Sunday, September 26, 2010

New Muzik in my playlist

Just few of the LPs that crowded my Itunes lately with a ranking attempt based on a 10 point system:

Tricky - Mixed Race (7.5 out of 10)
Ministry of Sound - Uncovered (9 out of 10)
Laroux- Sidetracked (6.5 out of 10)
Underworld - Barking (8 out of 10)
Sting - Simphonicities (8.5 out of 10)
Roykshopp - Senior (8.5 out of 10)
Linking Park - a 1,000 suns (8 out of 10)
Inception - OST (7.5 out of 10)
Guns n Roses - Family Tree (5 out of 10)
Evidence - the Layover (8 out of 10)
Dirt Nasty - Nasty as I wanna be (7 out of 10)

A different perspective of Bucharest

Despite my best intentions of coupling several administrative efforts (getting the Dutch MVV visa and other "required" paperwork) with participating to a Romanian R&D and Diaspora conference, obviously things did not worked out that (wonderful) way. Thus, I had to come back for the latter now, at the end of September; Still, I enjoyed it much more than my previous Romanian interlude. To be concise three reasons stand out: 1. weather (25 C and SUN felt heavenly after the stuff we get in the Netherlands) 2. beautiful women ("sweet Bucharest girls", as they are called in a famous Romanian song, all over the place, and despite not being in the market for such things, it just feels good to benefit from such geographic spillovers and 3.decently cheap and good food.) After putting together this ranking, i realized that basically I sound like a typical foreigner coming to Romania to stroll the country, get laid and eat well despite being bold and fat (as the majority of those tourists, later husbands --marriage tourism is quite large, I suppose-- are). Thank good that i don't fit at least from that perspective, girls still score me as 25-26 yrs of age, which always is flattering.:)) But getting back to the point, it was much nicer than before..and that because of one thing: i stopped carrying about it. And that's sad but relieving at the same time: on one side you kind of give up on the same stereotypes and deficiencies (complaints from all over the place --mostly justified but seldom just grievances for the sake of it) and take it as it is, just like being in Uganda or something like it. It is a bit cruel, but that's the reality. With all the crisis and the problems people have there it is hard to disconnect. But for a hybrid outsider like myself, it has just became easier. the whole big gloomy pictures (salary cuts, corruption, scandals, politicians that switch sides and fortunes all the time, protests, beggars, wandering dogs, gypsies and who-knows-what) they all blur away in a nice sunny late September in one of the central parks in Bucharest (Cismigiu).

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Universally, bike

Today I had to buy a desk for my new apt. Surprinsingly, IKEA did not have more that 4-5 options for the lenght and width I was aiming for, so instead I opted for an almost mint white 2nd hand desk at a popular outlet here in Groningen. While finding it was exciting enough, bringing it back with one of the available cargo bikes at the store definitely topped that.These traditional bakfiets can (apparently) carry a lot of things and weight; while a bit hard to manouver, especially when taking a curve, breaking or accelerating, it felt great crusing the streets (almost like a truck).:)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Recover deleted photos / Unformat card

Ever had a problem with deleting your photos by mistake. Not me. Until yesterday when I did the mistake of not respecting my usual routine: copy RAW files, convert them to JPGs, and then share them and format the CF card. This time around, I just wanted to show them to my gf, and at 1AM, i got carried out and just format the drive going with the loop in my brain. But, no drama!! there are plenty of programs for recovery outthere (I used Photo recovery Genius but I saw at least other ten). Moreover, keep in mind that this is a drive, hence all the tools for HDD recovery might work just fine, since usually are formatted as FAT. So, no worries, you will get throught; just keep trying, for any help post a questions here and I will do my best to guide you. Because after all, this can be a very stressful situation, especially when you card is full with precious memories. Just do not write anything on it (eg take more pics) once this accidental erase/format happens. Cheers.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Short Romanian interlude...looking for a glimpse of summer

Going back home becomes harder and harder every time. Perhaps is just that I am perceiving all those wonderful places I grew up as a stage that I shouldn't regress back to, perhaps it is just hard seeing your family and friends grow older and weaker and you also loose track of the new branches and offsprings emerging in your family; or perhaps it is just a sharp reminder of why you left in the first place. Anyways, a sweet and sour mix (more towards the sour) just like a good chinese westernized food.

Anyhow, I got to go through these emotions again this week. Lots of useless bureaucratic paperwork for my new job in the Netherlands draw my sorry bottom to Bucharest, Sighet and Baia Mare to receive a provisional visa, exchange my birth certificate to an international one, and get a "nice" apostile for the Groningen city hall (i just wonder why we need this in the first place, and how legal is a color printed HP {probably 300dp} apostile with a stamp that you can barely see, and in Romanian only/?/?). However, a man's gotta do what a man gotta go. Especially if the law abiding citizen status is something one cares of. So I did it. Lots of tiring travel and some stressful situations (a close call of a car crash that freaked me out a bit), hope all is taking care of by now, so I don't have to re-do anything.

Now, getting back to the sunny side of the rainbow, it was nice going back home, enjoying one day of summer in Bucharest (38 C) with a biking tour of Park Herastrau, and a good hike day in the Carpathians. It was very exilirating going back to see the "pearls" of Bucegi Mountains (the Sphinx and Babele) two stone formations believed to be carved by ancient civilization on a plateau of 2000+ meters. See the Caraiman cross and hike to Omu peak. Despite the lack of bravery (no time deh! so I took the cabin up & down) in terms of hiking, it was a good workout. But more than everything, a sweet and sour revisit all these places where I have been with my friends hiking, while in college, with all the time on our side. A bit of nostalgie and sorrow but still some nice places to revisit. The pictures below are just a sample of what I am talking about.

Now, riding back the train, I see again the gray side of Romania. Autumn arrived here as well, incidentally about the same time that I arrived. Should we hope for some Indian summer? I wouldn't keep my fingers crossed but if you feel like it, go ahead. This morning the temperature plummeted to 5 C in my home region, and it should be hard to imagine mid-20s again. But hey, climate change is like a roulette, so it might work indeed.

'Till next time, Romania!