Archive for July, 2005

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July 24, 2005

I will be blogging at http://gssp.blogspot.com for the next few days.

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July 21, 2005

Today…. or rather half of today ,was a mixed day…half-day.

I woke up at 4 am, ate a pizza, went to airport at 5:30 am with 70 kg luggage. The person at the Gulf Air counter said I was allowed only 30kg (normal for Gulf flights) and so would have to pay for the extra luggagae (some Rs 250 or so per kilo).

Then after talking to some other Gulf Air people, they agreed to let me take 64 kg (the baggage allowance for US flights) since I was technically in transit at Mumbai but they said they would check the baggage for New York and not Bombay which meant I wouldn’t see my baggage till New York.

Anyway I agreed deciding to argue about it after reaching Mumbai. Flight was peaceful with a decent breakfast and it landed on time. At the plane door someone was waiting for me. He asked if I wanted my baggage now or if it should be sent to NY. Hiding my relief (that actually someone was giving me a choice rather than me having to argue about it) I told him that I wanted to take it.

That is when my good luck ran out. I had got the baggage, only thing left was to go through customs and I was free. But no, the customs people made me open up the luggage since they thought I was exceeding the import allowance. They opened one box, didnt find anything to catch me for. Then he asked me if I had enough cash to pay duty, I told him yes but only in dollars. Then he asked me to either pay duty for the items in the second bag or I would have to open up the bag (this somehow sounded like an indirect bribe request to me, since after opening each bag he would go and have a conference with the other customs people).

So I opened up the bag and he didnt find many items dutiable there. So finally he let me go without me paying anything. So in the end basically it was a total waste of half an hr for both him and me.

Then I come out of the airport and it starts raining heavily. Anyway I dragged all of the 70 kg to the Esteem and sat peacefully for half an hr before reaching a relative’s home.

Their comp wasnt working…so I did my usual tinkering and now its working (Finally all those years of tinkering with comps instead of studying history and this and that is paying of in a practical situation). My IITK accound wasn’t signing in initially.. no idea why…said wrong password… but now it’s working. 56K Dialup is pretty slow… I miss my 440 kbps ADSL 😦 On the bright side, IITK has increased the leased bandwidth from 6 Mbps to 38 Mbps so I’m looking forward to being at Kanpur… and whats more, I heard a new McDonald has opened up there. Yahoo!!

Anyway now things look good here.. All systems up and running.. I have access to the internet, my 160GB hard disk is connected to this comp so I have all my data. I took videos of take off and landing from the plane… transferred them to the hard disk to free up the memory card. I have to recharge my Hutch… I have a bad feeling that my SIM has expired though I bought it in Aug last yr (1 yr card).

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July 19, 2005

So I’m leaving day after, that’s Thursday. The packing is half done (to be more precise, done by my Mom). I’m still doing my last minute shopping.

I managed to get all my Kanpur stuff together…room keys, I card, ATM card whose pin I think I forgot, hard disk, chequebook… did I forget anything else? Hope not. If I did, I’ll find out once I reach there but now I know how to handle these situations……..PANIC!!!

I found out my new room….Room 357, F top, Hall 2. Nooooooo, not fair..I’ll have to climb the stairs for another year now. Hmm maybe we should have a lift installed in the hostels 😀 nah.. thats wishful thinking.
It turns out that the MSc 5 yr students will remain in Hall 2……thus 481 residents will stay in Hall 2…the maximum capacity being 482.

So this will most likely be my last visit to Muscat for a long time…I don’t think I’ll come for vacations for the next year or so…unless maybe during a midsem break or something…thanks to this new airline called Air India Express which offers pretty low fares (less than 50% of what Gulf Air and Oman Air charge).

That’s it for now.

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July 14, 2005

Vacations are no longer boring. Now I’m getting the feeling that time is running out. I got my tickets a few days back. My route is a little roundabout.

It starts from Muscat on the 21st morning at 8 am, to Mumbai where I’ll reach at 12pm. The next flight is 12 hrs later, at 2 am to the John F Kennedy Airport at New York via the Charles De Gaulle Airport at Paris. Interesting… all airports seem to be named after people… even the airports at Delhi and Mumbai (named after Indira Gandhi and Shivaji). Ill end up reaching at 12:30 pm on the 22nd.

Return route is also similar… from JFK airport to Mumbai via Paris. Ill reach Mumbai at 11:30 pm on the 30th. Then a morning flight to Delhi where I hope to reach at 8 am. then I get to sleep all day at a guesthouse till night when I depart for Kanpur on the Sharam Shakti Express. Ill reach Kanpur station at 6:30 am which gives me just enough time to sneak into my Mechanics of Solids class which is at 8 am in L2. Sigh. I was kinda hoping that I could at least go to my first day of lectures relaxed but no, its not meant to be I guess.

I’ve bought random stuff here and there including a 1GB memory card for my camera. Now all that is left is packing. Help!! Packing?? Not again!!

Once I reach New Jersey there is are plenty of phonecalls I need to make to people there.. starting from classmates at school to IITK alumni to my internship boss who apparently is near NJ.

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July 9, 2005

Budgerigars. Hope I spelt that right. Thats what I’ve been up to in the past few days….. shortform: budgies…look like tiny parrots double the size of my thumb.

Really tough to catch them once they decide to start flying around my room… and even after I manage to catch them, they really start pecking. As of now theyre perched on top of the door to this room making high pitched noises which easily get thru my supposedly noise proof headphones.

It seems that unlike humans, they can’t see in the dark…my mom had some deadly term for it… yea..”dark adaptation of rod photoreceptors”.

I ended up watching a movie with one of them sitting in my shirt pocket…and he (or was it a she?) kept pecking at me every few minutes.

I went shopping a few days back, got my suit stitched… looks pretty nice.. need to do a lot more shopping but feel lazy…. anyway another 12 days left.. I still haven’t bought my suitcases etc… apparently, flights from US allow 60 kg luggage unlike flights from the Gulf (30 kg) so I’m making full use of that.

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July 5, 2005

Haven’t blogged for about a week.. had a slight problem with my blog… trying to recover old posts and also shifting posts to blogspot.com

I am starting to get bored… have seen most of the films I brought on my hard disk from the IITK LAN. I watched War of the Worlds…. its got a lot of realistic action but I didnt see much of a storyline…….. its just Tom Cruise and his two kids running away from the tripods for one and a half hours for most of the time….. with about twenty minutes of dialogue in between.

Then we went to a friend’s house to watch a movie….. we saw it for like 20 min, got bored…so three guys went to rent a movie (saying “back in 10 minutes” and then they returned an hour later) and the rest of us either fiddled around with the comp/microwaved and ate popcorn…. then it was too late to see the movie so we went to a restaurant and had some food, then went and played two games of pool and then I left… went with family to eat out for dinner and had chopsuey (Man I’m going to miss this once I’m in Kanpur)