Saturday, June 03, 2006


Oom-pithe-tal (OPT) is a French phrase which can be loosely translated to mean ‘the state where life is ordered and tranquil’. I have been experiencing OPT ever since I landed here in Chicago…

1. When I landed, I was supposed to be here for a week (for the initial kickoff) and then move to Troy for my onsite assignment. But then the plans got changed and I was asked to continue here. My house lease plans went for a toss and I had to intrude into one of my friend’s apartment. I didn’t know that was just the beginning of things to come.

2. The apartment complex where I decided to stay had strict rules about its tenants and guests. They didn’t encourage guests using the tenant's swipe card for admittance (yea, we had to swipe a card each time we entered the building), so my friend had to see me off and pick me back each time I went out and returned.

3. I couldn’t receive my parcels as I didn’t have my name on the apartment mailbox.

4. My project work sucks.

5. I applied for an SSN, and when they sent the card, it was bounced because I didn’t have my name on the mailbox.

6. I applied for a bank card. The first card which the bank sent had the same fate as that of my SSN card. I applied again, and asked them to send it to the local branch. I went there and collected it, started using it. On the third day, when I swiped my card after buying a cold coffee, the cute lady at the counter smiled at me “This card is no good”. Transactions were declined on that card. I checked with the bank, they said there was a ‘lost or stolen’ reported against the card. The lost or stolen was in fact on my first card. Somehow they messed it up. I had to wait for another week to get my third card.

7. I still havnt applied for my driving license.

8. I applied for a credit card. It was declined. I know you are not surprised, so here is the rest of the story. I had citibank calling me three times, conducting a session for me and my friends before I left for US, educating me about the benefits of the card they are going to give me. They even followed up with a mail after me reaching here. I finally applied and they promptly rejected.

9. I used to stay at the 46th floor and the reception for my cellphone was pathetic to say the least. I used to get connected once in a while; I tried drawing a pattern between the connection availability and the strength of wind, but cant say I was successful.

10. My friend fell ill.

Finally to take care of 2, 3 and 9, I shifted to a new apartment.

11. After moving in, I realized that my new place has absolutely no connectivity for cellphones. Before this, I used to get calls, only problem was occasionally my calls were dropped. But here, I don’t even get connected, so don’t have to worry about dropped calls any more.

Now I am eagerly waiting for the next bazooka my way :_)