Tag Archives: Alice in Wonderland

Breaking News: New Year Resolutions Fail… Once Again

Remember that scene in Alice in Wonderland (the Disney cartoon, not the Johnny Depp mish-mash) where the caterpillar suddenly metamorphoses into a butterfly? Is that what we hope for when we indulge into a deluge of New Year resolutions every year, before forgetting them a few days later?

Not that there is anything wrong with New Year resolutions. Some would argue they are good for you; they give you hope. I am not sure they give as much hope as they temporarily delude you into thinking that there is hope.

What if we, for a change, did not make any resolutions? What if we didn’t make promises of grandeur to ourselves only to fail once again? What if we stepped into the New Year accepting ourselves for who we are?

Changes do not happen overnight, and just a change from 2010 to 2011 should not automatically make you a whole different proactive person. I know I won’t stop procrastinating just because it’s a brand new year. Sure, I can promise myself; I can try not to give in; but like an elastic band that has been stretched too far, I will eventually snap back into place.

The New Year is supposed to be about hope, about joy, about getting drunk and forgetting your worries with simple delusions. But this year, I promise not to make any more resolutions. Since resisting the New Year tradition of resolutions is futile, this, my friend, is mine.

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Day 8: And down the Man-Made Hole we go…

Yes, we really are under the ground

Alice was lost and bewildered precisely because she went down a hole without a tour guide. Fortunately, Seattle’s Underground Tour at the Pioneer Square not only came with a tour guide, but a quirky sarcastic tour guide at that.

But wait… 15 feet below the surface. 90 minutes of history. Not exactly my idea of “fun”.

I was never excited about history lessons. My earliest memory goes something like this:

A grade three classroom at Pratt Memorial High School in Calcutta. Little Mrs. D’souza teaching us about Harshavardhana (or, better known as Harsha), a king who ruled North India in the middle of the 6th century. Me in my white shirt and green tunic uniform sitting inconspicuously in the corner, making silly rhymes to kill time.

But this underground tour came with the “untold” stories of the founding fathers of Seattle. A city that burned down to the ground once and was built twice over. A city whose failed sanitation system had the streets flooded with faeces. A city whose greedy mayor was more concerned about sucking out money from its people rather than remedy the situation. And, ironically, was elected mayor yet again.

Let’s just say this was a history lesson that did not have me day-dreaming.

The brainchild of Bill Speidel, this tour started in 1954 as an attempt to prevent the destruction of historical buildings around Pioneer Square. Speidel was onto something, as this tour is currently one of the highlights of Seattle.

But history or no history, when the time was up, and the tour guide led us out of the musty underground filled with the ghosts and memories of a forgotten era, I was happy to be back in the real world.

Yes, Alice, you have my sympathies.

Photographs: Copyright Sanchari Sur

Under the ground...

A "Crapper" (that's how they were marketed back in the days)

Watch Your Step

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Filed under Travel, West Coast Tales