Monthly Archives: November 2013

Downtime

I’m taking this weekend to unwind a bit. The last four weeks or so have been quite action-packed, both regarding work and free time, that I haven’t really had time to stop and reflect. This is also apparent in the lack of blog posts, which are beginning to form quite a backlog.

However, I got some larger articles done recently, which might be of interest:

Next week I’m heading to Kathmandu, Nepal for an extended weekend. I’m sure I’ll have a lot to say about that one as well.

Take care!

Modom Box Prevails

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Well color me surprised, we actually have a working internet connection in the apartment now! After a month and a half of back-and-forth – note the previous post from October – we finally have secured access to funny animal videos and memes. Yay!

Now that I’m better available during evenings, feel free to give me a call if you want to have a chat – my Skype is usually on but I use Google Hangouts as well.

Off-Site Day

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Today we had our off-site day with the work crew. Sidd had planned some sightseeing in nearby Lonavala, a hillstation turned weekend vacation spot.

Our first destination was Tiger Point, a cliff-top up at 650 meters. The view was quite nice, and as you’ll notice in the selfie video below, it was quite windy out there.

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After that we headed down to the Bushi dam. Instead of pointing my camera at the dam – it looked pretty much like a regular dam – I decided to steal a few snapshots of the jolly teenagers playing around by the lakeshore:

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We also visited a wax museum, a not too big establishment filled with wax versions of famous Indian people past and present. Most of them I didn’t recognise, but this one was an exception:

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The day ended with early dinner at the Upper Deck restaurant, featuring a nice panorama of the surrounding valleys:

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Not a bad day. Not a bad day at all!

I’m Sorry IKEA

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I’m sorry IKEA. I’m sorry for that time I said your precisely manufactured furniture parts felt cheap. I’m sorry for that time that I made fun of your fun but naive looking instructions. I’m sorry for cursing at you for requiring proprietary tools for the assembly – even if they are provided with the product.

And I’m sorry for saying that your style lacks personality.

For these sins, this is how the furniture karma police punished me:

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Allow me to present my newly acquired storage solution: the bastard child of crooked wind chime pipes and LEGO Technics, forged in the inferno of my frustration over ambiguous instructions, false inventory listings and sporadically matching parts. It is the pinnacle of cheap manufacturing and product descriptions that do not match their online counterparts.

Furthermore, the package had the same smell that the local liquor store has. Don’t know what it is, but it sure is funky.

Thing is, with IKEA you get something that fits together and actually is what it is described as.

Here’s what I ordered:

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And here’s what I got:

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But in the end it’s all good. I got to solve a logical puzzle, based on figuring out what the instructions were really trying to convey, and got to let off some steam via forced component merging. Assembly time was the full length of the soundtrack chosen for the task, namely Pearl Jam’s Lightning Bolt. Since the roommates were out I even got to do a few sing-alongs, which every true Pearl Jam fan does when possible and in the mood.

Finally I have shelves to put stuff on – no need to live out of the suitcase anymore. Provided that this asymmetrical beast remains standing, that is.

PS. IKEA still chops down ancient trees, I’m not sorry for criticising them for that.

Red Curry and Slim Shady

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Most of the restaurants here play local music. Or have the TV showing Bollywood-movies on full volume – the foley sounds in fight scenes are awesome, by the way. The occasional restaurant has a more vanilla ambience, like Enya or pan flute music.

But not Zikomo; imagine a nightclub in Estonia, on a Saturday evening in ’97, blasting the most dreadful techno. It’s like the same song for hours on end.

That is what Zikomo is playing during lunch. And many of the songs are on repeat as well. You think *phew* good thing that song ended and whoop, there it starts again.

The place is usually quite empty, more often than not we’re the only guys there. So you’re sitting there, alone, eating food to 180 BPM. It’s a bit distressing and out of place.

Today was an exception. As I sat down the place was peculiarly silent. I ordered the veg red curry – it’s delicious by the way, highly recommended – and glance at my phone while waiting for the order.

And suddenly they start playing Eminem. What? I was, again, the only guy there. Maybe they were trying to find something that appealed a bit more to my taste. And it did, it was refreshing even if a bit weird, and I actually had a hard time not to laugh at the whole situation.

I would have liked to pan a bit more, but two servers were droning about. You see, in many places here they like to put the food on your plate for you. And as you eat, they fill up accordingly. This means you are being observed most of the time that you’re there, and Zikomo was no exception.

Even if somewhat surreal it was a distinctly more pleasant food experience than with the techno.