The summer of Ahmed – ver. 2008

So I’m behind, I know….well what have I been up to? Here’s a bit of whats been going on this summer.

Lets see. I went camping with the other IBM extreme blue (extreme blue is the internship program I’m in) in July. I’d never gone camping before so it was…interesting. There were A LOT of mosquitos, but we sprayed ourselves with deet. A lot of deet. A ton of Deet! and at least for me it worked. I had maybe 3 or so bites. Some others weren’t nearly as lucky. At camp the first night we stayed in this cabin. It had mattresses but not like a bed, definitely need to have our sleeping bags to use on top of them. But wasn’t too bad, we spent some time making cradles for a long water pipe that will feed water into a turbine generator. So that was kinda cool. Odd though because IBM actually paid for us to do work for the park. Oh we camped in Algonquin national park! We also went canoe’ing which was cool. Portaging (where you carry the canoe over your shoulders on land to the next water point) is freaking hard! But the actually canoeing is a lot of fun. The 2nd night we camped in open camp ground area in tents. That was interesting, never stayed in a tent before. Again a lot of mosquitos, again I survived well enough.

I made several trips to Montreal this summer. My cousin Rasheed is working there right now and its only 2hr drive from Ottawa. Its a really nice place. I have to say as a tourist, I’d be bored of it after a weekend. but I could see if I was living there…its a cool place to be. Went there a few times just to chill, went once for the f1 weekend which was pretty cool too, a lot of things just happening in the streets.

Oh, in Ottawa they have this thing called BluesFest, which is almost anything but blues music. And through IBM we got free tickets to one of the nights (its a 2 week thing). So I went to go see Akon and Wyclef. It started raining a lot so I left before Wyclef, but Akon was pretty entertaining!

so the Extreme Blue (EB) term has been building to 2 presentations. A Canadian Expo and a North American Expo. The weekend before the Canadian expo was the long weekend, and because we were pretty much done work. We (one of my teammates, jenn, rasheed, and I) decided to go somewhere, after a couple hrs of searching we found cheap flights to NY and off were went! Well we drove to montreal and flew from there but still! It was a blast. We stayed at Anojans apartment. He now lives in the same building as friends, she’s pretty much right above him actually. So we went there and actually kicked him out of his apartment haha, he was just very nice, he stayed in Janes place and we stayed at his place. That weekened we ate a lot, saw Avenue Q and the Fantastics. Avenue Q is great and Fantastics is ok but the smallest show ever and that was disappointing b/c I wanted to see a larger production. We went to a comedy club (the comedy cellar) and just ate more food at a bunch of my favourite restaurants. Oh oh oh, went to this really really really nice restaurant called Bouley and it was super OMG wow expensive but it was totally worth it! 8 small but wonderful courses and I’d definitely recommend the place to anyone!

So then came the Canadian expo. And it went off really well! My team (out of 11 teams) presented first. And since I’m the first speaker from my team, I was first first. Nervous? Yes. But we’d rehearshed a ton and we all were great 🙂

Then came the North American expo, where was it? NYC! haha, yes i knew were were going there in a week, but we still decided to go the week before for fun ahah. Anyhow, IBM paid for hotels in times square on friday and saturday and then we went a bit upstate for sunday-tuesday for the presentation. While in the city I got to hang out with Jane and Anojan some more as well as Caitlin and Fausto also came down! It was such a great time hanging out and seeing them all again. Great great fun. And what did we do? Well we ate a lot haha. And we saw Spamalot. I didn’t think I’d like it. I’ve never seen anything by Monty Python but I thought I wouldnt like it. But it was actually pretty funny. 🙂  Another thing we did was go to the London New York! The restaurant by Gordon Ramsey (the Hells Kitchen guy!). The service was actually meh, but the food (particularly the scallops) was awesome! And not too crazy priced either. We went for desset actually but also got the scallops. Scallops i think were $15 and the dessets were like $9 or so, so not too bad 🙂

Now its sunday and its time to go to Armonk (IBM HQ about 1hr north of the city). We all (all the canadian teams plus managers so about 30 or so ppl) pack our stuff on the greyhound bus at 930am. The plan is to get there by 11am. The bus won’t start. They call for a new bus that takes 1hr to get there. It arrives at 1030am and we set out on our way. Less than 2 blocks away one of the managers is like oh shoot I forgot my passport. This triggers another student into realizing oh no, I forgot my credit card. The bus loops back and they go pick up their stuff. Ok, so we’re on our way again. Except…..the bus driver has no idea how to get there. Twice he has to make a U-turn and he also makes a 3-pt turn. Eventually one of the execs goes up and shows him directions he google-mapped on his blackberry. So now we’re heading the right way, going down the highway when…we reach a bridge the bus does NOT have clearance to go under. So great, now we’re backing up along the freeway going back to the onramp. After about 25mins or so we see….a cop. The cop looks at us, lifts up his shades and gives the classic expression of, what the heck are you guys doing? He drives through the field to approach us and then stops. We are a big greyhound bus reversing on an onramp back into an intersection and he just sits and watches. Nice. Well we finally finish that and are back on a regular road when….now the cop comes and stops us to give us a ticket. Nice. Finally we’re back on our way and with a few minor mistakes, like the bus driver taking us in a couple loops and to westchester airport by accident, we finally arrive at IBM HQ just 3hrs later then intended. Thankfully all we missed was our practise time so it was ok.

The actual presentation was the next day. And now, out of all the canadian and americna teams my team is presenting first, and again that means i’m first of the first. Nervous, oh yes. But again my team and I do great and then it just felt so great to sit down and relax. The entire term was pretty much building to this and we all just celebrated that night and chilled and although we were all tired from a really low amount of sleep for the past week we all hung out till pretty late and enjoyed the feeling. 🙂

Anyhow, this turned out longer than I thought and I’m pretty tired now so I’ll stop there and I’ll save the pictures for the next post. I promise it’ll be before the end of the month!

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5 responses to “The summer of Ahmed – ver. 2008

  1. Wow you had a busy summer! And at last an update… I know why you update more during regular school hours.. I update my blog when I have studying to do ! lol

  2. Sounds almost hectic reading it all in one post. I feel tired…haha. But at least you had an eventful summer, and got to have good times with good friends.

  3. Busy summers are good, you can feel productive in that way! Waiting for pictures now 😀

  4. It sounds like you had a good experience with the IBM extreme blue program. Now be nice so they’ll want you back. Have a good last day there 🙂

  5. Haleem: haha, so my secrets not so much of a secret then 😛

    Amir: haha, yeah it was tiring writing it too! Turned out pretty long. But yeah, it was good summer 🙂

    Liya: hehe, soon, they’re coming soon! Now if you were on facebook, you’d have seen them long ago!

    Sobia: It was a good time 🙂

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