Wednesday, September 28, 2005

OK enough partying, now time for some Academics

you guys were thinking that going on an exchange program to europe, that too with a scholarship of the DAAD, is like some paid vacation?

Then you guys are wrong.
After all the Tauschie Tuesday parties, team building, free dinners and free alcohol, visit to Oktoberfest,

yeah time for finally some academics.

Here i took a course "Seminar on Asset Pricing"

and damn myself i took it. Though Prof Kieber is a great teacher, the 5 hour classes are killing.

Today we derived the "Intertemporal Capital Asset Pricing Model"
(Robert MERTON got a NOBEL PRIZE for this, and after going through the derivation I am sure he really deserves it)

and yeah if you think it was all fun and games take a look at the pis here. Clicked from my note boook.

Dont get too scared. more gruesome stuff and complex mathematics have not been shown.
(These are only the 4 pages out of 10 which are used to derive the ICAPM)

Sunday, September 25, 2005

WHU Freshers Party

Yesterday night was the WHU welcome party for the new batch. I just was passing by the street and some one called me ( an exchange student) as well. The party was nice, especially due to free beer. The Germans have the "Hooka" (water pipe through which u smoke tobacco, but they smoke flavoured tobacco and call it "Sheesha"

Yeah the hooka was being passed around amongst the people. (not sure whether there with a bit of weed mixed in as well)

Otherwise it was jsut a regular party at some guys apartment. And WHU is similar to IIMA, that the male to female ratio is horribly skewed (women are 15-20% of the batch) So each time a new batch comes, the seniors make their first moves, to grab the first movers advantage, and the freshers dont wanna lose out in the race, so they to are active in this hunt.

So even here you have the "Fachhi Fighters" and the most popular fachhi concept.

Can any one spot who would be the most popular fachhi??
And would some of the juniors at IIMA pray that she comes on exchange ot Ahmedabad?

Trip to Cologne

Yeah finally some travel plan materialised. Yesterday on September 24th, off we (the not so Famous Five being Jatin from IIMA, Akshay from IIMB and Amod and Nancy both from IIMC) went to Cologne. (or Ko:ln as germans call it)

The weekend ticket for 30 Euros allowed us to travel in all of the country in the RE (slow trains)

Coming out of the Koln Aubahnoff (Main station), one sees the magnificent Cathedral, one of the tallest buildings in Europe. (Completed in 1880, it was the tallest building in the world till the Eiffel Tower was built, though the records have been broken many times since) It is also the largest cathedral in Europe. Enough of history, but inside there were magnificent Stained Glass Paintings, some sculptures and one could climb up the tower (509 steps, some climbing for a lazy bum like me) and view the city of Cologne. In the way there was also a level where theres a bell weighing 24 tonnes.

The view from the top is simply amazing. Actually this trip got me thinking if the not so famous (ok i dunno much bout Europe) cathedral was so good, how would i feel in Paris, Rome or Athens? After the cathedral we went to a chocolate museum and saw the process of making a chocolate. Also it was fun roaming around in the city in trains and trams. Went through the shopping area and all i bought was Original "Eau De Cologne"

Not Much else done, though the SLOW SPEED of our sightseeng frustrated me at times, making my resolve ot ravel alone even stronger. Or may be just 2s company and 3 is crowd. As more number of people always slow down the entire group. (Ok a big group is fun, but should be like minded, may be i myself am not very sociable, have scant interest in window shopping, can walk faster and not loiter around "soaking in the experience"
Anyways my plan to tour europe holds. Nezt week is pretty empty and so travel to copenhagen stockholm and oslo.

Hope these trips can go on where we can see much more and not waste time in thinking what would be better, BurgerKing or KFC (goddamn wiht a vegetarian like me in the group)

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Indian Cricket in Shambles

Well i dont understand, why politicians dont mind their business and ruin the country but leave he sports aside. (i guess there is big money there as well)

With the recent fiasco over the BCCI (Board of Conrol of Cricket in India) Elections to elect hte head was adjourned with Sharad Pawar (Ex defense minister) filing court cases in 2 high courts against Jagmohan Dlamiya.

If only these people running the cricket board would channel their energy and money in building up the sport from the grass roots level. If only was good infrastructure provided for schools cricket. If only were zonal selection procedures removed.

Yes India would not have lost the last world cup final.

To make matters worse, the current Indian Captain (Saurav Ganguly) and the Coach (Australian Greg Chappell) dont see eye to eye. Greg Chappell doesnt want Ganguly in the team, and Ganguly doesnt think Chappel deserves to be the coach. The team is divided into factions, and no one is bothered about the sport its just the policitcs within.

