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Archive for August, 2011

After 25 days of 10 hours flights, weird sleeping times and bunk beds, I’m finally back :-) Here is some blabber on the conferences, places and people, day by day. Place by place.

26 June, Chennai Airport

Thoughts in head: What if my passport falls into the escalator and gets shredded? What if I misplace alpha-beta thousand Rs? And have to go all the way back through customs to locate them? (this really happened).

28 June, Cardiff, Wales

Oh dear*. This is such a windy place.

* English phrase for damn.

The Welsh have a thing for threat signs. Here is one found on a bus, in Welsh and then in English. They also have restaurants with weird names.

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30 June, Cardiff University

I expected Wales to be pretty. But I was surprised to find out that the most fun thing I have seen here is the conference!

1 July, Conference Day

For all the people who have heard professors rant about them sleeping in class, professors are worse. They work on their laptops in plenary lectures.

3 July, St Fagans

This is a must see place in Wales. Its the only major one I’m seeing anyway.

I am slightly bored of travelling alone. Travelling alone sucks and so does the delay shot feature on my camera. After a while, you are content with taking pictures of your feet. And its a good shot if you capture a pigeon while you are at it.

The good thing is you don’t have to share the window seat with your friends. You have either got it, or you haven’t.

4 July, Cambridge

Cambridge is beautiful. I could stay here forever. Cycling to nearby villages, buying ready meals from Tesco, working and sipping coffee in the beautiful garden of P’s house. When did I lose interest in travelling?

9 July, Heathrow

Travelex or Thomas Cook? Important lesson: Always convert currency in India (more insights in this regard would be appreciated). I see flights to San Francisco :D Soon, I will get used to this.

10 July, Rio de Janeiro

House is right. UK hardly has any badonkadonk. Especially after you see Rio. Oh, what beauty. These people do weight training in the sand!

And I have not seen more runners anywhere else.

They also have queer similarities with Indian languages. For example, pav is called pav in Portuguese too. And Potato is batata, which might I add, is Marathi for potatoes. A popular beer in Brazil is called Brahma, although it probably does not derive its name from Hindu mythology. Its the name of a place I hear.

11 July, Conference Lunch

I have just asked a Georgia Tech prof lunching next to me what her name is. Turns out she’s a plenary speaker :-| Thank god, she wasn’t talking today, because I missed the plenary after getting the wrong bus in this only-Portuguese speaking city.

12 July, Vidigal

I am staying in a Favela called Vidigal for the cheapest price you can get in Rio. It has an amazing view of the Oceano Atlantico, better than views from most 5 star hotel rooms (ok, I saw just three..) and this is how I have my breakfast, lost in the green sea.

This is the way to the Favela, along the beach from Copacabana.


13 July, Presentation Day

I am so proud of representing IIT Madras here. Usually I don’t fall for such emotional stuff. But today its different, maybe I’m a bit nervous and want to deflect from the true emotion. The presentation has gone really well. A keynote speaker called me up and told me he really liked the talk. A friend pointed out that I could have talked without swinging from side to side after each sentence.

20 July, Chennai Airport

Nalli’s cotton bags, flowers in hair and long skirts and kurtas. Its time for Chennai again. And Insti. One last time :)

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