Wednesday, December 28, 2005
and one scientist was killed and a couple more injured.
Its really sad, to here when the media says the reason was that the educational institutions are SOFT TARGETS
Read more about it in the news
Times of India
Hope we can one day finish this proxy war for once and for all. Bloody why cant US see that the nation they support (Pakistan) and supply all these arms is simply using them against India.
Sunday, December 25, 2005
Then as i left for exchange program to germany, i left it in the campus, and didnt give the keys to anyone as then it would end up a Sarvajanik Bike . (i.e. public property, which every one uses, but no one is resposible for)
Today on Christmas 25th december, i finally tried startign the paltry 100 cc machine. And though ti was covered in layers of dust, and half the petrol had evaporated, i did manage to rev up the engine after 4 - 5 kicks (yeah i was scared that the battery might get discharged and thus i might not be able to kick start it)
And dammit even after 3 1/2 months the engine was purring the same way. Still i can manage to manouevre throught the traffic and the brakes are the same as well (the rear brake gives a little jerk to the left each time i brake)
Apart from getting my bike punctured i did manaeg to replace the tube, and also finally bought the things i had forgotten, like bedsheets, blankets ... and what not.
Now that i am reunited with my bike, hoping to have a couple of bike trips this term, and a little more to blog about.
I was goign thru my europe pics, i still have to write about Paris, Switzerland, and Italy.
Also some more pics about the recent happenings in the campus
Anyways i left the keys home and while returning i all but forgot about the keys and landed up in Ahmedabad without my keys. (Infact the list of things i forgot was really huge, but nevertheless for me the bike keys were the most important thing)
Finally i got my parents to courier the keys to me, but then being the smart guy that i am, i lost my keys in the mess.
Saturday, December 24, 2005
So off we went to see a play. (Actually saw two of them, "Art" and Vagina Monologues)
As the name suggests, it has created a fair bit of controversy, but as we saw the 120th show surely its not sleazy or soem cheap sidey porno thingy.
The play actually was about women talking about vaginas (pretty obvious ehh as the name suggests). But instead of it being like reading the Letters to Pent house or some other Porno Mag, it was from a point of view of sensitizing the patriachial society about women and their sexuality. Especially in a country with so many women being raped, with husbands beating their wives and child abuse, genital mutiliation.
I think the play was really good. They had 5 women (The great theatre personality Dolly Thakore and Mahabano Mody-Kotwal being the amongst them) enacting the interviews taken of various women about this topic.
I dont want to talk more about this but i would strongly suggest you to see this play if you get a chance. (The original is a AMerican Broadway play, these indians had just bought the copyrights)
this play actually did in a way change the perspective with which i see women.
The only negative thing about this play is that it bordered on being to FEMINISTIC.
So you go see it.
Anyways I reached home safely, and immediately as I boarded in to the plane at Vienna(TO Mumbai) , I saw the indianness coming back. More and more people breaking queues, talking loudly and HUGE BAGS being carried as hand baggage.
I faced reality a little more closely the next day as I visited my aunts place in Sion. Usually i would be having my motorcycle or Dad would let me take his car. But that day i had to travel by public transport, and travelling by crowded buses in Bombay, gave me a real feel for the city.
again I experienced the noise, the smells.
Yeah and I did notice the lareg number of people all around.
Anyways the vacation has ended, so has the name of my blog.
It shall be more about my last few months in IIM Ahmedabad, and how i cope with not much to do in my last term.
Sunday, December 18, 2005
my stupidity has been discovered by the residents of the dorm,
and though i agree i write bad stuff about lots of people, its for the sake of humour.
I also had a lot of misconceptions about some people, but the most was for Angelo.
At first i thought he was an over the top guy, wearing playboy tshirts and shades.
But later i realised he was a nice and a funny guy, (and also smart considering he found out all the stuff on my blog)
The people who i really despised were :
the ones who neevr cleaned up the mess in the kitchen ... and yeah i dont know who they were.
anyways ... now i guess my sharp and rude comments have hurt someone .. its actually time to write anything personal, wicked and attacking on any one.
I dont know, but i guess this was the best thing to have happened may be.
I hope to be less vitriolic about all people
and this is my new years resolution
Wednesday, December 14, 2005
now in a few hours i leave vallendar for good.
The journey is a long one, As first my friend Farzad Saidi (yeah he is a german, though of iranian descent) drops me by car to Koblenz arond midnight, and then i catch the ICE 809 to frankfurt at 00.48 hrs, to reach frankfurt flughafen (i.e. airport) at 02.02 hrs and then i have to louge around till 6 AM as i check for my flight at 8
This is not all as there is a stop over at Vienna from 9.30 to 11 and then i finally leave for bombay and reach there at 23.25
just saw the videos of the parties, its kind of funny ... lots of candid camera moments, saw a bit of the wild night life here,
and yeah ...
shall miss this place as much as i had loathed it some time back
and yeah i would like to thank all the people that made it memorable here
VIP, TGV, Party ministers, the guys at the Dormitory, especially gabor, jo, albert, ian and others
then the most special were my group memeber s in various seminars
Rene Reinsberg, Gunnar Lange, Florian Arndt, Farzad Saidi, Daniel Jeschonowski, Alexander Smeja, Henock Teklu, Gerald Koch, Alexandre Blondel and Emma Bjoern
also how could i forget Jerome Verger, Kumar Nishant (Lolo) and Jatin Didwania (Windows) for co authoring a case with me (and Prof Lutz Kaufman obviously)
and yeah there are many many more pppl
now that i go on to ahmedabad ...
though there might be some blogs written about germany but they would be fro memory and
now my blog would soon change its name ...
as i move back to ahmedabad ...
EPISODE 6: Revenge of the Geek
anyways now i have bought my 2 bottles of Jack Daniels and ready to go back
Sunday, December 11, 2005
Both come to WHU on exchange from different parts of France, and fall in love in the hostile neighbouring country. (Remember the 100 years war)
Anyways like any couple, they love playing cards. But here is their biggest dilemma, that while playing cards they shuffle the deck too loudly. And this enrages others. (they are not particularly helped by the paper thin walls of the Bundesheim Dormitory)
So if they play cards in Elsa's room, her neighbour Sabrina knocks on the wall and tells them to stop it, and if they do it in Alex's room then his neighbour Jo knocks on the wall and tells them to reduce the noise.