Its a sorry state even the sports pages of the newspapers carry these political feuds. I am sure this is definitely bigger than the Alex Fergusson and David Beckham spat at Manchester united.
Really makes me sick.

Meanwhile had been to Cologne today, but am dead tired, and would post a detailed blog tommorow.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Mumbai Rains

this year it has been raining hard in Mumbai with lots of problems to the citizens.
Both the times I have been away from my home town. On the Black Tuesday 26 July i was busy studing in ahmedabad and right now as it pours im an exchange student in Germany.

Missing the Mumbai Monsoons. Take a look at this graphic

To all ye Bike Lovers

Yeah, as in IIMA, my friend Gandhi has started a nice club (i guess i also qualify as a co-founder, not sure though) "Free Riders: Bike and Travelling Fraternity"

Saggy has just posted a nice link on our NB.

Check out the Pics of the 2006 Suber Bike models.

Hope some of you would be lucky enough to buy one of those this year itself.

Frankfurt station

When the hell would i be able to buy this ??

I know the date is wrong, but this was during the Taushie Rally on September 10 2005 in Koblenz

Nice Harley Ehh

India whitewashes Zimbabwe

After the historical Ashes between Australia and England, the world of cricket saw some pathetic cricket after that. Last week India defeated Zimbabwe 2-0 and similarly Sri lanka licked Banladesh. I dont understand the reason why these matches are held.

Zimbabwe and Bangladesh are not at the same level as the ther test cricketing nations, they must have a program to introduce them into the test arena.

Have them play againgst the "A" sides. Let them play the English county league one summer, the Indian Ranji Trophy and the Aussie Pura cup. This would enable the 2nd rung teams like Zimbabwe, Bangladesh, Kenya, Namibia Canada move up.

Else it is just the slaughtering of the lambs, and the statics crazy cricketers improving their stats.

International Cricket council (ICC) are u listening?

Tauschie Hike: Wine Tasting at Boppard

I am a little late in posting this, but i thought would put pics as well, which were on Amods comp.
Anyways on 17th September the international office had arranged a Tuaschie Hike. It is an annual event with them taking us out, one more interaction event for all the tauschies.

This year it was a boat ride up the Rhine to Boppard. This is a nice 2 hour journey and then we went up the hills to the Bopparder Wine yard.

Mr Boppard (junior most of the family which makes wine there since 1762) a part of the family took us around the 4 hectare vineyard. (ok we only skimmed the outskirts i guess) and he told us about the type of wine they made, 80% white wine and 20% red. He said in all they had 12-15 types of wine at any point of time. Also spoke on issues of wines being natural (i.e. no sugar added to aid fermenting or developing a taste) and different qualities of wine, the regulations and whether the wine is dry or sweet.

They were offering us to taste 30-40 ml wine (in a 100 ml glass). I did some simple math in my head, 30 ml x 12 types just 360 ml. Thats not good enough. Let me have 2-3 glasses of each. That completes one entire bottle, which would leave me in nice spirits (hic!!!). (By now u are thinking i am some greedy, free riding pig, and a drunkard who has no sense of dignity. Yes you are absolutely right). But as fate would have it they only made us taste 5 types. Out of which the last 2 were just t osweet. Kinda sugary syrup. The cheap "Rasna" (ok indian soft drink brand) kinda thing. All hopes dashed.

Never the less the wineyard is a beautiful place. Will upload pics of the grapes, the hillside slope where the grapes grow and the beautiful meanering river rhine, once i ge hold of amod and get my pics back.

Going tommorow to cologne. should write about that in detail as well.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

My Experiments as a Cook Part III

Viola, now im on my way to be sanjeev kapoor(the cooking show host of Khana Khazaana for my readers outside India). I have already made Rajma, Alu mutter, Spaghetti and Pasta. And even the europeans liked my food. (ok i am not the only cook, its 3 of us, and may be the europeans didnt want to hurt our feelings) Indian food is becoming popular at Bundeheim dormitory, with Eyal from israel and Ian from Canada always wanting to taste a bit and joinign us for meals.

Anyways now for all my readers who were concerned about the survival abilities of a vegetarian surviving in this pork and potatoes country, im just doing fine. (yeah that is only my mom i guess)

And again to u mommy, u saying i was no good in the kitchen, u are proved wrong. Wait till i get home and cook a good meal for u. Im sure then u will miss your sons cooking for the entire 6th term.

