Monthly Archives: September 2007

Life of others

Just a year or so after the film started, I finally managed to watch “Life of others”. I’m not going to make a full review for the interested German reader is here a link with a critic. What impressed me so much is not only the actors who are all great but especially some small moments where everything was told with the an image or a word.

One of these moments is when Lieutenant Wiesler is called by his family name and this one only by what used to be his befriended superior. In this moment, the friendship though superficially before is finished for ever. Another is when Wiesler is coming to make his report, sitting close to his superior while the next scene he is sitting on the long side of the table – his career falling to pieces.

For me the reason why this film got and deserved the Academy Award is not only the story which feels so historically true but the images, the metaphors and the great ensemble. Exceptional cinema moment!


Murphy + irony = weather in Brussels

  • It is pouring – in the tramway the girl sitting next to me is listening to the song “Under my umbrella”
  • A friend staid for a week in Brussels – grey, cloudy, cold weather which is getting sensibely better the morning he is leaving the city.
  • During the weekend I gonna spend moving and cleaning  the weather is beautiful and sunny.

Look out of the window


 That was the view I had when I looked out of the window in the students’ hall where I stayed in Grenoble. It was one of the cheapest and one of the best – I stayed three years after all. If we had to pay the view, the price would have more than doubled.

It was so beautiful in the morning when you would wake up, open the window and see the beauty of this world… I better stop now before I’m getting nostalgique

Moving, again*

Sept. 2002 – Moving to France for my Erasmus year.

Sept. 2003 – Moving in another room in my students’ hall. Still in France

July 2004 – Moving to another students’ hall since mine is closed for the summer. The Crous says for renovation.

Sept. 2004 – Moving back to my old and new students’ hall. Taking the same room as before. They did definitely not renovate anything.

July 2005 – Moving in another building in my students’ hall. My building is closed for the summer.

End Sept. 2005 – Looking for a new flat with my future flatmate. Since we have trouble finding something, we stay in the flat of the parents in law of my former internship director. Long story

Mid Oct. 2005 – Moving in our new beautiful flat. Best flat ever so far.

April 2006 – Moving to Berlin for a job. Nice flat but awful furniture. Never planned to stay as long as I did.

Nov. 2006 – Moving to South Africa but knowing in advance that it is just for three months. The backpack and the rucksack are enough.

Feb. 2007 – Moving to Brussels. Not taking all my stuff since I’m not sure to stay.

Sept. 2007 – Moving in my new room, much larger than the old one but for the same price. By now, I have most of my stuff here… 

*The bold moves stand for full ones with the whole packing and unpacking. The normal text stands for the moves where I moved my stuff just from one room to the other on the same floor or where I never unpacked properly.

* For a while, I hated moving seriously. But as a have a feeling telling me that my current move won’t be the last I somehow got used to it. Still…

Last & coming

Last weekend:

  • Watching Rugby: New Zealand – Portugal. Poor Portugal
  • Visiting the “Palais de Justice” during the “Open Monuments Days” – quite enormous building though a bit mégalo
  • Going out with a friend to play darts
  • Going to Antwerp to visit the city (very nice), the cathedral (wonderful) and the Rubens’ house (interesting). Photos will come soon, I swear but please cf. the text below. 
  • Quite ful but great weekend

Next weekend:

  • Packing my stuff
  • Getting the hired car
  • Bringing all my stuff down (2nd floor – elevator)
  • Driving through this mad city
  • Bringing all my stuff up (3rd floor – no elevator)
  • Unpacking my stuff
  • Cleaning my old room
  • Organizing and probably cleaning my new room
  • Sleeping, sleeping, sleeping (if there is still some time left until Monday)

So, please do not wonder if there are not going to be a lot of posts this week. Especially since a friend from France came to visit me so that my evenings will be filled with Dutch lessons (today and Wednesday) and showing Brussels (Tuesday and Thursday).

Hope you are having a great time out there! La puce un tantinet stressée quoi 🙂

A German thing

Who is the most famous American-Indian chief in Germany although he is pure imagination?


Who is one of the most famous French actors in Germany although no French has ever heard anything about him?

Pierre Brice

You do not have the slightest idea what I’m talking about?

Then, you are not German and/or have not lived in this country.

And why, for Winnetou’s sake am I asking all these questions?

Because I read an article in the International Herald Tribune about the creator of one of Germany’s most famous heroes and the resulting idealizing of American-Indian culture until today. Want to know more?

Here you go.

Have fun, la puce

Difficult choices

Dutch – Spanish

de liefde – amor

leren – aprender

de taal – una idioma

The choice I had to make the last days was to choose the next language I am going to learn. I have to precise that I had one year of Spanish lessons at French university. And that I had three months of Dutch lessons here in Brussels. Furthermore, Dutch is desperately close to German and Belgium is a bilingual country. Still, my heart and the long term benefit inclined much more in favour of Spanish – the sound and 700 mio native speakers are serious arguments. But, then again the fact that I can/could learn Spanish nearly everywhere in the world while the chances for Dutch are far less good had to be considered. The final argument for me was that if I do not learn Dutch while I’m in Belgium I will probably never do it. So in order to use this unpredicted and unique opportunity I decided to take Dutch lessons (and even to pay for them) for the next five months.

Voilà 🙂

My muse

Often my ideas, inspired by a muse or not, come quite suddenly if it is for blog entries, papers, work, emails or whatsoever. Let’s suppose that it is a muse than the problem with her (or him?) is that she (he?) is inspiring me when I’m nearly or already asleep. So I have this great idea and should get up immediately to write it down so that it is fixed and cannot escape me anymore. Only, my motivation to get up, get a piece of paper and to note the idea does not always exist – mostly it doesn’t. And this, somehow makes my muse angry because whenever I try to remember an idea I did not write down at night in the morning it is lost… The exception confirms obviously the rule as this post came to my mind around 3 am today and I was not even considering getting up. But still strange – this muse.

Wonderful world of language VIII – IX

When I first started with that topic, I thought that everything would be said after the three initial entries. But it seems that there is far more to say so here you go.

VIII: Something I’m still not able to do in French or English are crosswords. Whenever I try one, I give up frustrated after usually 20 minutes. The problem with crosswords is not only that you have to know the words a synonym is asked for (Step 1) but one ore more synonyms matching the number of letters given (Step2). If I do not fail with step one than it is certainly step two. I have more or less the same problems with Tabu and Scrabble is a game I prefer as well in German.

IX: One thing I can’t stand are online translators and people who use them for an entire text. You cannot seriously expect a meaningful translation from German to English (the other way round is slightly better but still…) since the structure of these two languages has sometimes nothing in common. Example: I went to the station to my aunt with her luggage and her daughter pick up. In German, the past particip stands at the end of the sentence so that you have to read until the end if you want to get the sense of it. This is a concept impossible to translate into English but  some people and online translators keep on trying handing over the bullshit result to poor bilingual interns who then have to get some sens into the whole story.


It is astonishing to see how much effort and time entreprises spend to recruit employees and how much they fail to enable them to work from the very first day. Even if entreprises know for weeks that you will start at  day X, they seem somehow unable to set up an email address, to get the computer ready, and to provide an office phone. Still, they expect you to start and to be performant, efficient etc.etc. immediately. I do not really mind since this behaviour gives me an excuse why I could not do this or that. But probably it would be a good idea to spend time and effort a bit more proportional.