February 27, 2012

Lesson learned?

So I had been looking for a shared accommodation near my office in this nice, big city,  you know to reduce my commute. I contacted a few people: backed out from a few, and few backed out from me. Well I always made clear that I like to cook and since I am an Indian, I would cook Indian food. Of course, not everyone can tolerate the strong smell of Indian food. But its better to have such issues sorted out before moving in, right? Finally I found a nice Polish lady who lives 10 min bus ride from my office. She didn't have any problem with all the issues I raised with her. So I decided to put the deposit and pay the first month rent and move in.

I packed my stuff from my friend's place and moved in. The evening I moved in, we talked about cleaning schedules and other stuff. I was tired so wanted to sleep early. That's when she dropped the bomb: "Oh, by the bye, my husband visit me few times a week. Thought I should mention this so that there are no surprises."

Wait, what?

"Oh. Where does your husband work?"
"Oh, he works in London and comes down here few times a week. Her sister also visit some times. He is a Pakistani guy."
"But but but...why didn't you mention this earlier?"
"But what difference does that make? Its no different than having boyfriend."

Because, I agreed to share the room with you and had no idea I have to share it with someone else. Someone whom I have never met and don't know if I will be comfortable with him. Because he is your Husband which automatically implies that he lives here unlike a boyfriend. I will be equally uncomfortable with live-in boyfriend without my prior knowledge. I agreed to share that place with one person. And because I let you know all the issues I thought my potential room-mate can have problem with including the fact that I cook Indian food.

Well I didn't say as much. I am a non-confrontational person. Its hard for me to be in an argument.

Anyway, getting to the point of post. Almost everyone I have told this incident to inadvertently comes back with the response similar to "Well, you learned a lesson there."

I don't understand that response. Honestly, I don't know what lesson they are referring to here. I talked to that lady in details before moving. My friends (from London) met her and didn't suspect anything fishy about the whole affair. Its not like I was being extra naive or stupid or something like that. It was not MY mistake that I can learn from. Only thing I can learn from this whole episode is that never ever trust anyone in this city. That is if you call this trust. Its not like I have shared my innermost secrets with that lady or something like that. It was a mere rental contract. True, the experience stressed me out and has left me with a bitter taste in the mouth but I simply can't comprehend what lesson I can learn from this episode.

This statement actually infuriates me more than the whole episode. May be because I actually trust these people when I share such a thing with them and then they turn back and kind of blame me for being so naive. So much for making friends in the new city...

February 16, 2012

Is this for real?

Today I had my first ever encounter with a real NHS doctor. So far I have heard of them and always thought of them as a fictional character from some bad story. Today I met one!

I have had a very bad cough and fever for past one week. No over the counter medicine have been helping. So finally I made an appointment with local "Surgery" as they call the local government clinics. I met the doctor and that's how the conversation went:

"Hi, I am Dr B. How can I help you?"
"Hi, I am Richa. I have had a bad cough and fever for past week. I haven't been able to sleep due to coughing fits. For past two days I have been throwing up due to a coughing fit."
Dr. B: "What medicine have you been taking?"
Me: "Paracetmol and cough syrup and I have been gurggling."
Dr. B: "And I assume your voice has changed. This is not your normal voice, right?"
Me: "Yes, of course."
Dr. B: "Okay, let me examine your throat."

He examins the throat.

Dr. B: "Okay, it seems you have a viral infection."
Me: "Okay."
Dr. B: "There is no treatment for the viral infection. It usually goes away on its own."
Me: "Huh?"
Dr. B: "You should continue doing what you are doing and in few days it will go away."
Me: "Huh?"
Dr. B: "What do you want me to do? Give you antibiotics?"
Me: "Yes, please."
Dr. B: "Latest research shows that antibiotics have no effect on viral infections, only on bacterial infection. I can give you antibiotics but it will have no effect. You will feel better after taking antibiotics but it will not be because of antibiotics. Its the viral infection getting better by itself."

Me: "No problem. I will still take the antibiotics." Pause. "BTW, am I contagious to other people? Can I go to office without risking their health (not sure about UK but in US its a big issue. You shouldn't be interacting with other people if you are contagious.)?"

Dr. B: "Oh yes, viral infections are not contagious."

VIRAL INFECTIONS ARE NOT CONTAGIOUS! All I could do was stare him.

