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Wednesday, 3 November 2010

A Comparison

Whether I’m making new friends or chatting with my friends back home, I always get asked the same question: which is better, Nottingham or Malaysia? I never did have a proper answer to this; how on earth you compare two completely different places? Then my parents asked me the same question, and for them, a shrug doesn’t just answer it. Now that I’ve been here for almost two months, I should know the answer to this right? So I came up with a list of all the differences that just stand out, starting from the university itself to other aspects of living.

Malaysia:

Nothing beats Malaysian prices. I am shocked at how much I pay in the UK, and I will never ever again complain about prices when I get back. Cafeteria food isn’t more than a pound (after conversion) and you can get some amazing clothes for about 10-15 pounds. But in Nottingham, each (decent) meal costs about 4 pounds, and even the ugliest possible outfit costs about 30 pounds.

In Malaysia, you can be sure of one thing – great food. I miss chilly chicken! No offense to the English people, but I hate British food. For someone who’s been brought up with a cuisine where each dish contains a zillion different spices, British food is awfully bland. Even their idea of ‘spice’ and ‘chilly’ is bland for me. Thank God for Indian takeaways.

Timings – you can have meals anytime you want. You don’t have to wait for a certain time. You want rice at 10 am? You got it. You want a meal at 1 in the morning? Not a problem. It’s so much more easygoing.

I never thought I’d say this, but I miss the Malaysian sun. I’m one of those people who prefer being cold over being hot any day, but there is such a thing as too cold. I miss wearing shorts and spaghetti-strap tops, I miss not bothering to wear three layers of clothing every time you want to step out to get some water or take out the trash.

Nottingham:

A much bigger campus – I think five to six times the size of the campus back at Malaysia. And that’s just the main campus, there are two more campuses. It’s so big that unless you’re the type who loves a good workout or have plenty of time to spare, you need a bus to get from one end to the other. Apart from your classmates and neighbors, you don’t see anyone twice in the same week. Not only that, but it’s so green and architecture of the buildings is so beautiful. You get the feeling of being in a real fancy and luxurious place.

Lecturers here are much better. What’s so different is that they all love to teach. In fact, I absolutely adore my signal processing lecturer – he loves his subject so much! Today his face practically lit up when he was talking about the theory of filters, which has got to be one of the driest subjects ever. As opposed to my lecturer for electrical engineering last year in Malaysia, who wished he wasn’t given the job at all.

Technological advancement – this might be rather geeky, but I love the system here for coursework submission. The stapler and the date stamp are all automatic, with sensors to recognize the paper. No extra person being employed just to tear off a receipt and stamp you submission sheet.

The location of the campus is great; it’s a 10 minute bus ride to get to the City, where there are streets and streets of amazing shops and brands, and where almost all the restaurants, pubs, and clubs of Nottingham are located.

Perhaps because of such a location, the social life is far better here. There are so many events organized that you actually end up missing some amazing ones because you just had someplace else to be. There are bars even on campus, where everyone goes after 6 pm.

Shopping is great here; it’s a shopper’s paradise. Lovely designs, lovely colors, the fashion here is amazing. The prices, not so much, but that hasn’t stopped me from already buying new dresses and a couple of pairs of boots.

Public transport here is great, you can get anywhere you want fairly easily, and there’s no bargaining at all, so you know that you aren’t overpaying. Not to mention discount cards for bus travel and comfortable buses (with wooden flooring!), yep, it’s a pleasure to take public transport.

Student accommodation here is so lovely. It’s fresh, clean and new-looking. Not just my hall, but all the halls of residence.  Students also get a lot of recognition here, from temporary jobs to discounts at almost every single store.


That’s a pretty exhaustive list!

Monday, 4 October 2010

First Impressions of England

Its been two weeks since I even visited my blog. I knew when I began this, that over time it’ll be hard to keep this up, but I had no idea that I would even be able to get some time to peep in. But that’s just how hectic its has been.

So I’m in England finally, it’s great to actually be here instead of just waiting and waiting for it to happen all summer. So I thought I’ll use my blog as a travelogue, and write about the places I visit and the impressions I had of them. To start off, here are my thoughts of England on my very first day.  

My first impression? COLD. I step out of Heathrow and this blast of icy air greets me, instantly making me rack my brains to remember where I’d kept a spare sweater. In most countries, airports and airplanes are generally colder than the outside surrounding temperature. Let me tell you, that’s not the case in England. My teeth begin to chatter at once, and everyone around me exclaims in their own language pretty much what I just described.  


