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Showing posts from October, 2008

The Rain Capital

Is Bangalore the rain capital of India? In times of shrinking resources, real and the share prices variety, rain is the one thing that seems plentiful. Bangalore seems more like Cherrapunji, known for the highest rainfall in India. The good thing is it keeps the city clean and dust-free, the bad thing is the flooding of already terrible roads. Planning a trip to Goa for the Diwali holiday; hope I don't get "rained-in", because the beaches aren't much fun in pouring rain. Good to sit down and watch it with some feni alongside, maybe.

The holiday mood is somewhat infectious, and everyone, students, professors and salesmen, seem to be caught in up in it. Saw the X files movie the other day, and seems like an OK one, though nothing great. Gillian Anderson and David Duchovny are fine actors and lookers, and keep the interest alive.

Conferencing in Amsterdam

Had a four day visit to Amsterdam in Oct. first week for a conference where I presented a paper. Travelling outside India after a long time, I found our airports have improved visibly- at least the Bangalore one has, in terms of time taken to clear passengers while coming back. I remember long lines at Mumbai on my earlier trips many years ago. Amsterdam is a pleasure to be in, because of a permanent party atmosphere. Unlike the U.S., you see a lot a people outdooors, on bikes and in the buses and trams. It is a pictureque place, well-laid out and very, very liberal in attitude towards minor vices. English is widely understood, so it is not a problem to move around.

I took long tram rides across the city, and the names of places like Slotermeerlaan (where I stayed), Bos en Lommerplein, Voorburgwal, all sound like familiar territory now. Prices in restaurants were sky high, but I managed to eat a lot of burgers and save! One of the highlights was a walk in the Vondel Park, a large are…