Ok i know that no knows the real taste of indian food in europe, so im fine. My mom is still a great cook, (cant offend her, as per rumours even she reads this space) but I am doing fine. I guess so ;)

Gone are the Road trip plans, Boo hoo :-(

Yeah all my car and bike travel plans have gone kaput.
Bike travel becasue of exhorbitant rentals, (100-150 euros per day) and no cars because peoples clashing itinery, no one else being crazy bout travel, and general lethargy. So booked the exhorbitantly priced Eurail pass. (my biggest single purchase in my short life)

So Im gonna miss these german autobahns with no spped limits. Gone is the dream to cruise at 200 kph. No more dreams of gawking at women on the streets of rome and naples while driving.

No more remebering that i have to drive on the right not left.

Now i have to tour europe by train. Might meet more locals, flirt a little more with the women. Learn a wee bit more german/french/italian.

Lets see my big travel plans commence from next week.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Oktoberfest 2005

Yeah, the WHU students had planned a trip for all of u exchange students to the "Oktober fest". For those who think i have forgotten to spell, or this was just one of the many typographical errors on my blog, no you are mistaken, i am absolutely correct, thats the way he germans call their most popular festival. (Also mistakenly called Oktobeer fest) And yeah i went to this fest in september. It is called Oktober fest as it ends on the first sunday of october and starts 2 weeks before that. This year it is from 17th Sept to 3rd Oct. And we went on sunday 18th Sept

This is held in Munich (Mu:nchen in Deutsch) and here all the bavarian breweries have their gigantic tents put up, serve their beer (1 litre mugs only, nothing less). Also there are other rides like roller coasters and free fall (the regular kinda stuff one would find from disneyland to Bombays Fantasyland or EsselWorld.)

But i guess it is not so much bout the beer but bout the festie atmosphere. Many people are dressed in traditional Bavarian dresses, there is a live band, lots of music and general atmosphere of fun and frolic. The tents are full of people at 10 AM in the morning itself.

We left at 3 AM form Vallendar and reached Munich by us (nice double decker bus, the dahs board looked straight out of a cokpit or some 80s Sci Fi (Indian Movie, with flashing buttons and GPS and other electronic Gadgetary)

Else not much. I was busy drinkign and dancing away visiting different tents.
The women are really nice, no one objects to dancing wiht complete strangers (or is it that i am too handsome ot refuse? unlikely, seems that they might find a skinny ugly south asian guy utterly harmless)

Yeah though the beer was expensive (At 7.50 Euro a liter it sure is) the atmosphere is simply electric.
I went on the Roller coaster, no other rides (again way to expensive)

we simply left at midnight and reached Vallendar before 6 AM (hey dude 550 Km in 6 ours with a 40 minute pit stop, tht is some travelling)

Now all i can say is

Ein Prosit, ein Prosit, Der Gemutlichkeit; ein Prosit, ein Prosit, Der Gemutlichkeit

(That was the main drinking anthem, go figure out what it means)

I leave this blog with a few pictures of the Oktober fest.
(More pic will be uploaded elsewhere might post the link)
I reccomend that who ever has an opportunity should visit it.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Aha Coalition Government here as well.

Yeah this Sunday were the elections for the German parliaent, and though this was supposed to be a close election, this is a pefect hung parliament. The top 2 parties have 35% (CDU) and 34% (SPD) and other 2 parties having 8% each.

Now i guess lots of horse trading would go on and small regional parties extracting their pound of flesh. Very similar to the situation in India.

I guess gone are the days of one party government.
Even in the US the elcetions between Kerry and Bush and Al Gore and bush were so close.

The world is believ is moving towards a more centrist policy.

Anyways this is enough politics for me this term.

Will soon upload pics of wine tasting and the Oktoberfest. (Really had one of the best weekends of my life)

Now lemme grapple with academic matter for a change.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

The Korova Bar

yeah thats the favourite hang out. It turned a year old now. (Dunno how WHU ers survived before the Korova) We had free cakes with any drink we ordered that night.

Heres celebrating its first year.

Also Thats the place where we have "Tauschie Tuesdays"

Nice fun filled place. All Exchange students drop in there for sometime

Friday, September 16, 2005

The Running Dinner

THe WHU has a very nice concept of a running dinner. Here a group of 4 is formed who have the starters, main course and the dessert at 3 different houses (of local WHU students apartments) and thus we get to meet more people.

My group had me and 3 women (hey really am i lucky or what? I havent bribed any one but i am always lucky with the ratio)

and to top tht luck ouyr first destination was a place were the hosts were 4 girls. This was the maximum my luck could stretch to. You can see whom I had dinner with here.

Yeah i know date is wrong, but i need to change my camera settings.