My second impression? GREEN. The drive from London to Nottingham took just over two hours, but I didn’t see anything on the way except huge green grasslands, tall and grown green trees, green bushes, and green plants of all shapes and sizes. There was absolutely no other view. No buildings, no people, nothing. The only living creatures I saw apart from the ones in cars on the road with us were cows and bulls grazing calmly on the grasslands at either side of us.

My third impression? LUXURIOUS. Once the scenery got boring (which was within about three minutes of our travel if I’m not mistaken), I began to check out other vehicles on the motorway. And MAN! All I saw were Audis. I’m not even kidding a little bit. All kinds of Audis littered the motorway, from old, paint-peeling silver Ausid to new, shiny black ones with windows rolled down and music on full blast. Plenty of Mercs zoomed past us as well; Audis and Mercs made up most of the traffic, with a small percentage of Toyotas, which were taxis. I saw one Honda, and maybe one Ford. That’s it.


Shame.

But I love it here. And I can’t wait to start exploring. And, in the future, get myself a brand new Audi. 


Monday, 13 September 2010

PART II: It's The Weekend!

We’ve seen what’s good about the first four days of the week. What about the weekend?

I decided to include Friday in Part II because although most of the world thinks of Saturday and Sunday as the Weekend, some parts of the world, like the Middle East, recognize Friday and Saturday as the Weekend.

Fridays:
Good day to…Give up smoking. The first few days are when your willpower is at its strongest. There is no work stress on weekends, and you aren’t always yearning for that cigarette. And once you can conquer the first few days, you don’t need cigs, ever.


Bad day to…Make an important decision. According to body clock experts, we are extremely sleep deprived by the end of the week and are therefore less able to think clearly. Your decisions are most likely to be inefficient and ineffective, and could, for this reason have drastic consequences.

Saturdays:
Good day to…Have a baby. Now I know that people don’t have babies every Saturday, nor can you plan to have one on this particular day. While Tuesday is one of the more popular days to have a baby, Saturdays are the best if you want your kid to grow up successful. And which parent wouldn’t want that?


Bad day to…Drink too much. The occasional (regular for some!) alcohol binge almost always occurs on Saturday nights. Consequently, unsurprisingly, this is the day you are most likely to suffer from alcohol poisoning. There is an increase of more than 67% of admissions to hospitals on Saturdays due to alcohol abuse, as compared to the daily average.

Sundays:
Good day to…Send emails. Analyses has shown that ‘open’ and ‘click’ rates for emails sent on Sundays were highest, with over 30% of recipients opening and viewing their emails on this day. It’s also a great day to go shopping – a recent survey showed that the availability of a wide range of goods was at its highest of 98% on Sundays.


Bad day to…Cook a meal. I bet most of us thought that Sundays are ideal for cooking, as there’s not much else to do. Well, think again. Approximately 20% of the population believes that cooking an elaborate meal on a Sunday is more stressful than visiting the dentist. Now who would’ve thought of that!

So what do you think? Is there something special you’d like to do on a certain day? 

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

PART I: "It's Monday, Let's Go On A Diet!" What A Bad Idea.

When we think about the days of the week, it’s purely for counting purposes. We never stop to consider their significance – is there something more to them than just an idea of how much time has passed? Did you know there are some days better than others to do certain things?

Statistics play a vital role in whatever we decide to do. We decide to go on a certain type of diet because it is 95% effective, or we decide to take a job that gives us 20% more satisfaction. The numbers are significant. People who have studied these statistics have put two and two together, and found a relationship between the decisions we take and the days of the week.  It sounds bizarre, because we never really give a thought to these things. But it’s definitely interesting to note – after all, aren’t statistics the way to go about it?

Part I has the first four days of the week, and Part 2 will round off the week with the remaining days.

Mondays:
Good day to…Buy shares. It’s known as the Monday Effect at the stock markets. Share prices on Monday continue to move in the same direction that they do on Friday, making it easier to predict price changes.


Bad day to…Start a diet. 33% of those who have started with a dieting regime on a Monday have given up by Tuesday afternoon, according to a Yahoo poll. Also, the tension of returning to the workplace and the devouring of alcohol during the weekends means that you are 20% more likely to die of a heart attack on a Monday.

Tuesdays:
Good day to…Get important errands done. Our rationally thinking ‘left’ brain dominated early on in the week, making it better for routine and mundane jobs. It’s also a good day to update your Facebook page or your blog – the most number of hits are recorded on a Tuesday. Guess I’m a day late.

