Friday, December 25, 2009

Glimpses

These are some snaps from the available resources i have in my reach!
#1: is the classroom
#2: left 1/3rd of my table.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Snow!

Finally! My first experience of Snow! well, was nothing special or tears-bringing, but still it was a strange feeling to touch it, cause of the humidity, it is still rough and "sharpy" quite unlike the image it portrays. As things start to get drier, it should soften up! Anyway, my first pics.













































































Thursday, December 3, 2009

Guessing Game!

Some interesting stuff i got my hands on this morning, and really complex stuff i learnt about them in my engineering and also learning a great detail now. Lets start a guessing game, what is it, where exactly it is used. If you can mention it to an accuracy of 5 inches. you're good! :D





















Saturday, November 21, 2009

Random Pics



Dhobi Central @ Stuttgart


This one is the dhobi ghat for coloured clothes :P


Glipses of Fall


More Gadgets

The Wohnheim

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Race 2 Tee

So, Boring Saturday afternoon in Stuttgart, with even the sun on holiday for all of central Europe, a promise of a beautiful weekend by the weather forecast was ruined by mother nature. I, for one missed my weekend run, and stayed home all day long. So, when i was getting bored in the evening, so was Subbu on the port of Goteborg, and we both had no clue what to do to drive away the boredom. The crazier of the two came up with a plan, a race, to make tea, yeah, however stupid sounds, it was actually what was agreed upon! a race to make tea.
The rules were:
on count of 5 we'd go to the kitchen put the kettle on, boil water and put the tea bag. But then it was agreed that since the tea bags are dipped for 2 mins constant by both of us, only the time taken to heat the water, put it in a mug and getting it back to the computer desk is what counts.
So, the race started on the count of 5. How much time we each took is immaterial, but then what's important is that he took about 20 seconds later to to finish it. you know why? duh! you'd be a total idiot if you hadn't guessed it out by now already! a total dork! I'm telling you, if it doesn't flash by the time you reach the end of this sentence, then you shouldn't be reading this, really, because then you'd be too stupid to own a computer! give it back!
oh well, I'll tell you anyway, let me ask, you, can you handle it? the truth? well, don't say i didn't warn you! the reason is so simple, i gave away the clues in the first paragraph of this blog! c'mon! nothing yet?
well anyway, this time for real! Stuttgart is at a elevation of 450M above sea level and Goteborg is a port! nothing yet? doh! well, water boils faster at higher elevations than at sea level! water boils in Goteborg at 99.997 degrees and at Stuttgart at 98.7 degrees. So, the time to bring 250ml of water through 2˚C took 20 seconds :D (Specific heat+latent heat)! C'mon, you didn't know that much? Get back to books! who ever bought you a computer! Dorks!

Kidding! Cheers!
--Gecko.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Differences

Having students from different countries around can be really amusing sometimes. Today in the break (literally!) from the German class, there was a small group which was formed, in it there was a person from Palestine, one from Jordan, one from Bengal, one from Gujrat, and one from Maharashtra. Eventually, we were tired of speaking a foreign language all the time so the Palestine and the Jordanian started talking in Arabic. That was when i thought "those two are from two different countries, how can they speak the different languages!!"

But immediately i realized the various questions asked to me by other people. A few are
Brazil: how can two Indians not speak the same language
Turkey: Is it true that India has more than 200 Languages
Somebody i don't remember: How can all three of you be the same country and still talk in english all the time!

This is how the world is, we all have our own notions about the world, and distant parts of it which really come as a "culture shock" when we actually experience it. One guy though did really believe it till i pulled out one of my Indian currency notes and counted the languages for him.

Heh! And in Germany, it seems there're dialects which sound nothing like textbook German and this evening, luckily, when one of my neighbors had his friend, from just-out-of-Stuttgart, over for dinner, i had the privilege of listening to one, and compared to the "special German" (compare to 'news in special English' from VOA) we're used to at class, it sounded something like how Brad Pitt sounded in snatch, talking "English" to a slick looking, country-speaking, Jason Statham in "Snatch"!

And, @Adithya's comment about chucking the dictionary for one of my previous posts.
Learning German by chucking the dictionary is like trying to learn Sanskrit by listening to the Sanskrit news on TV every weekend, you'll miss the news, and will never learn the language too, apart from wasting time that is. Well, even if it's slow, when you learn, learn it technically!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Culture

Well this might come as an old topic but then i felt the need to state it yet another time, as a few incidents, in which i was involved, reminded me of it once again this evening in the Masters' students meet arranged by the international students office in my college. It was supposed to be an evening where people would get to know others cultures, traditions, their views and opinions in a way which would benefit us all, but then as with most cases involving two, or rather, three very explosive factors, namely young age, freedom and to a certain extent, fundamentalism, of a sort which is not really dangerous (certainly not as dangerous as explained by the media) but all while equally annoying and insulting to the person at the opposite end.

