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Monday, October 31, 2005
Phil Collins – First and Last Concert in Bucharest

As part of his First Final Farewell Tour, Phil Collins created a firey atmosphere last night in Romaero Baneasa. An amazing live concert, the first one in Bucharest. As the singer said for Europa FM, this was on of the goals of the tour, to reach places he had never been to or that he had sang in only once.

And I almost missed it. I have to say, I am not a big fan of Phil Collins. And when K first said he wanted us to go, I wasn’t that enthusiastic. We first talked about it a month ago, but we eventually decided to drop the idea, as he had lots of work and a quite crazy schedule. Then on Saturday night, the plans changed…So we bought tickets on Sunday (this meaning they were really bad tickets :)) and at 7 o’clock C. and a friend of his came to pick us up.

Because of some external tension, we completely forgot the camera, fact that I still regret…When we finally got there, we found out that only those with VIP tickets were allowed to park near the concert hall (an enormous hall belonging to the Baneasa Airport). I couldn’t understand why, as there was plenty of room for all those coming with cars. But that would have actually required some good organizing skills…Not yet in Bucharest!

We found a spot with better visibility, but it was quite cold there…Yet somehow, that didn’t seem to matter that much at the time. Lots of people had came, of all ages, 10 year olds and people in their 40s and 50s. The only think that I really hated was that they were only selling Pepsi…You all now what a great tragedy such a thing is to me! So we drank beer.

The actual concert was amazing. In the beginning, the ex-drummer of Genesis showed us all his skills with an amazing drum mini-concert. First him alone, then accompanied by two other drummers. The music, also amazing, K was actually right to tell me I would love him after that night. Some of the songs played: Against all Odds, Sussudio, One More Night (before this song, Phil Collins stated some of us might have been conceived on this song, which was probably very true!), Don’t Lose My Number, Another Day in Paradise, We Wait and We Wonder, Dance into the Light, True Colours, Can’t Stop Loving You and many more in over two hours of great music. The backing vocals group was also amazing. Two of them actually had some amazing solos in what quality and duration is concerned, fact that surprised me. I never imagined a start would ever want to have the audience focus on the others! Another thing to like about Phil Collins I guess.

Another thing we all appreciated was him trying to say a few words in Romanian. It was actually a few sentences and we all appreciated the effort. For my Romanian readers, he actually did great, but he had a minor problem with the word “piese”(songs) which for a moment sounded like “piiizz”, then he said it correctly. Yet his little mistake made everyone laugh. As far as I am concerned, this effort won his forgiveness for mixing up Romania and Bulgaria a while ago.
The lights deserve their own paragraph. An amazing show, combining videotaped images and light effect, such as falling start, some Highlander-like lightning and all the phases of the moon.

The atmosphere was also a lot better than I expected. An amazing crowd, everybody dancing, screaming, applauding and whistling, all of them smiling. They all had a special glow in their eyes.

I don’t know which part of this I liked best. I think it was all of it combined and a little help from the fact it was our 3 months anniversary. But this will be a night that I will always remember as my first concert in Bucharest, the most amazing one of my life.
posted by Alina @ 9:03 AM   14 comments
Saturday, October 29, 2005
Farewell party for Boks!
My virtual older sister Boks decided to leave the blogosphere. She will be missed. I hope she'll still come around every now and then...

So let's all wish her a great experiences far from the blogging world!
posted by Alina @ 10:22 AM   7 comments
Friday, October 28, 2005
Bloggers in need of support
Some of us find it very difficult to blog about things that are important for them, their country or the world in general. Read this post at Avik's to find out more about what happens when you have to courage to criticize...

I just love the fact that the US companies have never heard about the theory you should not give in to threats! Keep up the good work, IBM, I will never buy anythig from you as you do not support free speach and the right to have an opinion...
posted by Alina @ 11:52 AM   9 comments
I finally gave in
Seems there is really no way to go around word verification. It bothers me as it takes time, but I am really tired of spam comments and I would waste more time seareching my blog for spam messages. So people, here goes, something to take a little more of your time...
posted by Alina @ 9:33 AM   3 comments
Thursday, October 27, 2005
A little office fun!
Definitions of designations at office
1. Project Manager is a Person who thinks Nine women can deliver a baby in One month.
2. Developer is a Person who thinks it will take 18 months to deliver a baby.
3. Onsite Coordinator is one who thinks single woman can deliver nine babies in one month.
4. Client is the one who doesn't know why he wants a baby.
5. Marketing Manager is a person who thinks he can deliver a baby even if no man and woman are available.
6. Resource Optimization Team thinks they don't need a man or woman; they'll produce a child from scratch.
7. Documentation Team thinks they don't care whether the child is delivered, they'll just document 9 months.
8. Quality Auditor is the person who is never happy with the PROCESS to produce a baby.
posted by Alina @ 8:27 PM   9 comments
Wednesday, October 26, 2005
Blogroll and Other Links

