Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ice Cream

Recently I got to participate in a blood drive. I know I was doing a noble cause, donating blood and all..

Ok, so I also know, there was a little selfish interest involved. *Grin*

The Austin blood drive basically ran a campaign like "Give a Pint, Take a Pint" (of Amy's ice cream :))

So naturally, I was excited.

I in fact binged on an extra breakfast taco Friday morning, because I was being sent
reminder mails that I should eat "well" :) So, this was comfortably one of the rare times, where you have a genuine excuse to give for overeating. I mean I could actually faint man, if I didn't overeat. Haha!

Anyway, I enter this bus parked by my office parking lot.

I stride in, grinning ear to ear..

Me: "Hey guys, is this where I need to give blood?"
Doc 1: "Yep, can you please sign up on that sheet there?"

Me: "Yes!" (Sure dude, do you have my ice cream ready? LOL)

Co-worker 1: "Did you eat? Coz you can faint sometimes.."
Me: "You kidding me, I ate tons! I could maybe give them one more pint. So full!"

Co-worker 2 (Didn't meet before, he was an Indian): "Hi, is this your first time?"
Me: "Yes! I never donated blood back in India. My parents would never let me..they were paranoid about the whole needle-AIDS connection, you know.."

Co-worker 2: (Nods his head in agreement)
Me: "Hey I didn't see you around before. You with the hardware guys?"

(Some more small talk)

Co-worker 1 to me (Striding out of the "consultation" room): "Dude, your next.."

Doc 2: "Are you Manju Vijayakumar?"
Me (smiling even more. This guy was Indian and so he got my name absolutely right!) : YES, that's me!

Doc 2 (polite smile): "Come on in!"

Me (tapping my fingers on the table. I was not sure why I was so excited! No clue why. But this was going to change soon..): "Whoa! Is that a long form or what?", pointing at the long questionnaire sheet.

Doc 2: "Yes, did you read the information sheet outside?"

Me: "Oh that AIDS thing?"

Doc 2: "Yes. That along with some other information"

Me: "Yeah! Isn't it crazy that people come to donate blood to test if they have HIV? So crazy!"

Doc 2: "Yes. A lot of them do that..Ok, Manju I might have to ask a lot of uncomfortable questions. It is just a part of the procedure. Are you ready?"

Me: "Sure!" (Anything for the ice cream dude. LOL)

Doc 2: "So tell me Manju..Did you have sex with more than one partner often?"

Me: No

Doc 2: "Did you have sex for money? If that question confuses you, it means did you have sex with a prostitute?"

Me: (Uhhh! Money huh..) No

Doc 2: "Did you have sex with a male who had sex with another male before having sex with you?"

Me: (Wot da...) No

Doc 2: Blah blah blah..."Were you pregnant in the last 6 months?"

Me: (Now I started getting used to telling No in a rhythmic tone..) Noooo

Doc 2: "Are you...

Me: No!

Doc 2: "I am sorry I did not finish the question"

Me: "Oh! Sorry.."

Doc 2: "Are you pregnant now?"

Me: (Hmm, how thoughtful of you to ask me.) NO!

Doc 2: "Do you have a fever now?"
Me: (Finally you ask sane questions, huh?): No

Doc 2: "Are you on any kind of drug now?"

Me: (Dude, I can eat an ice cream and still know I am eating an ice cream. That is how mentally stable I am right now!) NO

Doc 2: "Do you take heroin, crack, marijuana...blah blah"

Me: NO, NO, NO!

Doc 2 (Looking at me apologetically): Err..ok, Now I need you to take a look at this list and tell me what medicines from these have you been taking in the past 6 months

Me: "I don't need to look Doc. I never visited a drug store in the States since my last 1.5 years here"

Doc 2 (almost pleading): "Could you please? I need to conduct the procedure, end to end.

Me: (reluctantly..) Ok.

Doc 2: "I have few more questions to ask"

Me (sure, I am loving it x-(): Ok

Doc 2: "Do you belong to India?"

Me (WTF, doesn't he know am from India. I mean, he is Indian too..): Yes, of course

Doc 2: "How long back did you enter the States?"

Me: You are Indian right?

Doc 2: Err..yes, how long back did you enter the States?

Me: 1.5 years

Doc 2: So you were in India before that

Me (Yes, Genius!): Yeah

Doc 2 (Scrolls something across the form): "Sorry you are barred from donating blood anywhere in the States til Oct 2010. You hail from a country on the list of malaria infested nations."

Me (WTF!!!!!!!!!!!! Wot the f!!!!!): Whattttttt????????????

Doc 2: "..And this will go into our database so you cannot donate blood during the probation period. Also if you go back to India, anytime in the future, you cannot donate 1 year after your return from India"

Me: "Thanks for making sure! That is so relieving to hear. Is there anything else?"

Doc 2: "I am sorry. It is just a rule here. You can donate in India though."

Me: "Thanks. I thought I had to take your permission for that."

Doc 2: (Frowns)

Me: "Anyway, thanks had a GREAT time" (Boy! Was I oozing of sarcasm)

Doc 2: (Trying to make the mood lighter) "Hey are you from A&M?"

Me: "Don't get me started. If you are from UT, yes, I am an Aggie and proud to be one. I love Maroon more than Orange, if you must know." (totally miffed and pulling up a face)

(Texas A&M and UT Austin are two rival universities)

Doc 2 (smiling hard): "No, I am not form UT. I am coming to A&M for studying."

Me (rolling my eyes): "Really?!!"

