My First Trip to Croatia – 1


Last Dec, I went to Croatia for the very first time to meet Uncle’s family and friends. We had a an awesome time though a bit tightly packed meeting so many people ūüėČ

We stayed in the capital city – Zagreb for 2-3 days when we landed and 2 more days on our way back.

I walked a lot around residential areas, downtown, the Advent markets, the vegetable markets,¬†Museum of broken relationships and¬†St. Mark’s Square.

My observations about Zagreb

Note: My comparison points for cities are here  in south east Asia and USA.

  • It is an interesting place and reminded me of Seattle in terms of weather though the buildings are older.
  • The weather is continental and overall looks grey.
  • We took the tram and felt the tickets were quite expensive for the cost of living if one buys on a per trip basis.
  • Timberland is officially the most popular winter boots in Zagreb because I saw them everywhere.
  • People wear mostly dark colours.
  • People love to walk outdoors even if it cold.
  • There are sensor lights everywhere- in private apartments, malls, toilets of cafes which made my environment friendly heart¬†very happy.
  • One of the cab services was quick, easy and effortless to book a cab and with fast service.
  • I loved the spinach burek from Mlinar. It is a puff pastry filled with spinach and cheese and is vegetarian.
Spinach Burek
Spinach Burek
  • Bread lovers rejoice. There is a bakery around every corner.
  • Everywhere I go, I spend a lot of time in the supermarkets checking out local stuff and if I can find stuff I use. If ¬†you are like me, go to Super Konzum¬†who seem to have everything. Yes, I spent 3 hours there.
  • The malls are not crowded. That was so surprising to me because I rarely come across a relatively empty mall here. Never even on a weekday.
  • It is quite a homogenous place. I¬†kept my eyes peeled for foreigners or non whites¬†and I saw very few – only 1 family with the woman wearing a head scarf and maybe 3 sets of Asian tourists and maybe 1-2 expats.
  • Nobody stated at me though. I get more stares here ha ha.
  • The women are overall quite pretty though Uncle claims that this is because a lot of them are from Split, Croatia.
  • Most of the women seem to be in the healthy weight range – not too skinny & tiny like here or swinging to another extreme.
  • One cool thing I observed was the dearth of fast food chains like Mac D, KFC. Here, every mall has all of them and there are there near every train stop and they are all always full ¬†or have a lot of people irrespective of the time of day or night [Yes, I checked for crowds from times ranging from 7 AM to 3 AM]. I barely managed to see 1 KFC and 1 Mac D as we drove by and it clearly was not popular.

I experienced proper snow (tangible something I could walk in and make snow balls with) in Zagreb on the last day of our trip. Snow is beautiful when you look out of the window and you are inside warm and cozy. One would need waterproof pants and jacket for playing in the snow. Snow seems inconvenient for driving, roads etc.

Some photos

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It is one of the best Chevaps in town and it is downtown. Vegetarians get to eat cabbage pie ūüôā The restaurant was in a charming old building ‘s cellar.

We went to a cafe downtown called Millennium after this.

Millenium cafe bill

 

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The funicular to go up to St Mark’s Square

 

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The snow started like this

 

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and then it was like this!

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At the airport on my way back

Will you refuse to date someone who sends you this SMS?


I read Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari and liked the book overall. I love reading books on talking about modern social issues and those that are easy reads not boring textbook like.

However, I just could not wrap my head around the situation described in p42-44. He is talking about the importance of sending the proper SMS which would determine if someone would go out on a date with you. The example he uses is below –

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Modern Romance SMS

I really saw nothing wrong with this text. The guy was not a creeper, did not send an inappropriate message (like the sexual kind), introduced himself, clarified how he got her number, established a common friend connection (safer and kind of trustworthy) and seemed overall nice. 

Another point to note is that Rachel and Will met in person before this SMS at a wedding. In today’s world of flakiness and no replies, anybody making an effort to find out your number and not creeping you out is a great.

However, the young people including the author disagreed. Maybe, it was author’s license but I could not believe the entire audience of 3600 &¬†Rachel was put off by 1 word – ‘texty’.

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Give the guy a break. Writing off someone because of 1 freaking word and it was not even creepy.

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Another thing they didn’t approve of was ‘toooooootally’ & ‘ Feliz cumpleanos’.

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I absolutely disagreed with this opinion and wondered why Rachel had refused to date him.  I asked Uncle what he thought and he could not believe that someone would be rejected for that. He could easily see himself writing such an SMS.