The event began as usual, with a very warm welcome by a very polished German lady wishing us all a good time. And then we were all asked to help ourselves to some cookies and some juice and sit down in a circle, chairs already arranged. We then had to introduce ourselves and tell our names, the country we're from, what we're here to study in and what we expect from these two years in general.

So, People were like, all enthusiastic, with replies ranging from learning languages, to learning cultures, meeting new people, seeing new places, drinking lots of beer and, like i said, just having a good time. But then, the thugs probably forgot, you don't get to learn new cultures or you don't get to meet new people, learn their language or have a good time if you laugh on their face for the way they speak their language, make laugh at their beliefs, mock their population or the demographic distribution of their population in other parts of the world, and not of all things, their religion or their religious beliefs, and neither if you start comparing with your own.

The main activity of the evening was for people to group around according to the continents (almost) and then come up with a proverb that everybody, in that group, knows, write it down in the language in which originated, and explain the literal meaning and then the actual/contextual meaning of the proverb. That was when, the very same people who came up with some really beautiful proverbs and read it out with all vigor and enthusiasm to the audience were acting like jokers, laughing at the meanings of the other proverbs and making fun of the way its spoken, thankfully it didn't really run anyone in the wrong way (i think and i dearly hope, cause i don't wanna be punished for something I'm not responsible for), but then it got me thinking, fundamentalism is in each and everyone of us, it is not our duty to question whether its wrong or right, it's our responsibility that it doesn't come in the way of others or that we don't step on anyone's toes because of it. Cause yes, i too sometimes am angered that, people here expect me to know German from the day i landed here, immediately, *poof* and I'm German!, like that! and the anger is not cause they're don't speak English, but because they're not giving me time to learn german, We're all humans oder? But, i don't go around accusing Germans in front of other Germans, or keep reminding them of things they're trying to forget and, mind you, especially, for those of the things they're trying to forget that the present generation was never ever even remotely responsible for.

Accept it! you prove nothing by arguing, they're like that cause they're like that, they wouldn't be Chinese or Russian or German or Indian or Spanish if they weren't like that. Had they been anything else, they would just be "people from" China or Russia or Germany or India or Spain.
Rule number one, don't question "why" in a culture; that is that way cause it was in any other way, it wouldn't be "that" culture, now would it? Now don't try to act smart, i know what's on your mind, yes you can question some things, but if you don't know what to question and what not to, then learning other cultures is not your cup of tea, try table-tennis.

I hope those of you reading this would try not to piss someone from another region off. Learning is fun, don't spoil it. Cheers.

Gecko.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A flashback, sort of

A few days ago, when i had nothing to do after my class, i decided to take a walk to the supermarket instead of a bus, do myself, my legs and my pocket a big favour! Save 4 euros and stuff, while i was walking one the small quiet roads, i came across, in a narrow road, parked silently at the side, one of the most iconic cars of the 2000's era in terms of competition. A car which came in and dessimated the competiton on all surfaces, tarmac, gravel, ice&snow, mud, mized, you name it, it's won on that. One of the rare pieces of engineering excellence which help shed off the image of the French as "tarmac-specialists" (drivers and cars).
What looks like this




take this mule, keep the Logo, the name of the car and donate the rest to a washing machine plant. now, build a tubular space frame chassis, fit magnesium alloy wheels, enough braking power for 5 average cars and dampers and springs capable of taking a 10G impact. add a transverse mounted 2 litre, turbo charged, intercooled, in-line 4 cylinder, water injected, 310bhp, Magnetti-Marelli controlled engine. Put in a fire spitting anti-lag system for the fun factor. Gel this machichery to a longitudinally mounted non synchonized six speed sequential shift gearbox through a high performance clutch. finally throw-in three high performance, electronically controlled, active differentials, cockpit contollable anti-rollbars, variable engine maps and such small fancy things and you get this!







which, by the way looks nothing like the original road-going car, except for the name and the logo of course. but, you get a car which can do 0-100kmph in 2.5 seconds on gravel! or take a jump at 170kmph (and "fly" for 55 meters), or hit 230kmph on snow with tungsten spikes in the tyres. It's a Citroen Xsara WRC. One of the many French cars to have dominated rallying (and specially tarmac events in the past).