Don't take me wrong. I am not big fan of medicine and will avoid them as much as I can. I will actually avoid doctors as much as I can. My solution to most of the common fevers etc: Drink plenty of water and rest. Ocassionally take a paracetmol if fever is too much. That's all. But this infection was getting worse every day and I knew I needed help. I have been previously hospitalized due to a throat infection so didn't want to take that risk again.

Anyway, I finally got the antibiotics and have started the course. Hopefully my viral infection will get better by itself despite me taking antibiotic. I just had to write this incident down.

P.S.: 1. Due to recent sickness, February Photo-a-day was unsuccsessful. Will try something new soon...

2. BTW, Dr. B is an Indian or at least was born an Indian.

February 5, 2012

February Photo-a-day: 10AM


Well I woke up at 9:45ish today morning. The first thing that struck me was the light from the window. The white snow was everywhere outside. I know this picture has nothing to do with 10AM but that’s what was happening to me at 10AM this morning. The wonder and excitement of waking up to snow covered world:Collage2_Resize

Other February Photo-a-day Posts: Words, Hands, A Stranger.

February Photo-a-day: A stranger


Sadly, due to snow, I couldn’t finish this photo challenge. To start with there weren’t many people out. The people who were out were trying to reach to their destination in a hurry due to snow. And above all, it was SNOWING! Okay, not the entire day, but me being the maha-aalasi (super lazy) that I am during weekends, I didn’t start till it was too late. I could have taken picture of random people running to their destinations, but I didn’t dare to take my hands out of my pockets and get the camera out to take the picture.

Bottom line: Didn’t take the stranger picture. But I do have some stranger pictures that I am going put in-lieu. Hope you like it:

Pikes Market-14_101

The picture is from Seattle’s Pike Place Market in the early morning.

Other pictures from February Photo-a-day series: Words, Hands.

February Photo-a-day: Hands


Guess what? Weekends are busier than weekdays. But at least fun was had. It was slightly marred by the frozen weather we have been having lately. Anyway, I finally got around to downloading my pictures to computer. So Feb 3rd Challenge was Hands. Here is the pictures of “that” day:


The hands are of a friend’s daughter who loves stickers.

Other February Photo-a-day: Words.

February 3, 2012

And more complains

Living in London, the big bad London, is quite different from Houston. To start with, I use public transport in London. It means I interact with a lot of strangers on the road, in the train etc. So of course, I have complains, quite a few of them, actually, about how people behave in public places.

- I don't like people who smoke while walking. On top of it they overtake me while puffing their cigarettes. Hello, you want to smoke, you do. You want to die of cancer, your problem but what gives you right to make me inhale your smoke?

- I don't like people who listen to their iPod at the loudest volume, especially if they are sitting in quiet zone. There is a reason I chose to sit in the quiet zone. There they sit with their loud music making the quiet zone quite noisy.

- I don't like people who like to rant about their office on a phone in a train. I really don't want to hear how you are the smartest person around and everyone around you just don't have any common sense. And no its not okay to swear at your boss and colleagues in the train either. And no, you don't get our sympathy by doing so.

- I don't like people who block the exit of the train when they are in no hurry what so ever. I change 4 trains and a bus to reach my destination. If I miss any one of them, my travel time increases by about half an hour (that's above my usual 2 hour journey one way). So please excuse me for rushing but I don't have time to wait for you to fold your paper and then climb down the train. I usually climb the flights of stairs running and make it to the trains 30 sec before they depart. So just get out of my way!

- I don't like people giving me snide looks when I work on my Sudoku. Just because I am an Asian doesn't mean I don't enjoy Sudoku. BTW, I have a degree in Mathematics and I scored 800/800 in the quantitative section of GMAT. I think I am more than capable of solving and enjoying Sudoku.

That's all for today. More complains coming soon...

February 2, 2012

February Photo-a-day: Words


So Sunshine forwarded me this link about February Photo-a-day challenge. Unfortunately, I didn’t check her recommendation till this morning, so I missed the first day. But since I am lagging behind in both photography and blogging these days, I thought of giving it a try despite my super busy schedule. So here I am at 11:15 on 2nd Feb, posting the second day photo of the challenge (I was supposed to sleep by 10:30 since I need to be up by 6).

Today’s challenge is words. Since my commute time in London is about 4 hours per day, I have acquired a habit of doing Sudoku and crosswords published everyday in the local newspaper. So for today’s challenge I present today’s partly complete crossword.


Until tomorrow…or whenever I next get time to post.