Sunday, January 8, 2017

A desi on the Autobahn

For a motor enthusiast driving on autobahn is  “the ultimate”, if it is a German made motor car it is like icing on the cake, I cannot find a better expression but “viola“. My first encounter with Autobhan happened back in 2009 & from then on every time I get a chance to drive there my admiration towards this German perfection grows.
Autobahns are divided highways mostly with three lanes going in each direction. The slow lane is to the far right. Trucks and cars with trailers use the right lane. The centre lane is for faster traffic, and the far left lane is for the fastest traffic. They have no mandated speed limit for some types of vehicles. However, limits are posted in areas that are urbanized or accident-prone.
On the autobahn, road signs come into focus for a heartbeat, and then disappear. Vision narrows as you look only at what’s directly ahead, watching all the moving pieces. What’s far is already close or behind.
On speed-unrestricted stretches, an advisory speed limit of 130 kilometres per hour applies. While going faster is not illegal as such in the absence of a speed limit, it can cause an increased liability in the case of an accident; personally my best is 201 km/hr driving on a Merc C-180, 1595cc, 154bhp powered engine.
If one has to get the most out of Autobahn try it on early hrs of Sunday, there would be less traffic and more opportunities to speed. Even one can try it at night, but you should be really familiar with the motorway you're on, I would prefer the day.
Don’t be surprised if you encounter cars with indicators switched on asking for way even when you are on 200+ Km/hr. German drivers are very much disciplined when it comes to staying to the right. They move left only to pass. For Desi drivers like me this is something hard to digest.
Longing for my next drive there, I hope to have access to a better powered car then.

  

Monday, February 2, 2015

Amsterdam calling – An Expat’s Point of View


There is something – may be its open society, great friends, endless cycle tracks, inter connected canals, AFC Ajax, trams which passes through the narrow lanes of the city - entices me about this beautiful city. Netherlands literally means 'Low countries' or 'Lowlands’, with more than half the country at or below sea level, the Dutch are pioneers with water management. Wonder how the land is protected, it’s with the help of dikes, an engineering wonder.

My personal favorites about Amsterdam are

1.       Biking, the best way to get around: Dutch never stops biking, be it snow or rain you would encounter a Dutch dashing across the streets on the red biking track. There is a continuous network of cycle paths, clearly signposted, well maintained and well lit. This makes cycling itself convenient, pleasant, and safe. Netherlands is relatively densely populated and very flat country, which means that journey distances tend to be short. The cool climate means that one can cycle short distances without breaking into a sweat. Don’t be surprised if you see politicians, corporate leaders biking to work.

2.       World class museums: Amsterdam is home of the some of  the worlds renowned museums, it would be a big loss if you miss out any of these during one’s stay
Van Gogh Museum: Houses the world's best collection of the Van Gough’s work.
Rijksmuseum: The Netherlands' largest museum and is home to many famous works by Rembrandt.
Anne Frank House: Tells the story of the famous teenager who kept a diary while hiding from the Nazis during World War II in the house where the museum is housed.

3.       A lots of canals: The Dutch capital has more than 160 canals and over 1,250 bridges. One must take some time out on a stroll along the different canals, admiring the houseboats, row houses and architecture along the way. Netherlands are also pioneers in bridges that opens, to let boats through. I do not mind spending all day wandering along the canals, getting lost in the small streets lined with beautiful, old canal houses. They are enchanting by night, by day, even when it was raining – just make sure to watch out for the zipping bikes.

4.       Brown Cafes & numerous restaurants: While Amsterdam is better-known for its cafes that sell weeds, hash and marijuana, the city has older cafes known as brown-cafes. These are traditional Dutch bars that get their name from their brown-stained caused by all the cigarettes smoked in them over the years. They're a great place for a coffee or a beer. Like in most capital cities, the Dutch capital has a seemingly endless number of restaurants, and you get to choose from everything from Greek cuisine to Thai, Indonesian to wide varieties of steak. Something unique that you find only in the Netherlands is a chain of fast-food restaurants called Febo. The way they work is simple - you choose what you want from a host of small compartments in each restaurant, you pop in your coins into the slot and enjoy the food.


5.       A visit to a dike: if you appreciate engineering marvels you should not miss out exploring a dike, a visit to volendam, a fishing village, close to Amsterdam would perfectly fit this. A dike is generally formed with the help of bags made of polypropylene. Sand is the easiest material to fill in the bags, though any available earth or clay in the vicinity can also be used. Besides these basic materials you would also need polyethylene sheets to help to make the dike impermeable. 

Compared to London or Paris, Amsterdam is still small, but has lots to offer.

