Sunday, February 25, 2007

A girl's best friend(s)...

My ex-flatmates from when I lived in Valencia came to Madrid this weekend to see me, and hit the gay party scene. Of course I was going to be part of it, there was no question.
NB: We are talking about gay men. Lesbians are not in the picture.

I go to pick them up at Zara. Of course they are already shopping.

One of them was wearing a black suade coat, suade trousers, pointy leather shoes and a scarf around his neck. The other was in his ripped Armani jeans, silver shoes and cool denim jacket. They would classify as pretty 'happening' should I have been a man on the pull!

'Oh darling there you are! how are you gorgeous girl?' they say, and run to give me the biggest bear hugs. They clutch me from either side and we begin striding down Gran Via.

'So how are things? how is Madrid? how many boys have you taken home so far? Look at the clothes we just bought!'

I so felt like Carrie Bradshaw walking down 5th Avenue gigling with Stanford (in my case Stanford x 2).

I love having conversations with these friends of mine. They are the most open minded people to speak to. You can talk about the silliest, strangest or dirtiest thing to them like you were talking about the weather. It's awesome.

So after our chat and gossip about everything in-around-and-about Valencia and Madrid, we go to Chueca for a few copas.

Chueca, as you may have guessed, is THE gay barrio in the centre of Madrid. And it was rocking. Heaving with men from all walks of life, from all over the world, wearing all sorts of things, in the street with litres of alcohol. Talking, smoking, kissing, pinching asses, or merely checking out asses they would like to pinch.

And then there was me.

A 27 year-old Indian girl checking out unavailable guys with her gay friends. There was something very surreal and liberating about it.

We hit a club. Not a gay club, but it could have been. There must have been about 400 people in there - 5 of whom were women. There was a even line outside the men's bathroom! I have never seen that in a club.

We rocked to the tunes of George Michael and Boy George - there were some super dancers.

It wasn't long before I got noticed and got hit on in the nicest and weirdest ways ever.

"Oh look! When I see such gorgeous girls, I get confused about my sexuality."

"You dance really well. Can we dance? don't worry I'm gay. And smell my dreads, they don't stink!"

"Darling are you lost? come let daddy show you the way." [huh?]

"Get off the phone! If he is a guy, and he is not here - forget about him". [ I didn't quite get that one either].

Anyway...super night. Great music. Great dancing. Great conversation (love, sex, lovers, prostitutes, balls and underwear). Lot's of alcohol. And a piggy back home.

Thursday, February 22, 2007


A new friend of mine, who actually found me through Gridskipper, and moved to Valencia, and just happens to being living in what used to me my room (!!!) has got together with some amigos and recently launched this kick-ass blog called Globorati.

It focusses on giving you the latest luxury travel news, offers, openings, from across the globe, with a different spin. There are a million travel blogs/information providers out there - so it's hard to stand out. This one does. Do check it out when you can.

PS: Yes, the world is a tissue.

English Grammar

Not only is the TEFL course I am doing widening my horizons, but it is also revealing a world of English Grammar I did not know existed.

- Appositives
- Interjections
- Nominative Objects
- Modal Verbs
- Modal Auxillary Verbs
- Transitive Verbs
- Modifiers
- Contractions
- Quantifiers


And those are just some that I can remember.

The thing is, we use all this shit when we speak, we just don't know what it is. I have some serious grammar reading to do. *sigh*

Thursday, February 15, 2007


So today in my TEFL class, we were asked to rename our classmates. An exercise which will be used later to teach us how to remember names of our students. Anyway, we all had to come up with names and then there would be a deciding vote.

Now, one of my classmates gave me the nick name Hannibal. HANNIBAL.

What I am a serial-killer-human-flesh-eater now? When I (jovially) confronted him for an explanation, he said - noooo not Hannibal Lecter, the A-Team ball-crusher Hannibal. WHAT?

What sort of vibes have I been radiating in my class!? Although, sure - I hope - it was in good humour, but I have to say I was offended. I have never had a decent conversation with anyone in my group, let alone a brawl or anything fatal. Why in the world did HANNIBAL come up!? and why did the rest find that funny!?

If they hated me that much, they could have given me a mean woman name, like Cat Woman or something stupid like Olive Oyl from Popeye. But HANNIBAL!?

Thank goodness that name didn't get the majority vote. I would have cried.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The sweet agony of travel journalism

It is not my story to tell, but it is Frank J Peter's - editor-in-chief of travel portal (Condé Nast Traveler Online). It is rare to find stories that cut out the crap and give you a real peak into something that is otherwise over-glorified - in this case travel journalism - so when you do, it's a must read.

