Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Andy Bhagwan and the (Un)Holy chain letter

Another classic from the rvinst mailing list. Here we see
Andy Bhagwan fighting the threat posed by a (supposedly) holy chain letter.
I've removed references to the offender who forwarded the chain letter.

Well well well...
Helloooo one and all..
It's you friendly neighbourhood trouble maker
again...Thought I shoulda broken the silence from this
side a long time back but didn't find the occasion.Now
I did so here goes
The internet as we all know is full of spammers.What
most people used to do was send multiple (An' I mean
1000's )of mails using automated sofware readily
available on the net just to clog up networks.But the
ISP's came up with techniques to "tar-pit" these rogue
IP addresses,slow them down so it takes weeks to send
their mails.So what do these guys do..Turn to the
hapless public to help them out.Everytime one of u
sends a chain letters u are acting on behalf of these
spammers whose sole aim is to slow networks down by
sending crap traffic into it cause in tech lingo u r a
pseudo spammer whose IP address has not been black
So , though Lord Ganesha is capable of miracles
I'm sure some sages in the Himalayas spending
centuries doing penance under some Bodhi trees will
beg to differ if ur telling them u can aheve instant
Nirvana by sending a few e mails.
Anyway Cheers to the concept of the IT savvy Indian
gods.I'm sure our people in the infy's and the tcs's
wouldn't mind..



Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Holidays, laziness and ..........

It is holiday time here. Kanth is writing hot greeting cards to the babes at his workplace. Spoke with Shaggy day before yesterday and all i could hear were a few moaning sounds. No more elobarations on these.

Ahhh.. I love holidays. Its the laziness that has always facinated me. I wish my whole life was a holiday. I could do nothing, achieve nothing, waste my time and still be proud of myself. Thats what i think of a holiday.

Alas.. Ppl here dont think so. They always ask me abt my plans during holidays. if i have to plan anything and try to achieve it, how can it be called a holiday? I tried explaining this to a few ppl here but was spruned. Huh wish they knew the worth of laziness.

Thinking of it, if newton and einstein were atleast a bit lazier, i woudnt have to do all this physics. Show me a person who is happy after learnig about the newton's laws/gravity. See.. thats why i have decided never to discover/invent or theorize anything.

I know i can write a lot on this topic.. but i am feeling sleepy.. guess 15hrs of sleep per day is not enough.. So long folks

Good night/morning/afternoon/whatever it is

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Tips for survival in newfoundland!!

Ever wondered what is needed to survive in US? Wanna know the essentials before reaching here? Then you need to read this blog. Dont waste your time and money with consultants.They will never let you know "these" essential tips!!!

1.The first and foremost need in US is a girlfriend. Your life and status all depends on the girlfriend(s) you have. There is a ranking system involved here. A desi GF fetches you just 2 points as opposed to 3 for an amru(short for american) and 4 for european. (For a 5 you should be dating a hollywood star)

2. Car is the next important thing here. Otherwise how can u manage point 1????

3. Credit - Follows from 1 and 2.

4. The four letter word - very useful when GF deserts even with 2 and 3.

5. The five letter word(Sorry) very useful to get back to point 1.

6. Thank You - What you guys say when you read this blog!!!

You are welcome!

Sunday, December 04, 2005


She was so beautiful
that black trouser girl
with the grace of a swan
she filled my eyes full

The trees stopped to sway
the wind ceased to blow
The world came to a still
Ah.. she was so beautiful....

She smiled and waved
with a sparke in her eyes
at some guy across...( hopefully her bro)
Ah.. she was so beautiful....

I tried a sheepish smile
sitting 20 feet away
did she smile back??.. (i think she did)
Ah.. she was so beautiful....

Her lips parted with joy
I still dont know why
may be she looked at me
Ah.. she was so beautiful....

It was my last day at office
there lingered a sad feeling
But still she filled my eye
Ah... she was so beautiful....

P.S: I dont know her name but she was one of the most beautiful girls in TCS-Bangalore.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Fall colors of my university...

Some snaps of fall colors in my university (UT, Knoxville)...

The pathway near my office...

View of the hill area. 4 trees, all different colors!!!

Some more colors....

nice view of downtown with diff tree colors

View of the hills and the lake

and finally...

Thats me amidst fallen leaves..

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Speaking of Television....

Here, the TV shows can go crazy!! yesterday there was a TV serial with a 3-D episode!! and u will get "free" 3-D glasses if u "buy" a magazine!
BTW, was seeing the late night show with Conan O'Brian and the episode contained his ever so famous "If they mated" series where the combine the faces of 2 celebrities who r dating. This time, the last pair was interesting..It was Paris Hilton and her pet monkey! and guess what was the outcome!! George.W. Bush!!
and O'Brian's comment on that: This is what happens when u combine enormous wealth and lowest level of primates!! :)
Boy!! These guys hate him!!