Tot Ziens  en moet u Amsterdam bezoeken
 Anoob Fasaludeen


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Keeping My Fingers crossed - http://www.mae.ro/en/node/2040

As part of the incompany project @ ING I am off to Romania tomorrow, i hope that Romanian passport control would let me in , governmet releases are the same everywhere be it India, Netherlands or Romania, FA makes things quite complicated...why is that ?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Take away from sem1 @ Vlerick

I am in the fag end of Sem 1 @ Vlerick Leuven Ghent Management School ,talks are going around to make this name short :-). Jokes apart,the last 3 months passed by in a flash but have learnt couple of interesting things in the class in addition to know more about other 42 classmates , trust me there are some very tough people to handle, welcome to International MBA class room.

Talking about the subjects so far Financial Accounting,Decision science,MAC,Negotiation Skills were quite interesting.HR professor made the subject seems to be interesting but this is not my cup of tea. Some of the other subjects were not that catchy.We had some teriffic professors and ofcourse some very boring ones as well.Last to last week we had to give a presentation as part of Business and Law- our team chose the Bhopal Tragedy- I am clear now that the value of an Indian life is cheaper than a western one.I am looking forward to the Social Skills seminar and then off to India for a well deserved vacation....

Monday, August 30, 2010

VOIP providers

The classes are about start in couple of days and all are really busy with searching for a studio, making rental contract, registering at town hall or opening a belgian bank account ... blah, blah...

When i was doing a bit of R&D about VOIP service providers i came across a very useful link which will be useful for international students like me to call near and dear ones back home. The link is very simple to navigate its in a matrix format which gives the highest (highlighted by green) and the lowest (highlighted by red) rates. The rates keep on changing every month, keep in mind to go thru the link every time u add credits.The link is 'http://progx.ch/home-voip-prixbetamax-3-1-1.html' .

Happy calling!!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

My Visit to Vlerick for the on campus assessment from Amsterdam

Its was around 18:00 CET when I boarded the over crowded train to Brussels central from Schipol aiming to reach Vlerick as early as possible so that I can report on time the next day. The weather was not quite favourable as heavy snow fall were predicted in the coming days in Belgium, Leuven was quiet at 9:30 CET as most of the west European cities, I took a taxi to De Viking which is quite far away from the Centrum, I paid the taxi and I was in front of a very big door , some thing similar to what you see in Horror movies which made enormous noise and the dark background added more fear to it, I kept myself firm as I could not locate anybody in the near vicinity , but I managed to read a caption stating the who ever reached this point dial 102 for father Omer. The call was answered by a Flemish sounded person who was Father Omer, I was so tired that I was more than happy to see a big room allocated to me for the night. I followed the words of the professor @ vlerick ‘s site that one should have good and sound sleep overnight ( I am quite famous for this among my friends circle though I pointed to Mr professor in this regard).


The next day I got up very early in the morning to see the outside field fully covered by white patches of snow, I was determined to take a bath and be there at Leuven Campus of Vlerick, thanks to the lady, who works as an assistant to a research doctor at vlerick university, who guided me to ‘ Vlamingenstraat 83 , 3000 Leuven ‘. The proceedings started a bit late than 8:15 AM , thanks to the heavy snow fall .

All the aspirants who gathered at Aud 1.01 were welcomed by Dr Dirk Buyens , Academic dean and partner at Vlerick, who announced the proceedings of the day- namely 2 rounds of interviews and 2 rounds of written tests – one an English language assessment and one in quant. Mine started off with the English language test which was quite OK, followed by a knowledge assessment round where in I found myself in front of an elite panel consisting of a CEO , 2 Directors and Boiardi Priscilla – I was literally grilled for around 30 mins. This was followed by another round called Motivation round which went quite well, this was assessed by Mary Roll , from the career guidance and another alumini of vlerick itself. I got a break after this series of tests to taste the sandwich lunch provided by vlerick. At around 2:30 I had the next round which was Quant and exam went like this some 45 questions in a span of 30 mins, so I set by strategy strt away to maximise the score by high level calculations. Dr Drik told all of us that after the series of test the faculty will deliberate for some time and bring out the result by 19:00 CET.

We had enough time at our hands so all aspirants grouped together and set ahead to explore Leuven , our gang was not in a mood to explore Leuven in the snowy day so we found our self in a Bar which was filled with University students, I had the first hand experience of so called City of Students, Leuven. The gang was truly International, true nature of any International MBA, 2 from India, One from Belgium, One from States and One from Slovakia. The discussion started of with what the faculty were deliberating, then to climate and then various cultures and so on.
Time passed by so was the no of drinks and finally it was around 18:50 CET when we headed back to the School to hear the Results, the time was not passing so fast and we came to know that the results would be announced later, our patience were really tested. All were asked to enter the same Aud 1.01 were we started of the hectic day and Dr Dirk started reading out the name of the applicants who cleared the process and I was so happy to hear , though my name was pronounced differently , that I was thru.
I really cherish the day I spend at Vlerick and the addition of 4 other friends to my network; I am really excited about the class that will start towards the end of this year and looking forward to it.