Monday, August 15, 2005

From India (more of a travelogue kind of post, so be prepared to get bored ... and now I feel like writing stuff just to make this a long title) 

Aha! Reached home! Setup the Internet connection to work with my laptop! Met up with Ronny Dam! Heard some very original Hindi lyrics (the likes that include "na jhappi do, na pappi do"). Started my tryst with the jetlag ... and loaded myself with good (no, make that great) home cooked food!

So I've always said that when it comes to traveling - I'm a natural magnet for "old Chinese men". It doesn't matter what form of transportation I'm taking - moi will always have an old Chinese gentleman sitting next to me (I could be exploring wild Africa and I'll still have a Chinese guy in the bicycle next to me). Ok! There are the occasional exceptions. Once the "Chinese gentleman" generalization was replaced with "prehistoric lady" from China but that's abt it. Bottomline being that, I'm always convinced that when it comes to traveling partners - there is no way I can ever have an interesting travel mate. So much so that if I ever find someone interesting (read "hot girl") sitting next to me, I quickly check my seat number and promptly shift to my actual assigned seat :(( However, this trip was an exception. On my trip from San Diego to LA (lasting a little less than 30 mins), I was accompanied by a Malaysian girl of India origin. She was quite interesting to talk to and the high point of that conversation was a trademark bad joke that I shall reproduce with sincerity:

Me: So what do you do?
She: I work for Intel.
Me: Wow! How often do I get to sit in a plane and mean it when I say "Intel inside".
She: *Courtesy laugh to make me feel good*

The other mentionable point from this brief conversation was me getting informed that my name ("Sagnik") is easy to remember for Malaysians. It seems "Shah" and "Nick" are both popular names in Malaysia and as long as you call me "Shah Nick" - the name is not half as difficult as one would think it is.

For the longer journey from LA to Delhi, I was surrounded by a motley of European tourists and the quintessential "traveling abroad for the first time desi techie". While the former group is hot, tempting and un-understandable, the latter is worth spending a few words on. The "traveling abroad first time desi techie" has three very important traits - (i) he dresses up neatly in formals, (ii) he takes out his laptop every ten minutes and (iii) he avails every service that the flight crew offer (free alcohol, change of headphones, free candy, two requests of "excoose me, can i get some more whisky", ear plugs, ear buds, a wife, what not).

The third trip was from Delhi to Kolkata and I was very happy to see domestic flying in India turning better with every trip. The high point of this trip was when the attendant in the transit bus asked me "Aap America se ho?" (Are you from America) and on getting an affirmative nod, asked his "junior" to help me with my luggage. This kindness was then followed by the quintessential "smile+extend hand for tip" combo.

Lots more to write but will take a break now. Peace! or as they say in Ms. Kolkata - World Peace!

Ah ha, Welcome Welcome!
And really, really bad joke that was! :)
And desi techie dressed in formals? :O Wow! I always thought they wore Hawai Chappals! :D
A case of 'Intel Inside' and 'Intel in sight' as well, no?

If yours was a bad joke, mine was so bad that it cannot even be called a joke. So bad that perhaps you could use it on an old Chinese gentleman who works for Intel so HE asks for a seat reassignment next time?

Hope you're having a good vacation! :)
u were rite abt the 'fist visit' by the desi techie...he goes dressed in strict formals...but i dont think every desi guy uses the 'every' free service offered...ppl r now used to fliying...i dont think he has the compultion to try out everything only then:)
Vacation ? Now ? Pre job ? Nice !!

Mommy can show off boy now, live :)

The indian techie once stole my special vegetarian meal inflight once. He claimed it was for him, because earlier he had swapped with me for the window seat. I ended up eating lamb lasagne.

I hid his earphones away, cutting away any access he had to watching The Two Towers on a tiny ass LCD.
A friend of mine once fixed a computer problem for my lab mate. on being asked what the problem was he replied " Simple....Intel Inside, Idiot Outside" without a blink, leaving me looking at the floor and my lab mate looking out for the nearest assault weapon!!!

Come one the desi techie on the return journey is much better than the first timer on the forward one...I have had to baby sit one gentleman who kept asking a rather bewildered BA airhostess for some ice to go with his rather warm red wine!!!!
so u in Cal? njoy ur trip
watz with flights n bad co-passengers, last 6 months I've bin flying B'lore -hyd on weekends n not once did I have an interesting neighbour -watz with the statistics?
@Sagnik & Swathi with that kinda track records wat r the odds of u guys ending up on a seat next 2 me whenver u r flyin next :)
Sagnik enjoy ur stay man and hog as much as u can even if it merits another extra trip to the restroom :)
have a gr8 trip
boss, bolte bhuley gechilam....on my flight from bangkok to calcutta- there were more people on flight than the poor flight's capacity. I thought it was pretty hilarious
aw you're in India? well have fun... *glares at you jealously*
@soup - na na the techies wear hawai chappals to work but boy are they dressed for their jorney (some even wear ther suits) :)

@megha - :)) nothing like a pj followed by a better (or worse) pj :)

@anon - well, i am talking abt first "foreign trip" - some of them even save the extra candy that they get :)

@vignesh - :) i wish there were more people that mommy could show off boy too :) as far as the stolen mal is concerned - te great Indian techie once said - mealey sur mera tumhara ... :))

@anyesha - aha! lovely reply. and as far as baby sitting the desi techie - he appears to be cool and hot - you shouldn't complain abt that :)

@swathi - you fly to Hyd every week? you lucky woman (touch wood) - ppl like us wait for months to see known family faces :((

@rohan - thanks man :) should i get some food back for you dude??

@ari - thanks boss. i saw the over filling up thing once myself and somehow i was one of the only people who seemed to be scared abt that

@rakhi - thank you :)
Yay! Look who's back :)

Have a nice time @ home.

Moi in Malaysia now on a project. I ll verify the 'Shah' 'Nick' trick :) And did u take the number of the Malaysian Indian girl ;)!

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