Thursday, August 30, 2007

Whats up?

Last couple days have been See--Aaaar---AAA---Zeeeeee at work. Literally. Haven't had much time to do anything else. I was like a zombie last evening, totally can't take any changes to my regular routine, sigh!

Haven't thought about any topics to blog about lately as well. Nothing much happening around me for me to take something out of it. Except wired-up colleagues trying to solve an evading issue. Which is not at all interesting to write about.

Got a breather this evening. Got to haul myself to work at 6.30 tomorrow morning so I better wind up soon. The gang is planning an outdoorsy thing to Bass Lake this weekend. To say good-bye to summer in style. And I haven't had the time to think about it. Hopefully this mess will sort itself out miraculously by EoB tomorrow (End of Business, duh!) and I will have time to make that much needed Pudina Chutney, sigh!

Besides that, unfortunately for me, after I wrote that post about Reliance, it gave up on me last evening:( It was Puts birthday and I tried desperately for over four hours to call her, but Reliance wouldn't budge. Kept giving me that annoying "Lines are busy" message :( Adding to my frustration of not having time to do anything and hurriedly having to make and eat dinner, this was too much, gaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!! I finally called her Cingular-direct and wished her briefly. I better call over the weekend and make up for it!!

Well that pretty much sums it all up.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Reliance India Call

I still remember those days. Awful calling cards. That struggle with (Wonder why they named it that!) Those long pins to dial from And all for nothing. Every time you called, whether or not you got through you still got pelted with charges. Whether or not you heard them or they heard you, the call still got recorded (Of course! What do you expect!Duh!)

Well anyway, then came Reliance. Way higher charges than any of those other guys. 13c a minute (as opposed to 3-4c) . Still we moved to it. Why? Because it was incomparable. Unbelievable. Incredulous even. Not a single dropped call. Crystal clear voice. Every time.

13c a minute! Every time I re-charged it, my heart skipped a beat. Yet, I stuck with it. Subhash was shelling out his entire paycheck on long-distance calls at that time (he was back in India then) so I didn't have to. Despite that, it came to a lot. Compared to 9278 at least;) Yet, I preferred it. Just because it was peace of mind. I knew that if I called, I would be able to talk.

I still remember their first website. So primitive and simple. Their biggest highlight was PINless dialing and needless to say it attracted a lot of people.

Once they got a strong base here, they grew. We could re-charge on the phone and what not. (You don't want to guess how many times I have used the phone re-charge option;) Its one too many) Then from not covering some states in the US, they grew to covering other countries as well. You could now call countries like New Zealand and Australia with the same account. Then I think it got two way. Now (apparently from their website) you can also use Reliance if you are in any of the other countries to call India and everyone else in the network?

The website is a lot more complicated now. Lots more bells and whistles. Lot more buttons to click to simply recharge. But I am not complaining. They have got their price down and I am one happy customer:)

I know they have enough clout and money to pull such a thing off, but still I feel good about it. Feel good that I finally don't have to worry about calling home. Yeah I know Reliance-antagonists have a lot of things to say but well, I guess that is not the point here!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

The iPhone and me

We checked out the iPhone for real last evening @ the Apple Store in Valley Fair. For me, it lived up to all the expectations that the advertisements generate. It is really a cool piece of technology. But I am resisting buying it. Just for the fact that he doesn't let you change SIM cards in it. (Yeah, Cingular is the winner all the way here, you can't own an iPhone without being a Cingular person, oops sorry, the "new AT&T" person). I am already with Cingular, but I still don't like the rigidity of it.

In more ways than one, I don't like this theory of Apple's. They make every teeny weeny bit proprietary, it is so difficult to find stuff for their pieces of hardware, that all the feeling of exclusivity is lost in the desperation to find decent accessory software for their products.

Plus, what is with the SIM monopoly, sigh! I know I am not buying an iPhone till I can have the freedom to choose which carrier I want to lavish my money on. I can't let Apple dictate what I do, no, not yet..

Saturday, August 18, 2007

English lo yenneno padalaloo...

As is typical when I have a lot of work to do and do not want to be disturbed, I spent yet another Friday down in the lab. I used to hate the place because of all the noise when I was new here. But now this is my escape haven when I need some quiet!!