This domination started as early as the Group-B era in the 1980's and the Renault Maxi Turbo, then the Peugeot 205 T 16, and later in specialised dakar cars, the Peugeot 405, the Pikes peak Peugeot and the Cirtoen ZX (that time both had pulled out of rallying and were looking into rallyraids). Then the 90's was a quiet time for the French, as most of the sweeping was done was Lancia (late '80s and early to mid '90s) which went on to become the most successful Company in WRC history and also Mitsubishi to a considerable extent (mid '90s to late '90s and years 2000 and 2001). Somewhere in the middle, Carlos Sainz (Toyota Celica, Corolla group-A cars, champion 1990, 1992), Didier Auriol (Toyota Corolla Group A , Champion 1994) and Colin McRae (Subaru Impreza Group A, Champion 1995) turned up and won everything they laid their hands on!
At the end of the 1990's Ford announced their new car to replace the Escort, which was the Ford Focus WRC and Peugeot announced their return to WRC in 1999, and made the debut with the Peugeot 206 WRC. Citroen did too, but with a modified two wheel drive Citroen Xsara Kit car. The xsara was immediately on the pace, Philippe Bugalski, who was somewhat of a mad man, capable of lightening speeds on tarmac but could not always keep his head together, he gave the Xsara Kit car (which was still a semi-official entry by Citroen) its first victories in 1999 in the Rally of Catalunya in Spain and the Tour de Corse in Corsica. The year 2000 had three Tarmac events, Spain, Italy and France. Bugalski (he's French) won again in Spain, and Gilles Panizzi won in France and Italy in a Peugeot 206 WRC.
Marcus Gronholm was crowned champion in 2000, him alongside with tarmac specialists like Didier Auriol & Gilles Panizzi who dominated tarmac events gave Peugeot a very high rate of success as soon as their debut. During those times Citroen, peugeot and many such teams employed surface-specialists (there were really few drivers who could win anywhere, any time, any condition, any car, Carlos, Tommi and Colin were almost the only ones).
2001 marked the announcement of the Citroen Xsara WRC, the official car prepared and entered by the Citroen factory team into selected events, and had it's first win in the Tour de Corse 2001, this time piloted by Jesus Puras. The other two Tarmac events, Sanremo of Italy went to Panizzi and Catalunya went to Dider Auriol.
2002 was the year of Peugeot, With them winning in most of the events, but, however, their luck on safari continued to be down, they haven't won in Kenya since 1978 and although a peugeot finished second, it's still just second. Citroen competed for the first time, officially in many rallies with tarmac specialist Philippe Bugalski, Gravel Specialist Thomas Radstrom, and the-then rising star Sebastien Loeb (he had his first ever WRC win in the Rally Germany that year)
2003 was Citroen's year, although petter won the championship, citroen made quantum leap in development and with Carlos and Colin joining, were easily crowned the Manufacturers Champions.
During the years 2004, 05, 06, 07 and 08 Sebastien Loeb was unbeatable, with only ford being able to take the chase to the line on some rallies, during this period, Sebastien has either made or broken most of the records in the WRC.
But as it is with any sport, there's always progress, and the Citroen Xsara WRC had to give way to the Citroen C4 WRC in 2007 which has proved to be just as successful (or maybe better?) as the Xsara, while Peugeot entered their 307 WRC replacing the 206 WRC in 2004 and pulled out at the end of 2005. Citroen pulled out the same year too but promised to come back in 2007 (with the new C4), in the meanwhile helped Sebastien who competed as a privateer (and was perhaps the most successful privateer world Champion, when he won it in 2006).
When i saw this car, a memory of an era, perhaps not as inspirational as the Golden era of world rallying, but tough nonetheless came back to me, an era which inspired me to follow rallying, to know more about the drivers, the cars, teams, the history of the sport, the skills involved, the techniques (and perhaps to implement a few in my everyday riding, for which i've been cruelly criticized either as being suicidal or as a show-off :| ). Just felt like writing it down, so that next time i see a Xsara/Focus/Impreza/206 /307 i can open this, read and feel good :) Cheers!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Und Part - 4

Things are going smoothly, I'm getting used to the weather and all such

minor things which become a major problem if you try and fright it! so

I'm officially "with the flow" now. Things are quite 'European' with me

too. I spend like crazy and spend like crazy for food and travel! Bought

a lot of healthy stuff. Being a leaf-eater is kinda frowned upon here

(up yours! Europeans!). Finally cleaned my room on Saturday, don't even

try to imagine how much of my own stuff i had to sweep out, then moped

it with dettol and had it smelling like a hospital for a few hours. Now

things are getting back no normal! some dirt is unavoidable though.