Fed up of others interference, they go play cards in the TV room. (Now as this TV doesn't have cable connection and only some sidey german channels, usually no one visits it) But this time to their dismay, on that particular day the draw for the Football worldcup was to be announced. So Gabor, albert and Marcio turn up in the TV room, and tell them to f*** off.
Now due to this frustration, finally they end up playing cards in the shower, (yeah who goes for a shower at 2AM, right) on the girls floor
unfortunately their card playing is not just loud, but also messy. So they left this shower in a "not so clean condition"
and thus further enraging the residents of the dorm.
And thus finally we have the NOTICE put up outside the bathroom
"Do your stuff in your room, NO PLAYING CARDS IN THE SHOWER. Its a public place after all"
Poor Alex and Elsa, they can't even play cards in peace.
Friday, December 09, 2005
This is Marie (Sweden) and Sigrid (France) and you can see though the picture is good, it could have been much better. For instance they could hae simply worn a thong instead of their jeans ... (not my thought but Gabor is telling me this as i publish this post)
More over look at Marie carefully and you can see the towel covering her frontside. A good professional photographer wouldnt have allowed this goof up.
This is the pic our our Tauschie President Angelo (Italy) being massaged by Esther (Spanish Chiquitita in my earlier posts) and Sabrina (Italian Mama or Mama mia)
Though again this picture had some potential, not really well executed. Dont know why but still it seems nice (nopes i am not those MCPs who feel women are meant to serve men .. or may be massage them, but still there is some appeal in the pic)
Hmmm, this is another good pic, with the SIZZLING SLOVAKIAN (Zuzzanna .. yeah in slovakia "z" is pronounced as an "s") with the 3 french guys (there are so many of them, who cares about guys names anyways) Only if she were holding a whip or something, this picture would have the effect of the strong woman controlling here toy boys.
Finally we have the mascot of the calendar, the most talked about and the most publicised picture
Yup the guy is Neal Taylor (UK) and the girls are Gabriel and Ibyllis.
This is the only creative picture in the calendar. (the one you would not find in so many email forwards)
If you think i am some pervert by posting such comments on the calendar, then may be you are right.
You guys tooo feel free to post comments. Surely would welcome any criticism
This is the most hilarious pic. There is Natalia Simakova (the Russian) in the foreground and then we have Gabor and Joseph (Czech) covering their crotches and Emma (sweden) tring to whack Jo's butt.
This picture appears to me like 2 prisoners in a concetration camp, just before getting whipped or somehting, one guy is fantasizing about the Russian Lolita and the other is dreaming about being spanked by a Swedish adolescent girl. (Damn my perverted mind, but again this pic aint artistic)
Yup this is Richard Soriano again. (yeah i know he is one of the most popular guys... but not a great picture again)
This is the best picture for me. Not only because it has the polish hottie Anna, with the french f***er Mathieu, but also as this is something thats actually real. This is another piture i would pay money for...
This is another bad picture you have to take when you dont have too many good looking women. For all the "Open midedness" they talk about, calendar women are supposed to be in bikinis, not your "Havaldar type shorts" (And i havent even gotten started aout when i have free internet, why would i want to see plump women on my calendar)
Also from where are they getting wet, the Champagne bottle aint even open.
Anyways the 2 girls are Elsa (France) and Frida (sweden) whereas the guys are Henrik Ericson(Sweden) and Alexandre Blondel (France)
(contd in part 3 ... as i cant upload all piucs in one post)
Now the calendar is kinda a girlie calendar, wit pics of nude guys and semi nude gals, i will put it up nevertheless.
(dont think that i am an idiot to buy the lousy caledar for 15 Euros, i simply clicked the snaps from the clanedar which gabor bought, im never the guy to oppose piracy or crusader of intellcetula property rights. I beleive if you are really intellectual then why bother out piracy ???)
Ok so here are the pictures and my comments on the them as well
So here we have our party ministers Damien (france) and Veronique Tyzcynca (UK). This picture is as cheesy as it can get. Dunno why would any one want to buy this. (Dont worry but the worst is yet to come.
This pic is the WORST OF THE LOT. What were they thinkin when they clicked this?? anyways for your information its Richard and Elsa (both from FRANCE) ... dont htink the picture is artistic nor is it provocative (so no point uying it. February is ruined as well)
Ok missed one pic of Dolan Shah (the british guy of indian origin) and the 2 spanish gals ...
but this pic is one i might actually shell out money for. Here we have (fom left to right) Gabriel, Stephanie (both France) and Ibyllis (Bolivia)
Stephanie being one of the most popular women and her affair with the Taucschie President Angelo (referred as Italian Idiot in my earlier posts) is always on and off.
Wednesday, December 07, 2005
Its been getting warmer than the week earlier, and there is rain every night, (unlike warm tropical rain back home in india this rain is icy cold)
So in all proabibility there wont be snow here till I leave.
And that is stupid. Ok i have seen snow in Norway and Munich and Switzerland ...
But not been for long under falling snow, and this might be really sad. I am looking at weather websites and damn, heavy snow predicted in berlin, munich and even as close as frankfurt. BUT NO NONE IN KOBLENZ.
DAMN this stupid weather
Monday, December 05, 2005
Sunday, December 04, 2005
Then what followed was a long email, all written in german (cant read tht well, yet) im about to delete the mail, when the last line of the email was
"Tauschie Summary: Free Beer tomorrow night at 7 pm, in the Gewollebekeller"
So obviously, reading the most important words, FREE (in this materialistic world) coupled with the word BEER, one of the best things invented by man, (thats what they say in Bavaria)
Anyways once i went in Gewollbekeller (or the cellar where all parties are held), i realised why the party was called friday beer, as though u start drinking on thurday, the party was supposed to end on friday.
The roots of this tradition are in the german students revolution in 1848, when students would get together and discuss revolutionary ideas on thursday nights, over a few liters of beer. (a liter and a half down, whatever i would speak would only be revalationary not revolutionary)
Yeah so keeping this tradition in mind, the enterprising students of WHU got some sponsorship and started this beer drinking and discussing revolutionary thoughts fraternity.
