I am currently on a trip to what must be the Vanilla ice cream of all foreign Locales. The US. In fact one hardly even feels like calling it a Locale. This trip though, thus far, has been pretty interesting. For one I have experienced first hand what people assured me I would once I started working - Corporate seduction.
Now that the fantasy has formed in your head I must disappoint you.
A car, for myself, was awaiting me at the airport. A hotel room, plush in its comforts awaited me at the end of the car journey. I couldnt help but contrast it to my time as a student here - getting ripped off by cab drivers, trudging a mile every day through ankle deep snow with my nose completely frozen, sleeping on a ball on the floor... I now admire the snow covered landscape form the window of a heated automobile and instead of muttering choice hindi gaalis when the snow comes down, I say "How quaint."
A short visit to my university was also squeezed in. I feel like I have made my peace with the place. My departure was very hurried, I was out of the country before a week had passed after my Defense. I hadnt even got my degree then. So going back, after such a short time, felt good. Said goodbye to two of my favourite restaurants - had two lunches - something I hadnt done in the brouhaha of relocation. Young chow still makes a killer Black Pepper Chicken. Also felt great going back to my Lab. The place is the same, as messy and paper strewn as it used to be. It was fun meeting up with the guys, everybody is very excited about something new that is being researched. Felt good.
However, the most awesome experience of the trip (unexpectedly, I must admit) relates to my present job and I am glad that it turned out to be so. I drove a vehicle that runs on hydrogen. And it didnt have any funny dials and spewing gas ducts and it looked absolutely nothing like the Batmobile George Clooney drove. It was just like a vehicle you drive to work everyday. I knelt down near the exhaust of the car and took a deep deep breath. Even stuck my tongue out. It was water vapour.. steam - the kind that comes out of the pressure cooker - only a bit cooler.
I can now bask in the (ill directed probably, but who cares?) glory that I am doing my two bits to save the planet. :)
More about Fuel Cells - here.
As an aside, I also did see the Batmobile that George Clooney drove. It was an exhibit at the Henry Ford museum here - as you can tell I ve been soaking in the Detroit auto culture. Put in the circus over the election of Barack Obama and the current drama about bailing out GM,Ford and Chrysler from bankruptcy - its been an eventful month in the US.
Vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce.