February 17th, 2008


Dharamsala -> Punjab -> Kashmir

Today's adventure involved a trip from Dharamsala through Punjab to Kashmir.

The Kashmir international airport is a fortress... I kid you not. I am somewhat surprised that they allowed me to open my laptop (in theory I might get Internet access).

My cell phone doesn't work here either... like in Tokyo... though completely different.

In fact, Kashmir is about as opposite Tokyo as you can get.

What is weird about Kashmir? English everywhere. Completely alien in many ways... but still I can read all of the signs.

Our driver wasn't let into the compound, so we had to foot our ways through the crowd outside of the gate into the airport. The one guard who told me to not take pictures inside of the airport was nice about it.

Back to Delhi today, and on to Chennai. This was just a two day trip since we had no work to do over the weekend (ok... not entirely true... since I spent time hacking for a bit of it).

Dharamsala is as pretty and interesting as you might think it is. Photos to follow :)

When flying through a war zone...

When the guys says "You can not take your backpack"

And you think "That bag has flown over 400K miles and never been checked in!"

You say "Oh sure, no problem!"

It also means you walk out onto the tarmac to identify the bag before they will put it in the hold.

X-Ray machine?

Hand scanner. They found my spare key in my wallet. No one has ever noticed that.

My laptop? Checked battery, and power up.

Same for my Video iPod.

But you know what?

I didn't have to take my shoes off....

Oh, and they did not care about my portable screwdriver in my bag (which has only been found once in six year, and that was by the French).

The guards were all nice, and carrying armed weapons. And you know? It did not make me worried at all.

Time through security? 15 minutes at most, including re-checking my backpack.

Now ask yourselves, how many things the TSA could learn from the Kashmir security forces?

Life Casting, PlanetPlanet...

Since PlanetPlanet aggregation for open source projects worked so well, why hasn't someone considered to do the same for the life casting sites? (Twitter and such...).

mysqllife.org? Peel the meme's tagged as MySQL off from twitter and put them in a stream to watch?

Social Networking, Pervasive Presence...

The hotel should know that I am "Brian Aker"

It should be able to tell me if other friends are booked here, and that I am happy for them to know about me being here.

It should know that I want a non-smoking room.

It should know that I do not want the newspaper.

Most importantly?

It should know that I do not want starch put in my laundry.