My latest post at Written Road highlights this recently appeared article, check it out here.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

To many things, too little time

Between 6 hours of TEFL everyday, TEFL homework, looking for an apartment, trying to keep up writing for the websites I write for, and falling sick, my two favourite things: blogging and dancing have taken a back seat. Forget about other things like reading, Spanish, watching movies, checking out the city and eating tapas. Just can't keep up with the million things I need to do, or get done. Bad excuses, right? yeah I think so too. Need to get some serious time-management into gear.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Little eccentricities of the day

- It's my birthday today, and the first Happy Birthday sms I receive is from Bancaja - my bank in Spain.

- The American founder and owner of the TEFL school I am going to speaks 5 languages fluently and is writing a book on Sai Baba.

- I heard this horrible story of a Japanese student being killed abroad because of language miscommunication. The 16 year old boy dressed for Halloween turned up at the wrong house and was shot by the owner for not understanding what was meant by 'freeze'. After this incident, Harvard made all their international students do a course in American slang - one of the teachers of this course is in my class.

- I met a 91-year old grandmother on the tube who told me all about her husband who had many lovers. She thinks (hopes rather) it is what killed him 20 years ago.

- I had a tuna, walnut and wine sandwich for lunch. Ugh.

- I went to the ham museum (more on that later).

Living abroad is great.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Magic Monday in Madrid

I think it's a mistake to come to a new place on a Friday night. You have no one to go out with over the weekend (sitting in bar on your own your first day can be depressing), and nor can you get anything done since everything is closed. So you land up in your room wailing and whining to yourself about how you miss home and asking yourself why do you keep uprooting your life? What was the point of coming here anyway? (only when you are missionless like me, of course :)

All that takes a 180 degree flip come Monday morning. The city is hustling and bustling. All of a sudden you have a million things to do. Went to the school where I will be doing my TEFL, got my schedule, met some nice people, opened a bank account, booked some appointments to see apartments, visited the police station for details on my residency, and checked out some cool barrios. It's like this Monday morning gave me purpose, kept me busy and made me realise that I live here now - so I have half a smile on my face, just the reassurance I needed. Yes, I know I am a bit dramatic at times. Yes dad you were right. You always are.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

In Madrid

Arrived last night after a sleepless 16 hours of traveling and my heart in my mouth. For the first time I have landed in a foreign land, and it hasn´t felt right. I find that weird since I was so ready to get on that plane. It´s like I´m in Spain so I should be in Valencia, but I am not. I am lost and alone in a big city with no solid purpose other than to live abroad, be fluent in Spanish and write. But that was an informed choice. Didn´t quite feel this way last time though.

I opened my suitcase this morning and smelt home. All my clothes washed with Persil and my mum´s favourite Baby Softner. Perhaps all of a sudden I am overcome with the need to belong somewhere. Something that is not going to happen for the next few years. Guess all will be fine once I start going to school and find an apartment. It´s just the initial drama that comes with moving.

Read this on one of my reader´s blogs this morning and it couldn´t describe how I feel better:
´I have become a strange mixture of East and West. Out of place everywhere, at home nowhere.´-Jawaharlal Nehru.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Adios Dubai: Part 2

Am off to Madrid tomorrow morning. This time it's Madrid, not Valencia because it's a bigger city with more opportunities, and it is international yet thoroughly Spanish. The plan is to get certified in Spanish (DELE), travel and write; and well, some income would be a good idea so will teach English...after learning how to teach English (TEFL) of course.

Since I am changing city, I will be starting off from zero again. Although I have a huge knot in my stomach, that is what I find exciting, so it's all cool.

'Abha you have been to Spain once, you had a blast for 6 months, what are you going back for?' is the question that I have been asked a million times over the last month. Honestly, I have no solid answer. I am still as lost as ever, scavenging for direction.

I read this line the other day (cannot remember where) and it brought to me the biggest smile:
If you don't know where you are going, you can never get lost :)

All I know is that I am doing this because I enjoy it and can afford to do it. And yes, I secretly hope it will help me figure out what I want to do with myself. But who knows.

The only thing that hurts when I move is goodbye hugs to family - always dramatic in my house, so tears are guaranteed. Sometimes I think we are too close for our own good. But then again, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Close friends I don't say goodbye to. I stick to 'see you later aligator', and it's way easier. And I truly believe that those people who want to stay in your life, will, no matter where you are. Thanks to the Internet, there is really no excuse.

I will arrive late tomorrow night and my cousin brother has some friends in the capital who have been kind enough to let me bunk with them until I find my own place.

I need to sort out my paper work once I get there, but assuming that all goes well, the plan is to be there for a year.

How will this year help me later? Don't know, don't care.

Whatever happens, if nothing else I will have some good stories to blog about :)

Am flying Qatar Airways. This will be my first time on a Gulf airline. No, 10 years in Dubai and I have never traveled Emirates.

Hasta pronto chicos, do stay tuned.
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