The funda was really nice, u get to know many more people.

All we had to do was get wine (or other alcoholic drinks) and the dessert. Our group over did it (especially because of that dumb swedish girl, who has brains a size of a hydrogen atom)

here what we got. obviously the chocolates werent over and lots of wine was left. I took one bottle back with me though

Also we had wonderful dinner, courtesy Thomas (who cooked Pasta with olives and mozerella cheese and olives for a veggie like me, and for the others he had steak, ham and beans with potatoes.) He is a really good cook, and enjoyed the food and his good humour, though the painful swedish girl was really dumb.

The conversation went like this

Swede Dodo: Hey Tomaaas, what did you do with the martini (holding a half empty bottle of martini)

Me: He Flushed it down the toilet

Swede Dodo (mouth open aghast): but it costs 32 Euros

Thomas (cant control his laughter) : Yeah it keeps it clean and kills the germs

The Swede Dodo still didnt understand, had to be explained in detail. Made some snide remark about Rude ugly Indian men. (And i respond by character assassination on the world wide web !!!)

Yeah and after that we went for dessert at Mathias's place. There was Siechi, the turkish DJ as well. So had some nice white wine, with cake and chocolates, listened to some music, especially some german punk and rap.

And then i walked down the cute french girl (whose name i can neither spell nor pronounce ... as yet) to her apartment, and the swede dodo (actually she is not like the scandinivian woman i had imagined she would never make it to the D16 Top 5. Rather than being tall, thin hour glass figure with blue eyes, shes just 5 feet nothing, plump, with puffy face and brains which are way worse than her looks.) , yeah the swede dodo went with her friends to party in Logo the Club in Koblenz 8 km away.

Yeah some more pictures shall be regularly updated now on this blog.

Hope all my non existent readers respond as well with some comments as well

My Experiments as a Cook Part II

Today it was raining hard, and thus i thought let me bunk that 4 hour class, so just relaxed.

The Picture on the left shows my state there now.

By the way by staying in during the rain I cooked tradititonal indina meal for hte first time.

It was simple, rice (boiled in the rice cooker) and to spice it up stir fried it with jeera. And simple potatoes, tomatoes and onions as the vegetables.

All this was done by using Shashu and VJ's simple formula for cooking.

Heat Oil in the pan, add mustard, heat till is sizzles, add other masala (haldi et al) thne add onions, stir till they are cooked, add chopped tomatoes, and then add boiled potatoes. Add some water to create the gravy. Viola its done

And yep the food was nice. The IIMB guys with me liked it as well (ok yeah Akhsay Sardesai was my co-cook, but now im confident tht i too can do it all)

So tonight its some italian food.

Lets see how bad is it

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Herren and Damen

In Germany men are called Herr and women are Dame or Frau

Usually the loo sign has a picture of a man or a women so it isnt a problem, but after a company presentation and dinner with free beer and wine. So after the dinner besides being tipsy, my bladder was alsos full, and then when i go to the loo in the basement, no pictures this time, but only whats written is "Herren" and "Damen" . And the innocent illiterate person that i am, I think Herren is for her and Damen is for Da - Men.
Well so i went inside the door marked Damen and ... Rest they say is history.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

From Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust

England have won the ashes, and boy they deserved it. After 18 years of humilitation and the aussies being big bullies from 1999 onwards.

But england have been on road to greatness, right from beating wimdies in windies, Pakis in Pakistan, nearly drawing series in india nad srilanka (under nasser hussain) and then beating Kiwis, South Africans, so they have got a good nucleus built over the years.
Their pace attack is as good as any. 4 quicks but al lwith different styles. Concern is their middle order with Ian bell making a pair, and i think they are a basman short. but nevertheless, I havent even supported India so much, or followed a series so keenly. ( I have been thinking bout ashes from april, and was waiting for July 21 for the first day till sept 12 the last day)

This is a new chapter in world criket.
Waiting now for further humiliation of the aussies in the Super series (6 day ests world XI vs Aussies)

though on selection i disagree with gavaskar (Akhtar does deserve to be in any team)

My World XI for tests

1 Graeme Smith
2 Marcus Trescothick
3 Rahul Dravid (his cuurent form doesnt merit inclusion though might be replaced by vaughan)
4 Brian Lara
5 Sachin Tendulkar (yeah below his favourite position)
6 Kumar Sangakara
7 Freddie Flintoff
8 Shaun Pollock
9 Muralitharan
10 Shane Bond
11 could be for an allrounder Heath Streak or jaques Kallis (obviously batting at 7 or Steve Harmison)

yeah the result of super series is a forgone conclusion
if the world XI plays like a unit


lets see how it works out

Monday, September 12, 2005

TGV (Tauschie Government Elections)

We have been having a lot of events lately.
one was the team building event in the woods, towards the hillside, (appropriately called town HillSchiede)
Lots of nice events where you have to as a team performance tasks, like climbing over an electric fence, and what not ...

