Onsite-return ke side effects

I travelled to Singapore for a year on a company project. This was the first time I travelled outside of India. I wrote the below observations a couple of days after arriving in India:

Side-effects of Onsite return:

  1. You tend to press the button ‘1′ instead of ‘0′ at your home lift to reach the ground floor.
  2. You are disappointed by the fact that the neighborhood grocery store does not accept credit card.
  3. You find that the ‘Coke’ available here is too strong compared to ‘Coke-Zero’.
  4. You find that the entire city has been covered by a massive dust-storm since the time you left.
  5. You try to locate the pedestrian crossing signal to cross the road. (Ok, this one sounds a bit snobbish,  but it happened only on the first day for a couple of times.)
  6. You notice that the office buses have glasses open and have no Air-con. (Had never noticed this before. Earlier, getting a bus on time and not missing it was a priority.)
  7. You find that prices for everything have increased by at least 30%.
  8. You miss the premium Nespresso coffee in the office.
  9. You miss the superfast 3G network on your cell phone and have to settle down for GPRS, where it takes 60 seconds to download a 100KB page.
  10. You no longer have high-speed unlimited internet and unlimited local calls at your home.

On the positive side:

  1. You are thrilled to see that you manage to get vegetarian food ‘everywhere’.
  2. You can go to Mc-D’s and have food. (Sounds simple, but believe it or not, Mc-D’s in Singapore does not serve anything vegetarian apart from french-fries)
  3. You can actually see, feel, touch and control the steering wheel of your own car, instead of being content with hiring a cab occasionally.
  4. You can see all possible Indian TV channels and don’t have to be content with 3-4 basic ones. (E.g. You get to see amazing ‘entertainment’ channels like Aaj Tak, India TV, etc.)

Day 13 & 14 – At Chennai on a training

Lunch at Murugan Idli Shop

Like last Saturday, this time also we went to this place for lunch. Food was amazing, especially the idlis and sweet pongal.

Watched Socha na tha for 6th time

Watched this movie on my laptop on Saturday afternoon. Amazing movie by Imtiaz Ali, where Abhay Deol and Ayesha Takia are both looking very innocent.

Besant Nagar beach

We planned to spend the evening at the Besant Nagar beach. However, due to our miscalculation of Sunset time and traffic, we reached when it was already dark. There were plenty of food stalls on the beach and the adjoining road, which reminded me of Juhu beach. We ate lot of junk stuff like mirchi bhajji, pizza, ice cream, etc.

(I am there in the 2nd pic 🙂  We are at a fast-food place called Vgan. Nice food here.)

The raw material for mirchi bhajji is stocked in a style…

This is not a search engine, but an ice-gola brand… and that too trademarked…

Lunch on Sunday

We had exactly the same lunch at Murugan Idli on Sunday as we had on Saturday. Yes, each and every item same, with filter coffee at the end..

Visit to Temple

We have this beautiful Jain temple (on G.N. Chetty Road) near our guest house. Visited this place in the evening – very nice place with grand marble structures.

Day 8 – At Chennai on a training

Start of the week

Week started well. The training was quite interesting, as it related to credit operations of a bank. I guess, it is a common tendency to feel comfortable in ‘known territory’.

We had an interesting Role-playing exercise in the training. Trainings are great when they have such interactive activities and games inbuilt.

No specific updates on food exploration today, as we went to Balaji Bhavan again.

A visit to temple

In the evening, we went to a Tirupati Balaji temple near Pondy Bazaar. The temple was wonderful, and the atmosphere was really spiritual.

Day 5 – At Chennai on a training

Auto-rickshaw chronicle continues

We have discovered a new model for hiring auto-rickshaws. That is, bulk booking of auto rickshaws. As we have a large group, we negotiate a combined price for 3-4 auto-rickshaws e.g. 100Rs. for 3 auto rickshaws instead of 40 each. One more thing we noticed was that irrespective of the actual practice, the minimum fare displayed on the autos was just Rs. 14.

For a change

We went for north indian food today for a change. Went to Dhaba express. It had a good veg buffet at a very reasonable price.

… and that was a group photo (I am missing though).

Day 3 – At Chennai on a training

Not much of updates today. The training was ok. We went to Shri Balaajee Bhavan for lunch. Food was great and the prices too were very  reasonable.

I had curd rice and filter coffee. Filter coffee is now a part of my staple diet 🙂

One more realization today: Not to make assumptions too fast… Initially on the basis of first day, we assumed that the entire training would go really slow. But now, it is going on very fast. I am not saying we should not make assumptions. All I am saying is that we should not base important decisions or actions on premature assumptions or logic that is not thought through well.

Day 1 – At Chennai on a training

I am at Chennai for 6-week office training. I thought I would try blogging something about it everyday. I am not sure whether this spirit would last even for a day more, but still, at least for Day 1, I am all motivated to pen down things.

Start of the day
Day started at an unearthly hour of 03:00 AM, which is just three hours after the scientific start of the day. Had to get up because we needed to catch the 5:55 flight. There are very few times when you can actually see your clock showing 3:00 am.

About the flight
If that wasn’t enough, we got the last row seat in the flight. The space available was even less than that in a BEST bus in Mumbai. Any way, we reached Chennai on time.

Skipping breakfast
Then, we had to rush to our Guest house to put our bags. Even though breakfast was available at the guest house, we thought it prudent to go for the training first, and then have breakfast there. However, nothing was available around. We finally found out a fruit vendor, and some of us had to do with fruits. I didn’t like the fruits, so dragged my survival further on chips and snack bar which I had in the flight.

Boredom + Exhaustion + Sleep deficit + Bad lunch = A really tiresome day
The training was boring. I know you would say that all trainings are usually boring. But then this one was even more boring from the rest. We ran short of a name placard, and hence I was the one who had to do without it. So used a bit of ‘innovation’ and made a placard out of the notepad page. Went out for lunch, but the only place we could find was not at all good. They just had Veg Pulav and Dal Fry as vegetarian options, and which we had to go with.

Finally back to my room
Had a nice hot shower and am penning down this blog…