26 April, 2006

The next post will be about Job hunting. However, I found something quite interesting on the internet -
"Mozilla built us a wonderful tool. Google gave us a carrot. Now take the stick and beat IE's ass." A bunch of people who do not like IE and also remember how they used to not like seeing buttons like - "This website is best viewed on IE5.0" have now figured out a way to get back at them. More details are available here and the reasons to shift are given here. For now, both the websites are available on IE, and now that I write it out, I realise it is a smart thing to do and now something I can point out and you can smirk at.
And if you have an ad-sense account, you can make some money out of it too.

St. Ives.

I do not think that I like any other part of England more than Cornwall, and even within Cornwall, the two villages of St. Ives and Carbis bay are my favourites by far. I can not really put my finger on what it is about these two places - they abound in the charm offered by small English towns and villages - picture perfect houses, winding lanes, lush greenery and maybe not very common even with the rural landscape, a blue-green body of transparent water which stretches as far as the eye can see.

I had a lot of fun here on my first trip, it was tantalisingly close to being perfect. The cool thing was that this time when I went back there, every thing about the trip changed - the people I came with, the things we did, the places we went to, and even the weather. Even so, I think I did not mind too much. I still thought about the first time around, but I had much-o fun nonetheless.

What is there to do in Cornwall? If travelling from London, the killer way to save money is to travel in groups of four and then buy tickets at Paddington. This way, you can get a super saver ticket, which is basically a 50% discount, enabling you to travel 6 hours each way by train for £35. Probably the best way to spend time in Cornwall is to divide time between spending time at the beach and travelling to other beaches and spending time there. I am not joking, but the way to do it is to spend like a day or something on one of the many beaches in and around St. Ives - Carbis bay being one of the best for just lying around. The second day can be used to travel to the many other beaches in the areas - Sennen's cove, Land's end, Porthocurno and also to see Minack Theatre. A special note about Minack's theatre - it is an open air theatre, with the Atlantic as the background in most of the sets - mindblowing. Such beach-hopping can end at Penzance, from where the train can get you back to London.

Another not to be missed spot is the Porthminister Cafe - memories of a curried lamb and some excellent starters still warm the heart and comfort the soul. It is one of the better places to dine at, in St. Ives. It has views of the ocean and is a nice place to be for sunset. Do book in advance.

My next post will be about job hunting in London.

20 April, 2006

I have been travelling past few weeks - a weekend trip to a place called St. Ives and then a longer weekend trip to Prague. Here is a picture from Prague. Prague, in some ways, is like a older, cooler version of Paris. The picture here, for instance, has the Presidential palace in the backdrop (I am not sure of the correct name, but it is a palace and the Czech preseident stays in it). The foreground is the Vltava river, which meanders through the city and has to be crossed a few times no matter where one is headed. The ride from the airport into the city is a ride of architectural variations - in period, structure,design,colour. The Airport is a slick building, complete with granite floors and expensive stores. It fades into long facades of Soviet looking flats (you will know when you see them) and then the old city suddenly bursts into view. The old city has spires and churches and grottos and various other constructions which are quite medieval in appearance. I have read quite a few stories about kingdoms and castles and revolts and the true heir laying low before staking a claim by ringing the church bell and if any one was making a movie on any such story, Prague would be a very custom built locale to shoot such a movie. The other thing which struck me in Prague was the way the Czech were promoting their country - "Hope you have a good time in the Czech Republic" came second only to "Give me a Pilsner!" as the most commonly spoken English phrase. (By the way, I had two Pilsner breakfasts but thats another story) Back in India, it is easy to find instances where one laughs at tourists when they are taken for a ride. If they were stupid enough to come to India, then they should also bear the consequences. In Prague, it did not matter if I was shopping, taking a hair cut (1/4th of UK prices, but language issues can lead to unpredictable results), drinking beer, meeting friends of my Czech friend, it was a concern which bordered on an obsession - I won't be surprised if this country which is the size of Haryana earns about the same from tourism as India does.

The next post will be about St. Ives, which in my opinion, is one of the most underrated beaches in Europe (which is again is a good thing)
I have been reading blogs every now and then when someone forwards articles and decided to take the plunge myself.

God, the first line in itself is so full of cliches, am not really sure how bad a beginning this really is.

Anyway, hope that I have something more interesting to say as time passes by. Got a new laptop today, it is a widescreen Toshiba Satellite laptop, really like the feel of this machine, even though the click pads could have been a bit bigger, the keys themselves could have had more space.

The inbuilt software also leaves a lot to be asking for, but inspite of all that, it seems to be a good machine which I asked a friend to get from the US at a very decent price.

Other than that, life is the same. I work for a company called ebookers but no one should hold that against me. It is a reasonably old travel company based in the UK, dealing with standard travel arragements like flight tickets, hotel bookings, car rentals and packaged holidays. It is not that I do not like the company I work for, but I am aware that there are quite a few times when customers have a bad experience.

The thing is this - overall a company might appear to be blundering and indifferent to an individual. However, the strange thing is that individuals within the company are equally frustrated when something goes wrong. Some of you might disagree, but I have seen this happen more than once.

Blogging and me will really need to see what all we can do to make this work.