Thursday, August 25, 2005

An exhilerating experience...just missed

You all must have heard the proverb..."u got food in your hand but you couldn't put it in your mouth".Well, something similar happened to me.

My orientation ended recently with a trip to a camp near the Smoky mountains, a really beautiful place and a 45 min drive from my college, though we did not exactly go to the mountains. It was a nice trip but the journey was not like how we have in India, with Dumb C, antakshari etc..., it was just sit and talk as there was a mixture of a few Indians, lots of chinese and a bit of europeans and canadians.

The place was good, as soon as we went there, we had some salads and bread to eat (for veggies, non veggies had lot of choices), followed by some activities like canoeing, riflery, wall climbing, zip line(going from one end of the rope to another end at a lower elevation tied from the top) etc..we wanted to go canoeing but the bus was full, someone said there's gonna be a 2nd trip later, so we went to riflery. That part is run by a guy who's a shooter in the US military. The targets were not some 100 balloons in front of you like in India. It was a sheet of paper with those usual concentric circles, 50m or 50 ft away (dunno exactly) and we had to wear those googles, headphones etc. and shoot them. Well, my career as a sniper is out of the question...I missed all 5 as I could not even make out the target properly with goggles over my goggles!well, we went back for canoeing, they said, no more trips :(

well, we went to zipline and wall climbing instead, but it was so crowded we ditched it. we went swimming then. man, what an awesome sight that was! we were swimming along with blonde babes in bikinis and playing waterpolo with them ;). this went on for about 2 hrs..

Then we went to archery, I was much better in bows and arrows, infact i even hit a bull's eye (almost), came back for dinner and had lasagna.After dinner, there was some group activity where we were supposed to talk about our expectations and aims and some bullshit like that, that took a lot of time. there were 5 topics, but it was cut down to 3 (thankfully!).

By then it was dark, around 8.30 PM (it gets dark only then). There were 3 options for us then, a bonfire (no way!), a night swim (hmm. interesting..), but we took the 3rd option, the V-swing.

There were 8 of us for this, 7 indians and 1 chink. now, this V-swing requires 8 ppl, 7 to pull a rope and 1 person to swing. First you'll have to wear all protective straps, then go up a ladder where there is a rope and they'll tie you to that. then, all of us, will start pulling a rope tied to him and he is carried upwards, more than 100 ft from the ground. then he jerks the rope open and starts swinging like tarzan!! the best part of that is, it is pitch dark and in the middle of a forest and we swing from a rope for around 5-8 mins!!! one by one, 3 guys and the chink finished swinging, I was next in line, all ready with straps and helmet etc.. The time was 9.35 PM, we were supposed to go back at 9.45 PM. everybody thought I'll finish it and probably the next guy in line. The person before me gave us a scare first, he started swinging, went some where and did not even shout! and after a while, he realized that and we heard a 'Aaaaahhhhhh....' from the trees and he came swinging back, much to our relief. Anyway, he finshed, I was all set, and then..the damned rope got stuck somewhere in the trees and they started looking for it, and after a few mins, they said, "guys, its gonna take some time, please remove your harness and get back to the main area, or u'll miss the bus!!" man, I was so f.....g close!! :(

All in all, an exhilerating experience...just missed in the end.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

My Pre-US experience

Hello everybody, I am in the US right now, Knoxville, Tenn to be precise, enrolled for an MS degree. So far I haven't had any interesting adventures as I am just settling in, but I am confident there are loads of things to come in the future.

Right now, I am hunting for part time jobs, though I have got one as a tutor for undergraduates( This is a little tricky one. I get paid by no. of students per hour, e.g. 8 students, $8 per hour, something like that. The problem is, this is not a regular class, only extra tutorials. If 1 student bunks, I get $1 less that day, also, students who register pay only for classes they attend. Also, getting 8 students is no easy task!!). Anyways, I might get some other job at Dining, tech support etc... and if I get one, I'll take thats my life right now...

I had resigned from Infy on the 6th of July itself and sat at home for a month. Before that, I had taken 20 days leave(LOP) for "preparing" for my Masters. But the only thing I did in those 20 days was watch some 100 movies, hog like a pig and gain a few kgs. So i decided to compensate by working harder after the resignation. So first day, I actually took out a book on electronic circuits, got stuck for an hour trying to understand how equation 1 got differenciated to equation 2, left all hopes after 1 hour and threw away the book. Did not touch study books for the next few days, while I again started watching movies, but was also shopping for some time.Meanwhile, mom started to teach me cooking and I showed deep interest in that. Now, I have learnt so many dishes that i can start a catering service business here!! But i think I need a B1 visa for that ;)

After a few days, I took out the book on digital design and started studying. This time I was stuck with K-Maps (not that i struggled, I started solving all exercise problems just for fun). After a while I realised, it is not so important and proceeded further.

My dental experience:
My visit to the dentist is one thing I can never forget (who'll forget??). The doctor has a huge clinic and it looks really good. He is also a professor and gets many students to his clinic to explain things. BTW, all students were girls, some babes also!When I went inside, there was a patient withhis mouth wide open and the doctor and some 5 girls seeing inside. I sneered at the man's plight. Well, my turn came and the doctor told all the girls to examine me!! I got shit scared, being treated like a guinea pig by final year students!! luckily, the girl who treated me had some experience and did a good job, though I gave her a tough time, she admitted later. BTW, I had some 15 cavities!! (2 months in switzerland, atleast 4 chocolates a day, chocolate supply athome for next 1.5 months. 15 is a small no.). All the 15 cavities were filled in the same day and it took 1.5 hrs, with my mouth fully open most of the time. OMG, that was one horrible day!!

My other visits to doctors went fine, I had to make a lot of visits in the end as I caught viral fever with one week to go. had all sorts of medication one can think of, but now I think i am allright.

In the meanwhile, we had some gettogethers, the class one did not go well, because of have rains. Only me, nidhi, Harris and Yogs met up on a sunday evening and later, most of the other guys at the airport, that too for 5 mins. Had a big problem with excess baggage and started throwing things, some back to mom, some in my friends bag, some in my cabin baggage etc..Anyways, thanks guys, all those who came to the airport to see me off. I never had the chance to talk properly then.

My flight was Ok. Met a friend of mine in mumbai who came to the airport and we went to dinner and had pav bhaji. Well, all those who want to taste pav bhaji of aamchi mumbai and think Bangalore is bad (many people in Infy were complaining about the abd quality in Bangalore compared to mumbai), think again. It tasted the same. nothing special. Anyways, London was boring. Sat for 5 hrs doing nothing as the airport is expensive. Even to browse the internet, i had to shell out 1 pound! Anyway, I had a friend for company and a book, and I spent time. From London to Chicago, there were some good movies in the flight like Kung fu hustle, some jlo movie, monster-in-law, million $ baby among others. Chicago is a real busy airport, and immigration took more than an hour. Anyway, I had lots of time for the next flight and everything went smoothly. The local flights there are real small, 40 seater capacity and they do not serve anything other than juice and peanuts. Well, not a big problem, and I landed in Knoxville at 10.39 PM, Indian students had come to pick me up, so went with them to the apartment.

Well, hopefully everything goes well and I get assistantships ASAP. do pitch in the comments (i know there is nothing special in this post, wrote it just for the heck of it. No posts for a long time, thats why).


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