I felt that it was ridiculous that people are rejected on such a frivolous basis and it seems so shallow.

This is acceptable if you are 16 years old but not when you are 25.¬†I wish the author had put in Rachel’s age because that would definitely give me a perspective on the behaviour. If someone is 30 years old and rejects guys based on this, it is pretty obvious why they will not be going out on dates or be in a healthy relationship¬†anytime soon.

The guy is expected to make the first move and if they are rejected for stuff like this, I do not think we can complain when guys copy paste the same message for all girls on online dating sites because that clearly seems to be more efficient.

What do you think?

News: Intolerantly Tolerant India


I was blissfully ignoring useless news like outrage over Bollywood actors’ comments and stuff like that until some popped up in my timeline.

Comments on how Aamir Khan should go back to Pakistan, how he could make movies like PK, he can never do those things in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, how tolerant ¬†India is, how our constitution guarantees secularism ‘unlike other countries’ etc.

My views:

  1. What an intolerant reaction to his comments proving that we are indeed intolerant!
  2. Anytime someone criticizes India, why do we jump to compare ourselves with (non democratic) countries like Pakistan or Saudi? There are over 190 countries in the world and we cherry pick the most intolerant countries and compare ourselves to them and make ourselves feel better. Why doesn’t anybody pick other countries like Switzerland/Sweden to compare to? Because it makes us feel better comparing ourselves to the lowest ranking countries than the 150¬†who are ahead of us?
  3. Another standard argument is claiming India was so ‘insert any nice adjective’¬†according to our scriptures 2000 years ago as if that negates the need for improvement now. It does not matter how great things were 2000 years ago, what matter is the situation now and how we can improve it today. There is nothing wrong in being proud of our past but that should not stop us from progressing in the present.
  4. Stating what is granted in our constitution is futile. We have many things but a lot of it is not implemented. How swift is our action against racial/religious crimes? 
  5. I just did not get the idiots who were wasting their time gathering outside Aamir Khan’s house protesting. People hang outside to get a glimpse of all the actors when somebody goes to jail (for like 2 days) for potential hit and run and not protest but protest when people express their views. I feel this kind of joblessness is one of the reasons our country hasn’t progressed.
  6. Now people are sharing posts on why they will boycott brands endorsed by Aamir and Shahrukh because of their statements because they insulted India. How come nobody boycotts brands endorsed by Salman by the same token? So what do support when you buy brands endorsed by Salman? Hit and run? A justice system than bends for movie stars and gives them bail super fast?

Note: Gross generalization ahead but there is plenty of at least some truth in it.

It is the same all over Asia. From this end to the other. From personal relationships to nations. We just cannot accept honest criticism.

  1. We prefer brushing things under the carpet.
  2. We take offense and take is personally without really reflecting when anybody criticizes us. Worse if the said person is an outsider.
  3. We take a worse offender as an example, compare ourselves to them and feel superior.
  4. We cannot accept the truth about ourselves. 

How can anything/anyone improve until they can objectively look at their flaws and work on them.  

Admitting that there is a problem is the first step to solving it. 

Can Foreigners Wear Indian Accessories?


I saw this post on FB today by a second generation Indian blogger on the meaning of different Indian accessories and why foreigners should NOT wear them. Some of the statements in the post really irritated me. 

Here are some of the offensive statements screenshots:Screen Shot 2015-11-12 at 10.28.50 pm

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And when I pointed out why  I disagreed with this article, she deleted my comment and blocked me from commenting.  I am really disappointed that some bloggers are so shallow and narrow minded. 

Firstly, who is she to tell people what they can wear and when they can wear it? 

Secondly, most Indians don’t know the reasons including all the aunties and grandmas. When asked why, they simply tell you to do it because ‘we must do it.’ Everybody just blindly follows. So, one need not take up this holier than thou attitude on why so many Indian traditions and accessories have such a deep meaning and it is offensive when people wear it without understanding ¬†its significance because by that token, 90% of Indians themselves cannot wear it!

Thirdly, many Indians themselves do not follow the narrow usage and definitions she indicates. I know unmarried girls who wear toe rings. So, I do not qualify wearing a toe ring because I am not married to a south Asian and I am an Indian ha ha. That really was enlightening.

Fourthly, culture is never rigid. It is constantly changing and evolving. Many Indians settled abroad seem to be stuck in some time capsule from the time they left India while India has moved on.

Fifthly, really who finds it offensive when foreigners wear Indian stuff? None of my friends do.