Karnatakada bandugalu

I guess ppl have already seen this..but if not, this is a good one..enjai!! :)

English Band

Karnataka Version








All Saints

Yella Saadhugale


Audio Slave

Dhvani Gulaama





Back Street Boys

Hind beedhi huduguru


Bad Boys Blue

Neeli Poli huduguru


Bad Company

Kettu Kharkane


Baker Street

Iyengar Raste



Devuru Baalehannu


Barenaked ladies

Nagnavaadhu Hengusuru


Billy Idol

Bekkina Vigraha


Black crowes

Kappu Kaagigalu


Black Sabbath

Kari Sabbakki bathu


Blind Melon

Kurudu Kalangri


Chemical Brothers

Rasayane sodharegalu





Collective Soul

Atma Chow Chow


Color me badd

Kettudage banna haki


counting Crows

Enuso kaagigalu





Culture Club

Samskaradha Ispet Kendra


Cutting Crew

Hajam Nan makalu


Deep Blue Something

Aallla Neeli eno


Def Leppard

Kivdu Chirute


Dire Straits

Sakkath Ayomaya


Duran Duran

Maadu Ood-dha Maadu Ood-dha





Everything but the Girl

Figar bittu bere yalla


Faith Hill

Nambike Betta


Faster Pussycat

Bega bekku


Fine Young Cannibals

Valle yuva nara-bakshakaru





Fools Garden

Huchura udhyanavana



Nalaku Jana Aadodhu





Gipsy Kings

Lambadi Raja


Go West

Paschima Hogi



Devuru Kapala


Goo goo dolls

gugoo (peddu) gombegalu


Grateful Dead

Aabhari Sattavaru



Hasuru Dhina



Yarappa bittidhu?



Solpa Jaasthi Aithu


Iron Maiden

Kabna-dha Kanya






Krishnan maavan-dhu


Linkin Park

Jodso Udyana


Little River Band

Chikka Nadhi Baaja


Lou bega



Matchbox 20

Benkipatna ippathu


Maxi Priest

Langa-ony Poojari


Meat Loaf

Mamsada thundu








Modern Talking

Aadunika Maathu


Moody Blues

Neeli Feelingu


Naughty by Nature

Modhlinda Thunturu



Childre vapas


No Doubt

Anumanane illa


Noble Savages

Punyathma baddi makalu


Papa Roach

Jirle appa


Pearl Jam

Mutthina Gojju


Pet Shop Boys

Saakuva Praani Angadi Huduguru


PM Dawn

Sandhye-ne Bellagge


Radio Head

Aakasha Vani Thale





Red Hot Chilli Peppers

Bisi Bisi Kempu Menasinkai galu


Red Nex

Kempu Kathu



Yella Thara Kallu





Salt N Pepa

Uppu Kara








Simply Red

Sumne Kempu


six pence none the richer

aaru kaasu astay saaku


Smashing Pumpkins

Vadadhuhogthairo Kumblekaigalu



Moothi vadee


Snoop Doggy Dogg



Soul Asylum

Atma ke Lodge


Spice Girls

Sambhara Hudigiru



Nakshatradha Dhoni


Stone Temple Pilots

Kallidha Devasthanada Pushpaka chalakaru


Take That

Thogo Adhu


Tears For Fears

Bhayake Kaneeru


The Byrds



The Police



The Who



Third Eye Blind

Moorne Kannu Kurudu



Ninu kuda?



Mallya Nalavatthu


Uncle Cracker

Vadiyo mama


Uriah Heep

Shagni Kuppe


Weather Report

Vaathavarna Soochane


wet wet wet

vadday vadday vaddy





Bands banned in Karnataka, Translation Problems.


Jethro Tull



Lynyrd Skynyrd

Credence Clearwater Revival

Bands that have always been welcome, (Names already sound like kannada)








Shall we?


Saturday, November 19, 2005

A random thought on Television

Our previous generation called TV as an idiot box. But they forgot that it is fun to look at an idiot. It is actually amusing. At my place, i get 4 channels on TV and I love watching any of them. It is like real life.. filled with suspense. You will not know what will be the next program going to be like. you may like it or may not. It is the suspense and the randomness which make it so different from a cinema hall .

I always liked to watch TV. It gives me great pleasure to watch something which is so utterly foolish and scrappy but lively. It fills me with a relief that I am not one of those characters they show on the scree.. This may look like addiction but what the heck??. It is relaxing and thats what I want to do right now.

