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29 November 2007

Χριστουγεννιάτικο Bazaar Ζωόφιλων

Καλό πράμα να έχουν αφίσα
 

Σήμερα το πρωί από το λεωφορείο είδα μια αφίσα για το επόμενο παζάρι του Σωματείο Ζωόφιλων στο Πάρκο Ελευθερίας: Σάββατο / Κυριακή 1.+2. Δεκεμβρίου. Είχα πάει εκεί πριν μερικά χρόνια, βρήκα κάποιο βιβλίο. Να δούμε αν θα βρω χρόνο το σ/κ.

Πληροφορίες: http://www.sozo.gr/events.htm


Posted by betabug at 11:11 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
04 December 2007

Autumn Leaves

Not so common here
 
Autumn trees with yellow leaves in Athens center

Trees can be very different in Greece compared to northern Europe. While up there Autumn is the season when the leaves are turning yellow and red, and Winter is when trees and fields are barren, here it's more green in Winter, and dry and yellow in Summer. There are some small exceptions in Athens, where trees have leaves that turn yellow. They do so a bit late too. It's already early December, but these trees looked nice in this morning's sun.

Most of the time I don't think it's any good to compare countries. They do this one way here and another way there, so what? You got used to one thing and they don't have it here? I prefer to adapt. There are times when it gets confusing, because some habits were rooted deeply in you when you grew up. For me those are the moments when I step back and try to just observe the difference, not judge it.

When it really gets confusing it might help to have a place to retreat to, a good home where you are allowed to have things your way, even if that's a bit different from local habits. In the end, I take what I like from the local habits. I'm here because I like it, so it's easy to take a lot.


Posted by betabug at 14:12 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
08 December 2007

Rain Outside a 2CV

Two cylinders put-puting down memory lane
 

It's raining outside. I really enjoy this "sitting inside with the rain out of the window" thing. As a child I didn't have that, back then rain (or in general bad weather) was more of the "cant' go outside, so have to be bored" thing, even though I was a bookworm anyway. At some point that turned. Well, tonight when I ventured outside to get some food, I saw a nice red 2CV with white wings.

That sight reminded me of the feeling of running through the rain to my own 2CV, then fumbling with the door lock, jumping inside (seats and the whole car's suspension heaving), slamming the door behind me. And then sitting there for a second before starting the car, enjoying the moment of "being in the dry" and hearing the raindrops on the roof, transitioning myself from hectic necessity to get out of the rain to a mood more fitting for careful driving. Last step: Trying to get the heating emit anything resembling enough heat to fight the fogging of the windows (yeah I know, I wrote "trying" for a reason).


Posted by betabug at 21:05 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
13 December 2007

Meteor Shower... or Clouds?

Where are our sunshine days now that we need them?
 

It's cold, rainy, and uncomfortable, but that's not the reason I'm complaining about the weather. The reason is that now we would need one of those famous 300 days of clear sky we have every year in Greece, not the cloud cover we have now. We'd need a clear sky to see the Geminid Meteor Shower flashing up to 100 "shooting stars" per hour over the night sky (ok, not all of them really visible). There wouldn't be much to see in Athens itself (too much city lights), but it would be a chance to drive out of the city for a night excursion. But as I said, not likely with this weather.


Posted by betabug at 09:22 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
14 December 2007

Celebrating with Chäshörnli

Always a reason to party!

The swiss political system is very peculiar - it's very much different from most other countries systems. For example, we have only 7 ministers in the government, and they come from 4 different parties. For four years we had a certain Multi-Millionaire by the name of Christoph Blocher in the government, someone on the "political right", who (as usual) plays the role of "people's poltitician" but in truth just bought his way to power. Well, to make a long story short, his stint in the government will be over by the end of the year. The swiss political system is built on cooperation, compromise, and consociationalism - which didn't work well with someone who wanted all the power for himself. In the end the system was healthy enough to clean up itself.

Myself I was smiling all day yesterday. Not only does it mean that the country where I grew up has still some chances for a continuation of a political system that is slightly more sane than other countries', but it also means that it's much easier not having to explain to non-swiss people why a country that is perceived as free and democratic has someone like Blocher in the government.

So, yesterday I bought some swiss cheese and tonight I'll serve my friends swiss Chäshörnli (recipe in Greek) in celebration. Always a reason to party! I should translate that recipe to English and take some nice pictures. Hmm, I should get a real camera (like wildweasel tells me all the time), so I could take food pictures like the ones on the Once Upon a Tart blog. Incidentally I found her by searching for chäshörnli pictures, but her recipe is much different from mine.


Posted by betabug at 09:54 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
17 December 2007

Tilt! Tilt!

And ring the bell
 

There I was, early morning in bed, already awake with thoughts and problems rolling around in my head and me rolling around in my bed. Felt like a pinball machine, with me involuntarily hitting the ball again and again, rocking the machine and cursing myself for not finding sleep again. Hey, I have to get to work later, can't I find some rest? I expected my mind to go "tilt" any moment. Maybe that would have been a good thing, but the ball didn't stop rocking back and forth.

