Monday, June 28, 2010


Hey friends!

As you can see I'm not in the south anymore... Goodbye sirens and hello Rhine maidens... Last night was the Germany vs. UK match. The horns blasting the whole night long! Thinking of you...



* * *

I'm guessing that all of us are old enough to remember postcards. It was a wonderful ritual of travel. You would browse around for something typical, or beautiful, or funny, or ironic (or all of the above). You would find a nice cafe table and scribble away. Then you would wander around looking for the right postage. First you would look for a post office. But then you would recall that tobacconists sold postage as well. And you would then apply postage, and in the final stage hunt around for a postbox.

And of course there was the other side of the ritual. Getting them in the mail! Sometimes a relative (parents - wish you where here!), a friend, or occasionally someone or the other who you had a crush on (or even who had a crush on you). Back in the days before Facebook and e-mail and Skype, that was all we had to engage in long-distance flirtation. Of course if the flirtation got serious you could also take it up to the next level. And back in the day that meant a letter (not wink-wink texting as it might mean these days).

I'm not judging or ranking. Today's methods have their own thrills. But the older style did too.



Friday, June 25, 2010

The problem with the view

This is one for the kvetch committee if ever there were one. Take a look at the views below, taken at breakfast on various days this week. You'll see the problem immediately.

You see my point? No one is willing to believe that I have been working hard this week. I tell them about my offsite, and they sound sympathetic for a moment until I tell them the location. And if I make the mistake of sharing the view, then sympathy seems to go out the window. Why?

Is there anything more maddening than to be locked into a darkened room and forced to talk about flugelbindery when you know such a view is hovering at the window? Is there anything more painful than breathing the stale air of a meeting room when you could be inhaling the fresh breezes rolling in from the sea? Is there anything more cruel than being forced to hear the cheers of the boys and girls watching the Italy versus Slovakia in the neighboring room, but not being able to watch?

When I'm finally done for the day, I'm supposed to catch up with a day's worth of office e-mail since apparently and in fact I am working. And of course then you're coping with a slow internet connection (imagine trying to suck a block of ice through a straw -- that's roughly how it feels).

And then you stumble from the building just as the sun is setting and some of the boys from accounting want to take you out for a drink. And then they won't stop talking about the latest office gossip. And then it's dark and late, and you've had too many drinks and too little food. You stumble off to sleep, wake up feeling groggy, and start the whole thing again...

All right, this is probably the moment to admit I've exaggerate a bit, a wee bit -- I did sneak off for a few hours yesterday and stroll down to the sea. But you get the idea: there's no sympathy for hard working folks...


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Goodbye Naples, Hello India (Goodbye India, Hello Basel)

Friends much travel since we last were together on these pages. My time in Naples came to an end, then I went off to India, and now before I know what's what I'm back in Europe, in Basel. The good news I'll get to see some of Art Basel while I'm here. The bad news is that the holiday is over.

I'll try to post some pics of India soon. But in the meanwhile two parting images of Naples...


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