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Thursday, November 30, 2006
Night of all Specters
Saint Andrew/Sfantul Andrei was the first one to preach Christian beliefs on what is now Romanian territory. When November 30 was fixed as a day to celebrate his life and accomplishments, the saint’s image was combined in the conscience of early Christians with pagan beliefs of the former spiritual rituals, fact shown by the magical acts of Saint Andrew’s Night.

Saint Andrew’s Eve is dedicated to rituals that might seem pagan, meant to protect people, their households and the animals they breed. They were further thought as governed by Saint Andrews so that the protective rituals get a divine aspect.

Saint Andrew’s Eve is thought to be one of the few moments when the barriers between seen and unseen disappear. A night of magic, of specters and of unusual events. Saint Andrew allows good and evil to mix territories during this special night. Specters are thought to walk freely, steeling people’s minds and depriving their crops and livestock of fertility. Romanian peasants use garlic as main defense.

The most important action of the night is “Guarding the Garlic”. Girls and boys are supposed to dance and sing while guarding the garlic, to give it the needed qualities to fight the evil. The boys are supposed to try to steal it, while the girls need to stay vigilant and protect it. Thus guarded, the garlic will then protect people, sometimes even changing their fate.

During the same night, orchards and crops’ fertility is tested. Cherry tree branches are brought inside and they need to have flowers by Christmas, or grains are planted into small recipients.

Both Saint Andrew and Saint Nicholas are perceived as “Old”, the term used in Romanian being “mos”. They symbolize the beginning of winter and wolves packs movements, clear signs of aging and degradation of time. On 29-30 November, The Specters’ Night, chaos is reached, the state prior to Creation. It is a night reigned by fear, as dead spirits and living specters (“strigoii vii”) fight on boundaries, cross-roads and other unholy places. The living specters are souls of real people who leave their bodies during this night. When they wake up the next day, they have no recollection of the fights they took part in.

Bloody duels continue until cocks sing at dawn. As specters are known to be violent to people, some precautions are needed: garlic is used as an ointment for the body, for all windows and for all doors. The atmosphere is still tensed on the actual holiday, also Wolf’s day. On this day, wolves are faster and no pray can run free from them. The day is also marked by people transforming into “pricolici”, some sort of ware wolves, people with faces of wolves or dogs.

The wolf is a major symbol of the day. On Saint Andrew’s no one uses a broom and they never throw anything, otherwise wolves will eat their livestock. Also, during Saint Andrew’s Night, all wolves gather together and can talk, but those who hear them risk to be killed.

Saint Andrew’s Night is one of the most important times of the year for witches and charms. Girls use the magic of this night to find out the future. One common practice is to put nine cups of water into a bowl and leave it under a holly object. In the morning, they measure the water with the same cup. If they have more water in the bowl, they’ll be lucky, if not, they’ll be unlucky and will not marry.

Another practice is to put 41 wheat grains under their pillow. If they dream someone steals their grains, then they will marry. Otherwise the girl will remain single.

Young girls can also find out what their husband will look like by the shape heated and then cooled tin takes. Another way is to sit awake in front of a mirror, with a candle on each side, and look into the mirror until the face of the future husband is revealed.

All details on the holiday from here, here and here (RO only).

Most practices of Saint Andrew’s celebration are extremely interesting and beautiful. However, they are disregarded and not promoted enough. We tend to forget them and replace them with imported holidays, such as Halloween.

Crossposted at Light Within.

posted by Alina @ 2:23 PM   9 comments
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Today's Song
One that I will never cease to love. It has beautiful lyrics. And there's a little part of it that is dear to me. "I just want you to know who I am". We should always treasure people who get to know us and who let us know them.

And I'd give up forever to touch you
Cause I know that you feel me somehow
You're the closest to heaven that I'll ever be
And I don't want to go home right now
Verse 2

And all I can taste is this moment
And all I can breathe is your life
Cause sooner or later it's over
I just don't want to miss you tonight
Chorus

And I don't want the world to see me
Cause I don't think that they'd understand
When everything's made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am
Verse 3

And you can't fight the tears that ain't coming
Or the moment of truth in your lies
When everything seems like the movies
Yeah you bleed just to know your alive

Chorus

And I don't want the world to see me
Cause I don't think that they'd understand
When everything's made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am
Chorus

I don't want the world to see me
Cause I don't think that they'd understand
When everything's made to be broken
I just want you to know who I am

Goo Goo Dolls - IRIS
posted by Alina @ 8:23 PM   3 comments
To Do List
Found this on Riri's blog, and I gave it a try. The bold/italic ones are the ones I've done. Once or more...Who else wants to try it?

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you” and meant it
09. Hugged a tree
10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight
28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster
35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach
50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater
66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date
89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read
136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident
150. Saved someone’s life

Yup, there's still a lot of stuff I haven't done yet. A lot I would do and some I hope I'll never mark as done!
posted by Alina @ 1:41 PM   6 comments
Romanian Women Need a Wake up Call
48% of Romanian women do not use any contraceptive method, according to a study published on Tuesday. More than half of respondents (1,000 Romanian women aged 15-49) said they would not practice safe sex because “they do not need it”, while 23% said they wanted to bear a child.

“The argument of ‘I don’t need it’, beyond the stated intention of planning to have a child, shows us that women in Romania do not have enough information about conception and contraception. They do not understand the benefits of planning and so they’re neglecting the subject. The high number of abortions confirm this”, says psychologist Aurora Liiceanu.

Women say they’d rather use natural methods because these would not lead to side effects and are “easy to use”. Story from Hotnews

It is true sexual education is not really practiced in Romanian schools and it has not been really practiced in the past. So I should really thank my high-school Biology teacher who took the time to give us the basics. However, I remember friends who knew everything about it and still took chances.

Yes, we all know about these "natural" methods. Simply because most of them don't work in practice...Maybe you are lucky enough and don't get pregnant too often. What about diseases? Not all of them have a cure.

Yes, cundoms occasionally break, pills don't work all the time, second day pills should only be used when there's an emergency. Still, they are more efficient than those "natural" methods of yours. If they worked, no one would have bothered to actually invent the other methods...

And here's the deal: condoms are quite natural. They don't have side effects. I understand pills might make you fat or have some negative impact on your health. But what's the deal with condoms? Does the "It does not feel that good" arguement work for you? Start using it. No matter what you're told, you are the one who will have to go through the pregnancy or to go through the trauma the abortion is!