Had bought some chocolates in the flea market (no, not second hand

chocolates, they sell them first hand at cheap price, 1 EUR for each bar

of Lindt & Sprungli). So I'd bought a bar each of milk+choco, 85% coca,

99% coca, pure milk and caramel and a bag of small dark chocolates. I

finished the milk+choco, and opened teh 99% coca and man was it

something! you can't eat more than 1 square at a time! it's the espresso

equivalent of chocolate! but anyway, I'm not giving it away or anything,

even if i have to eat it for two years!

Finally made my first few bowls of rice this week. Have to say, it's not

that easy as my folks had scared me back home, as long as you're hungry

enough to be prepared to eat anything which comes out of the vessel at

the end of half an hour of being on the stove, you'll be be the best

cook in the world! simple! But, that said, it wasn't awful either. I'm

surely short of all the spices, and having to cook anything i want in

just one vessel! but then, I've never been starved of food here. I have

been starved of time and so have had to make some compromises on my

afternoon lunch on most days! (BTW peaches taste yum, and i don't mean

the girls!)


The German class is going on quite ok too, German is a confusing

language, much like Sanskrit, they have a very strange similarity with

each other, in the terms of addressing people formally (with respect)

and informally, and singular, double and plural of nouns. and also the

way some pronouns are used when referring to some objects which are

classified as masculine (dog, book pencil, stool) or feminine (watch,

lamp, spectacles, plug-socket) (plug is masculine) (those two were the

only ones i could guess why!) and so depending on the gender of the

noun, the possessive pronouns (like mine, yours, his, hers, it's, ours,

theirs) and the articles (like a, an, and the) also change. This is

kinda difficult to catch and I'm guessing, comes only with practice and

experience. There's one more aspect which adds to the confusion. The

forms of the verbs, derived from the infinitives, are sometimes the

same, as the infinitive itself, depending on where it's used! in

English, at least that is easy cause the infinitive is "to live" and the

different forms will be "live" "lived" "is living" "was living" "has

lived" "had lived" "has been living" and "had been living" (present,

past, present continuous, past continuous, present perfect, past

perfect, present continuous progressive and past continuous progressive

respectively) (please correct me if I'm wrong) (if you thought the last

line was confusing, then German is not your cup of tea, try chamomile

:P) and then the corresponding infinitive in German is all confusing

(at least to me) cause just the present form of the infinitive "to live"

in German "Wohnen" becomes


I live "ich Wohne"

you live "du Wohnst"

You live (with respect) "Sie Wohnen"

He/she/it lives "er/sie/es wohnt"

we live "wir Whonen"

he lives (with respect) "ihr Wohnt"

they live "sie Wohnen"


(i think i got this right, but corrections always welcome, I'll have to

write a test in any case!)

Maybe i find it confusing because i try to correlate everything to

English and then learn German by English (that's cause i don't get a

Kannada-Deutsch/Deutsch-Kannada dictionary)! Some people say it's wrong,

but then, I'd like to invite them to learn Kannada or Sanskrit, and I'll

have their head on my wall the minute they open a

English-Sanskrit/Sanskrti-English Dictionary!

(Deutsch-Sanskrit/Sanskrit-Deutsch too).

I now feel like I'm in 6th and 7th Standard again and it's all coming

back to me, the exercises i used to solve in McMillan English -2 books!

the scoldings of Mrs. Sudha Rao and Mrs. Geeta Venkatesh and Mrs.

Lalitha Jagadish for using bad English is all coming back to me! Today,

if i know some English, then it's because of the foundations that

they've laid in me and my fellow classmates, of the 1996-97 batch!

But sadly, nobody has time here to teach us in such a systematic manner,

it's a crash course, and they're expected to drill and cram and we're

expected to get drilled and get stuffed with German down our throats, so

nobody uses a word of English, it's all taught purely in German, and

very soon you begin to recognize the phrases and words and will be able

to compose some broken German sentences yourself (with quite a lot of

help from the dictionary). So i guess things are not that bad. Later if

I'm interested, i can always read up on my own and learn more German.

Right now there's no problem as such, but a general discomfort, but,

also, some confidence seeing the smiles on the face of the Chinese and

the Middle-Easterners (the can't speak jack of english, forget German!)

I spend most of the morning doing homework (we're given a lot). And this

weekend i spent fiddling with the new blackberry that i bought, the

BlackBerry Bold 9000 (number attached to my signature), an awesome piece

of machine (sometimes requiring a battery-pull). It was a pretty lazy

weekend, compared to the week which vanished away so quickly! Monday is

here again, and my half-british/half-German teacher will be breathing

down my neck by noon tomorrow! Well, that's about it, expecting a huge

shipment of stuff from back home! i hope it all arrives in one piece and

hope I'll have enough space to keep all in my room! else I'll be in big

trouble (will have to stuff all the kitchen shelves with my stuff!).

