Sunday, January 29, 2006

Thursday - Sunday

Well, the work continues. Its starting to get pretty cold here. Everyone is praying for snow, especially for events like Alpine Skiing, Biathlon, etc.
Surprise, Surprise! Its snowing in the city, we hear. And it usually never snows there. Its starting to frost a bit here too. Last night, on the way home, the temperature outside for -10 degrees and it was frosting. Visibility was bad!
I go to the city to pick up my new accreditation and my uniform. I am driven to the city by 3 guys from Kyocera. They are for Reprographics. Their names are Marco Groccia, Marco Panzetta and Francesco Stuppia.
After picking up all the stuff, I head over to Zuo Nan's apartment for dinner. They are about 8-9 of us there. Most of them Chinese. Only Sylvain and I are the ones not from China there.
After dinner, we drive back to the mountains with Ben Fisher.
Finally, we have laundary service in Grangesises. More work continues meanwhile. It always alternates between lots of work and just sitting around not doing much. Anyways, its snowing a lot.
I am supposed to go to work today. But Gengi (my VITM) calls and says not to come today as there is lots of snow and not many people have turned up.
I open the door of my room and all i see is fog. It ends up pretty much snowing all day.
Later, in the evening, I go with Luc to Club Med for dinner, where we are met by Gwen and Ben. After dinner and some pool, we head over to Luc, Gwen and Gideon. We spend a lot of time playing on his XBox. We play Dead or Alive 2, NFS underground 2, Tony Hawk 4, etc.
I go to work. The volunteers have come today. They are introduced to us and we take them around for a short tour.
The other interns are saying something about going to SnowBoarding. There is a competition in Montgenevre and all the stars who will take part in the Winter Games are supposed to be there.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Monday - Wednesday

More work. Its nice and cold for a change. When we leave Club Med after dinner, it is frosting and the temperature is 10 degrees below freezing! :)
Nothing new, just the usual work. The one surprising thing, was the lunch! Couldnt believe my eyes when I saw there was a vegetable preparation more commonly known in India as "kaanda-bateta" (a vegetable of onions and potatoes with gravy). It was pretty good, almost like what we have in India.
We begin with Implementation soon, and we will be working this weekend for sure. We have to implement over 50 computers in 2 days. Should be fun.
Today, there were practice runs going on for luge and skeleton. The Italian team and FIL were present. Even in the trials, they go REALLY fast, believe me!
Tomorrow, I have to go to the Main Accreditation Center(MAC) / Uniform Distribution Centre(UDC) to pick up my new accreditation and the uniforms, which I'm told are the colours of Holland. Yep, they're Orange! I mean, the uniform is Orange in colour and not the accreditation (I think I'm sounding like a PG Wodehouse novel ;))

Monday, January 23, 2006

Thursday - Sunday

Its work as usual. We have our breakfast and dinner at Club Med in Sestriere. It is free food.

More work. Today for lunch, we go to San Sicario Fraiteve. We reach there by Gondola (the cable car and not the boat! ) The food is nice.

Saturday, Sunday:
Sleep, Sleep, Sleep! and watch a bit of Italian TV. Watched the italian editions of KBC and Big brother. Lol.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Tuesday - Wednesday

I leave Torino to leave for the mountains. I will be staying at Grangesises. It is close to Sestriere.
I arrive at Grangesises and am shown to my room. I will be sharing with 2 chinese guys, Lui Yi and Gu Zhillong. The view from my room is AWESOME! Ill try to upload a picture when i can.
I have to meet my Venue IT Manager(VITM) at 2 pm at Cesana Pariol (CEP). We decide to walk to Sestriere. At Sestriere, Alex (Alessandro Varialle - HDM) informs me that I do not have to go to CEP today. Instead he shows me around his venue. I meet Gwen (French) and Myrthe (Dutch).
I meet my VITM Genluigi Iervolino (Gengi). He tells me to meet him tomorrow at 0815 and he will take me to CEP.
Wednesday 0830:
I leave with Gengi to go to CEP. He is a pretty nice guy. He was at Salt Lake City as the Venue Technology Manager (VTM) and is the VITM this time around. He shows me around the venue. The view is just too good for words. Right out of a postcard! I spend the day logging a couple of tickets and helping with Implementation.
Paul Peterson is having a dinner with us interns, and I will headed there soon. Its in the city. Should be fun.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Weekend - Monday

The weekend is spent essentially sleeping and eating. On saturday night, we went for dinner to this mexican place. Surprisingly, they played "Mundian to bach ke rahi" in the background. Sunday nite is for apertivo as usual.

