My first weekend here at US was really awesome. Met a lot of cool people.
On Friday, Rohan & Amit (with whom I live) took me to dinner along with them. We went to a nice restaurant called ‘Papaya’. Three of their friends also joined us (all from Maharashtra, Pune). The food was good. Later that night, we met at Sreekanth’s (a postdoctoral scholar from pune) home. We played a board game called ‘The Settlers of Catan‘. Its a real fun game. It’s sort of like Age of Empires on a board. It’s very lengthy – we finished by 4.30 am in the morning (around 5 hours). It was a really memorable experience.
On Saturday,a few of Amit’s friends had come over from Boston. They were going out and invited me to join them. We had lunch from an italian hotel (Noodles & Company). Then we went to Old Man’s Caves at Hocking Hills. It involved a lot of trekking. It was real fun. Also, one important aspect of the journey was the hour long drive through the highway. The roads here are superb. The cars here have auto transmission & a feature called ‘Cruise control‘. It basically means that the driver can take his legs off the accelerator/brake. The car automatically maintains the speed set by the driver. Also, the roads are so good that everyone drives touching the speedlimit (75 mph or 120 kmph) or sometimes more (its legal to be over the limit by 5 or 10 mph depending on the roads) . The villages along the highway are very beautiful and picturesque. Contrary to my earlier assumption, US is not all about cities and high rise buildings. There are a lot of vast farmlands and grass terrains, even more than what I’ve ever seen back in India. We later had dinner at an Indian restaurant called Manaas. I had a really wonderful time with them.
On Sunday, Neeraj (M.S student living next doors) invited me to go to Cuyahoga National Park with his friends. There were many beautiful trails to walk around (& for biking). There were some interesting caves and crevices. We were advised not to go inside the caves since the bats inside were having some disease this season. We walked around the places, climbing over the rocks and passing through crevices. Then we headed to Brandywine falls which was a sight to behold. I also met Varun Nandakumar who had Mallu origins (though was brough up in Banglore & Pune). We talked in malayalam. 🙂 We wound up the trip with a dinner from Bob Evans. The whole trip was a memorable experience.