So anyway, as is customary when I am in the lab, I was listening to stuff on my iPod accompanied with occasional bouts of loud singing;) I was at "Aadi" (Blush! Yeah I listen to Aadi songs) The songs in the movie are good, although the hero is debate-able. (Ohh, come on, you don't know who played hero in "Aadi"? Junior NTR of course;) ) There was this time in 2001 just before I left for the US to test my wings, when his first movie was released.. And I used to wonder why the people of Tollywood were hell bent on traumatizing unsuspecting Hyderabad citizens. Huh! He looked attrocious to say the least. And the posters- giant-sized always. It was nauseating! Anywhere I drove to in the city, there it was, another repulsive poster, yuck!

Well, that is that. Some trauma that was. As if that was not enough, one of my Junior-NTR-loving friends (yeah, he has fans too! Gosh!) insisted that I watch Aadi and left the DVD at my place back in Madison. I took 11 iterations watching it in 10-15 minute intervals as I could not take anymore of him than 15 minutes at a stretch.

That was when I first heard the songs. They are actually good. The music I mean. A good listen anyday. But the lyrics are downright humorous. Especially from a song that goes "Pattu Okato Sari" (Catch the first time) Yeah, NOW you can guess how the rest of it goes ;)

Here are some excerpts from this classic song (Boy! This is so funny, I can spend the rest of my blogging time simply translating some of the modern day lyrics from Tollywood and still wouldn't run out of humour)

Pattu Okato Sari (Catch the First Time)
Nasa Pettu Rendo Sari (Nag the second time)

Bla bla bla..never mind with the rest of the the things they say about third fourth and fifth times..

Gundelu GuNinchu O Sari (Add hearts once) (Me: Ok?)
Siggulu Bhaginchu O Sari (Divide shyness once) (Me: Hmm...ok..)
Lovvulu Lekhkinchu O Sari (Count love once) (Me: Huh? ...ok......)
Aa Pai Andistha Oo Pattu Saree (After that I will present you a Silk Saree (Me: What the hell?!?!)

Next come the verses:

Ammayee nee andam samudrame (Girl, your beauty is the sea) (Me: :-?)
Andulo na manase aNige maNige muNige (In that my heart succumbed and drowned) (Me: More :-?:-?:-?)

Abbayee nee vegam vimaaname (Boy, your speed is the airplane) (Me: What??? Junior NTR??!?)
Anduke na sogase vaNike JhaNike beNike (Me: That is why my beauty shivered and got sprained) (What??????)

Never mind with the translation of the rest of the first CharaNam (Verse). I cannot do it, beyond me!

Here comes the second charaNam:

English lo yennenno padaalalo (In the many words in English)
Ee moode nachinavi: Riveru Floweru Loveru (Just these three pleased me: River, Flower, Lover) (My God!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

Lokam lo yennenno bandhaalalo (In all the relations in the world)
Ee moode telisinavi: Motheru, Fatheru, Tamaru ( Just these three are known to me: Mother, Father, Respected You) (WTH!?!?!?!?!?!?)

Nenu ippudu Brahmacharini (I am now a Brahma-follower = bachelor (single guy) ) (Me: Ok, decent)
Nuvvu korinappudu ayipotha BhamaCharini (When you desire I shall become lady-follower) (Me: Whatever!)

Nenu ippudu andagathe ni (I am now a beauty)
Nuvvu takinappudu ayipotha Agarubathini (With your touch, I shall become an Agarbathi (Incense stick) ) (Me: Tearing my brains out!!)

So anyway, now you can guess it. If you know Telugu, you can listen to the song here;)

Pattu Okato Sari

I think translations it is for me ;) There is another song from "Boys" that I would love to translate, but I've already laughed too much for a day. I will do it very soon though.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Old Friends and New Fancies

No. Not a fancy name for my post. It is just the name of the book I finished reading last night. After two 24 hour long flight journeys and post dinner half-hour reading slots, I finally finished it :D

It is an imaginary sequel for Jane Austen's novels. Her Pride and Prejudice leaves you wanting more. More about what happens after Lizzy and Darcy marry? How do they live? How does she adjust in the family.