Friday, November 18, 2005

The "Vikas" Identity

No..this is not the latest book by Robert Ludlum..rather, it is about this guy called Vikas, that's me whoz kinda lost his "identity" in the US of A. How, you ask? Read on...

Firstly, this is a crazy place where people are tightly bound to the rules of calling someone by their firstname and lastname (I had also posted an article abt this once, remember??), and right from the day I have landed in US, I've had problems with my name. For those who do not know, my entire name as per the passport reads:
(Given Names) Venkataramana Vikas
(Last Name)Yelagondanahalli
Some examples of reactions which people have had reading my name...
My first day while registering, at the International Students House: Your name!!... Your Name!! God!
At the Social Security Office:
Officer:While you were 4 years old, did your parents ask you to remember THIS name??
Me: No, in India, I go by Vikas.Y.V.
Officer: Oh, thank goodness me!!!
My VLSI prof: So you are the guy with the super long name!!
Another Prof, reading out my name: Yel..Yala...Yalago...(triumphantly)Yalagondanaal!!!

With all these problems, I advice people to call me by my First Name, Vikas which is much easier. If they can do that well, my identity would still remain intact..but how do people call me????
They call me Vikas (Pronouned: Y Kus), or Vikas (Pronouned: Veee Kus). Can't help it. Viking is spelt as "Y King" and not "V King"...A few days I tried correcting them and told them the actual pronounciation, but after a while I gave up.

Recently I met a guy from Sri Lanka and we were talking and he asked my name. I pronouned my name as VeeKus, so he asked, Vikas? (The Indian way!). That's when i realized I have lost my identity...

Monday, November 14, 2005

Funny Comments

This is great..
Take a look at the last blog by Shaggy on rvinst..

Yup "An exhilarating Experience just missed"

Click on comments and there u go!!!


Check out the 4th comment by scott

The most amusing (auto??!!) comment I ever read.

Anyone booking a ticket to texas now????

What about you shaggy or ambar??? Do u guys have any hand in this?? :))

Sunday, November 13, 2005


Aim: To get a break from stupid assignment and to give some rest to the rear end which is already sticking to the lab seat.

Abstract: Watch Elizabeth town which is vouched for by roommates in a solitary cinema hall in clemson.

Procedure : Go directly to the cinema at 9:40pm from the lab. Roomates to purchase the necessary ticket.

Result: Slight delay but BAD movie .. Had to think a lot to understand the story and finally give up.No story!! Confusinig and made me lose sleep for 2 hrs.

Conclusion: Never watch a movie which has the name of a city and boasts as intellectual movie.

Grade : C

Saturday, November 12, 2005

To hell with lab assignments

Applies to all electrical engineers who have/had lab in their BE and-or masters courses

Being an indian and a RVite at that, I had never imagined that labs will be tough to complete. All we had to do in BE was to copy a senior's ckt , rig up the ckt, tune the pots and get something which looked like what the senior had got. This is how we all passed the lab and assigned marks similar to the senior's record we were using.

It is not the way in MS!! Every univ has lot of funds to get all sorts of liscenced softwares to help (??) students. So every assignment goes like this

Day 1. Prof gives specs and deadline of 4 weeks...Everybody thinks 4 weeks is too long

1st week: Read some books/paper which use the words given in the specs

2nd week: Try completing the assignments of other courses

3rd week: Start with the design, not able to meet the specs, Panic!!!!!!!!

4th week: start consulting the prof, ask for extension. Prof agrees for 1 week extension

5th week: Assuming the design is right, start simulations, no luck
2 days before neew deadline: do night out, somehow get the simulation working
1day before: Do night out, connect on the breadboard, no output!! Panic!!!!
Day of submission, Panic!!, write report, work on the breadboard, Panic!!, submit the report without output

After 1 week: Prof gives his solution and says all designs that were used are wrong. Everybody gets a B

Panic!! think about improving the grade in next test atleast which is due 4 weeks from now

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Big Brother in action

This might be in chennai. But I think I have heard of these stories in blore also..

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 chinkis (japs, chinese, koreans and taiwanese) 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, 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 and some bullshit like that, that took a lot of time. the chinks talk a lot, and we cant even understand their english!

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 chinki (i always thought that chinki was a guy, turned out to be a girl, we were discussing those things right in front of her, of course in hindi). 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.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Bangalore is called the silicon valley....oops

Ever heard of foot-in-mouth disease?? Seems like I am contracting that disease after coming to US. Let me expalin a bit more.

