oBelIX in america: Part III and IV
Part III: Redmond – food
The first evening in Redmond, I’m wondering, what to do. I go ask the receptionist where’s the nearest place to buy electronics. She says, “Goto the best buy. Its a couple of miles, would you like me to get you a cab”. “Hah! I thought. A Cab. Pfft. I can walk”. Redmond’s a nice place to walk. So, I head in the general direction of this electronics store. I get there, buy a camera and what not. Now, I’m hungry. Fortunately, there’s a shopping center nearby: The Crossroad shopping center. There, I had my first taste of Greek. I had a sandwich of Pita bread which had hummus in it. Now, I don’t quite remember what hummus is but the whole thing tasted excellent. Quite refreshing and cool.
Now seems as good a time as any to talk about the differences in buses between India and the USA.
- In the USA, the buses will not stop if you put your arm out and wave about.
- In the USA, the bus driver will not open the door to let you off at an intersection even though the bus is at a complete standstill. Let me be quite clear here, when I say complete standstill, I mean that if it was any more stopped it would be going backwards. [That sounded a lot better in my head]
- In the USA, you have to have exact change. The driver won’t give back any change. Fortunately, I did not learn this the hard way. I put in a 2$ for a 1.5$ ticket, the mean driver pointed to a sign that said “Exact change only” and when I was seated a kind old lady gave me 50p saying she’d gotten it from the driver and asked me whether I was new here :).
Part IV: oBelIX jogs through shady sections of Redmond
One of my colleagues had suggested, goto Redmond Town Center, it is excellent for shopping and other such leisurely activities. It was late in the day, so I hopped onto a bus that went to RTC. This bus, as it turns out wasn’t going all the way. It dropped me off somewhere, and when I asked the driver, how far to Redmond Town Center, he said, “It’s quite near, a couple of blocks”.
Ab, herogiri to karni thi. It was dark out. I’m walking in what I think is the general direction to Redmond Town Center. The entire area I am walking through is deserted. Desolate. Run down shops and buildings. There are a set of weird looking guys, built like monster trucks, on the next intersection. I take the first turn away from them and start walking at a pace which most of the human populace uses when it wants to misplace the flab around the belly. I hit a railway line crossing the road. At this time, I am scared, lost and reminded oddly of a level in half-life 2. Anyway, I happen to find a shop selling painting supplies and so on, which in a different frame of mind I wouldn’t have minded looking through in more detail but at that time, all I can do is go to the owner, ask him where Redmond Town Center is and practically run there :).
For the record, Redmond Town Center is a waste of time. Absolutely nothing interesting there. There were no people. I had two absolutely crappy slices of pizza at a place called “Pizza Schmizza” [The exact address thanks to the interweb: 16552 NE 74th St, Redmond]