Want to see where Shobhit is currently? (As in, where his mother lives, and has lived for years -- if I remember right, Shobhit even lived there as a teenager.) Just click here. That should take you to Google Maps's satellite view of the Takshila Apartments complex that he's at, tilted to give a 3D view.
Shobhit once told me there are no city parks anywhere near where his mother lives. All you have to do is zoom out twice on that map to see that claim was total bullshit. Has he ever bothered to look? I mean, granted, I have no idea what kind of parks they are, if they're packed with scumbags or what. In any case, there's a place called Tikona Park, literally two and a half blocks to the southwest. And all of three blocks to the southeast is a much larger park called IP Extension Park. Weird name for a park, but whatever. Also the photos I see online of it don't make it look like the prettiest park in the world -- maybe Shobhit just meant that they don't quite compare to city parks you see in the U.S., or at least in Seattle. Still, they are places with trees within walking distance. If I ever finally visit this place where Shobhit grew up, these are the kinds of places I'll be eager to go check out.
Something else I never realized: the address of these "Takshila Apartments" is not far at all from the border between Delhi and its neighboring Indian state to the east, Uttar Pradesh. Shobhit could walk to it: it's all of about a mile and a half. Granted, it's not that hard for this to happen to anyone in Delhi, which is similar to our District of Columbia in that it's a tiny piece of land dedicated to the nation's capitol. And the distinction between "Delhi" and "New Delhi" has always kind of eluded me; apparently it's actually one of 11 districts in Delhi, and is where national government buildings are located. All this time I thought Shobhit's mom technically lived in New Delhi, but based on these dividing lines, she actually lives in the East District -- although that is directly to the east of New Delhi, which is itself not far at all either: Shashi lives all of about five and a half miles from the famous India Gate memorial. So, to be fair, she really is quite close to all the major landmarks and stuff.
Uttar Pradesh, by the way, is the state with the city of Agra, where the Taj Mahal is located. It's apparently about a three-hour drive (134 miles or so) to the southeast -- plenty close enough for a day trip, actually.
Shobhit has recently talked about the evidently far increased likelihood that he and I would stay in his mother's place if we ever visited together. He has this idea because after years of his mother being displeased with him being with a man, she was far more displeased with his decision to pursue acting and then started telling him he should come back to me in Seattle. This is pretty new to me; he's only mentioned it within the past few months. I still feel very resistant to the idea and feel pretty strongly that I would be more comfortable in a hotel. Obviously we would save on those costs if we stayed with her, but I bet a hotel would also be cheaper there than in the U.S. And now that I see how close she really is to the city's major points of interest, there can't possibly be a lack of nearby hotel options. But, I suppose I'd live if I just sucked it up and dealt with staying there. For me any visit there would be a trip unlike any other in my life, and I might as well just embrace the differences.
I was on Skype with Shobhit briefly last night -- this morning for him; it's a 12 and a half hour difference -- and he said it was around ninety degrees there, and a few nights he has turned on the air conditioning. We don't even have air conditioning in our home in Seattle. It makes the summers suck some of the time, but even in a changing climate, it never lasts particularly long, or at least not long enough to make it worth investing in an air conditioner that would probably make our electricity bill even more expensive than when we have the heat on in the winter. Anyway, he was sitting with the window open and I could not believe the noise. Car horns were incessant, and at one point there was what Shobhit said was some kind of car alarm; it sounded to me like a mechanized bird call, and one that made me want to kill all birds. Shobhit just casually commented that this kind of noise pollution was common there. The other day one of those car alarms was going off for a few hours.
Now I'm thinking maybe any visit to India would just drive me insane. That's just one small detail, likely the tip of the iceberg.
To be fair, I suppose there's plenty of "noise pollution" of our own where I live, just one block away from a fire station, two and a half blocks from a police station, and a bus stop four floors below our windows. This does make for a lot of loud city noises, particularly sirens, and is specifically the reason I keep closed captioning on everything I watch in my living room. But even there, it ebbs and flows. The sounds I heard from Delhi sounded like noise that just never stops. I guess once you get used to it that probably makes it that much easier to tune it out, though. It's just the world that they know. When Shashi visited us here, she probably felt largely the way I did when I once stayed the night at Aunty Rose's in Port Townsend -- her house is on the outskirts of town, and the town is already tiny -- when it was so quiet I was almost creeped out by it. (At that time, I dealt with even more noise at home, living not only in Belltown, but with the Monorail passing by right at the height of my third-floor window.)
I think I'm going to bask in the glory of a quiet evening at home alone this evening. I had a truly full and busy weekend, as I detailed in yesterday's entry, and then took myself to a movie after work last night. I plan to see another movie tomorrow evening; will get my semiannual, October haircut after work on Thursday, and then have a weekend coming up with even more planned than I did last weekend (just not quite as much travel): Happy Hour with Laney on Friday before seeing a movie with Ivan afterward the same evening; a movie with Danielle in Bellevue late Saturday morning before going to Dan Savage's HUMP! amateur porn festival on Queen Anne in the evening; brunch at Claudia and Dylan at their new place on Sunday before an early dinner at Saffron Grill with Auntie Rose that same day.
Oh wow, and I'm just noticing this on my calendar: another movie scheduled for Monday evening; Tuesday next week is then Halloween, when I will leave work early and drive down to Olympia to stay the night with Dad and Sherri; drive back Wednesday the 1st. Another movie to see either that Wednesday or Thursday evening, and then I have plans scheduled already for Friday the 3rd. In any case, tonight is the last time I've got nothing at all scheduled until the middle of next week, and even then it's only one day with nothing planned before the following Saturday, although I even have movies tentatively marked for both those days that weekend as well. I don't know for sure about the local release dates of those films. Maybe I should get together with Gabriel that weekend, if I can. I want to take advantage of my use of the car while Shobhit's out of town. I kept thinking I'd have more opportunity for it that I'm just now realizing I actually do, because of all this shit I've got going on.
Oh, I guess I could mention the movie I saw last night: The Florida Project, which was very good. Not quite as good as Sean Baker's previous film, the fantastic Tangerine, but still very good.
Best of all, it played at the Egyptian, six blocks away from home, my favorite theatre for proximity. It's so much easier to get to and from movies at that theatre. I guess technically Northwest Film Forum on 12th and Pike is even closer (that's about three and a half blocks away) but I very, very rarely see movies there. The movie I'm seeing with Ivan there on Friday is there, though.
So the movie last night started at 7:00, giving me about ninety minutes at home after work beforehand. I put some of the spinach artichoke dip Eric and Jennifer sent me home with as a spread on a bagel I made a sandwich out of, along with an egg. I wanted the egg to be over easy but the yolk broke so it became over medium. I'm not sure an egg was the greatest match for that spread anyway. I might have the same thing for dinner tonight just without the egg. I need to use up that spinach artichoke dip somehow and I don't have tortilla chips. Maybe I should buy some. I could make nachos out of it! Ooh, I like that idea, and I want to send Eric a list of all the different ways I used it at the end of the week. I do have taco shells, I suppose I could just use those.
I had thought I would make myself pasta with pesto cream sauce this week, but I'm putting that on the backburner since I have no need for leftovers for lunches this week. The broker for Amy's Kitchen brought me four samples of frozen meals yesterday, and instead of taking them home where I have very little space in my freezer anyway, I'm keeping them all at work for lunches -- starting today. Another tomorrow. Lunch with Karen Thursday; another Amy's on Friday, and the fourth won't even get consumed until next week.
[posted 12:16 pm]