There are organizations like ARAS trying to emphasize the risk. They were extremely active when I started high-school and I am pretty sure there are others like them trying to educate people on how to protect themselves. I am also sure there is information everywhere about the risks of just having sex without ever considering real consequences. Why do so many choose to ignore it all?

Anyway, I have a personal interest here: there should also be a survey asking men how many of them use condoms. And how many tried to convince their partner not to. Just to give us some perspective.
posted by Alina @ 1:14 PM   4 comments
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
Just wait for the sunrise
If we choose to see each ending as a sunset, then all we can do is wait for the sunrise...

Inspired by this photo. A painfully beautiful sunset, I might add!
posted by Alina @ 5:02 PM   6 comments
A month later...
.... La Tortura

[Sanz:]
Ay payita mia, guardate la poesia
Guardate la alegria pa'ti

[Shakira:]
No pido que todos los días sean de sol
No pido que todos los viernes sean de fiesta
Tampoco te pido que vuelvas rogando perdón
Si lloras con los ojos secos
Y hablando de ella

Ay amor me duele tanto

[Sanz:]
Me duele tanto

[Shakira:]
Que te fueras sin decir a dónde
Ay amor fue una tortura...
Perderte

[Sanz:]
Yo sé que no he sido un santo
Pero lo puedo arreglar, amor

[Shakira:]
No sólo de pan vive el hombre
Y no de excusas vivo yo

[Sanz:]
Sólo de errores se aprende
Y hoy sé que tuyo es mi corazón

[Shakira:]
Mejor te guardas todo eso
A otro perro con ese hueso
Y nos decimos adios

Shakira featuring Alejandro Sanz

No puedo pedir que el invierno perdone a un rosal
No puedo pedir a los olmos que entreguen peras
No puedo pedirle lo eterno a un simple mortal
Y andar arrojando a los cerdos miles de perlas

[Sanz:]
Ay amor me duele tanto, me duele tanto
Que no creas más en mis promesas

[Shakira:]
Ay amor

[Sanz:]
Es una tortura

[Shakira:]
Perderte

[Sanz:]
Yo sé que no he sido un santo
Pero lo puedo arreglar, amor

[Shakira:]
No sólo de pan vive el hombre
Y no de excusas vivo yo

[Sanz:]
Sólo de errores se aprende
Y hoy sé que tuyo es mi corazón

[Shakira:]
Mejor te guardas todo eso
A otro perro con ese hueso
Y nos decimos adios

[Sanz:]
No te bajes, no te bajes
Oye negrita mira, no te rajes
De lunes a viernes tienes mi amor
Déjame el sábado a mi que es mejor
Oye mi negra no me castigues más
Porque allá afuera sin ti no tengo paz
Yo solo soy un hombre muy arrepentido
Soy como el ave que vuelve a su nido

Yo se que no he sido un santo
Es que no estoy echo de carbon

[Shakira:]
No solo de pan vive el hombre
Y no de excusas vivo yo.

[Sanz:]
Solo de errores se aprende
Y hoy se que tuyo es mi corazón

[Shakira:]
AAaaay... AAaaay... AAaaay... Ay Ay
Ay todo lo que he hecho por tí
Fue una tortura perderte
Me duele tanto que sea así

Sigue llorando perdón
Yo ya no voy a llorar... por tí

Shakira featuring Alejandro Sanz
posted by Alina @ 3:34 PM   0 comments
Quitting remains the only way
There’s a common belief that reducing the number of cigarettes per day necessarily means fewer risks for heavy smokers. Heavy smokers meaning persons that smoke more than 15 cigarettes a day. After all, one pack a day must be better than two packs a day.

Most people I know who smoke, even if not willing to quit, have moments when they are worried about smoking effects on their health. When I was smoking, I sometimes had the same issue. So cutting back on number of smoked cigarettes becomes a goal. It eases your mind and has some impact on your budget. And it looks like no more good would come of such a policy.

Recent studies show that quitting remains the only way to reduce risks. A long-term Norwegian study, of more than 51,000 men and women aged between 20 and 34, found stubbing out was the only way to cut the risk. More information on the study, published in the Tobacco Control journal, here.

posted by Alina @ 10:48 AM   4 comments
Well, it's close enough!

What do women in a Romanian village that has been affected by floods need in the cold season? Well, red/white high-heeled boots of course! Some of them old and sick, most of them needing boots for daily use, they got something a little different as a present…

While I do appreciate humanitarian acts, I also think a little bit of thinking ahead would help even more. Full story on this little mix-up (Romanian only) on Realitatea.

posted by Alina @ 9:51 AM   0 comments
Monday, November 27, 2006
In Dream-Dream Land....
Wouldn't you simply kill for one of these babies after lunch? I know I would, especially now with the weather outside that makes everyone a little sleepy. More on the product here.
posted by Alina @ 12:50 PM   6 comments
Friday, November 24, 2006
Who else is afraid of Romanian and Bulgarian workers?
Netherlands joined a consistent list of EU countries that try to avoid problems with a possible inflow of Romanian and Bulgarian workers on its market once the two countries join the EU in January next year. Its Government announced on Thursday that the the country will open its labor market to Bulgarian, Romanian employees gradually over a period of two years starting January 1, 2007. Full story on Hotnews.

Oh, well, I still don't get it, people...Do they really think there cannot be too many workers after more than two years? I don't. I think those wanting to work there will get it done. Or they will all wait for the two years to pass and then run for it!

powered by performancing firefox
posted by Alina @ 9:43 PM   4 comments
Friday Song of the Day
now we're walking down an alley
now i'm talking spiritually
we got one eye on the future
and the other on our money
and all our feeling goes dead
when we switch on that channel
so over fed with the terrible flannel
try to switch off my head
use my soul indtead
so i'll get ahead of these things
i said

chorus
there's a soul
soul
a soul storm everywhere
it's a everywhere
everywhere
a soul storm everywhere

verse
i was thought that talk is cheap
and i have learned that love is deep
god gave me my soul to keep
so i talk love a whole big heap
and i will not point a finger
for it is timeless and will linger
i keep my own words down so i won't drown
repeat one more time and don't hinder

chorus

verse
some people might be wondering
is his head in the clouds and no ground under him
what the so and so's he on about
so i'll just break it down down (no doubt)
i got up out of bed one misty morning
found myself sitting there and brainstorming
about how to be true without being corny
had to do some soulstorming
must be the benefit of the global warming
i realised that there ain't no harm in
planting soul and a little farming
do some soul farming
soul...

