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The Quirky Life of P

Humor and satire revolving around Mr P- a fictional mix of an avatar of Mr Bean and the veritable Bertram Wooster of Wodehouse fame.

Archive for the category “Travel”

P is not for POTUS or for Putin

blimpThings were not looking good for P and he was worried when he returned to blogosphere after a long break. He had chosen to be known as P rather than by his name ‘Pillai’ which could also be translated as ‘baby’ in South Indian languages. But, quite a few things starting with the letter P were showing up in collusion and in bad light or even trying to silence P— stars, on the sly! And now there was this big baby blimp in a diaper going to be floating in the skies in London!

However, P had no intention of going anywhere overseas, let alone London, any time in the near future especially with all that was happening with immigration and border security. He worried that his visa may be cancelled for no reason. He worried that he could be separated from his family and be put in a detention centre. Times were so bad that, that was what was happening to kids these days! After all, his name suggested that he was a child too!

A big orange blimp, up in the sky;

It broke his heart, not to see it fly!

But with new rules and travel ban,

P worried about his dark skin and tan!

 

Staying home was not much fun,

But safer than a trip to London.

For times were bad and children sad,

Separated from mums and dads!

 

 

 

 

 

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P finds his place…

Reblogging this post that was previously published for a daily prompt as it is relevant to the theme “finding your place“.

 

From India P flew to New Zealand,newzlnd-2-copy

Looking for a better life;

Endured the cold  in the south, but

Earthquakes shook his sanity.austr1-copy

Ferrying across the Tasman he then

Landed down in Australia;

Emus and roos were endearing,

Employment, though, was hard to find.aus3-copy

Friends and foes suggested he

Left for a share of the American Pie;

Excitedly he flew to the United States but

Entry was denied, Immigration threw him out.usa1-copy

Fleeing to India he found his place;

Losing itchy feet and all bravado,

Eventually he progressed so spiritually;

Everything, he now believes, was simply meant to be.

peace-copy

Murder on the train

Overheard: This week’s writing challenge revolves around eavesdropping.

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P had been ill at ease with the night travel by train in India, especially when he did not get tickets for the air-conditioned compartment and had to travel second class with the windows left open to counter the heat. It was not helpful that only the previous day, he had watched the film ‘Madras mail’, which was about a murder on a train. Tired, he had however nodded off and was woken as the train jerked to a stop at a station.  As he lay there with his eyes still shut, slowly drifting off to sleep, he was jolted by the sound of a slap. He kept his eyes closed and listened…

Child’s voice: “Kill him, mummy, Kill him!”

Woman’s whisper: “Hush! I don’t want you to wake up everybody on the train!”

Through half-opened eyes, P slowly peeped at the family of three on the opposite berth, travelling in the same cubicle. The dim light was still turned on and he could discern the figure of the man slouching by the window, probably fast asleep.

The woman was now looming over the husband with her hand slightly raised as the tot stood by her side, anxiously whispering “Get him mummy, get him!”…

P was shocked to hear the child say those words… He couldn’t believe a child could be so evil!… But then he remembered the famous film, “Omen” and he shuddered.New Picture (19)

The woman was now leaning towards her husband and as her raised hand came down in a slap, P cringed and shut his eyes…

Child’s voice: “Did you kill him?”

Man’s voice: “What the…?”

Child’s voice: “Did he escape again?”

Woman’s voice: “Yes, Dennis. And stop calling the mosquito “him” and “he”. It is an “it”…

P breathed a sigh of relief…

The woman was trying to kill a mosquito… and not her husband!

Unless of course, by the term “mosquito”, she was alluding to her husband…

 

 

 

P’s woes with customs! Lest he forgets…

New PictureNew Picture (3)From Adelaide to Auckland on his flight, P stopped over in Melbourne;

He ate his lunch of sandwiches, but the pear was left alone

In his bag obliviously, the pear flew to the city of sails

There at the airport before customs, P stood biting out his nails:

He had forgotten all about the uneaten, neglected pear

And failed to mention the fruit in his customs questionnaire;

Though not jailed, he had to pay a hefty sum as fine!

So now in transit P never takes fruits with him to dine.

Lest he forgets………..

 

 

 

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If you would ask Mr P to mention some scary things he has done in his life, he would say it was passing through customs and immigration and border security at the various international airports during his travels. No matter how many times he had done this during his frequent travels, he was a nervous wreck as he passed through these checks. 