Bad day to…Have sex. Apparently, people hardly ever have sex on a Tuesday. Why, I guess we’ll never know.

Wednesdays:
Good day to…Go on a date. More than 40% of singles on a dating website reckon that Wednesday is the ideal day for a first date. The reason for this? Thursday. If the date goes well, you have some breathing time, but don’t have to wait too long for your second date on a Friday.


Bad day to…Be cheerful. Forget Monday blues, we are apparently most gloomy on a Wednesday. Analyses of internet blogs and writings have shown that people are their unhappiest right in the middle of the week.

Thursdays:
Good day to…Have sex. Steroids which stimulate sexual hormones peak on a Thursday, which is considered the middle of the seven-day cycle. It is also best first thing in the morning, when levels of testosterone in men and estrogen in women are five times higher than any other time of the day.

Bad day to…Go to hospital. According to a study, you are likely to stay in the hospital up to 24 hours longer than you would if you were admitted on a Sunday.  Patients admitted on a Thursday stay at the hospital for an average of 6.3 days, compared with 5.3 on a Sunday.

So there you go, that’s Part I. What do you think?

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

This Is What A Blog's About.

I sat down today to write something new, but, as usual, my mind became completely blank. So to get started, I started browsing blogs, and came across an article that contained blogging tips. However, it wasn’t the article that caught my interest; it was the debate that was going on in the comments section.

What are blogs for? Some people advice that a blog post must always be informative, so that the reader will go away with a new thought or idea in his mind. But isn’t that what newspapers are for? Others suggest that whatever you write about, make sure that you don’t rant about it. Nothing kills a good blog post like a rant, because guess what, people aren’t interested in your problems, and negativity in general. A blog should be useful and helpful to other people, or else it is nothing but a waste of space.


But I beg to differ.

What’s wrong with an angry outburst here and there? Besides, ranting isn’t always necessarily angry – it’s sometimes just a feeling of disappointment, rejection or frustration when things don’t go a certain way. People can definitely relate to that. A good personal rant can make for an excellent read by those who are feeling the same way, but do not have the outlet (or the balls) to express their true feelings. A child might suppress his emotions in front of his parents, but let it all out on a blog. Other children reading that blog will sympathize, and this child will feel better knowing that he’s not the only one on this planet who is being screwed over. Same goes for anyone who’s been in a similarly maddening position – a frustrated employee, a discouraged student, a rejected singer.

Rants (if written the right way) can also be quite humorous, so where’s the negativity there? Sure, it might be a problem that’s being described, but with a satirical spin on it, which can make for quite an enjoyable read.

Lastly, saying that people aren’t interested in negativity is like saying George Bush is extremely intelligent and did not deserve to have a shoe thrown at him ( I watched the video of this for the umpteenth time this afternoon, you can check it out here). Misery loves company, remember? There are a gazillion people in the world who would like nothing better than to read something depressing, either because they a) love telling other people what to do, b) are good at giving advice, or c) feel slightly satisfied that there are other people out there having a life worse than their own.

So why not give them some satisfaction?


Monday, 23 August 2010

"Just gonna stand there and watch me burn, but that's alright because I like the way it hurts"





Those are the first two lines of Eminem's new song featuring Rihanna called "Love the way you lie". I just can’t stop listening to it. Not just because of the music (I love rap), but also because of the lyrics. Many of Eminem's lyrics are really meaningful, but none as much as this one. Google it, or take a look at the lyrics for yourself here.

My favourite line apart from the one above is this:

Now you get to watch her leave
Out the window
Guess that's why they call it window pane

Pure genius methinks. 

It's such a relatable song, both on an emotional as well as on a physical level. Anyone who has been in a serious relationship will know what this song is all about - the first feelings of love, of not having enough of each other, that rush from just spending time with each other, to feelings of suffocation, of pressure, of tension, and of anger. The beginning where it's new, it’s intoxicating, it’s exciting. And the end where it’s intolerable to the point of rage, pain and hatred. Not just that, but it also touches on being in an abusive relationship. This song is sexy.

And if the right message isn't delivered in the lyrics, it definitely is in the music video for this song. Eminem and Rihanna just belt out the words and aren't all that important in the video, but what makes it click is the show put on by Megan Fox and Dominic Monaghan. You can watch the video here.

The pair plays volatile lovers in the video, and spends most of the time alternating between passionately kissing or fighting, screaming and shouting throughout. They share an amazingly powerful chemistry, and are one of the reasons why this video is such a success. This, combined with the use of fire makes it oh so sexy.

