A trip to India – almost!

We were in India for the weekend – well almost! We were in Niagara falls for memorial day weekend, and I had to see it to believe it – there were more desis there, than all of Pallagoundapalayam put together. One friend had told us, that on memorial day weekend, there would be so many desis that it would be difficult to find a good patch of grass that was not already covered by a jamakaalam and desis sitting on it. A combination of telugus, tamilians, maharashtrians, hindi speaking and IndiEnglish speaking crowd, some of whom were the typical TCS, Infy, CTS, Covansys groups talking in typical ‘Yes ya No ya’ lingo. Others were young families with parents from India – typical vaira thoddu maamis and maamas wearing layers of over-sized jackets and shoes and mufflers on a what we would consider a fairly warm day and trying to push along sleeping babies in strollers. Some of those were a bit more adventurous, wrapping up few month olds in blankets and ponchos, standing in line for more than an hour to see the cave of the winds, and then eventually making the trip down with wailing babies in hand.

The falls themselves were totally worth it. Huge volumes of water pouring over cliffs. The American falls, looked a little bit threatening and powerful. The horse shoe falls on the other hand were so graceful in their fall. The maid of the mist and the cave of the winds were both a unique experience. I would love to go there again, just this time, I would try to stay in a hotel with view of the falls.

It made me wonder, what it was that we desis saw that the locals apparently didn’t care for that much. A person at work who is probably in her 50s now, said she visited Niagara once when she was 2 and had no recollection of it. Perhaps, it is the idea that they cannot really camp out there and that Niagara falls cannot really be considered a spot for adventurous white water rafting, or skiing or quiet fishing. But we as an Indian population, really try to visit places that are a pleasure mainly to the eye, not necessarily something that requires physical interaction with nature or any kind of adventure. Perhaps, it is the lack of finding similar such spots (in South India) back home. Perhaps, it is the need for us to find a place that is friendly to people of all ages, us, our parents and our wailing babies, a place where vegetarian food is at least a possibility and the restrooms physically stay in the same place all the time.

It is no wonder then, that I spotted atleast 3 or 4 Indian restaurants within a few blocks (though they served shoddy food for the price, and were way too overcrowded).

All in all, I would have to say I had an enjoyable road trip (my first one in this country), and a memorable experience at the falls. Those of you, who haven’t yet been there, be sure to make a trip to this desi hot spot of America.

Now.. enjoy some pictures..

21 thoughts on “A trip to India – almost!

  1. Ore summer vacationing and holidaymaking mood po Rekha. As V.K.Ramasami would say, `Ensoy, ensoy!’

    Rekha: Haha.. My brother is here from India for a month. Adhaan indha aatam illai. Once he leaves we will be back to our boring selves.

  2. Pradeep

    I have never met any American @ work who has been to Niagara. Honest – no exaggeration! Anga poora namma makkal dhaan.

    Maami, did you mean VKR-Janakaraj’s “No Thangamani, ensoi”? 😉

    Rekha: They should change the name to ‘Niagarampalayam’! The Niagara falls realize it too, cause I found a food court selling veggie hot dogs – never seen that before.

  3. Lol! I went to the smoky mountains in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and observed the same thing! Desis, just about everywhere!!

    Rekha: You are now officially the third person I know that was there for the long weekend! lol!

  4. I felt awed and even moved by the falls – are you serious that the locals don’t care much for it? strange guys, the americans…mmmm

    Rekha: Ya.. people here don’t make trips all the way to Niagara falls. They would much rather lug all their camping equipment to the mountains, or their fishing gear to the great lakes.

  5. smokies, niagara, NY etc are the borin places on my list i’ll go to wen I get married. They are more wife friendly!

    For now i’ll stick to rafting, skydiving, jetskiing and skiing.

    I haven’t wakeboarded as yet, but then thats coz i wanna do it only in miami. Looks like i’ve got my labor day weekend plan set!

    Rekha: Idhu laam romba over!..Boring places are wife friendly??? You have hereby earned my ‘saabam’ to get the most un-adventurous wife possible 😀 I don’t know what it is with you guys – my husband insists he stopped biking, playing tennis, etc etc only after I came along. I insist he go about his usual stuff and not worry about me, but he is too lazy to do it if I don’t do it as well.

  6. very true. I have also never met an American colleague who has visited Niagara. I think main reason for desis visiting Nigara is all the hype we have heard about it being great when we were in India. Not only that, our parents have also heard about it, so we want to ensure they visit Niagara..at least for the sake of them being able to tell their friends back home..my son/daughter took me to Niagara. Personally, I loved the maid of the mist ..and the evening view of the lights and the falls..but I got bored after 30 minutes.

    Rekha: You lasted only 30 minutes??

  7. prem

    well…hey niagara marks the ‘end of civilization’. remember half of it is canadian? and therefore half of it is on the uncivilized side. why would americans bother going to the ‘uncivilized world’? tut tut..might as well give the american falls to canada too!

    and think about it…for us chicagoans…do we have any other place to go to within driveable distance other than niagara?

    guess we indians here way too much about niagara in indian cinema. and the falls are ok…but well..its not bad…and definitely much much better than a flower show in holland michigan (another exclusive desi place).

    i actually know a few people who drove 4-5 hours to see 10 rows for dried dandelions…or daffodils …or grass…or whatever! frankly…ive not been able to notice the difference!


    Rekha: Ok. Ok.. Holland was not all that great. Will you stop beating me about it?

