All Settled In

Well I am here. Ok so the hotel is quite near to my apartment, in the same city and just 20 minutes away. Like I said, I needed a few days away from my family and work and to just chill and forget about everything else. I don’t plan on going out, although I might step out for an hour or so tomorrow to get a USB stick if I can find one nearby.

I had wanted to check in at 12 pm, which is from when I am allowed to but we had a power outage at home and this led me to wait for a while before I left. I already had most of the things ready on my bed and by 11:20 am I went to shower and shave and then waited for a while. Finally I got ready and put all the things inside my bag. I left the chargers for my phone and my laptop for the last, which went into my laptop bag along with the HP and my mouse and my medicines.

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There was a large traffic jam in the city which led me to be being late and I reached here at the hotel only by 1:15 pm. I checked in and the bellhop took me to my room. It’s a basic room; they have an upgrade available and a suite too. But who needs that? I asked for the wifi password and then by 2pm I ordered a mixed grill and 2 Heinekens. The dish was too much for me – it was a lot of chicken, pork, beer, veggies, French fries and bacon! And a fried egg on top of that. Whoa!

I ate a lot of it but still left a lot behind. I had one beer and having gotten very little sleep due to watching a football match and Eddie Murphy’s Delirious (on Netflix) I was tired. I napped for 2 hours. BY 5:30 pm I was up and ordered some coffee. I have a lot of chocolate with me so I plan on using that as desert. I have been binging on Youtube videos. I might try to read after dinner but I will most probably sleep early. I feel relaxed.

Checking In Tomorrow

SO there is nothing much left to do but pack and wait for tomorrow morning. I will shower and shave and then get dressed and hail a cab by 11 am or so and head to the hotel. And then 4 days of bliss. I want to soak it in and relax and chill for those days. I do not want to waste one minute of it. Check in time is 12 noon as is check out time as well.

I have 4-5 shirts that are ironed and folded and 1 pant that is folder. I need to get 2 pairs of socks to go with the 1 will be wearing tomorrow. I need 4 pairs of underwear, a towel and a fresh lungi to wear in the room. Oh I know they give you towels and other stuff but I always like to keep my own. I checked – they list shampoo, body wash, soaps, towels, slippers, comb & brush and a dental kit. Ofcourse they have an electric kettle with complimentary coffee, tea, sugar and sugar free alternatives stocked in the rooms. They have a restaurant, a coffeeshop and a bar.

I will check out the buffet, the coffeeshop and the bar while I am there but mostly I just want to be left alone, other then the guy bringing my room service food and drinks. Temporary peace!

Humbled

My place of employment, which is a big MNC / BPO, has this program where they contribute to the community is various ways. It can be getting items for an orphanage, an old age home or conducting sessions for institutes which help out young people from lesser income families, those who have some disabilities etc. I have always had some problem with going for these events and I felt that I would feel uncomfortable and not do a good job.

There were skills enhancement sessions for some young folks who had were speech and hearing impaired and I wasn’t sure how I would be able to contribute to conducting a learning session for them. They required some help to get regular jobs with decent salaries and they mostly studied in poorer areas of the state. I do not know sign language and would ofcourse be reliant on the translator who would be coming from the institute. I was quite nervous but as the day came closer I was hoping that I would do well. This was setup for yesterday. Well, instead of the hearing & speech impaired folks it was about 20 individuals, mostly young, who had various motor impairments and 3 who were visually impaired.

Nervous as I was, I was unprepared to meet these wonderful people who just want a chance to earn a decent pay check and get a good job. They were eager to learn and very respectful and earnest. I felt humbled and I also felt like a fraud. Who was I to not want to help them? These people brightened my life just by their presence. It’s because they were brave souls who went on with the harsh conditions that life chance upon them and weren’t complaining. I need to do more. I hope to find various ways to do just that.

Picking A Hotel Room

Picking a hotel to spend my holiday in is harder than I thought. I have some money that I can spare but I am not willing to blow my entire budget on just the room, even if it comes with nice amenities. I have been at it for a few days and have narrowed it down to 3 hotels. Others are equally affordable and within my budget but – they do not have a bar in their premises which means I would have to go and buy a bottle from outside and drink it in my room.