Well, I'll get some more sleep and will see how the week goes! Till

then! Auf wiedersehen!

errrr..... part 3

Things are looking good, finally woke up early, all on my own! guess

it's the jet-lag. Had some more formalities to do, bought a map of

Stuttgart. It's folded in a weird way and i had two people in the store

warn me about that. They're quite concerned.

Had been to the super market again! and this time took some time in the

fruits section and bought a load of fruits! something to get me going

for the next two weeks! Spending money like crazy here, guess it's that

or spending away my health! It started raining here and when it rains,

it's really cold! i mean, biting cold! doesn't seem to bother the

Europeans though, they walk around like everything is warm and sunny!

The trees here are weird, can't even recognize what kind of trees they

are! but they don't seem to flower and they don't seem to fruit! some

life they're living!


Ok, so, formalities, I'd been to the Rathaus which means "city hall" and

got a taste of German bureaucracy, they wouldn't accept my photo for the

visa extension as, it seemed, to them, that my face was two millimeters

two short according to their scale. And luckily, i had another photo in

my bag for ze Germans which they agreed to accept. They bureaucracy

doesn't stop there. The office times are weird, like one office works

from 9-12 on Mondays Wednesdays and Fridays, and from 3.30 to 6 on

Tuesdays and Thursdays and so on and so forth! I was like, can't we have

a fixed timing like everybody works everywhere from 9-5????? would be so

much easier to get things done!


The problems don't' stop there, I'd been to the post office to get some

stamps and i waited my turn at the counter and asker her politely if she

knew English, the old granny goes, blah blah blah blah Deutschland....

Blah blah blah blah DEUTSCH! I was like, "ok I'll ask at the next

counter, Danke". Anyway, i managed to buy what i wanted anyway, but

then, these people not always make it a pleasurable experience. Well,

it's nobody's fault. i guess.


we had a introductory lecture on Thursday regarding the German courses

which starts from Monday. Thankfully, there were English and German

Speakers on stage. We were explained about the courses and stuff like

that, I don't remember, it's been three years since i attended formal

college, i can't remember everything that's said! but i managed to write

everything down and am too lazy to look at it again too! Well, so far i

haven't missed anything, amen to that!


There was a big party at the IZ , the Internationales Zentrum or

International Center welcoming all the international students to

Universitat Stuttgart on Friday. There're parties arranged and city

tours, Excursions, Booze, some cinema, meetings at pubs, dancing etc

etc... The whole lot! There was complimentary lunch too this afternoon!

My first European meal, Kinda difficult, kinda scary, that I'll end up

eating something i shouldn't be! But it was fun nonetheless. There was

all sorts of greens and conveniently helped myself to a plate full of

raw veggies. Then there was a noodle packet and i had to get somebody to

the serving counter to ask the serving lady if it contained egg.

Unfortunately she said yes. But, there was some potatoes and some sort

of cheese or, later, as subbu told me, mayonnaise or something of that

sort which they announced was completely free of meat or fish or egg,

so i poured spoons full of it only to later find out that it was weird!

but then they said it's veggie and so, weird or not, i stuffed myself

with it, especially cause it was hot! I'd gone for a second helping too

for all the greens, and came back quite full actually! got to say hello

to a few new people. Then had been shopping with a guy from Malawi who

hadn't eaten in three days except for that lunch! Loaded my card with

pista, almond, cashews, raisins, some chocolate bread, apples, walnuts,

bought some rice as well. will see what to do with it maybe today or

tomorrow!


Today, Saturday, there's a flea market going on on campus where people

sell all sorts of stuff, weird and usual most of it is around 1Eur,

50Cent etc. Friends got some jackets for 4 Eur, i got a bowl to eat

breakfast with for 50Cent, 4 bars of Lindt & sprungli and one bag of

small chocolates, all for about 5 Euro! All dark! it's the chocolate

equivalent of Espresso! Got a lanyard to put my key in so that i don't

lose it! (losing a key == replacing mail box + replacing door lock set =

250Eur!, You DO NOT lose the key at any cost!) and that's about it! It's

been biting cold here from the morning, the temperature is just over 10

degrees! and it's been that way from the morning! if you go out without

a jacket, a good one for that matter, you're sure to come back all blue,

unless, if you're European! in which case you'd still roaming around

like you would on a beach! weird people i tell you! The doors are

freaking huge and freaking heavy! Probably built to their size and they

never, ever open easily, unless of course, again, you're European. It's

been 6 days since i had coffee! i really miss it! today or tomorrow, i

need to have coffee, even if it means i have to take a ticket and go all

the way to the city to find a cup! Coffee and water, the most important

things in life, these people don't use! There's soda everywhere! plain

water is unheard of! you'll just have to drink from the tap and hope

nobody is sleeping on their job at the treatment plant! (like homer

Simpson!)


