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the cinnamon peeler's wife

2.10.2005 at 11:27:00 AM

do you believe in what you see... everyone's saying different things to me

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i have been meaning to write since monday, but being out of town for four days puts you behind in your real life. yes it was nice to escape the daily grind if only for a little while. i slept for less than 5 hours over the four days- not good but lots of fun.

i flew to new york early friday morning and took the M60 from laguardia to columbia. a friend from sri lanka is doing her LLM there and lives at the international house. the pic above is the view from her window looking over the hudson, you can also see grant's tomb, etc. i didn't really think that i would like new york, but i ended up loving it. i hung out all day and met lots of interesting people, including my fave: a south african jewish gay buddhist scriptwriter. that is exactly how he introduced himself, quite the character. i ate great halal gyros off the street which was awesome as long as you can deal with the flirting of the vendor. we saw times square and all that jazz. later we went to moma (museum of modern art). some of my faves that i saw:


oh so many picassos






i really love klimt and dali. it was wonderful and the newly renovated museum is a wonderful structure itself. i ran into some friends from undergrad, which was very unexpected. new york started feeling like a much smaller place. later we met up with a friend from boston. the night went on and included meeting up with more people. washington square and the village kept us busy till about 4am. we crammed in as much fun as possible.

the next day, i was off to allentown for a walima. it was nice and pretty comfortable. the walima (as in comparison to the shaadi) was so much more relaxed and thus we could all enjoy it more. on saturday night we ended up playing taboo till 4:30 am (there is little to do in allentown). when we finally got back to our hotel rooms, there were drunk kids in the hallway with a keg. they were so hilarious but kept knocking on our door and we ended up getting into a bit of a verbal battle. they came back and apologized in the morning when they had sobered up. in terms of weddings: i never realized that there was so much to makeup. but i was educated quite summarily by my friends. i think my face is still burning from all the gook that was on it. the food at the party was great, desi catering on the east coast is much better than ohio (and dare i say chicago). we hung out afterwards with the wedding party and watched the super bowl. can i say that the half-time show was lame. though a guy there (who had been an mtv staffer) told us all about how the people cheering had been trained and paid to look excited. it was sad day with so many philly fans, yeah but most people were there for another game (having nothing to do with football). the whole singles game was so funny that it was sad. all i can say is trust no one!

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we drove back to new york pretty late on sunday. the next morning was brunch with friends (including hijabman) at tom's restaurant (of seinfeld fame) then a quick tour of columbia, and finally my flight back. it was a fast weekend but non-stop amusement. things are extra boring now back in ohio. here is a pic from the plane:
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*other random notes:
(a) as the title tells you- i am listening to the garden state soundtrack.(besides the obvious faves of coldplay and the shins, i really like zero 7 and thievery corporation) that and 99.9 degrees by suzanne vega arrived from amazon. wonderful. (the vega cd was one of the first tapes i bought in 7th grade when i emerged from the nkotb phase, great memories)..
(b) did you all see aishwarya rai on letterman? was it just me or did she give him some attitude? i think she is getting too big for her britches. i saw bride and prejudice (yes it was a pirated edition) and it had its moments. but all in all not such a great movie. i just couldn't get over bollywood style songs in english.
(c) in new york a friend suggested i read azar nafisi's reading lolita in tehran. i was intrigued by the premise and thus picked it up at the airport. (where coincidentally the bookstore lady was sri lankan and we ended up having a great conversation about asian writers, i got some good recommendations) by the time i had flown home i had already read half the book. i haven't had the time to finish it, but i really am enjoying it so far. great lines, including: "do not, under any circumstances, belittle a work of fiction by trying to turn it into a carbon copy of real life, what we search for in fiction is not so much reality but the epiphany of truth."
(d) don cheadle and hotel rwanda. i have not seen this movie as of yet. everyone keeps telling me that it is life changing, except for friends of mine who have worked in africa. they feel that nothing can actually express the magnitude of the horrors. but even they admit that the movie is done well for hollywood. well last night on nightline cheadle did a piece on darfur. he and paul rusesabagina traveled there and visited refugee camps. quite interesting, take a look if you get a chance. read up on darfur. some interesting figures: in the last few decades atrocities have killed so many africans, idi amin in uganda killed 400,000 in the 1970s, the civil war in congo in the last 5 years has claimed over 3 million lives, and of course in 1994 in just a few days 800,000 perished in rwanda. now in darfur, UN reports are of 70,000 to 100,000 deaths, 400 villages destroyed, and over 2 million people driven from their homes. working with internally displaced persons in sri lanka (from the civil war and now tsunami), i learned that the war or genocide is only the beginning of a can of worms. It takes a society decades and generations to recover from this sort of trauma. also check out the African Union (made up of 53 nations) who were the first to try to respond and monitor in Darfur.
(e) there is an interesting photo essay about the recovery in sri lanka on the nyt.

Blogger Syeeda said...

wow, sounds like fun! i can't believe all the traveling you have been up to. is this the same tammy-g who we had to BEG, and i mean BEG her father to let her come to naheed's bridal shower?!! props to uncle for letting his little girl go:).

syeeda  

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

don't eaat beef of the street it will make you sick. I mean it there is no five second rule on a public street.  

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

i met the reading lolita author. she lives in DC now, or at least she did when i met her (and by met i mean i said hi when she signed my friend's book at the Pamuk/Nafisi panel discussion). she smelled nice.  

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

they simplified the comment leaving process. now i have more incentive to leave unnecessary comments. hurrah. and i have some questions about economics for you t$. so expect a call. i'd call even if i didn't have questions. i have no life, and like to live vicariously through anyone that is currently having a life. and i like cheese. mmmmm. i ate  

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry, i left the comment unfinished (someone came to talk to me and they were drinking that Naked juice and so was i, but i digress). as i was saying...

i ate 6-day old macaroni last night for dinner and it still tasted fine. just thought you and the readers of your blog would be interested. and note the DC anonymous comment leaver lies a lot. i'm sure he/she did not meet author and that if he/she did that author did not smell good.  

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

i don't think we can trust someone who eats 6 day old mac'n'cheese and drinks naked juice over the comments of the clearly prettier DC commentator. i bite my thumb at you other anonymous commentator, i bite my thumb.  

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