I want a nice big comfortable bed, ac (ofcourse), free wifi (which is a given), a mini-fridge, a nice bathroom with a decent shower, tv with cable and room service.And ofcourse the hotel must have good food with a variety in their menu and a bar. Those are required. I also want a nice chair and table so I can sit and use my laptop and usually these hotels have an electric kettle with sugar and coffee/tea pouches in the room as well. But ofcourse as they don’t have milk in the rooms, I usually do end up ordering in some coffee.

Last year I stayed in Abaam hotel for 3 days and 3 nights and thoroughly enjoyed my stay. I ordered in mostly and only day 3 did I go down to the bar when my cousin visited. Otherwise I took full advantage of their room service but yeah I had to go down to their buffet for breakfast. I spent some time online watching Youtube videos but slept a lot and hardly watched any tv. I watched, I think a few episode of Friends on my laptop as their cable channels sucked. I will finalize my choice by Saturday or Sunday at the most.

What’s On Your Reading List For 2020?

I have mentioned this before, I do not read books the way I used to. From being a voracious reader during my childhood and teenage years and being a frequent reader (3-4 novels in a month) in my 20s and once I started working to even a few books a year in my early 30s. But by the time I hit 34-35 I stopped reading as much.

I prefer to get entertained via Youtube these days and I do not plan on reading much. The last time I read a bunch was in 2010 when my old desktop computer died and I had to wait 3 weeks for my salary, for which I was getting a substantial raise as well, hit and I could pay for a new laptop. During that time I read a lot of books and Reader’s Digest had these large books with shorter versions of novels or something and I read through all of them. Ofcourse I also slept a lot, went out to coffeeshops a lot and watched a lot of tv.

This upcoming 9 day vacation that I have I plan to read just one book. I will be spending a few days in a hotel room and I plan to re-read my favourite novel of all time, Stephen King’s It. I don’t think I will have time for more. But I do hope to read a few more books this year. I will try to make it 1 per month or is that too ambitious?

No Thanks Godzilla

Can’t say that this is a Friday where I can say “Thank Godzilla It’s Friday” as I will be working tomorrow. I blame the strike we had on Wednesday.

See we had a nationwide strike or harthal as we call it in India after an increase in the number of farmers who have committed suicide due to financial problems, which are believed to be due to the government’s economic policies. The trade unions went on strike to protest rising prices, sale of public sector firms and other issues. Another reason was where the employees of BPCL were protesting the proposed sale to an American company/management. All these were termed as the government’s anti-people policies.

As I rely on Uber & Ola to get me to and fro the company – and since all public transport were not operating and ride share cabs were also afraid to ply their trade due to protestors getting violent, I decided to take the day off and work on this Saturday instead. Wednesday I did see if I could go a litter later on in the evening but the situation was still the same. So i sat back and watched a movie and slept early.

Notes For 6-January-2020

Here are some notes for today:

  • Boring morning as usual, the Monday after a weekend is always boring, tiring and sleepy. I always get the feeling like I want to go out for a late lunch or get my haircut as I was planning to but sleepiness and laziness prevailed and I stayed in.
  • After having watched all 10 episodes of Timeless season 2, I have been watching the final season, season 5 of Fuller House, the sequel sitcom to the 80s-90s sitcom Full House, as well as Lost In Space season 2 on Netflix.
  • Once these two shows are over, I plan to start on The Mandalorian and The Witcher, both on Netflix yet again. This is why I reactivated my Netflix account after 3 months without it.
  • Been looking up hotel room options for my mini-vacation away from home. I found one that looks awesome and it has free wifi, a bar in the hotel, mini-bar in the room, cable tv and 24 hour room service. It ofcourse has a coffeeshop and a nice restaurant and other stuff but my criteria is a nice big bed and decent room, bar, mini-bar and wifi. The rest is just icing.
  • I plan to take my vacation around the last week of January.

Happy 13th Blogaversary

Happy 13th birthday to my blog Awake & Dreaming & a happy 13th Blogaversary to me! I can’t believe that it’s been 12 years already.

It was on the 1st of January that I setup this blog in a day with the help of my cousin (over the phone), who guided me through the process and by night I had the thing setup. Then I installed WordPress and started blogging. I then spent many days trying out various themes; I think this one here is the 30th or so theme that I have tried out.