Hall of Fame

posted by Alina @ 3:08 PM   0 comments
Tuesday, October 25, 2005
I’m a survivor! :)
What kept me away was a damned food poisoning (with a little help form my work…). So now I am back! With news, or sort of:

1. Sandwiches in my school are not safe to eat! Take me for example. George disagrees, saying it’s a question of each person’s metabolism, but I disagree! I also eat in student/employees cafeterias quite often and this is a first! The result – I reduced Coca-Cola quantities per day, I started eating healthier food and I am taking better care of me.

2. I love! It is a great search engine, beta version still, and I also love the fact that my gmail account gave me free access to some e-books! Who ever thought an email account will actually help that much??? Definitely not me! I have some 8 Mb of reading to do in about two days (or so I hope…).

3. Not funny...Shirazi asked me to post something about the earthquake in Pakistan…As I had no real time for it, I will stick to just asking you people to visit his site for more information. Will be back with more on this issue! Sorry Shi, am trying my best…See here, here, here and here.

4. Not funny either…The night before the food poisoning incident happen (or was it the night before?) I was going to K’s and got off the subway train in the Constantin Brancoveanu station. As I was getting closer to the stairs that took you outside the station, I saw this old man on the floor. He had blood on his forehead and on his eyes. I looked at his hand, he wasn’t moving. There were people around him and one young man had called the Ambulance. Although I was pretty shocked with the fact that he wasn’t moving, couldn’t help noticing that the phone call was taking to long. The Ambulance employee kept asking for more details! And that man was not moving! I imagine they get a lot of silly jokes each day, but still…

5. City Mall, the third mall in Bucharest was opened this Saturday. There is an Altex Megastore (they sell fridges, TV sets and stuff like that and also have a monthly payment program) at the fist floor of this mall. They had had pretty aggressive ads on all the radio stations and they had announced discounts. So at 9.30 AM, half hour before the launch, there was a huge crowd of people waiting to get in. Lots of policemen as well, yet when it was opened, they still had problems handling the crowd. They let them enter in small groups but still, after about an hour, Altex closed the store for a short while as they couldn’t handle so many people at a time.

One hour and a half later, there still was a crowd at the doors…And the mall was still pretty crowded on Sunday. I don’t know exactly how, as parking places are a huge problem for them. Other than that, I like this mall best…It is not the largest, yet it is the prettiest.

That’s about it for now. Will be back with more details in the near future.
posted by Alina @ 8:06 PM   15 comments
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
A few words...
I wouldn't want to be
Anywhere else but here
I wouldn't want to change
Anything at all
I wouldn't want to take
Everything out on you
Although I know I do
Everytime I fall....

Strange how we only expect a lot from the people we love the most. The others can simply get a way with a lot, but when it come to loved ones, every little thing is important, every little mistake...
posted by Alina @ 12:27 AM   12 comments
Thursday, October 13, 2005
First Information Technology lab
Today we had our first introduction to IT lab...It was indeed amazing. The computer I sat at had an error message saying the LAN was disconnected. I couldn’t care less as I was not in the mood for surfing the Internet before the teacher’s arrival. I just sat down, open my book, (I am currently indulging myself with God Emperor of Dune), and silently waited.

The fact that some of my fellow students jumped straight to the net did not surprise me in any way. That is somewhat normal behavior as not everybody has Internet access at home and as most don’t work they cannot enjoy work place Internet access (which is always faster).

What surprised me was the fact that 8 of them (we were about 20) immediately started to play Solitare and (I was really not believing this at that moment) they continued to play until they finished the game after the teacher arrived, half hour later as the lab had been changed and no one bothered to let him know (it was the secretaries’ job).

I can understand a need for solitaire when you are extremely bored. But in this situation, Internet access and all, it seemed a huge waste of time and computer access time…Even reading their email would have been more constructive…
posted by Alina @ 7:50 PM   12 comments
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
5 Random Things About Me
* I am a dog person most of the times but I would kill for any pet right now! I am just a spoiled kit that wants a soul to play with. I do not have the time to take care of it, but I still want to start crying and say I won’t go home if someone does not get me a puppy!