Well as i dont speak much german, and nor am i politically aware and all i know about revolutions is earht revovles around the sun, but all of this doesn't deter me from going to the gewolbekeller for FREE BEER.
Its unfortunate now i n2 more weeks here i just have one thurday left, and its criminal for me to be flying on thurday morning back to india, but if you dont see me online on next thursday from 7 pm (german time) you know where shall i be.
Thursday, December 01, 2005
So while these guys try to figure it out would they rent it without insurance, the Opel Corsa they wanted to rent is taken by someone else, and then as there was no similar car on offer the sales guy offers them a Mercedes B160 for the same price. The east Europeans simply grab the offer, and pay 45 Euros (who wants insurance they say) and without any travel plans they come back in their Mercedes.
Now as they are bragging about it i convince them to let me take it aournd for a spin. So first time in my life i am riving a left hand drive and supposed to drive on the right side of the road. If these restrictions weren't tough enough for my bad driving, the gear system was a wee bit different, but the 6 speed diesel handled wonderfully well. The whole incident was fine, apart from that once I forgot, that I have to drive on the right and entered the left lane (on a left turn) and once drove over the curb while reversing the car during a u-turn went in the 5th gear instead of 3rd and the engine stalled in between the road, and i went speeding at 130 kph in the 6th gear.
All this time Gabor seated next to me, went pale, and was screaming, "I DONT HAVE ANY INSURANCE, PLEASE BE CAREFUL" anyways we (and the car) returned safely and Gabor was kind enough to click some pics, though he feels I do not deserve a driving license (I think Shashu, VJ and Fraud would agree with him after the Mahabhaleshwar trip we had in may 2005)
Here are the pics of me and the MERC
(the pic aint clear and date hides the 3 pointer but its a MERC B160)
Knight in shining armour saves beautiful damsels from ...
this happened today morning as i was leavig the dormitory. As i was walking along the corridor the polish hottie and the spanish chiquitita come running towards me and drag me along to the chiquitita's room. I was not only amazed but my head was spinning with all the possible wicked thoughts (damn this free internet and no admin to check which sites i visit or what i download).
But before i could even realise this gals asked me to kill the spider in the room. Well so this Knight has no fire spitting dragon to slay, ut a teeny weeny spider on the roof.
Swiped it and its web off with a broom in one swipe. and then the other stroke crushed the horrendous spider and this wicked creature met its death.
And all this for me risking my life to save these damsels? What do i get? Nothing, nothing but a thank you.
Magician from the east cons Maverick Magyar
yesterday night while dinner mangu got a pack of cards and was showing some magic tricks. The most amused (or should i say confused) was the hungarian friend Gabor Gyeorfi. After a long time he did figure out the trick ...
Well now that it was my turn, i showed him one of the oldest tricks, one which my dad showed me in 1987 and even then i wasn't amused. But nevertheless i put on the show and one by one i remove a card from the pack and tell him which the next would be. This totally left him dumbstruck, and he was left gazing. Asking me how did i do this, i non chalantly replied i gotta a good memory.
then he shuffled the pack forme, really well and then as he is left awe struck i perform the trick again with fiegned difficulty.
This went on for an hour as he kept questioning me, suspected i had cards in my pocket, suspected fellow indians akshay and mangu for telling me with sign languae. he even memorised the cards himself and came up with a trick to figure out my trick.
This continued for an hour (all the while we 3 indians, czech guy Jo, Eyal the israeli and Ian the canadian were laughing their asses off; only gabor didnt figure the trick, which in itself is really simple)
Finally when gabor did realise this, he tried and repeated this trick in front of Alexandre the French guy, and not only did he fail miserably, (didnt arrage thecards well enoough) but Alex didnt figure out anything, since he doesnt speak enlgish and doesn't know the difference between spades diamonds and clubs (i dout he even knows numbers though)
Though this episode doesn't seem as funny while writing, truthfully this was the day i laughed continously for over a hour, till my belly ached and my face hurt as well
Long Walk in the Dark with the Polish hottie
This happened long long ago, but havent been blogging as i thought that my mother might read it. But now that i am assured that she gave up reading this space some time back and alsso persuaded by other inians to put this in "print" i am writing about this
So it is late in the night (around 1 AM) and i am busy watcing the movie "Guide" in the PC Room (where i spend most of the time in the university)
Then suddenly i realise that the room is empty save me and the Polish Hottie. Now though i have spent reamsand reams describing her on this blog let me do it once more,
She has more oomph than all the MTV India VJ's put together. If she comes to india and does item numbers in hindi movies then i am sure yana gupta would be sitting at home and washing clothes. (it sounds much better in hindi "Ghar par baith ke kapde dhoti rahegi" doesn't it)
Anyways i dont have the guts to approach her and start conversation, so i keep sitting and watchign the movie. Till she takes the first step, and comes close to me and says in broken english "Weela you comma withaa meea to the dor-mee-tory-aa"
I would have jumped at the offer, but trying to play hard to get, i coolly say let me finish off seeing this movie and then i will accompany you. (in reality an hour was remaining, but i couldnt let go of this offer lest some one else might come in and grab the "opportunity"). She just thanks me and says as she really feels scared going back alone in the night.
So after 5 minutes, i simply shut down the media file and annouce, "lets go"
And let me tell you the walk back is 20 minutes and uphill, and the village is almost always deserted after 9, thus at a quarter past one, there was absolutely no one save us and our shadows.
Now i try to start some conversation, saying why i never saw her in any of my classes, etc ... whereas all the while there are voices in my head advising me how to react in this situation
Voice1: you dumb ass, do something, impress her by your great humour, tell her some of your funny stories, .... sieze the initiative, you wont get such golden chances again
Voice2: Dood get real. None of your stories are funny. neither are you. When people laugh its on you and not your jokes.
Voice3: Doesnt matter. Shes Polish (hence dumb) and doesnt even understand english. So there goes your punchline.
