Loading...
Browsing Category

Travel

The last one from Japan …

I think, and hope that this is the last blog of this trip from Japan …

We had an awesome time … and Japan is a great place …

I really liked the place, the people and the culture … and got to learn a lot from this place and this entire event …

Only the language and the food was kind of a problem … other than that, everything was perfect …

Today was a tiring day …

From morning, we were at the conference hall and after all the prize distribution ceremonies, had the flag exchanging stuff and all …

It was all fun …

It turns out, my predictions were almost right …

I got all the three teams right … but the order got mixed up …

In the software design, Russia came first … Followed by Greece and then China ..

In the short film category, our India team came second and the Mexico team won the event …

The Canadian “Thoughtpulse” team came third …

If you would like to know what each of these teams ( in the software design ) did in more detail, you can click here.

Night time, we had a fireworks display …

Today was Japan day ( I think .. ) and all the streets were and the entire harbour was filled with Japanese in Kimonos and traditional dresses …

All the roads were closed and all the people were on foot …

I have never seen so many Japanese at a time … the whole harbour side was jam packed like a rock concert …

We got a decent show from the convention center …

Anyways, tomorrow we have to catch a flight at 11:00 am and have to apparently leave the place by the 5:30 bus … as the ride to the Tokyo Airport is 2 hours long and we need to go and check there whether our flight will actually take off …

We are supposed to land in Mumbai … and all the news that we’re getting here is bad …

So, we’re trying to get to Delhi and then take a flight to Pune from there …

I hope everything works out well in the end …

As always … some more pictures of the trip …

Some shots from the fireworks show … Not at all good …

I got 2 mediocre shots after clicking about 40 odd or something …

Didnt have a tripod and impossible to do without one…

The big Japanese rush I was talking about … All the roads were just full … of people …

Anoter fireworks shot … More decent than the previous one though …

The entire Indian Contingent … with the two teams who actually won something …

The Short Film and the business plan team …

Seen on the rightmost corner in black … is Morris Sim … the guy who started the Imagine Cup.

Lots of other dignitaries and Japanese organisers also seen in the shot …

What's with Japanese food ?

Today was more of a chilled out day … with nothing much to do …

We went to the amusement park in the morning .. at about 12 and sat on the Ferris Wheel and the roller coaster … which I dont think I will be doing again for quite sometime now …

The Roller Coaster was uncomfortable and short and pretty scary … the Ferris wheel was more of a sight seeing thing than a joy ride …

Anyways … the rest of the day, went in watching all the short films which were submitted earlier by the participants and the 6 finalists of the Software Design Invitational … which were all pretty good …

The 6 finalists were : Slovenia, Brazil, Germany, Greece, China and Russia …

Russia had a really innovative app and China was scarily comprehensive …

Greece tackled a social issue of creating a speech to sign language and sign language to speech app for the hearing impaired …

The other team presentations were boring … and the Germany app was not that interesting …

Whatever they did, we could have implemented on our base system within a matter of a few hours … We had all the back end …

Only their presentation was slightly better …

My prediction is : Russia, China and Greece … lets see what happens tomorrow…

Note to myself : Next year, the presentation has to be awesome !!!

Anyways, we had this very sophisticated, formal, Japanese dinner in one of the poshest clubs in Japan …

Again, all of us could just not consume the food.

Whats with the food huh ?

I think rest all people from all over the world can still eat it … but we Indians just cannot …

We had an early Indian dinner before we went to the one at the club …

The dinner was supposed to be 5 course … and by the 2nd course … we had excused ourselves to go to the bathroom … and ditched the entire event … walking 25 mins to get back to the hotel …

Had two glasses of ( not so good ) starbuck’s cold coffee on the way back …

Anyways … next year’s Imagine Cup is going to be in India … so there is going to be a flag handing over ceremony and all of us are supposed to be on stage …

So, we have some sort of rehearsel at 10 am …

Thats all from me for now …

More pictures … 🙂

This was supposed to be our main course .. some boiled carrot and some seeweed look alike vegetable …

We had 9 types of cutlery out there !!! 9 types !!!

 

Yes … you can rub your eyes again … but this is Gaurang in formals !!!

Didn’t think that would happen before the world imploded in itself .. did ya ?

 

The Roller Coaster ride that we sat in … which solidifed my belief that these things are not for me …

End of dream run …

Okay …

First, the bad news …

We didn’t make it to the final 6 teams of the Software Design of the Imagine Cup …

It’s okay …

I think our presentation was the best we had given till now and the software was also working properly …

Only, the idea didnt click well with all the other international judges …

I’m happy for the fact that we atleast made it all the way here … and got to present our solution …

Would have been really depressed if we had got stuck up at Mumbai itself …

On the bright side, we still have one year to go … and besides, winning World two years in a row would be kinda hard anyways …

So, we’ll just win it next year … promise …

The other teams to make it were Japan, China, Greece, Slovenia, Russia and one another team which I don’t kinda remember now …

I seriously have no idea what the other solutions are … so, I have no basis for comparison … but we’ll come to know about it tomorrow …

Anyways, the entire ceremony was like an Academy Award dinner kinda thing …

We had round table reservations and all the short films were shown on the screen and we had a 9 course “Vegetarian” Japanese dinner … which honestly, I could not consume …

Nothing personal … but except the noodles, which I ate with a pair of chop sticks for the first time ( Yay !!! ), couldnt think of eating anything else …

Most of the veggie stuff … was … just bamboos … It tastest okay … no taste actually … something like boiled wood …

Anyways, as soon as the entire thing got over, we hit the Indian restaurant and packed some desi khana …

Thats all for tonight … just before I push off … picture of the day … clap, clap, clap !!!