Every time, he felt that the officers who checked his passport and looked into his eyes were trying to read his deepest secrets and did not like what they saw! Under their piercing scrutiny, just the thought of the Tylenol and Paracetamol tablets he carried for headaches, made him feel as though he was carrying something illegal. Whenever they asked him about the purpose of his travel, he felt that they believed he had some evil plans. This made P so nervous that his replies often came out in a squeaky voice. P would struggle to correct his voice to their next question and it would then come out as a hoarse grunt. Suffice to say that all this combined with his fidgeting made him appear as a suspicious character. So, very often he was subjected to strong scrutiny and checking.  Often he was asked to remove his shoes and he was pat-checked. Then at the airport there were those sniffer dogs. After that incident on his travel to New Zealand when he had to pay a fine of NZ$ 200 for carrying a forgotten pear in his bag from the lunch at Melbourne, he was very careful. He understood how much New Zealand customs hated plant material……… in the luggage. So he had made sure that he was not carrying any plant material to that country. Yet on one travel, this little sniffer dog had hounded him and the customs officer had detained him and thoroughly checked his bags before the problem was identified as some residual smell from the bananas he used to carry for lunch in his briefcase to work. Until he was allowed to proceed, he had felt that every eye in the airport was on him, scornfully wondering what drugs he was carrying in his bags! 

P had been deeply embarrassed by this incident and so bought a brand new “American Tourister” bag from Wal-Mart to carry as cabin bag on his next trip. On reaching Auckland airport, Mr P rested his new bag on the floor and was in the process of collecting his checked in luggage from the conveyor belt when a sniffer dog came a-sniffing at his bag! “Not again!” thought Mr P as the customs officer followed and started examining his bag. The officer started questioning Mr P on the contents and kept asking if Mr P had any fruits in the bag within the past few days. “No, Never”, he replied. “Just to avoid this situation I left at home my regular briefcase in which I take my lunch to work. This is a brand new bag that I bought just yesterday!”

“Ah! That explains it!” said the officer. “Sometimes this sniffer dog falsely alerts to the smell of new bags!” 

P stood agape! “One can never win with immigration, customs and border security!” he realised. “You could not avoid suspicion if you traveled with your old fruity smelling bag. Can you not travel with a new one either? Life was tough.”

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In Transit

Stumped by the mathematics of time….

Curve Balls: When was the last time you were completely stumped by a question, a request, or a situation you found yourself in? How did you handle it?- Daily Prompt

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It had been a jolly vacation for Mr P and he was all packed up to travel back to New Zealand from India. He had enjoyed the balmy atmosphere and the beaches but now he was rearing to go back home to cool New Zealand. Mr P had decided that this trip back should be a well organised one and free of hassles. His plane was scheduled to depart at 12.45 am on 11 July from Chennai International Airport in South India. P was in a small town and had to take a connecting domestic flight to Chennai to catch the plane to Auckland. It would take him roughly one hour to reach Chennai by flight.

P was well on time for the domestic flight that left at 6 am on the 11th of July and reached Chennai right on time, at 7.05 am. Everything seemed to go so smoothly quite contradictory to what was the norm with Mr P and he patted himself. There was even time for P to take a stroll in the city and buy some souvenirs before he took a taxi to the international airport. P reached the airline check-in counter at 9.30 am and gave the officer his ticket and passport.

“Your plane is long gone sir!” said the officer.

“It can’t be so!” said Mr P. “My flight is at 12.45 am on the 11th”

“Today is the 11th and the flight did leave at 12.45 am, shortly after midnight last night.” said the officer.

P was simply stumped! He had believed his mathematics was good! His plane was at 12.45 am on the 11th of July and he had booked and caught the connecting domestic flight as early as 6 am on the 11th of July! He just could not understand how he could have missed the flight……..

 

Curve Balls

The lady needs help!

Mr P stopped his car. Frantically grabbing his phone, he ran in through the broken fence.

 

 

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The driver ahead of him had crashed into the vacant land and had not emerged out!

 

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Mr P reached the car, breathless. His jaw fell open.

 

The lady was still …… 

 

…………on her cell phone!!!!

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On The One way trip to Mars and Aliens…………..

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“Oh, why do you want to go on a one way trip to Mars?” asked Kris.

“Why wouldn’t I? I think it would be awesome. And I would be on TV!” Mr P was making conversation over the fence, with his neighbor Kris.

