Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Pissed off by HSBC

I opened a savings account with HSBC couple of months back, primarily because I thought they offer better internet banking than Sampath bank. And I expected their customer service to be better as well.

Last week, I used my HSBC credit card to purchase the camera online. But for some reason, the validation failed and I got redirected to a HSBC (Sri Lanka) error page. Then I simply went back to the site I purchased the camera and used my Sampath credit card and completed the transaction.

Couple of days later, I found out that HSBC have billed my credit card for that transaction which failed. So much for ACID of a transaction! I mailed them through their internet banking solution requesting to rectify it but received no answer. Then I mailed them to their personal banking email address yesterday, and still haven’t received a response.

In the middle, my salary got debited to the account. So I transferred some funds to my Sampath bank account so I could pay my Sampath credit card bill, which has provided me a much consistent service up to now. I had enabled third party fund transfers but this was the first time I used the feature. On their site they say fund transfers to accounts in other local banks are credited to that account on the following day. Now it’s the third day and it’s still not showing that in my Sampath bank account. But the amount got debited from the HSBC account right on that moment. I sent a mail regarding this matter through there internet banking solution on the second day and didn’t receive any response to that either.

I’m extremely pissed off with their service and am planning to close down all my accounts with them as soon as I go back to Sri Lanka.

Sunday, September 24, 2006


Yesterday I went to a Buddhist temple close by with Nalin, Piyal (Another friend of Nalin who lives in Seattle) and his wife. There was a gathering of the Sinhalese community in Seattle. People there (around 5~6 small families) ranged from ok to good. But the monk there didn't impress me. He kept telling me to come to US and settle down. Why on earth should I migrate to US? Besides that monk was breaking more than a few "vinaya" precepts I know a monk should keep. They collected money for the upcoming rains retreat and people there were asking whether the monk could go buy the rob himself, and he was telling he could! Most of the active members there and the monk was really concerned about the monetary issues. Perhaps I don't have enough insight to comment but I felt some thing wasn't right. Buddhist monks should not use money. Neither the monk nor the lays there seem to be real Buddhists. It made me recall the American-white Buddhist monk I met in the airport, venerable Vimala thero, he was very well disciplined and displayed every aspect of a true Buddhist monk.

So I remarked myself that it would be my first and last visit there even though I made a donation to the rains retreat.

I bought a pair of shoes today. I wasn’t planning to - but I went out and saw them and just bought them. And did a online search on them after returning, just to find out I could have bought them for half the price I paid if I bought them online :(

Friday, September 22, 2006

Bought a camera

I bought this mega zoom Cannon PowerShot S2 IS yesterday and it's on it's way to my hotel now.
I didn't pay for fast delivery so it would take few days to reach me. I'm in no hurry as long as it comes.
Also bought a Timex wrist watch - Nothing fancy in that though

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

American life begins

It's my second day at work in the Seattle client office. I rented out a car yesterday - a Ford Taurus - a car quite bigger than the N16 even. Didn't found it much difficult to get adapted to left hand driving.

I haven't still gone shopping after I first went with Nalin on the very first day I arrived in her. I'm planning to go out tonight after work.

One problem is that when we finish our day here, my team in Sri Lanka starts theirs, so at around 9 P.M. I have to join in for a call with them. Usually it doesn't get dragged more than an hour or so.

Our logistics team here has shipped an official mobile for me. I should receive it today or latest by tomorrow.

I still couldn't buy a camera. I'm thinking of buying a video camera.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Arrived in Lynnwood, Seattle

I arrived in Lynnwood this afternoon - local time. The trip took me 33hrs from home to Lynnwood. It was so weary. Nalin - our Architect - came to pick me up to the air port and drove me to my hotel, which is a wonderful place with all that I could ask for.

I don't have a camera with me. So photos have to be avaited.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Arrived in Narita

Arrived in Narita - Tokiyo about 20 minutes ago. I hoped Wi-Fi would be free here but it's not. The cyber cafe in the airpot offer 30 minutes of surfing for 3 US$ and the Wi-Fi costs the same for 24hrs.
Since I won't be here for that long I just logged in from a cyber cafe.
Had very little sleep in the flight so a bit sleepy right now.
Met an American monk in Sri Lanka in the air port and am keeping company to him trill our flights. He taught me some basic buddhanussathi meditation.
Will post from San Francisco if the internet is free there. Won't be able to post photos as I don't have a camera with me.
Ah by the way, they threw out my water bottle and the medical cream I had with me when I arrived here in Japan. They speak very little english so they just throw what ever they don't allow in and smile :D

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The bliss

The dreams became true

When you became mine

Warming my heart

In an wonderful bliss

I don't care anymore

Even if the world fall apart

As long as you are with me

To share my consciousness with

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Buddha Charithaya part 2

"Buddha Charithaya" with Sinhala subtitle - This is a wonderful piece of animation covering the life of Lord Buddha and his preaching’s, found on google video

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Plans cancelled

About couple of weeks back, Kirosh, commenting on my plan to visit Thailand to attend meditation retreats said that if you want to meditate, don’t plan - just leave every thing and go do it. I didn’t listen to him...

Today, I got stamped US L1 Visa for two years. I’d probably be flying to US on next Monday on company assignment. There’s goes Thailand trip...

I had to wait for almost four hours at the US embassy for a 30 second visa interview. Americans seem to think that we are so keen in visiting their damned country. The lady next to me happened to be working for Sri Lankan air lines. She had visa and had travelled to most of the countries I know. She was visiting her husband in US. But her application was rejected saying she was unable to provide viable reasons for her visit. Perhaps a vacation in US for a Sri Lankan is some thing they don’t understand. There was another person who was invited in to US by some organization, he had to go through an argument as well - I think at the end he got his visa.

Monday, September 04, 2006

How to avoid re-occurring Err "ORA-12154: TNS:could not resolve service name" (not a common oracle connection issue)

We added another service name in our database server. And I added a new TNS entry to tnsnames.ora and was ready to go... I was expecting too much :( I kept getting ORA-12154: TNS:could not resolve service name.
TNS was working fine.. I could connect to it using SQLPlus and toad. It struct me only when I tried to run my application. After wasting enough time on it, I decided to give up and do a google. And it was solved by changing the access rights of the orahome directory - which is drow me insane.. I didn't do any thing with that. I just edited the damned tnsnames.ora...

Update: Forgot to mention, I synchronized both the tnsnames.ora files in ora9 home and ora10 home