  8. That was good reasoning on why Desis love Niagara so much. Among the mami network, it is like visiting tirupathi – when you say you went to US, the first question asked is “appo Niagara falls poi irukkiya?” (“Have you been to Niagara falls then?”). Funny 🙂

    Rekha: Haha.. So maamis are the reason, they sell veggie hot dogs then.. hm..

  9. saabam a? you answered yor question in yor comment itself. I am actually well prepared for a non-adventurous person and hence have these places to goto…

    temme something, would you let yor hubby jump of an airplane? if yes then sashtaanga namaskaram to you, else you’ve got yor answer as to why we wanna do them before we get hitched!

    Rekha: Haha.. Actually I would’ve been prepared to jump with him befor my daughter had come along. In fact I wanted to very badly bungee jump at least once. Now that I have my daughter, I don’t want either of us doing anything like that. So.. I’d say marriage is still ok, but kids would totally rule these out.

  10. prem

    bungee jump!!!! yikes! even if i live to be 250 years old..i wonder why on earth would people want to do that! why would they want to spend good money to get scared???(same goes with horror/slasher movies) especially when sitting on a couch and watching tv hardly costs anything…and much much more comfortable except for moving your hands to pick up your beer and chips and painstakingly moving your finger across the remote to pick the right channel.

    and your spouse could get the stuff that you need right to your couch (ie, if you have treated him/her right).

    and if you want to bungee jump…switch over to the travel channel and see other people do it!

    i get all my adventure from hunting desperately for all the 4 remotes that i need to operate my tv! (hmm…just bought a harmony remote and hopefully that 4 would drop to 1!)

    Rekha: 1. When you’re 250 years old, somebody will definitely push you off the cliff whether you’d like to or not.
    2. Your wife has spoilt you beyond redemption. OMG!
    3. All this even before the 60″ plasma lcd with anti-glare and whatever?

  11. Sivajini

    Maami great blog 🙂
    You’ve never seen veggie dog’s? It is so common here.
    I’ve been to both sides and I gotta say I like our Canadian version better too.

    Ah I see your doing on tour for family edition, we did that last summer. Will probably do it again this summer.
    I think your logic behind why brown people like this kind of place it absolutely on the money.No real interaction necessary.

    We’ve learnt over the years that for the Niagara Fall’s trip, picnic’s are fantastic.

    Rekha: Welcome to my blog. I’ve seen veggie dogs mostly in the frozen section at stores, never saw it on a menu at a food court. Yes, I’ve heard the Canada side is much better – don’t know when that trip will be. We could have done a picnic, but we drove so far, all our picnicing was done on the way itself.

  12. Bloghopping and enjoyed your posts :)! I would love to go to Niagara, and veggie dogs make me want to go more now 🙂

    Rekha: Welcome to my blog. I was all excited about them until I actually saw them and my brother questioned their validity. After that I didn’t even want to touch it. In their defense, they look pretty realistic.

  13. Hey What a conincidence ! I had been to Niagra during Memorial weekend 🙂 Yeah I too felt the same..so many desis around..
    But I did not feel much of difference as I stay in an apartment which is already a mini india ..imagine of staying in US where our management is also Indian 😉
    Rekha: Oho.. I hope you didn’t get caught in the long lines on Sunday.

  14. padmajav

    Since i’ve never crossed the atlantic myself, I’ve seen the Niagra only in pictures… My only guess why the desi populi loves it – could be because water-falls are a major tourist attraction here in thirsty India. 🙂

    Rekha: Yes, probably. But in India most of our quests for waterfall attractions have ended in disappointments.

  15. Sathya

    hi, can u pls suggest s’eatables to carry along for 1 year old. i c most of them refrigerated, not worth carrying in outside temp..

    Rekha: I carried a lot of the gerber food and formula and gerber cereal with me. While in India, tried as far as possible to give my daughter fresh food so I had enough for the journey back as well.

  16. am glad that this is a common feature in amreeka too – desis, desis everywhere and not a firang in sight! i thot it was only in the yew-kay!
    what is it with our maamas and the voluminous jackets, i say? family size-o?

    Rekha: Yes. Maamas and maamis usually manage with their kids jackets. You’re right – it is a family jacket.

  17. sats

    mamas and mamis in family jacket!
    it’s exactly the same as the ‘white’ mamas and mamis clothed as much less as possible when they visit India.
    making fun of our own people is something disgusting.
    No amount of education nor wealth brings any sophistication to people like you.

    Infy, TCS,….”No ya, Yes Ya!” Back in India there are many who fare much better than a native speaker! Let alone “rendum kettans” like you.

    I live in the US since 18 years. I don’t know how many more Indians I would come across….who are just hypocrites. The flag bearers of Indian culture!


    Rekha: Interesting to finally find a person who finds my blog disgusting. In my defense, I don’t think you quite understood the spirit of the post here. I am not making fun of Indians as much as I am trying to say how much of a desi favorite Niagara falls is. My intention was not at all to poke fun at people like myself. Maamas and maamis wear family jackets because they don’t need to buy jackets that they cannot use back home and instead just make use of their son’s or daughter’s. My inlaws and parents do the same. As far as the lingo goes – you have to accept that our Indian population consists of people who speak exemplary English (like you mentioned), rendu-gattans like me, and the ‘Yes ya no ya’ crowd. I most certainly did not conduct an English proficiency test at Niagara falls. What I have written about were merely a few observations that I made while I was there. Take a trip to the Niagara falls and cool down!

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