All this while, as we walk back shivering in the cold, i manage few mumbled sentences, about me only takign courses in english (and she took only courses in german, hence shes never in my class, ...ufff)
till we come across this small fence. Normally in day time we would walk across it, but she suggests we cross the railing. I am glad, that i will be ale to help her across, and get i nher good books but all to the contrary, she leaps across with the grace of nadia comaneci (the gymnast) and i am struggling across as she laughs on my efforts.
soon as we near the dormitory she lights up a ciggarette (if i havent already mentioned it before, she smokes like a chimney and drinks like a fish and is the life of any party, a real wild party animal)
As she is fumbling in the dark with her lighter, the voices in my head start again
Voice 1: Idiot ask for a ciggie and light it like Humphrey Bogart (in casablanca) and soon the gal will be yours
Voice2: DO YOU ACTUALLY SMOKE??
Voice3: If you do actually think of this stupidity , beware not to cough like a asthmatic.
Finally better judgement did prevail.
And yeah the complete 25 minutes (yes we were slow due to the dark and cold) was completed with a few mumbled words (yeah i do get tongue tied in front of terribbly attracive women) from me and a few words in halting english from her ( i doubt language was the real reason for her speaking less)
ANd yeah ... finally it simply ended like "So much ado about nothing"
( I am writing about this as Bahri who saw me come back with her doesn't believe me, so here lies my version of the story)
Friday, November 25, 2005
(though i didnt want to make my blog like another travelogue, doing a bit this time)
Yeah so Berlin isnt just quite like a standard european city, it being a capital for a long time is entrenched in history, as well as being an epicanter of the COLD war will the Berlin wall was around. (the reunification of germany was done on Oct 3, 1990. No i am not a history buff to remember these dates, it just happens to be my birhtday as well)
yeah so here in the western part, one sees display of wealth, all the trappings of a materialistic life, the american mall culture and loads of shopping arenas. But move to the east and one comes across a place wiht 14-20% unemployment. People living of government unemployment benefits.
See this funny car in east berlin (right) compared to the ones that are in the show room in west berlin. (Left) Also you can see the NOTICE at Checkpoint Charlie which was the old entry point between the 2 places. There is also a museum at that place dedicated to all those who tried to crossover the WALL and in memories of those hwo lost their lives.
This also speaks about the innovativeness of people. They used hot air balloons, made helicopters out of a motorcycle engine and a boat propellor and many other things apart from the mundane sneaking in a boot of a car and digging tunnnels
Also there was the little bit of wall remaining, which had on one side the open museum called the topography of terror, with pictures and clippings about Fuhrer Hitler and the war crime cases against his generals, which ony la few were punished and the rest were let go easily.
Also there is the beautiful bradenburger gate, where the allies came amrching form both ends (Russians form the east and Americans and Brits form the west)
This was unfortunately a part of the death strip in eats berlin, where any one venturiong would be shot at sight to prevent people form crossing over.
A little ahead is the Reichstag the seat of the parliament. (not posting their pics, u can always google for them)
Just a little further was the Potsdamer Platz. This place was barren land, right in the center of berlin and a death strip too, but today its a commmercial center with a lot of tall glass skyscrapers coming up, and is a show case of the comtemporary architecture.
Not your old fashionned cuboids, but really nice geometrical shapes.
This is the part where the westerners have made it ultramodern, and then walking a bit ahead you move back to the older communist regime.
Also we came across the university of Berlin, where Albert Einstein had taught for a few years before WW I.
The blog would not be complete without mentionign the wonderful A&O hostel and the african american Sean who we met there.
Sean was travellign across europe for a year or so. At the same time was making money as a tour guide. He gave us the best pitch for a guided tour ever, speaking about the hitlers bunker in the car park and giving insight in to the history of the place. Also he conducted another tour called the pub crawl where he owuld take you to 4 night clubs in east berlin, would have surely gone, but some one had cautioned me earlier about the safety issues. I still regret not going there.
Yeah thats Berlin for you.
I had also visited the Sachsenhausen Concentraiotn camp. That had a couple of barracks left the rest were destroyed. Also there were the old bunk beds and the prisons preserved.
It surely was a bit moving, but i do not have words to describe the exact feeling one got there. The closest one could say is spooky.
Another sorry for my readers as this time the pics asrent that great, its cause i didnt have my camera and akhsay has reduced the size of his pics so fit on his lap top.
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
I would like to write more about the interesting people i met during my travels, some of the more interesting conversations
Amsterdam has a lot of interesting places, like the Anne Frnak Museum, the Van Gogh Museum, the Rembrandt Museum, the flower market for tulips, ... the list goes on and on. But nothing attracts more tourists to amsterdam than its vice industry. Not only is Marijuana and Cannabis freely available in "Coffee Shops" but the biggest tourism attracter is the Flesh trade. (yeah prostitution is also legal here)
The Red light district is very near the Amsterdam Centraal Station (thats no typo, there is a double 'a') .
This is one interesting place, full of tourists gawking at the prostitutes on the street. Lots of british guys especially land here on saturday nights.
For tittilation one has various choices. You can either go to bars where women dance on the top of tables, and there is some pole dancing, there are strip clubs, places where you can get lap dances, ... right upto going all the way with the women standing on the street.
Though i will not tell what all did i do or not do (so that you would not criticize me, either for not having guts, or being immoral...)
but what i will tell you here is the few conversations with prostitutes
(By the way the most common rate in the street was 50 Euro for F*** and S***, which is steeply higher than the 30 Euros a couple of years ago, when my friend visited the place. Maan 67% inflation in 2 years and they call the Eurozone a LOW INFLATION region. Seriously something must be done bout this run away inflation, time the guys at the European Central bank raised the interes rates ;-) )
1) The English Boys
there were a couple of English "Laads" were making fun of all the whores, sayin "your too faat" or "your too oogly" ... and then one middle aged englishman comes and says in a pukka geoff boycott type yorkshire accent.
"don't 'orry laad, unce u get in 'ere they r all the same; go in an f*** 'er"
2) I tried to talk to one and know what was the going rate, so i knock on the glass door behind which this sizzling hot female is standing and ask her how much?