I was contemplating which of the numerous imaginary sequels to pick up as a start. I am glad I chose this book. It is an easy read. And Sybil Brinton, stays as close to Jane Austen as possible. I didn't feel like I was reading an imaginary sequel. She has done a good job. Apparently this was the first sequel written for any Jane Austen novel and it doesn't disappoint. Must read if you claim to be a Jane Austen fan! I don't want to spoil the plot by revealing it, but it picks and chooses a few characters from all of Jane Austen's half-a-dozen novels and beautifully intertwines the characters in an after-life of their own novels.

I think I will start Darcy's diaries next.

Next I need to catch "Becoming Jane". This weekend, yes.

You are in test? Huh! That is easy..

That is what a lot of people seem to think. QA/Test engineering is an easy/mundane/boring job. Or all three. I agree, it could be a little easier than developing, but there ends my agreement.

Yes, testing is a less hassled job than development, because after all it is easier to catch faults than to correct them;) But, it cannot be a peanut-butter spread. It is not the same in all industries. I beg to differ.

Where I work, in Cisco, the only people who get to do end-to-end networking are Test. The only people who KNOW networking end-to-end are Test. I always try really hard to explain to new hires, how fancying a development job when your real interest is Networking, is a big mistake. BIG mistake!

Today, one of our Senior Directors was making a remark about how Test is doing an excellent job front-ending with customers. Yeah, you heard it right. The only people who face the customers from our Engineering is Test. That is simply because we are the only people who can do that. We are the only people who (can) make sure our routers behave themselves and work like they are supposed to.

So next time you think QA is easy, think again:) Not every QA job is mundane. Not every QA job is boring. Mine is perfect for me and I love doing it :)

Happy Independence Day!

August 15, 2007, India completes 60 years as an independent nation. (And I still believe the Kohinoor should be brought back;) )

God Bless India! I wonder why no one ever says that. I remember back in school, Independence Day meant a holiday and a special school uniform (aka the "Coloured Games Uniform).

It was not considered important to go to school just for the March Past. (Of course, we always ended up going). Any guesses why? Subhash believes that this is because our parents' generation didn't have the time for patriotism. After Independence, life had become a struggle for everyone in the country that it was of utmost importance to first survive. And usually people tended to blame the system, worse, the country for their troubles (which is partly justified, if you think about it). So patriotism, was never a first. Nor was there time to remember what sacrifices had gone into making India what it is today.

Now that our generation is a little more cocooned in comforts than our parents' generation was, I hope we will remember to be patriotic :) And cherish being part of that immensely invaluable land!

Jai Hind!

Breaking the shell!

I was making eggs for dinner, when I remembered how my mom used to amuse me when I was a kid by letting me wrap all those egg shells in a thick newspaper and crush them. I used to love it. So I wrapped all the shells from the eggs in a Bounty and crushed them with my hand.

And just like that, I was happy!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

A song for every mood

Growing up in India, I was primarily fed on Bollywood and Tollywood Music. At a time when all hit songs came from Ilayaraja, there used to be that special one or two massive hit movies of his during the year, whose songs everyone knew and crooned. Later on, this became Rahman's forte, but well, all the same. One or two massive musical successes during a calendar year:)

So anyway, there was one (sometimes a couple) movie a year, whose songs we relentlessly pursued till we knew every one of them by-heart and crooned them over and over again. Not to mention the abuse those cassettes (yeah, that was the time of the tape players!) suffered by repeated playing in the tape-recorder.

So much did I listen to those songs faithfully over and over again until there was the next big thing, that now when I listen to those songs, each of them reminds me of a particular age/era/time.

Like when I listen to Geetanjali's songs, I am immediately back in my Standard IV. Or when I listen to Roja, I am back in time to when I was in Standard VIII. Or when I listen to Rangeela, I am in Francis' slogging through the first year of Intermediate;)

So much so, that sometimes when I want to re-live some specific moments in my past, I just pop on my headphones and listen to a song that I used to hear day in and day out back in that specific time:) And it works!

Every time.

Also see: Jallantha Kavvintha...

Monday, August 13, 2007

Right or Wrong?

I recently remembered a living-room conversation we had back in Madison a while back. My friends and I were discussing world politics and India's stand in it. Whether we were being too soft, or too tolerant. The discussion went on and on and eventually we were arguing over each others' opinions of right and wrong. One of them took a stand that right and wrong is all relative, and the others were trying to say that not everything can be relative. There has to be some guideline for right and wrong. There has to be some basic stuff that is definitely wrong and some basic stuff that is definitely right.

