Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Niagara or Mini India?

Somewhere along I-190, just past the city of Buffalo, there seems to be a portal, a kink in the time-space continuum, a gateway into an alternate universe where the denizens of the Indian subcontinent seem to have taken over at least a swath of land bordering what is now, Canada. In that alternate universe, this area seems to be attracting a large number of visitors from India, particularly the southern parts and these entrepreneurs from the sub continent seem to be making a huge deal of money from catering to the culinary interests of these visitors. This area seems to be devoid of most locals, who seem to have been banished to some hinterland beyond, with just a few being employed as minions. And the sign boards leading to this place all bear the name – Niagara Falls.

And that is just where I was this past weekend, out to spend the weekend on a road trip that started on Saturday and ended early on Monday, including a brief couple of hours spent strolling on Times Square in the full glare of the billboards.

We reached Niagara close to 8 pm on Saturday after an 8 hour drive and after a brief break in our hotel, started walking around and saw the light show ( see pics here and here, taken with my trusted V300). Then we got in to this balloon ride office and bought tickets from a hot Asian looking chick who seemed to understand what a stir she was causing with all those undone buttons on her shirt. Not that I looked (and I swear that my eyes were looking into hers and they were mesmerising!), but she certainly carried it off with the knowing looks of one who knows she’s being ogled at.

Anyways, a few years back, a single level 5 roller coaster spoiled my whole visit to Kings Island and that incident was still fresh on my mind. So I took the mind numbing decision to excuse myself, in spite of the two ladies with us who were all enthu about seeing Niagara from the sky. Hell, I am RC enough to think objectively about anything and I decided not to risk any chance of hurling which was bound to happen with all that movement up there. Thankfully, the guys understood, with M, having been with me on that aforementioned Kings Island trip. So they went on up and once they came back, it was back to the office and the hot chick (for the refund), where I attempted a few smooth jokes to gloss over the fact that I was the one who had chickened out.

After a take out dinner from one of those roadside desi run dhabas, we hit the sack in our hotel room by midnight. Got outta bed early and got to the Maid of the Mist just in time for the first ride of the day. After a few pics against the backdrop of the falls from the viewing platform, we were then browsing through the Maid of the Mist Souvenir store, when N got this brainstorm of buying identical t-shirt and cap sets and wearing them for the rest of the trip. We changed in the nearby rest rooms and wore the outfit for the rest of the trip.

We made a complete fool of ourselves in front of the handy-cam that U and N had brought. I think I did my worst ever imitation of Thalaivar in Baasha. I also got into a heated discussion with M about whether some of Thalaivar’s mannerisms where actually inspired by Michael Jackson. That was as close to sacrilege as M has ever gotten. U also got into the act, playing the air veena, doing what Chiru does in one of his songs in Indra.

In doing all this, we made our way to the Cave of the Wind area when we experienced the second incident of what we were warned/informed about - the fact that we'd meet someone we know (the first being the fact that Niagara would be like mini-India). Ya, we met F and her hubby. F had been a fellow student at OU and we were totally amused.

At the Cave of the Wind walk through, I promptly got wet, having left my poncho untied. We were jumping up and down like kids in the water as it cascaded. And the view was exhilirating! We then did a brief walk-through close to the Horseshoe Falls and decided to hit the Top of the fall restaurant to blow a hole in M’s pocket. And that was when the rain started. We had beautiful warm sunshine till then, but we did not bother too much, since we were ready to hit the road back again, with the Canadian side being out of bounds for us just graduated, to be graduating students and the sole "non-immigrant worker" visa holder. So we hit the road to NYC at around 2 pm, encountering brief thunderstorms from time to time.

We reached Times Square at 10 and walked around till 12:30 when we shared a pizza at Sbarros. On the way back, I caught this nice ad in front of Toys or Us featuring Geoffery, the Toys R Us mascot. The sight of Geoffrey the Girafee peeking out from the billboard was hilarious. U also caught a nice snap of S (his bro) against the backdrop of the billboards on Time Square, just as one of the boards was flashing an ad that read “Hit me baby one more time”. Purely a coincidence, but hilarious indeed, considering that he had us all in splits through the weekend with his impression of Britney Spears singing "kottu kottu, inka oka saari" (or something like that in Telugu)! We then hit the road back again and dropped back to Newark at around 2:30. In short, it was a weekend of all round fun.

