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Posts in category Miscellaneous

A Pleasant Encounter – A Day With the Guys at Kinetic Vision

After shopping for groceries on a lazy Sunday I was cycling
back home, when, in the middle of the TU campus, I ran into two guys holding
some pretty awesome looking filming equipment. I saw they had a slider and a
fancy tripod so I stopped and asked them about it. They were surprised that I
was so enthusiastic about what they were doing. They happened to be shooting
videos over campus as footage they could use in an upcoming project they were
working on.

I told them how I was very enthusiastic about film-making
and they were happy to hear that. We decided to meet up again at their office
and possibly talk about me working for them. I was super excited. That same day
I visited their office and we decided on me working with them during the week
to try it out.

                                                      

                  The Awesome Canon 5D camera at the office                        Niels and Rene- Getting the perfect shot 

During the week we took the camera equipment and walked
around campus shooting various clips of the university and its facilities. They
were working on a promotional video for new students coming to the university.
So, the video had to be comprehensive and consist of informative images.

The two guys were Rene and Niels and their company is called
Kinetic Vision. On that field day on campus they taught me a lot about getting
good footage on the camera and certain tricks and methodologies on how to shoot
videos professionally. I was in awe and learnt a lot from just that one day.

I hope to work with and learn from these guys and at Kinetic
Vision!

 

Tot Later

Utrecht Unexpected

I opened my eyes and instantly reached for my phone to check
the time. It read 12:40. I was disappointed. I was probably going to miss the
Holi celebrations back in Delft. I had woken up in Utrecht, about an hour away
from Delft by train.

On Saturday afternoon, after a practicing with my band, I
headed to my friend Martin’s place to work on an assignment that’s due this
week. We worked on it till about 6 in the evening and decided to maybe go watch
a movie. Then, just as we were getting ready to leave, Eray (a friend of Martin’s)
suggested that we go to Utrecht. Martin looked at me and asked me if I was up
for it. Since I didn’t really have anything planned for the night, I said ‘sure’.

We reached Utrecht at night and met Martin and Eray’s common friend Lora, who
was our unofficial guide for the night. We instantly took a liking to the city.
Utrecht has quite a vibe. It’s lively and there are students all over at all times
of the day and night. We walked around for a bit and then decided to head to a
bar.

The bar was packed with students and the tables and chairs
had been removed to make way for a dance floor. After a couple drinks, a little
bit of dancing, and talking to random people we decided to head ‘home’. But of
course, we had to get something to eat before that!

Utrecht, like Delft and probably every other student city in
the Netherlands, has a few eating joints that are open till early hours of the
morning. Taking full advantage of that fact, we got some fries and waited for a
Taxi back to Lora’s place. Lora had been kind enough to agree to accommodate us
in her living room.

Once we got there, we took our respective couches and called
it a night.

Now the thing is that on Sunday afternoon, there was
supposed to be a celebration on the TU Delft campus for an Indian festival
Holi. I was looking forward to it and expected to be awake by around 10 so I could
catch a train back to Delft for the celebration. But as you can guess, I woke
up a couple of hours later, late enough to miss the Holi celebrations in Delft.

Since I couldn’t really
do anything about it, I didn’t let it get to me. So after Martin and Eray woke
up from their couches as well, we did what anyone would do. Coffee. Lora and
her roommates, very hospitable people, talked with us and joked around while we
had coffee and made plans for the rest of the Sunday.  So we decided to head back to the city centre
of Utrecht and hang out for a while.

The day proved to be one of the most perfect days to be out.
It was a true SUN-day. And we got to see a side of Utrecht in the sun, which is
quite nice too!

     

The remining part of the Church                                                       Posing on a Sunny Sunday 

Our new friends showed us around the city and we got to
learn a few things about Utrecht. For instance, the main church in the city was
actually much bigger than it is today. Half of it was blown away by a hurricane
and in place of the pillars, that once supported the structure, are trees
planted. We ended our stay in Utrecht by hanging out next to a canal and laughing
a lot at some interesting and funny games that Martin played with us.

                         

A perfect end of the weekend at the canal                                        Bye bye Utrecht (leaving for Delft) 

As the Sun came down Martin, Eray and I bade farewell to our
hosts in Utrecht and made our way back to Delft for another week to look
forward to!

 

Tot Later! 

Amsterdam it is

Spring break is finally over. And it’s been fun. You already
know about start of the week, that I spent in Germany. Now it’s time to sum up
the concluding weekend.

Angad, my oldest friend from high school, visited me for the
weekend again. However, it was a little different this time since we spent
majority of the weekend in Amsterdam. So, Angad arrived on Friday evening with
a group of American friends. Since it was spring break, I decided to join them
in Amsterdam. We started off by walking around a bit in the city and then got
some dinner at an Argentinian restaurant (I don’t remember much of the dinner
though).  After dinner we hung out in
Amsterdam some more and then headed back to Delft.