Well, that was that. Today, if you ask me what is right or wrong, I would just say, my only indication is, whatever I do that doesn't hurt or harm anyone else, is right enough for me. That which I do, because of which someone else gets upset, whether or not I intended it, whether or not I know it, is wrong. To do it knowing that it is going to cause some hurt, is vicious.

That is my theory on it for now. We'll see how it goes;)

CNN, bah!

Sick and tired of the one-sided news channels in the US, Subhash recently subscribed to BBC World. Watching the same crap on CNN for six years, I had forgotten what news channels are supposed to be like.

Only when I started watching BBC World did I realize the stark contrast between a responsible news channel to a frog-in-the-well one.

CNN. America's undisputedly top news channel. What they show, disappointing. Sickeningly pro-US stuff. Forget about pro-US stuff, what they show is ONLY US news. And even in that, you see the same thing over and over again so many times during the day, that towards the end of it, you know it all by-heart! The obtuse between CNN and a responsible news channel hits you in the face when you watch BBC World. They take you all over the world, cover different countries (and mind you! Not just the ones where you have to prove a point that they are right/better), show different things. You really feel you are getting a glimpse of what is happening around the world. A snapshot of the entire place. Whereas on CNN, the maximum importance news is that of the Presidential Elections. Or even worse, at times for lack of other things happening in the US, it was Anna Nicole Smith and Paris Hilton. Crap!

Yes, the CNN does show stuff outside of the US. But only when it has a vested interest. Or wherever the US can be shown as a huge victim of cruelty in the world. They never want to take a neutral stand. It is always: How right we are, how much others are doing wrong by us. Sickeningly self-important. Tsk..tsk..tsk..

You could say that I am not justified in comparing BBC "World" with CNN-US. Or that CNN also has other news channels around the world where they do show better stuff. But the comparison is only to bring out the stark difference between self-absorbed and all-imbibing news. CNN-US is just self-absorbed. To the hilt.

Enough is enough!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Parents (-in-law??)

Although in the women's lib era, a lot of feminists might deny it, but for a woman, a major part of what she becomes in life depends on the family she marries into. I do not want to be too country-specific and say, at least in India. I believe the same holds wherever. Only in India it matters more if you are a woman. Probably.

I for one, am really thankful that I married where I did. Somewhere a question came up about why I am proud to be a part of Subhash's family. The first thing I could think of was his parents. Sensible and broad-minded, the first impression I had of them was of being very approachable. I eventually grew to appreciate what they did/did not do on various occasions. In the three+ years that I have known them, they have never once introduced us (me or his brother's wife) to anyone as their daughter-in-law, but always referred to us as their daughters. And they never shy-away or hold-back from showing us that they are proud of us. Which I believe is a lot more important. Not everyone does that. Issues.

What I am really glad about is that they are very perceptive. Perceptive to the changing times, perceptive to the demands we need to fulfil, perceptive of the tough times we face, and perceptive to what we might be thinking/feeling in any given situation. They take the trouble to think in our shoes, and really, they don't have to. And because of this, it becomes that much more easy to talk to them about any problem, not to mention those innumerable occasions when they understand everything at the slightest hint, saving me the trouble of putting complex/difficult issues into words.

I am really glad to be what I am to them. It will go a long way in making me a better person. There is so much to learn from them, not only in parenting but also as a couple. To be able to share such a great rapport with his parents, I think its quite awesome:) I hope to be able to do as much for them as they have done for us.

It's been a terribly gauche and clumsy post for what I set out to write and imagined writing. I try to write about them, but I can't seem to find the right words, at least not worthy enough to justify what they have done for me thus far. So I will simply say: Subhash always used to say, if anything, when we got married, I would have two sets of parents, and I knew, even long before we did get married, that he was absolutely right!! Not one such set of parents-in-law have I seen in all the circle I know. So I refuse to refer to them as parents-in-law:) Never!

Pilot Pen!!

I remember those days. In Standard IV.

K. Shilpa (yeah, we had 4 Shilpa s in our class) used to bring a Pilot pen to write. In St. Ann's we were allowed to write with a pen starting from IV standard. I remember how excited I was about my first fountain pen. Used to fill it with that "Camel" fountain pen ink so carefully and cherished every moment of writing with it. But the Pilot pen did it. Turned me away from my old faithful fountain pen.