It was a Saturday morning and Mr P had gone out to get the newspaper. The sun was shining through the trees. The birds were singing, flowers were smiling, bees were humming and butterflies flitting happily. In other words, Mr P was feeling particularly elated as it was the weekend and he could laze at home. That was reason enough for him to stop by and chitchat with his neighbor who was pruning the shrubbery in his garden. After local politics, the subject had veered round to the Mars trip and Mr P had started the topic with “You know, the booking for that one way trip to Mars finished last week. And I just missed it by a whisker,”

He had then started to point out the things that deterred him. There would be no television in Mars. Nor would there be any of his favourite haunts such as Pizza Hut, KFC or McDonalds. “There would be plenty of parking space, I believe” continued Mr P trying to find some advantages for Mars.

“No point in having parking space without cars” argued Kris. “I guess you would only be walking….. and that too in your space suit.”

“I wouldn’t mind walking around in a space suit always. But somebody would have to wake me up quite often. It looks quite comfy and I think l’d fall asleep in it. As long as there is no summer in Mars….” Mr P crossed his arms and closed his eyes picturing himself in a space suit. He wouldn’t mind getting one for the South Dakota winters. He regretted that winters were still too cold on earth even with all the global warming.

“The paper says two hundred and two thousand, five hundred and eighty-six people have volunteered from all over the world.  I wonder why more haven’t applied” he brought his thoughts back onto the topic.

Standing back to take a look at the pruned plant, Kris muttered “Well, those who have some sort of family, probably will not want to go”.

“We can’t generalize that. There are a few people whose family would badly want them to go on a never return trip to Mars.” Mr P quipped.

“And I don’t mean you” Mr P added hastily when he saw his neighbour’s forehead crease into a frown.

Eyes on his shears, Kris mumbled “There are a few people whose neighbours would badly want them to take the trip too……..”

At that point, Mr P realized that for his continued good health, he had to break the conversation then and there. He hastily said farewell and scooted back into the house. After Mr P had finished his breakfast he googled up more of the details of the trip to Mars as the earlier discussion was still uppermost in his mind. He scrolled through the website and was amazed at the requirements that were specified for the candidates. It seemed as if they were listed specifically with him in mind! He down-loaded the page and took a print of it. Kris was still in his garden, so he rushed out with it.

“They have listed on their website, the characteristics the candidates need to have. I think I would have met all the criteria perfectly. Here, take a look” he cried, and handed the paper over the fence.

Dubiously, Kris put his shears down, rubbed his hands on the sides of his gardening pants and grabbed the paper.

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extracted from http://www.mars-one.com/en/faq-en/21-faq-selection/251-do-i-qualify-to-apply

“Resiliency, adaptability, curiosity, ability to trust, creativity and resourcefulness” Kris read out the main headings loudly, trying hard to hold his mirth back…

“Hmmmmm… Some of these fit you well. But if you ask me, not all!” Kris tried to say diplomatically.”Resiliency: I must admit you have that quality. “Let’s look at them one by one. ” Kris then proceeded to list out the expectations for the potential Mars trekkers and his take on how Mr P would fit in each case.

“Your thought processes are persistent: Otherwise why would you still keep trying to borrow my car?”

You persevere and remain productive: I have heard how hard you try to control the fire ants in your tropical home but sure, the ants remain productive and keep multiplying!”

You see the connection between your internal and external self: Don’t you fall asleep when doing yoga and meditation? Is it that, your external self, is then trying to catch up with your internal self or vice versa?”

 “You have a “Can do!” attitude: Otherwise, how would you even come up with the idea of volunteering for Mars? I admire your cheek!”

” Let’s  discuss curiosity….. I agree with you there. Aren’t you always wondering what’s happening this side of the fence?”

At this point, Mr P was not sure whether Kris was admiring him or making fun of him. Slightly piqued, he asked Kris who could be good candidates in his opinion.

“Dedicated scientists may want to go” said Kris.

“But, if I were a scientist, I’d rather somebody reach there first and confirm it’s safe before I go. Or what if I die before I report my findings? It would be such a waste,” countered Mr P.

He kept the conversation rolling. “Depending on if any beautiful women have applied and will be chosen, I’d be happy to go if they accept late applications. Shouldn’t there be a “knight in shining space suit” to protect the women from all those aliens?”

He asked Kris if a pepper spray would be handy in that case.

“Don’t worry” said Kris. “The deodorant you spray on you, would keep even aliens at bay.”

Mr P had not fully digested this information before his mind was boggled by what Kris said next. “You know how the US border security and immigration call people from other countries ‘aliens’? Well, if we humans go to space and find some aliens, are they the aliens or are we the aliens?”

It took some time for Mr P to get his head round the question. He was still mulling over it as he returned back into the house. “Are they the aliens or are we the aliens?” he kept asking himself.

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