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Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Few photos from Anza Borrego

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Due to the extra rains this year, the desert bloom was supposed to be intense. We probably missed the best of it, but it was still pretty at the Anza Borrego State Park near San Diego. More than the flowers, I actually enjoyed the top-down driving through the windy roads leading in and out of the park on a sunny but cool day. A few photos (still need to learn all the settings for better output from my p&s).

Written by BongoP'o'ndit

April 4, 2010 at 2:03 pm

Posted in Photographs, Travel

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Monday…must be travel day.

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Just some rambles to take advantage of free airport wifi.


Not the most pleasant thing to do on very early Monday morning…..but there I go again – all the way across the country this time. And I am holding on to my car keys with dear life this time around.


So Sunday included a five hours round trip drive (fortunately, I wasn’t driving) to essentially get Biryani from a Bangladeshi place in LA. Then being a total Bong bhadralok & buying lots of fish (which in a very non-typical Bong manner, I will actually will not eat – yes I know, Bongs have been trying to disown me on this technicality for a while). Plus a bunch of old Bong movie DVDs.

Yes – they do have biryani in SD, but not the aromatic, slightly moist with ghee and pieces of of succulent, melt-in-the-mouth pieces of mutto type of biryani. Delicious stuff.


It was universally agreed upon that LA has the fugliest downtown in America.

But plane-spotting is definitely fun near LAX. Especially if you can get a seat outside at the In-and-Out on Century Blvd. Heaven for airplane-geeks.

The part of LA where biryani and fish were picked up could very well be in a different country. Driving north on S Vermont Ave, every sign is in Korean (and every other shopfront offer acupuncture and some sort of herbal therapy). A few Bengali signs after that.


Watched bits and pieces of the Oscars  while devouring said biryani. Under-whelmed. Both by the ceremonies, and most of the live-tweets.

What was with the people going on and on introducing the best actor/actress nominees ? Looked very awkward. IMHO, only Colin Ferrel was able to pull it off.  And the sudden ending was weird as well. Like the theater caretaker was pointing to his watch and asking people to hurry along and finish up, he had to lockup and leave before his diner closed up.


Guy behind me: I don’t need to know the entire love-life, breakup and therapy of whoever you are talking to very loudly on the phone with.

Written by BongoP'o'ndit

March 8, 2010 at 11:34 am

Posted in Food, Personal, Travel

San Fran Ahoy!

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Gearing up for almost a week at San Francisco to attend the Biophysical Society annual meeting.  Easily my favorite conference, which features not only cool science, but lots of fun people (and errr…..some irritatingly nerdy ones too) to meet-up with. Plus, looking forward to hanging out  with the good folks from down under. Good amount of drinking is in the forecast (given that it seems like weather will be kinda dreary).

Suggestions for watering holes and brekkie/coffee joints near the downtown area will be highly appreciated (I am scouring Yelp, but recos always help).

Written by BongoP'o'ndit

February 18, 2010 at 12:03 am

Posted in Science, Travel

Boston ahoy.

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Off to my favorite scientific conference. I wish the organizers had chosen a warmer clime, but then hopefully the science within the heated indoors will more than make up for it. So here is looking forward to meeting old friends, making new ones, networking, and of course, some awesome science.

After the conference,  a bit of nothing to do (unless someone wants to offer me a job interview 😛 ) and then San Francisco for a couple of days.

Any lurkers from Boston/Bay Area, give a toot. Beer shall be consumed in good company then.

Written by BongoP'o'ndit

February 25, 2009 at 9:20 am

Posted in Personal, Science, Travel

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…

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…actually no, it isn’t (but I do love the Alvin and the Chipmunks version of the song).

Warm (~30Celcius) weather and long summer days does not put one into the same type of holiday mood as does a good covering of white fluffy snow on the ground. Add to that a curious lack of carols and songs on the radio, malls and cafeteria here in Oz. Not even much of Christmas-like decorations in our neighborhood. So all in all, not the usual x-mas mood I have been used for the eight odd years in the US.

But hey, if it something the Aussies do well – it is taking holidays, partying, and fun-stuff like drinking.

Speaking of drinking, Christmas in summer  means that the usual egg-nog (with a good amount of brandy) is not such a good option. Hence , to enjoy the holidays, I made up this sweeter derivative of the classic Mint Julep:

A Festive Julep

A Festive Julep

A Festive Julep

Muddle 1-2 teaspoon of sugar with 5-6 mints leaves and a dash of water. Add crushed ice (it is important to add crushed ice to this drink instead of cubes) and pour 2 oz (60ml)  Kentucky Bourbon (or Jack Daniels) and 2oz  (60ml) Southern Comfort mix lightly and top off with sparkling water. Finally, drop in a maraschino cherry (add a bit of the syrup too if you want it even sweeter).

Traditionally a drink associated with southern USA, especially the Kentucky Derby, this is quite a refreshing  cocktail.  Santa would appreciate at the end of the gift runs !

Merry Christmas, happy holidays etc !

Me, I am off to Melbourne tomorrow (sadly not in attendance at the MCG for Boxing Day though), with a drive along the Great Ocean Road, and checking out the vineyards of the Barossa and McLaran Vales in store.

Written by BongoP'o'ndit

December 24, 2008 at 8:51 pm

Posted in Australia, Food, Martinis, Travel

I blog…..(Bangkok airport edition)

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Watching the majestic flying machines take-off/land [1], or simply taxi along, while the sun sets in the background……all the while sipping on a Sapphire-and-tonic (no Vermouth available, hence the second choice) – and playing with a new toy and blogging (courtesy free wifi at the Royal Silk Lounge)……..goes a long way towards taking the pain off a 16-hour layoff at a not too passenger friendly airport (I have been spoiled by Singapore’s Changi)


1: Of all commercial airplanes, and that includes the Concorde and the recent A-380s, dont you agree  that the Boeing 747 ‘Jumbo’ jets are the most majestic.

Written by BongoP'o'ndit

October 9, 2008 at 6:52 am

Posted in Personal, Travel

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I want to write

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…but I am too tired. The heat, humidity and traffic in Kolkata is getting to me, as is the intricate bureaucratic set-up that is the local passport office and the police.

Even the Sapphire Gin and Tonics in the evenings aren’t of much help.

Speaking of which, I realise to my dismay, Tonic water is extremely uncommon in Kolkata; I could find them only at Spencer’s.

In other news, had a quick, pleasant mid-week trip to Mumbai. The main trip is next week. And still doing the rounds, trying to get a bloody Police Clearance Certificate from the Kolkata passport office.

Written by BongoP'o'ndit

August 10, 2008 at 6:28 am