Patrice, Soul Storm
posted by Alina @ 1:04 PM   0 comments
To the Morning Crew of Radio Guerrilla
Well guys, my message is simple and I will not deliver it via YIM. I really doubt being disappointed in you is idiotic or anything of sorts. I do not expect you to know everything, what I do expect you to do, when you have that internet connection in hand, is to GOOGLE stuff you don't know. I mean why wait for messenger replies when it takes two seconds to search for the information?

Maybe then you would get it through your head that Stendhal was French, therefore his name does not need that English touch in its pronounciation...You would also realize, that if some English guy translated rouge to scarlett, that's his problem and his alone...

No, I don't want to listen to a different radio, I happen to like to listen to Radio Guerrilla while driving. And you know, people asking more of you should be appreciated for their constructive criticism and for their appreciation of your potential. Now if you think that potential is just in their immagination...

Tags: Radio Guerrilla, Radio Shows, Stendhal
posted by Alina @ 10:14 AM   0 comments
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Randoms on Drama
For some, drama starts in secondary school. But it reaches its peak in everyone’s life in high-school. There are never more world ending disasters happening than when in high-school. Starting with a bad haircut or the wrong outfit and continuing with love or “professional” drama. There is always an older not interested boy or a bitchy girl with shallow interests. There are always fights, cat fights, getting drunk at the wrong party and kissing someone you will run away from the next day.

There also needs to be a great love. Or a great adventure…Or simply something with a considerable greatness (given the right perspective). And there are the worshiping shrines people build in high-school. It’s not a musician you like, it’s someone you adore. And a book that impressed you, well one could speak of it for days…And the friendships! Ah, any mistake is a drama! And the making up process needs to involve tears…

Anyway, all this drama should remain in high-school, but we tend to preserve bits and parts of it. Stash them for the future, when the call for soap-opera happenings kicks in…Therefore the need to complicate things, to have double-meanings, mind games, rules never to be broken for the sake of human kind etc. But how exactly should we let it go? Wouldn’t life be less spicy? Wouldn’t there be less mockery material for those of us enjoying mockery so much?

posted by Alina @ 10:34 AM   2 comments
Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Lesson to be learned
Words like violence
Break the silence
Come crashing in
Into my little world
Painful to me
Pierce right through me
Cant you understand
Oh my little girl

All I ever wanted
All I ever needed
Is here in my arms
Words are very unnecessary
They can only do harm

Vows are spoken
To be broken
Feelings are intense
Words are trivial
Pleasures remain
So does the pain
Words are meaningless
And forgettable

All I ever wanted
All I ever needed
Is here in my arms
Words are very unnecessary
They can only do harm

Enjoy the silence

Depeche Mode, Enjoy the Silence
posted by Alina @ 3:58 PM   0 comments
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Microsoft Goes Luxurious
The most luxurious hotel in the world, Burj Al Arab, was the stage where Microsoft launched Windows Vista, the Office 2007 System and Exchange Server 2007. The three Microsoft products were released with both English and Arabic language support.

Windows Vista and the Office 2007 System have been made available in the Gulf region, at Gitex 2006, prior to the official release date in the United States. The Redmond Company has scheduled the unveiling of Vista, Office 2007 and Exchange 2007 under volume licenses at the New York's Nasdaq stock exchange on November 30.

Full story and photo from here.

Well, I must say, Microsoft has an impecable taste in what choosing locations is concerned. And an immense budget for this launch. I have to wonder, how many Vista licenses should they sell to cover the expenses?

Tags: Microsoft, Vista, Burj Al Arab, Dubai
posted by Alina @ 5:34 PM   0 comments
Song of the Day
Honestly what will become of me
don't like reality
It's way too clear to me
But really life is daily
We are what we don't see
Missed everything daydreaming

Flames to dust
Lovers to friends
Why do all good things come to an end
Flames to dust
Lovers to friends
Why do all good things come to an end
come to an end come to an
Why do all good things come to end?
come to an end come to an
Why do all good things come to an end?

Traveling I only stop at exits
Wondering if I'll stay
Young and restless
Living this way I stress less
I want to pull away when the dream dies
The pain sets in and I don't cry
I only feel gravity and I wonder why

Flames to dust
Lovers to friends
Why do all good things come to an end
Flames to dust
Lovers to friends
Why do all good things come to an end
[ these lyrics found on www.completealbumlyrics.com ]
come to an end come to an
Why do all good things come to end?
come to an end come to an
Why do all good things come to an end?

Nelly Furtado - All good things

P.S. There's also a today's obsession of the day, that is Haggard - Herr Mannelig! Don't get them confused :P
posted by Alina @ 4:10 PM   3 comments
Striking Beauty

Photos by unknown photographers of different Romanian sceneries. Enjoy!

Tags: Romania, Travel Destinations
posted by Alina @ 10:32 AM   5 comments
Creating expectations that are not met

I still have fuzzy memories of journalism classes…Fuzzy because it’s been a while and I have not read much on the subject lately, although I should, if I ever want my license back.

Anyway, I remember some explaining on how if a headline suggests a story that is actually never told in the actual article, readers might get disappointed. The author creates a hook and the reader will go through the entire article, trying to find the information advertised by the headline. The purpose is reached, but will the reader ever do it again? His refusal to read might expand from articles by that specific author to the entire paper.

Well, I never quite got this idea until I experienced it. See, we had a talk in class about extreme sports in Romania, the lack of proper promotion and how the business was evolving. So when I found an article called Extreme sports business is slightly taking off in the online edition of Ziarul Financiar, I expected a revealing analysis of the Romanian extreme sports market.

