Russia!

The Moment we landed, and got off the aircraft, walking towards the passport control. We knew we had arrived and waiting for Russia & Russians to welcome us. 
At the passport control, the representative kept scanning the passport and kept looking at me, without my glasses, with my glasses and what seemed to bother him the most, I believe was my Red Yankees cap. It had been fifteen minutes both my parents were now cleared, It was only me from the family that was waiting to be cleared and I guess because it was my first visa on my new passport and that too a Russian, that bothered him way too much,I guess that he couldn’t find anything more suspicious besides my “Red Yankees” that he finally set me free. And that was my “Warm welcome to Russia” 
Moscow is the capital of Russia and is named after the river  Moscow and pronounced Moskva.
The city famous landmark includes the Redsquare -The name Red Square has nothing to do with communism but derives from the word “Krasnyi”, which meant “beautiful”.
St.Basil Cathedral that was made by Ivan the terrible one of the landmark that is recognized as Moscow. The story goes Ivan the Terrible blinded the architecture after he constructed the st. Basil Cathedral. Another interesting fact about the cathedral. It was painted white to match the colour of Kremlin, the word ‘kremlin’ is used to describe a castle or an important Russian fortified complex. But, in 1700 the colours were added. And since 1990 St.Basil Cathedral has been part of Unesco Heritage Site. Moscow’s sightseeing is all around the red square, making it accessible to walk around all the sights. 
The other beauty of this city and country lies deep down underground. “The Underground Metro station” is a sight in itself with the detailing in design to the colours and style of each metro station being different right from the ancient design to the modern design the metro stations are all worth visiting. 
The Escalator lye minimum 150ft deep to 300ft.
The St. Petersburg Admiralteyskaya metro is   2nd deepest in the world.
Russia as a country was even more challenging than Japan, As here they just couldn’t understand English one bit. 
It’s a fact there are around 11 million more women than men.
We used the local “Gett” App Uber for Russia and the drivers too couldn’t understand anything, we had to always stay stationed around hotels like Four season & St.Regis to have our drivers meet us. Else we would have been fleeced and literally being taken for a ride. Traffic in Moscow is so bad that wealthy Russians hire fake ambulances to beat the jams.
St.Petersburg after being in Moscow for the last five days, we travelled to st. Petersburg- Was once named Petrograd  ‘Peters’ city but in 1991 it was renamed to its original German name “Sankt-Peterburg” in English it’s pronounced “Saint Petersburg”, It’s also the  Cultural capital of Russia with a lot of Museum’s. 
 The hermitage museum is one of the world’s largest art museum. Where even if you spend a minute admiring each art piece, you will take eleven years to see the complete collection. 
50 cats are employed in the State Hermitage. To protect the items from rats and mice.
Saint Petersburg will remind you a lot “like Venice” “Budapest” a little like  “Prague” “Germany”  and “ Amsterdam” With the bridges and the water all around The Neva river and Fontanka River. The Kazan Cathedral is best viewed from Dom Knigi “House of Books” Singer Cafe. 
The Midnight cruise from one am to two forty am is the best way to see the city by night, you can see the drawing bridges not one but a couple of them. And enjoy the sunrise at three am.
Interesting Trivia about Russia:
  • It has more time zones (11) than any other country, but only nine are used now.
  • The first railway of Russia appeared in Petersburg
  • Christ the Saviour Construction of the temple lasted for almost 44 years: it was founded in 1839, and consecrated – in 1883. It’s a unique cathedral with a height of 103,5 meters, The temple is visible from any point of the city, its bell ringing was resounded far beyond Moscow. 
  • The Hotel Astoria in St.Petersburg is where Hitler planned to hold a huge celebratory banquet once he’d conquered the city
  • Writer Alexei Tolstoi gave the cellar its name as he and others looked for a cultural refuge in the city, saying “Why are we running around like stray dogs?” And the name stuck.“The idea of the cafe was to establish a place where young creative people, maybe not always well-known, could get together, talk to each other and become inspired to create something.”

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Horse Betting!!

Always seemed curious to know exactly how does betting in horse races actually happen. No,Not that I had no idea at all.
Of course I knew a little or to confess actually nothing,You really can’t believe and trust what the movies show is actually that happens,They of course take the creative liberty, that’s why It’s known as a creative field.
So when I did get an invite for an event at the race course,As this was also the last race of the season.I not only made sure,I was in town.But, had my parents and their friends to come down for this particular event. For which I accidentally got invited and grabbed it with both my hands literally! Had a total number of nine people from my side.
We after absorbing the atmosphere out there, finally paid attention to one of the actual reasons why we made it a point to attend the evening. The races, So as the rush to go and bet on the horses was really high, without having any clue. We all chose are numbers,Keeping in mind the most popular Horse number, Numerology (The lucky numbers) and going with the instinct Of which horse might win and placed our bets on a couple of numbers. And out of the five number we had placed the bet on we were lucky the ”7” was one of them that won. This was just the beginning of the circle, well.If I have won this let me try out my luck once again (No,We did not want to consciously keep in mind that this would be our beginner’s luck .) So we go again and this time we learn something. What numbers would you like to place for the “WIN” and what numbers would you like to keep on Place”. We were now literally glued to know more and kept wondering what “Place” would be. No,We did not want to ask anybody We did not want to embarrass ourselves. So came up with a theory it might be an alternative number, that we would like to “Place” a bet on. So, not happy with the validation our last resort,”Google” will know it for sure and it happens “Place” Is the Horse number that you believe is going to either be finishing in the first Postion or the second position.While I got to know “Place” besides the “Win” options. I thought i knew the basic for the next season. I learnt a few more things.
There is something known as “Show” too in horse betting.
Well,Hold your horses! I am coming to that point, What exactly is “Show” now. Well! you will have to excuse me because here I will have to tell you and wouldn’t able to show it to you. Unlike the show business Where you show and don’t tell. “Show” is your horse has to either finish first,Second or Third.

