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Archive for July, 2010

First car

18 July 2010 3 comments

We are thinking overtime about the used car purchase process. There is no point living in America without a car! We have a 3o day deadline to close the deal. We are reading websites  like the Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds to understand what we should be looking at – costs (purchase price, running costs), mileage (gets counted in running costs I hope), comfort, looks, resale value, etc. We have decided that our budget will be between 3000 and 4000. I don’t drive to work. So I estimate that our monthly miles will be under 700 and for the long drives, we can always rent cars. If we need the car for 3-4 years, resale price shouldn’t be big on our priorities. The idea is to get a decent car with low running costs. We have been talking to friends and most of them talk about 3 Japanese cars – Honda/Toyota/Nissan and buying from individuals. For a 3-5 capacity, we would need a compact or mid-size sedan. We have started looking at ads on craigslist and sulekha. What will you recommend us? You have a week to suggest 🙂 I’m looking to tips from SK and Archana.

PS: Jax has written a splendid post on reading for freshers.

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Categories: Me

My first impressions of NYC

11 July 2010 2 comments
  1. New York City is the world’s capital. Period.
  2. The NYC commute reminds me so much of India – the multi-coloured crowds, the usual delays and the increasing police presence, …
  3. The daunting skyscrapers amaze me every single time I see them.
  4. The huge/wide Hudson river seems like a sea to me (incidentally the venue for the thrilling Macy’s July 4 fireworks this year.
  5. We have hardly seen 1% of the attractions that define the city and the good thing is we have all the time to see them at leisure.
  6. We have got integrated into the largest Indian community in the US. It is hard to get anywhere without bumping into someone I know (especially so if you visit the theatre or the temple or Anjappar).
  7. We don’t stay in that quintessentially India place in New Jersey. We stay in one of those so many little towns NJ is reputed for in spite of being one of the smallest states.
  8. Local government is amazing in our little town. We watched the Memorial Day parade and felt overjoyed by the amazing community sense they display. We also felt the same at the crowded MVC office, when everyone waiting for Drivers’ license, renewals, … was buzzed off with an unAmerican ‘computers are not responding’ message and they started talking about paying taxes.
  9. We can eat almost every cuisine that can be named. We are testing our tastebuds with new varieties – Greek, Malay/Thai, Peruvian, …
Categories: NYC, Society

The funniest book I have read in a while

3 July 2010 2 comments

My reading of good books had become dormant for a while. Now that I am in NY and public libraries are one of the many good things here, I am devouring them happily again.

When I picked The Geography of Bliss in the Travel Non-fiction section, I was just hoping for some travel-writing with happiness thrown in. But this book made me laugh loud so many times that I have to post about it.  It catalogs how 10 different countries consider happiness (from filthy rich Qatar to serenely content Swiss to …). Eric manages to create a new genre and calls it the book a philosophical self-help humorous travel memoir.  It combines three of my most favourite genres and though I am yet to read about what he says about India and the US, I have been thoroughly enriched having read this.

A sample of his writing “When Ambition is your God, the office is your temple, the employee handbook your holy book. The sacred drink coffee is imbibed five times a day. When you worship Ambition, there is no Sabbath, no day of rest. Every day, you rise early and kneel before the God Ambition, facing in the direction of your PC. You pray alone, always alone, even though others may be present. Ambition is a vengeful God. He will smite those who fail to worship faithfully, but that is nothing compared to what He has in store for the faithful. They suffer the worst fate of all. For it is only when they are old and tired,entombed in the corner office, that the realization hits like a Biblical thunderclap. The God Ambition is a false God and always has been.”

Categories: Books

Back after the break

3 July 2010 3 comments

I don’t want to label it anything else but a break 🙂 The blog has been on my To-Do for a long time. See you around!

Categories: Misc.