Saturday, June 9, 2007

Living in the Future

It is 9:30 PM here, and jet-lagged Rob is exhausted. Dad asked me to explain who Nels was and what "living in the future" meant, and this fits nicely with saying what I did today. The only order of business today was connecting with Nels, which I finally managed (Peerappa smiled knowingly and showed me I had to press "0" twice). There are three interesting things about Nels.
  • Nels is one of a few American interns here this summer - there will be four or five total.
  • We are working on the same project for the first half of the summer
  • He happens to work two offices down from me at Carnegie Mellon
Nels decided to work for MSR India a few weeks before I did - his research interests are more directly aligned with this project - and knowing I would have a friend here was a contributing factor in me deciding to come as well. I got in touch with Nels through his cell phone, and it looks like I'll probably get one too. That will be convenient, because my internet connection isn't quite good enough to consistently do Skype well.

Nels also coined a phrase "living in the future" to describe the effect of the time difference between India and the United States. The idea is that, while it is 9:30 on Saturday here, it is only noon Saturday there. My day is done, and yours is only halfway over (or perhaps just beginning, if you sleep late). When you wake up Sunday morning, don't bother living Sunday - just call me. I'm already finished with Sunday, I'll let you know how it went. This thought is the basis of the joke that I'm "living in the future."

I went to a busy shopping district with Nels and Jason, another intern who is a rising senior at Harvey Mudd, to look around, buy a surge protector so I can plug in my laptop more conveniently, and eat dinner. It was busy but fun - there are lots of street vendors and more than a couple of beggars, but if you disregard the fact that they get right up in your face (Indians have a somewhat different idea of "personal space") they seemed friendlier and more polite than ones in most American cities.

Tomorrow I go on a two-day retreat with all the people I'm working with before actually starting any work. It's a pretty good deal!


Coley said...

Now when you say it's noon here, do you mean Eastern time? I'm guessing so, considering that's the time zone both your school and parents are in.

You need to take some pictures because the only image I have of India in my head is what I saw in Born Into Brothels. Granted, that was Calcutta, but still. The map you posted had a palace on it, so I want to see what this area looks like.

Rob said...

Yes, Eastern Daylight Time to be precise. India has no daylight savings time, so it's 10.5 hours from Eastern Standard Time and 9.5 hours from Eastern Daylight Time.

Nels takes pictures too:

Chris said...

Oddly, a lot of people I know have been saying "living in the future" to refer to that phenomenon for quite awhile - but then we also say it to indicate that we are living in a world with a lot of creepily convenient or scifi-resembling technology.