I’m addicted!

Note: This is purely my opinion and has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with my personal life. Please do not read too much into this and start feeling sorry for me. Cheers!

Friday, 20 August 2010

If you haven't eaten this, you haven't lived.

One of the most important aspects of life is food. To be more specific - good food. Although I live abroad, I’ve spent my entire childhood in India. While I have been exposed to many different cuisines, I’ve always enjoyed Indian food the best. And while India has a variety of cuisines (north Indian, south Indian, Andhra, Chettinad, Rajastani, Maharashtrian, Punjabi…well practically every state has their own cuisine), there is nothing more wonderful, nothing more creative, and nothing more delicious, than a local Indian delicacy known all over the country as pani puri.  

Here’s a picture of this amazing dish:


For all those going ‘Eh?’ this is how it’s done - you take one of those puris and poke a hole at the top, just one. Then you stuff the puri with whatever you want; potatoes, chickpeas, onions, lentils. I usually love it with a mixture of mashed potatoes and lots of different powdered spices. Once it’s full, you dunk the puri into a bowl filled with pani (which, roughly translated, is nothing but water, but in this case it is tangy water again mixed with lots of powdered spices and chutneys). You then put the whole thing into your mouth in one go, and when you bite, the pani splashes, and you know you’ve reached Heaven. 

I think my favorite pass-time in the whole world would be to have a pani puri-eating competition, just like Shah Rukh Khan in Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi. Here’s a shot of the scene:


 Wouldn't this be absolutely amazing?!

Monday, 9 August 2010

You know you're in Bangalore when...


So I compiled this little list of differences that you notice only because you live in another country and haven’t visited your own for almost a year. I make it a habit to visit India every summer, for at least a month and half. I’ve done it for eight years now, and these are things that hit me on even the very first day – both positive and negative.

You know you’re in Bangalore when:

all announcements in the aircraft are repeated in Hindi.

as soon as the plane has landed on the runway, mobile phones are whipped out and switched on, even though the plane hasn’t come to a complete stop.

there is no trolley available for your cabin baggage. If it’s heavy, too bad. I learnt that the hard way as I walked the 232,343 miles till immigration carrying three bags.

Indian passport holders are let through with barely a murmur while foreigners are ordered to provide their boarding passes at immigration as proof of their legal travel.

nobody waits in line.

you just have to point to your luggage at the baggage claim and three porters will run and get it for you.

the minute you step out of the airport, a blast of cool breeze hits you, blowing your hair back and automatically making you smile and breathe it all in.

the breeze doesn’t stop, ever.

passers-by stare at you, look at you up and down, look at your luggage, and form an opinion about you as you’re greeting your family.

you pay extra for small things like parking just because you smile and say thank you, which leads them to consider you as a non-Indian.

you hear car horns, auto horns, and bicycle bells ringing non-stop out on the road before you even get into your car.

people spend less time concentrating on their driving and more time yelling at other drivers.

nobody sticks to their lanes while driving. Hell, most of the time there are no lanes.



But all these things make you realize that finally, you are HOME. And after all, home is where the love is.

Friday, 30 July 2010

"Don’t forget you’re going there primarily to study!"









Applying for a visa to study in the United Kingdom was quite a daunting task. Up until now, all these formalities were taken care of by my parents; all I had to do was to turn up and have a good time. But now that I would be living by myself for a whole year with my parents around 6500 miles away, I was apparently old enough and responsible enough to take care of this all on my own. After reading a zillion documents on which form to complete (I had to fill in two out of 2892632 forms on their website) and how to complete them, filling them out by hand, rewriting all my information after finding several mistakes, submitting an online application after learning that all my previous work was wasted, and waiting several days filled with dread (okay, I’m dramatizing, but still, you get the idea), I’m happy to announce that I’m (finally) tension-free – I GOT MY VISA.

So I gleefully turned to the next task – packing. I love packing. I don’t know why people grumble about it so much; you just take a bunch of stuff and unceremoniously dump it in a bag. No need to bother with the organization of it all, after all, who cares about all that when you’re allowed 40 kilos on the flight?

But when you’re a girl, you end up wanting to take much more than you need. My bed is now filled with clothing, arranged in several piles. I’m going away for one year, gotta take ALL my clothes with me, right? Wrong. Mom walks into my room, gives one glance at my bed, and shudders involuntarily. You have too many clothes, and you won’t be taking all of them. I already have one bag filled with bedding and utensils that are necessary. Because clothes are apparently not.