Shilpa and I used to sit next to each other. We also traveled by the same school bus from Kacheguda. I used to like her Pilot pen so much, that I made unending prayers to God to put it in my parents mind that they should let me have one. But my Dad resisted. He was a staunch fountain pen supporter. Quite clever.

I finally got my Pilot pen in VI. By some weird twists in the cosmos, my Dad decided I could get one after all. (In those days, my parents would litigate all of my wishes to standing first in the class, which never seemed possible, and finally happened only when I was in IX, so thank god! not everything waited that long, except for my Allwyn Trendy watch!)

So anyway, my yearning for a Pilot Pen was finally done away with when I was in VI. But that two years' wait had such a deep impression on my mind, that even today, the sight of a Pilot pen makes my heart flutter. So I finally gave in and promptly picked up a couple the other day at Walgreens! Now I write with my Pilot pen, yet again!

Six Years!!

Decided to finally take some time off from my crazy day to pen down a milestone:) I was a little too late though ;) Well, anyway, on 10th August, 2001, I arrived, nervous, anxious, excited and sad in O'Hare, Chicago. It has been six years and a lot has happened in that time. Went out to dinner with the gang. Turns out Deepu also landed the same day a year later in the very same O'Hare. That was some coincidence:)

I should say in the half a dozen years, the first quarter dozen were probably the worst in my life and the second quarter dozen were, beyond a shred of doubt, the best. So that does kind of even out;)

But needless to say, the land has taught me a lot, it has been a ride to cherish and there have been lessons worth remembering!


Thursday, August 09, 2007

Check this out;)

Yeah, so?

Ok, so now comes the amusing post.

We had to go get a medical done at the doctors for applying to become PRs with the USCIS. And the tests included a TB check, HIV check, and vaccinations. The doctor was telling us that the US is really worried about TB because it is so contagious.

Subhash was quickly saying "Isn't it a little too late to be concerned?;)" and we, the doctor and us, had a good laugh.

Yeah, so? What if they found that someone applying for a PR does have TB. The concern does seem a little ridiculous when you think of it. (Not to mention the sharp ache in my hand from the tetanus vaccine:( ) If I am applying for a PR, I would have already been here at least a couple years? If someone had to spread TB, it would have been done a looooooooooooooong time back;) It is not like they are going to wait till they become PRs to start spreading it. Whatever!

Amusing! But very typical all the same;)

100 Yay!!

I was going to write something amusing when I noticed that this was my 100th post. So I thought, why not mark it. As a reminder to do a better job. 100 posts in two years? Yuck! But heck! Its 100 either way;)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Street smart or simply smart?

One of the gang recently got back from India...married! He hadn't been to India for a long time, 8 long years to be precise. We caught up with him over Bagel and Coffee at our galli ka Starbucks. Generally got to talking about his experiences this time.

One of the things we discussed was, about how people in India are naturally smarter. Is that true? Well, it certainly aligns with my theory of "survival". (Reading back, that post is quite "strong", maybe I have sobered down a bit since then, eh? Maybe I have become more tolerant after all;) Ahem, (wo)man is a hopeful being!) When everyday is a challenge, you have to meander your way through life on sheer brains sometimes. As small a thing as buying vegetables involves tremendous skill in bargaining with that vendor and deriving satisfaction out of a deal well made. might not really be true so much for all the Food World type chains, but the local sabzi-wale (vegetable vendors) aren't exactly extinct yet ;)

I believe that yes, in India you got to be smart to get through life. Not so much in the upper strata of society maybe, (again an undesirable side-effect of growing affluence) but definitely if you are middle-class. The guy was all praise for Indian middle class, wondering where they get that inspiration from, to move through life.

Completely agree!

Saturday, August 04, 2007

JNTU and the hidden gyan ;)

One of the very amusing pieces of "gyan" that we got from our seniors in JNTU was this.

When you sit in an exam, the rule is to not concern yourself at all with what is asked in the question paper. You just write all that you know.

It was a very great and amusing philosophy. One of the many we got from our seniors. (One other about exams being that it is a waste to read all year long. A flask full of "Chai" and a kilo of mixture the night before the exam should do it all;). Yeah, thanks Vijay!)

