Saturday, June 27, 2009

Bargain la Italia

Bargaining is one aspect which Indians are pretty good at.We always tend to bargain the price of any item unless it is branded.I thought bargaining serves good only in India.But little did i expect that this skill is a much needed one in Italy.My first destination was Florence in Italy.As i traveled in the streets of Florence,i could feel that i am at home.There were beggars and street-side shops aplenty in all the streets.

We went to Academia-- a museum housing the sculptures of Michelangelo and other famous artists.When we came out of the museum,we could find the street lined up with hawkers selling panoramic pictures of Italy.We stopped to glance the pictures at one of the open-air-shops.After looking through a few of the pics,my friend selected one and asked the price.Now,the bargaining began.
He: "15 euros only".
me: "I will pay only 5 euros".
He: " get this at 5 euros".
My friend willingly paid the amount of 5 euros and got the pic he had selected.I was suspicious that this is still too much.So,i simply walked away.As i walked away,I could hear him shouting 4 euros.But i kept on walking.

Then we went to the famous Duomo at Florence.There again we found a few hawkers selling paintings.I went up to one of them and asked him the price of a painting though i had no intention of buying one even if he agreed to my price.
me: "how much will i have to pay for this one?"
he: "8 euros"
i started walking away.
he: "wait,how much will you pay"
me: "2 euros"
he: "i will sell at at least 4 euros"
i again start backing away.
he shouts: "3 euros"
i walk a few paces away.
he runs and catches me and says: "ok,just 2.5 euros"
As,i was simply not interested in buying the portrait,i say "naaa.." and kept walking away with a grin on my face.I looked at my friend who had bought a portrait at 5 euros and my grin got wider.

A lesson had been learned that day that do not forget to bargain at street-shops in Italy.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The rubbing part

Here comes the inelegant part where i describe how i struggled to clear the evidences of how i had used her roughly.Now,i am describing my inability to an intelligent,innocent and straight-thinking audience.(That's my assumption.)

Scene 1: 8:00 am,Thursday
She was holding the whitish-colored fluid.It was all over her body.She soon started fuming and even spilled out some of that invaluable fluid out of her body.I forgot to stir the liquid at constant intervals.She didn't complain about it at that moment.But in hindsight it proved to be a costly mistake.I left her in that configuration and went out to catch the metro to CRAFT lab.

Scene 2: 8:00 pm,Thursday
I see her lying down at the same place.She had the remains of that whitish fluid all over her body.She was asking silently to be cleaned up lest anyone notices her in such a condition.She is to be used by many for similar purpose.I begin the cleaning part by washing the stains on her body slowly using water and foam.But the stains were quite deep by that time.I had no option but to start the rubbing action.I began rubbing her body with complete dedication but after sometime,i was exhausted.Still she was not satisfied and had those stains over her body.I came to conclusion that i can't do anything more to clean her up.I decided to take a snapshot of her and publish it on my blog and let the audience judge whether i had done a good job or not.

That's all i have to say in my defense.

Here is the snapshot of her(exclusively shot by me).

Friday, June 5, 2009

A night at Interlaken Ost. station

Summary: A fabricated tale of a few interns who went from riches to rags and braved the stormy winds to reach the topmost point of Europe.

It was the early morning of Saturday when a group of Indian interns left Lausanne to visit Jungfrau,the highest accessible peak in Europe.Their plan was formulated by AK.He had planned a tour such that it involved spending a night at Interlaken platform.He had great difficulty convincing others that it is a viable option and a good option.Somehow,convinced or not,they reached Interlaken by 4 pm.They kept some fruits and cakes and sandwiches in their back-packs as the necessary ammunition to fight against Hunger within.

The weather was pleasant and refreshing.They spent sometime admiring the view of lakeside and walked along the pavements near the lake and found a nice spot to sit down and chew upon a few sandwiches while watching the sun set along horizon.AK came up with the idea of visiting Lake Thun which was about 2 kms away from the current spot.They started walking along the road to reach towards Lake Thun.After walking for around 15 mins,they noticed that the only way of reaching Lake Thun was through a national highway.They started discussing the point whether they should continue walking further or not.Considering the risk involved and the amount of fatigue,it was not difficult to guess what the outcome would be.They headed back to the lakeside spot.(it was actually a canalside spot)

After spending a few more moments watching the streams of water pass by,the spirit of adventure again arose in their souls and they started their exploration trip once again.With no specific direction or no specific place to visit,they walked at a leisurely place observing the cattle grazing in the fields,two dogs fighting,an wooden bridge and finally they reached the woods.The path ahead led into a dense forest and it was getting quite dark.They decided to click a few pictures posing with the woods as if they camped there.Then they headed back to the Interlaken train station.(In simple words,they were scared to explore more as there was an isolated,spooky house present among that wilderness.)

That day was a lucky one for them as it was also the closing day of Nissan Adventure Sports 2009.They witnessed some amazing videos and pics prepared by 5 professional teams.Those videos and pics captured their best moments.Truly,a picture is worth a thousand words.It was a lively environment.People were blowing the hooters to express their feelings.This event finished in 2 hours and then they were again jobless.They drank the beer available cheaply at one of the outlets.It was getting chilly there with each passing moment.They chose to take shelter in a restaurant called Hooters.Their motive was to spend as much time as possible in there to avoid facing the cold winds outside.They took their time in deciding the menu like 30 minutes.Then they decided to order chicken wings and tried to consume the chicken wings with the rate of one piece per 15 minutes but when they finished,it was only 2'0 clock.They were back on the street,homeless and jobless but they were not cashless.

Walking along the street,their eyes lit up when they saw a casino signboard.They decided that they should give themselves a shot at this.Why miss this experience.A bunch of interns-turned-gamblers headed towards Casino Kursaal with great expectations.But how could they have forgotten to pose with the Casino building before entering it.So,here have a look at them.

They went into the casino with a few francs in their pockets and hoped to come out as winners,sweeping the floor.They rolled the dices and it turned up in their favour initially and they got involved in it.But,soon their luck ran out and they have lost all the money they had reserved for enjoying adventurous rides at Jungfrau.They walked out gracefully of the casino with their hands hidden in the empty pockets of their jackets.It was 3'o clock.Now,they had only one option i.e. spend the rest of night peacefully at the railway platform.The jackets weren't proving sufficient for keeping them warm.Still those brave souls,somehow braving those cruel winds reached the platform.

The Interlaken Ost. platform was an open one with winds blowing across the platform.There were a few benches on which some of them retired.The rest proceeded to the underground subway and decided to lay down there.Soon,they realized that they need some money for the trip to the top of Europe next day.So,they covered their faces and stretched their hands in hope of some help.Have a generous look at these brave hearts.

The night passed by and these mighty hearts survived the savage winds.They also got a few anonymous donations in the process.Their joy is evident from the smile on face of one of them.They have spent a homeless night at Switzerland successfully.

They took the train early that morning to reach Jungfrau.Instead of enjoying the view outside,they all were fast asleep.

A picture finally of the place where they all reached.