Then, shoes. I pulled out all both my trainers, all my flats, and all my heels. Dumped both trainers and all flats into the bag, and then handpicked, after much hesitation, six pairs of heels. Like I said before, I’m going for a whole year. And fresher’s week (or WeekOne as it is known in Nottingham UK) is supposed to be full of hardcore partying – I can’t possibly wear the same thing twice, right? Again, wrong. How can you wear heels when it’s snowing? Like it snows the whole year around. I gave in a little, but just a little – I packed four.

Next, bags. Now bags at least you will admit that variety is required; the argument of whose gonna keep track of what shoes you have on doesn’t work here. So I take all my bags out of the closet, unload them on my bed, and again, after much hesitation, I pick six. Luckily there was no argument there. Clearly moms also feel that six bags are alright. Or maybe they’ve run out of silly excuses - no need to pack sleeveless clothing, it’s always cold there, or why do you need so much stuff? Its only one year, you’re not moving there!

And then dad walks in. His eyes sweep across the mess that is my room, and delivers the mother of all silliest statements - Don’t forget you’re going there primarily to study!

Kill me now.

Saturday, 17 July 2010

6 things to do during the holidays when you have tried all you can and are still bored beyond words

It’s the summer. That time of the year most looked forward to. Brilliant weather, amazing sales, travel discounts, and most importantly, not having to wake up at 8 AM in time for lectures. If you live away from home, it’s time to visit your family again and have great home food. If you’re the workaholic type and are reeling from the prospect of relaxing and doing nothing, don’t fret – summer internships are just tailor-made for people just like you.

But that’s it. While it’s the longest break from university life (just under four months), all of your friends are all over the world, so it’s not like you can hang out or something. Instant messaging is always an option but that’s just to keep in touch and assure your friends that although you’re having a great time, you still miss them and you haven’t forgotten them. Facebook is no different from email, except that people are on it more often and everyone can read what you write to everyone else, thereby promoting group conversations with ease. But again, it’s just not the same as actually being with each other.

So what to do during the summer? Your internship has ended. No more waking up at 6.30 AM and getting ready to sit in an office which has an air-conditioning system that is permanently stuck on five degrees. Forget light sweaters, fur coats are what you need. You’ve shopped so much that there’s no space in your closet anymore and you’re arguing with your mom about living in a house that’s too small to hold your 213,203 pairs of shoes. Is there anything left to do?

Fret not – I have brainstormed and come up with some ideas. And while you may not like them, they are ideas nonetheless!

1.       Travelling
This doesn’t necessarily mean spending millions and flying to Spain in order to join in the WC celebrations, hoping to catch a glimpse of David Villa (sorry, I just like mentioning his name). This is more like taking a break – head to a hill station to escape the summer heat, or to a nearby island to soak in the sun, sand and all the good-looking people who are bound to be there. Go and visit your cousins, have a reunion of your old school friends, make a trip together. 

2.       Relaxing
Yea I know, just staying at home is comforting enough. But what’s even better? Book a day in one of those peaceful spas – mud baths, steam rooms, aromatic full body massages, and the like. You’ll end up having the laziest day of your life, yet you’d never feel more full of energy. However, I do not recommend acupuncture – you want a lazy, calm day without any tension whatsoever, not a feel of what a torture chamber must be like.

3.       Be creative
This is especially for those of us concentrating on science during the rest of the year. What about our creative skills, nurtured during our younger years yet abandoned when most required? I was looking up CVs the other day (yea, that’s what my life involves now. Whoopee. ), and most employers receive so many that they devote a maximum of ten seconds for each one. What will make you stick out? No I’m not saying we should all start off with writing CVs now. But there are other ways. Spend your time on a painting. Make a scrapbook or a collage. Learn to sing while strumming a guitar. Draw a sketch of your favourite person. Write your own tune. Experiment with your look.

4.       Organization
Those who are messy and can’t be bothered or never have the time to pick up their clothes from the bed (or floor) and put them back into their closets can use this time for precisely that. Clothes can be hung on hangers or folded neatly on shelves. Shows can be lined one after the other or else put into their boxes and stacked in shelves, instead of being chucked under your bed. Yea, sounds fun, doesn’t it. But it can be made more interesting, by for example having a delicious snack or blasting loud music while you reorganize your room. Paint one wall a different colour. Print out some photos of you and your friends, and paste it all over your closet. Same goes for posters. Throw the old stuff away, whether it is torn clothes, broken shoes or old notes.
 
