Friday, April 30, 2010

The Double Decker anomaly

So I take a double-decker bus to office everyday. Well, not that it is my only option, but somehow I find the inconvenience of leaving perfectly good single-deck buses and getting up early to get this one bus; small enough to fulfill my fascination for them.

And anyone who has ever been in a double-decker bus knows that the best seat is the one above the driver. Anywhere else and you are not really doing justice to the bus. You might as well get off and take an ordinary bus if those seats are not empty.

And then on my way to office, I pass this Lamborghini showroom that makes me go weak in my knees every time I see those gorgeous cars staring at me (remember I am seeing them from the top deck of a bus, so better view :) !! The showroom somehow manages to replenish its stock of Lamborghinis once a week. Considering that Singapore is a small country and there are only approximately 576988 cars on the road as of 2009, that's a miracle that I have not figured out yet.

However, there is this slight technical problem. The showroom is on the left of the road. So if I have to feel like a king and at the same time ogle at the cars, then the only option I got is to sit on the front left seat. Now all this while, life was good. I had my left seat to myself, I would get up early, get dressed and go wait for this prized bus of mine.

But lately there is this 6-7 year old school going kid who is causing me problems in my quest to world domination. Not only does he want to sit in the front of the bus (ok fine!) but he also wants my seat. Yeah, you got it right. MY Left seat. Its like someone trying to steal my throne.

First couple of times, I let him do that cause I felt he is a kid and he can have the pleasure. But then I figured, enough is enough. He has a longer life to live and might end up driving a Lamborghini sometime in his life (for that matter, I don’t even know why he likes the left seat – he could very well take the dumb right seat in the front of the upper deck and be happy about it!). So I started competing with him to get into the bus first and go grab the seat for a while. Unlike me, however he is small and agile and beat me to it almost everyday. (Ok I am not that slow, but yeah, I carry an office laptop and can’t really run around in the bus like he does!). But what I lacked in agility, I feigned as an act of kindness towards him. So I let him take the seat for a few more days.

But then, how many days can someone not ogle at the Lamborghinis as you pass by the showroom? That's just injustice to the cars. So now, being the nice guy I am ;), I get up half an hour early to catch the earlier double-decker, so that I can sit on the right seat, see the cars for a fraction of a second in my entire journey and then reach office half an hour before time and impress my boss as the "hard worker”. Sometimes life is just too good :) !!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Little Durian Star

Durian is amongst the first fruits you notice once you come to Singapore. Pardon me for my limited knowledge, but to me, it looks like a Jackfruit but smells like ….. Yeah you guessed right. Durians are sooo pungent that you cannot miss the presence of a Durian within 50 feet of wherever you are (and I ain’t kidding about it). The fruit smells so bad that it is officially banned on the local public transport. Anyway, God has also blessed me with a limited sense of smell and taste, and I kinda like to eat Durians (cause they remind me of Jackfruits but taste better if you ignore the smell).


There is a Durian vendor close to where I live and each time that I pass by, I am tempted to buy some. If an Apple a day keeps the doctor away, then a Durian a day keeps everybody away. If you wanna be anti-social the easiest thing to do is have a Durian early in the morning and then burp away to glory the entire day. No one would wanna talk to you anymore.

Anyway, if you have not been living under a rock, you are probably already aware of the World Expo 2010 happening in Shanghai this year. Singapore has chosen a cute little 5 year old boy named “Little Durian Star” as a mascot (I searched for the Indian mascot as well, but I couldn’t find any. Here is the Indian pavilion though). I like the way he has been given an entire personality with Hobbies, Values etc etc.

Little Durian Star is nuts about durians, but they're not readily available in the places his family travels to. To help her poor son who's always thinking about the pokey fruit all day long, Little Durian Star's mum made him a delightful little costume. And now Little Durian Star looks like a little Durian. Wherever he goes, this little king of fruits makes other children green with envy!

And his favorite food? – Durians, Laksa, Hainanese Chicken rice, Black Pepper Chilli Crab and Roti Prata :) !! (Which reminds me, I gotta write a “Girish’s guide to food” soon :) !!) Its funny though, they have not listed his favorite brand of perfumes. Some company can make a killing out of advertising their brand as “Even a Durian can smell good”.

