Saturday, May 05, 2007

Tokyo, Chelsea and some useful Websites





Good to be back to find time for the BLOG, the last 3 weeks have been kind of hectic with travel, personal issues to attend at home as well as some catchup to do at work front.

I got a chance to be back in Japan,during the II week of April. I had seen phenomenal change in even by Japanese standards as you moved through Tokyo towards the outer suburbs. The Narita Airport which was a one building one terminal in 1999, when I last visited Japan, looks drastically different with multiple terminals divided in to wings. The multi story buildings have mushroomed. What has not changed is the narrow streets and rush in the trains. The rush in Tokyo train stations remind of you of the Church gate station.

I also got a first time chance to travel in Famously expensive Tokyo taxis,(I couldn't afford it in the last visit) if one thing can blow your $s away, that will be a ride on Tokyo taxi, even a 3 mile drive will cost you 25$.

The Shinkansen (The Bullet train, Hope, people remember the famous movie in 1980) has monstered growth with multiple decks and amenities. Pl see the Photos.

I was also amazed at the Mobile and Internet revolution in Japan, the 3G telephones makes you feel our mobile phones as puppet, the advance features are brilliant. So much is the Japanese mobile development, that the latest model mobile phones are not compatible there and dont work. You can watch TV, Movies on mobile, download clips at smoking speed, and in the Bullet train moving at 250 Kmph, communication hardly breaks. As for the Internet access, would you believe it, Its ABSOLUTELY FREE anywhere you access. The download speeds are staggering 1mbps, so much so I downloaded about 400Mb of information in less than an hour. What surprised me was that my Korean colleague, who was with me on business in Tokyo, said to me Quote,"Karthik, wait till you come to Seoul, You will download 750mb movie file in less than 30 minutes. Korea is miles ahead" Unquote. I am looking forward to my Korean visit soon.
This trip also helped me to see 10 GB flash drive like thumb size, at a throw away prize, so I grabbed one. My kids were pestering me for a 80 Gb IPOD, which I duly obliged during the Tokyo visit. The price, 30 % cheaper than Indian price.
The food was a pleasant surprise for me I managed lot of veggie stuff, thanks to help from my colleagues, who painstakingly sieved through the menu to get vegetarian choice). So, I managed to survive.
Yes, the disappointment was I didn't have the time to go to Akhiabara, the electronics shop ocean, these days I have planned my travel schedules to be a kind of Last in First out, as travel is becoming mundane.

Ok, then, my son was in tears when Chelsea lost the Champions league semifinal to Liverpool this week. However,he got some consolation and recovered , when Manchester united lost to AC Milan the next day. He is a mad Chelsea fan who watches Chelsea matches with an official Chelsea T-shirt and covers his room with Chelsea flag and Official books, and Official Chelsea month calendar. I am attaching the couplet he wrote for this years EPL. (Looks like Chelsea wont make that too).

Ok, then here are some of the good websites for personal development. I have also started downloading podcasts to fill in 80 Gb in IPod.

http://www.marshallgoldsmithlibrary.com/cim/articles_alpha.php
http://www.learnoutloud.com/Podcast-Directory/Business/Leadership-and-Management
http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/podcast_archive.cfm
http://www.thinkingmanagers.com/links
http://www.careerjournal.com/

The Manager-tools.com (www.manager-tools.com) is also a great website, try that out. I have downloaded about 60 podcasts there, (Most of it downloaded at smoking speed at Japan as I didn't get to sleep till 2 am, which 10Pm our time).

This week I got a chance to read the entire magazine, " The Economist" at Bombay airport as my flight was delayed. It gives lot of information on various issues that happens across the world in politics, science, technology. I also find favourable mention in all business blogs. I am planning to have a personal subscription. ( Got to have a serious discussions with the Finance/home minister for approval though, as price is Rs. 11,000 for 3 years at 52% discount). Man proposes, woman disposes, I guess.

Until next take care, stay healthy and live consciously.

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