Hello, dear readers! It’s been a while, hasn’t it?
I have now been here for 2 weeks and feel compelled to make random statements about Harvard, Boston and life in general. In list form! With no ordering whatsoever!
- Boston is OLD. It is one of the oldest cities in the USA, so it has a lot of “firsts” like the first school in the country, first public library in the country, etc. It is also one of America’s major financial and educational centers (it boasts of Harvard, MIT, Tufts, Northeastern, and Boston University as universities that even those of us in India know, and there’s some 60 other colleges in the general area).
Most of these old buildings are also remarkably pretty:
- Related to 1, Boston is also one of the few place in the USA that has any real historical value. I don’t mean to sound condescending with that statement, but it’s true. Compared to somewhere like India or most of Europe, America is still such a “new” place that there just aren’t that many places that have stories to tell. There are other definitions of historical value that make my assertion wrong, I guess, but we can still acknowledge that whatever it is, Boston has a lot more of it than most places. It’s the “Cradle of Liberty”, where the American Revolution was sparked off, and there are many, many sites of historical significance related to that. Which I’m not going to describe, because that would make this a very long post.
- There’s no such thing as a small cup of coffee. This is true in name and in fact in some places, but even if you go into somewhere like Dunkin’ Donuts, which does have a “small” size, what you get is a huge glass of great-smelling but bitter-tasting coffee.
- If you order a salad and expect to get a plate with onion,carrot, cucumber and tomato arranged on it, you will be pleasantly surprised with a bowl of some of the above+ great heaps of lettuce, even more assorted vegetables and usually some form of grilled tuna/chicken, possibly with cheese, certainly with some sort of dressing that ruins any attempt at weight loss. OK, almost certainly.
- Harvard Yard is quite beautiful. It is also populated entirely with Asians. Well, maybe with an odd sprinkling of Caucasians or African Americans, but most of the tourists in the area are Asian, as are most of the graduate students in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
I was warned not to actually “rub the feet for good luck” by my mentor, because he said Harvard students come at night and do “disgusting things” to the foot because they know that people will be rubbing it the next day. So I’m just sort of hovering over it.
- The Schlumberger office where I spend some of my days is equally diverse, differing only in that there are a whole bunch of Europeans as well.
- This is much less interesting, but I’m having a very bad run with laptop.s After buying a 17″ beauty from HP, it completely crashed one day and I had to return it and this time I bought a Dell Inspiron 15, competent but perfectly average, although getting it for 600 dollars was a delight. (As to why I bought it, almost every laptop in the shop had similar specs, differing only between core i3, i5 and i7 processors, and anything with an i7 and a good graphics card was considerably more expensive and I didn’t think I gamed enough for it to be worth buying.) Now it turns out that every now and then, the “s” key would stick and every now and then, I’d get two “s”es in a row. It’s not frequent enough to be really annoying, but this sort of thing accumulates, and I’m going to have to do something about it soon.
- I’m going to be doing “real” engineering for the first time in a while, and it’s both scary and exciting. I have done internships and projects before, but this is probably quite a bit harder than things I’ve done before. I’m really hoping I don’t suck.
- I can tell the difference between single malt, scotch blends and Indian whisky, but Jack Daniel’s was not particularly impressive. Also a single malt hangover is far more pleasant than a JD hangover. Or maybe it’s just that my current condition is clouding my judgment.
- I still do not understand why people smoke cigars. What moves men to put phallic symbols in their mouths? You can’t even get high on them, unless you’re willing to risk a much heightened chance of getting cancer.