Then my wake up clock rang. I grabbed it, shut it down, settled back for a moment and... closed my eyes to fall sound asleep. I even dreamed nice and cozy dreams. To make an end to this story: I managed to get up almost in time, but I seriously need to rewire that wake up clock. It's supposed to ring when I have to wake up, not when I fall asleep.


Posted by betabug at 09:20 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
02 January 2008

Griechische Ostern 2008

Kleine Erinnerung für alle (Ferien-)Planenden:
 

Die Griechischen Ostern 2008 fallen dieses Jahr auf den 27. April (das ist der Ostersonntag). Wie üblich wird Reiseverkehrsmässig wieder viel los sein. In der Osterwoche muss man auch damit rechnen, dass wegen Fastenzeit in nicht so touristischen Lokalen die Speisekarte stark eingeschränkt oder verändert sein wird.

Im Rest von Europa fällt der Ostersonntag auf den 23. März. Der Modus wann Ostern ist, ist übrigens bei allen gleich: Ostersonntag ist der erste Sonntag nach dem ersten Vollmond nach dem Frühlingsanfang. Die unterschiedlichen Termine ergeben sich durch die Verwendung des "alten", orthodoxen Kalenders für die bestimmung des Frühlingsanfangs. Je nach Mondstand können die beiden Ostern zusammenfallen oder bis zu vier Wochen auseinanderdriften.


Posted by betabug at 13:16 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
03 January 2008

Shop 'til You Drop!

... and look at the ice skaters on the way
 
Ice skaters on Munich's "Stachus" square

This vacation I've been bitten by the shopping virus. I got books, books, books, earphones, chocolate (as usual mostly to give away), a new firewire cable for my old iPod, swimming trunks (we're planning to go to an indoor pool here), and a cheap digital camera (at a reduced price, more about that one in another post Real Soon Now™). To top all this, today I went out and got a suitcase with wheels, because no way am I going to carry all that weight over my shoulder to the airport. I'll be broke, but at least my back won't hurt.

On the way to today's shopping spree, we came by Munich's "Stachus" square. This time of year it sports an ice rink with people enjoying skating under an exceptional blue sky. In the back of the picture you can see the palace of justice. Usually it's more gray skies here, and it seems to be always cold.


Posted by betabug at 15:54 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
04 January 2008

Χειμερινό κολύμπι

-2° και τι μας νοιάζει;
 

Χτες πήγαμε για κολύμπι (σε πισίνα, ακόμα Μόναχο είμαι). Το κολυμβητήριο έχει πισίνα μέσα και έξω, η εξωτερική πισίνα έχει περίπου 34° Κελσίου, οπότε είσαι πολύ άνετος, εκτός αν μένεις πολύ ώρα και αρχίζεις και κρυώνεις στα αυτιά (περίπου -2° έχουμε). Είναι μια παράξενη αίσθηση με τα φώτα πολυκατοικιών τριγύρω, μαύρο ουρανό από πάνω, και ατμό να ανεβαίνει από το νερό που κάνεις μπάνιο.

Κάθε μισή ώρα βάζουν μπροστά κάποιες μεγάλες τρόμπες, το νερό γυρίζει σαν μεγάλος στρόβιλος στην στρογγυλή πισίνα. Στην μέση της πισίνας έχει ένα μέρος που τότε γίνεται σαν whirlpool. Όταν κάθεσαι εκεί με τους μπουρμπουλήθρες και τον ατμό νιώθεις σαν να σε βράσουν οι κανιβάλοι. Πάντως πολύ χαλαρωτικό.

Φωτογραφίες δεν έχω, αλλά στην σελίδα εδώ με την πανοραμική φωτογραφία όλο αριστερά φαίνεται η εξωτερική πισίνα.


Posted by betabug at 23:47 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
12 January 2008

graffic meets betabug meets graffic

Foreign programmers in Greece meetup
 
Blogger and programmers meet in Kolonaki cafeteria

Here I am, sitting outside a Kolonaki bar with graffic having a beer and talking about being a foreign programmer in Greece. Graffic is from Spain and works here at a big ISP, writing Java and Python stuff. He's here for much of the same reason than me: It's just nice to be here.

We've been to the Parko Eleftherias first for some coffee, now we're hitting the beers and drinks. Unfortunately I left my camera cable at home, so the picture is taken with the camera of his MacBook pro.