5.       Exercise
Yuck. I hate this. I wish we could all stay healthy and fit (and slim) without exercising. I keep telling myself that during the holidays I’ll go to the gym and become fit. It’s been one and a half months now, and I’ve been there just once. Exercise in the gym thrice a week. Get a personal trainer if you’re not sure about what to do there. Swimming is great for a full body workout - go swimming to get toned. Most people pig out during the summer and end up putting on weight due to a lack of exercise. While you may not be doing all this in a regular basis, it’s imperative as it makes up for the daily routine that isn’t in place anymore.

6.       Blogging and the blogosphere
See what I’m reduced to?! This is already my third post of the month, and it’s not even been three weeks. BUT, it’s a great way to improve your writing skills. Not to mention that instead of always having a topic, like you did for your essays way back in high school, it’s time to be imaginative and write about anything and everything you want. Applying to universities, especially abroad, require writing quite a number of essays. And these essays call for a more-than-satisfactory grasp of the English language that not many have. Enter blogging. If that’s not what you want, you can always browse the blogosphere and find some hilarious, well-written posts or various topics.

Wasn’t this an interesting read? (No I’m not a prude. That was pure sarcasm). But once you give these a try, you’ll have a look at that calendar and realise its back to the routine in no time. And while this may sound unbelievable, its true - a part of you will be looking forward to that. I certainly am. 

Monday, 12 July 2010

A World Cup To Remember




It’s the aftermath. The end of the drama, the upsets, the tears, the controversies. Well maybe not so much the controversies. There will be never-ending talks about goal-line technologies until they are actually in use. Controversial coaches will exist as long as we have Maradonna (who, by the way, promised to streak across the football field if Argentina won. I think it’s safe to say that we are all glad, semiconsciously at least, that that didn’t happen. Unless of course, your name is Hathim or Hanim. Then you must be sorely disappointed.).

Yet while Spain satisfied their hunger for a trophy and became World Champions, a certain octopus hogged the limelight. And continues to do so. The main reason for this post is actually to marvel at the wonder that is now Paul. Yes I know, there are plenty of news articles about this intelligent eight-legged creature, but I want to just stop and admire. It’s amazing that a cephalopod has 100% accuracy at this World Cup. For those into math, what are the odds of having eight consecutive correct predictions? One in…wait for it…two hundred and fifty six. 1/256. He’s every bookmaker’s envy. He’s the know-it-all. And I’m completely fascinated by him.

He’s an instant celebrity. He’s a global talking point. He’s trending on twitter and is amongst the top searches at Google for the past fortnight. Google him and you’ll get about 8,290,000 results. People at my workplace take part in this football fantasy league thing where they pick teams or footballers most likely to score (sorry, I have NO clue what on Earth it’s all about), and they all say that they base their decisions on Paul.  

The following is an excerpt from Wikipedia:

“Paul was hatched from an egg at the Sea Life Centre in Weymouth, England, and then moved to a tank in Oberhausen, Germany. The animal rights organization PETA stated it would be cruel to keep Paul in permanent confinement. Sea Life Centres responded that it would be dangerous to release him, because he was born in captivity, and is not accustomed to finding food for himself. According to DPA, local businessmen in Carballiño, a community in Galicia (Spain) collected about 30.000 Euro "Transfer fee" to get Paul as main attraction of the local Fiesta del Pulpo festival. Manuel Pazo, a fisher and head of the local business club assured that Paul would be presented alive in a tank and not on the menu.”

LOL. That menu comment cracked me up. Because obviously that was meant in jest. But I’m sorry to say, Manuel Pazo is not the only one whose secret desire is to make calamari. Paul “predicts” by choosing a mussel from one of two possible containers, both marked with national flags. After Paul predicted Germany’s loss to Spain in the semis, angry German fans showed their feelings by taking to cruel anti-Paul chants following their team's loss, and a Berlin newspaper printed a headline recently reading "Throw him in the frying pan."

“Into the deep fryer!” one German tweeted Thursday morning. “Grill the octopus oracle,” another commented. “Throw Paul in the saucepan.” Crowds started singing anti-octopus songs.

Shame I tell you.

Well, while others talk about Thomas Müller as an upcoming star, Spain’s dominance as the best team in the world, or Fernando Torres’s worrisome injuries, I for one will remember this World Cup for Paul…the octopus.  And after all the hype from the WC 2010 has died down, the octopus will go on living the life he was meant to live – outside of the headlines and inside a peaceful tank.

All facts from Google.