January 02, 2017

2016 - The Year in Cities

My travels were limited to 8 cities in 3 countries in the Americas this year as I completed my metamorphosis from a dashing adventurer into a caring family man. The domestic outings consisted of a road trip from Las Vegas to the Grand Canyon via historic Route 66 and a 34-hour train ride on the California Zephyr to Denver from Oakland. The only nights spent away from towns, villages, or cities in 2016 were at the Samona Lodge in the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador, with the rest of the journey to the middle of the world spent in and around the capital Quito or in the enchanting Galapagos Islands.

The 2016 List
  • Colorado Springs, USA
  • Denver, USA
  • Las Vegas, USA
  • Puerto Ayora, Ecuador
  • Quito, Ecuador
  • San Francisco, USA
  • Vancouver, Canada
  • Williams, USA

Past Lists
 Through travel I first became aware of the outside world; it was through travel that I found my own introspective way into becoming a part of it.
- Eudora Welty

January 09, 2016


A friend speaking at my wedding reception in Vancouver:
When Arnab asked us to roast him at his reception, we thought it was a strange request. We asked him what we should speak about. He said to talk about his good qualities. Two things become abundantly clear. 
1. Arnab has no idea what a roast is. 
2. This was going to be a very short speech.

January 02, 2016

Arnab's Year in Cities - 2015

Although the ARNABlog took a well deserved back seat to the ARNABride in 2015, the world travels dipped only slightly from previous years. The final tally for the year stood at 21 cities across 7 countries after a whirlwind of weddings, receptions, and honeymoons. A series of road trips around California and its adjacent states was bookended by some wanderings in the Middle East at the beginning of the year and Central America at the tail end. Despite a horrific bout with chicken pox, I did not visit Seoul for reconstructive surgery.

The 2015 List
  • Bakersfield, USA
  • Cambria, USA
  • Doha, Qatar
  • Dubai, UAE
  • Fresno, USA
  • King City, USA
  • Kolkata, India
  • Las Vegas, USA
  • Los Angeles, USA
  • Modesto, USA
  • Monte Verde, Costa Rica
  • New York, USA
  • Oakhurst, USA
  • Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
  • Reno, USA
  • Sacramento, USA
  • San Diego, USA
  • San Francisco, USA
  • San Jose, Costa Rica
  • Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
  • Vancouver, Canada

Years past
 The gladdest moment in human life, me thinks, is a departure into unknown lands. 
– Richard Burton

April 26, 2015

Why is the Tenderloin Called the Tenderloin?

Me: Look... Here is a map marking all the places people poop on the streets in San Francisco.
Friend: You live right in middle of the large brown spot!

My friend had correctly identified that the large brown spot was the Tenderloin, my residential neighbourhood in the land of the free and the home of the brave. The filthy downtown district consists of historical buildings, good nightlife and dining options, and a community of homeless (but not hopeless) people, drug addicts, nutcases who had been released from asylums and left to fend for themselves without any societal support, and other maladjusted individuals.

More loin than tender, I wondered how the area had earned its moniker and did some investigation. It seems the original Tenderloin referred to a seedy section of New York in the 19th century that shared many of the same characteristics as its present day San Francisco namesake.

Dirty cops earned so much money for looking the other way at the sinful activities taking place in their precincts, that they could now afford to eat expensive tenderloin steaks rather than the cheapest hunks of meat that their meagre salaries would otherwise allow for if they had not engaged in graft and bribery. The San Francisco version had borrowed the name as 'the Tenderloin' became a more generic term for crime-infested red light districts across America.

April 12, 2015

Life After Pox

Friend: I can barely see anything. Your face looks fine. I don't know what you worry about. I can literally see nothing other than a tiny thing on your forehead.

Me: Before the pox my skin was very smooth, with no blemishes. Now there are holes on my forehead, cheek, and nose.

Friend: Dude... I was expecting something way worse.

Me: Sorry to disappoint.

Friend: Yes! shame on you! You can't even get proper chickenpox. Useless. Completely useless.

Me: Now I look like a normal human with blemishes.

Friend: It gives your perfection a human touch. It makes you more relatable for other people.

Me: That's a good way to look at it.

Friend: It's the only way to look at it.