There are a few other terms too, which I am going to share out here right now! For you to brag when you too would be going to experience the races.

Exactia – Who would the first two finisher’s (Pick them)
Trifecta – Who would be the first three finishers (Pick them)
Superfecta – Who would be the first four Finishers
Hi- 5 – Any guess what would this be? The first five finishers obviously.

Two Adorable Losers Play!!!

Two adorable losers is an upcoming play at NCPA for the theatre lovers and If you haven’t been for a play yet or always wanted to go for one ,this one is for you This is  your chance to come and enjoy the comedy starring Darsheel Safary from ‘Tare Zaamen Par ‘ fame and Abhishek Pattnaik who is not only starring in the play,But has co-written and co-produced it  ,under “Out of the box production “
Two adorable losers is a English comedy about a professor played by (Abhishek Pattnaik) from Odisha who is weak in his English diction and a student played by (Darsheel Safary) who is weak in his academics. Both suffer from the same problem – an inferiority complex. In an attempt to regain their lost confidence, they approach each other in an unusual alliance.
A little trivia about the play- The play is adapted in Odhisha and is many ways an autobiographical tone for the  writer Abhishek Pattanaik  as his parents originally belonging to Odhisha shifted to Mumbai, But having his parents roots in odhisha they would travel to cuttack during his vacation and the observation of livelihood,Mannerism,surrounding and the people around for years later is getting adapted with an already hilarious sounding play “Two adorable losers”that unfolds for all on the 13th of January 2019 at NCPA.
To buy the tickets for the play click on the link https://in.bookmyshow.com/plays/two-adorable-losers/ET00023334

Morocco Travel Journey!!


Witnessing the sunrises almost everyday and everyday it looked different.Yet the day seemed nearly the same.In the past ten days  haven’t really known what day we were living in.Even today when finally home it’s Saturday! A weekend already. 
The free time,Experienced the sunset at souk Mediana & shopped for souvenir, visited the shopping mall and ate dinner at one of my favourite cafe “Paul”until we called it a day! 
The last day that we had,Witnessed the sunrise once again, Visited  Royal Mansour hotel for their   Christmas Decorations. Afternoon went shopping for last moment shopping.And soon executed the impromptu plan for the Atlas mountain journey. It was like going to the Himalayan’s and driving around Kashmir valley snow capped mountain as our view towards the mountains and trees around the side ways leading us towards the mountain one of the craziest evening. Around   sunset when we were all creeping out with the darkness around,After some Moroccan tea & coffee left for Marrakech once again.The whole journey we were all stressed out,Just a couple of days ago tourist were murdered in the region. Visited  the Souk once again for more shopping followed by a dinner meal  at a nice quite place in the heart of Marrakech.The dinner wasn’t  complete without desserts and  coffee  that we enjoyed  post our satisfactorily meal. This was the week in Marrakech,Morocco besides the work.

The Monk of Mokha -Book Review !

The Monk of Mokha is a true story about Mokthar alkhanshali who did many odd jobs until one day when a lady asked  #Mokhtar have you seen the statue across the street?  and she was surprised he had never seen the statue. 
That’s a statue of Yemini dude Al Shadhili  known as the monk of Mokha. drinking a big cup of coffee, she told him. 
That’s got to mean something.May be this is your thing.You’re 25.Pick a direction for your life.
And thus began the journey for Mokthar and Port of Mokha. But it wasn’t easy and all the struggle during the civil war in Yemen is narrated and the final escape from Aden to US to exporting the grounds is nail biting.Just like as if you are reading a thriller.
Trivia:
1.Port of Mokha – Was  the primary point of all coffee grown in Yemen.
2. 2014 mokhtar became the worlds  1st Arab Q grader of arabica coffees.
3.Q Grading program :The Q grader program was first launched in 2004, It’s six full days of intense training.The certification is useful for purchasing coffee, selecting roast profiles and production/processing methods, understanding coffee origins, and more.
4.In 80 years it was the 1st time coffee left from the port of Mokha in Yemen during the civil war 
5.As of spring 2017 farmers replaced 17,000 qat plants with Coffee trees.
6.The 1st container of 18,000 kg of port of Mokha was sold out across 4 continents in 45 days.
7. February  2017 -Coffee review awarded port of Mokha’s haymah microlat 97 rating the highest score issued in the publication 20 years.
8.The first coffee house was called Qahveh Qahveh