Yup and now coming back to the topic the TGV "Tauschie Government Elections"

No prizes for guessing who won the post of the president, was non other than the "Italian Idiot" After listening to his speech i doubt anyone would have thought otherwise

"Foraa moraa paardies, foraa moraa beir, foraa moraa saax,
vote foraa Annn JeLLL O"
yeah listening to this all opposing candidates withdrew.

And yes his Drinking Paardy won the elections hands down, with French Tempress being the vice president (TGV believes in equal opportunity, so women are well represented)
And the Whacky brit desi (NRI) being the treasury incharge.

With our Bundesheim Dormitory having one most of the posts there is surely gonna be another of the Legendary French Party, all organised by the French Temptress.
These French parties are some thing like the Fight Club

Rule 1 There are no French Parties
Rule 2 No one outside knows what happens inside the french parties
Rule 3 No Cameras allowed in the french parties

Yeah the rest is very simple, people passing around a hooka (yep another french f*!$%r got one) smoke apple and/or mint flavoured tobacco, (sometimes with flavour o weed),
drink beer or vodka, dance to trance music, all of this in a kitchen, which is obviously cramped.

Then we play the drinking game.
Named Ein, Zwei, Drei, Fuhr, funf (ok simple 1-5 in german)
on tht count each person takes out there fist and shows a number from 1-5. then find the sum and go from the first person till the count ends. That person has to chug a beer bottoms up. Then he is the next person.
Last person standing wins.

Nice game eh, hic!!!!

My Experiments as a Cook : Part I

Yeah, what can i say, all my life i lived with my parents till i went to ahmedabad to study. My mom is a good cook (cant say otherwise, there are rumours even she reads this) so never thought bout trying it myself, and in the dorm at IIMA no cookign facility, so i had never cooked at all.

My mom is so complicated while explaining stuff that any attempts at learnign from her were wasted (I pity the students she teaches in her College). I made feeble attempts at cooking with Shashu and VJ during my summer intenrship. But those 2 gusy ran the show, and i cleaned up after dinner.

So now i land up in Germany, without any food material (my mom advised me, take some ready to eat stuff, but lazy bum that i was i thought it would increase my baggage weight) and land here on a sunday in the "Pork and Potatoes Country"

So now gettign veggie food is some big problem, so i decide i need to cook.

First few days go by eating cornflakes, pizzas, and Lolos wonder chhole and Dal fry... but not for long could i postpone the inevitable.

So i try my hand at cooking.

Lets make an omlette, i try chopping onions, and i have unevenly sized large onion pieces.
I break the egg, nearly spilling all the egg white on the floor.
Some how i put it in a bowl and beat the egg
add some salt (swad anuasar as sanjeev kapoor would say it on "Khaana Khazana"
and some chilli powder.

now it the part where it gets tough
Which pan should i select to make an omlette, (from the clean ones remaining in this common kitchen for exchange students). Pan Selected

"Shouldnt the pan be flat says Jatin, hmmm .. yep i think for a while and select another pan

put some cooking oil and start heating it
after some time add the batter
large chunks of onions floating in half beaten egg

it kinda sizzles burns... im still looking at it
and others are looking at me enjoying them selves

after some time the omlette seems to be cooked

"Flip it over" said Jatin. (wht would i do without his sound advice)

so now i try to flip over this oblong shaped chunky material
it splits into 3
individually turn over all the pieces
and after sometime pronto the omlette is made

well it didnt taste tht bad
though it really looked funny

no on i guess more often i would just heat the frozen pizzas from the super market.

Hope i dont burn them for the fourth time now ... ;-)

Saturday, September 10, 2005

The Tauschie Rally at Koblenz

Today afternoon we had a rally (kind of a treasure hunt) all across the city of Koblenz. For your information Tauschie stands for the exchange students, (Aut Haus Students, or out house students in english) As i have mentioned before these guys really know how to organize an exchange program and have icebreakers as well. So met at the university center (Burgplatz) and then the WHU students (VIP) formed the teams.

We left by ferry from Vallendar to Koblenz. Enroute I saw at least 25 Harleys going for a trip some where.

