i wait in 4/4 time…

my favorite part about traveling is that plans rarely go as expected and this is almost always a good thing…i’ve learned over the years to plan less and enjoy those random, fortunate moments that you experience and i’ve also found that they almost always involve meeting or reconnecting with people…there are likely a lot of reasons for my delay since my last post (my own laziness and general disdain for the process of writing included)…but certainly the best excuse is that i have spent seven of the last ten days in paris and brussels reconnecting with my friend neepa from high school…

i’ve grown very fond of people that i’ve managed to stay in touch with and feel connected to despite large distances or periods of time passing in between meetings…i met neepa in a high school (much like my friend bill) science class and my oldest memory of her is thinking she must have been amazingly cool because she liked sonic youth (this was an accurate assessment)…we shared a handful of high school stories over the course of the last week and a half but also noted that in between the time i graduated and the time i saw her next (about two years ago) eight full years had passed…we hung out briefly when she was doing some work in nyc for lunch and i recalled then that it was very easy to talk with her…one of those things that only happens with friends that you know really connect with you…

neepa came down to visit me and another high school friend who happened to be in paris a couple of weekends ago…our personalities work well together because she has a lot of spastic energy and talks about a mile a minute…this mixed well with my general vacation mentality in which i behave like my mind is constantly playing brian eno’s music for airports…she’s also extremely photo happy…this is a great thing for my amma who complains that i don’t take enough pictures when i travel…thanks to neepa i now, literally, have hundreds…

we did a lot of wandering around the city, drinking a lot of wine, eating a lot of falafel and staying up late into the night sharing all those stories that you have lying around when you don’t speak to someone for such a long time…among my favorite paris adventure so war was our trip to centre pompidou…i generally appreciate modern art museums (though certain rooms do test my patience) and their roy lichtenstein exhibit was incredible…i’ve liked several of his pieces that are part of moma’s permanent collection and it was nice to see his entire career’s work in one place and wander through the timeline of it all…neepa and i both enjoyed the rooms that contained some of his reinterpretations of works from picasso and monet and we had a nice discussion about the way in which visual artists borrow from other artists…afterwards we had a nice milkshake on the rooftop cafe and enjoyed the view of the city…pompidou’s roof offers my favorite view of paris because you can see notre dame, the eiffel tower and sacre couer from the top…

centre pompidou avec neepa...

centre pompidou avec neepa…

after she left, i spent a couple of days working on school work before i hopped on the high speed train to brussels…i love trains and man does this thing move…i was in brussels in about an hour and we spent the next few days just wandering around and exploring the city…neepa’s an extremely thorough tour guide, which i appreciated…she knew the city inside and out and also had a wealth of knowledge about the history of the buildings which i enjoyed being life-long history nerd…

i was a little under the weather when i arrived, so i took a short nap after lunch…when i woke up we went out for a super nice vegetarian dinner and met up with a few of her friends…the weather was amazing for a summer night and thanks to liberal laws about the consumption of alcohol her friends were able to grab some booze and sit in the middle of a nice outdoor plaza and just drink and talk…there are few things in life that beat nice weather, nice company and good conversation…it felt like everything that makes summer amazing and i was grateful to have had the experience…

yesterday, brussels was grey and rainy all day but we still ventured out and explored…our shoes were soaked after a few hours of walking around and after a delicious falafel sandwich with belgian frites tucked inside i managed to convince neepa to take me to the comic museum…she obliged and indulged the child in me and it was definitely an interesting (and dry) experience looking through the history of comics in general and some of the belgian specific comic history (which is quite rich)…we also talked about how amazing garfield minus garfield is and why family circus totally sucks…

me + neepa + brussels...

me + neepa + brussels…

we spent the entire day out and ended up back at neepa’s apartment around eleven for dinner…like normal indian people…then she made all this amazing bengali food…

neepa making dinner at eleven...

neepa making dinner at eleven…

homemade indian food...nothing beats it...

homemade indian food…nothing beats it…

and i ate it…it was seriously the best meal i’ve had since i left my parents house a month ago…afterwards we had some incredible scotch and called it a night…

fifteen year...

fifteen year…

today, we had a slow morning and headed down to a big belgian market where the moroccan immigrant community makes an amazing sandwhich filled with fresh olives, tomatoes, feta cheese and a whole bunch of other delicious stuff for only a few euros…they also gave us free moroccan tea which was deliciously sweet…afterwards, i picked up some belgian chocolate for my parents and we headed to a small bar by her apartment…we had a few drinks and chatted for a few more hours and it was really nice to talk to someone about everything from comic strips to radical political movements and feel connected through it all…we grabbed some food when left the bar, headed to her apartment and had some whiskey on her porch before i had to pack and head to the train station…it was a bit sad to leave and we’re both hoping our paths cross again sooner rather than later…

i just arrived in paris and i’m looking forward to the last few days i have here before heading back to the BK…

ooxx aa

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