Friday, November 26, 2004

How to kill time in office

Visit see variety of profiles, communities; think of joining a community and then forget about the thought. (I am doing all this because messengers are currently not allowed in here)
After random time-periods, show some concern on your face as if indulged into some gr8 workJ
Have tea…
Or visit some tourism website; Think of things to do on weekend.
Find out the driving directions for 2/3 places to provide a choice on Saturday about where to go. Take printouts of them; remember that office resources are all yours.
Grab a cup of coffee…
OK, now for a change work a lill bit – fill out the weekly task list.

Hmm, this is important, check out the exchange rate for dollar and pound.

How about watching a movie tonight, find out the new releases and reviews.
Again pamper yourself with some tea or coffee…
GOD! I am bored!
Hey, not that I always do this…

Sunday, November 21, 2004

My passion for tea

There were times when I was kind-of addicted for coffee… I used to keep my messenger status as ‘In quest of java green’. It was a heartrending decision of mine to go for a homeopathic treatment, which would take away coffee from my life. God! I somehow prepared myself by saying, ‘Ok, this is gonna be for few months’. I was pretty successful in controlling my desire unless sometimes allured by the aroma or irritated by workload.

Then came the Mr. Tea into picture. I started having tea in the office for the sake of having a hot beverage in the afternoon to avoid an embarrassing nap on the desk :). I hardly liked the concept of tea until I stole a ‘lemon and orange infusion’ from a colleague’s drawer. Oh wow, it was so tasty. I confessed to him later that I did use his tea bags and making things even worse, finished those :). He had a great collection including tealeaves, which he bought straight away from Japan.

Here started my obsession for different flavors… I started trying black tea, green tea, herbal fruit infusions, lemon and ginger, mint, strawberry, camomile, apple, mango and what not. Not all of them were good. My favorite still remains ‘Orange and citrus’. I surprisingly developed a great taste for a combination of ‘tetley regular’ and ‘lemon & ginger’. I started suggesting others to take a sip of this amazing drink. My mom won’t ever believe that I now start my day with a cup of black tea, which is totally caffeine-free. So this is another good thing that happened to me in UK, a great variety of tea to discover.
Bad think is that every time I visit Sainsbury, I cannot resist myself from buying a new flavor – not good for my pocket.

They say, "An Englishman would interrupt a war to have his afternoon tea", and now I am totally convinced.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

The 'Great' Britain

Let me start with how my first flight experience was...

Itinerary... Mumbai to Frankfurt (Indian Airlines - AI127) and further Frankfurt to London, Heathrow (Lufthansa LH4732).

We left Mumbai at 8 IST and reached Reading at 18:15(London time). So the whole journey was almost 13-14 hours. It was an 8-hour long stretch from Mumbai to Frankfurt (Germany).... but since we got Business class, it was exciting!

Ok, lemme talk from the start.... we reached Mumbai International Airport at 4 am, 19th August. Shantanu, my mom, his mom, Anup bhaiya and Kunal were with me. My team-mates Mohini and Mrudul were gonna accompany me for the journey. I went thru all the scrutinies n all stuff, bid adieu to all my dear ones and reached the ground floor. Aahhhhhhhh!!! Here was the first sight of the plane.... I took few seconds to believe my eyes and wondered how can this huge a thing fly!

Best part was that even though my Company organized for economy class ticket, we luckily got promoted to Business class for the flight: Mumbai to Frankfurt. We got into the plane thru the tunnel and got seated into the business class! So had good breakfast, lunch, music, movie and nice sleep. Reached Frankfurt, found our departure location and spent time in Window-shopping. Our flight from Frankfurt to London had lots of turbulence, coz of which both of my colleagues went berserk. I enjoyed the roller coaster ride!

Here comes our destination, London. Mumbai airport was ok, Frankfurt airport was impressive and London airport was THE SUPERLATIVE! We were afraid that the immigration officer would pester us... but he didn’t take more than a minute.The taxi was waiting... as I remember it was Audi's Quattro, awesome sedan! We got into it and reached Reading, Berkshire in an hour. Met the other colleagues who were already here, checked in Millennium Madejski hotel. It has 4 star rating; has a football stadium of its own, swimming pool, cafe, conference rooms, etc.

I had a shower, called up home saying 'reached safely' and then went out for dinner with my team members. We went to 'Oracle', that’s a big big or rather HUGE shopping complex kinda thing with 5-6 floor parking, all Brand showrooms, all Brand food-outlets, a 9 to 10 screen Multiplex 'Vue', some pubs and lots more. I was happy to see a very familiar place called Pizza Hut :). We went to an Indian restaurant for supper. There is a small branch of river Thames in the middle of Oracle infrastructure, which makes the place romantic for lovers [ :( ]. 'Oracle' seemed to be the most happening place in Reading.

Getting back to hotel, I was too sleepy... and this marked the end of 19th August, a longggg day!

I know ur bored... but lemme cover the second day as well.I somehow managed to get up at 8:23, got down by 9, had breakfast. Mistakenly I had a feeling that British accent would be easy to understand. Worst part is that they ask several questions like 'regular or mineral', 'still or sparkle' when I asked for drinking water. The waiter asked me something and I replied 'Kyaa bolaa ki!' :) Thank God that Sunita (a colleague) was familiar with all this.

Left for the office (MCI) with 3 other colleagues in Micra (a small automatic car). The MCI building is HUGE and beautiful too; with great and vibrant interiors. Modern art seems to be very common and effective all over. I met everyone in our team (managers outside India are so young!); got an Access card, IBM laptop, required stationary etc. Took lunch (again few familiar and few inedible things to eat!) . We had few hours meeting giving overview of the project blah blah blah.Good news of the day is.... I got a car for myself 'Clio', a small 2+2 seater with two doors and all basic facilities like CD player, radio, power windows, 5 gears, airbag, etc. I was offered a automatic car but I preferred a manual one to be in sync when I return to India :).
Even though it was weekend (Friday) we got very late to leave office, almost 18:00 hours. We again went to Oracle, had dinner in Pizza Hut and saw 'The Bourne Supremacy' in Vue. hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! End of second day, I am feeling sleepy now.