19 comments:

capriciously_me said...

hey, i was just gonna post the same pictures...

Smyta said...

Nice pict!

anantha said...

Capri: u were there too? :O

Smyta: Thanx....

capriciously_me said...

anti....i went to toysrus also!!!!

alpha said...

it's peer pressure from India. If you in US, you have to see Niagara falls. My MIL would hear none of it when we offered to take her to other exciting places in the US.

Good u had fun.

GratisGab said...

LOL! We did not take our folks to Niagara EVER...aww..their friends must be making fun of them! Or more likely, they must think we are losers :)

Anti boy, where are your pictures?

visithra said...

Wow that was fun! Is it a tradition after Niagara must visit Toysrus.

Capri how are u? :ppp

thennavan said...

Old one:

What's the difference between Niagara and Viagra?

You know it Anti :-)

anantha said...

Thennavan: If its something to with freezing.. hmmm.. that IS a good one :))

Visithra: Naan ToysRus ulle pohale. I was in Times Square only from 10pm.. ToysRUs was closing i think. Anyways, I have a soft corner for cartoons, kid at heart u see. And indha girafee andha ad lendhu etti paakave, ennoda otta digi cam use panni oru rendu photo eduthutten. It was one of those moving billboards. You should have seen it.. Hilarious..

Gabby: Ya, they must be thinking that :) Cos I saw this oldie uncle with his wife in tow walk up to a young chap sitting on a bench and start talking to him in Telugu. I mean, I know some Telugu enough to understand that the oldie was introing himself abt coming to Boston abt a month ago to visit his son and also enquiring what the other chap was upto. And btw, the conversation STARTED in Telugu! How did that man figure out that the other chap was from Andhra too? Beats me! And Gabby, the world seems to have seen too many pics of me. It's like seeing Paris Hilton everywhere these days. An overkill! The allure lasts only if the flow of pictures is regulated. And btw, I thought the pic of Geoffery was enough to keep you satisfied.. Nahi kya?

Alpha: Peer Pressure? Haan Kya? My parents did not seem to know where it was. Mebbe the KT happens only just before they fly out here.

CM: ToysRUS in Times Square?

dev2r said...

This is what I've promised myself: If I ever invite my parents to visit the US, I am NOT going to take them to Niagara.

GratisGab said...

Hmm...I guess..But know what? My F-I-L doesn't know a word of Telugu so there goes your theory.

The info you get about me is all screwed up...somebody been screwing with you Anti? :)

anantha said...

Gabby: Nah.. I know you are not Telugu. That point was about the oldies thronging Niagara. And I was certainly not alluding to the fact that the old man was ur FIL. It was a pure coincidence that the old man was from Boston. :p

Dev: No da. You shld take them. You know why? Cos I am sure nothing they see can beat the sight of the water cascading down. Seriously!

Om said...

ALL indians who go to niagara falls say the same thing: "There are so many indians here".

anantha said...

ummm Om, is that false or is it wrong to say that or do you just find that thought amusing? :)

dev2r said...

Cos I am sure nothing they see can beat the sight of the water cascading down. Seriously!
I beg to differ... I present to you -- the Grand Canyon.
Cascading water is well and good, but kuttraalam has the same thing too. :D

visithra said...

Uhle pohlaya?? The Giraffe in madagascar is as cute :p

anantha said...

Visithra: Pohaleh, it was too late in the night.. and konjam childish appadi nu kooda irrukaravanga nenaichipaanga nu vittuten...

Dev: Hmmm Grand Canyon... Havent seen it. But i dont think i'd be able to choose between the two..

Ishwar said...

Anti, palo alto was worse.. i even saw madisaar mamis in HSB, Nallis and WalMart

anantha said...

lol Ishwar! How would it compare with my seeing a madisaar maami in the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City ;)
I even have photographic proof!