This isn’t my first blog though; I first started blogging in 2002, through blogger.com, when I lived in Calicut and continued with it when I moved back to Cochin. I was an inconsistent blogger, nothing having an internet connection at home & from 2003 till 2006, not having a computer at home. By 2005 I started getting more & more into blogging and I created a new one in blogger.com and called it Count Roshculla : Awake & Dreaming. I started spending more time in internet cafes and hence could blog a lot more consistently. But I always wanted my very own website & domain and I wanted to install WordPress. That was achieved on January 1st, 2007.

After 13 years I have made quite a bit of money with this blog. Especially since November of last year. I’ve since been able to get myself off to a little holiday in a nice hotel, bought a heck ton of dvds and boxsets that I have craved for so long and even been able to take a date to nice meals. I am so proud of what I have done, especially in the last year or so. This blog is a big part of me and I want to continue through for several more years to come.

Boring New Year’s Eve Plans

Well I have it all planned out. I am gonna go to the office earlier than my usual 6:30 pm shift and leave by around 10:30 pm. I will book an Uber and come back home.

I have beer chilling in the fridge. I have a couple of Heinekens, a couple of Budweiser Magnum and 2 Amstel beers just waiting for me. I have snacks ready. I need to order some food in but that can be easily done. Swiggy or Uber Eats or Zomato will be able to get that done.

So I plan to wait till I am ready to leave and then order the food as I am on my way back home. Just in case my folks will be going out with my sister and her family for a New Year’s Eve party or even a quiet night out having dinner somewhere. It looks like I am set for the night.

Tomorrow is a day off and I will spend it as I wish. With a movie or two and quietly drink a beer and chill.

Holiday Plans

I would think that a lonely bachelor like me might have a few options but I always take the boring, same old – same old and predictable way out.

I plant myself in my room and I watch movies, Youtube and some sports. I haven’t been able to drink during the last 3 days due to the fact that I’ve been battling a bad cold and some sinus issues. My plan was to get some beer on Friday morning after my shift ended at 9:30 am but the sinus issues and head cold made me want to come home directly.

The cold and sinus issues persisted throughout the rest of Friday and Saturday and even today. I ordered some hot & peppery mutton soup which went down really well. It was tasty and also attacked my sinuses. I needed that. I hope to go out tomorrow morning and get a hair cut and then go get some beer. I want to drink on the evening of 31st.

29 Is Fine

If you could be any age again for a week, which would you choose?

For some reason, I always hark back to the age of 29. I think it’s because 29 is a good age to be. You are not yet into your 30s and it’s the last year of your 20s. I think It’s a great age for men to be. My 2005, the year I turned 29, was a good year until late October.

I got promoted at work and I loved my work. I went early to my shift, even 2 or 3 hours (I was crazy back then), because I enjoyed it. I had a good set of friends at work and the ones who were just below me were like my younger brothers & sisters (heck, I was called Roshan bhai). My superiors appreciated me and I had a good & solid reputation at the office.

I didn’t make much money, my then salary was a pittance compared to what I make now yet I had fun and I enjoyed myself. I went to drink almost every weekend and I had a lot of fun. I relaxed and watched a lot of tv on Sundays. Somehow I wish I could go back to that year. I had so much potential and promise and I was greatly appreciated.

Prompt from 105 Author Blog Prompts: Banish Your Blank Blog!

Sick On A Friday

Things come down so quickly. I am talking about a bad case of the cold, with phlegm and all. I was still ok when I left home at 12 am last night to head for work. Once I reached there I was still fine for a while but 2 hours later I started to get the sniffles.

By 4am I was sneezing so hard and so much that my throat started to hurt. My nose was also runny and I found it difficult to breath without using my inhaler a few times. It was the phlegm causing so much trouble. I needed coffee very badly so I had a cup at 4 am and then another one at 6:15 am.

By 8:30 am I was hungry so I and three other colleagues went to get breakfast at the upstairs cafeteria where the food is freshly made in the large kitchen that they have. I had that and some water and I was done. By 9:15 am I left the office in an Uber and came home. I plan to take it easy this weekend which is a bummer as I had planned to go out this Saturday or Sunday and even buy some beers to stock up for New Year’s eve. Oh well!

Looking Foward To Jan 2020

As we get ready to start a new year, will you be making any big changes?