Well, i guess that's it for now, it's the weekend, everything is closed!

yes everything on campus, the cafes, Mensa, bookstores, supermarket,

everything! it's deserted and there's nobody around! guess, I'll have to

make some plans for the evening, or make some tea (finally) and just

have a good nap.


Oh, and some updates, Finally got my visa extended, but there're still

some problems with registering with the university and stuff like that.

Will hopefully get settled on Monday or Tuesday. Further updates are

yet to come. Have fun and wish me luck for the weekend! Cheers!

First mails from Germany Part - 2

Hi people,

My stint with the university is going on well. Had dinner (noodles) last

night and crashed around 2100hrs, Got up today only at 0830! Thankfully

my feet were no longer swollen. Had a lot of things to do in the

university, some registration with the stuttgart city council,

insurance, etc. Right opposite the stittgart city council is a huge

supermarket called Schwaben Gallery, Where you have some supermarkets

for food, clothing, fashion and then a place called Media Markt, where

they have everything electronic! Everything except the Grundig World

Band radio i was looking for. And one more thing! i wonder who got this

concept of importing things from abroad saying it's cheap. I certainly

didnt't find anything cheap here! the Sony 7600G World band radio which

i was following in india, it costs 199Eur here and it was around 7K in

india! Apple iPod touch is 219Eur, and 14K in india. A swiss army knife,

which i bought costs 63Eur here but back when i bought it, it was around

3K. Oh well, the stuff like bus ticket and stuff is explainable, a

4-stop bus ride costs 1Eur 95Cent for one direction. A map of stuttgart

costs 7Eur. A Veggie Delight Sub at Subway with 0.5Ltr coke and a cookie

costs 4Eur 99Cent. I'm like "just take it and go!" to the people at the

billing counter! One thing though, nobody ever complaing about change!

every place, every bus and every train station has change, in abundance!

And things are kinda over-organized, like say if a vending machine has

something for 50Cent, you can either put in 50Cent, or 20+20+10 or if

you put in 1Eur, it gives back the change! Crazy i tell you!


Everything is German, I get damn scared whenever someone asks me to sign

at the bottom of some printed paper, scared, that i'll end up signing

the ownership of my own life. But then the thought occurs to me, my life

is nothing important to them, why would they take the trouble of

printing a two sheet document just to own my life :P when they can do it

by flashing a knife!


Eating habits are still not optimal, Had Noodles last night, breakfast

cereal this morning, 0.5Kg of fresh grapes in the afternoon, Sub + Coke

+ cookie in the evening. Not sure what to do at night. But i bought some

bread, jam, some more breakfast cereal, soups, ketchup, milk, yoghurt,

buttermilk, sugar, salt...... everything pure veg and edible! yippie!


Got a sim card this evening, darn thing still ain't working! it seems

T-Mobile is experiencing some problems! if it doesn't work by tomorrow

then i guess i'll have to spend 4Eur to go back to the T-Mobile store

and get it sorted. Thinking of buying a better phone, a blackberry

perhaps, my eyes took a good glance at it and made my body fall in love

with it! so don't blame me! I know I know, i'm a student, blah blah! but

dast ist Zuper, Zehr Gut!"


By the way, i did the shopping and the sim card and the Subway stint all

alone, taking a bus to the city and carrying back around 10kg of stuff

back to my room! i lack a fridge here. The staying arrangements are

quite weird, There's like a flat.....err...... an huge room with a door,

and that huge space is divided into separate rooms, two separate

bathrooms and one kitchen. All this in the huge room i mentioned. The

kitchen has just one fridge, which is kinda crowded, gotta ask around

for prices of a small fridge!


Well, these few people taught me some stuff which i'd forgotten, like in

the supermarket, things at the eye level are always the highest prices,

things further down and further up will be much cheaper than things at

your eye level. But sometimes these people, i think, try to save too

much. Well, I'm not the "extreme saving" types, but i'm not a

spendthrift too, I guess people in the hostel are gonna faint if they

hear i ate at subway! Well, it made me happy! Felt like home! :)


It's 7 in the evening and the sun hasn't set, this can create some

problems in the future with my sleep cycle! My German dictionary is

finally coming to use! It's helpful till you memorize some translations

and some sentences like "where is the toilet" :| I kinda finished my

calling card quite soon, in one day :| 20 Eur in a day to call India!

