Fear off, death!

Yesterday, having nothing better to do on a Saturday night (well, that’s been the case ever since I’ve landed up here in Raunheim but that’s a different story!), me and the guys decided to have some fun and check out some neat horror flicks. One thing led to another and we ended up watching a couple of Omen and Final Destination titles back to back. Now, they maybe just movies but watching them at 2 o clock in the morning does sometimes get, well, spooky.

So I lay in bed and started wondering on the common theme that unites horror: the fear of dying. Maybe alone, maybe in a graveyard, roller coaster or airplane, but then all the same; going kaput!

And that got me going. Every single day we go through our lives minding our (own?) business, doing stuff, taking care of tomorrow, except that we may not make it there. I don’t wanna sound paranoid but the basic reality of life is this: you can work all your life to have that one special something and then when everything is ready, all can go blank ~snap~ just like that.

What comes afterwards is not for me to answer; I turn to religion to give me an answer to that and if I were you; I’d do the same thing.

Call me paranoid or even plain crazy but I guess there is no denying the fact that we are all gonna go one day. Before that happens, you better be ready for a few basic questions on what happens then and if you aren’t, then you better start searching for some really good answers today.

Because it’s a one way trip, and it ain’t going to be on your calendar of upcoming events.

Makes no cents!

When I was still in Chennai last month, I used to lament no end at the seemingly worthlessness of the 25paise and 50paise coins. In fact, there was once a time when I even argued that we ban the entire paise episode and started dealing in whole rupees instead. And with good reason too; I mean after all, apart from bus tickets and the occasional kick-knack at your roadside store, there really is nothing you can do with coins less than 1 rupee; even beggars scoff at you for tossing them something so pitiful!

Now some 3 weeks later, here in Germany, things are no better; only this time, it’s in cents. I don’t know if it’s just me but almost everything I seem to buy has an annoying 2 or 3 cents attached to it. A stupid bar of soap would cost me 98cents. So I give the guy a 1 Euro coin for which he politely and dutifully returns me two 1cent coins.

Now the question is, what do I do with this anyway? My wallet is full of at least a dozen such 1, 2 and 5 cent coins and I have to admit, it does look like of ridiculous fumbling for 98cents at the cash counter.

And I for the life of it seriously can’t understand why they price everything with a 69 cents or 36 cents attached to it. I mean does it really take the fun out of selling if those guys stuck to round numbers, say 70 cents, instead?
Call it culture shock, adaptation or whatever, but the way things are, guess I would be walking around with a pocket full of change for quite a long time..

It's a free world...

Firstly, I must say, it has been quite a while now; I know I’ve been a bit silent these days and I really must say: Thank you. For all your thoughts, comments and the sheer nag that’s keeping me going.

Coming to terms with my current update, I’ve now relocated from the warm, sunny sands of Chennai to Raunheim, a quiet village near Frankfurt in Germany. After the initial ‘wow, this place looks awesome’ thing died down; reality strikes as the beautiful but intimidating place this is.

One of the first things I’ve noticed is that nothing; absolutely nothing here is free. Those of us who’ve lived in Chennai or the Middle East will swear by the huge amount of freebies you get with your goodies. Okay skip that; who needs freebies anyway, but at least you get used to getting at least a bit more than you bargain for. Who doesn’t like the little cute helicopter you get with your pasta?

But that’s a different story all together. I walk into a supermarket here to buy stuff and that’s when I realized you not only pay for your stuff, but also for each of the plastic carry-bags you take. Of course, probably that’s why a lot of the folks here carry their own bags to the stores. And oh yes, bottles are extra too.

In line with this doctrine, restaurants here don’t serve water either, leaving you to decide if you really want to drink water at all. (Of course on the up side, you do get to choose between Regular, Sparkling or Classic water, whatever the hell they all are, so there’s no lack of choice here)
And with bottled water being priced only 20cents below a regular coke, no winners for guessing what most of us drink here.

But then, I guess that’s what the choice is really about. After all, it’s a free country isn’t it?