Little Durian Star

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Finger Print Scanner

Yeah, sorry for the techie title but this thing has been bothering me for far too long to not write in my blog :) !!

The place where I work is like a hi-tech organization with all the latest gadgets for geeky minds to play with. So to be in with the times of "biometrics" all our office doors are secured shut by Finger print scanners. For the uninitiated they look like devices that got holes in them to put your finger in, to be identified as an employee.

Now, I personally don't like inserting my finger into holes where others have put their fingers in (pardon me if my imagination is running wild here but it is for obvious hygiene reasons!). I am quite ok with putting my finger in to mark my daily attendance, to get into the server room etc. But the one place where I really dread is the scanner right outside the restroom.

To start with, I haven't yet figured out the need to have a scanner to enter a bathroom. I can't think of having anything secure inside the bathroom that only people with a "legitimate reason" to be there have to enter! (Yeah before I wrote this post, I did a reconnaissance operation inside the men's room to see if I was missing something (I have not completely neglected the possibility of having a highly secure code on the toilet paper).

Statistically 23% of people do not wash their hands after relieving themselves. So statistically there are people in my organization who fit that description. And then statistically, I end up putting my finger in the same scanner after they have put in theirs (Its the same reason why you are not supposed to eat free peanuts kept in a bowl in a bar!).

Anyway, I decided I had to do something about it. So I complained to the HR and Admin department about the obvious lack of hygiene in the fingerprint scanner outside the bathroom. Luckily, they agreed, and viola, we got a hand sanitizer installed next to the scanner.

Now here comes the fun part. Hand sanitizers dispense a gooey liquid that takes time to evaporate. And scanners can only scan "dry fingers". And since most of us don't have the patience for the sanitizer to evaporate before we scan our fingers, we now have rendered a scanner useless by inserting our gooey fingers in it. The device now makes us insert our finger a couple of dozen times before it finally recognizes "Oh its you!". The sad part is, its the only place in the entire office where you are in a "rush" to get in. So much for technology!

The Big Bang Theory

So I have practically disappeared from the face of the planet for the last few days. The only place I am forced to go is office. I patiently wait for my office clock to tick 6:00 pm to run home. Reminds me of my good old days in school, when the last lecture was practically spent staring at the second hand of the school clock waiting for the magical school bell to ring.

Anyway, the reason you ask? Well well, I have been completely hooked onto the comedy sitcom "The Big Bang Theory". Its semi-geeky, very funny and I haven't been able to stop myself from watching it. I finished watching the first season in 4 evenings and I have this sleepy red-eyed look that makes everyone feel that I have been working really hard ;) !!

That also means that I haven't had the time to update my blog, eat (I have had cornflakes two times a day), wash clothes and do rest of my daily chores :) (that explains my obvious anti-social behavior)!! Haha, anyway, I am done with the first season now and before I start with a marathon second season, I thought I take a break come back to the mundane world (called reality!) and let you all know about it. If you have not yet seen the sitcom, I would highly recommend that you start watching it, and if you already have been seeing it, then I am very angry that you didn't tell me about it before ;) !!

The Problem with Teleportation

Monday, April 5, 2010


So a little known game is causing a lot of furor amongst the Bloggers that I follow in Singapore. The reason being the leader of the rebel group in the game Just Cause 2, Bolo Santosi has a Singaporean accent.

Bolo Santosi

Yeah, some Singaporeans do have an accent. Personally I don’t think Bolo’s accent is that pronounced. For that matter, I had not heard the “real Singaporean accent” till I shifted to the new place where I live now. My neighborhood is as authentic Singaporean as I can dream of. Scavenging for dinner is an interesting exercise for me these days cause most people have no clue what I am ordering for (yeah my terrible Indian accent), and I don’t bother to think about what gets served in my plate later. As long as things don't start creeping out of my bowl, I guess I will be fine.

Singlish Chat

Most places I have visited always have had Indians around me. So I never felt like an alien before. But these days, I am actually like the only Indian guy out there. I get those “hey look at the alien playing with chopsticks” glances!

And since I started with accents, I thought I end with this funny video of Russell Peters about the Indian accent.

Indian Accent