Each team had 1 member from Asia, South America, North America, France, Rest of Europe (2). My group had me, a Hungarian guy (Albert, the one who had got the schnapps in the earlier post), and 4 girls (hmmm lucky me) one each from France, Spain, Finland and USA.

We were given a map ad had to go to certain places, and figure out when was it built, or which state did the flag belong to and what were the capitals of all the states in Germany, by asking locals.
Additional tasks were to
  • find out 4 types of German sausages
  • rank 6 countries as per their per capita beer consumption
  • collect as many types of different beer coasters as we could in the city (by asking in restaurants) given 4 types of buns, find their German names,
  • find out specialties bout statues
  • figure out what was sold in Flasse Strasse Shop no 18 (hhhmm that was nice ... it was where one could buy what my dorm name means, and all the other accessories)
  • Taste beer and wine and figure which country was it from (that was the best) and then we even sang songs after drinking.

So was really a nice day. But the pick o the day was when we had to mix and match. That was to change clothes and wear clothes of people o the opposite gender in our own group. That was sure funny, and if this activity couldn't break the ice then im sure nothing could. Yup our group was really enthusiastic; we not only finished all 8 destinations, got 62 / 70 points for the first 7. Also our quiz questions and beer mat collections were good. So another day well spent.

Tomorrow we have some team building activities and would have more fun activities. Then Monday i have no classes so might plan to go some where like Heidelberg or some where close in Germany. So weekends are all spent in such fun activities and partying, weekdays need to be spent for traveling. Still nearly a week gone and no traveling done in Europe :-( Lets see how the term unfols and what lies ahead.

The International Dinner

The WHU (or Ve Ha Oo as the germans call it) has a very nice and a structured exchange program. Well you better have it when you have a total of 89 exchange students.
Not only does the international office organise a lot of events, but even the local students have formed the VIP (Vallendar Integration Program) to increase the bonding.

One such event is a rally followed by a wine tasting session. But what is more important in this blog is the "International Dinner". This was an event organised by the international office (Exchange office). Here every one had to bring some food or drink from their home country and though most people were lazy and just bought some drink.
We made Chhole and Kheer (ok i did the shopipng and carried the bags, Jatin chopped tomtatoes and onions and Nishant did al th cooking, and boy he sure is a good cook),
where as the guys from IIMC, free rode by getting haldiram snacks (whihc they got from india, lazy bums).
the 21 french people most got wine, though Alexandre from my dorm baked a cake, and to compensate Alexander (not to be confused with Alexandre) brought 6 bottles of wine.
The guy with the best sense of humour was the chinese american, who brought rice flakes with him, symbolising america.

Anyways no one cared much bout the food, the germans being nice hosts provided us free german beer (Flasschen beer or Draught beer). The hungarian guys are pretty good friends an they let me taste hungarian Schnapps. Aha, that is sure some knock out. I took only 10-15 ml of it (you dont dilute it at all) and then it hard. So to ease my self i had some other hungarian home made liquor (60-70% alcohol) and then got knocked out. I said no more alcohol for 15 minutes and then simply stuck to german beer. ok i also had the 32 year old rum from Luxemburg, Russian Vodka, Red and White wine from France, a bit of some brazialian stuff (hey by now i was really highhh) But as i drank slowly, and no bottoms up here, the things didnt get out of hand.

The Party was going on fine, with the staff of the interntaional office sevin us beer, and lots of food and drink. Till people started dancing. Then i saw the crudest forms of foreplay ive ever seen. (OK not thata i see lot of public display of affection daily, but nevertheless)

Scene 1:
Italian Idiot goes close to the Polish Hottie and caresses her butt , at which she sshoos him away, all the while I am sitting nearby enjoying my beer.
Italian Idiot (talking to me) : Sheee eez a vaary shy gurl
Polish Hottie (Obviously Annoyed): No i am a faary Gut Gurllll

All this time my friend Jatin (drunk as he was) is trying to photograph the Polish Hottie,
Polish Hottie: Am i not Prettie? I know i am faary faary preeeetttie
Me: (trying hard to be funny) You are the prettiest polish girl i have ever met
(hoping she would ask how many, and i would reply only 1, and laugh on my intelligent joke, but alas, obviously bored sitting next to me she moves on to the next table and sits on the lap of Alexandre, cake bake guy)

Ya laugh as much as you can, but it was fun for me to see people who were eve n more drunk than me (doesnt happen often in india though)

There are many more scenes, but lot more uglier, and this being a family blog i would spare you guys the details. But who knows might write all of it put up some videos and sell it on (or now e-bay india)

After the party at Burgplatz (in the university) we all went to the Korova Bar, and got drunk and dancd a little more there. Then i walked back home, trying to ave some intellectual converstaion with Dirk, the german guy who studies in Spain. (Intellectual = fast cars, porn websites, mens magazines, from where to buy weed ... you can guess the rest right)

Anyways now looking forward to wine tasting today afternoon. Would update all of you soon bout tht as well.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Insurance headaches

Here there is a limit of things the germans want to insure. First i got a complete health insurance for myself, then i have to compulsorily pay a private liability insurance of 35 euros, if i break anyhitng or lose anything on campus.

