Monday, March 03, 2008

Concern for others...

Last week, as usual when I was stuck at the Kathipari traffic jam(Chennai, near Guindy), I happened to notice a most dangerous scenario.
A worker working on the bridge, was welding out the excess iron rods, the fire sparks were spraying out all over the traffic and to add to this, the rods after being cut off were just carelessly let loose, meaning it was just falling to the ground. The people waiting in traffic were in such danger, in case it hit a person on bike, what would be the repercussions. There is no sense of safety, more than that no concern for others I would say, the worker just wants to get his job done, and concerned about the people's safety.

Coming back to blog...

It has been a long time since I blogged. So many things prevented me from blogging, work pressure, personal commitments etc. Moreover the interest to blog faded away slowly, today suddenly I felt like to start blogging again. Not sure how long it will last but atleast for now Iam going to start blogging.
Let's see how it goes..

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


Today one of my friends at work, asked me about blogging, it was then that I remembered the good old days when I used to blog as well as read so many other blogs.
So I thought might as well, update on all that is happenings ...
We moved to Chennai for good last Nov '06. Chennai Traffic is the worst nightmare one can go thru. It takes hrs to travel 5 to 10 kms too..during peak hours. Everything has gotten crazy here.. the real estate, housing, traffic etc.
People people everywhere you go, trains, buses, autos, share autos, roads everything is always crowded.
Together comes the dust, pollution, health problems and the MOSQUITOS...
OOPS.. MOSQUITOS everywhere, they come is blocks of hundreds and thousands and bit us to their heart's content.
Chennai has lost all its grace and the city once I loved, has become a nightmare to me..

Friday, April 28, 2006

Stamping at Nogales, Mexico

Stamping at Nogales Mexico

We had planned to get our visa stamping done at Nogales, Mexico, because that was the only place where appointments were easily available at the earliest.
I would like to write a web log of our travel and the procedure involved, since I found it very difficult to get any information in the web.
This is for US Embassy Nogales, Mexico

Step 1: Fix an appointment thru
You need to play $10 and register in the website and get a visa appointment.

Step 2: You can get a Mexican Visa or you can take the risk for going to Mexico without a visa, for 72 hrs you are legal. Also as per the law, a permit is NOT required if you are planning to stay within 20 KM of the border

We took the Mexican Visa. It takes 4 weeks for the Mexican consulate to process the application so if you are applying please give ample time. Procedure for that at the Mexican Embassy, Los Angeles

1. The Consulate is open from 7 to 1.30 everyday.
2. Download the application form from
3. Gather all documents. The concerned person should appear in person to submit the application. You can also send by mail I think.
a. 2 passport size photos
b. Passport Copies
c. Pay Stubs
d. Bank Statement
e. Valid I-94 or Approval I-797
4. After 4 weeks they call us for an appointment. Please take 2 passport size pictures, 2-passport photos right side facing and cash. The Visa cost $134 per person. The visa type is FM3.
5. They do fingerprinting and then issue the visa

Step3: You can reach Nogales by Road if you are in CA or you can fly. The nearest Airport is Tucson, AZ. From there you can rent a car, park it at the border and then enter Mexico. There are several parking lots before you enter the border, the closest is UETA parking. They charge $4 for day. It is pretty safe.

Step 4: You just walk down to Mexico. If you have a visa then enter the immigration and get it signed. Otherwise you can just get a permit for $22 and walk into Mexico.

Step 5: There are several Taxis available. Just tell them Consulate Americano and they will take you to the consulate. It is $7. You can use the American Dollar everywhere, no need for money exchange.

Step 6: The Consulate opens at 8a.m. It is better to be there by 7.30a.m. A consulate staff verifies for what we are waiting, you can tell them you have an appointment. They then verify all your documents are ready. DS-156, DS-158,DS-157 (male applicants only).

Step 7: You have to go thru security. No electronics, strollers, cosmetics, water, food, even the car remote keys are not allowed. If you are carrying such things, you can leave it by the side with a guy who charges $1 for each item.

Step 8: Keep you passport, I-797 and DS-156, DS-158,DS-157 ready. At the first counter a person verify it and staples it together and gives you a token

Step 9: You wait in queue for you number to be displayed. The next counter they enter all the details to the computer, take fingerprints and photos.

Step 10: You now wait in a different queue and wait for your number to be displayed. Here the officer interviews you and verifies your status. Once your visa is approved, they will give you a receipt to pay the fee. They will also tell you that the passport may be available by 3p.m and to be back and check it out.

Step 11: Pay the fee and come out.

Step 12: Go back at 3p.m and collect your passports.

Step 13: Entering into the US , they will give you a new I-94. This is the painful part, it takes min 2 hrs for this, since there is a big crowd.

The above is the entire procedure. Now to the other details.
The bank Draft of $100 has to be got from Banamex. The Bank is about 2 blocks from the consulate. It is better to get it before the interview, so that you save some time. Else you have to inform the staff and then go and get the draft, which is a pain.

We went into Mexico on Sunday since we had a toddler. We stayed at the Carribean Hotel. The room is $50 and it was ok. The restaurant in the hotel was good.
There is one more hotel across the street, it is Marques D’Dima.
From this hotel the consulate is 20 min by walk. By Taxi it is $7.

The next day to while away the time till 3p.m you can sit in the Burger King down the street from the consulate. The Mc Donald is not good.

In my own personal experience the people were very good and hospitable. It is a world of difference once you cross the border. People don’t speak or even understand English. But you can manage for a day. I will add on more to the trip details later

Some useful website

Friday, November 25, 2005

Old memories...made new....

We had to scan a couple of old pictures, since my husband had a presentation in his Toastmaster club. I was trying to find where they scan old pictures, I found out Walgreens was doing such a service.
We took our pictures to walgreens and the photo manager assited us to get it scanned and he did some editing to the pictures, we got it printed as well on CD. The pictures came out superbly!.
It was a self service machine, where the scanner just scans the images and we can edit it on the machine. Each print cost $.29c and the CD $2.99 with all pictures. It was amazing to see technology work wonders on these old pictures. I felt the price was very low and we got what we wanted within a short span of time.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Mail from Yahoo!

I got this mail yesterday with a file, the file had some virus and was unable to open it. I'm not sure if this was really sent by yahoo or it is a scam. I have not sent any spam messages from my ID. Does anyone have any idea about this?

Dear Yahoo Member,

Your e-mail account was used to send a huge amount of unsolicited spam messages during the recent week. If you could please take 5-10 minutes out of your online experience and confirm the attached document so you will not run into any future problems with the online service.

If you choose to ignore our request, you leave us no choice but to cancel your membership.

Virtually yours,
The Yahoo Support Team

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

How does she look?

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


Both my parents family are big, especially my mom's side. After coming here to US, I have found so many second cousins and spoken to them and visited them. I guess even if I was in India I would not have done it. Since in India we take it for granted since all the relatives are around. Here in US when we find even the most distant relative we become so attached to them and feel at home immediately.

Do you'll too feel the same?