She answers condenscendingly 50 Euros f*** and s***. I think lets talk a bit more so i try bargaining, to 30 and then when she finally agrees for 40 after a bit of haggling, i (with all my good middle class upbringing would never go ahead) say ahhh, let me check out if i get someone better for the same price. And then you should have heard her curse me, my manhood and my race.
Also in my conversation with an elderly bar tender at a bar and a coffee shop, he spoke about how girls come in as strip dancers, then full time prostitutes, when they become too fat go on to gie lap dances and and once again they are really old and fat they move to the cornr of the red light district where u can get one for real cheap.
the man spoke about it in a detached way, the way a professor o f strategy explaiend the BCG matrix "All companies start as question marks, become stars, then cash cows and once they become dogs .. its time to move out"
Really this kind of shook me up, the detached and objective way these guys can speak about prostitution.
Also as soon as I stepped out of the coffee shop, there was this black man trying to sell me soem LSD, cocaine, hashish (as if one waouldnt be high enough inside the coffee shop, that you would need other stimulants, that too which are illegal)
thats about it from amsterdam, no pictures here so no reminders for anyone
Also visited Den haag and stayed overnight at the college senior Ajay Galdhars place. I thank him and his flat mate for the wonderful food as well and
Monday, November 14, 2005
have been travelling a lot (esp that the econometrics exam is over), and have no time to blog at all,
anyways in addition to the trips to Berlin and Amsterdam (yet to write a trip log bout them) I visited Switzerland and Paris.
Paris is pretty safe (unlike the BBC reports) the riots and the curfew is only in the outskirts (North Eastern Suburbs)
The main city was pretty calm.
And yeah though not writing much about them right now,
a few special things
1) many thanks to the batchmates from IIMA who let me stay over with them (Kartikeya at St. Gallen in Switzerland and Moi, SFI, Jhatku, Lota, Chaitu and Pager in Paris)
2) As i returned to Koblenz at 00.39 hrs and the last train to vallendar had left, I walked from Koblenz to Vallendar and now i am in the competer laboratory (yet to go back to the dorm)
So yeah the experiece of walking alone 8km at 1 AM in the night ... that really requires a separate blog.
See you then time to catch some sleep and then i would blog about my experiences.
Monday, November 07, 2005
this was my first Solo Trip.
I went of to Munich (and then to Fussen) to visit this Fairy Tale like Castle.
Actually the Southeastern Province of Bavaria is full of Castles and this one is supposedly the best one.
the Lonely planet guide says, "Given an eccentric mind and an unlimited budget, then the Castle is what you get"
It was made for King Ludwig II in 1880s. The construction was far from complete when the King died in mysterious circumstances.
the Castle itself is kind of spooky, and one could see the eccentricities in the interior decorations, too many porcelain swans, one artificially created cave, paintings depiciting poems by Wagner (soem german great poet, sorry for my ignorance)
Apparently Mr Walt Disney based his haunted house in Disneyland based on this Castle itself.
Travelling alone is also fun. It not only keeps you independant, but it gives you the unique opportunity to meet other people.
I met a couple of japanese tourists, who were medical representatives, and spoke to one lady who was doing a research project for UNDP on Sustainable development.
This is all from this short trip.
Then i went to Munich and spent an evening there.
Munich is nt much of a place. A regular European city (oh now any Bavarian Reading this would kill me)
Then i moved on to The Netherlands (Amsterdam)
ending the blog here, as Amsterdam needs a Blog to its self.
And now i need to Bid for my 6th Term Courses.
though i need only 4 i am bidding for 6. only one needs some bidding, all the rest are currently goign for Free.
The Halloween party was arranged by the TGV (Tauschie Government Vallendar, not to be confused with some high speed french trains) on the 31st October in the Bundesheim Dormitory (thats where I stay)
Not much to write about, there was some killer punch (special alcoholic drink for the event) and the American girls Anne and Kimberly baked some cookies. (Oh they were wonderful)
Yeah now time for some pictures...
(left) I did not wear any costume as I anyways look spooky enough.
(right) Here is Anne with the cookies (Damn i could only eat one for free)
Then we had the party ministers (Damien and Veronique, below left, they were serving the drink "Killer Punch")
On the Right we have Arnim Emrich.
Thats Ian, Marie and Alexandre
Gerald Looks as if he has come out of the movie "The Ring"
there are many more, but i am having some server problems
so can't upload them (trying for 30 minutes now) will upload more later.
And the rest of the Halloween party was the regular stuff, drinking, dancing ... and I hope you guys know the rest.
I am not making any accusations, but the French guys here know the best way to exploit such situations. Drunk gals make good company, (hic!!!) but i guess video taping all their activities after they are drunk crosses the line.
the only worse thing was that not only they got fresh with the Polish Hottie, when her boyfriend comes from Warsaw (to meet her 2 days later) after a 24 hour bus journey, they told him to relax in the TV room, and played that same CD.
You should have seen the anger on the Polish guys face, all colour was drained and was seeething with anger, there was a bit of steam coming out of his ears.
Rest of the details are way to personal for the parties involved. You can use your imagination.
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
11 out of 16 from my group in engineering days are doing their PhDs at various grad schools in the US and i to nearly fell in that trap.
but going through the PhD comics i feel i can do a small comic strip about my experience here as well. Need to think a bit about that. Also need to have some spare time (from travelling and now again some more work is piling up)
Meanwhile the Israeli guy Eyal thinks i am crazy to keep travelling, my parents in india think i am crazy that academics is not my prime importance here, and my aunt (dads younger sister) she does keep mailing sometimes, enquiring how is my life as a student in Germany.
So let me sleep over the thought of getting out some funn comic strips. Wont dissapoint you guys (whoever is actually reading this blog)
Meanwhile I would want some feedback if possible, on how do i make this blog a little bit more entertaining as well as informative as i stumble my way through europe, living my life as an exchange student, and the culture shock to a indian guy of conservative brahminical upbringing in liberal europe.
Yeah please post some comments with any form of feedback.