I go to TOROC office and meet Sabrina. The 4 ppl from Shanghai have arrived. I go along with them to the bank to pick up my first per diem, 1085 euros! :D After that, I head to the Main Accreditation Centre to pick up my accreditation card. Then, on to Palasport Olimpico for more hands on training.

Monday evening:
It turns out that my accreditation card will have to be changed as there is an error in my designation. Ill have to go there sometime. And Im supposed to leave for Cesana Pariol at 9.30 am. Hmmm

Saturday, January 14, 2006


I reach Palasport Olimpico. It is the venue for Ice Hockey and Im going to be receiving training there from Zuo Nan. The Venue IT Manager is a guy called Bill Schlough, who I'm later told is the Vice President and Chief Information Officer of the San Francisco Giants (Baseball team in USA). Wow. Anyways, he's a pretty nice guy.
Zuo Nan explains about tickets and SupportWorks and I try it hands on. Its nice, pretty easy. SupportWorks is the system for reporting problems and assigning them to the responsible people for it who will solve them, so the Service Level Agreement (SLA) is maintained.

We go for lunch along with a couple of guys from the Kyocera team, Marco and Alfonso. They are both from Sicily (Godfather anyone? ;)). For lunch, I have something who name i dont remember. It is a typical Piedmontese dish, which is essentially 5 cuboids of local cheese along with some gravy. Its pretty nice, totally different from anything I've eaten so far.

We take a tour around the venue. Later, we get an email from Paul Peterson, saying Im going to be moved to the mountains on tuesday. The venue is Cesana Pariol, which is the venue for Luge, Skeleton and BobSleigh. Should be fun.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Wednesday Evening - Thursday Evening

Wed Night:
Bart and Remi come over for dinner. Remi makes some pasta. Bart tries some of the "thepla" I have brought from home. He loves it. As usual, the entire evening is a lot of fun.
More data entry today. I have lunch at the Chinese place. Have a Margarita Pizza with coke. Its good. I am told that tomorrow I have to go Palasport Olimpico to receive some training. Sounds like fun. It is the venue for Ice Hockey.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


I reach TOROC and Mike tells me that the trip to the mountains has been delayed. They will wait for the 4 ppl from Shanghai who are scheduled to come on Monday. So, me and prolly 1 of those Shanghai ppl will be going to the Cesana Pariol on Wednesday.
Cesana Pariol is going to be the event for Luge, Skeleton and Bobsleigh. Its looks awesome, can't wait to get there. Will be REALLY REALLY cold though.
I continue working with Maurizio on the elearning part.
I go to lunch with Paul, Mike and Alan. We are then joined by Paul Peterson (he was the one who had taken my interview and had been in touch with, met him for the first time today) and 3 other ladies.
I have Pasta Arrabiatta for lunch which is nice, and spicy by Italian standards. And oc, Cappucino afterwords.
I am done with work and will leave as soon as i finish blogging. The internet here is unbelievable.


I reach TOROC and am told by Mike that i will be working with Maurizio Gotta. The task is basically to create acounts and allot them courses for the elearning. Nothing fancy, but someone needs to do it. But sadly, the process cant be automated, some problems with that, hence i gotta do it manually.

After lunch, I buy a bar of Lindt dark chocolate. Its awesome.

We are going to watch a football match tonite. Its Juventus vs Fiorentina in the Coppa Italia. That is something similar to the FA Cup in England. I ask Maurizio and go to my apartment to pick up my camera, passport (apparently, all ppl buying tickets need to show passports....some sort of security precaution, i guess), etc. I am to go to the stadium with Fernando Mortara (more on him later). I get a bit late coming back and i just miss him. I am wondering how Ill reach the stadium, when he comes back...he had forgotten his keys. Lucky Me!

Anyways, we take a bus to the stadium - Stadio Delle Alpi where we are going to meet many more of Atos ppl.

Fernando is from Sao Paulo, Brazil. Pretty nice, chilled out guy. Was fun talking with him and comparing lifestyles in Bombay and Sao Paulo.

We all meet at the Stadium and buy tickets for La Tribuna Ovest. It costs 15 euros. Not too bad. The seats are awesome though, right on the halfline. They are a little low, but good nonetheless. The match turns out to be a very much one-sided affair. Juve are 3-0 up in about 20 minutes and the match is as good as over. The Juve fans are chanting and its a nice atmosphere. However, as the stadium is about half-empty, its not that noisy.
The Fiorentina fans, seeing their team playing badly start throwing chairs and the security step in. Luckily, no ppl were too near them to get hurt. But then, thats what you expect in an Italian football match, especially when the 2 clubs are old rivals.
It is REALLY cold at the stadium!! and the refreshments are'nt too great either.
However, the football is good and Juve win 4-1 thanks to a hattrick by Del Piero.

