Donnerstag, Oktober 20, 2005
I had my first visa experience today! So far, whenever I had to travel to a place where I needed visa, I either got it directly at the border or someone else organised it for me. When I got it at the boarder, I was sometimes cheated and paid a little more, but generally I had never any difficulties. Today I tried to get my visa for Russia. First I waited in front of the embassy for ages, and I can tell you it was freezing today in Vienna. Beautiful blue sky but really cold. Finally inside the building I told the guy that I would need to travel on the 20th already and he said. “You are not going to travel”. Once he saw my invitation from the Russian Ministry for foreign affaires he quickly changed his mind. But I paid 150 euro for the f…. visa.
Diogo, who I am travelling with, also got his visa today, for the same duration of stay, and he only paid 100 euro. Really interesting concept this whole visa thing.
Anyway, I have my visa and I am off to Moscow early morning.
Dienstag, Oktober 18, 2005
I am back in Vienna after a weekend in Mollina and 2 days in Glasgow. I will share with you my cultural observations now. Apart from noticing once more how enormously loud bagpipes are, I spent a whole evening wondering if also girls are not allowed to wear anything under their Scottish skirts. I was told that you have to have some Scottish blood in your vanes to get the answer to this question. In addition, they have some prominent traffic features. Not only that they drive on the other side, also their traffic lights are compared to the continental ones hugely oversized! Not only that the lights as such are really oversized, but also the guys on them are really tall! I think they are actually trying to pretend to be Dutch man or so. Apart from that I tasted whiskey, ate home made toffees, had cooked breakfast and got to know interesting people from Solidar, the European Anti-Poverty Network, ILGA-Europe, Euro-Child and the European Women’s Lobby. So all in all, it was successful 2 days for networking in the social cohesion NGO scene!
Donnerstag, Oktober 13, 2005
I am a bit ill. So I did not really work the last 2 days. I only answered some of my e-mails and for the rest of the time I was lying lazily on my couch! And I can tell you – it was simply splendid.
Now Mariana,my bureau colleague from Moldova came to visit me and we go to Mollina, Spain together tomorrow for the bureau meeting. I still did not get over my laziness, so I am not very entertaining for her!
And now – Vanja, chair of ESIB just called. She missed her train connection in Vienna due to a delayed flight and has to stay here for a night. So she will pass by and we are going to have a lazy evening with Moldovan wine!
Mittwoch, Oktober 12, 2005
Sometimes you meet people and just like them immediately. It is like love at first sight for friendship. I mean you get introduced to a person and start talking and behaving as if you have known each other for years.
Now I know that friends’ introducing their friends to you is like a quality check. I mean your friends are people you like and appreciate, so the likelihood of them having other friends that are really nice and fit your taste is high.
It is really nice to meet those people, the people being on your wavelength. You feel understood, you know exactly what they are talking about when they tell their stories, you just feel very close to them even if you know them only for a view hours. It does not happen often that you find people just like this, but when it happens it really makes you life a little sunnier. Lucky me, I have such a sun now in Strasbourg!
Mittwoch, Oktober 05, 2005
As you can read in
Montag, Oktober 03, 2005
I have been in Guimarães this weekend for the joint commission meeting of the European Affaires commission and the Council of Europe Affaires commission. I can tell you that Guimarães is a very beautiful town and I do understand that it is a world heritage! In addition it was wonderful that it was sunny and warm and one could even sit outside in the evening! I have to admit that I am still not accustomed with Portuguese food but we had a very successful meeting. I think we have outcomes that are important for the work in the upcoming weeks and we also combined it with good wine and fun in the evenings. That is the kind of meeting I really like!