      

 

Café de Klok was having an open jam session. So we decided
to head there as soon as we got to Delft. The packed hazy interiors did well in
setting the mood for the live music that was playing there. My friend Nishant
and I then went on and played a short set. One song from the set was quite
embarrassing since, well I was quite out of tune. But the audience seemed to
enjoy it nonetheless. After a little bit of live music, it was time to go home.
So we headed to my place where, after listening to some good music, we pretty
much fell asleep.

Come Saturday morning (rather afternoon) we made our way
towards Amsterdam (not before introducing my new friends to the mighty
Kapsalon). After reaching Amsterdam, we headed for a quick coffee and then to
our main destination, The Heineken Experience. The Heineken Experience is a
museum which showcases the brewing process of Heineken beer. Heineken isn’t my
favourite beer but it was a fun experience. There was even a sort of ride in
the museum where the brewing process was described on video while we were being
shaken around standing on a platform! Plus we got two free beers.

After that, we took some pictures at the famous ‘Iamsterdam’
sign.  We walked around the city some
more and took in the lively vibe it’s known for.

    

Then a few filled grocery bags later, we decided to head
back to Delft. Music, conversation and junk food. We ordered a late night
pizza, and after devouring that beast, called it a night.

Sunday morning was departure time as I said goodbye to my
new (and one old) friends.

Now it’s time for another goodbye, to the spring break that was.

Hello lectures

 

Tot Later

 

Photo courtesy: Carmen Jones and Angad Singh 

 

Blues Karting

The first week of the third period just ended, the new one’s
starting in a few hours. And it’s been a busy one already. 
Keeping up with a tight schedule, new courses and new assignments is quite
tiring. And the weekend is always something to look forward to! It’s better
when the weekend coincides with the Delft Blues Festival. What’s even better is spending it with one of
you best friends visiting you.

 

                                                                                  Busy Lecture..phew! (Strucural Analysis) 

Angad (the friend I mentioned above) and I have been friends
since high school where we were roommates (it was a boarding school). He
studies in the States and is doing a semester in France. And like every
American student he decided to make full use of the closeness in diversity of
Europe and made a trip to The Netherlands. 

Friday night was abuzz with a different band playing in
practically every bar in Delft. Standing close to the makeshift stage with
face-melting blues solos was the highlight of the night, and not just in one
bar but quite a few! We went from Café Sport to Café Bebop to Het Keldertje to Café
de Engel to ….. my memory is little hazy after that. I blame it on Het
Keldertje.

One of the many bands at the Festival (Forgive me for the shitty quality) 

The next morning invited us to a rigorous and adrenaline
filled rush. It was fifteen minutes of speed, fuel, dangerously close skids and
helmets with scratched visors. Yep, I’m talking about go-karting. It’s not
really known to everyone, but Delft has quite a mean go karting circuit!(see
Race Planet). After getting the sensation in our fingers back due to the
numbing cold of the fifteen minutes of speed, we decided to treat ourselves to
a warm lunch in the centre. Though very very cold, it was quite sunny and it’s
always nice to go into the city centre. The big Church looks even more towering
and the square looks bigger and brighter.

Post lunch I decided to walk Angad across the TU Campus and
realized, by being reminded by him, that our Campus here in Delft is quite
cool. He was in awe. So was I, strangely, since I pretty much visit it every
day. Yes we even went to the library for a few minutes.

   

Of old and not so old friends (a post karting coffee/cola)                                         The snow covered library

Reaching home cold and tired we decided to call it a day and
stayed in as opposed to going out to the second night of the Blues Festival.
Come Sunday morning, he we said our goodbyes and I got back to ‘the schedule’.

It’s always great to meet childhood friends in a new place,
in a new time under newer circumstances.

I guess I have to go to Metz, France now.

 

Tot Later

And Then it Snowed

There’s something about snow that makes the cold bearable.
Something, which makes you forget that it’s cold in the first place. I was
disappointed this winter. Snow is something I really look forward to after a
grey autumn and winter. But, it hadn’t snowed.

As I was cycling to the Fellowship on Friday, a few flakes
floated down and I dismissed them as just that, a few flakes. Later, as my
team-mates and I descended upon finishing a massive report, I looked out the
window. And there it was:

      

Before (Looking out of the fellowship window)                                                                                                      After 

Of course, this meant we had to take a break and go check it
out. The first snow is always the best: powdery, clear and dry. It also lifts
you in a way. So yes, productivity increased and we managed to finish the
report (after working on it all weekend). I think the snow had something to do
with it.

 

On second thought, I might need new sneakers (Outside the Fellowship) 

 

The bike rides are always fun, that is if you manage to stay
alive.

Now, a new semester to look forward to and a snow covered
library roof. I’ve got to slide off it this year!

 

Tot Later 

A Sigh of Relief

It’s been a while. But I have a reason.

