local wine (which was really nice).

Image:Croquettes with salad.jpg
 

Work

We know that with regards to work everything can be done at the last moment. If you have to do some research before the qualifier exam, all you have to do is spend a sleepless month. Sometimes I wonder why do we work in this fashion. Its always possible to avoid those sleepless nights. Though I think those sleepless nights  provide you the kick you need for working. So all you have to do is, enjoy for a long time, choose a deadline and then work your ass off to meet the deadline. You will get high on work and be happy about it :)

Updates

Another Updates blog...

Shopping: My room-mate calls me a compulsive shopper. Yeah we have been crazy enough to go and shop for 100 bucks to get the 25 bucks discount on our shopping. Its funny how discounts work. The fact that you have a discount coupon only makes you want to go and spend  money so that you get the discount! I have not even got down to calculate how much I spent shopping this summer. My guess is over 300 bucks ( this includes some shopping for the home visit). Hmm...

Research: Given that I have less than 2 weeks left before I go home and loads of work to finish and that I always end up doing timepass for most of the time, I sense it's going to be a bad august.

Conference: My first conference visit is on the cards. I'm going to be in Toronto for a week for a conference. Conferences are cool, paid sight-seeing trips as I would call them :)

Other timepass: Cooking everyday (well almost) and for people at times, watching movies most nights, a baseball game this weekend, a play last weekend, etc etc etc. Well I hardly stop doing timepass...

Book: Lost my copy of Picture of Dorian Grey, hence had to stop that one :( Currently reading Midnight's Children. I'm starting to get there!

2 weeks from now: I shall be home enjoying the marriage preps and the marriage!! \:D/

Weekends

The last 2 weekends have been fun.  Though I wanted to take just one of them off, I don't regret taking both off :)

Weekend 1 : Gayatri's place holiday. Any person who would see Gayatri and me thogether would doubt us to be Lesbians. Walking arm in arm, kissing often (on the cheek), hugging, etc etc. But who cares :P There is always this stuff that I do only with Gayatri around and vice versa. This also includes meaningless shopping. Its the most relaxing thing to do to just be with her. Now that I have discovered that she lives at a bombay-pune distance and the bus journey is quite relaxed and non-boring, I think she is going to see more of me, and I of her :)

Weekend 2: Camping (which means sleeping in a tent, having a bon-fire at night and playing cards when free) and Cedar point amusement park. These were the highlights of the trip. Though I decided to skip most of the tall and scary rides, the park was fun. we were there for 12 hours and weren't bored. Thats amazing!

Next weekend is booked for a pancakes brunch on sunday at Pamela's. Anybody interested in joining? Swapnil is driving us there!

:)

Yesterday was a good day for me. We went for the regular social dance for the weekend. This one was a special social dance which had some raphel tickets. So there were 2 prizes, a pot of flowers (I'm not sure what special kind of flowers they were) and a voucher of $250 which allows you to take 3 personal lessons from the best dance teacher in pittsburgh! As luck would have it, we won the voucher for the dance classes! I'm not sure how much this is going to improve my dance, but it surely is going to be fun!

Its been raining cats and dogs today in pittsburgh. I miss b'bay!

With or without you loops - I can't live with or without you...

Movie Time

My urge to watch Harrry Potter online led me to find this site http://davidmovie.com This is a decent place to watch movies online. Atleast it serves as a good timepass for me. Some movies I saw recently and feel like writing about:

Monty Python: As many of you already know, its one of the best comedies around. I really loved it. The plan is to watch the entire series, asap.

Charlie Wilson's War: This movie talks about the role of a congressman in US who helps bring an end to the Russia-Afghanistan war. Its interesting to watch the way this congressman (Tom Hanks) handles the situation, ofcourse with the help of some real good helpers he has around. The more interesting part is the end of the movie. The quote says "It was a miracle it all happened, ... we fucked it up in the end". This comes from the fact that he manages to raise a budget of 1 billion dollars for the war, but fails to convince the government to grant 1 million dollars for starting schools and rehabilitation centers for the people who suffered. I'd say a one time watch atleast.

Hazaron Khwaishein Aisi: It talks about the India at the time of Indira Gandhi. Its a decent movie, though it fails to bring out a positive sentiment. Its more like an account of the lives of 3 people. Probably its interesting to watch it from the point of view of human psychology of the three people.

Ice Princess: Its not a movie of consequence. I like it because it has some nice figure-skating stunts. I like the idea of applying physics to improve your figure skating (its a very commonly used thing, conservation of angular momentum etc.). It does excite me to learn figure skating though (yeah don't start commenting on my figure, I'm working on it!)

Updates

1. Courses: Have been good till date. Of the 3 courses I have taken, 2 are going pretty good. One is going really bad. Its just that I have not been able to put across a point in that course properly I guess. But grades have started mattering less and less. So its all cool :) Oh its nice to be flattered when one of the profs does come and say, great job :)

2. Research: It would be great if my research sees the light of the day in the next month or so.  I have been extremely uncaring for research work and that is going to be rather painful, given that I plan a trip back home in july and quals are in august :(

3. Dating: Though that does take up most of my time, as expected, it is quite enjoyable. Have been really spending a fortune on the lunches and dinners everyday (yeah we are both very foodie). Hopefully with the presence of my cousin for a month, I'll atleast stop eating out :P

4. My leg: As I mentioned earlier, I hurt my leg while skiing. Though it has been better, I don't see how its going to be perfect in the next 1-2 weeks! I'm tired of all the "no dance", "no gym" , "no walking too much" part of my life. Need a break now from this!

5. Spring break: As I now see, spring break is a much needed thing in the life of a graduate student. With the amount of work just piling up and the forecast of work piling up more and more in the second half of the sem, this is indeed a much needed break! Enjoying it :)

6. Harry potter: 7th book is sitting on my table, half finished. This week is surely going to see the end of the potter series.

Life is rocking, well pretty much :)

Proof

Today we watched this play "Proof" written by David Auburn. There is something highly touching when a play talks about mathematics, mathematicians or simply the fact that people can be really really crazy about mathematics.

The story is very regular, but what gives it the effect is the acting, the screenplay, the amazing dialogues and the direction. Saw some of the best things in action today and after ages got a high on a play :)

Skiing down the slope

Yesterday was a fun day.. well in a way :)

We had a ski trip and I was to try my hands (rather feet) for the first time at skiing.

So as it started off, I fell 3 times in the first 15 mins causing inconvinience to a bunch of people. And just when I thought I had got a hang of what skiing is all about and was in good speed down the slope, I decided to stop. Unfortunately the stop was not the most comfortable one. I ended up tumbling down a little and hurting my knee, which barred me from skiing anymore :( 


Though it wasn't too bad to get to the bottom of the slope on a sledge, I guess that was the most fun ride ever :P

So only grudge is I have a dance class on monday and I wish to dance!

Skiing will recieve another chance to prove itself, though not this season I guess.

of boots and clothes and ...

So another weekend shopping, The idea was to buy a pair of shoes for my friend, repair my pair of shoes and buy a swimming costume. Instead the result was 2 new pairs of shoes, a new sweater, a new skirt and a top, and a new ballroom dress worth $130/-

The first person I thought of when I bought the shoes was amrita, yeah I remembered the black friday post :P

Even with loads of money lost on a not-so-memorable trip a few months back that has left me bankrupt, I somehow don't seem to stop shopping! I guess shopping is just another way to get high :P

Luckily I don't seem to be regretting my shopping ever, haven't yet bought any useless stuff. Just hoping to get into shape for the $130 investment soon :P