I am just back from Berlin. (more about tht trip and the Halloween party once i get the pictures from Akshay) and on the return journey i started reading the book "Diaries of Anne Frank" which Akshay bought from the Anne Frank house in Amsterdam. (i plan to go there soon as well)
Anyways coming to the point, its an exremely well written book, about the pains of grwoing up, and not liking the nagging parents and the perfect sibling. The writing style is fantastic and the way she starts off describing the people in her school is really nice. I too would love to write a lot like that. (so if you feel i am copying, the book might have some influence). I am htinking about giving pseudonyms to all people around me and write about them. OR may be i might not publish the post at all and save it like a draft.
What is so great about it is the complete honesty, (yeah thats missing form my blog) he ability to be so nasty, (ok i am not really very nasty here, specially since many people might be reading, or even if no one cares and no one reads, this might be later digged up as evidence against me)
The good thing about her is she doesnt try to be funn (which unlike me makes the whole blog sound stupid)
I know I am not that well read, but i do reccomend this book to every one. Especially to gift it to some teenage cousin / friend / sibling. I sure did find lots of things similar, only diference being that there was no world war.
though i am yet to complete the book already it has been having an effect.
Also i had a nice discussion with Farzad ( the german student who gave the econometics exam with me) about the book, catcher in the rye, another tale about the care free youth.
anyways i gotta write more about my experience in Berlin (lovely place) and the lovely youth hostl there, as well as the SachsenHausen concentration camp, but lemme get back to the Anne Franks diary. Might write some hing tommorow (and with pictures as well)
Monday, October 31, 2005
Don’t go by the name (Didn’t Shakespeare say something to the effect that names might be misleading?), there was nothing "Basic" about it.
So all of the weekend with the best sunny weather in all of Europe, and I am sitting alone in the dormitory and cramming my notes of econometrics.
Looking and the Ordinary least squares how they are consistent, but biased when there is heteroskedasticity in the sample.
The best unbiased linear estimator using the generalized least squares is
b = X(X'X)^(-1)X'y
and the residuals are ...
And b is asymptotically normally distributed in ...
And how to use the Newey West correction for removing the Heteroskedasticty, but the white correction for Autocorrelation works better.
All samples Estimate of Asymptotic Variance is normally distributed...
And the Dickey Fuller test for a Random walk with a time trend fails when the Durbin Watson Statistic is significantly lower than 2.
And though the Null hypothesis is not rejected we cannot even accept it. (No doubt it’s a "NULL" hypothesis)
And if you figured out something here then you should have met me earlier and given me tutorials on econometrics
Anyways this exam scared the shit out of many people.
Though 40 people had attended the first class, only 20 registered for the course, and then only 10 were left till the last class. All exchange students (other than 3 idiotic Indians) dropped the course as they wanted to pass
All the Germans dropped the course as they thought this would harm their grade.
I thought come on, passing is not a problem, lemme give it a try
And yes yesterday night these Kwiatowski Phillips Schmidt Shin (KPSS) tests for significance put the fear of God in an Atheist like me.
More over, to reduce our degrees of freedom, the exam was a closed book one.
And to complicate matters further I lost my room key.
So all of yesterday night I sat in the common room, studying and slept for 2 hours only on the cramped sofa, woke up late and ran to the exam just to find out that my keys were in Mangu's (fellow Indian who lives in adjacent room) bag. Damn !!!
Anyways as I reach the examination hall realize only 6 were giving the exam as the other 4 Germans chickened out. (3 Germans giving the exam were in top 4 students in WHU)
As pointed out by Arnim, only one out of those 3 WHU is in the top, of the others, one has a job offer already from Morgan Stanley (so isnt worried bout grades) and the other girl studies a lot (or so i think)
SO ALL WHU STUDENTS sorry if ou were offended by this post
Now reasonably sure that the professor wouldn’t flunk with such poor attendance, I took a deep breath, said a prayer and begun writing.
Thankfully the exam was a simple one. Barely finished the paper on time, and thus though I was looking to just pass, I am sure that I have done well. (With a high significance at the 99% level, t statistic being high, though some high variances in the grades of the other students might lead to a lower weight age given to my score. Though my expectations are high the third moment (skew) and the fourth moment (kurtosis) might lead to large errors in the forecast and the residual score which I get might be minimized.
Anyways I don’t realize why do I take such courses, where I need to study? (Or Mug a lot as an IIMA student might say?)
Whereas guys like Amod don’t take courses with less than 50% women in the class, I am stuck with these courses with the distribution of women is bivariate. Either 1 or none!
Anyways Mangu is telling me to stop this idiotic monologue and go cook some thing for lunch,
Tonight is the Haloween Party at the Dormitory
And also today is DIWALI the INDIAN FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS
And one of the most holy days for all Hindus
So wish u guys a happy diwali and I am all set to enjoy the Halloween party.
More pictures and detailed stories shall soon follow.
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Thats cause i have an exam on monday (Basic Methods in Econometrics)
Also th results of the previous exam (Capital Market Theory) is out. I managed fine, getting a B grade. (aha ... thats great for an exchaneg student. actaully B was the highest any exchange student got. how could one score when u dont study and just keep travelling)
anyways so wont be blogging for some time
time to hit the books
I did click a lot of snaps, but they havent turned out to be particularly great, (from a fast moving train)
and yeah this journey was really memorable for a few things
1 Great Natural beauty
2 I saw and experienced snow fall (after some 10 years when i had been on a trek to himalayas)
3 Nice experience trvellign without reservations in trains and changing trains at 2 Am in the moring at Gotterberg (with temperatures 2-3 Deg C)
4 buyin food at exhorbitant prices ( i bought bana for 40- 50 times the price in india, boy Norway is expensive)
5 Meeting drunk swedish guys who told me about this old swedish pop star called "Dr Bombay" who had forgetable sons to his name
"I am a taxi driver, ... In Cal-cutta"
and "I eat my rice an curry; Hurry, hurry , hurry" ( i really identify with the second song)
and yeah because i was travelling without reservation, during the second leg of the journey when the compartment was full and i had no place to sit, i actually slept on the floor of the train using newspapers as a bed sheet.
All these events really made this a meomorable trip.
Here again are some of the pictures from the trip
From the train
Christmas Tree any one ?