Well more recently, I was thinking about this in a more serious context. Oftentimes we are so absorbed in impressing the world with what we know that we forget what is actually required of us. Too serious eh? Well, of late I have been in one of my philosophical moods ;)

Did those JNTU pearls have so much wisdom in them? I wonder ;)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Pure Genius

Look what people do when the University's (UW-Madison) signature Lake Mendota freezes;)

Lady Liberty on Lake Mendota Feb. 1979, Lake Mendota, University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Wisconsin Prank conducted by Jim Mallon and Leon Varjian of the "Pail and Shovel Party"

Source: Wikipedia

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Mom and Dad

Sometimes in life, you reflect. Back on your past, about who you really are, where you really belong and so on and so forth. I was never a deep thinker, but I did steal my moments of deep thought from time to time.

One thing I learnt over the past 6 years, with all my struggle and traumatic trysts with destiny, is that we tend to forget. Or maybe its just me. Years ago, I was in an accident when I thought I was killed. I almost saw it in my face. It was a swooping experience. (I did get out of it nearly unscathed!) All I could think in my head was, "Please God! Not here, not in this country, let me just live another two days, and then I don't mind dying" (I was going to India in a couple days)

After that moment, I thought, hereafter in life, I would be glad just to be alive. Glad to just be able to walk on the ground. But alas! No sooner had that shock worn off, I was back neck-deep in my life and its strifes and its struggles. Forgetting all about the sheer joy in just being alive. I usually never complain when things don't go right, but I think, if only I had thought about how I felt right after that accident, maybe my hardships wouldn't have seemed so hard upon me:) I would have been glad just to be able to face them:)

Well, anyway, I am trailing away. The point in the opening example is that we tend to forget. As new experiences shape our lives, we tend to forget the old ones which have made us into what we are already. As things change, as people around us change, after the initial shock of change as worn away and we accept stuff like it is, we begin to think that the world was like this since the day we were born. And yet it is not true. The world was different. We were once young and helpless.

There was once a time in my life when I totally depended on the two people that are my Mom and Dad, for everything. There was once a time, when I couldn't do anything on my own, when there was nothing that they didn't do for me. I always tried to keep this at the back of my mind as I was growing up. No matter what happened, I always owed them that care they showed in my earliest years.

Then came a time when I had to move out of that cocoon. Out of that closeted world into the one wide beyond. I still grin when I think of that times back in 2001, when I was in the habit of being the one-from-whom-everyone-sought-advice so much, that I thought I was totally mature and ready to handle anything life threw at me. Cocksure. Even headstrong. But it was not to be. Life teaches you in its own ways! Only when I had to entirely take my life in my own hands, did I realize how much more I had to learn (including how to file income tax returns! yeah believe me, that was the biggest deal for me back then;) ) It was only then that I realized (that much more) how much my parents had been a protection over me those 21 years of my life.

If I have to write about it, a single blog wouldn't suffice. So ..

Whatever else might have happened, there is one thing that I am thankful to them singularly for. Above everything else. That is, they let me shape my life like I wanted. I never once asked them if I could do what I wanted to do. I just used to tell them that this is what I planned and they would agree with it completely, trusting me to be capable of handling its consequences. Never questioned me. Had confidence in me. Which made me stronger. Whenever I ran into trouble in the path that I chose, if for nothing except that I should not let them down, I mowed on. I bulldozed, I made sure that the choice didn't go completely wrong. If I was a fighter, it was because they made me one by showing me that they trusted me to fight my own battle:)

Today, in a distant land, I think of them. So many things have happened. So much has changed since I left my closeted world. As I near completing six years in the US, I feel I owe a them deep thought once more. To the two people who made me what I am. Wherever I might stand today, they are the ones that gave me the foundation on which I have grown, built wings and now fly!

I hope I never forget this...

The coquetry of being a world wonder

Yeah, had to look in a Hindi-English dictionary to find an exact match for the word "Nakhre".

One of my cousins was saying that his friends were planning a trip to Machu Pichu and asked him to join. He was wailing. I asked him why and he said that the ticket was really expensive. Plus he had to pay the Peruvian government 900 bucks for the visa.

So much for becoming a world wonder;) This is like when Indians became "Miss Universe" in a row so that cosmetic companies could gain a foothold in the Indian market ;) Didn't quite get the comparison? Well, never mind;)

Are we hearing of an increase in the fees for an Indian Visa? ;)