This can't go on forever! but then, tomorrow is the day i'll be getting

my internet (hopefully) and so i guess i'll have to manage till then!

without cellphone and without internet, is like, too bad! That's all i

can say, cause i'm lost for words! The weather is very pleasant, it's a

warm 26 Deg Centigrade in the daytime! Clear but busy skies, cause of

the nearby frankfurt airport, the sky, when you look up, is at least

full of 2 or 3 planes. Sometimes the whole sky is cris-crossed with

streaks from airplanes, with as many as 15~20 streaks! people are so

happy with the weather that they come is all sorts of short clothes! the

only people wearing full clothing are the ones from the middle east,

Asia, Micronesia, Africa and India, Everybody else, take most of it off!


Met some classmates too, So far one guy from India, former techie - IBM,

2007 passout from chemical engineering, Arkapovo Goshal, one girl from

Greece her name is pronounced "Andro-mahi", gotta ask her to write it

down and paste it on her chest, Chemical engineering masters holder.

Another one from Philipines, Angeli, Civil Engineering. Two guys from

Africa, one from Ethiopia and one from Eritrea, I don't remember the

names, cause they needed another African to explain, in German, how to

write the name, to the insirance office girl! So i saw no point in

trying to remember it on the first day! There's William (i think) from

Brazil.


There're two seniors i know so far. Alexander Mack, Civil Engineering

Graduate, German National, a real fit guy and Ameen, Irrigation

Engineering Graduate, From Iran who knows everything about the Hostel

and the university, a pro-active guy, and quick witted, but quite

friendly, sometimes "bossy" and the "all knowing" type, but a real nice

person.


Bought plug converters (with grounding)! so finally my MacBook is safe!

There're a lot of things that happened yesterday and today! I forgot

what i have tomorrow! with all my mails in IMAP and no connection to the

internet, I'm kinda stuck without internet! well, that's cause the

college corresponds to me only via email. I'll have to search out my

fellow classmates and ask them what's up for tomorrow!


One more weird thing i notices is when i'd been to the insurance office,

i saw 4 book which showed you how to exercise various parts of your

body! they have that here cause if you don't do it and you end up

falling sick or injuring something, they have to pay for it! :)


Ah the first drops of rain in Germany! :) nice to see! Cheers!


-Gecko.

My first mails from Germany - part 1

sitting in a boeing 747 i noticed one thing, it's something that they advertise, and it's something else on the inside, at least as economy class goes. First things firsts,


1. the remote at your side switches on the light of the person in the front seat.

2. in flight entertainment reboots without warning.

3. touch screen isn't so touchy.

4. it's more crammed than a night train to tirupathi!

5. you can stretch your legs, AT ALL!

6. Lean on the side wall and you hear a creak and then a "Thud" sound. You wouldn't wanna try that more than twice.

7. pillows suck, like just as much as everything inside the plane.

8. A luggage conveyor belt can cause more delay than you would've ever imagined.

9. Volvos have better cushions and rugs than this.

10. having said all that, the flight to mumbai was cool. A little turbulence at the end but then, mumbai is next to the sea, can expect that much convection at night. The snack was cool, err.... hot. Take off and landing was perfect, almost.

11. But, this, on the other hand is yet to fire up the engine after 1 hour and 40 minutes of delay!

12. Finally they decide two hours is enough to bake us all and start off.

13. The acceleration is outright brute compared to the tiny A320 which got me to bombay.



31Aug 2009

I landed! safe and sound. But thats not the fun part, it was the the part when i opened the window while everyone was alseep and the view i got! of snaking rivers, city lights, mountains, The sea. We were well above the weather, 35000 feet the onboard telemetry showed, and were cruising at 900kmph with the temperature outside at around -45 degrees centigrade. I could see that the few droplets of water on the window, which were present at the time i took off form bombay had now turned into beautiful ice crystals and soon started to bounce the sunlight like diamonds. As we entered Frankfurt, i could see the first skyscrapers appearing in view. a river "Main" (spelt 'my-ne') running in the middle of it. The 747 now started it's regular dance before landing banking continuously from left to right while decreasing altitude. finally it touched down, temp outside was 9 degrees centigrade, the snow crystals had melted and i too limbered up my joints to get out.


Customs procedures were cleared off quite easily. and i was on my way to the train station. A 3 stop ride, lasting no more than 10 minutes cost me 3Eur 50Cent. well, but it was fast though. Once at the Frankfurt Main station, i searched for something to eat. Picked up the worst posible sandwich for 3 eur 70 cent! i should've learnt my lesson then, but well, i was too hungry, i'll tell you what the lesson is in a while. I ended up wasting half the sandwich as i could not bite into the cold bread with my false teeth! Now it was time to freshen up! and take care of stuff. I went in search of the restroom. That's when i had to par 70Cent just to enter the rest room. Lesson: Stop multiplying numbers with 70! it doesn't mean the same anymore. Well, it's either that or peeing in your pants, you decide. I already did! Got some chocolates for the guy who's coming to pick me up. couldn't think of giving him anything else. No, i'm not gonna hit on him.