When we had the introducitons from students to play sports on has to pay a 6 euro insurance incase one gets injured while playing. 9over an above a complete health insurance tht i already have)

That eally means there is some high leve l of duplication o insurance. Most of which would never be used. I feel these insurance companies form a cartel with these universities to fleece poor internationla students. Really i feel like working for a German insurance firm. Or atleast buying their stock. Seriously these guys make some serious money.

And if this wasnt enough, there are only 2 banks in Vallendar and no one else even has an atm there. Thus to recieve my schol, i decide to open an account there and then i realise that it costs me 20 euros to open a bank account. That is sure something.

Really these germans take the saying TANSTAAFL (There Aint no such thing as a free lunch) pretty seriously.

Ya and after paying this i realise that they dont have any ATMs in outside Germany and Deutsche Bank opens a student account for free
but their bank and atm is in Koblenz 8 km away.
i guess ill open another account to finance my travel in rest of europe

this german beuracracy is seriously testing my patience a sometimes. Then i realise india is really better in some things atleast,
Like free accout opening and lot of free service which we take it for granted.

The Indian Connection

I never expected to find any Indians (apart from the exchange students) in WHU Vallendar
Lemme tell you, Vallendar is a small village near a tourist town Koblenz which is on the bank of the river Rhine. This town is between Cologne and Frankfurt.

Vallendar is basically a small village (refer earlier posts as well)

When i went to pay my housing deposit to the female who is incharge of allocation of the housing (Mrs Silke Steinert) her kids too were there in her office
on seeing me they asked whether i was an indian
and then when i said yes, they got excited as just the previous day they had seen Hollywood Bollywood
apparently Mrs Steinerts daughter is a big fan of hu rakh Khan (shah rukh, only they couldnt get the name right)
Well didnt know that SRK brand worked here as well. apparently lots of hindi movies get dubbed in Deutsche.

Then next day evening we had the VIP (Vallendar Interaction Program) with the local WHU students and all the exchange junta. After that we went to an Italian Restaurant.
The italian owner (the guy who was also taking orders)

suddenly asked me and another iima guy (Jatin)

"Acchha khana khaaya"

we got surprised
how could this italian guy say some thing in hindi (he knows german spanish and obviously italian as well)

Apparently he can speak fluent punjabi as well (Thes Punjabi)

then he said that ws cause he had lived for a long time in london with a lot of sikh guys.

If this all wasnt enough the next day when me, jatin and nishant went to Koblenz (nearest big city) for some shopping met a couple of Pakistanis who were happy to give directions.

And then we met another indian and asked him the location of an indian store, and he took us to 2 stores, and ya one was run by a pakistani and another by afghanistani. The first indian was an illegal immigrant, with his passport stolen or something and was trouling us with talking when he showed us to the bus stop. I was apprehensive but jatin was being too friendly nd asking what did he do etc. (obviously he looked like some waiter or a cook or something)
i myself was clutching on to my bag and saw to it that no one took away my passport. All i wish that guy doesnt bump into us again and ask for money or some other kind of help.

anyways it was nice talking in hindi and seeing an indian store
complete with VHS tapes and CDs of all hindi movies, all spices daal and wht not
also this solves our food problem. now cooking should be extremely cheap for us.

Lets see how do things go on from now.
Dont wanna bump into more illegal immigrants now.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

finally arrived in germany

yaa after a long and tiring journey ive reached WHU, Vallendar in Germany

the journey was in parts

Mumbai -> Vienna --> Frankfurt --> Koblenz --> Vallendar ---> dorm up a hill

total journey with looong stop overs would be 14-15 hours

(moral of the story dont travel on sunday, not only are tickets more expensive, ver yfew trains)

also weekend pass or entire germany is 14 euro
and the ticket to koblenz from frankfurt is 26 euro
these guys have no sense or are simply looting us stupid indians

