Sunday, January 12, 2014

License to Drive

Being home over break reminded me just how different driving in the U.S. is from India.

Some differences...

The steering wheel's on the left side not the right which may, just perhaps, cause the driver to:
  • Attempt to enter the car on the wrong side,
  • Flip on the windshield wipers when you really wanted the turn signals and 
  • Flip on the turn signal when you really wanted the windshield wipers. 
These may have happened multiple times to me. Maybe.

The biggest difference, which only happened once; I swear, is I made a left turn and then proceeded down the wrong side of the road. I quickly realized when a car was ready to back out from their driveway onto the same street I was on and I was in their way, that I was actually in the wrong lane. I only did this for about 5-10 seconds so it sounds MUCH more dramatic than it really was. It was also in DeKalb which has little traffic and was on a sidish street so again, this error should be downplayed.

Visiting Chicago quickly helped me adjust to a bit of snow and ice driving. Coming from 85 degree temps to in the single digits with various forms of frozen water on the roads, means driving at slower speeds. Kinda obvious. What's the challenge each year is more not driving too slow and causing more trouble for your fellow travelers. Plus the own self-imposed, please tell me I'm not driving like a senior citizen. 

Some similiarities...
  • Avoiding potholes which this week Chicago gave Mumbai a run for it's money and
  • Reading fellow travelers' minds who do not use turn signals (a newer Midwestern trait).
The biggest difference is that instead of taking driving lessons as I did, from my good friend in India to learn how to drive manual, my dad gave me a forced driving remediation course. One, potentially snow stormy morning, my dad gave me the owner's manual for their car. They bought this car late this past summer. I have driven this brand and model (they had one for over 10 years) and I've been driving since I turned 15 (just over 10 years - ugh). Apparently, he still thought that I needed a refresher because their model was so new and it was going to be snowy or maybe it was because I was playing up all of the differences causing him some worry. Still funny regardless and I did learn I'm definitely jealous of all the fancy steering wheel controls their car has that mine doesn't.

I head back to Bombay soon. I'm at the gate. Wonder how the similarities and differences will flipflop when I land. Here's to hoping my remediation course and snowy driving road tests help with it. Thanks again for the great time and lessons Dad (and Mom).

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Baby It's Cold Outside...Chiberia

I'm on winter break in the US. I return as a brunette to Bombay later this week. Contemplating a blog name change...

So love it or hate it, the current deep freeze in Chicago has of course a cute name. Chiberia. Chiberia is a reference to...
In particular look at the "feels like temperature.
What to do on a winter break day when on the news they're showing how much warmer it is in Alaska than it is in Chicago? You get a little inspiration from a Facebook friend and Google winter science experiments and you get...

your mom's who's willing to bundle up and toss boiling water into the -45 degree air which turns it into water vapor.

We I wasn't completely satisfied by the result, so when we came back inside, I researched more into it. Does the quantity of water have an impact? What about the size or shape of the container? What about how you throw it? So you go back outside to do a bit more research and you find...

that really it's about how you throw the water. Love your technique Mom.

While I was inside I wanted to see what Chiberians were doing so you looked on Instgram and found LOTS of Chiciagoans did the same experiment today. I also read about another experiment with bubbles and how they freeze in such chilly temperatures. So, I had to try this too.
See corn syrup can be good...sometimes
I found a solution for us to make and got a little lot of help from my Dad with the bubble solution recipe modification. We tried a few different types of wands to blow the bubbles including cookie cutters and found that a slotted spoon worked best.
Bubble solution factions
Then out we went outside and were able to blow them but with the wind being so strong, it was hard to get great pictures  or even catch them but here are a few shots of us braving the cold.

When we saw the bubble pop they looked more like if a plastic or glass had shattered like this.

Photo from (Just Heather)
Okay, ours really never landed and looked so perfect, more melted and shattered but you get the idea.

Pretty good winter fun despite the cold. Still gotta do the put the wet clothing item out into the cold experiment though. And for those of you with another day off tomorrow, here are a few more ways to love this arctic polar cyclone too.

Friday, January 3, 2014

A Year in 15 Seconds

In 2013, I didn't send Xmas cards. I didn't send New Year's cards. 

Maybe that was due social media's influence and my love of Instagram. 

Maybe it's because I didn't find the perfect picture of just me in all of the amazing places. Perhaps I'm being a little vain. 

Maybe that's because when I visited all of the amazing places I did in 2013, I was with my family and friends and they're in most of my photos. They could have the best ones of me that I haven't seen yet on their cameras (read that as a hint friends).

When I landed in Chicago in December, I felt a ping of guilt when I arrived home and had a wonderful pile of cards showcasing family photo in Xmas pajamas or red and green trimmed dresses and shirts. Summer memories or lovely professional portraits. I didn't do my part. 

In 2013, traveled to Kerala, Kolata, Bangkok, Cleveland and Detroit. Then to New York, Kathmandu, Kansas, back to Bangkok, Chicago and DeKalb.  I celebrated 2013 with my sister on a road trip and family at home. With friends I've had for over 10 years and newer friends made in Brasil and India. 

So, with ease of technology and my love of photos, here's my 2013.