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Settling in

CapitalOne is a one of the prominent employers with some good facilities for employees.  There are some vending machines for different purposes. We have a vending machine where we can charge our access cards with some money and later this card can be used for payment in other vending machines or canteens (at least I am aware of, there is a possibility that there can be many more). I usually come to the office by 8:00 or 8:30 AM and leave by 5:00 5:30 PM. Some times it can be later than this but very rarely it happens. Work wise, I am finding it OK and with English accent being the only challenge to overcome. There is a dress code applicable here and which many of the employees do not follow. Since I am here as a contractor, I follow dress code religiously with me wearing business formals everyday. (Shock for my friends back home) 

Its getting cold nowadays. The night temperature is close to zero and sometimes below it. Since breeze keeps blowing, you feel colder and have to use caps and gloves. (though still have to buy them). I use tram for my travel to and from office. Tram and Bus network is very good and we do not have to buy a car or two-wheeler for this purpose.We avoid going out beyond 7:00 in the evening. It’s not safe to be out after it gets dark. The crime rate is very high and punks are also around. 

It snowed here last night. The falling snow was looking excellent under yellow-orange coloured sodium lamp powered street lights. A layer of snow was visible on roofs and gardens at dawn too. It looked awsome and beautiful.

On a funnier note, some days back there was news in a local paper, about a team building exercise carried out somewhere in UK. Since the team members were new to each other, making a porn movie amongst the willing team members was taken up as a team building exercise and the makers were talking about ‘next time’. It’s one of the real weird stories. 

The shopping malls here are full of Asians with Punjabi speaking people more in number. Most of the times I do not feel the I am not in India. If the shopkeeper is an Asian, he will talk to you in Hindi or some local Indian language. Many are Indians, Pakistanis and Bangladeshis. I met some one and he introduced himself as a Pakistani. We talked and after some time I enquired about his native place in Pakistan, “Kashmir” was the reply. I took me a while to understand that he was from POK. After this I stopped talking to anyone about native place. 

These days the news papers are filled up with stories of events in Iraq and Prime Minister Blair’s stand on Iraq war. More about it in the next text…

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