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    Creative Commons License
    Rabble Rousing Random Ramblings by S Jagadish is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License.

    August 23, 2003


    Nothing happened during the weekdays, except that I made a total ass of myself at the Valley Transport Authority rail station on Tuesday while returning to the flat from work. This was at the Borregas station. I normally use the Lockheed Martin station both ways. Borregas is nearly as close to the office as Lockheed Martin, so I decided to try this station. I sat down on the bench provided, waited for the train to arrive and sure it did. I got up to see how far away it was and I was puzzled to see it was on the wrong track. As it came closer to the station, I realized I'd been an idiot. The train was on the right track (right as in right, also as in not wrong), I was waiting for it on the wrong platform. I'd forgotten that vehicles moved on the opposite side of the road from India. I tried making a dash for the train (seems to be a permanent feature of my blog eh?), but failed miserably. At least I'm certain not to repeat the error.

    This led me to wonder about the oddities I find here:

    • Vehicles driving on the right side of the road. My manager insists that the American way of driving was right, since they invented the motor car. As with most things American, there's a lot of aggrandisement and a myopic view of the world. The truth lies somewhere in between. My counter question was that well, it was the British who invented the horse carriage and the other earlier vehicles which plied on the road, so why not follow the British system?
    • Electrical switches that you need to flip UP to turn on lights, air conditioning etc.
    • Plug points where you dont need to flip up the above switch because the moment you put the plug wire in, electricity flows

    Readers are invited to send in their suggestions. They will be added here, with credits.

    On Wednesday, I decided I needed to have some decent Indian food. I found out that there was a Saravana Bhavan in Mountain View. After work, I took the VTA to Mountain View and asked around. I was told it was down the road, get to El Camino and take a left. The last two sections were appropriate. In fact the first bit (down the road) was also right, except it was a walk of nearly 1.5 km (a mile or so). I kept walking and finally managed to reach the restuarant, passing several other desi restuarants along the way. I had a nice tiffin of mini idly, mini masala dosai, rava upma and a sweet. Then I decided I needed to buy some stocks for dinner, like frozen chapatis or prepacked sabjis. I asked the chap at the billing counter about where I could get it. He said I could get it just after taking a left on Bernardo avenue, walkable distance. It wasn't until I kept walking for nearly 3 km that I realized he may have been an Olympic 20km walk medallist. While 3 km may not sound like a big distance, especially when I'd had dinner, you ought to take into account the fact that I was unprepared for it and was also lugging along 2 bags, one of them having a laptop and the other having a jacket, camera etc. I kept walking, walked on a freeway and then ultimately got to Bernardo avenue. The shop was Nilgiris! I bought chapatis, an aloo mutter pack and bourbon biscuits. Now the next problem was about getting home. I had to find a cab because I had no idea where the nearest VTA station was and I didnt want someone giving directions saying it was just down the road or a walkable distance. I went to a Ford Lincoln Mercury showroom since that seemed to be a good landmark to ask the cab to come to. I called the cab company, the taxi arrived around 930 pm or so and I got back to the apartment safe and sound.

    Yesterday, there was a training session at work and I made a reasonably well received presentation on the work the team was doing in India. Last week there wasn't much work to do, work load is increasing slowly. But I hope I can keep updating the blog regularly.

    Btw, here're a few photos from my trip. The ones in there were taken at San Francisco/Emeryville.

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