Saturday, December 31, 2011

The day before New Year's Eve

The day before New Year's Eve
people tend to take it easy to be ready for the party of the following day.

Not many folks have realized it's better to party the day before, to avoid the disappointment caused by big expectations.

Take Dublin for instance: never mind December 30th is a Friday, very few people are around; not even on a regular Monday you see Temple Bar so empty...



Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas in Roma

Christmas in Roma

is not so different from the rest of the world.

It's Roma that is different from the rest of the world....

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Is Sweden racist for real?

"We Swedes have to come face to face to the fact that we are super racist!" my friend Kåre told me after a few weeks from my arrival in Sweden.

Kåre's words might have some point.

Racism exists even in Sweden (but the Swedes are not so aware of it).

Any foreigner who lives in Sweden for a while (Erasmus students don't count) notices a certain attitude.

What does that mean?

I need to be clear about the meaning of my statement, otherwise I could get the same reaction the average Swede has when I tell them this (without any insulting attitude): they look at me as if I had said that Albania is the strongest national football team in the world, they get astonished.

Then they add: "But we Swedes give political asylum to every Iranian or Iraqi who applies for that; we give them a job, an accommodation to live, everything they need to live in a decent way"

That's true.

It's also true that many men and women have relationships with people from other countries; I could quote many positive aspects of Swedish people which make them among the best citizens in the world.

But it's a matter of fact that if you live in Sweden you are never taken too seriously, simply because you come from a different culture, which is perceived not as good as the Swedish one; if you apply for a serious job you'll get it only if there's no Swede who can do that job at all (but that happens almost in every country).

Here is one of the examples I could provide: a friend of mine got a very good job for a Swedish IT consultancy company which worked with the Italian market; my friend was hired at the very last, after they tried employing some Swedes who spoke a bit of Italian; the problem was these Swedes could not really understand the Italians on the phone, so the company in the end they had to give in: "We need an Italian native speaker, otherwise we risk to lose this important client of ours for communication impossibility"

Obviously when they had to choose between hiring a native speaker of another Country or losing a big customer they had to do what they didn't plan at first.

Another non Swedish friend of mine was the best performer of his company in Stockholm, always reaching the highest targets; one day he had a chance to have a look at a work contract of a new colleague of his, who was a native Swedish girl, with no work experience: her starting salary was significantly higher than his and he could not find any explanation for that. So he started asking around what could be the reason, and his colleagues answered him "you are not Swedish..".

I know other stories of the kind.

What's my conclusion?

When the Swedes tells me that Sweden provides a foreigner many good things they are right: not many Countries can say the same thing.

But they miss to realize their unconscious attitude towards the foreigners. These things are perceived.

It's true that in Sweden people are not allowed to joke about ethnic groups, they are always politically correct speaking wise.

But facts count more than words.

Obviously what I have written here is only a generalization and not all Swedes are like that, but without generalizations 90% of speeches do not exist.

My Swedish friends don't get pissed off when I claim what they know (in the deepest part of their hart).

Because they are smart.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Dublin is Cozy

After 14 months I can say that:

I did the right thing when I moved here

Ultimately Dublin is a cozy city, where you feel at home

Where you can go to a party on a Saturday night and at first you know only one person, but in a couple of hours you know everyone there, or at least the most significant ones

I may miss something from Sweden but I am happy to be here


Sunday, November 27, 2011

När är det dags att lämna Dublin?

Fyra år ser ut som den maximala tiden att bo på Irland för många personer.

Många kompisar och bekanta som har bott på denna ö har levt utan problem de första tre år, men efteråt har de börjat leta efter
någonting annat, det vill säga de har börjat söka ett ny ställe att bo.

Varför?

Orsaken kunde vara att man blir så van till sitt liv att det känns som bara rutin, och man vill inte känna sig som en maskin.

Så lösningen är identifierad med en flyttning till ett annat land där man kan hitta vad man inte har, eller minst där kan man känna sig motiverad

När man börjar allting från början i ett nytt land känns man sig levande och det är bara bra.

Problemet är att efter en stund riskerar man att befinna sig på en ny rutin, och vad blir viktigast är om de sakerna som man har i nytt land är bättre än de sakerna som man hade i föregående landet.

Annars kan det hända att man bestämmer sig för att återvända till föregående landet, därför att under mellantiden har man fattat att detta land var bättre än man hade bedömd i första hand..


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Dun Laoghaire

"Is there only this"?

This is the typical thing people wonder when they live in a place and they never travel around.

And the answer is "Yes, there is only that if you always stick around. What else could you come across if you never move from the same spots?"

If you want to experience something else you need to move your ass, take a car, a bus, a train or a plane. Then you'll see different realities.

If you win your laziness you can discover many unknown things.

