Freitag, Dezember 30, 2005


last christmas

Freitag, Dezember 23, 2005


driving home for christmas...

everything is packed, soon everything will be wraped, shortly after unwraped. Really looking forward to spend some time with my family

Mittwoch, Dezember 21, 2005


all i want for christmas is...

Now it can come... I have assorted all presents; I have arranged my travel back home, childhood home! I have had the chance to catch up with most friends before heading country-wards and have attended 3 Christmas parties. I get the feeling though that I drank less mulled wine than ever before. Still, I will spend the 24th with packing the presents and decorating the Christmas tree – so should all be relaxing and a real holiday! So … driving home for Christmas

Montag, Dezember 19, 2005


new york conversation

Scene 1; The protagonists of this play are 2 women, 50 something of age in a small Italian café on the Upper East Side:

A: “will Margery come with us to Europe this year? We have to see Prague this time!” (Editorial remark: there is a special exhibition on Prague in the metropolitan museum of arts right now and the café was very close to the museum)
B: “no, she told me she plans her surgery during summer.”
A: “surgery?”
B: “ yes, she needs to re-do all her plastic surgery”

Scene 2: The protagonists are 2 people walking on a street somewhere in Manhattan, both under 30

X: I’m kind of like exited…
Y: yes, it’s like… wow
X: I feel like … yahoo

Scene 3: The protagonist is walking on a street somewhere in Williamsburg; he’s under 30 and talking into his mobile phone:

C: Well, she goes hä, so he goes sure and then she was like booo, but he goes no no no, so I was kind of like why not, but she goes I want this sorted and he goes jaaaa…..

One more interesting fact at the end, New York City is down to 162 Starbucks… Not that one would notice, that there are “only” 162 left

Sonntag, Dezember 18, 2005


big apple

New York, New York.... Everyone told me I would like the city, strangely enough I did. Well, maybe not so strange considering that I had the most handsome tour guide one could wish for! Thank you Clemens.
New York is oddly familiar, I knew and recognised how NYPD cars, Fire brigade cars, school busses, metro wagons, taxis and even ambulance cars look like. Not only that through TV I was acquainted with the architecture and the sky line of the city, no, I also recognised the sounds of the town such as sirens of the above mentioned emergency cars…

And then the shops, well you have the fast food and clothing chains all over the world, but in New York I found many more known names such as Bloomingdales, Victoria’s Secret, Macy’s and all that other stuff.

So all I can say is that I enjoyed as much as I could East village, Greenish village, Williamsburg and SoHo, I have tried to enlarge my cultural horizon by going to the Metropolitan and the Whitney museum and have been to corners and places that we all have heard of so many times such as the Empire State Building, the Chrysler building, the UN headquarters, the Times Square, the Statute of Liberty, Staten Island, the Broadway, the Rockefeller center with the christmas tree, Central park; as you see, even the street names sound familiar such as Park Avenue, Elm stree, Wall streett and many others, you name them.

So if you want to go to a place you have never been to and that is still immediately weirdly familiar, go to NYC!

Freitag, Dezember 16, 2005


MTA strike

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) does not do a general strike for now, but partial spontaneous strikes.

What does it mean?
New York's Taylor law, which outlaws strikes by public employees, provides a powerful incentive for the workers to reach a deal. They risk losing two days' pay for every day of the strike – a big blow to blue-collar workers whose wages range from $45,000 to $68,000 a year on average. Major Bloomberg’s administration has asked a judge to fine the union $1m for each day of the strike.

The issues – rising pension and health insurance costs – are similar to those creating tensions between management and employees across the US private sector. The transit union is resisting the MTA's demand to require new employees to contribute 2 per cent of their pre-tax wages toward health benefits; current workers are not required to pay anything toward health insurance. Other issues are pension age and contracts for new employees.

The MTA swung to a surprisingly large surplus in 2005 thanks to higher real estate tax revenues and lower debt service costs. But it is expected to slip into a $152m deficit in 2007.

Donnerstag, Dezember 15, 2005


news from nyc

more anecdotes from my meeting

• The ILO defines employment as 1 hours of paid work in the last 7 days
• The influence of globalization in young peoples lives can be best measured by how many 15-25 year olds work in tourist industry or on remittance flows per capita
• The obesity rate is in direct connection with the violent crime rate, the fatter people get the less likely they are involved in illegal drugs at young age and in violent crime, as a fat nerd does not get out of the house they obviously do not get involved in gang fights or find a heroine dealer, so more sugar for the world and everything would be so much more peaceful – apart from some people who run amok every now and then… but that could be made better by prohibiting weapons for everyone… ok, I said I would be anecdotal, so this is a whole new discussion… anyway, i know now why i was never involved in any violent conflicts
• The most reported reason that females from the UK get into conflict with the criminal justice system is that they are not paying their TV license
• 0,8% of the British at the last census reported that their religious believe is Jedi

nyc is could, freezing cold!

Dienstag, Dezember 13, 2005


Quiz time

I am currently at the Expert Meeting on Youth Development Indicators in New York. We had a speaker today who has mentioned in his biography, that was in the participants packs “Mr. X is an expert on correctional Education, on Education of Patriotism and the Historical Mission of Youth in modern Xxxx” So please guess which country this expert is from!

Sonntag, Dezember 11, 2005


new york

I am here! I am here! So far the most beautiful thing about New York was to meet Clemens again! yahooooo!
He walked me around town, explained many things to me, impressed me with the daylight on Times Square, with the size of his apartment and even gave me a key for it! First I did not even know the address for it, which is a big issue for US immigrations and now I even have a key for it! One can see the skyline of New York from his living room… all very impressive!
More info soon!



some people go to moscow over and over again and still take almost the same pictures

Sonntag, Dezember 04, 2005



First I have been in Firenze at the regional school student’s parliament of Tuscany. Impressive how well organised this is and what a sustainable participation structure it seems to be. It was also refreshing seeing Italian youngsters discuss Europe!
Directly from Firenze I went to Moscow, or somewhere close to Moscow. There we organised together with the Russian Youth Council 3 parallel activities. A Seminar on youth policy development, a Seminar for the preparation of the Youth Forums campaign against Visa obstacles and an expert group on diversity and equality;
Judging from the feedback of the other bureau members and the participants, all 3 events have achieved their objectives.
The venue though was weird. It was called hotel forest Tropicana. Well, it was indeed somewhere in the middle of a fir and birch wood in the middle of nowhere. But it was tropical, the room temperature was around 30°C and it was not possible to regulate it decentralised. That basically meant, that the moment you entered your room, you had to be afraid that your underwear was mantling into your skin.
They also had theme rooms, one with lots of palm trees and bamboo wood, one with lots of aquaria and so on. In addition there were animators, dancing shows, magicians and so on.
So considering this tropical atmosphere, I am surprised that everything welt so well! On the Picture you see Nuno and me posing in front of the palm trees at the resort entrance, if you look close enough you can even recognise the coconuts!

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