Montreal => My first impression

I had been waiting for a long time to put my first impression of Montreal here on my blog. Most of it is taken from the mail I wrote to my friends describing things which intrigued me.

I am in Montreal now and its awesome, simply the word is awesome. Here everything is very different from how I had been used to seeing or doing. I have a Mcgill Id card saying I m a trainee with them which also is my key to 12 libraries, doors of most of the buildings on campus. My mentor is very cool, relaxed and pro. He has cultivated good stress freework culture in our lab and is very helpful too. We have lunch together in the kitchen of our lab 😀 which has cutlery, microwave and fridge. We have talked about different topics and he is a New Yorker himself who bikes to his office in our lab :).  Every where they have the chilled water dispenser which throws the water upwards(which I find a bit weird and uncomfortable to drink from), as on our Delhi airport.  The lab is super cool, I have uploaded some pics on my google and facebook, please have a look. Here it seems that real money is spent on Research and Projects.

My LandLord is an french canadian guy, who is very different and loves Palak Paneer 😛 and loves to laugh :D. My housemate Sebastian Knotz, is an Austrian guy, who is going some civil service work for an year here. He is living in with his girlfriend. He is quite outgoing and social. I have developed good friendship with him and we often go out to clubs and house parties. The only Indian I know is Archi bhaiya, who is ‘Mummy Ji’. He is very accommodating, helpful and fun to be with. Doon school kae bande hai!! 😀

Name of my lab is Center of Intelligent machines (CIM), McGill. My project is a mobile application(on both platforms, iOS and Android) which helps blind users to explore their surroundings. It is not a navigation app, it helps blind users by providing added audio cues through special headphones so that they can hear the normal sounds in the surrounding plus the added info that the device generates depending on where they are walking. The Iphone part is pretty cool, and I am working on its android port so that we can have the same quality on both devices. Google is one of our funder and it has a blind employee who uses our app. I went to meet him the second day after I started here 🙂 The Google office was pretty cool too. It had the Google map of downtown Montreal imprinted on the floor with the reception centered at the address of Google, Quebec

One major difference is street etiquette. People here are generally very rich, or at least for us their way of living is. Public transport can be used by obtaining one card, OPUS card. You can travel anywhere, as many times as you want, you can just take a Months add-on in the card which is for 70$ on a 10$ card and u are good to go anywhere in Montreal. Its all very seamless and easy. Every time you enter the bus, the driver will bid you ‘Hi/Bonjour’ and a ‘have a good a day’ while your are leaving. But the most preferred mode of transport is bikes, bicycles if you may..   Every one is on a bike, a guy with an expensive suit, a beautiful lady with any kind of dress, may it be a single piece dress, jeans or skirt  or anything else, guys without any upper clothing to guys with full sports cycling gear on..speeding through the roads. Its awesome. All the pedestrians only cross the roads on zebra crossing and ya literally its the way I imagined, a car driver will stop the car in front of you and bid you to go first.. 🙂 Also, these bikes are very common inside building offices, my mentor, Jeff brings his on the 436th room on the 4th floor of our building. 🙂

Buildings etc..Houses have no fan and are mostly made of wooden flooring completely.Everyone leaves computers and laptops open, lights open (Huge wastage of electricity, which I dont like !! ). No one cares, as papa says, its a electricity rich country so, I guess it shows clearly :P. But Most of the houses have the brick layer outside which gives the city a beautiful look. McGill Campus is more like as we see in wonder land, or Hogwards. 😛 Here the grocery stores are huge..HUGE..I went to one and it had, like 6-7 choices of onions, have you ever seen any other kind except the one we use? There were 12-15 types and brands of milk, 1% fat, 3.25% fat, cream for coffee and what not.But things are quite expensive here a compared to India.  Also one og the Cineplex that’s like everyone’s favorite has 20 odd screens :O. There are many museums
and big parks you can visit and spend your weekend at.

Here you can find all sorts of food. Specialty of Montreal is Poutine.I still have to try it. Pizzas suck here. They dont have good pizza places, goa was much much better :P. I had sushi, and its awesome. They do give you chopsticks as well which I learnt to use in like 5 mins ;). Bagel is very famous. The coffee places are awesome, you will find then flooded always. They have wifi, ppl do all sorts of stuff there; Study, Work, Surf the net, News and also make love 😛 My food experience is a bit lacking , I couldnt try much, but will be upto some good treats soon. Havent gone to any indian stores yet.  Yogurt Ice cream is also very common here.

I miss my friends and family a lot. I try to keep in touch with them as much as possible. Sometime its a bit lonely, but I keep myself busy to prevent myself from get that mood swing. I still imagine, if I had my college friendes here with me. Things would have been crazy and wild!!!!! I miss my college masti as well. 😦

Also, I know for sure I will change in a lot of ways after I go back. I am learning a lot here and its not only professional but about different cultures, etiquette, standards and much more.

This is how it is.. 🙂


Some Coffee is what i want….

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 26:  A freshly made...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

I am a Coffee lover.”Din raat Nescafe frappe peena meri hobby ban gayi hai!” Give me nothing but coffee to drink and I will happily survive!! Coffee is a glorious thing. I love hanging out at CCD- Café Coffee Day. You can learn to customize your drink to your taste. Amazing isn’t it? Let us share some info.