I found instead a nice piece on a company called Adventure Travel, a success story nonetheless, but hardly what I had expected…Oh, and loved how they squeezed in a second company in the end, so that the piece did not seem focused on Adventure Travel only! I was disappointed, as I was really looking forward to read an analysis dedicated to this business and its impact on tourism in general…I also am a bit frustrated, as I consider ZF to be a pretty serious newspaper, which has also been one of my favorites a while ago…Yeah, I am not stopping by around here for a while!

posted by Alina @ 9:04 AM   0 comments
Monday, November 20, 2006
Tourism history, again
I wonder why each class taught within the Tourism faculty has to start with the early history of tourism. Yes, I understand it has all started before Christ with the Greeks offering housing for the Olympics. I further get it that the Romans traveled to get to certain mineral or thermal springs. And that young British gentlemen liked to take tours round Europe to learn and broaden their views.

Now, why does that need to be repeated a few times per semester? It’s not that complicated, I can actually remember it for more than three months…Be it Tourism Economics, Tourism Geography, Management, they all start the same way. Simply boring.

Two tests today, same class. One with theory, the other one with applications. From 5 different types of applications they chose the 2 simplest ones. I sometimes wish RAU was more demanding and challenging. Maybe I would give more than about 3 hours to such tests...

posted by Alina @ 5:25 PM   2 comments
Sunday, November 19, 2006
The Palace of Culture

A must see in Iasi is the Palace of Culture, a building worth seeing in itself and also for the museums it hold within. Built throughout two decades, from 1906 to 1925, the palace is the creation of architect ID Berindei. It is partly placed on the ruins of the Royal Court of Moldavian rulers, officially mentioned in 1434.

Today, the palace is home to the “Moldova” National Museum Complex. The complex is formed out of four large museum: Moldova’s History Museum, the Ethnographic Museum, the Art Museum and the Science and Technical Museum.

Through the Palace, Iasi became the farthest Eastern point to reveal the European Neo-gothic architectural concepts. Launched in 1926 by Ferdinand de Hohenzollern, second king of modern Romania, it is said to have 365 rooms, one for each day of the year.

The equestrian statue of Stefan cel Mare is placed in front of the Palace of Culture. The statue was made in Paris by Em. Fremiet using the sketches of Gh. Asachi and was revealed in 1883. On this occasion, King Carol I offered two Krupp cannons, trophies of the War of Independence.

posted by Alina @ 9:38 AM   4 comments
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Walk on a Saturday Night

I discovered a little bar tonight. Red, cozy and warm from outside. Quite different feeling once inside. I had a café latte, which was quite below any expectations I had. I one time experience in a red bar, just like Cardinal Club! That night was perfect! The night I fell in love with Morandi, “Love me”.

Talked a lot of past times tonight. High-school, the first years of college. And Alina, who I was supposed to call so long ago…And didn’t. I miss her quite often, the fact she pretty much understood everything about me. “I see through you” would apply here. As she is one of a quite tiny club, that is something quite important.

Walking the streets of central Bucharest at night. Long time, too much has passed since I last did it. And I should do it more often, just like other things I keep postponing.

Looking through my playlist, I found another of my many theme songs. Los Canos, Nina. One of the many signs one gets and chooses to ignore. And as I am not sure which is the song of the day, I will leave you with the next random song chosen by Winamp.

When I look into your eyes
I can see a love restrained
But darlin' when I hold you
Don't you know I feel the same
'Cause nothin' lasts forever
And we both know hearts can change
And it's hard to hold a candle
In the cold November rain
We've been through this such a long long time
Just tryin' to kill the pain
But lovers always come and lovers always go
An no one's really sure who's lettin' go today
Walking away
If we could take the time to lay it on the line
I could rest my head
Just knowin' that you were mine
All mine
So if you want to love me
then darlin' don't refrain
Or I'll just end up walkin'
In the cold November rain

Do you need some time...on your own
Do you need some time...all alone
Everybody needs some time...on their own
Don't you know you need some time...all alone
I know it's hard to keep an open heart
When even friends seem out to harm you
But if you could heal a broken heart
Wouldn't time be out to charm you

Sometimes I need some time...on my
own Sometimes I need some time...all alone
Everybody needs some time...on their own
Don't you know you need some time...all alone

And when your fears subside
And shadows still remain, ohhh yeahhh
I know that you can love me
When there's no one left to blame
So never mind the darkness
We still can find a way
'Cause nothin' lasts forever
Even cold November rain


Don't ya think that you need somebody
Don't ya think that you need someone
Everybody needs somebody
You're not the only one
You're not the only one

posted by Alina @ 10:51 PM   0 comments
Friday, November 17, 2006
To Cats I Know
To everyone feeling a little cat-like at the moment....
Have a relaxing weekend!
posted by Alina @ 6:09 PM   5 comments
Another Lost and Found
Today's song... And the quote someone sent me...I took the advice, the person offering it didn't though...Who was wrong in the end? I think I was not...

"It is not your job to seek for love. It is your job to seek within yourself all the barriers against its coming."


RODRIGO LEÃO - Pasión

no
me olvides que yo me muero
amor
mi vida sufrimiento
yo
te quiero en mi camino
por vos
cambiava mi destino

ay
abrazame esta noche
y aunque no tengas ganas
prefiero que me mientas
tristes breves nuestras vidas
acercate a mi
abrazame a ti por Dios
entregate a mis brazos

tengo
un corazón penando
yo se
que vos lo estas escuchando
con
mil lagrimas te quiero
pasión
son mi amor sincero

ay
abrazame esta noche
aunque no tengas ganas
prefiero que me mientas
tristes breves nuestras vidas
acercate a mi
abrazame a ti por Dios
entregate a mis brazos.
posted by Alina @ 10:23 AM   3 comments
On Time Management
Time management includes tools or techniques for planning and scheduling time, usually with the aim to increase the effectiveness and/or efficiency of personal and corporate time use. These are embodied in a number of books, seminars and courses, which may offer conflicting advice. The common denominators of these strategies are a to-do-list, setting priorities and goal management. Some of the best known examples of time management strategies are tied to specific lines of time management products.”

Out of curiosity, I started reading a little on this issue online. There is talk of tools, optimizing everything, efficiency, success, and rules like “Concentrate on results, not on being busy”. As far as I am concerned, they should start with one thing: first you have to convince yourself to act according to your plan. Because most of us can learn how to write a to-do list extremely fast!

