Almost everyone woke up feeling extremely tired. It was straight to the conference venue for all of us, so unless you would like to hear more about what is being covered during the convention, there’s nothing much to write about. Of course, we had our own mini adventure when we decided to go back to the hotel with the coordinator.

She had to go back to check out to return to Jakarta and we decided to check out the Airtel shop to get the local 3G SIM card. See, we had the guide to getting online for 20 rupees a day (which we later found out to be… ahem, outdated because they changed the President and the government [apparently]). However, today was a Sunday and the only place that was opened was the Airtel Headquarters at Splendid Towers along Begumpete Road. So, we hired our own taxi (this 3-wheeler, which we don’t know what it’s called) to the HQ which is about 3km away. The starting rate was Rs 12 and we ended up paying about Rs 25 because the driver didn’t have change for it. It showed Rs 23, but we sort of suspected that the only way they can get extra money is to deny the passenger of any change. Thank goodness we had small change else we will be paying Rs 100 for it (that will be about S$3.30).

So, we went into the HQ thinking that we will be connected to the rest of the world finally… but we were sooooooo WRONG!

Apparently, the government had changed (either that or their President had changed) recently and new rules were laid to ensure that no terrorists will lay their hands on these SIM cards and get away with bombing some buildings. Instead of the photocopies of NRIC (for address), visa, passport and lots of forms to fill up, now we have to have a photo provided, the above documents, even more forms to fill up, and a letter from the hotel that you are staying at with their utility bill. This is quite incredible and we are perhaps, appreciating the fuss-freeness of our Singapore government. *do I hear applause?*

Oh yes, we will be writing our new guide to getting online in India for 15 Rupees a day. =P

Anyway, we got the forms, went back to the hotel and asked if they could help us with it. We were told to ask them in the evening when we return to the hotel from the convention.

Come evening, we had to attend an… ahem, meeting where the coordinator got bashed for apparently messing up the trip. We thought that was quite uncalled for because everything turned out quite ok in the end. Moreover, we thought that she is quite a nice person and the scolding that she got was totally not necessary.

Digressing a little, the cappuccino at the convention centre (HICC) was quite nice. You should try it.

Anyway, we had several discussion on how everyone in the board room should be helping each other in the long run despite the huge amount of bureaucracy that accompanies any projects. Nonetheless, we made some good contacts which we will be working on in time to come. That probably means more travel, like cowboycaleb, just that… I am not sure what he’s doing in real life.

Dinner was a quite evening at the hotel’s restaurant, which we thought was really cheap! Rs 250 excluding tax per person for a buffet dinner! Yes, we know that that is quite expensive in local terms, but for us, it works out to be less than S$10. Yes, what our lab mates told us – that we can live like a king (or queen for that matter) in India. The only thing is whether we can get a job that pays the same in Singapore terms.

After dinner, it was nights out for many of us. Indeed, it was really a long day as everyone recalled the bashing that went on in the board room. Again. It was really uncalled for.



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