this is the archive for the ‘rants’ category:


olympics

“and so the games started and the country went wild, as expected. for some reason though, i’m not feeling it. shanghai is hot, the media seems to only focus on what they see fit… maybe all this preparation time spoiled the fun of it for me, and after the apotheosis that was the opening ceremony, things somewhat diluted themselves under the intensity at which we are daily bombarded… olympics olympics olympics. so i don’t feel like watching tv or reading tweets about it. hope the portuguese do well, and totally subscribe the idea of nationalizing michael phelps. pretty please?”

i wrote that in shanghai, four years ago, in a draft that never made it into the blog. was that really 4 years ago? funny how time flies. we’ve changed countries and jobs meanwhile, yet this indifference towards the olympics remained. plus we don’t even own a tv this time!

if it was my home (country)

ifitwasmyhome.com is a little google maps mashup that lets you visualize the bp oil spill by superimposing it on your current location.


these things are always tricky to visualise, for lack of reference points, but this map shows a very concrete term of comparison: slovenia. the whole of slovenia is engulfed in that stain (plus big chunks of italy, austria and croatia).

for us living here, and exploring this country, it surely puts things in perspective.

looking for plan b

little flowers
little flowers

currently floating in a sea of drupal modules and dreaming of winning the jackpot and building a spacious loft, with minimalist decoration and lots of windows. also, of doing some sort of masters in online journalism/documentary. and a website about quirky european roadtrip stops (why should americans have all the fun?!).

i daydream way too often.

Où voulez-vous aller aujourd’hui?

yesterday, a french tourist asked us for some directions to a nearby hill. straightforward stuff, follow us, and on that road go straight ahead till you get to the top. and then, as i visualized the answer in my head… i couldn’t say a straight french sentence without sprinkling it with chinese. my french used to be pretty decent, but every time the man asked something, my first reply was in chinese, then i stopped, switched and tried to finish the sentence in french, much to his bewilderment (and my own!). i hope he found his way to that hill.

portuguese/english are the languages i use to think, but chinese is the closest thing to my “second language” these days: when i communicate with a non-english speaking foreigner, i instantly speak in chinese. it’s unconscious and… weird.

which is why i really need to find someone to practice this with, before i forget it all. any tips?

get your act together!


i don’t do a lot of posts where i complain, but the cats saga is taking its toll on us. our return tickets were long booked on british airways, but if we knew it’d be such a nightmare to ship the cats home, i think we’d have chosen a more pet-friendly airline. say, lufthansa, where your cats fly with you in the cabin, saving you half the trouble.

the service on ba has been appallingly clueless. first they don’t fly the cats in cabin – only cargo. that’s fine, i guess. so what do we need? we call london, we call lisbon, we call shanghai: nobody’s got a straight answer, always ending up forwarding us to somebody else. in shanghai, they forwarded us to the logistics person who is supposed to know these things, but doesn’t have the foggiest idea… first we’re told they can’t ship them to lisbon, to which we reply “but why, if the flights we are flying in have cargo service as well?”, then they suddenly can, then we need extra documents – documents which the entity supposed to issue says we don’t need…

what are these people doing?! so far, this has been the most stressful issue of the whole move. we don’t want to leave them behind, and we surely don’t want to take them to the airport and suddenly realize we’re missing a paper! how hard can it be to figure out these procedures and get a clean algorithm, step by step?!
this is all i want. kthxbye.