Lastly, we have borrowed and Indianised (yes, there is such a term and I will use it though she finds it offensive) so many things, why should we be offended if people borrow our stuff as long as they give the original author/culture the credit? I mean imagine a life without gobi manchuria because it is cultural appropriation and offensive to some Asians! 

Dear western ladies – Meanwhile wear whatever you please.

I¬†have had enough of Asians¬†making one¬†feel that one is wrong for not being from their cultures. Offended? No problem,¬†just hide behind the complex “you do not understand my culture and you crossed some invisible¬†unsaid line and ¬†I will harass you for it using culture because you are a foreigner and you do¬†not know my culture” argument. People do it to me and I see people do it to foreigners.

Fume in your righteous Indian indignation all you want while I go eat my manchuria ūüėÄ

Edited to add:

  1. Blocking and deleting every single disagreement on FB and posting only status updates without the whole argument is not cool. I have learnt not to trust FB pages and their updates because it is so convenient to delete anybody who disagrees with you and state that people are ‘misunderstanding’ you.
  2. I do not buy the argument that NRIs have experienced racism while 1st generation Indians just don’t get it. Well, technically I am a NRI for a full 6 years and I have written several times about racism. I definitely do not want to be patronized like I do not know what racism is and how south Asians are treated abroad.
  3. “But when you jump the gun and think I am being antagonistic, remember who you are speaking with. You know me….Do you really think that’s where I am coming from?” – ¬†Somebody who deletes the other side of argument. How can people get the complete picture when all dissent is silenced?
  4. The article does not state “What not to wear for Halloween”. It mentions a specific incident ¬†and goes on to preach what foreigners can and cannot wear. If someone dresses like the devil and wears bindis and says “Hey! I wore the bindi because I think Indians are devils” I would call that racist. Other than that, not like we own Indian culture just like the west does not own dresses and shirts.
  5. “if it is a part of your culture, who am I to tell you not to wear it?” –¬†Who says you can wear stuff only from your culture. So, basically I am supposed to give up naans, kebabs and manchuria because it is not a part of my culture but what we borrowed and adapted from others?

FB comment

Some thoughts..


1. Ask married women where they are the most relaxed and comfortable and they often say at their parent’s house, especially those who live with their in-laws. They can get up when they want, do what they want, have good food and generally relax. Why is it normal that married women who spend the majority of their lives with their spouses are more relaxed and comfortable in their parent’s houses which they visit once in a blue moon? Does it mean that most women spend their lives feeling uncomfortable restricted in terms of clothing and their daily routines being determined by others? [That was rhetorical]. It is not even fair and I don’t get why people defend this hmph.

2. My colleague told me she was upset because her dad told her she was fat.  She is skinnier than me and cannot weigh more than 48kg. Skinny Asian (east) women seem to spend their entire life complaining that they are fat and they have men who keep telling them that they are fat when they weigh 45kg or less. Every adult woman is supposed to weigh kg or less or what? To hell with it.

On Blackhat


I watched Blackhat the other day.

In one line – Don’t bother watching it. I¬†like Chris Hemsworth aka Thor (Nick in the movie) but his good looks couldn’t save this movie.¬†It is slow. The plot was weak. The villain didn’t seem to have enough motivation to do what he was doing. The ending is unbelievable. Do people think they can be on FBI + NSA hot list and take flights to other countries without problems? And who the hell goes about shooting FBI agents in public with machine guns unless again, they have strong motivation?¬† I dozed off during the climax scene and woke up asking ‘What happened?’ 20 minutes after the movie ended ha ha

Don’t Cat


I was in Daiso, the other day and I was amused by Japanese ‘cat repellent’ products. They were cute cartoons & they were animal¬†repellents. Only in Japan ūüėÄ

1. ‘Don’t cat’ – Lost in translation ha ha. Product telling cats not to walk over that area or¬†suffering ensues.

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2. ¬†The ‘nobody-loves-me’ cat¬†ūüė¶

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3. Crucifixion of Garfied?!

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4. This cat has a bad day ahead after coming near the cat repellent.

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5. The my-ass-is-on-fire cat

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6. We don’t want birds either around here…

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7. ¬†Now, its the ants’ turn to suffer… Notice that the ant is wearing shoes while running away and its cheeks have turned red!

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8. ¬†We don’t like snakes, do we?

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9. ¬†Whoops, I shouldn’t have walked here

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10. Sad unwanted animals :(( I want to give them a hug.

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11. Finally a nice product to make cats happy ūüôā

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