Sunday, January 25, 2009

Tears and more tears

Do you remember this post? A long away I described the issue of handling serious situations when I have to speak in English. At the moment, a just a little has changed, and most of the text in bold holds. I still have to deal with my double personality, the basic and stupid monkey who whispers some kind of English, and the almost buried original myself, who is degraded and becoming basic.

The reality is that I cannot settle down with the secondary language, but I don't have to give up, at some point I'll be successful, at least I have some hope. Just wanted to bring back such a nice post.

BTW, my excuses for the sloppy writing in all my previous posts. Even though I double check them before pressing the publish button, I can find misspellings, grammatical errors and non-sense expressions.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Shivery weather

It is true that in Romania, last Christmas, I experienced temperatures bordering the -20°C. It's difficult to explain what it feels like to go out and one of the sudden experience a drop in the temperature of at least 40°C. Imagine that someone is trying to pinch some needles on your forehead, and this is more or less what you feel.

Even though it seems like the end of the world to be at -20°C, is not. The body gets used to it quite fast. For me it was a matter of 4 or 5 days to get to the point where I felt comfortable in such conditions. There are other factors as well: the floor in a open sky location gets a layer of ice that sometimes may be deadly slippery, the cars become slays and if it snows you cannot watch up unless you wear a suitable cap.

Getting used to this cold is relative, as I was wearing underpants all the time. Only once I didn't and I regretted. It's like the needling sensation on throughout your legs! Never try to go without a cap or scarf, after a while you'll be regretting. But the body gets comfortable at some point, and you don't look scared.

Right after this cold training, the polar cold wave entered Western Europe. This meant some snow at the beginning which is fun somehow(1), but later the skies clear and the real fun starts. In Eindhoven, we got 4 days with temperatures hitting the -18°C mark. I thought I was used to it, after the Romania experience, and so bravely I decided to ride my bike and go to the university. What a suffering! The freaking cold enters every single minuscule pore of your clothing, feeling like hundreds of needles pushing in you!

I went back and forth to the u, and I'll never repeat the experience that cost me a contracted back. The following map illustrates how the temperature figures were one of the shivery days.

Source: Eindhoven is at the south with -14°C.

(1) Except if you have to drive a car with 15cm of fresh snow and drive 500m in 30'. We experience that :(

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Christmas break in Romania

Last Christmas were the most special ones ever, as I went to visit Iulia's paradise(1). We stay all days but one in Braşov, the first day in Bucureşti. At this opportunity I have the chance to meet her parents, with the seriousness that this implies. Also, I met her friends who were constantly asking for us, taking to different places, and enjoying with us our stay.

For me it was the chance to experience both a real winter and a real Christmas, like the ones we see in the movies, or in the Christmas postal we get during this time of the year. The temps were on average around -8°C, with peaks down to -20°C. I have to admit that at the beginning I was quite frightened with such a cold, but slowly I got used to it, wearing underpants, gloves and the unmissable scarf. We did some winter sports, like skiing(2) and going down the hill with slay.

I also tried everything from the Romanian cuisine, honors go to Iulia's mom who delighted us with very delicious dishes. Someone asked me to enumerate the things I don't like and there is only one: one kind of cheese that tastes as butter milk. The rest is excellent.

It's difficult to explain everything that happened in a few lines, it was a very nice time for us of joy and discovering for me. I leave a link to a photolog I made while I was in the trip. You'll have a chance to see a little bit by yourself.

(1) This is the name given to Braşov by Iulia.
(2) To be honest, I barely managed to get skies on and off, and turn around me. It's not as easy as it seems.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

A failed jump

Look at this video:

Two Israeli tourists decided to jump off the bridge of the Cabra Corral dike. The video is really impressing, specially for the panic scenes of the spectators.