Last week at the Western Gateway Building, University College Cork.
I have previously shared my encounters with scammers and con-men on the street, trying to get money or other stuffs, but mainly money. These posts are filled under the tag scam.
In general I would skip and ignore such things. Though I would seldom give such people asking for money a chance. This time it was in Oxford, England.
Within my brief stay at Oxford of around a week, random people asked me for small changes, 25p , 50p etc. I do not know how the city works, and if it is normal (I don’t think so), therefore I see this as a tapping method to see where is your wallet. Later, an accomplice of will carry out the main task.
I met a guy in Oxford who was originally from my city. It was our last day and we went to a good place to have dinner. After dinner we walked towards Balliol College where we were staying. It was around 9pm. Suddenly a frail young British woman (assuming from the strong accent) approached me and asked for some money. She looked helpless. Her story was she has to take a bus to meet her mother, and she doesn’t have money. I did what I do in my city, kept on walking without even slowing down. I had no intension to give any money to this woman.
Suddenly this guy, who was with me, stopped and told me “hey what do you say, should we help her?”, I told “ofcourse not!”. We talked within ourselves in a different language than English.
As the guy stopped, I also had to stop. Now the woman stood in front of me with her hands together, and she was crying. She told even if I don’t want to give her money, I can buy her a bus ticket. I told my man “let’s go!”. I think he just felt really bad for the woman. It’s not his fault, he is a kind person, I felt bad as well. As I have explained in my previous posts, not everytime we could go with the benefit of doubt.
He reached for his wallet and I stopped him immediately. I handed the woman whatever coins I had in my pocket, should be around 2 to 3 Pounds. Then she asked for some more from my man, as this is not enough for the bus fare. I just asked this guy to walk away from her. He was like, “maybe it is not enough …” and took out his wallet and got her a few more pounds, while a staggering amount of cash peeking out of his wallet.
I tried to get him out of this as quickly as possible. Finally we were out. She went somewhere.
Now, it’s not a big deal, as always, to give a few Pounds or Euros or tens or a hundred Rupees, but as far as I know this is one of the basic scams. Maybe she’ll get a drink or something else, or maybe she’ll buy food, or maybe she’ll really take a bus and meet her mother.
As I have mentioned before in the previous posts, most of these, in fact, almost all of these are scams, but there is always a chance of a genuine case.
It is important to keep an eye open for people in genuine need.
There were visitors last month. I showed them a few places along with the Guinness storehouse. I always wanted to take a good and clean picture of the iconic Saint James’s gate. This time I got a good one and here it is.
Last day I needed to go for an appointment early in the morning, but, I would have been happier if I didn’t have to go, as I did not sleep well a few days. Also, when I woke up, the predictions were the winds might go upto 60 Kilometers per hour. I had to get up.
Last night the predictions were not that severe, so I left the windproof jacket hanging on my desk’s chair. Therefore I went out with whatever I had to reach my desk to to get the outer shell from the chair. Also, I left with just my sandals last night, so I got my shoes as well, which was under my desk.
It was truly very windy. I am not a very heavy person, possibly the lightest person within my age-group. Still, people were performing Michael Jackson moves due to the wind, and sometimes being pushed backwards as the wind was too strong to beat and go forward. At a point, I couldn’t just proceed and had to hide behind a wall for a minute, before pushing through the wind again.
There was another problem, the wind was so strong the rain was hitting the people almost horizontally. The estimated feel was around -2 degree Celsius at that time, so it was not that enjoyable. I needed to get to the bus stop and then get a bus. My trousers were all wet till that time. Fortunately I had a track pant kind of stuff underneath which was still dry.
After that, the cloud cover started to move and such a surreal scene was revealed. Therefore the picture, while still struggling to stand due to the wind.
Afterwards, the weather fluctuated like crazy. For example, it was raining when I got into the bathroom, when I came out it was bright sun without any trace of rain. That’s not surprising, given the country.
Here is another picture when the cloud cover removed and while I was waiting for the bus.
Someone retired today, so there was a farewell gathering. After everything happened the helium balloons were still there at the break out area.
There were quite a few balloons tied to a weight. I was thinking if I could attach something light enough, so that the balloons float, and do not move up or down, it would be fun.
Someone else had this idea too. As he was doing exactly the same thing. I joined him. After quite some time, we were able to get a decent weight with a spoon and a few pieces of paper, that it floated, well, kind of. There were a lot of air flow through the vents, but the balance looked cool and it was real fun. We reattached the heavier weight and left it as it was before.
Sometime later, we thought why not inhale the Helium and have fun? The fun is, if you inhale Helium, and then speak, your voice will change and will have a higher pitch. It will sound like Donald duck.
Another guy was passing by, he joined us. So we took one balloon and started taking rounds inhaling the Helium and speaking. It sounded hilarious. Although the voice will change only while the Helium is inside the lung.
It was real fun to try these stuffs. Also, all these just from a Helium balloon.
It’s that time of the year when I need to renew everything. Which includes the domain registration and domain mapping of the other blog. In other things, health insurance, residence card, visas.
These were a few things which you have to deal almost every year. Though for me it seems I need to renew a few more things. The clothes and shoes are falling apart. The pocket of the snow jacket is not working anymore, the shoe has torn apart, need to correct the prescription glasses power, laptop servicing, lost gloves and a somewhat long list.
All these implies, tighter budget this month.
Although the most important thing to be renewed, or more appropriately, refreshed is the mind. It was necessary to get out junk ideas (work related) with which I was stuck, and get out of the vicious cycle of these thoughts, so that I can start working in a fresh mind. I think I was able to do it during the Christmas time.
Most of the things are done for now, but again next year (or so) they would require another renewal or the “reset” or “refresh”, till then, let’s keep the pressure on.
