Category Archives: World Around Me

Open Borders across Europe

As Indians, the word border only means war & tension to us. I cannot explain how exciting it is to cross borders on foot without any control what so ever.

St. Louis Grenze
St. Louis Grenze

Basel, where I was based, happens to be the north-west tip of Switzerland, bordering with France & Germany – making it an international city. In fact the airport is also shared by the 3 countries, and you can choose to pass through either country’s passport control. There are 2 main railways – the Swiss SBB & French SNCF station, and the German DB station.

German border crossing
German border crossing
The Intersection
The Intersection

The 3 countries meet at a point on the river Rhine, and the intersection is celebrated by the Rhinecenter mall on its banks. In fact, we walked in 3 countries in a matter of an hour, although it wasn’t good enough to mark them ‘done’. Switzerland also shares its borders with Austria on the east, and Italy on the south. Swiss cars bear the Swiss flag on their number plates
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Pristine & Picturesque Switzerland

I’ve been lucky to visit Switzerland thrice this year, adding bits to my Swiss experience each time. A post on this pristine and picturesque country can be concluded at the very beginning – its outright beautiful!

Every frame is a postcard photo
Every frame is a postcard photo

At least for us Indians, some credit does go to Yash Chopra for the glamour he has attached to this mountainous nation. For him, the returns have not only been monetary, but also honorary: Interlaken’s Victoria Jungfrau Grand Hotel offers the ‘Yash Chopra Suite’ at $2,000-per-night. As our Swiss client had warned, the peaks of Jungfrau & Pilatus are flooded with Asians – particularly Indian, Chinese & Japanese. The Restaurant Bollywood atop Jungfrau – the top of Europe – hints at the same.

Lucerne
Lucerne

Swiss people are absolutely fantastic: well mannered & very helpful. People will go out of the way to find you answers, whether on the street or at the post office. Their manners, put together with the importance of privacy, are what make you feel so safe. The latest I’ve taken a train in Switzerland is 23:30 with full baggage, reached my hotel at 01:30 and not once was I worried. At least between my train journeys on the European continent, I don’t think it gets safer than this. Everything from watches Continue reading

Introducing my better half: Meet Aditi Chitnis-Gupte

Aditi
Aditi

I should’ve done this long back, and there’s no great reason to justify holding the news. All I can say is the probation is over and the news is confirmed, I’m married!

Yes, I got married late last year to this wonderful lady – Aditi Chitnis (now Gupte). No, she’s not a nerd; She comes from a completely different vertical that has nothing to do with engineering or IT. And that alleviated the development of our interest in a common, neutral area – us!

You don’t come across great human beings like Aditi every other day; someone who exemplifies love, understanding & support. Her energy levels are completely disproportionate to her physique – she’s “atom ant”. Barring numbers, I am sure she will help add everything else in our life.

Welcome to the family Aditi!