Thursday, January 29, 2009

Why tourism is a hoax?

A loy many countries include tourism as one of their major sources of income. Initially I found t weird, even after being in Goa! I mean c'mon guys, a few thousand people coming once a year and spending a week or two, isn't money enough to feed one-millionth of India. 

Also I always thought of the places that people visit, kinda silly(apologies for the politically incorrect statement, but nothing politically correct can state, 'kinda'). I mean yaar, Goa mein har jagah beach hai, so what's the difference, you go to Colva or Calangute. I do still maintain this view to some degree, though I wouldn't agrue for it, because of the overwhelming population  that I'd have to argue against. Also people going across continents, to see museums, and malls and other crap, which, formerly is a mind-bogglingly boring way to spend your day and latterly is found fucking everywhere. 

But Singapore has given me a wholly different view. Just open the site,, and you'll see gazillions of places suggested for tourists. The place is smaller than Goa, for crying out loud(apologies again!) and comparison to India is an something that you'd need a supercomputer to comprehend. Practically if Singapore and India were to somehow proportionally reach the same size, I would be approximately 4,715 times taller! Silly, stupid and nonsensical, I know, but a funny way to look at the facts, you have to agree. 

Haan, so the thing is, in Singapore everything is a tourist attraction, and I mean everything. And whether or not you thing that the historical site is historically significant, the way it is marketed, presented and maintained, you will stay satisfied.

Just yesterday, I jogged to the topmost point in Singapore. It took me about three quarters of an hour to reach there, from my gate!! But kya maintenance bhai! God level. They have these walkways, built of wood, circling the hill, running through pseudo-forests(the trees are lush green, but there's always a building on your far left, jisse saala poori feel nahin aati jungale ki) supported on poles, which are sometimes 10 metres high. Absolutely marvelous. Though it wasn't a billionth as fun as when I went to Chandrasheela(4000m above sea level), it's certainly worth it.

Then they'll have these forts, and museums and some totally weird buildings- there's this one building that reminds me of Wayne Towers(wtf??) and another one whose one corner is an acute angle, I'd say-but you won't believe it, about 30 degrees. Looks like a giant slice of cake from Google maps. And hosts of other things, which in their own way would hardly attract people. But in their presentation and maintenance, world class. Truly be, yeh log phodte hain.

I have more to write about it-I am sure of it- but I can't think of it right now! So later

Also, I just got news from Lokesh that our Sarath Babu, the Foodking fellow, is contesting for a Lok Sabha seat from Chennai. Ganju of course couldn't resist, and wants to help him. So here goes, Go Sarath Babu, next time you want to open up a cafe, may you yourself be the authorising body.(I know that was dumb, but I'm sleepy yaar)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Stages of living in a new places.

Its been some time, about 3 weeks since I arrived here in Singapore, and as with my new found addiction to blogging, staying in a new country brings in a lot of changes.

Usually when you travel to a new place, especially another country for the first time, you do it for a week or two. You go with your family or friends, and pack up the whole country, all its popular destinations, sights, malls(though you would probably have an even better one in your back yard), zoos, parks... you get the message right. Other than a few, you would find similar places in India itself, but the joy of doing this in a new place, and packing it all in the limited time period, gives you an amazing amout of fun and memories, and you say to yourself... yaar, ek baar to zaroor aana hai. It was a similar feeling with my friends who had been to PS-1 in Goa- they came back.

But when I came here, I knew I was going to be here for 6 months. The first day on the taxi itself, I made so many plans, yeh karenge, woh karenge, map lekar organized tareeke se har cheez dekhenge, foto bhejkar doston ko jealous karenge, wagairah wagairah. 

Now this first stage enthu is priceless, for it doesn't last long. The first week was spent settling down, looking and shifting into the house (which is gorgeous btw, we got a great deal) and going to the office and all- mostly contemplating on what amazing things you're going to do during the weekends. Sightseeing brings unprecented joy-be it raining windy or snowing-(like those over smiling families in the tourism ads) You want to click pictures of even the escalators and clean just bins.

Then comes the second stage, that settles during the 3rd weekend(mind you the counting is in weekends, not weeks) A sort of familiarity creeps in. The brand new Porsche Carrera, or the huge buildings made to just park cars, or the abundant greenery(it makes sense both ways :) )... don't surprise you anymore. Not that you dismiss it as boring, you just get used to the place. Sight seeing still maintains its charm, but loses its sheen. You look more for a relaxing evening, after a tough week at office (seriously!!). The weather proves to be a major dampener on plans.
Even overcast weather acts as a spoilsport.

The third stage, is when the place becomes your semi home. The time for this varies from person to person. You still have the list of things to see tucked somewhere in nyour drawer, or your inbox. You go through the list once in a while, but the crosses are very slow to come. You also try and call you buddies to visit, in the hope that some fresh young blood would rejuvenate you. Your works starts gaining in importance. 

During the fourth stage, your work starts becoming a big priority. The place become irrelevant. You scorn and find it weird when you see tourists clicking photos of buildings and children jumping for joy when they travel the high speed trains. The place becomes your home, and weekends become just for relaxing, blogging (:P) maybe a little bit of travelling. You start looking for big things to bring you happiness. 

Which stage am I in? None. 

If you're wondering wtf I am talking about, the above stages are referring to the stages of anything new that you try, a new job, your life in BITS, or life itself. Think about it, are you in the first stage where you find happiness everywhere you go or the fourth, where you get used to everything and the butterfly is too far away from you. Think about it.

PS: OKOK, I am still in the first stage of my stay here. Yippeeee!!!

About Me

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I am Arjun P. Kamath, and I am a nice guy to know.