Hot Coffee Beverages

  1. Regular Coffee – There are often a variety of roasts available at coffeeshops, so ask the barista (the person making your coffee) what today’s roasts are. Dark roasts tend to be full-bodied and bold, however they do not necessarily have more caffeine. Light roasts are milder and are sometimes referred to as “breakfast blends.”
  2. Latte – Simply put, espresso with steamed milk and a small amount of foam. When ordering a latte, ask how many shots of espresso are in the size drink you want. You may need to order an extra shot if you enjoy a stronger espresso flavor.
  3. Cappuccino – This drink consists of espresso, part steamed milk, and part foam. A “wet” cappuccino contains more steamed milk for a creamier drink. A “dry” cappuccino contains more foam, which creates a more intense espresso flavor.
  4. Americano – This means espresso cut with hot water. The ratio of espresso to water varies greatly from coffeeshop to coffeeshop, so be sure to ask how much espresso is put into an establishment’s americano.
  5. Mocha – A typical mocha contains chocolate sauce. espresso, and steamed milk topped with a little foam. If a coffeeshop offers a caramel mocha or a white mocha, caramel sauce or white chocolate replaces the chocolate sauce.
  6. Macchiato – Either a single or double shot of espresso topped with a spoonful of milk foam.

Cold Coffee Types

  1. Iced Coffee – Always ask how a coffeeshop makes their iced coffees. Some places simply put hot coffee over ice. Others will brew a pot of coffee and refrigerate it. Still others may use a cold brew method. Some places include milk or cream in their iced coffees, so if you are lactose intolerant, be sure to specify to make your drink with either a soy substitute or water.
  2. Frozen Cappuccinos or Frappes – Either espresso or coffee blended with milk and flavored syrups. If you are watching your sugar intake, beware of coffee granita machines. If a coffeeshop makes their frappes to order, see if they have sugar free options available.
  3. Iced Cappuccino/ Latte/ Mocha – They should be the same as their hot counterparts except that the steamed milk is replaced by cold milk and the drink is poured over ice cubes.

Whether you already have a regular drink, or you like being an adventurous coffee consumer; it’s always a good idea to ask the barista questions when you order at a new coffeeshop. They should be more than willing to help you get the drink you want. Happy coffee ordering! I hope after reading this you will use the info in getting better coffee as a drink.

I was intrigued by Latte art, sometime in future we will discuss the same again.


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Tests!! When vultures start circling..

“Shubham Atlani: Optimizing a problem in which objective function is to minimize study hrs & the constraint is to get greater than or equal to average. The best part is that ‘marks obtained’ is a restricted variable.”
Aryan  Singh: “This too shall pass but hopefully I won’t pass out before that.”

This post is all about how the environment or you can say the bits eco system changes  as the examinations approach. This post is all about my observations in the past two weeks. If you are a college student you might understand what exactly I am talking about, and even if you are not you may enjoy reading it because it will remind you of your good old days or the days to come!!

Pre-Tests ……………

Some things that occur and become the indicator of the fact that tests are approaching. The “LIB”. Our library is flooded with people, there are Laptops and books and students all over the place. This time, this semester, the  rush was so much that the administration opened a the 2nd floor for students to study. This is new!!.   The SAC (student activity centre) suddenly goes empty. The students start dropping out of class and study in their rooms.

The various eating joints except our mess are always busy. The demand of coffee rises as if coffee was some mantra that could get you marks for free. “Akhein lal hai, but itna bacha hai ki coffee pee pee kae khol lenge”. The night canteen guy is happy enough not to sleep because this is the fortune Period with highest demand.

There are RADIOS that start on the lan(Local Area Network). It’s for those who love music with studies. So some guy, probably, who has nothing to do starts up a radio and caters to them. And then there is always  the option of playing Counter-Strike on lan. ‘Khud ka GG (bitsian lingo for pathetic state of affairs) huawa hai toh virtually GG(God like Gaming) karke shaanti milti hai’. ). Many new TV series are started during these period as they act as stress busters. Some of the common being – “FRIENDS”, “HOW I MET YOUR BROTHER’, ‘BIG BANG THEORY’,’LOST’ etc.Motivational thoughts and Success quotes start flowing into the rooms. The one that stands out is the time table in the many stick-ons.

Tests Going on…………………!! :( 😥 :D
During the tests the scene is different. Gtalk status messages tell you a lot about the state of mind of a average Bitsian.

Pranav: “4-vector of T1 –> (GG ,GG ,GG ,icGG) :(
Kabir : “Mane ya na mane”, (mane is the name of one of his professors
Chirag: T1 = Torture 1 T2 = Torture 2 COMPRE ® = Complete Oppression of Mental Peace & Residual Euphoria ™
Aryan Singh: “EDICK is the pain in the ass”……..ROF
Anurag Singh: Not @ Desk || Day 2 — 2/7 KAT GAYA!!! || Biju _/_ || OBviously the TOC[theory of Computation](talk) of the day is “Hamne CS kyun li!!”
Anurag singh: Day 3 — 6/7….. || A Little Peace in times of Turmoil!!
DHRUV: song for microelectronix: mann bechara bin samjha ke “mane” na….main pagla gya hun…samajhne se bhi samjhe na….
Shreyas: the bits paper setting system;if it is easy it has to be lengthy else it has to has to be too tough.

As soon as the test gets over, the discussion start, “Yaar average kya hogi?”, “Yaar mera to !@#$ ho gaya, teacher !@#$% hai, book kae peeche kae questions directly de diye?”, “Tune toh phod Diya hoga!!”The DC(a  common software on lan) experiences deluge with these discussions.

The famous lines are

  2. ”Bahut padh raha hai yaar”
  3. ”Li8 le, Test 2 and compre hai na”
  4. “Kitna Ho Gaya

Now I don’t understand the fact that isn’t it me myself who wrote the test and would know ki how well I have done. Every other person exclaims the above line again and again. There are times when one of the guys is watching a movie and from outside the door comes a taunt, “Bahut Padh raha hai yaar”.Kitna ho gaya is the lamest question I have ever heard of. How does ‘mera kitna hua, affect you’.

At the end , i would like to thank my friends who help me in writing this post and letting me use there Status messages. Do leave comments if you like it or not or you would like to share your expirience with us.