Transportation in Brno

If you are new to Brno or planning to come to Brno in near future there is one you need not worry about, that is transportation. I have not spent too much time in Brno either to be an expert in most recommendations. For sure one thing I do not have an issue here in Brno is with regard to travelling within the city.

Like in  other cities of Europe there is good connectivity, service run by DPMB. Tram lines and bus lines cut through all part of the city. One can take a ticket from the vending machine in many tram station or sending a SMS with a Cech Republic mobile operator SIM card or from the driver of tram or bus. Buying ticket could get expensive if you are frequent traveller/changing lines, so there is another option to purchase monthly/quarterly/half-yearly/annual pass.
To purchase a travel pass go to Hlinky 64/151, Pisárky, 603 00 BRNO with a photograph of yours and an id card. If you are an expat or tourist to Brno then carry your passport/resident permit.
If you are sceptical about going to office due to language issues do not worry. It is not difficult at all. At the office counter they will give you a form, you give your passport for verification and photograph, pay the amount corresponding to the travel pass duration and you are all set.
If you want to buy the pass online then go to the website of DPMB and register yourself. Keep a passport size photo ready on your computer and you would need a wireless enabled bank card for payment. Why a wireless enabled bank card is because when the ticket controller comes for checking during travel you just need to tap the bank card on the device for verification.
To know about the routes and the bus number or tram number to take you could install DPMBInfo app (if you are android phone user) on your mobile. It also contains latest information and many more details which would be useful.
The tram and bus service runs as per schedule so plan your journey accordingly. Don’t worry if it is late in the night, there is night service across (only buses) and there is no extra fare.
Apart from DPMB, you could use Liftago taxi service and many city taxi service. They are definitely expensive.
Brno is connected to major cities like Vienna and Prague via train service run by Ceske Drahy.

Happy touring across the city.

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15yrs gone by (Office life) – Part 2

Did I leave from the comfort because of manager?

If I decide to leave I cannot blame my manager(s). They either enable or let me take the course. After deciding to leave to bargain is dangerous.

There is lot of study and statistics that “people leave managers”. This could be true in many cases, definitely not in my case. Am thankful to all my managers over the years who have stood by me when I made a mistake, appreciated me when I did a good job, sat together to share feedback.

In my opinion managers are enablers they are not God. If we are not sure what we want to do, I don’t think we can blame the managers. There are organisation goals which are also to be kept track of when pull out red, yellow or green card for you. A constructive discussion is always important and works beneficial for all.

In my tenure of profession I have not seen manager not enabling when one wanted to pursue other interests. I wanted to explore different opportunities, working in different places, different culture and at SAP this possibility does exist. I also felt it was time to take a new route and hence I moved out. I can say without my managers consent they would have been happy if I had not left but in every person’s chart there is something called as time.

You either grab the apple when it is ripe or see it falling down and later think that maybe you should have taken it. I did not repent when I let the apple fall down in the past. For personal reasons I did let go of few in the past and now I decided to grab it shaking everything and everyone from the zone of comfort with it.

In a change there are always new challenges, it would not be a smooth transition but it all depends on how we align ourselves. To end the series of posts with one last word “there is no secret ingredient”. (click on the below link)

The secret ingredient

Thanks to all those who read the series of 4 posts patiently.

 

 

15yrs gone by (Office life)

People ask me how did I manage to be in same company, same team working on same stuff for past 13.5yrs.

Life at SAP offers you plethora of opportunities both inside and outside. While I was working with same team I added work to my portfolio which would be beneficial for organisation and self. There are possibilities to explore new areas of work. Apart from that there are possibilities to contribute your service for other teams who would need an extra hand. If you don’t want to contribute elsewhere, you can always work on innovation. No one literally stops you from coming up with an idea and working on the same. The importance is in finding people of similar pulse. There are also other possibilities like contributing for social cause in the buckets of projects that come up especially during “Month of Service”. And lastly you can explore the world outside on your own. Given the number of vacation days is pretty much sufficient to take a break always and re-energize oneself. One can also dedicate 120% to work but I have seen this organisation being genuinely concerned if you do not take a break.

It all depends on the individual of how he/she wants to shape up. Work is always a priority, if there is a conflict of interest there is always the door to walk out. I personally explored all the options indulged in some. There are frustrations at times which is there everywhere when we do not see light even at the end of the tunnel. There is an internal satisfaction when you hear sounds of clap after a presentation or words of appreciation from stakeholders or a word of thanks from customer.