Yes, you need to prioritize, see what is really important. True, but what if you know exactly what you need to do, the order of completing each task, but you simply don’t feel like it? Because, when there are things to do outside office hours and you don’t get them done, there are no immediate consequences to fear. Like writing an article after work, when you could just watch TV…

I see time management as something generally applicable. Work, school, spare time you dedicate to different people. It should be explained and taught using a broader view. Not only in relation to office hours. It should be an all time fail proof strategy! And include solution to overcome the need of a caffeine-to-veins pumping mechanism!

posted by Alina @ 9:46 AM   8 comments
Thursday, November 16, 2006
For Times Long Gone
All my life I've been in exclusive groups: those who learned to read and write before going to school (if I add out of boredom and to bug adults here, it is even more exclusive), those in an intensive English class within a famous high-school (in secondary school), the Latin gurus in high-school (yeah, we got to skip a lot of classes, still get high marks, win awards and travel to foreign countries), the school writers group (two in my class, less than 10 known in the whole high-school), those who needed to hours to study what others studied in a few days, those who actually read books (I cannot explain how this one got exclusive over the years), those interested in religion history and who actually tried to learn Sanskrit once. Is there any wonder I am such an elitist bitch at times?

Funny, I only miss writing from all these...Starting novels and stories (not finishing them most of the times), producing essays occasionally, having others read everything and tell me their opinion. No, I did not take criticism lightly! Some time ago, as I was watching TV, I heard a specific sound: a bike going by at high speed. I had thoughts running through my head hurriedly for about 10 minutes, then I simply got up, went to my computer and started writing. A short story I was extremely proud of.

I remember a specific thought when I was done, making my heart sing with happiness: "It has come back to me! It's not all gone!" It has not happened again since.

So, here is to apparently dead things:
"Gallia est omnis divisa in partes tres, quarum unam incolunt Belgae, aliam Aquitani, tertiam qui ipsorum lingua Celtae, nostra Galli appellantur. Hi omnes lingua, institutis, legibus inter se differunt. Gallos ab Aquitanis Garumna flumen, a Belgis Matrona et Sequana dividit. Horum omnium fortissimi sunt Belgae, propterea quod a cultu atque humanitate provinciae longissime absunt, minimeque ad eos mercatores saepe commeant atque ea quae ad effeminandos animos pertinent important, proximique sunt Germanis, qui trans Rhenum incolunt, quibuscum continenter bellum gerunt. Qua de causa Helvetii quoque reliquos Gallos virtute praecedunt, quod fere cotidianis proeliis cum Germanis contendunt, cum aut suis finibus eos prohibent aut ipsi in eorum finibus bellum gerunt. " Caesar, De Bello Gallico
posted by Alina @ 3:57 PM   8 comments
Greatly Wrong Expectations
Ryan posted a comment on a previous post yesterday. It was about someone’s status message, a quote from a Holograf song. It said “It happens once, than you spend your whole life searching for it”. And my first reaction was, in the Two Stupid Dogs pattern: “Isn’t that cute, but it’s wrong!” Is it? After thinking about it a little more, and not judging by my first subjective reaction, my take on this changed drastically.

Everything that happens for the first time sets a pattern. It creates a “should be” concept that we then expect to repeat itself and try to apply it to subsequent happenings. The first relationship sets the standards for relationships in general, for example.

Why is that so wrong? Well, given the fact that we advertise our uniqueness so aggressively, being in contact with different individuals can hardly lead to the same type of reactions/answers/behavior and so on. Other than the always mentioned uniqueness, there are also circumstances which have this bad habit of changing at a fast pace.

But we come, in any situation, with our own set of expectations, kidding ourselves with a will to adapt. To be able to adapt to something, you have to agree it is new and that nothing already know to you is applicable. But you have that whole bunch of “should be-s” with you? What are you supposed to do? Give up on them? Change everything again and again? That’s revolting!

Yes, humans speak of adapting to anything, but they limit adaptation techniques as much as possible. Thus we end-up living in afterglows of situations put on a high pedestal that our mind also alters to the best possibility.

The past is gone, we say, yet we choose to linger on as much as possible. When we should simply sake it off, move on and wait for the new stage to take place. With no should have and would have attitudes. Otherwise we allow ourselves to be deceived by our own greatly wrong expectations and pass by what is really there for us to experience.

So I leave you to today’s song (INXS – Afterglow), reminding you of what NOT to do for too long:

Here I am, lost in the light of the moon that comes through my window
Bathed in blue, the walls of my memory divides the thorns from the roses
It's you and the roses

Touch me and I will follow in your afterglow
Heal me from all this sorrow
As I let you go I will find my way when I see your eyes
Now I'm living in your afterglow

Here I am, lost in the ashes of time, but who owns tomorrow?
In between the longing to hold you again
I'm caught in your shadow, I'm losing control
My mind drifts away, we only have today

Touch me and I will follow in your afterglow
Heal me from all this sorrow
As I let you go I will find my way
I will sacrifice 'til the blinding day when I see your eyes
Now I'm living in your afterglow

When the veils are gone, as I let you go, as I let you go

Touch me and I will follow in your afterglow
Heal me from all this sorrow
As I let you go I will find my way, I will sacrifice
Now I'm living in your afterglow

Bathed in blue, the walls of my memory divides the thorns from the roses
It's you who is closest

posted by Alina @ 9:46 AM   7 comments
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
Today's Song
An excerpt of a Depeche Mode song. Lyrics like these remind me why I tried so hard to get to their concert.

To the souls desires
The body listens
What the flesh requires
Keeps the heart imprisoned

What the spirit seeks
The mind will follow
When the body speaks
All else is hollow

Im just an angel
Driving blindly
Through this world

You keep me waiting
For the promise
That is mine

Please stop debating
Please stop wasting
Your time
posted by Alina @ 5:25 PM   2 comments
Talk about Slogans
There is this slogan a colleague of mine keeps using as a YIM. It is old, true, but I can't help smiling each time I see it:

"Join the Army! Travel to exotic, distant lands. Meet exciting, unusual people, and kill them!"

Quite funny, saddly true...
posted by Alina @ 11:37 AM   4 comments
Feel Like Having Some Pizza?

Most Bucharest inhabitants know the Nescafe coffee shop/pizza place/whatever from the Universitate metro station. Even if it’s just because the happen to pass by it on their way to the metro.

Last night I used it as a last resort. I met Alex C after work and we wanted to have a drink, eat (mostly me) and do the tons of pending catching up. As Bucharest people go out way to much for a Tuesday nights, the place we tried first was full. We entered this coffee shop and a guy with two menus popped out of nowhere instantly.

