Today is the last day of the HGM conference and it will be 2 years later before it is held again, with Dubai being the next venue. As expected, the turnout at the various sessions was quite small. Alice and myself tried to catch some action at a session on business in the -omics, but were greatly disappointed at the content (if you are interested in having a hand in our biotechnology [not-so-start-up] start up, do drop me an email). A lot was concentrated on the pharmacology side of things with very little emphasis on the basic research and funding. Of course, there was one apparent “success story” where a biotech company started up with less than US$1 mil which is now worth S$400 mil.

I missed one session while preparing for the last day’s event – from hotel to city to airport. As our flight is at night, we have a lot of time after checking out and we didn’t want to lug our luggage everywhere we go. We managed to get a Hyderabad map at Rs. 350, which is about Rs. 55 more than the usual price outside. However, we would probably want to count ourselves lucky because (i) we might not find it again and (ii) there is a different price for foreigners for everything!

The day seemed to pass very fast because it is the only day that ends at 5:30pm. The crowd at the closing ceremony was quite huge because there was the prize giving ceremony for some awards and everyone was excited about it. Alice and myself, obviously, didn’t have anything to submit, but it would be good to learn from them how to conduct a good closing ceremony; since it is usually the most unattended event for any conference.

After the closing ceremony was over, we went back to our dedicated bus for the last time to be horded back to the hotel. There was no dinner arranged for us and we decided to explore a little. We were recommended this restaurant at Paradise Hotel at the second floor. There are actually 2 restaurants there, the expensive restaurant and the not-so-expensive restaurant. Actually, most restaurants are not very expensive for Singaporeans, but for the people there, it might just cost them a few day’s’ worth of salary.

We ordered Chicken Briyani, Masala, Fish Tikka and Paratha (it’s the Prata that all Singaporeans know) and the food were really good. While having dinner, we also learnt from the Hotel Manager on how some sauces that come with the dishes actually helps with digestion, especially for foreigners who are not used to having a lot of coconut and oil in their food. We were also served mints that looked like corn flakes and has a bite like cornflakes just that it’s minty. Apparently, it’s something that is given to the customers when they called for the bill so that they can have something to munch on while waiting for the bill to come.

We were lucky to have transport arranged for us from the hotel and back to the hotel. The end of Ramadan is near and there are apparently more people than usual on the streets. In fact, we were warned not to travel too far out just in case we got lost. As there were four of us, we decided that it would be best to get 1 taxi instead of 2 3-wheelers. You’ll never know where each of the 3-wheelers will end up (not that it’s that bad… but being in a foreigner country, we are just hysterical).

After dinner, it was packing time… but we were so tired, we just zonked out on our beds. =P



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