We had our orientation today. Everything was going great. Then came this girl from new-york who was supposed to be our mentor for the day.She looked great but was married. Spoke abt her ex-boyfriend for some time(phew.. I pity her husband). Then she started asking things abt our background. When it was my turn, I said my name and I am from india. she asked me the city. I said bangalore. She was curious. She had never heard of the city. So I started to explain that the city is in the south of india and it is also called the silicon valley. This made her blush. I never understood why. But after a few mins of silence, she asked me what the silicon valley meant. I said bangalore is the hub of IT industries so they compare it with silicon valley of US california belt. With a smile, she replied that she thought that silicon valey as a slang for that "silicone" implanted(guess where!!) place . It was my turn to get shocked this time. Then onwards, the mentorship program went flat down with only academics and university to talk abt.

Phew.. talk abt bragging abt ur city and end up being the implant..

Sunday, August 14, 2005

My Pre US adventures

Hello everybody,

Right now, I am in the US, in Knoxville, TN to be precise (I think most of you guys know that anyway). 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. Hunting for part time jobs right now, 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...

Anyways, I had resigned from Infy on the 6th of July itself and sa 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 sudy 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). Nidhi, by now even you'll be in US. Put down ur experience as well. Lets publish more posts guys!


Wednesday, July 13, 2005

sequel to the sequel

So many days have gone past since I wrote the 1st part of my 2nd trip experience to Switzerland. Frankly speaking, I myself have forgotten what happened in the rest of the trip. But I am completing this for the sake of completeness, and also for the very small percentage of people who seemed interested. I have tried my best. This one is a real test for my memory.

so where did we end last time?
(scroll down)
(scroll down)
(scroll up)
(scroll up)
So after having visiting the art museum and all, the next week was spent with me most of the time in office, many time going out for dinner and then coming back to work till 1 AM types, though we went bowling one night and it was awesome! The bowling alleys are dark but the pins, the ball glow in the dark and it is quite a different experience from the amoebas and the megabowls here.
(Latest News Update: Infy Mysore also has a similar bowling alley now!)

The next weekend, we went to Luzern for a boat ride in lake Luzern. This is one awesome place, the lake and the boat ride. During the ride, there are many mountains like Mt.Pilatus, Titlis etc... and the scenery is breathtakingly beautiful. By this time, I had bought a digicam but took my normal camera that day which had only 10 shots left, thinking it just a lake and some scenery, more than enough. One of the biggest mistakes of my life. Anyways, our boat dropped us at a place called Vitznau if I remember right. From there it continues till Brunnen, another beautiful place with a small village along the lake and a Fjord formation. We thought of roaming around in Vitznau for an hour, maybe sit in a pub or cafe till the boat comes back and then catch it to head back home.

In Vitznau, we saw this small cogwheel train and we were interested. When we enquired, they said it is a mountain train and goes to another mountain, Mt.Rigi. We decided to take that train and take the next ship after 1.5 hours as we still had lot of time and it was around 4 PM still. Now, how can I forget this place. If heaven was on earth, it would be there, atleast for some time!
As the train goes up, since it is ascending a mountain at an angle, everything looks inclined outside, the mountains, lake, everything! and what a beautiful view of the lake and mountains! Terrific!We spent some time in Rigi and decided to come back by cable car which was operating that time. and that is another wonderful experience, as it comes down, you feel you are falling down! Anyway, we came down and took the boat, and this boat was unique. It was working on the piston-shaft principle which made the turbines to rotate and take the boat forward. and these were not small, they were huge. Not as huge as those shown in Titanic, but relatively huge. The boat itself was pretty big and we could call that a mini ship, with 2 decks, cafetaria etc....Then we took the train back to Basel after getting down the boat in Luzern, bringing an end to a wonderful weekend.

Again, the week was filled with loads of work, and I had to interact daily with someone from the client side, who acted like a joker, and a guy from a rival company also providing part of services to the same client. This client guy was really strange, and dumb. He works only from Monday to Wednesday and is off on the other days. And on these 3 days, he wears the same set of clothes, a red Corduroy shirt and a cream Corduroy pant and sneakers. And he was wearing the same dress for 3 continuous weeks, and also for the next 3 weeks, my friend there told me. I think he spends the long weekend washing them. On the other hand, the rival company guy was speaking in a tone more monotonous than a robot, and was very irritating. We used to hate him big time.