Sitting in the ICE (Inter City Express) to stuttgart, the weather outside and the scenery looks like i'm on the Chamundi hill road again! oh well, that's a relief.


Ppl here seem to mind their own business all the time, and if they ever happen to cross your path, they'll surely flash a warm smile, like they mean it! Passing thru some sub-urban independany houses no. They all look the same, like how I used to draw houses with triangular roofs, but with a DTH antenna on top of them all. They hang clothes out here as well. Speaking of which, they really are quite different when it comes to dressing, for many its almost like they just need a piece of cloth, for society-related reasons, not that they're trying to cover anything! and not that other take notice of it as well, well, most of the other would be in a similar state as well.


Seen some indians trying to dress like them casually. They really "TRY" to be casual in showing off skin, thus making it look vulgar!


There's a lot of graffiti culture going on, with some really beautiful pieces drawn on some walls. Saw a paaan-spit mark at a staircase Frankfurt Main. Guess they're here too! Their taste of coffee and my German is the same! Whatever you may decide. Ended up paying 1 EUR for a sugarless brown liquid, which tasted kinda ok. Guess it's my fault that i don't understand German and ended up guessing what it contains, milk/sugar, nothing! crap!


I smell like airplane fungus! No, really! I'm that bad, and i guess i baldy need a shower, hope they guy puts up with me or rather the manly odour! :| Similars repell see..! It's gonna be a tough job to get the luggage out of the train considering the train stops for only 3 mins at each station! Well.... even With all that complaining, i've made it this far. Will let you all know about more updates later! Till then!


P.S.: Yes! PDA is the big rage!


Cheers,

Gecko.


P.S: My address is :

Studentenwohnheim Straußäcker III

Allmandring 3 F 122

70569 Stuttgart

Germany


Some explanation. This is exactly how you write the address. But for your info:


1. Studentenwohnheim Straußäcker III is the name of the bigger unit which houses all the hostels.

2. Allmandring is the name of the hostel, there're two pfaffenwaldring and allmandring.

3. 3 F 122 is the room number - 3 F is the block. 122 is the door number.

4. 70569 is the pin code.

5. guess the rest is clear. :)



Thursday, August 6, 2009

evolution

I vaguely remember how computers came to be what they are today. In 1992, my uncle had a apple Macintosh, which came with around 30 floppy disks (in white boxes, mind you) and a room full of equipment, printer, etc etc... i don't remember exactly. He had to pay somebody to make it print a test page. Then computers weren't talked about much, then there was a point in time where they cost around 100000INR and you had to go into the computer room (compulsorily air conditioned) like how you go into a temple and the only game you could play on it (as far as i remember) was something like prince of persia.
Then came the pentium processors, mmx, 2, 3, 4... and people started developing better (?) operating systems for it. I still see a Pentium 433 in use today! that's the oldest i've ever seen, it was purchased at a time when rich kids used to flaunt a 256kb personal organizer.
Then Pentium 4 was a huge hit somewhere in the early 2000's and Aj's and subbu's was the state-of-the-art. two years later it was my turn and my Pentium 4 (bought at the same price as those two machines cost then) was said by the seller to be "future-proof" for two years to come. but then it was only one year after he said that and my friend patela bought a Pentium 4 which was better than mine. Then shazo had his share at the top, then pavan, then sidd, in the meanwhile subbu was flaunting a lappy, then shastry's turn with his heavyweight dell and wireless network at home, then patela bought a dell before he left to the us, then shazo bought the iMac! That was the purchase to end all purchases! then came nishanth's Toshiba down under and adi's dell, nothing! A HP and a Gateway in Mysore, naught! even subbu's upgraded dell latitude was no match for it perhaps. it was the ultimate, in every way! a freaking monster of a machine, with just two wires coming out of it at the back! Then, a year later, i get my chance again, with my macbook! an imac packed into a portable frame attached to a battery, with a smaller screen! it's the ultimate too! :P spec to spec it's better than his imac. but then, rate of utilization..... hmmmmm.... that's what is narrows down to. Well, my machines is just a week old (barely). I'd ask you to wait and see! :) till then!
P.S: this post isn't composed in any chronological order, not that precise one at that anyway. Just wanted to have a note for myself as to who bought what, roughly around what time. You may correct me if i'm wrong. but it's not that very important to me.