heading south…

1 week and 5 days = time since my last post…at least 1 week will = time until my next post…for I’m going to Mali for a week tomorrow, and I don’t expect to be even checking my email while I’m there let alone posting anything on the blog. Since its a work-related travel and not a holiday, I won’t be going anywhere other than the capital city Bamako. Everybody thinks of Timbuktu when they think of Mali, and I am no different. However, due to the nature of my trip this time, I won’t be able to go to Timbuktu unfortunately.

Anyway, although its been long since I posted anything here, I have in fact been writing, offline of course, for the last couple of weeks. Mainly because most of those writings have been incoherent thoughts, and I didn’t want to spend too much time turning them into coherent (and concise) blog entries. And also because a lot of them are very personal, which I didn’t feel ready to post publicly, although the boundaries have been moving a lot more inwards lately. I am actually thinking of giving some shape (perhaps in the form of a long story or a novelette) to those thoughts and post it here when I can devote some quality time on such an endeavour. However, judging by the amount of other things that have been lining up on my “to do list”, it will be quite a while before I can work on my “non-academic” writings!
Continue reading heading south…

UK Home Office ripping off poor overseas students!?!

When I first came to the UK, and during my first three years as an undergraduate student, I didn’t have to pay any fee to extend my visa. I do think charging a reasonable amount (to cover administrative costs or whatever) is justified, and I wouldn’t be complaining at all. However, last time I had to apply for an extension to my student visa (a couple of months ago), I had to pay £250! If I had applied in person rather than through the post as I did, I would have paid £500!

Today, I received the following email from the University’s International Student Support Co-ordinator. We overseas students already pay at least three times as much in tuition fees as the home students (including those from the EU), and now this increase in visa extension fees, and all other fees related to immigration services just seems a way of making money for the Home Office by ripping off poor students like myself! How can it cost £300 to process a visa extension application!?!
Continue reading UK Home Office ripping off poor overseas students!?!

Gmail errors…

I would have said its a rarity if you had asked me only a week or so ago, but suddenly I’m beginning to see these quite frequently…FIVE-SIX times already today!

Gmail Error 1

Error in connection on Google Chat (see below) is not that rare however. Sometimes you just have to stay idle for a bit and the connection error pops up.

Gmail Error 2

Start of the week…with ME

Its Sunday, and I’m in the office, which is very unusual for me here in York. I normally leave weekends unproductive, in every sense of the word. I wanted to change that this weekend by doing some work – some toward my academic commitments, and some for my French language. Needless to say it hasn’t worked out so far. Yesterday I came to office to “do some work”, but ended up reading a bit, writing a bit and procrastinating A LOT. Today, I am here from early in the morning with my usual supply of fruits, and chocolates, and crisps, and water. I just don’t feel like doing ANYTHING. And Sunday is actually the start of the week for me.

Yesterday I was type-chatting with my brother on MSN and he asked me how dynamic my life here must be! I had to think whether I should lie and tell him that the life here is great, or tell him the truth and say how miserable, monotonous and boring it actually is – most of the time anyway. Of course I couldn’t lie and told him exactly how I feel about my life here (most of the time I must stress…occasionally, its quite good!). I said I would enjoy more if I were out in the field in Nepal, or in Africa or in any other country where there are “things happening”, and where I don’t have to live by the same routine every day, and where there are uncertainties, and where there are surprises, and so on…Those sorts of lives would be dynamic for me, and not the one that I am living most of the time at present! Of course, I am eagerly looking forward to my trips to Africa and for the project work to begin!!!
Continue reading Start of the week…with ME