Great service! Fast and efficient! Well, that was what I thought of first. Then it took another 15 minutes for the guy to finally decide to hear me calling him to take our order. Two pizzas, a lemonade and a beer. Not that complicated. After another five minutes he came with the forks and knives and the ketchup.

He was basically moving fast enough to make everyone else suddenly feel sleepy. So another overzealous guy came out of, again, nowhere, asking us if we wanted something. We said no, it’s been taken care of. So he has the bright idea of taking the tray with the ketchup and forks back, without asking anything. We tried to stop him and barely could. By this time I could not help laughing. “At least I made you laugh”, he said. True, at least that.

The beer came long after the pizzas, after another explicit request. The request was answered to promptly, the problem was to actually make the waiter see/hear you or react in any other way than walking round the entire coffee shop, doing nothing useful.

The pizza, however, was delicious and not expensive at all. I ordered Quattro Formagi which they rarely get just about right, no matter where I have it. So that was quite impressive.

Getting the check, well that was another adventure. Before that we were waited on by a very nice girl who actually had some idea what she was doing. She also brought us the check, after another 15 minutes of trying to discover where exactly our waiter was hiding. Of course, when it was time to take the cash and the tip (yeah, there was a tiny tip cause I could not find a better solution!) he reappeared. Nice magic trick!

So if you want great pizza, a nice atmosphere and a rather empty coffee shop, you should try this one. But do bring all the available patience with you!

posted by Alina @ 9:57 AM   4 comments
Tuesday, November 14, 2006
Song of the Day
This is the inspirational song for today. Enjoy, Gnarls Barkley - Crazy!

I remember when, I remember, I remember when I lost my mind
There was something so pleasant about that phase.
Even your emotions had an echo
In so much space

And when you're out there
Without care,
Yeah, I was out of touch
But it wasn't because I didn't know enough
I just knew too much

Does that make me crazy
Does that make me crazy
Does that make me crazy
Probably

And I hope that you are having the time of your life
But think twice, that's my only advice
Come on now, who do you, who do you, who do you, who do you think you are,
Ha ha ha bless your soul
You really think you're in control

Well, I think you're crazy
I think you're crazy
I think you're crazy
Just like me

My heroes had the heart to lose their lives out on a limb
And all I remember is thinking, I want to be like them
Ever since I was little, ever since I was little it looked like fun
And it's no coincidence I've come
And I can die when I'm done

Maybe I'm crazy
Maybe you're crazy
Maybe we're crazy
Probably
posted by Alina @ 5:53 PM   4 comments
The Secret of the Golia Monastery
Golia Monastery was founded by the great boyar Ioan Golia in 1564. The church was rebuilt on a greater scale by Prince Vasile Lupu between 1650 -1653 and finished by his son, Stefanita. The church is made of white stone.

The Golia tower is 30 m high. The painting restored for several times, preserves few original frescoes. Damaged during the fires in 1687, 1732, 1822 and seriously affected by an earthquake in 1738 the monastery’s church underwent numerous restorations.

In 1786, because the princely courts were burnt, Golia became metropolitan residence and Prince Gavriil Calimachi moved here and spent the last years of his life. Gone to ruin after the secularization (1863), the monastery was closed between 1900 -1947, until 1992, when it eventually became a missionary monastery again. See this link for more historical details.

When seen from the outside, this place gives me the impression of separation. Keeping those outside where they are, where those inside remain within the monastery's womb. That is why I simply needed to go in and take some more photos of it (you can see them all here).

Although it looks old and conservative, the monastery has one secret that has just been revealed to the world. It is home to a hacker-monk. Yes, that is right, a computer expert monk.

Serafim Pantea spends about 10 hours a day working with computers and has been using these machines for over 24 years. Promoter of Linux and Open Source software, this very unique monk believes a hacker to be a person that craves for knowledge, someone who simply wants to learn more of technology and of how things work. His full story here, in Romanian only unfortunately.

Crossposted at Lighit Within

Tags: Golia, Golia Monastery, Iasi, Serafim Pantea, Hacking, Open Source
posted by Alina @ 9:34 AM   6 comments
Monday, November 13, 2006
So What if it all Turned a Little Wrong?...
I am having a great day. That feeling that you cannot sit straight in your chair. Be it love song, depressing or cheering, or any kind of song, you feel like dancing, going out and walking the streets aimlessly, smiling stupidly at everything...

Why? I could not tell...I woke up late, barely got to finish the paper I was supposed to turn in today, didn't get the materials I need for the test tomorrow, forgot said report in the car and had to run for it, busy day at work, rainy and quite moody day, no real fun plans to look forward to (unless you consider studying fun time), I realized the flight schedules are way to crazy for me to get to Egypt...And the list could go on!

Today everything revolves around me! I feel like I can do anything and get anyone if I set my mind to it. I feel everything is open to adventure and simply living life to the max, having fun and going wild for a while...Yeah, people my age think of serious relationships, marriage and kids. But for now, I want something else...Something simple, easy and fun...To quote my always favorite band: "Let go of complicated feelings"...

So, which are the reasons to be so happy?
1. I have my eclectic music that no one can understand
2. I feel so confident now when the ship is theoretically sinking (what are you sinking about???)
3. Because I can still make fun of almost everything, but I don't find disabled persons funny
4. I have these few great friends that always find a way to make my day
5. I have a RED car that I love driving (especially when it's raining and I'm inside, where is warm, with the music on)
6. Other people have it all and stumble on little things such as money, while I don't.
7. I have so many admirers. Yeah, one is crazy and a liar, one is dumb, one is too far away and one is from work...But it's still a good ego booster, at some point...
8. I do hope at some point I will be allowed to enjoy the pleasure of Salitos again...
9. I believe I don't need a man to make it happen, but I not resent men's presence in my life.
10. I love Red and Pink :P
11. I can think and act just like a man at times, but still feel like a woman afterwards.

OK, pretty long list. Alex C, it's longer than yours :) You should improve yours!

