Monthly Archives: March 2007

Fog over Berlin aka memories



How to make new friends

20h30: Watching football (Portugal – Serbia) with your Portugese flatmate and reminding him of the game Germany – Portugal during the worldcup 2006…

21h45 Reminding your Dutch flatmate that the Netherlands did not qualify for the 2002 world cup…

(To be continued)

Beer in Brussels I

No idea if this is really going to be a serie but I had to take the photo today.


Name: Kwak

Served: See photo

Taste: Strong, slightly bitter with a nice after taste of caramel

Result: recommended

Don’t get it…

Sunday afternoon: I meet with a friend of mine who is passionated about jazz. Since there are several good jazz events for free in the city, we go to on concert place only to find out that it is already overcrowded. We go to another bar and with more luck than planning, we get a really good place.

After 45 minutes of waiting, the concert of a “really good” Polish jazz group starts. My friend who knows jazz is very happy and I am… lost. Every time I go out with friends to a jazz concert, I feel like going home after thirty minutes. I feel somehow strange because there are so many people who go crazy about it. And me? Nothing. It is not even that I do not like jazz, it is just that it leaves me completely unaffected…

Jazz gives me the same feeling as R’n’B and Reggae, it is nice but after thirty minutes, I had enough for a while. Blues, rock, gospel, yeah great, but jazz??? I am really sorry for all those who love jazz but to me it seems to be the same every time…

Actually, I am still hoping to get it one day. It is not very fashionable to say “I don’t like jazz”. Everybody seems to like it… But I do not have much hope.

Never mind,

la puce

I am Tof

When you just do things for fun, they can turn out much more serious than initially intended.

When my Belgian colleague send me the link about Brussels Tof people, I filled it in just for fune. And now, I am selected. Not that I would not have enough things to do with the job, the social activities, language classes and sports…

Now, I am going to be invited to all the events around the celebration of the 50th anniversairy of the Treaty of Rome. But read yourself: brusselstofpeople

I hope that it will add to my European experience here and I hope that I will still be able to find some time for sleep…But that is another story anyway.

Word of the week “or” how to get bad habits

Rojak = Rojak Language or Bahasa Rojakis a Malaysian term, literally meaning “mixed-up language” in Malay, to define the practice of code-switches between 2, 3, 4 or more languages in a conversation similar to pidgin, Manglish and Singlish. Reference: Wikipedia

One of the, well, problems I have in Brussels is that I can speak German, French, English and perhaps even improve my Spanish. But then, there are friends who also speak two or three of these languages what leads to the fact that every time I do not find immediately a word in one language I use the other one.

This get’s a real problem when I start sentences in English and finish them in French but with people who cannot follow.

Why do I write this? I like the word “rojak”. It is also a meal (just google it) and the pictures on wiki are looking nice. Yep.

Spring in Brussels


Parc du cinquentenaire






Out of office

My brain just left the office. If somebody could please cut my head of. Except the places where this flew choose residence, the rest of me is feeling pretty fine. Can just not think straight today… Think, sink, sing.

Book review III

Christopher Paolini

Book cover

At school and in life, I learned that critics should start with a positive aspect before coming to the bad and very bad points. So the good thing about Eragon is that it is good to read. Once started, it was interesting enough to keep me reading. Eragon, playing in an imaginary country, is basically telling the story of a young farm boy who finds something what he first believes is a valuable stone but what turns out to be a dragon egg.

Together with the hatchling, soon baptised Saphira, he has to find out that his world is containing old and dangerous secrets and he finds himself within short time in the middle of a battle which is led since ages. Eragon has to learn everything, fighting, flying a dragon, his place in a world dominated by multiple forces not all of them wishing him his best..

Slowly but surely Eragon is finding and fighting his way through a story which is well written but which contains far too much known elements. I was permanently reminded of Lord of the Rings and Star Wars.

  • Eragon is not the son of his adoptive parents but of a mysterious mother while the father is completely unknown (I do not know the second part yet but I bet that it is one of the bad guys…)
  • He meets a teacher who seems deeply involved in the ancient struggles but who refuses to reveal his secrets until his death.
  • There is one dominating force ruling the world, opposed by a mysterious rebel group
  • There are elfs, dwarfs, shades and the orks have just another name
  • Some of Eragon’s enemies are hissing
  • Eragon meets a mysterious stranger who saves his life and accompanies his journey

To sum up, I do not mind if authors are copying some good ideas but in the case of Eragon it is too obvious and too much. Some new ideas would have been nice instead of picking out elements from LoR and Star Wars, and adding a dragon. Actually it is a pity because it is still good reading and I am going to buy Eldest, the second volume too. But I hope that the copying is going to be less…



After some struggling with Outlook yesterday, I remembered this comment running throughout the world that a computer is only as intelligent as the person using it.

I have a slightly different point of view: taking into consideration the current stereotypes about IT specialists I would say that computer in general and software in special are only as intelligent/socially compatibel/userfriendly as the person who wrote it…

Now, think about all the stereotypes concerning these nerds spending 30 hours non stop in front of a computer, drinking 3 liters of coffee per day, hating sport, wearing ugly glasses and so on. And these very specific species of let’s say “human being” influences our daily life office stress.

So next time, when the computer breaks down for no obvious reason, always remember: This is not your mistake, never.

“DAU” = Dümmster anzunehmender User, no idea how to translate this into English or French…