Saturday, October 31, 2009

Peak hour travelling

Whole of my student life I have had the luxury to go to the city at non-peak hour timings and consciously avoiding the crowd. My air travel also has always been intentionally on weekdays (Wednesday/ Thursday mornings), so much so that I had gotten used to the fact that I would get personal attention in the economy class, sleep on three seats while paying for one and I would not have to stand in lines for security clearance.

Today however seemed to be one of those very noisy days. I had these bunch of Indian tourists on their way back from what looked like a very tiring vacation. All kids between the age of 0 to 10 were very irritated and had been crying at the drop of a hat. The few who were not were running around the waiting area including one kid who tripped on my carelessly left cabin bag. Before he could start crying however, I gave him the scary look (the “mean-uncle-who-hates-kids” look) and I guess that made him run for cover to his mom where he must have complained about me.

Have been travelling by Air India on the Mumbai-Singapore sector for quite a while now and have been generally pleased with their service. Today too our aircraft boarded and left on time! However unlike my other peaceful journeys, this time around I had a 4-8 year old looking geek kid as a neighbor. This guy had accumulated all the questions he ever had in his life to be asked to his patient dad only in the 5 hour journey that he had to sit next to me. Even before the aircraft took off, he already had asked a barrage of very intelligent (but completely useless) questions to his dad (reminded me of Calvin’s dad). Once in the air he was monitoring the aircraft speed, outside temperature and the world map. I could overhear intelligent statements like “Dad, the outside temperature is –5 degree centigrade, then why is there no ice on our aircraft?”, “Dad, if we are flying at 800 km/hr how much distance does the plane travel before it can turn?”. The dad was ofcourse conscious of the fact that I was intently listening to his answers so he was often found mumbling answers that were unintelligible to me. Now I can really understand how my parents felt when I went around asking them all those useless questions as a 3 year old. No wonder, my dad had a receding hairline immediately after I started speaking ;) !!

If this guy was not enough, there was a 1 something kid on the sit ahead of me, who thought that aircrafts are meant for crying. The moment his mom fastened his seat belt he started crying, and didn’t stop till she unfastened it again on landing in India. So much for a 5 hour peaceful sleep for me :( !! All in all, I decided I will carry my Media player on my next flight so that I can listen to Yanni or someone as I struggle to catch up on my sleep.

Weapons of Self Defense

So I am gonna reveal a very closely guarded secret of my Singaporean friends. Every one of them is expected to carry a Weapon of Self Defense (WSD). Before you get all scared the WSD is nothing but innocuous looking packets of tissue papers. For naive foreigners like me they just look like what they are – tissue papers, but before you dismiss them off as just another personal accessory, hold on!

Weapon of Self Defense

All around the island there are numerous kopitiams (Food courts) which cater to thousands of people daily. During peak hours there are close to 50 people fighting for a single table in these food courts. This is where the tissue papers come in handy.

In the hypothetical situation that you happen to confront another person standing next to one of the tables to occupy it as the guy already using it is gulping down his kimchi, both of you stand in a confrontation pose (a-la Old American West gun standoff) with one hand in your pocket, ready to withdraw your WSD. The guy who can first successfully land his tissue packet on the table moments after the earlier guy lifts his bum off the seat, gets the table. The rule of this game is simple. Once someone’s packet lands on the table you lose it and you can’t do anything to get the table. The WSD rule is so religiously followed that if you forget your tissue packet on the table, people won’t occupy it for eternity. This action of reserving tables is called “chop”.

When in Singapore do what the Singaporeans do. So now I got my own arsenal of WSDs and have been practicing the art of withdrawing my WSD from the left pocket with my right hand and flawlessly landing it on a table 10 metres away :) !!

My Arsenal

Finally, I have reliable insider information that Singaporean women dig guys with “Tissues”. Which in layman’s terms means, Singaporean gals like Singaporean men (duh?!). So men pretend to be chivalrous to women just by offering a tissue that they are already carrying as a WSD!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Moving on

Been a while since I wrote a blog about my life. Today marks to be one of those big days as well. The journey that I had embarked on more than 2.5 years ago after having “decided” to take my GMAT has finally ended. I have to now get out of the secure and fun student life that I was in. Took the last examination of my MBA yesterday and have to vacate the hostel room that I have been occupying for the past 16 months or so.

Thank you all of you for being so patient with me despite my irregular updates on the blog lately. I will keep you all updated with what am gonna do next shortly!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Why I read my spam?

Hahaha, I bet my blog post title kinda made you wonder that this guy has all the time in his life to even read junk email!! Well well, trust me, if you need instant gratification and wanna feel extremely good about yourself, forget the psychiatrist, just go to the mail that your email provider marks as “spam”.

My junk email makes me feel to be the luckiest person on planet earth. In the last one month I earned close to $100 Million dollars (I am not kidding!). And the best part was, it all came from my long lost relatives in Nigeria, Australia, and Italy who all decided to die at the same time leaving all their fortune entrusted to the local government which apparently uses dubious email addresses like The government with the dubious email address however decided it rightfully belonged to me, and kindly asked for my contact details and my bank account number. Noble souls I must say!

My junk email also makes me feel important. Here is a sample of an email I got last week: “hello ... I'm gina a high school student living in your neighborhood can we talk on msn?  gina… is my email address. add me on your msn messenger I finally got my cam workin ;) “ (I wonder why the wink in the end? I presume we could share notes on the webcam) Well well, some of the mails that I get can’t really be pasted out here. But I hope you get what I mean :) !!

I also realized that I have access to hundreds of “trusted", “safe” and “secure” online pharmacies that can deliver me any pill I need on this planet at 1/100th the cost of it in the pharmacy. And then I realized I can buy original Rolex watches for $100. Sometimes I wonder, why do I even check my regular email when junk is all I need :) !!

Friday, October 9, 2009


Wow!! Its been a month since I said anything here! Saying that I was all busy with my MBA would be an outright lie. But yeah, a major part of it was spent studying a company named AMD for a course named Corporate and Business Strategy. At close to three decades into your life, getting humiliated in a class of 40 is really depressing. But all in all, I enjoyed the course cause it sort of gave me an idea of the depth to which you should study a company to really understand its strategy.

And besides that some time was spent seeing some movies, seeing the night race, watching videos for a couple of hundred hours on YouTube and of course generally being a pain.

So what were the highlights of the month you ask? Well, let me think…

  1. I had the chance to visit the clean-room of a semiconductor foundry out here, and I actually wore the bunny suit. Haha, the clean-room is definitely a wanna-be geek paradise and I sure had fun.
  2. Saw the Singapore F1 GP. Nice experience. Force India F1 team however performed miserably. And it was amazingly humid during the race weekend. No rains :( !! I got to see the Backstreet Boys (ahem .. now we should call them Backstreet Uncles …) for free on my F1 Pass.
  3. My Microsoft Office died on me. I can no longer open any office documents in my computer. So major part of my month I was stuck in the lab in the school and fell in love with the 19” Monitor of a computer out there. I was about to confess my love for it till I found that it was two timing with a PhD student who would only visit it at nights (after I left the computer lab!).

So this is it. My funny bone has been resting for a while now. I should update my blog soon again. I have less than 2 weeks to finish my MBA now. It was better than what I thought it was. And I hope people who are still contemplating higher education, stop thinking and start doing!