The Town of Bergen from top of Mount Floyen
Me Trying to get a little arty and taking a pic of rain drops on the branches
Actually i forgot to write a little about the Garden in Oslo
It has so many sculptures, virtually one for every possible expression
here are some which i found interesting
1) Angry young boy
2) Crazy girl
3) Population Explosion
Thursday, October 20, 2005
And i guess for those who arent from india it would be surprising that i had never had meat for all of 24 years of my life. Well that was till tonight.
At WHU there are a lot of company presentations for final placements. And after that there is the dinner. As we Indians need special work permits to work in europe (visas) so though we dont really expect to join these german firms but we never the less go for the free dinner.
There is one presentation a week and thus we do manage to save our selves from the hassle of cooking and well where theres free food i really dont care.
But tonight it was slightly different. The supposedly reputed Management Consulting firm did not sponsor dinner but just drinks and some snacks (Yeah not paying for full dinner and they epect me to eve n think about joining them? ). And unlike the other meals there was nothing vegetarian. But i didnt realise it at all. I was hungry bored of a 1.5 hour presentation and standing in a long queue and the first thing i pick up looked like something intersting. Well as it turned out later when nishant (Lolo as he is known in ahmedabad) that it had HAM.
Yeah alright, i really didnt care then. Ate the rest of it as now it was too late to cook. I would have to walk 20 minutes back to the dorm and i was too hungry. And to be frank the HAM DID TASTE GOOD.
Now htis brings me to this question. WHY AM I A VEGETARIAN?
Well being born in a conservative hindu brahmin family that to form the state of gujarat (where 85% are veggies) and in india most brahmins (being the relegious caste) are forbidden to eat meat. So all my life een thinking about eating meat was ruled out. Though i am not religious my self, bordering somewhere between an atheist and agnostic, i really dont care whether by eating meat i go to hell (in any case my other deeds make it highly improbable i will ever go to heaven).
Neither am i an animal lover that i believe it is bad to kill animals for food. (to be frank i hate animals, dont really care about how they are illtreated. I don even bother about the plight of hungry children in India in my own city) So that really shows i am not those caring guys who loves animals so would not be able to see them being butchered.
Again all these years i kept convincing myself that meat is high protein and complex carbohydrates. Bad for your health. Bad for digestion, clogs your arteries and i would have a big paunch when i am 30 and heart attack when i am 40. But that doesnt even mean that i eat healthy the rest of the time.
So then why am i vegetarian?
I guess it is just the way of life and there is some kind of inertia to cross over. Now here though i cook daily (with mixed results), but when i am travelling it is extremely difficult to find somehting vegetarian. Even Burger king and McDonalds which provide sheap stuff dont have a lot of veg food.
So for me i just go searching from place to place and try to fill my stomach. I dont even enjoy a meal.
Yeah it is at these times i feel it is another thing that i need to let go of. Or should i ?
I think my mother has stopped reading my blog and my dad doesnt know how to surf the net. But i guess if they read this they sure would be upset.
YEAH BUT I GUESS ATLEAST IN THE SHORT TERM HORIZON I AM GONNA REMAIN A VEGETARIAN. I think the health argument is still holding me on.
Some one pass me the bland boiled vegetables and orange juice please.
Though you have to sleep in cramped bunk beds, and 8-16 people in one room, wiht poor lighting, i sure would reccomend that over living in a hotel. (Even if yo ucan afford it, thoug hfor me its a no brainer, no money so cant afford hotels). This is because apart from just being cheap accomodation, they are also great points for socialising, especially for people like me, who get to know a lot more about the European way of life.
We students and i guess Indians in particular rarely ever think about taking a year off only for travel. We just open the Lonely planet guide and rush from one tourist spot to another and try and rush through seeing the maximum number of places in the minimum number of days. (Something like the maximum efficiency funda, maximise input by output)
Whereas the europeans when they travel it is like for a month or couple of months or a year or so. They soak in the atmosphere, live for a week in each city and explore even the non traditional spots. Some of them go camping and live in tents on the camping grounds.
Whereas i just travel on weekends and i guess because of te indian system, which doesnot like breaks in ones career, it is expected that one always works 12 months a year. If ou take a holiday its for just 2 weeks where in you pack in so much of travel that after the vacation you are more weary than when you started out.
And apart from all this it is also a place for getting to know various cultures (even for europeans) it also acts as a mating ground, ( Yeah after seeing some of the scenes in the kitchen close to midnight, i dout some else would ever think it to be anything else) where you interact with many intersting people, who may have similar travel plans and then may be back pack together.
Yeah anyways now tommorow i leave for Norway, to Bergen and see the Fjords. (The Lonely planet Travel guide describes the train journey from Oslo to Bergen as the one which will ruin all your future rail travel as nothing can ever match that)
Hope this is too fun filled. Will surely write about it and post the pics as well
So i will blog next tuesday. Good Bye till then.
Monday, October 17, 2005
Amongst us 8 indians here on exchange we have clusters.
The vegetarians and the non-vegetarians (4 in each). But look deeper form the obvious and then you realise, that there is more obvious distinction. The Big Spenders and the misers.
The big spenders eat out, never cook lunch (have it in the Cafeteria) and even most of their dinners are at expensive places. (As you figure out i am not one of them)
The misers whereas have little choice but to cook for them selves. Amogst us the lazy ones keep eating the frozen pizza bought in the super market. (Indian food needs a quite bit of cooking, the spices if half cooked can taste really bad ...)
Then you have those who are not so confident, they know a few recipes and will just cook that (potatoes and rice and may be eggs). That is because that is all one knows, and cant afford eating out daily and is really scared what if the food turns out bad? What if the spices are uncooked (Masala Kachha rahe jaayega ? ) Thus they simply eat the same thing daily. (i was in this category till some time back)
then there are guys like me, who dont know how to cook, but keep experimenting. Sometimes the food is edible sometimes it isnt. ( i eat it anyways, and though im improving, i doubt any restaurant is ever going to hire me as a chef
Looking at the other nationalites within the dormitory, (as unfortunately as i dont visit the girls kitchen very often, i can only comment on the guys) )
the canadians really know how to cook, and they cook nice elaborate meals. Often buying some frozen supermarket stuff to complement their food. These guys are the smart ones.