Vallendar is a small village, has little else besides the management school WHU and a theological university (Scho:nstat)
my dorm is behind a religious gift shop, and nest to the dorms for nuns,

the view is terrific and its up a hill
the walk may be tiring but its sure fun in this pleasant weather (it shall soon get colder)

the dorm is entirely for exchange students, u've got ppl from canada, brasil, chile, france, spain, czech republic, hungary, poland, india nad china

there are some more exchange students who live else where
there are from brussels, USA UK mexico etc

there is a swede in my dorm
who got his land rover along, and is a hunter as well (plans to go wild boar hunting in the german black forest ... ala asterix and obelix)

anyways today the orientation was done
paid all deposits and the insurances .... discovered how bland could germna food be
boiled potatoes, broccoli and carrots in cheese ... doesnt sound too much fun right. Well it doesnt taste much fun either.

have now bought some groceries
and plan to begin "My experiments as a cook"

else would need to survive on corn flakes, milk juice bread and butter

the term is unfolding well

classes begin on thursday and lets see how the term moves on.

plans are laid to go to the oktober fest on 18th sept (the first day of it)

lotsa bits and pieces of info in this blog

plan (hope) to write something more readable and fun soon.

now let the jet lagged idiot go back to sleep

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Last few thoughts before leaving

Ya now I am leaving for Germany, I’m scheduled to leave in 2 hours but penning down a few thoughts.

These last few days have been really hectic, with lotsa relatives calling up and giving serious advice on cooking, living abroad, my aunt even enlightened me “You know in Europe they drive on the right of the road …” yeah right auntie, thanks for all the enlightenment.

Speaking of my aunt, my Mom sure is unbeatable; she kept pestering me to take a lot of food packets, ready to eat and lots of pickles, and snacks from home. I flatly refused and said “Ma after eating food cooked by you, I’ll surely manage it anywhere, after all it can be either burnt or raw, the salt can be either less or more and u’ve prepared me for it perfectly.” This surely was a suicidal statement to make. She cooked KARELA for todays lunch. She sure has a WICKED SENSE OF HUMOUR. Lemme tell you no jokes with mums criticizing their cooking. It hurts their maternal pride, and then moms can sure dish out hell (well karela is pretty close to hell aint it?)

And if that wasn’t enough my mom warned me “No hanky panky with women in Germany” Though hanky panky sounds like a nursery rhyme or a game which is played in kindergartens, I guess my mom means I am not supposed to lose my virginity out there. She is tensed for no reason, given my dashing good looks, irresistible charm, fantastic wit and sense of humour (or lack of all the above mentioned qualities) her basic worry is will this idiotic son of hers ever be able to do hanky panky with any woman?
But yeah mothers are mothers, and she might have been inspired by that idiotic Aviva Life insurance advertisement (Flexi policy kal par control, the one where the son comes in with a firang wife) TV is surely having a bad influence on my parents. Need to monitor their TV viewing habits. God alone knows what they show nowadays. Lot of it is not meant for people aged over 30.
Yup ciao then, its only an hour now before I leave. (took me an hour with dinner in between to write this)
Next blog from Deutsche Land.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Announcement Time

To all my non existent readers, I have been ignoring you for a long, long time, but not any more. I am leaving for Germany as an exchange student, to the Otto Beisheim Graduate School of Management, in the Wissehschaftliche Hochschule fur Unternehmensfurhrung. (Quite a mouthful aint it), and shall surely blog more regularly now. As a preparation for this program I had also taken a course Business German, but alas the only take away from the course (besides from the wonderful party and dinner and free liquor at the end of the course) is ‘Ich Deutsche Sprechen nicht’ meaning I don’t speak German.

Anyways I am leaving for Germany on 4th September early morning at 0050 hours by Austrian Air, (the only criterion for booking this airline was a friend told me they’ve got good looking air hostesses, if that bugger is wrong and all middle aged fat women are serving me, and there is a limit on the alcohol consumption then one guy is sure gonna pay for it) and shall go to Frankfurt with a stop over at Vienna.

For this trip though there hasn’t been much of a preparation, I have got my international driving permit, and bought the lonely planet guide “Europe on a Shoe string” (the damn thing cost me Rs. 1178, so this shoe string is sure expensive). Hey if you were thinking (like my parents are still) that am I going to study or to tour, yes I am going there primarily as a tourist. With German residence permit I am allowed entry in 15 countries or so, hence why not make the most out of it.

And yes I do have a motorcycle license as well, hope to go free riding (free riders = motorcycling club at IIMA, co-founded by me and Hitanshu Gandhi) in Europe.
I am looking forward to see the sights in Europe (yeah long legged, blonde, hourglass figurines are also classified as sights)

Chalo enough info for now, I’ve gotta go back to shopping and shall keep you guys updated.