Sports is considered as a team event. Individual activities like running and cycling are considered leisure activities for personal interest. The management at SAP believed in us (the employees) and where ready to invest in this domain. This was at a time when no corporate was literally investing on employees in individual sports. There was a mutual benefit again for organisation and for employees. Today if SAPRoadies has a name outside or inside is because management decided to invest in this.

There are times when I felt proud of what I had done and there are times when I had let down. When I look back, am happy in whatever I did contribute and I could have done lot better than what I did in some areas. May not be 100% in all but definitely sufficient to have held on for 13yrs!

If everything was going good then why did I decide to move out? Is it managers? Is it conflict of interest? Any other reason?

 

15yrs gone by (Life outside office space) – Part 2 (Travel in India)

Travel is an opportunity created by oneself for self. While traveling with a big group is fun traveling with limited set teaches a lot if your eyes and ears are open.

Something that I learnt are:

1. Planning and contingency planning.

2. Managing with available resources which includes cash in hand.

3. Handling situations and people and stress.

4. Getting out of comfort zone.

5. Admire the knowledge of people around the world and the beauty that nature has to offer.

6. The memories.

While many don’t travel to places considering language as a barrier, I would not agree. I traveled from Shanghai to Xitang none of the people I met in that entire trip spoke English!

From the first trip when I traveled to Waynad via a old Tamil Nadu govt bus leaking of water due to rain spending the journey sitting on the steps, I had shed the comfort out of travel. It does not mean not to do a luxury travel, that helps too!

With 1000/- rupees in hand my friend and myself set out to tour South India. We traveled in night bus to avoid taking accommodation! I think the best was how we got away from cops with a straight face lie! That night the cops were beating everyone who was sleeping inside the bus stand.

Or the night when we landed in Bhopal railway station, every taxi driver wanted a piece of cake and lot of money. When you walk out without hiring a taxi it is not pleasant especially when there is a foreigner and a girl. In the end nobody has touched you or hurt you is a miracle!

Rum and ride, this was a glorious trip by cycle across Goa. It was one hell of trip.

The first ever time I sat on a motorbike as a rider was in 2005, it was RE Thunderbird (my brothers) and we rode to Yercaud from Bangalore. It was annual ride of RTMC. From then on I spinned off with a subgroup RKMC which later became big in Bangalore. I bought a RE STD Bullet for myself and rode through many parts of India, major long journeys were solo.

Bullet and myself rolled through hill stations in the South India during monsoon, trip to Kolkata and back, many trips on West coast, Delhi to Bangalore. Bullet is not bereft of problems. Some times it would stop for no reason, some welding would come off, something would fail. We face the problems together and you learn to fix.

One of those trip was to leh-ladakh from Delhi. It was not smooth sailing trip. I had a fall and limping, bullet was giving up and finally nature also stopped us from reaching the destination with cloud burst but we eased out all tensions for two days at Bathal.

The worst of the problem is when you meet with accident, two accidents both times broken bones! Inspite of many issues, Bullet is so special for me that it was in one of those rides I met a girl, lost my 💓 and we got married later.

Having lived with Bullet the next vehicle was Mahindra Thar. The climax of the trips was month long trip to leh ladakh across mid and western parts of India, driving all the way supported by my wife who sat through giving up on all comforts.

Both Bullet and Thar were used exhaustively but I never forgot Indian Railways or each individual State Bus Transport! If you want to experience a tough journey take the train which travels for 5days starting from southern part of India to Assam.

If I sit down to name some places I would not be doing justice to our country. Each place has something attached to it that pulls you. Some that you could try visiting: Malvan, Murud, Majuli, Srinagar, Kaaladi, Kollam, Tenkasi, Omkareshwar, Valparai, Chambal, Chilka, Rameshwaram, Sariska, Malnad, Daman, Diu, Dwaraka, Machilipatnam…..

India has so much to offer to feel, see and experience. The people, the cuisine…. When I look back I still feel is that all that I have seen.

All the travel across India cannot be written about in one post. Neither have I after so many years traveling through India have seen everything. I am satisfied having seen majority of India but there is still lots more to see. Some time in future I would continue my travel in India!