The French are lazy. All they have is fried eggs or pasta. (all that i heard about french food, i dont see any here. And whatever these guys cook doesnt look appetising) everything is just defrosting something bought in the super market.
The hungarian is as messy a cook as i am. Daily he cooks something consisting of eggs and ham. All he does is put all the ingredients in the frying pan in some random order and fry for some duration (random again) and whatever it turns out is his meal. (No two meals look similar inspite of the same ingedients)
The Czech guy survives on ham sandwhiches. Thats all he has for breakfast, lunch and dinner. 2 slices of bread and a slice of Ham in between. Nothing else!! for variety some times there is a slice of cheese in it as well.
But the laziest ofthem all is the ITALIAN (our president of the exchange students, also known as ITALIAN IDIOT in my previous posts) He doesnt cook at all. Instead he simply walks in to the girls kitchen, orders some one to cook for him, has nice fancy meals cooked by the italian and the spanish girl (while all the time he is dating the french one who isnt much of a cook herself).
yeah inspite of all his crude behaviour and shameless skirt chasing he sure has some of the mafiosi class. He makes the girls around him do the cooking and cleaning.
Yeah right now all i can do is admire him while i eat my have burnt spinach, while he as spaghetti with shrimp and authentic italian spaghetti sauce.
Well didnt i say cooking does give an insight into ones personality?
It has the old waorld charm as well, multiple museums, lovely palces and gardens and the regular cathedral.
Also we went t Salzburg, a town where the movie "Sound of Music" was filmed. Nice gardens and there is a nice Castle. (but as entry is bloody expensive, i didnt go inside)
Salzburg is the home town of the energy drink RED BULL (so much for trivia, there is a leend which goes around why was it named red bull... google it and you should find out)
But the best part was the Eisreisenwelt ICE CAVES. Absolutely terrific place. There was fog on the way, and we saw this small castle / palace on the way through fog. Its really like heaven on earth. The other views of the austrian alps are also wonderful.
But the best part is inside the caves.
These natural ice forms are no only beautiful, the caves are a catacomb of 42 km length. (Obviously tourists only go i nfor a guided tour throught te first kilometer.
Leaving off with a few sights inside the ice caves. And let me tell you, that hte pictures cant describe anything. to see the real beauty you have to feel it by being there.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Now all the other students hada 90 day visa, but our stay here is 106 days. I was smart enough to get the visa for the entire period. Or so i thought.
NOw when you get your visa extended, these guys got a residence permit, which enables them to travel in Switzerland (Germna residence permit)
But for me the officer said i cannot get the residence permit as i dont need to extend my visa. (Damn these bureaucratic rules)
Now to go to Switzerland i need to get a visa, form some consulate office. More paper work and more money (Residence permit is free)
Anyways troubles apart this weekend (its ending early on wednesday;-) I go to Vienna.
return on sunday morning, and thus be in time to study for my first exam on wednesday, 19th October. (Capital Markets Theory II )
NOw as exams approach, i also need to spend more time with books, less in travelling, partying and on the net.
So fewer updates i guess.
But promise to blog a bit
Monday, October 10, 2005
Yeah one more weekend and one more trip. This time to the south of France. This time rather than stay in youth hostels, Akshay manages to contact Savita Pai (Savvy) who is an exchange student in Nice, France. So off we (the same group of 4 from WHU, in addition Puneet and Abhilash who arre exchange students in Universty of Cologne) left for Nice pn friday evening.
Here are the ones who were there (besides me).
Yeah we went to the sunny beaches in the south of France, and the beaches there are really beautiful. We were lucky that the saturday was really sunny and it being a weekend the people on the beach were even more beautiful. (Cant post all the pics, as no nudity on this website ;) )
The beach as one would notice is a pebble beach and the water is crystal clear blue. The brave ones ventured out into the sea. (That is obviously me, Amitayush, Akshay and Puneet. The girls just went in knee deep and abhilash being scared he would lose his passport (he carried all documents in his jacket. And he didnt remove it through out the trip. Nopes not even on the beach) As you can see Abhilash (Or Tilla as he is called back home, chose safety) where as Amitayush (like the brave ones) bares it all.
This did not change even on the next day when we visited Cannes the place where the film festival is held. Though the beach was much better (so were the people, no pictures here as most were topless and it might cause trouble clicking anythig there) but it was colder that day. never the less we ventured into the sea and splashed around, till the waves got too big for bad swimmers like me.
Then we moved to Monaco. This is a City built on a hill and there are 7 levels. The city is one endless spiral. (now you know why the monaco GP is the toughest, if the sharp turns dont kill you the steep inclines surely would). The Grandprix and the Ferrari (always favourites) has a mark every where. All shops sell prohibitiely expensive Ferrari and / or Monaco F1 memorablia, let it be Tshirts or caps or whatever. The steep city houses the rich and the famous. The harbour has a line of luxury yachts moored. As the picture to the right shows, Calendar (Puneet) tried hard to get a job here to fill gasoline in these yachts. (But with no success, just as expected). The city view from one of the top levels is simply amazing, with the Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Porsches all speeding away. I think the Formula 1 leaves an imprint on the local DNA, which makes all of them in to speed demons. not only cars but you also see dirt bikes, cruisers, sports bikes (1000 cc+) all speeding away along the winding streets of Monaco.
The Royal Palace was a little bit of a let down. A weary guard marching outside, but the the view from the top of the hill form there was worth the climb.
A few minutes away is the city of Monte Carlo. Pardon my geography, but with EU being like a single nation, i dont know whether its a part of France or Monaco. (I went there walking).
On the way one can also see the spirit of racing in the local statues. (this might be the first F1 driver) and he ciggarette sponsorship which flourishes here. (Due ot F1 unlikely its gonna get banned soon) So heres the original Malboro man.
Also I would like to tell all of you, that due to the EURAIL pass and travelling at night in chair coaches (opposed to sleepers) saved a lot of money, and the trip was completed in less than 30 Euros.
Another Special thanks to Savita Pai and Pavan (from IIM Bangalore, surently on exchange at Nice) for hosting us, and tolerating the noise and mess we made (leading to neighbours getting angry as well)
Some more sights from the french Riveria