** I am an only child and I envy all those who have brothers or sisters. I would have loved to have a big brother but I have to admit I am pretty sure I would have been his worst nightmare most of the time….Also, I am extremely jealous of my parents, friends and boyfriend. Jealous meaning that I do crave for undivided attention most of the times. This is part of being an only child :))

*** I love books, even if they are school or work related. If I had the needed time, I would read a lot more than I actually do. By the way, I just finished the Buddenbrooks and I have some comments on it…

**** I love going out with my mom when every time I go to my home town. It is sometimes just a quick lunch at Mc (as I love Mc food so much), other times (summertime mostly) we go out to a terrace have a beer or we go to pizza or ice-cream. It’s a great way to catch up!

***** I am in love with this really amazing guy, K.
I tag anyone interested, as always!
posted by Alina @ 10:06 PM   11 comments
Grammar question
Please tell me what you think of this: which of the following sentences is correct?

"Where did you spend your holiday this year" or
"Where have you spent your holiday this year"

A good explanation for the choice will be highlly appreciated.
posted by Alina @ 6:29 PM   13 comments
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
On deadlines
Do deadlines help when you have something to do, something that starts with an idea that then makes everything so clear? Is it enough to know you should finish something in two days, although you fail to have a clear view on that particular something? Does pressure make you thing more or does it add more stress, chasing off the ideas that maybe you could have gotten?

I think it only helps to keep you focused. And sometimes that might lead to opening your brain enough to make some connections between older ideas and data and actually and actually build the framework of what you have to do.

For me, getting the idea is of ultimate importance. When this part is very clear in my head, getting everything on paper is really easy. If everything is foggy and kind of in the dark, it takes twice as much (sometimes more) to get it done and it is never as good.

Now I pray for an idea, a good one to build on.
posted by Alina @ 7:41 PM   16 comments
Sunday, October 09, 2005
Of pure love
Bus 105 is pretty crowded most of the times. Morning, lunch, evening, weekdays, weekends, it really doesn’t matter. There are lots of buses on this line yet people always tend to feel like sardines inside.

I was experiencing this very same feeling while taking the bus to the North Station with my friend Oana. I suddenly got distracted by two people standing a meter away from me. An old little lady whose glasses were almost as big as her face, with poor and a bit dusty looking clothes and her face resembling an orange because of old age. She was hardly the type that would by lift face cream…The other person was her disabled grandson. Same dusty clothes, not that much hair and a really lost look in his eyes.

What was so amazing about them was the love and care the old lady was holding her grandson, always protecting him from the crowd, kissing his forehead, laughing with him and answering his questions. She had so much warmth in her eyes, her voice and her laughter seemed to come straight out of her soul. The boy was also so cheerful, the way you rarely see disabled children and young men. He seemed unaware and untouched by people’s occasional evilness and saddening remarks. And I can bet the love and care of his granny had something to do with it.

“We must get down now! (laughter) Come on, give me your little had! Take care with the stairs! That’s right! Let’s hurry, other people want to step outsinde…” The boy was smiling all the time.
posted by Alina @ 7:28 PM   11 comments
Right or wrong
Thursday morning, on my way to work, I stopped by a small pastry shop to buy something to eat. A high-school girl was in line in front of me. She had a pretty unhappy, hurried and busy face on and she placed her order with a pretty grumpy tone. I didn’t like it and the saleswoman didn’t like it either. So she just gave her the pate she ordered without saying anything. The girl turned around and left and now it was my turn. I started with “Good morning, could you please give me…” and ended with a “thank you”. The saleswoman smiled back at me and asked nicely “You’re having it now or would you like me to pack it for later? – the magic question that the girl in front of me didn’t get. Yes, I was the lucky winner of the day.

The saleswoman simply reacted to our different attitudes. Why isn’t it right? Because it’s called being in the services business. Which means you are supposed to gain your customers as you make a living with the money they pay for your services. Yes, reacting like that to things that go both ways is normal, until that very moment when you are paid to serve your customer, to do it well nonetheless. Yes, I sometimes lose my temper and swear while chatting with a customer and after a phone conversations because there are some really idiot people. But they will never sense that attitude in my voice while talking or in the way I type my answers. Simply because part of what they paid for the product was for me to listen to their idiotic questions and problems.

It so was the case of the saleswoman. She is paid to sometimes take crap from teenage girls that has waken up grumpy that morning, but to answer them politely, maybe with a smile and to make sure the next time they’re hungry they come back to her little shop, one of many dozens the girl sees on her way to school. That’s a rule of competition!
posted by Alina @ 7:10 PM   4 comments
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Update – On being polite
This morning in the subway train a similar incident happened. You must know that at every stop, there is a crowd pushing you to get out of the trains, as if everyone is afraid they’ll remain inside. Today, a woman decided she should punish someone for it, so she turned to the girl right behind her and started pulling her hair really hard. Of course other people reacted and the girl reacted as well by starting to swear. The woman thought it would be a good idea to do the same thing: swear.