We’ll hopefully be riding that thing tomorrow …

The giant ferris wheel … second in the world only to the one in London …

Comes with its own Roller Coaster …Me thinks, Microsoft India is going to pick up the tab on this 😉

Day 2 at Japan …

Hmm …

Day 2 at Japan … Yokohama …

Today is supposed to be a relaxing, chilled out, picnic day … and we’ll come to know whether we will be making it tomorrow or not for the finals …

We had a trip planned to the Sankeien Gardens at 9:30 …

We woke up at 9:20 … and made it to the bus departg for the gardens …

The gardens, as you would imagine were very beautiful …

Apparently, it is about 10,000 sq mts and was a private garden of a person … Sankei Hara …

They had also lunch there … but we vegi Indians had to fruits and salads and chocolate pastries.

We later came back and pigged out at a buffet at an Indian Restaurant …

The place is only about 5 mins walking from our Hotel …

We have a digital theatre program in the evening along with the preliminary results of the Software design invitationals …

In the digital theatre, they will be showing us all the entries from the Short Film category …

There is also a team from BITS Pilani among one of the 6 teams … so we will be rooting for them …

Check out some more pictures below ….

Until later then … 🙂

The Sankeien Gardens … Entrance

Lawns at the Garden

Our ADE ( Academic Development Evangelists ) taking a nap 🙂

More garden shots

We guys … and Tejas and Pratibha ( 1at and 3rd ) from the left … They’re Microsoft ADEs from India accompanying us for the trip

Bamboo plantations

Our Hotel … Pan Pacific International

Hotel Lobby

The Giant Ferris Wheel opposite our Hotel

The Imagine Cup welcome board at the Hotel

Pictures from Japan … I …

Some pictures that we clicked today from Japan …

Will be putting up lots more when I get the time … and when I click it …

Clicked them only today after we got into our rooms …

The harbour … the bridge can be seen clearly in the background … from our balcony 🙂

We have some very nice views … yet to come …

Our hotel room … I’ve tried to hide most of the messy part of the room … but it still shows 🙂

Night view of Japan from our balcony again 🙂

The Pacifico building opposite our building …

And it rained on my parade …

Finally … writing this from the comfort of my hotel room in Yokohama, Japan … but this trip has not at all been easy …

It has been an adventure … sort off … here is an account …

We were supposed to fly to Japan on the 26th night at around 11:30 from the Sahar Airport in Mumbai …

Just to be safe, we decided to leave early morning on the 26th by train …

I woke up in Pune, at 6:00 am to heavy torrential rains … like there was no tomorrow …

When we reached the train station, it was still raining …

We got into the Pragati Express and headed to Mumbai …

The rain was unrelentless … it was just pouring all the while with no letting down …

On the way, the train stalled at the Vittalwadi station, as the tracks were flooded with water and the train could not proceed …

We were stalled at the station for 3 hours … before Gaurang’s ( my team mate ) dad arranged for a car to pick us up …

Gaurang’s grandparents were also accompanying us …

The car picked us all up and took us to Mumbai …

On the way to the Airport, the road ahead got flooded and we got stranded …

All the cars stopped on the road and there was a pathetic traffic jam …

Somehow, we switched roads and ended up in front of a eating joint at around 5 pm

The rain was so bad, that all the umbrellas and everything was useless …

We were stuck there till about 10 pm

Then, once the rain got a bit less, the water started receding and we decided to make our way to the airport …

On the way, got stuck up at a very bad traffic jam …

We then got the news that our flights had gotten cancelled …

On our way out, we landed up at another water clogged place … where the driver just stopped the car and let it stand …

There were 5 of us … trapped inside a car … with knee deep water all around us ..

We even couldnt open the windows as the rain water would come in …

Finally at 3 am, we started moving … and landed up at a hotel at 4 am in the morning …

We luckily got a room there, and stayed there for 2 days … before Mumbai got back on its feet …

The flights were still not leaving … so we came to Pune, took a flight to Delhi and then to Japan …

Though we missed one day, the people here, made arrangements for us … so it was not a problem …

More about the Japan trip later …

Here are some pictures that we took of the entire rain onslaught thingy … the next day … once most of the water had pulled away and we could analyse the damage done …

The worst thing was that people had left their cars … thousands of them on the street and walked away … many of these cars were still lying there when we saw it the second day after the rain …

Motorcycle abandoned on way to hotel
Crap in car … Leaves, sticks … water hyacinths even … that were stuck in car radiators, motors, etc …