Gang of 6...

This blog belongs to 6 ex COE students of NSIT... Though, now, we are all in separate places, studying or working, we hope to remain in touch with each other lest we forget the great time we had back in college. This blog is an attempt to achieve the same. Here's to us...!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Really really bored....

This has been long overdue.... here goes nothing.

So my trip to Hong Kong was boringly uneventful. Went alone, attended the conference alone, did some touristy things alone and came back alone. The highlight of my trip was my visit to Asia's largest musical instrument store which happens to be located there. So I spent half a day there, playing some of the most expensive guitars in the world and acting like a serious customer. But I had a blast there!

HK is a group of 4 islands (or is it 5). I was living on Kowloon island and my conference center was located on the main HK island. I used the HK Metro (goes under-water!) to commute to and fro. I had bought what they call an 'Octopus' card - all public transport - buses, metro, ferry, trams, even tourist spots accept this "smart card" from which the amount spent is deducted automatically. But what struck me about the city the most was that it is extremely pedestrian friendly - broad sidewalks and very good pedestrian subways/bridges everywhere. It is possible to go from anywhere to anywhere on foot there.... without feeling the weather, traffic or the pollution too much. Also, nobody speaks English... and some Chinese people (old ones esp.) were quite uninterested in even trying to communicate. Others were quite friendly... practised my sign language there :P

And the food... ugh.... well, as people say, Indian Chinese food is a cuisine in itself. Authentic Chinese food is nothing like what the masalad version that we get here. It was quite horrible, let me add. Most Chinese restaurants house aquariums from which one can choose one's food.... as fresh as it gets, 'eh? So, I survived on the BigMac and Fries combo from McDonalds - there are more than 200 McDonalds outlets in Hong Kong. There is one at every block. And all tourists eat there. I was amazed how well the food quality and flavour is standardised at McD's. The fries, burgers and shakes taste exactly the same as they do here!

The conference... boring boring boring. Apart from maybe 1 or 2 talks/papers out of the 800+ papers being presented there. I got a strong feeling that most people attend such conferences for networking, socialising or as an excuse for holidaying; they are sponsored by their respective institutes/employers. I can proudly say though, that I was the youngest presenter and attendee there :) I met a couple of Indians - one from IIIT Hyderabad, one guy from a Biotech place in Singapore... met some profs. from the UK, one woman from the NSF (USA). All of them were 40+ years old. Boring boring boring!

Went to a place called "The Peak" from where one can see the whole of Hong Kong... concrete jungle... juxtaposed islands and ocean; quite a sight really.

A good experience overall.

So John, what are we doing about ICCTA and about the BTP? I have just resumed reading papers on language modelling. Do you want to go to Kolkata by air or by train?

1 comment:

life is like that only.... said...


I am sorry, but I couldn't help laughing while reading your report on HK....with short bytes of your HK life punctuated by short sequences of B***** :D
Seriously, very funny....and to top it all off, you end by saying that overall, it was a good experience :D....allow me to pull you leg once again, but what you suffer from is not lack of emotions, but a rather interesting lack of recognition of them ;D