Sometime you don't even need to go so far away from where you live; half an hour and it feels like you are in a different world...





Sunday, October 30, 2011

Roma International Film Festival

Sometimes it feels good to be in Roma.

For the time being I prefer living in a smaller place like Dublin, however, in places like Rome there are
big things going on and it can be pleasant to be there when they happen.

Today I was at the Roma International Film Festival where you can breathe culture, smell it all around



Sunday, October 16, 2011

Nasty drunken Irish girls

Sometimes I am asked why I don't like go clubbing.

Simply because I do not enjoy it.

An example as to why I don't enjoy it is when you are on your own, smoking a cigarette, and a drunken girl turns up and demands to wear your hat. You tell her you don't want to give her your hat, because you know she is going to pass it to all her friends and then collecting it becomes a very had task.

So what does she do?

She asks you where you are from so she can insult your nationality.

And what do you do?

You make up a nationality to see what sort of bullshit she will come up with

There she goes



Sunday, September 4, 2011

Blues in Dublin

In the weekend,

instead of running after drunken girls in mini skirts and high heels who go out to satisfy their narcissism (by being observed by every guy), a sensible guy can decide to go listen to good blues music and feel like being in a different environment.

It is definitely worth it!


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Budapest

Budapest is an amazing city.

Not only is the capital of Hungary gorgeous, what is really surprising is the welfare it communicates: it could very well be the capital of one of the richest countries on earth.

Once again you need to go visit a place to understand it, otherwise you will stick to stereotypes which have nothing to do with reality...




Monday, August 15, 2011

Plzen

When you visit a place for 2 days you have just a few elements to get an idea of the city.

It's very tricky if you cannot talk to anybody since everyone speaks only their own language.

Probably Pilsen (or Plzen) offers more during the weekend when everyone feels like partying, but during weekdays it's the opposite of Belgrade: nobody around and empty pubs.

However there might be some festival which could offer some pleasant moment...



Sunday, August 7, 2011

Beograd

It's hard to describe a city which you visit for less than 48 hours.
So you need to trust your instincts, your sixth sense.

Belgrade is a peculiar city: not so attractive during the day, very fascinating with the dark.

It communicates strong emotions, because those who live there do nothing to hide their feelings, with the inevitable Balcan attitude.

What a shame the girls repress their feelings after showing them...





Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Erasmus reunion in Stockholm: 10th anniversary

I do not know if there are other examples in Europe. Maybe. Maybe not. These people started their Erasmus year 10 years ago, and they meet every year somewhere in Europe to celebrate a reunion, to prove that the Erasmus spirit is still alive.

This year they celebrated the 10th anniversary, so they had to reunite where everything started: Stockholm. The reunion ended with what was typical during their Erasmus: a corridor party.

Ten years later they were in the same spot for their last corridor party.

Was it really the last one?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Cork

I used to live in Cork, and I was happy there.
I had almost nothing (not even an internet connection) and everything at the same time. Today it would be unthinkable to move back there, but it was good to spend a day in "the Real Capital" once again


Sunday, June 5, 2011

BRAY

Even Dublin can have hot days and cool landscapes.

Here is Bray, in the south of the capital.

In this area there are beaches, pubs and restaurants like if it was a sea town.

And paradoxically it is a sea town!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

May 1st in Dublin

No worries in Dublin if May 1st is a Sunday.

Bank holiday will be postponed to the following Monday, so you will have your 3 day Weekend, long enough for a short trip, but too long to stay in town.

It will be sunny and windy, you can tan but you can't help wearing a coat.


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Suburbs in Dublin: the best drug

Dublin is a peculiar city,
many businesses take place there.

Sometimes also those run by Shawn and Gary....

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Zurich

Here are some images of Zurich.

The city is nice, however, if you have good company like I had on this occasion any place seems to be a pleasant spot.
You can hear my impressions and, most importantly, the considerations of the great Heike who can be considered more reliable than me about Zurich since she lives in this place.





Friday, February 4, 2011

Being a Football fan

Being my grandpa one of the founders of a football club I can't help be emotionally linked to that football club.

However I can't help acknowledging that:

Football fans are a community of people who make the acts of someone else a reason for living: they identify themselves with a team because this is the only way they have to be somebody.

A person with balls identifies himself with his deeds, because he knows that being someone is his sole responsibility.

Therefore, the true man hates football, because he knows that the more value he attaches to something external to himself (a football team, God, a political leader, etc..), the more decreases his own individuality.

A man with balls knows that only a mediocre can be a football fan, acknowledging in the deeds of others a pride, an identity, a value that he could never achieve on his own; a sense of relief to his distress and an existential illusion that his life is worth something.

As long as the fan does not realize that, he can only watch 11 semi-literate people kicking a ball earning a fortune with his money.

But a football fan is programmed to live a mediocre life in line with his personality