Friday, May 26, 2006

Initial Days in Ireland..

The later days in Ireland have been quite eventful , in all respects. Right from the time the sun rises and sets.
To start off, the first day in office started off quite differently. I went to office with my house mate. The office
is barely 2 min walk from home. But being quite cold, it does take a toll. But any day, better than getting
stuck in the traffic jams in Bangalore. The moment I reached the reception and got a visitors card, my manager came down
running, and took me to a meeting room. After reaching home at Galway, Ireland, I had not communicated to anyone
that I have reached my final destination. Since there was no phone at home,I had to wait to call from office,
or email back. But being in the meeting straight away, didnt give me any room to call up or send an email.

The meeting was a startup meeting for the new project. It went for an hour and half. Later I realised that
our COO is also in town, and there is an all-hands meet. So after our project meeting, we went straight to the
cafetaria where the all-hands meet was held. The meeting went for more than an hour. So it was almost noon , that I
got a chance to go to my seat[ which was luckily already allocated ]. Had already received couple of emails, asking
of my where abouts. I quickly send an email to shweta, with just two lines. " Have reached , will call later ".
Then we came back home for lunch. My housemates, Sanjay and Digdarshan are quick cooks. They quickly made rice
and dal quickly and also some rotis. I hungrily had it. And then went back to office. There were couple of rounds
of introduction ceremonies with our other colleagues from the project. Then it was only email time with shweta.
I called up home and couple of friends that I have reached. Later in the evening , when shweta reached home, she logged
on to skype and had a lengthy chat. The voice clarity was amazingly clear. Next day I tried the same with
anup on yahoo chat. He managed to find a mic, and also a old set of ear phones and we happily communicated
without any financial cost and spoke for long hours. In this trip I feel that communication is quite easy.
Most of the reason being that, the time difference is only 4.5 hours. And a couple of email exchanges and yahoo
chats, conveys most of the message, unlike in the US where the time difference is completely out of phase.

The weather here has been very cold. The day is quite long here. The sun sets only after 9:30 pm at night and
the light will be there till almost 10:00 or 10:30 at night. It is quite a bliss to go for a walk after night.
It doesnt really look like night, just makes one feel that it is evening. The only problem is that is it bit cold
the wind chill factor also effects a bit while going for the walk. The other issue of the weather here is that it is
very unpredictable.

On friday evening, I had been to the shopping center for shopping and seeing the city area. Galway is a small place
comparatively. With population of just around 70 thousand, it is not at all big. But the folks here are feeling
that this place has started to get crowded. The other worry is the traffic jams. Well thats what they call traffic
jams. If there are more than 5 vehicles at a traffic signal, then it is a jam. Well, only if they had seen Bangalore
I would say that, the traffic here is even less than what is there in Bangalore on sunday mornings.
Though it is a small place, this place in no way lacks the number of cars it has. The primary mode of transport
here is cars. The bus service is not all that great. And thats the reason that the cab's make a good amount of
money. Thats not all, the cabs are the best ones I have ever seen in my life. I have so far travelled on Merc's
skoda's also. It is indeed a pleasure to travel on merc's.

The first weekend in Galway I had a pleasant experience. I went with my friends, who stay near the city center
and decided to stay over with them. First we went to Tesco. It reminded me of Walmart in US. Its been a long time
that I had been to such big shopping complexes. Later we went to their studio apartment. It was nice and cosy.
The best out there is the view from the balcony, which over looks the sea. It is a very pretty view. After a long
chat till 1 am in the night we decided to retire for the day. Next day was started quite late. I made some tea for
rajiv and me. Then we decided to go for shopping. I would say that I did more of window shopping then anything else.
Well , I did take a new mobile phone connection. We went in almost all the stores out there in the shopping area.
We also stopped over at McDonalds and had a quick bite. Then we saw a movie theatre. We decided to check the prices
for the movies. Da Vinci Code had just released. I wanted to watch the movie. So we went for the movie. It was worth
the time and money spent. Though I had read the novel, it was nice to see the entire novel , which I took a month to
read, being displayed in less than 2.5 hours.

Saturday was a nice and a pleasant day. It was sunny and also the chill was just right to roam around the place.
But Sunday was equally bad. It started with a drizzle in the morning, which was converted to heary storm,and bad
cold. The temperature had suddenly dropped from 12 to 4 . It was very very cold in the evening. We had to cancel
the evening plan of going out for grocery shopping.

Well this is in short what Galway, Ireland is. Will write more of the next week in the next few days...