The match and we try to make our way back to our apartment. After looking around for buses or trams and finding none, we decide to take a taxi. The trip costs about 20 euros which gets split 4 ways, so its 5 euros per head. Not bad.

Sylvain tries some Indian snacks and finds it a lil too spicy. He did like it though, he hadnt eaten anything like it before.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Day 3

My roommate Sylvain(France) comes back from this trip to Rome. We chat for a bit and head off to sleep. Gonna be a long day today.

Leave to go the TOROC (Torino Olympic Office). I have to take a tram from Via Madama Cristina. Now the funny thing is, I have to take a tram no 18. But i am told by Slyvain that it can be a bus or a tram. Wierd!
Anyways, I reach the TOROC office and 0900 and meet Sabrina. She gets an ID done for me. I then meet Mike Fisher (USA). He's a nice guy and takes me on a short trip around the office. I meet Alan and Paul (British). I am told that there is some conflict to be resolved as 2 different teams want me. So ill have to wait till it gets resolved.

I go for lunch with Mike, Paul and Alan. They're all fun guys and the last 2 are British. Need i say more?
We go to this Chinese resaurant and have pizza. Ironic huh? I had a pizza with tomatoes, mozarrella cheese, onions and oregano. Pretty good. After lunch, we head off to a coffee shop and i have a Cappucino. Im told its like an Italian tradition to have coffee after Lunch. The coffee was AWESOME! Barista and CCD SUCK! And the whole thing was pretty cheap too, paid 7.5 euros for the pizza, coke and coffee.
After coffee, we head back to work where i have a lot more waiting to do

Im still waiting. Meanwhile, this nice lady next to me gets an account created for me so i can use the Internet. Really helpful ppl all!
I surf the net and am blown away with the speed. Do a speed test and the results are 1 mbps :) Wish i had such a connection at home.

Finally, I decide to leave. Alan says to come tomorrow at 0930. He's gonna have a meeting with Paul Peterson then and I should be alloted to work soon.

Day 2

Woke up after a nice long sleep, did tp all afternoon, ate maggi.

Went with Remi to Piazza Castello. There we met Jerome, Luc and Ed(Dutch). Piazza Castello is like the centre of town, with lots of shopping. After looking around a bit, went for "apertivo". It is basically an all-you-can-buffet for about 5 euros. Damn good. Great food - I had pasta, corn, tortilla chips etc. Was good!

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Day 1

Paris: 0740
The flight reaches on time, but due to some problems it cant go to the terminal. So we stop somewhere and are ferried to the terminal by a coach! Not bad, the temperature is about 0 degrees C.
The transfer process takes ages, dunno why! Charles De Gaulle (CDG) airport is kinda confusing, the signs are totally counter-intuitive. But its a nice airport nonetheless, and coming from our dear own Chattrapati Shivaji International Airport (CSI :P) I can't really complain.
I buy a calling card and make a few phone calls back home.
Paris: 1240
The flight to Torino is supposed to leave now, but we still havent boarded. No idea whats going on.
Paris: 1400
Finally, we're airborne. Turns out the problem was some strike or union trouble and there was no one to load our baggage into the flight!
Torino: 1515
Flight lands, I collect my bags and out my way out, Im held by an undercover cop who asks me to open my bag. I do the needful and he checks that my bag doesnt contain anything it shouldnt. It doesnt and Im allowed to move on.
Sabrina is waiting for me at the airport along with a driver. Its a Lancia. Nice car, complete with GPS and all. Looks similar to the Nav Map in NFS ;)
I reach my apartment in a little while. Its a nice place. My roommate is Sylvian(France) and he's not here at the moment. He's gone to Roma for the weekend and he's gonna come back Sunday nite.
Torino: 1730
I go for a short walk around my block.
My neighbours drop in to say Hi. They've just got off work. My neighbours are Bart(Holland) and Remi(France). They're pretty nice guys.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

To Torino

Finally, my Visa is done. Cant believe how much of a pain it was.

On Wednesday evening, if anyone had told me that I'd be flying on Saturday Morning, it would have been pretty difficult to believe.But due to all the efforts and hard work put in by the Atos Origin people viz. Ashu Mam, Zarin Mam, Wasim, Paul and others (who i don't even know), I finally got my Visa and passport on thursday evening.

So, here I am, all excited to go...gonna leave tonite, flying by Air France (heard the airline is supposed to be pretty good). The flight is at 0240 from Mumbai airport to Paris CDG. A 9 and half hour flight followed by a 5 hour wait and onto Torino. The scheduled arrival time is 1410 Italian Time (GMT + 1/IST -4.30)

I will try to keep posting here as regularly as I can. As usual, comments are welcome.