Athithi Devo Bhava.

15yrs gone by (Life outside workspace) – Part 1 (Endurance)

It is difficult to write the entire duration of life in last 15yrs in one post. The entire thought of life so far is split into few parts.

To think back load’s of things happened and in these years. It is your life in your hands and how you shape it depends on you. Our parents had done their best within their capacity. While we may not agree to our parents as years go by, they had sacrificed quite a lot and beyond their capacity too. All this to see their children “settled”. I have never agreed to this and maybe not. Life is an adventure and to copy a quote “life is a box of chocolates, you never know what is coming next”. It is never possible to undermine the efforts of parents.

2002 January was the time I moved into Bangalore. Everything looked fine, go to office, come back home, eat, sleep, party, workout at gym. Nothing else. Life went on like a machine. While everything looked to follow a routine there was a need to break free. 2004 was another changing point in life.

The first change in 2004 was joining SAP Labs India (detailed post later). The year that I got into an aeroplane for first time and made a trip to Germany. second change was the first solo backpack trip that I did. I asked a colleague and good friend about Waynad and off I went. Little did I know that it would change my way of travel. That was the beginning and was not the last! I learnt some things from that trip and I started craving for more. It was then I decided that in future trips to Germany I cannot run to places for 1.5days over weekends but rather do longer trips.

Later the next major change happened. Like any other day my brother and myself were running between domlur-koramangala-domlur when my brotherproposed the idea of running marathons. There was no turning back, have been running from then on. Marathons, ultra marathons, long distance cycling and also came in running to office as part of training.

Marathons are an experience. You run and run and run going through physical and mental disturbances. In the course of running you overcome these obstacles. As you drag yourself to the finish point there is a burst of emotions and a smile curves in. There is nothing big that you get except a medal, the value of which only you know. They were also not times when you finish a run, click a selfie and post on social media. Running becomes a drug, you run for the adrenaline rush when you cross the finish line. The body takes a toll not just during the run but also the period of training.

Just when you feel you are doing great you fall down. Injuries pull you down because we have treated body like sh**. Lack of strenghtening exercises, lack of training plan and irregular diet and other habits all merge together to sc*** you up.  After sometime you feel fine and fit only till you are you pulled down by injuries. Lack of guidance was something I felt then.

I am thankful for having met Gladson via recommendation from a colleague. The body weight exercises were just the menu I wanted along with stretches for dessert! 2014 was the peak of my running even finishing an ultra of 50kms at Jawadu Hills in 4.5hrs.

It was not all about running in these years. I also started cycling long distances some time reaching the destination and some time not. In 2005 when few friends ganged up and cycled from Bangalore to Chennai I was the only one who did not finish even though we had a relaxed plan to cycle in 2days time. I had resolved then to cycle to Chennai in under 24hrs and years later it was accomplished with group of guys from SAP! The total distance around 350kms. We did it in 21+hrs.

Similarly we cycled Tour of Nilgiris (organized tour) for 9 days with only aim of finishing comfortably each day and to not get into the support vehicle at any point of time.

The last of cycling tour was from Manali to leh again with a different group of guys from SAP supported fully by my wife. There were lots of emotional exchanges and mood swings given the altitude we were heading towards. Inspite of all that we completed in around 9days a distance of 450kms.

There is one important thing to learn from high endurance activities that is to understand one’s body. At least from my perspective I have a better control of my body and mind. Other thing is failure is part of learning process, either you fall down or get up and succeed. After a point of time you will enjoy failure and success taste more sweeter, nothing comes on a platter! And the finish line is not the same all times.

 

Running in Brno

It took some time with all movement to get into running again.

For now found that Brno is a good city to run around. Big pavements, some trails. I have still not explored much though it looks like there are some nice trails up the mountains.

Before I step over there I need to get in shape and be fit. I wish for that soon!

If you are from Brno and reading this feel free to mail some running routes.

Looking forward to clocking more miles.

Expat in Brno – To be in a community or not?

After a week of stay in Brno and beginning work I decided to join an expat community. I felt it would be a great way to make new friends and share views and ideas. With that intention I found a website (click here). I registered myself and got an automated mail that they would process in 24hrs!

48hrs and am still waiting for their response! If they process in 24hrs at least by 36hrs there would be a mail if they want me in or not. Inter Nations, phew! 🙂