Yesterday I was cleaning the house as normal. I didn’t get much sleep last night, so I was not fully awake while I was cleaning the house before going for work. I finished the kitchen, the hall, the living room,, and at last at my room.
There is a red coloured rag in my room which can collect some real good dirt. But, a SanDisk micro SD card also has a red and black colour!
I was cleaning my room, and there was a piece of paper on the rag. I moved the vacuum brush on it. But! As I started to move the brush on it, inside my mind,, my reaction was: “Shit!!!” . I knew that it was my un-backedup microSD card! Muscle memory moved my arm and sucked in the card. *Clicketly clickety clik clickety clieck”.
Shit!! I powered off the Hoover. Opened the device, took off the bag. Damn! It was fortunate that I noticed that my microSD card, which fell out of my wallet was sucked into the vacuum cleaner device, but there is a difficult task ahead.
I was completely exhausted and very sleepy, therefore I searched for new bags in the store. There was none. That means, I cannot cut the bag with a pair or scissors, but have to dig every bit out. Therefore I started to dig every bit out. This was a painful 45 minutes task, which involved pulling whatever was in the vacuum cleaner bag and check it in detail if there was a microSD card somewhere.
I emptied the bag. No sign of the microSD card. I went through the trash manually (which was mostly carpet fiber and dog hair), still no sign.
When the bag was empty, for the last chance, i shook the bag violently (as I couldn’t cut the bag), and ….. miracle. The microSD card appeared !!!
It’s now in a more secure place 😀
Mixer tap temperature control is a version of tuning a radio for an AM radio station, and trying to get the best audio quality. The only difference is that where you get penalised if you do a mistake if you make a mistake with the taps. I am sure everyone knows about this fact and sometimes it can be a little bit annoying when planning to take a really long shower.
There are essentially four types of such devices to mix hot and cold water I have encountered, which are as follows.
My issue is for the showers only, because the water is pouring all over you. If it is cold, it feels like a shock, if it hot, it feels like fire. I have mostly used the ones with the two separate taps to tune the proper temperature of the water while taking a shower. This is a science to keep the temperature at a constant value. Also if you make a setup the fist day, it may not work the next day, as the temperature of the hot water may not be the same as the last day.
The process goes something like this, first make sure the water is heated for enough time so it really hot. Next, open the hot water tap and let the cold water in the pipe drain out. Next try to find the comfortable temperature by adjusting the tap for cold water. It sounds easy, and it is easy, but there are some challenges.
Once you are in the shower for some time, the temperature of the water may change. It can start to become colder, or warmer, depending on the temperature of the hot water, or a breeze from somewhere (a slightly open window). Then you reach for one of the taps, and this is tricky. The setting is delicate. You have to rotate the tap knob, but the rotation should be so minuscule that you should not feel that it has rotated. If you have rotated a bit too much, it can end up freezing you or burning you. When I tell burn, it is literal. Therefore, at that time, it requires focus, and a very delicate series of very minuscule rotations of the taps to get the right temperature. Read the rest of this entry »
I was going home at a very cold and windy night. Technically it was morning though. The temperature plummeted below zero, the strong wind and the very light drizzle made it unimaginably cold for me. Therefore before leaving my desk, I put enough layers on me. It’s a three and a half kilometer walk.
That day I also wore a pair of gloves. While on the way I took a few pictures of a nearby landmark, which I do almost every night. Though the gloves came with metal mesh on the finger tips of the index finger and the thumb, but as everyone knows, operating anything with the gloves on is clumsy. Therefore I took off the glove from my right hand and kept in the left pocket of the jacket, as the right one already had a music player in it.
After taking a couple of picture, and started walking while flicking through the album and put the phone in my pocket, and then continued to walk. Instead of putting on the glove, I proceeded to walk. After quite some time, when my hand start to become cold, I reached for the glove on the right pocket, but it seemed to be not there! Read the rest of this entry »
This happened long ago, possibly 14 ~ 15 years ago, but I remember this very clearly, because this was a very new experience for me at that time.
I was in a toy shop with my mother one evening. The toy shop also sold a few different cosmetics in a corner where a a few women were trying out some products. This was a pretty old shop run by an old man, which we often visited.
A certain girl who seemed to be from a well to do family (as per current “society standards”), who was way older than me (as she was twice as tall), was opening nail-polish bottles and applying on her nails to test the colours and how it looks. The old man told not to break the the seals of the nail-polish bottles to test them, instead he told her to let him know so that he could get the samples out. The girl told okay, but as the sample set did not have all the colours, she anyways continued breaking the seals anyway. At a point of time all her finger nails were coloured.
The old man was very busy attending the others, and a few others were waiting to get attended along with us. The old man once again requested not to break the seal, as products with broken seal will not be sold. The girl was very rude and taunted the old man told (when translated) something like “I need to test things before I buy, isn’t it? There are shops who fool people and sell bad products”. Although this is kind of a valid statement, but the way it was told this was very indicative and disrespectful for the old man. She told it softly, but the tone and indication was otherwise. The old man happly replied that if there is any defect with the product, she may bring it to the shop and get the money back.
The girl had two more girls accompanying her. I was observing what they were doing. They were talking within themselves and now her friends were trying out the nail-polishes. The old man was getting very upset as almost all of the nail-polish bottle seals were broken. So he requested yet again politely and re-stated the cause why he is telling not to break the seal and tried to take the box down. Now the girl told very loudly so that everyone can hear, and it was something like, “Oh, you will not even see the products we buy?”. Till this point the people who were not following this, would have thought that the old man was the one who was creating the trouble. Then the girl told a few other stuffs which embarrassed the old man. Most interestingly, she actually has not “misbehaved” superficially.
Next the old man went to the other corner of the counter. Now what I saw was important, and at that time I was absolutely stunned to experience.