Exams.

They’re finally over for me (at least till April) and it’s been a nerve
wrecking two weeks. Coffee and insomnia have been my closest companions along
with a very confused overview of
Aerodynamics. Anyway, that’s all over now. I’m going to look forward to the
finer things in life, like finishing a massive report due for my minor.

Jokes aside, it’s great to finally be able to play my guitar
or read a book without feeling a tinge of guilt and that little voice that says
‘Study!’. There are a lot of things to look forward to: a new quarter, meeting
friends for extended periods again, a completely revamped work ethic (hahaha), cooking something other than pasta, and who knows, maybe even visiting another country. Maybe I’m getting too ahead
of myself, but hey, exams are over. And for the rest of my friends who still
might have some exams left, it’s only three more days. Good luck! 🙂 

I’m going to be writing regularly again.
But for now, I’m going to get back to the life of the late Steve Jobs.

  

 Steve Jobs’ Biography (too mainstream?)

 

Tot Later!

You’ve Got Mail

I hope everyone’s mail gets delivered properly. It’s nice to
see that even with the heavy use of electronic mail (which is also in its dying
phase) and more popularly, social networking sites, that post- the kind with
paper and a postman is still alive.

I work at PostNL. It’s a Dutch postal company which… well
you get the point. And I work as a post man or in Dutch, a ‘postbezorger’. I
took up the job back in May to make some extra pocket money. Another reason for
this was so that I could finally tell myself that I have worked and actually earned money, apart from the odd car
washes I’ve done back home. This week, on Saturday to be precise, will be my
last work day for PostNL.

A usual day work day for me consists of cycling to the depot (a garage where
the day’s post arrives, sorted) and picking up my designated bags. The bags are
marked according to what area or zone I will be delivering post in that day.
Then the fun part begins: the actual delivery. Yes, it is as easy as it sounds.
Reach your zone, open the bag, take out the post and start delivering.

 

 Actual letters and no bills? (A typical post bundle, Martin at work)


Why am I quitting my job? Well to put it simply, I cannot afford to work there
anymore. Being a student, studying Aerospace Engineering for that matter, and
having a part-time job that takes place during day time is not the easiest when
it comes to time management. That coupled with my already weak time managing
skills is not the best combination. 

But I must say I’m quite happy to have worked there. The
work days were flexible, the timings weren’t that taxing and it’s kept me fit. Most importantly, though, I
earned enough money to be able to afford a ticket to India to visit friends and
family in the Christmas break. That was something I had never really imagined
and I am really looking forward to it!

I have also been very lucky. It’s not easy to get a job for
an international student. And for that I’d like to thank my good friend and
last year’s TU web blogger Martin, who worked for a few months at PostNL before
I did and gave me the idea and motivation. The weather, whenever I’ve worked,
has also been surprisingly good! It has only rained a few times and the snow…. what
snow?

But my unsung hero has, without fail, been my trusty
bicycle. Thank you Gazelle, you are gezellig!

My helpful colleague (My trusty Gazelle bicycle with post containers) 

Now I can get back to my life as being a proper student! One
less string attached.

Tot Later!

Eat the Hair-dresser

Mmmm… Its heavenly. If there’s any form of fast food that’s
truly for the soul, it’s the Kapsalon. Served in an aluminium take-away
container, it’s a surprising mix of meat, fried/baked potatoes and vegetables.
All this is mixed well with either sambal (spicy red) sauce and/or knoflook
sauce (garlic). It is then covered with a layer of cheese and baked. Now this
might sound quite fattening and un-healthy. Well, it is, if it were eaten every day. It is then cleverly disguised
under a bed of salads. A kind of compensation for the mountain of calories you
are just about to consume.

 

 

 

The Kapsalon is, originally, a variant of the Turkish doner.
And instead of being wrapped or stuffed in bread, it is served in a deep
container. However, the word ‘kapsalon’ actually translates to hair-dresser in
Dutch. It was actually conceived here in Holland! So it is kind of a
collaboration between the Turks and the Dutch. And what a collaboration might I
add.

Whenever I’m not in Holland and someone asks me what I miss the most, without
fail, every time, the reply is ‘Kapsalon!’.

 

 

Now unfortunately the Kapsalon is non-vegetarian. But I
would still recommend it to everyone,
who knows; maybe you could request a vegetarian variant J

Fortunately, it’s available in every Turkish doner shop. And there are plenty of those in Delft.
Though my favourite comes from Doner King in the centre of Delft. But, when its
late and you return at 3 am from heavy partying, there are two doner shops that
are open till the early hours of the morning. One of them being Alev and the
othr one being Acacia. And trust me when I say this, there’s no better meal
than a Kapsalon under the waning influence of alcohol you might have consumed a
couple hours ago J

I’m just waiting for the day they will start serving it at the university cafeterias 🙂

 

Happy eating!

Tot Later 

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