Again, the girl was not right to use such slang, yet what are you supposed to do when you get abused just because you are the first of a crowd pushing to step out of the train?
posted by Alina @ 3:58 PM   22 comments
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
On being polite
Yesterday while riding the bus to school I witnessed a conflict between an old man and a girl. It all started when she got up her chair, getting ready to step out at the next stop. He sat on her place and started making comments on youth, on how she was so impolite and did not stand up earlier to give him his seat. The girl protested, saying she didn’t see him and that he didn’t say anything about it. He replied she should have looked and that she did the same with an old woman, pretending not to see her.

At a certain moment of this fight, the old man threatened he will grab her by her pants and throw her out of the bus and actually started pulling her arm, calling her names. At this time, she fought back, starting to swear, and this was the moment the crowd started being on her side.

I was on no side, as the old man should have just stopped at a certain point. As far as I know, being polite is a matter of choice and forcing it on people never works. Yes, maybe the girl should have used different words, but when someone starts pulling your arm really hard and threatens to throw you out of the bus, is it a really good time to worry about proper speech?

And then the crowd…Hardly one person was heard saying something to the old man when he was abusing the girl, but everybody had something to say on her swears. And another amazing thing: old people in general are very bold when lecturing girls that don’t stand up to give their seat, but boys hardly ever get the same treatment, as they are more dangerous. Moreover, men in their 40s really have nothing to say about them sitting when women their age or older are standing.

I really thing we should apply the same standards for everyone, at every age. If you spent your life sitting when women were standing, why do you suddenly expect a girl to be nice to you when you get older? And shouldn’t boys and young men be the first to stand and only then girls, if we follow the rules of being polite?

To me it’s disgusting anyway when old people start to lecture, as usually they pick someone shy and who was paying attention to something else, when the bus is most crowded and the last thing on their mind is who needs their sit. Funny, I have never seen anyone saying no if the old person, instead of shouting and patronizing younger people simply asked to be given that seat! Yes, sometimes young people do feel sick and need to sit, yes, old people are not their major concern all of the time…But we should really find a middle way instead of this bus fights and we should really start being just about being polite. This also goes both ways.
posted by Alina @ 6:49 AM   14 comments
Tuesday, October 04, 2005
Magazines for women, again
On my way to work I met an ex-colleague of mine, F. She was on her way to work as well, coming from a photo shoot. She works for a magazine called “Bolero”, a women magazine and one that I actually enjoy reading when I want something light. She was complaining about how she has to be there 8 hours but has nothing much to do to fill the time with. So she kind of confirmed my theory that there is no use for full time reporters only to write a monthly magazine. I asked her to check if they are interested in part time employees although I kind of knew the answer…Anyway, I still don’t understand why they aren’t willing to try if they always need more people to work?

Oh, and I finally saw where the new Ringier HQ is…
posted by Alina @ 8:36 PM   3 comments
Grand day at RAU
Let me tell you everything there is to know about the grand opening day of the Romanian American University’s School of Domestic and International Tourism Economics! Well, it was supposed to start at 11 and it started at 11.30. Yet this delay gave me just enough time to make a new friend, A, and to find out a lot of interesting things that actually made me proud of having chosen this school.

After locating the hall where the festivity was to be held, as I was early, I stopped on the hallway and was just waiting, looking around to see my new colleagues (plenty of those, over 800 only in my year, which is more than all the Journalism students – PR and Advertising not included here - in all four years). I saw this one girl that I knew I have seen before, couldn’t remember where. She knew me from somewhere as well (I heard her telling that to her friend) so I was thinking of saying hi and try to find out more, but as she avoided me, I thought I should just forget about it for the moment.

As I was sitting there, getting a little bored when I saw this girl coming my way. She had blond hair with a cool-funky hairdo, not very tall and quite skinny, but she had this cool look that suited her perfectly. I thought I would like to have her as a friend and that maybe we’d meet at a certain point. Well she stopped to ask something, we introduced each other and we spend the whole festivity together.

A. gave me some very interesting details. Such as this is the only Tourism school in Bucharest, as the one from the Academy of Economics Studies became Agro tourism. Such as this is the only one with International Tourism and with proper training for ticketing. Well, good to know! Now I’m more excited about studying there.

Now, the festivity…A huge room with very orange chairs! They made your eyes very tired, but they were so orange that you couldn’t possibly fall asleep. Then we all sat down and the teachers came in. And then a pretty silly moment: everybody got up and started applauding…I didn’t as it seemed quite stupid to applaud people I knew nothing about. Then they played “Gaudeamus Igitur” and we had to stand up and listen to it. Wow, and I thought my Latin days were over!