I will end this self-centered post with a song I believe can't fail in making you smile and wanna dance:

I got my mind set on you
I got my mind set on you
I got my mind set on you
I got my mind set on you

But its gonna take money
A whole lotta spending money
Its gonne take plenty of money
To do it right child

Its gonna take time
A whole lot of precious time
Its gonna take patience and time, ummm
To do it, to do it, to do it, to do it, to do it,
To do it right child

I got my mind set on you
I got my mind set on you
I got my mind set on you
I got my mind set on you

And this time I know its for real
The feelings that I feel
I know if I put my mind to it
I know that I really can do it

I got my mind set on you
Set on you
I got my mind set on you
Set on you

George Harrison - I got my mind set on you
posted by Alina @ 5:25 PM   6 comments
Political Combat Skills - Romanian Approach
High-rank politicians, just like low-rank ones, have no idea what skills they need to confront their political adversaries. Who cares about great speeches, evidence and strong arguements? Let's offend people by making fun of what they look like. Much easier, indeed, and it also requires significantly less brain work...

In other words, Ludovic Orban, head of the National Liberal Party - Bucharest Branch, said that President Basescu draws attention because he suffers from amblyopia and has killer-like face. He also added that "Basescu has a negative charisma. He does not like to work, all he does is for popularity". More details in EVZ.

OK, and what if Basescu looks like a killer? He is, still, quite popular, and I do not get it how looks make him a bad President...It is statements like this that make me think we have no politicians...

I mean, convince me he is a bad president. Don't tell me he's ugly (never occured my mind that President Basescu was sexy or good looking), cause that will only make him sympathize with him... There are a few flaws in what logic is concerned in statements such as "I am better cause he's ugly and I ain't!"...I would like a political debate that shows Romanian politicians have moved past kindergarden. Is that too much to ask?

Tags: Romania, Politics, Basescu, Traian Basescu, Ludovic Orban
posted by Alina @ 1:00 PM   4 comments
Friday, November 10, 2006
Lost of Found Theme Song
And then she'd laugh the nighttime into the day,
Pushing her fears further along.

And then she'd say: It's OK, I got lost on the way
But I'm a Supergirl and Supergirls don't cry.
And she'd say: It's all right, I got home late last night
But I'm a Supergirl and Supergirls just fly.

Then she'd shout down the line, tell me she's got no more time
Cause she's a Supergirl and Supergirls don't cry.
And then she'd scream in my face, tell me to leave, leave this place
Cause she's a Supergirl and Supergirls just fly.

Reamon, Supergirl
posted by Alina @ 10:31 AM   10 comments
Thursday, November 09, 2006
Shopping Anyone?
Do you have 1.5 million dollars and have no idea what to do with it? Well then you could buy this floating bed!

More details on the floating system and photo from here:

Your eyes do not deceive you: that sleek slab levitating in midair is in fact a bed, and it is floating unsupported--though lightly tethered at its four corners--16 in. above the floor. The hovering bed is the daydream of a Dutch designer who says he was inspired by the monolith in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey. Its secret is a matching set of repelling magnets, built into the bed and the floor below, that's powerful enough to support almost 2,000 lbs. The magnetic fields are supposed to be perfectly safe for sleepers, but you're advised to take off your earrings before vacuuming underneath.

I do like comfy beds. But I have a feeling they will not report excessive sales too soon! If you had the money, would you choose to spend it on this? I know I wouldn't.

Tags: Inventions, Shopping, Luxury, Beds
posted by Alina @ 1:52 PM   9 comments
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
Meme, Long Time no See
Via Ali

Four jobs I have had in my life:
Translator for my dad – can you imagine me explaining how complicated machines recycling oils work? I still don’t know how I made it through those days.
Editor for a press monitoring agency – by far the job that required me to wake up the earliest.
Marketing Officer – the first job I had in a company where the bosses did not understand Romanian.
Technical Supporter – would never have the strength to do it again

Four movies I would watch over and over again:
Heaven’s Doors
Love Actually – because it is so full of hope that it suits any given situation
Any movie with Vin Diesel – ah, yeah, a guilty pleasure still!
Phantom of the Opera – because I still don’t get the girl’s choice

Four places I’ve lived:
A village in the Vrancea county called Sihlea, with my grandma
Ploiesti, my first and everlasting love
Bucharest, the city they all love to hate, but me, I’ve always worshiped it for some obscure reason
….list still open…..

Four TV shows I like to watch:
Lost
24
Desperate Housewives
IT Crowd

Four places I have visited:
Italy, Rome
Germany
Hungary

Turkey
, Istanbul

Four websites I visit daily:
Online edition of Evenimentul Zilei
Hotnews.ro
Ziarul Financiar
Linux news related bunch of sites (work related)

As this list shows, I am finally reading the papers again, online, but still…

Four places I would like to be right now:
Sahara Desert and generally any country with a warmer climate
Rome, in the exact same hotel I stayed 6 years ago, then running to Fontana di Trevi
On a boat trip around the world
Road trip with my car through Europe

As you can see, not really a fixed place. Wandering and vagabonding would do for me

For of my favorite foods:
As I am not allowed to eat half of them (doctor’s orders) I will skip this part.

Four bloggers I’d like to respond:
Anyone interested in the meme.

posted by Alina @ 10:56 AM   9 comments
Outings and More Outings

I remember times long ago (about three years ago) with a wide smile on my face. I was younger and used to go to a club, sleep for two-three hours, then go to work with the first bus, at 5 a.m. I was enjoying such outings with the crazy girls I was living with quite often.

So in my madness, I thought I still had it in me. Therefore, when A said something about going to a club on Monday evening, I thought that was the perfect plan for me. After serious doubts such as “Why go out when I can sleep instead?” I finally ended up in Club A. Club A pretty much copies the Ogilvy mentality I’d been hearing about: if you get a good idea ever, grab on to it and keep using and overusing it! It was pretty much the same atmosphere and music I remembered from my first year in Bucharest. And indeed it works, as the club was pretty crowded on a Monday night.

Why in the world would someone go to a club on Mondays (one of A’s many hobbies, as I found out)? I did ask the question and the reply was pretty relevant: “I used to have a reason once, which I really do not remember now. But I keep going”. To such invincible reasons, who could say no?

So I went, not exactly my type of music, but I did forgive them for two Depeche Mode songs and a few others close to my heart like “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Doors”. Did I mention they played quite a few songs I used to wake up to as a kid, as my dad loved them so much he listened to them every morning? You do tend to feel younger when there are songs from before you became an idea.

