Saturday, January 14, 2006

Lots more desis in Germany

There seems to have been a mini desi invasion in Germany. SAP is always full of them, but this time they were at hotel front desks, waiting at McDonald's, in subway/metro, and at the Lufthansa check-in counter too - the last being such a pleasant change from suspicious old white men. They all speak German fluently.

VW Golf on the Autobahn

I got a Golf this time - same as last time. But this one wouldn't go faster than 180kmph even when I floored the pedal - yeah, pedal to the metal - for several seconds at a time. The drive back to the airport - approx. 100km - was awesome. Patches of morning fog, very little traffic and a full moon.

Not all fun tho'. I had to scrape some ice off before I left the parking lot.

Lots of solar panels, not enough Sun

Germany has the maximum amount of government subsidies for solar energy and it shows. Lots of houses have elaborate solar panels and parpahernalia to harvest sunlight.

It all seems futile. All through the Winter, they barely generate a couple of watts a day I suspect - and nothing on days like this.

A week in Germany sans cola

Haven't felt any urge to drink cola for a full week. For one, can't get it for free at work. Plus, there's always water with gas and even-more-gas always available. Add some lime juice and salt and pepper, and you have Kashmiri soda.

India's population

Factoid from Romila Thapar's 'Early India': India's population in the First Millenium BC (approx. 3000 years ago) was 20 million - about the same as Australia's today!

Language racism

Most kinds of racism is not condoned in US or Germany, except the linguistic kind. There's still a chance that people will treat you badly if you don't speak German in Germany or American in America.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Scarf chic

I couldn't figure out how to put the muffler around my neck so that it wouldn't unwind and roll down. So I started observing others and discovered that there are at least half a dozen fashionable ways of putting a scarf/muffler around your neck.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Cows on Indian roads

This is a good explanation of why we see cows on Indian roads. I'm sure you knew it, but I had never thought of it this way:
... milk cows that have gone dry aren't put out to pasture -- they're put out on the street. Killing this revered religious symbol is banned in nearly all Indian states. Some urban farmers even permit dairy cows to graze garbage sites because grass is scarce and feed expensive. As a result, the world's biggest milk producer is contending with the world's largest population of stray cows, thwarting India's efforts to clean up its cities.

Monday, January 09, 2006

En route to Frankfurt

Had an excellent breakfast on the plane. They didn't request a vegetarian meal for me, but I got one anyways - it was meant for someone who probably never got on board (they announced her name after the plane was airborne, since they couldn't locate her).

The temperature is -3 degrees C on the ground, says the First Officer. I'm very scared. It'll only get colder at night - whoops! Last time I was here, it was hot hot hot and now exactly the opposite. Oh well, we'll see...

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