Monthly Archives: March 2008

Pictures as due to

As I found this cable:

Wasserturm

Ruins of the Castle

View to the Old Bridge

Castle

Blue sky really makes a difference…

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Back in BXL

It is really frustrating to leave Mannheim behind with 21°C and beautiful sunshine and to arrive in rainy grey muddy cold Brussels. A part from this I had a wonderful weekend visiting Mannheim and Heidelberg, chatting with my sister for hours and hours and hours, seeing a friend I had seen last time nearly two years ago, drinking coffee in the afternoon in the sunshine, looking out of the window when driving along the Rhine, daydreaming and musing about the spring and the new green all along the route, reading in the train, and relaxing.

I’ve been told that Mannheim has the reputation of being one of the particularly ugly cities in Germany but honestly, I don’t think so. They make quite an effort to have lots of nice flowers everywhere and may be it is not overwhelmingly pretty but ugly??? Probably when it’s raining – just like Brussels.

So yeah, nice weekend, nice moments, back to work tomorrow with a few photos online if I find the USB cable for the camera until then…

Bonne nuit!

Ich bin dann mal weg*

Brussels – Liège-Guillemins – Aachen – Cologne – Bonn – Frankfurt Flughafen – Mannheim – Heidelberg => cities I gonna see the station from and more (maybe) until Sunday. More then.

* I’m gone now…  would be also a good title for the very last post on this blog if this is ever going to happen.

** I don’t know if it is to communicate in a subtle way that the trains are not any faster but the homepage of Deutsche Bahn is f***ing slow.

The International Francophony Day & blablabla

First, I have to admit that until seeing this article, I was not aware of the existence of the International Francophony day taking place on the 20th of March. During this year’s celebrating event Monsieur “le Président de la République je suis partout” Sarkozy backed up the concept of promoting the French language more aggressively consequently.

“It seems strange for the least, for example, that the head of a State where French is the official language, should choose to address the whole of the international community in English from the tribune of the United Nations, before coming down and complaining that French is not sufficiently defended,” he explained, pleading for a more “offensive Francophony”.

Well, for once I agree only that this would not be strange but painful to listen to especially if a particular head of State where French is the official language who failed college due to his bad marks in English would address whatever meeting in English. Probably most world leaders and head of states would agree that it is much nicer to listen the well articulated interpreter’s voice in English confirming that whoever cannot pronounce a “h” properly better speaks it’s home dialect instead of abusing the wonderful English language.

J’adore le français mais des fois…

Pourquoi?

are the sizes for the Firefox dictionaries so different? I mean the dictionaries you can download as add-ons and which allow to proof read a text while typing it (like this post).

The German (de-de) dictionary has a size of 2534 kb while the Swiss German (de-ch) dictionary has just 347 kb. As there is not too much space left on my hard drive – it’s the later I installed. From what I can tell it works fine so far. So what’s the difference?

I also don’t understand why English and French are both below 300 kb while Dutch, not exactly the most complicated language in the world, has nearly 1000 kb.

I am fully aware that this is not the most important question people are trying to find answers for but moi, ça m’intrigue. 

Happy Easter in Brussels

Indeed, this is snow

More snow…

Il était temps

As some of you may have noticed already, Belgium has from today on a new government. Finally. Yves Leterme is taking over as Prime minister from Guy Verhofstadt after presenting a governing programme promising a bit of everything to everyone, more money to the poor, less taxes to the rich, a reform here another one there, etc.

So, after nine months, a sweet baby new government has seen the light. But, like my old boss used to say “Don’t take every ugly baby”. And indeed, this one is ugly as the governmental programme avoids completely the critical issue of the last months: more autonomy for the regions. This, as you may remember, is asked for by the Flemish and feared by the Wallonians. Only that problems do not just disappear when they are not taken care of.

And, indeed, most Belgian citizen think that this government won’t see it’s third birthday; the reason for this being the regional elections in 2009 where the disappointed voters will probably turn to more radical parties. Seriously, I doubt that Leterme will be able to address the social, political and linguistic issues dividing Belgium in a way that reconciles the country. But probably, this is nothing he or anyone could do unless there is a NATIONAL movement.

Meanwhile, the administration keeps on working, people do their jobs, schools are open, trains are running, the markets are busy and somehow the new government won’t any more difference then the old one…