During this week, one of my colleagues was looking for a house and had the following conversation over the phone with someone he thought was a house owner, the no. he got from the net somehow.
C - colleague, O- other person on the phone (he was speaking in broken english, with european accent of course, but I am mentioned more or less what we heard)
C - Hi, I am looking for an apartment
O - ok, you need an apartment!
C - yes. I work in Hammerstrasse and I am looking for something close by..
and the conversation went on for some 5-8 mins and we could not understand anything...after some time...
C - ok, I want to come and see the apartment today
O- Yes. you can come today!
C - Thank you. What is the rent for the apartment? the cost?
O - Ok, the cost is 35 CHF (swiss francs)
C - 35 CHF!!! (thinking - either this is a steal in broad daylight or something's gone terribly wrong)
C - ok. Is this a house for rent?
O - No, this is a hairdressing saloon.
by this time, we were all ROTFL while he was looking like a fool!
C - I am sorry. I do not want the apartment.
O - Oh. I am sorry you had to cancel the appointment.
Moral of the story: Listen carefully, learn local language, don't trust the internet for everything.

Another instance.
This happened to me when I went to a shop having a sale on bags and suitcases. I just wanted to know how long the sale will be held.
M - Me, S - shopkeeper
M - Guten Mitaak (good afternoon)
S - Guten Mitaak
M - English?
S - Nein. (No)
M - Ok. Ich (I) need large bag. (I am not good in German. I just know some basic words)somehow she understood bag and started showing me some bags
M- No sale, no sale. how many tagen rabat? (how many days discount)
dumbass she is, she did not understand that.
S - Rabat? Yes, rabat..this one, this one (in german)
M- Noooo! no sale. HOW MANY TAGEN RABAT?
S - Rabat? Yes, rabat on this one (and she started showing me those bags again)
after a few more tries in asking her and failing, I was fed up, my friend was laughing at my plight, the shopkeeper was very confused and I decided to chuck that and come after a few days and buy it off if the sale was still being held.
A little gyan: Wie viele (pronounced Vee feealay) is the german equivalent for how many. I learnt later.

Well, back to my "adventures". I had one more weekend left in Switzerland and I knew I won't get another chance, atleast for the time being as I was planning to resign on coming back. So we decided to visit some place that weekend. We had planned on Meiringen, a very beautiful place with deep gorges and the Riehenback falls, where Sherlock Holmes dies according to the book. But as the weathermen predicted rain in that area, we decided to go to another place called Appenzall or Appenzellerland. Now, I remembered seeing this name somewhere but could not remember where. I got the answer recently when i was checking some old mails and this place was part of a mail whose subject line was something like "Some places you need to see in your life", along with some other beautiful places in the world.

Now, this place is a very traditional place. You get to see the traditional swiss culture only in this place. The houses, the streets, the restaurants, all are quite different from ones in Basel, Zurich etc..There is greenery everywhere. A really beautiful place and a must see for all those who have planned a trip to Switzerland for a few days. This place has got some good restaurants but they are different from the other conventional ones, though we did find a Pizzeria onthe way back. The menu was in German and from the words, it lokked like only ham, pork, veal etc.. available there. Luckily, one restaurant had a small veg menu also and some of us veggies ordered spring rolls (one of the best I have eaten so far), while one of them ordered thai rice (same thing), veg curry and banana chutney which was available!!
Highlight of the day: I was posing for a snap in my digicam (this time I was not so stupid) in front of a huge field and I knelt down and caught hold of a wire for support. It turned out to be a live wire fence! Luckily, it was Sunday and it was switched off!! (wonder why?). Anyways, I would have been dead meat that day and this story would never have been written...

The last week in office was to be my last onsite assignment week from Infy and there were some celebrations, some treats from my side (Those guys demand treat for everything. I almost ended up treating breakfast, lunch and dinner for 3 continuus days!). Work was hectic though. My last day was pretty tough as I took some time off in the evening to buy the chocolates and the suitcase and so I had to work late to finish it. Worked till 10.30 PM, then left to a pub where my friends were waiting, sat there till 12 AM,went towards home but my colleague who stayes in the same building in another floor invited us for some tea, sat there talking and sipping tea till 1.30 AM till my colleague got bored and threw us out as she wanted to sleep, then me and my friend contemplated on going to those "interesting" places but we decided otherwise as I had to catch the 6 AM train to Zurich and I still had not packed. Was done with packing by 3.30 AM, slept till 5.00 and left home by 5.30 to the railway station to head back home.Had a lot of problems coming back like excess baggage, army knife in cabin baggage etc...but finally I reached home safely (not before having a small accident on good ol' Mysore road), thus bringing an end to an amazing trip.

Whew! I have remembered most of it! Thanks for being patient!! :)


PS: I am no longer in Infy and am leaving to the US for further studies early next month. Lets catch up guys before that! And I will trouble you with some US stories later ;)