Doc 2: "Yes. I heard it is great there."

Me: "Well...it is a small college town. It is warm and friendly. You would like it there. Heck, anyone would like it there."

Doc 2: "Cool, then we should keep in touch."

Me: "Ya well..yes."

Doc 2: "Hope to meet you there then!"

Me: "Sure"

Doc 2: "Sorry about today."

Me: "Ya, well I ate tons now, I need to find some other way to shirk all those carbs:)"

Doc 2 (Nodding and smiling)

Me (Strides out of the bus..enters my office break room and tells to my co-worker):
"Bitches, they wouldn't let me donate blood.."

Co-worker 1: "Try next time!"

Me: "Ya, remind me to sue them the next time..I will hold them against mental torture, sleazy questions..."

Co-worker 1: "Btw, there is ice cream if you want to have one:)"

Oh ya..I totally forgot about the ice cream in the process. Didn't I?

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Face your fears

This was a long time back.

I was a kid and I was very excited to travel in the local buses to school
(Don't ask me why, I am pretty retarded to choose crowded buses over comfy auto rickshaws)

Anyway, so I used to change 2-3 buses to go to school each day.

I was a kiddo then. Probably a 10 yr old.

I remember one day a partially crowded bus came by and I was running late.
So I swiftly stepped in and the bus driver yelled "Stopppppppppp!"

I said "What? What happened?"

Generally in the local buses, someone asks you to stop so hard only if you
were stepping into someone's puke in the bus. LOL. Anyway, what happened later
was tearful..

The bus driver started cursing me and must have used swear words @ 10/min
Like he called me a "whore's child" and what not. Some of them beyond my comprehension. He basically didn't want me to step in and add to the crowd in the bus.

Tears started rolling down my cheeks. And I stepped down.
That day I got late to school. But that was not the point. I was so terribly upset about those swear words, that I, frankly didn't even understand at that point of time. And yet it affected me so badly.

During dinner I ate very little. My dad knew something was wrong. So after a lot of "tell me what happened" lines,I told my dad,
"I am never going to go in that bus. I can't", and I cried
like a baby. Mom tells me till date that she never saw me so upset, like I was that day.

Dad: "What? What the heck happened? I thought you loved buses?"
Me: "Ya. I can't tell. The driver was so rude. I am scared to step into a bus and find him as the driver now..."

(Bus drivers worked on a rotation basis. So I could easily bump into him if I took some other bus too)

Dad: "Really! You telling me your scared because of the son of a b****?"
Me: Ummm...
Mom: [Jaw dropped. She usually doesn't get 90% of the curses we utter]

Dad: "You make me sick. Are you telling me instead of fist fighting this guy, you weep like a baby and do nothing about it? What the hell are you scared about?"

Me: "I don't know."

That's when Dad taught me some of the choiciest swear words to use. LMAO.

Dad: "Go use them! Tell me how it goes. I hope you meet that son of a..."

Me: [nervously laughing. I was still scared]

After about a week I saw the same bus driver when I stepped in. He was about to yell
when he practically pissed in his pants..while I started off. I ended with a line I practiced for like the entire week..LOL..

"Teri baap ki jaagir nahi hain yeh bus, samjha?" (This bus is not your father's property, understood?)

At the end of which I beamed. A couple of ladies in the front actually smiled back
and congratulated me. LOL. I was the local bus hero! Ha!

Disclaimer: This doesn't mean you can use swear words and turn the world on your side;)

Saturday, January 03, 2009

What a day!


Warning: This is a full fledged 'bitch diary' for the day.

Right from the time I got up today, I was on the run.

First my roommate who moved out recently, kept sneaking in to check on
her "remaining stuff" in the apartment. Several of her woes, my plastic container (good lord, mus be a freaking 4 bucks!), my 2 melamine plates (I have no clue what happened to the other one, but one I seemed to have broke), my two napkins(jeez!) are missing. I really wanted to write her a neat cheque for all this if it made her happy. But she preferred whining about insignificant stuff. And kept telling "Everything was here before I went to the holidays" which actually would read as "You stole my stuff". Yes, I have a part time job and it is stealing other's food containers and cheesy napkins. I surely make a whopping profit off them girl..

Next, the new roommate walks in. Everything gung-ho. No complains here.
I spend some quality time with her grandmother and get all *envious* of a what a terrific family she has to help her with her things and simply take good care of her.
Life seemed so unfair at that point. (All that in another post)

I had to work on an important presentation to be given on Monday. And I did'nt start yet. So after my rather "long" talk with granny, I run to the office only to figure that today was 3rd of Jan. That means last day to pay rent. I run back to my apartment and what do I see? I am out of cheque leaflets! Good Lord! I run to the lease office, "Hey you think you can make do with a debit card?" to which I get a "Hey why dont you pay me a cool 45$ as processing fee?" :(

I go out for a walk with the new roommate to clear my head and lose track of time.
I come back in, only to find my roommate and her husband (now, with accomplice. wow!) sneaking around. Oh well..

I come back to work. All pumped up to start off. An old friend is complaining on chat about "How I don't chat with him these days.." and "Give me a reply within another 30 secs or you will die"

I try to relax and focus. I get a call from a friend in college.
"Hey your apartment keys here, someone wants them."
Basically I am moving into an apartment back at college in few days. Already the mailbox key is misplaced by one of the girl's who subleased the apartment to me. And now some friend of hers temporarily wants to stay in. I have no problems with that. I am basically human and I want to keep track of my freaking apartment keys! x-(

I hate the United States.