Then a lot of speeches…Interesting facts: my classes, online classes from American Unis, 3 months scholarship in GB for straight A students paid in full by the Uni. Nice motivation! Also some information about exam sessions, holidays and attendance.

Overall, it was ok, except the fact that the guy who established this university is quite misinformed: for example, Germany is not the hot shot of Europe, there are countries doing much better than them! Then, the Work & Travel program teaches you how to work hard to make some American money, but is not good practice for a tourism expert…Maybe I am not smart enough, but I cannot understand how washing dishes could help you be better in managing hotels…Unless you have such a job in a five stars hotel, and even so!

The manager of Majestic hotels was also present. Hid kids finished this very school. How nice! Well, maybe he should know Turkey is a pretty strong competitor and the offer there, the services and standards are as good as those in Italy! The fist thing about running a good business is knowing your competition and if Turkey is not a strong competitor for the Romanian seaside but Italy is, than I am a flying super-girl! Oh, well, never mind the fact he didn’t even mention Greece! Or other countries…If you say Italy, Spain and France it’s enough for the tourism world…

That’s all folks, will be back with more info on this after a get a taste of our classes.
posted by Alina @ 6:28 PM   7 comments
Monday, October 03, 2005
Perfect Monday
You don’t hear that very often, do you? Well, to me it happened, actually I consider it to be perfect although a stupid cold is making me a bit dizzy at the moment, so staying in the office and doing my job is kind of hard…So I thought of taking a little break and posting here everything about my wonderful day!

Well, I woke up to realize I have actually “closed” a web building contract! Yes, I will build a website for a wine producing company where my mom works, actually! It’s more of a pro-bono job, but anyway, it’s a good way to advertise and a good excuse to get back to learning more on this issue.

Other than that, today, in the bus stop there was this certain song playing in a certain foreign language…K’s mother tongue, so I guess I really cannot forget about him at any time! Then the new school, the new colleagues, very, very crowded…But tomorrow I’ll attend the festivities at my faculty (today it was for the whole University) and I guess I’ll know more. Up to now, the schedule seems pretty easy to cope to, but we will see later on.

Next, after encountering some software problems Saturday morning at my dad’s office, I finally printed a book I needed for the license paper and today I will actually get to start reading it.

Well, I have to say the great Sunday I had also had something to do with my overall mood this Monday! My mom invited K and I to the wine festival and K actually managed to come. We saw the awards ceremony for the wine contest and for the Wine Princess contest, ate a lot, drank some very good red wine... So never mind the awful traffic K had to face on the way to Bucharest! We had a great day with just a few raindrops while Bucharest was completely flooded.

About that, something very funny that I heard on the radio: a certain sector mayor recommending Apa Nova to buy more equipment to be able to face the huge amounts of water and to try to do something from the moment they get the weather warnings, not when the streets are already covered in water. The answer of the Apa Nova spokeswoman was that they will think about it…Translation: we will swear that stupid politician and forget about getting new equipment first thing in the morning!
posted by Alina @ 3:51 PM   0 comments
Saturday, October 01, 2005
Last night shift
Tonight was a very interesting one. My two months anniversary with K. My fears of telling him what bothered me the other night. My decision of allotting more time to learning his language. And more important, my decision to never keep things inside as they only create more problems and too much pressure that could be easily avoided.

K surprised me again by getting me, my thoughts, faster and easier than I expected. I haven’t said more than a sentence, not on topic actually, and he had a pretty good idea of the problem. It pleased and scared me a little at the same time.

Then I had a young apprentice on how to have links on your blog and how to add some weather info (I have weather info BTW!). Yes, Sim, may the force be with her! She will soon know how to get the best of her blogger template! :)

This is my last night shift for a while. I am glad and I can hardly wait to get to my mom’s, to that comfortable bed and finally get some decent sleep…I did sleep more today, not because it was quiet, but because I was too tired to be bothered up to a point. When I woke up, at about 2, I took myself to lunch. McD’s again (it was the week of this fast-food with me stopping by in 3 out of 5 days).

You might wonder how I am able to post after a night shift. Well, easy, I have a perfect wake up call: the cleaning ladies come and open all the windows early in the morning! So, with this sudden cool, extremely chilly actually, breeze, anybody can wake up!
posted by Alina @ 7:09 AM   3 comments
About Me

Name: Alina
Home: Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania
About Me: "This is my church. This is where I heal my hurts". It's also where I feel free and my preferred means of expression.
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