Graf: Really nice place Parko Eleftherias, I've never been there, but since today it has become a place to visit again with my friends. What else... It's a bit cold to write, but I hope a beer can help a bit :)


Posted by betabug at 18:55 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (1)
15 January 2008

Schlaf-Therapie

Ab ins Bett
 

An der Party vorgestern hab ich eigentlich fast gar nichts getrunken - schliesslich musste ich fahren. Aber gestern gings mir trotzdem als hätt ich alleine eine Flasche Ouzo leer gemacht, Kopfweh und verdrehter Magen. Den Tag durch hab ich noch versucht etwas produktives zu tun, aber das war natürlich sinnlos. Schlussendlich bin ich früher gegangen und hab mich zuhause um sechs Uhr abends ins Bett gelegt. Durchgeschlafen bis um elf, dann nach einer kurzen Unterbrechung bis heut morgen. Jetzt geht's mir besser.

Heute morgen dann auch wieder eitel Sonnenschein draussen. Nach dem gestrigen Regenwetter fielen mir aber genau die Zeilen aus einem Lied der Eurythmics ein:

Here comes the rain again
Falling on my head like a memory
Falling on my head like a new emotion
I want to walk in the open wind
I want to talk like lovers do
I want to dive into your ocean
Is it raining with you

Meinem Kopf und Magen geht es jedenfalls wieder gut.


Posted by betabug at 08:42 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
16 January 2008

Study and Play

Congratulations Eleni!
 
The fries at the Athens University building in Panepistimiou, by night

Yesterday afternoon the gf had her (second to last) final exam... and passed! Congratulations Eleni! I'm so proud of you!

I'm usually shy to put too personal stuff on my weblog. But yesterday was in a large part governed by this exam. In the morning we phoned, I was nervous through the last preparations, then was even more nervous through the one hour that her professor quizzed her on her three chosen areas of musicology. In the end she got a good grade and one chapter of her studies is closing.

Unfortunately we had to celebrate apart: While she went out with friends in Munich, I went out with a few good friends, first to a bar near Klathmonos square, then to the taverna "Ipeiros" in the meat market in Athinas street. On the way back I passed by the Athens University building in Panepistimiou street, which connects me to the gf in multiple ways: First it was at this uni that she studied for a year in Athens (not necessarily at this building), then it is an example of neoclassical, "othonian" architecture, and she knows all and everything about that period, which I find quite cool.


Posted by betabug at 10:16 | Comments (7) | Trackbacks (0)
24 January 2008

Ein weiterer Schritt und eine weitere Gratulation

Die letzte Prüfung
 

Heute Nachmittag hat Eleni auch die allerletzte Prüfung auf dem Weg zum "Magister" bestanden. Gratuliere! Und wiedermal hat die Geschichte bewiesen, dass man eine halbe Stunde mündliche Prüfung tatsächlich überleben kann, auch in Byzantinistik, auch wenn man vorher nervös ist :-) Ich freue mich so! Ich glaube solche Abschlüsse sind die Punkte, wo einem bewusst wird, dass es im Leben immer nur vorwärts (oder weiter) geht, dass man weder zurück kann, noch stehen bleiben. Aber der nächste Teil des Lebens kann genauso schön werden, wie es der letzte war (oder sogar noch schöner)!


Posted by betabug at 18:45 | Comments (0) | Trackbacks (0)
30 January 2008

To The Bone

Cold and shaky
 
Dressing up for office work

Yesterday the earth shook. Today it's chilly cold.

It might not be a record breaking low in temperatures, but the cold goes to the bone when you sit all day in the office. Better to dress up and try to shield yourself from the outside world.


Posted by betabug at 11:00 | Comments (6) | Trackbacks (0)
04 February 2008

Maintenance Mode

Gotta get past this cold
 
Water fountain outside Panepistimiou in central Athens

All through this weekend I was fighting a cold. Not too bad, but since it's been a while that I was sick, I'm pretty annoyed. Today I managed to work, but I'm more or less in "maintenance mode" on myself. I've got no power and I'm doing as little as possible.

So instead of any real content (there would be some stories to tell from this weekend too), here is simply a picture I took before Friday evening's visit to the books bazaar in Athens center.


Posted by betabug at 19:43 | Comments (1) | Trackbacks (0)
07 February 2008

Jumping the Law... a Little

Pedestrian traffic lights
 

This morning on the way to work a pedestrian traffic light turned to red right when I arrived at the intersection. Pedestrian traffic lights of course don't mean much in Athens, so instead of patiently waiting for it to turn green again, I stepped forward, ready to cross the street on the red light on the first opening in traffic. While I waited, a guy in a suit walked up and waited next to me. The first lull in traffic came, suit guy moved across the street... but my good upbringing showed, I waited, because after the break in traffic there was a single police car coming along.

Now I don't believe that the police here gives even an old 50 drachmas bill about a pedestrian crossing with red while they drive by, but certain childhood conditioning seemed to have shown through. As there was a second pause in traffic right after the "black and white", I assembled my courage and stepped forward to pass right after the police. Interesting enough, in the car sat just a single police man... and he was talking on his mobile phone. So much for keeping to the law myself.


Posted by betabug at 09:15 | Comments (2) | Trackbacks (0)
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