No big changes. I do want to have some fun this January and go away for a few days. I want to unwind and recharge for a 3 day vacation just like I did last February. If you remember, I went to a hotel in February and basically laid back, slept a lot and unhooked from everything – well except the internet. I didn’t watch any tv shows or any movies.

I need that again and I want to get that. I am pretty sure that I can get a 5 day leave next month and go enjoy myself for a few days. I need the recharge days. I need to get away from the nonsense of work and my parents. I enjoy the time away, the quiet and the peace. I’ll take a book or two and read. I will do something. I will sleep a lot. That’s what I want to do again as a big change.

Ofcourse I will be drinking but at the same time it’s gonna be a relaxation.

Prompt from 31 Days Of Writing Prompts For December at The SitsGirls

Escape The Room

What can I say? It was a great experience. Escape The Room has three escapes rooms – a prison/jail cell, an ancient Egypt/archeological setting and a Sherlock Holmes themed who dunno it theme. I reached there only by 7:30 pm as there was a huge traffic block in Kaloor and Palrivattom. We separated into teams and I was in the prison cell challenge.

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We were the only ones who completed our challenge in 1 hour while the others ran out of time. It was a lot of fun. Once we were done, we took some pics and then headed to Zataar restaurant nearby for a team dinner.

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The food was excellent as always. We had alfam chicken and chicken mandhi and some beef platter. FOr the three vegetarians – one permanent and the other two temporary veggies – there was panner two types and veg fried rice. One person had a veg grill.

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We ended up with some sweet lemonade and then left. Some of them had to go back to the office but since I had an earlier shift I hailed an Uber and came home. I rested for a while before watching a movie and then fell asleep.

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What Are Your Holiday Traditions?

Simply put, I have no traditions. Not much anyways. I will only get the 25th and the 1st off from work, which sucks I know. But then American, British, Canadian & Australian companies outsource their work to developing nations like ours so they can relax and take all the holidays they want. And also they are tired of listening to the whining of their fellow citizens who are their customers. Just kidding! Well actually, no.

So for me, I will get some beer (or maybe some vodka + Sprite or Pepsi/Coke) and stock some in my fridge. I will order in some good food that I like. If my parents are with me then I will ask them what they would want. And I will select some good movies to watch. And it will be relaxation from my bed, listening to some music and watching Youtube videos in between the movies.

I have this policy of always drinking on New Year’s eve and never drinking on the 1st of January. You might call that a tradition. I have stuck to that for several years and I like that.

Prompt from 31 Days Of Writing Prompts For December at The SitsGirls

Mostly Vampire Shift

This week atleast till Friday, I will be doing the dreaded vampire shift. Or I guess it’s mostly a vampire shift since it is 12:30 am to 9:30 am and vampires cannot stand the sun. And it was pretty sunny at 9:30 am when I stepped outside of the office building to get an Uber ride home.

So this week and probably the next is a very busy week for our clients and the non-voice customer support (emails & chats) we provide for them is flooded with contacts from customers. We have a lot of new employees – over 200 who just started work last month – and they need all the support that they can get. Hence, my team is also roped in to help them.

Three of us are doing a 12:30 am to 9:30 am and 2 are doing a 2:30 am to 11:30 am shift. This is really tiring for an old man like me. I can manage to get to the office on time and staying up till 6am was actually a cinch. But by 7 am I was dozing off at my system. Coffee didn’t help. I couldn’t wait for 9 am so I could go get a nice big breakfast at the cafeteria and then leave by 9:30 on the dot. Tomorrow it’s the same. Friday evening we have a function to attend with the entire department so let’s see how that goes.

A Wednesday Afternoon @ The Ava Lounge

This is from a couple of weeks ago. On a Wednesday in NOvember, I had taken a personal day to chill out at home. However, I also wanted to get some beer and Alza was also free. She asked me if I could meet her in the evening but I prefer to meet up during the afternoon hours so we decided to meet up at 1 pm at Radisson so we could chill at the Ava Lounge.

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We had beer – she moved to Coke after one beer, while I had three. We ordered some seekh kebab (not that good) lots of French Fries, some chicken and salad. And ofcourse we took a bunch of pictures.

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By 5pm I was tired and wanted to get home. BY 5:30 pm we left and I dropped her off at her place before going on home.

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