Consequences of my Monday party? Well I could not wake up to go to school the next day and stoned myself with coffee at work. As usual, when tired, the day at work was pretty much awful. So, to celebrate such a day and feel better, I met Cris and Baty after work for a “healthy” dinner in McDonald’s and lots of laughter.

Conclusions we reached when we caught our breath, in laughter breaks:

1. If you work too much and don’t take care of yourself AND actually get successful, you will also turn into a whale.
2. If someone tells you that you cannot eat what you have just ordered, don’t force yourself to eat it all just to spite them.
3. Employees swear only when bosses do their job. If no one is swearing, then the boss should get worried.

As you can see, the conversation topics have no real connection, but it was fun catching up and just relaxing.

posted by Alina @ 10:34 AM   4 comments
Monday, November 06, 2006
Iasi Preview

What is there left to do when your world is changing fast, against your will? When everything is going from bad to worse and you feel powerless, forgotten and betrayed? Shop, party and plan a vacation, of course!

Therefore I headed for Iasi with my mom on Thursday night or Friday morning, as you prefer. We left at 1 a.m. while it was raining/snowing outside, on a road I had never been on. I was a bit tired as I had slept for one hour only, but all in all the trip was awesome.

I was expecting a longer drive, as it was night and stormy at times, but we got to Iasi in 7 hours (during which we had two pit stops, one of them to also eat). As the anniversary class was at the university in Iasi, but three hours later, we had to walk a little into the freezing cold.

However, I finally found a Montherlant book that I had been looking for at least half a year. And the second part of Anais Nin’s journal. I then took part in the famous class, got kissed and hugged by most of my mother’s colleagues (they’re all lawyers or legal advisers of different kinds as she is a Law graduate).

As it suited me so well, due to the rough week and long drive with no sleep, I had a major breakdown that afternoon. And after a few hours of sleep under my mom’s close watch and an extremely long shower, I suddenly started to feel a lot better. And headed for the dinner organized in a nearby restaurant.

I had brought this nice dress to wear. But I decided it was not warm enough for it (actually, it was, for normal people, not for heat loving lizards like me). So I decided to wear a more comfortable and warm outfit and let the look wonderful part to my mom. I saw people dancing and having fun, being a family and being friends, being warm and kind and interesting. Then headed to our room, to get some sleep. I didn’t as when my mom came back at 3 a.m. I was still watching movies on my laptop.

The second day was full. We got up at 9 am and by 10 o’clock we were having our breakfast and coffee downtown. We started doing some shopping at about 11 and by half past 12, I had spent so much money that my head was twisting. But who cared when I had chosen such beautiful looking clothes/boots.

I then met Ryan, took my mom to the hotel for her lunch with her colleagues and Ryan needed to go through the pain of walking around the whole city of Iasi with me. I will give you more details and photos of the beautiful places to visit in Iasi in my next post. They are too many to squeeze in this preview/overview.

We also stopped by his place for a quick glance of the Internet world and for me to transfer some movies and music. We shared an extremely good pizza and talked a little more about everything. Given that we had previously met online only and that we became close when we were no longer colleagues in BitDefender, I have to tell you he seemed in person as great as he seemed online. One more reason to regret the old team!

Another important aspect of this day was a long morning chat with my mom. The result: I decided what to do with my winter holidays: instead of feeling sad and lonely as I predicted before pulling myself out of the bad state I was in, I will be spending the winter holidays in Cairo, Egypt!!! Yes, my Egyptian friends, I am coming there and I DO expect to meet all of you. Even you, Haal, like it or not! I am sure you will all be willing to meet me, given that you do not want to start a world ending volcano eruption. Just kidding…or am I?

After two nights with little rest, I fell asleep at 9 o’clock on Saturday and only woke up at 7 am the next day. We headed home at 9 am, we first got to Ploiesti where I left my mom and at 5 pm I was back in Bucharest. I did not get lost in Iasi! Did I tell you how proud I was of that? I actually managed (sometimes with lots of struggling involved) to get to the places I needed to get to.

Sunday evening, after half hour of checking emails and blogs, my good mood was starting to wear off. So I talked t Cris and Alex and we all went out. We had something to drink at the Amsterdam Café, talked and laughed and I came back home again, happy and prepared for a new week.

Tags: Iasi, Romania, Travel Destinations, Alina, Alina Popescu

posted by Alina @ 1:18 PM   14 comments
Thursday, November 02, 2006
See the Sun
As I am in a mood when I pay way to much attention to the lyrics of songs I listen, here is a little adaptation of Dido's "See the Sun", song emailed to me by Ryan.

I'm comin' 'round to open the blinds
You can't hide here any longer
My God you need to rinse those puffy eyes
You can't last here any longer

And yes they'll ask you where you've been
And you'll have to tell them again and again

And you probably don't want to hear tomorrow's another day
Well I promise you you'll see the sun again
And you're asking me why pain's the only way to happiness
And I promise you you'll see the sun again

Come on take my hand
We're going for a walk, I know you can
You can wear anything as long as it's not black
Please don't mourn forever
He's not coming back

And yes they'll ask you where you've been
And you'll have to tell them again and again

And you probably don't want to hear tomorrow's another day
Well I promise you you'll see the sun again
And you're asking me why pain's the only way to happiness
And I promise you you'll see the sun again
And I promise you you'll see the sun again

Do you remember telling me you found the sweetest thing of all
You said one day this was worth dying for
So be thankful you knew him at all
But it's no more

And you probably don't want to hear tomorrow's another day
Well I promise you you'll see the sun again
And you're asking me why pain's the only way to happiness
And I promise you you'll see the sun again
And I promise you you'll see the sun again
And I promise you you'll see the sun again
And I promise you you'll see the sun again
I promise you you'll see the sun again

See the sun again
See the sun again
See the sun again
See the sun again
posted by Alina @ 3:52 PM   11 comments
The Adventure Ahead
Tonight at 1 am my longest car drive will start. I will drive with my mom to Iasi, where we will take part in her 30 year reunion since graduating from the university. Iasi is a beautiful city that I haven’t seen in more than 8 years. I will also get to meet part of the BitDefender team in Iasi that I only knew by email addresses and cryptic three letter signatures.

Therefore, wish me luck with the night driving and stay tuned for the stories and photos to come from my mom an my adventure!

Tags: Iasi, Jassy, Romania, Travel Destinations

posted by Alina @ 9:13 AM   8 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.
See my complete profile
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