Mittwoch, Mai 31, 2006


sleepless in vienna

Since Friday I have difficulties to sleep… don’t think I slept more then 2-3 hours a day.
“Insomnia is characterized by an inability to sleep and/or to remain asleep for a reasonable period. Insomniacs typically complain of being unable to close their eyes or "rest their mind" for more than a few minutes at a time. Insomnia is most often caused by sleep disorders, but other causes include fear, stress, anxiety, medications, herbs and caffeine.”
It made me very productive. I mean, what else shell I spend the long nights on with all people in the flat asleep if not sitting in front of the computer and typing stuff. I even stopped coffee and cigarettes for 3 days now.
But I am physically tired, maybe I can sleep tonight…

Sonntag, Mai 28, 2006



You for sure know those nasty items on your to-do lists. Those issues that stay on the list for days and months, where you know that one day you will have to deal with it but you keep on postponing it? I always have 2 or 3 such items on my to-do list.
This weekend I travelled twice 3 hours in the train – to Salzburg and back home to Vienna. And I used the usually very boring time in the train to tackle 2 of my long time guest on the to-do list. I am super proud of myself now and despite having a relaxing family weekend with excellent food I feel I was very productive!

Samstag, Mai 27, 2006



spending the weekend with my family

Dienstag, Mai 23, 2006


helsinki in the rain

no comment

Sonntag, Mai 21, 2006


pranks and practical jokes

When did you last play a trick on someone? Dirty or cheap or any other prank? Something like a school time trick or April fools joke? A practical joke? I have to admit I was never really good or creative at it.

When I was 10 we (my whole school class) wanted to hide from the teacher, at the time we thought that would be really funny. In the last minute we got scared the she would get angry and wanted to go back to class, I sprained my foot and the ligaments in my left foot ankle twitched.

Or it was tradition that after the final exams in high school we would blemish the cars of our teachers. We did not get much more creative then putting tooth paste under the door handle of their cars or wrap them in toilette paper.

And the only person I repeatedly can play April fools jokes on with success is my granny.

It seems that I am a hopeless case, but is anyone out there better?

Is there actually anyone out there with more interesting, creative or to say it as it is – with actually funny pranks??? Do funny pranks exist? Please share your experiences with me! Any smart, clever, quick-witted practical joke you know of? Maybe one you did one yourself or it was played on you? Or at least something you heard of?

Freitag, Mai 19, 2006


employment week

Employment Week has been in existence for twelve years and offers a opportunity for practitioners and European decision-makers to connect and discuss the latest policies and trends in employment.

This year's theme is 'Working together for growth and jobs'. It was the first time civil society organisations have been actively involved in the week thus the European Youth Forum took part in the week the first time. As the spring council concluded that youth is one of the focus areas in the fight against unemployment we have been in a very prominent and visible position during the week. Not only that we spoke at the opening session but also we got to comment on the conclusions in the closing session.

It was really interesting to see for example the strength and weakness of the European Trade Union movement. On the one had side they gave an excellent speech outlining the difficulties with the stability criteria, public investments, employment policy and economic and trade policy, the one sided flexibility of the labour market and issues concerning the price stability of the Union, on the other hand side employers and employee organisations very much agreed that social dialogue is solely their role.

We raised concerns that Trade unions do not represent unemployed people and that they lack young people and women, especially in high-level positions. For us these are some of the more obvious reasons why civil society organisations need to be included in a structured dialogue.

Generally the Youth Forum does not have a policy on economy, so it was tempting but not within my mandate to react to the speech of the trade union. But I was able to raise issues that we have agreed positions on from our social inclusion policy paper.


my flat

I have my own private little aim going on. I have the ambitious goal of having had at least half of the bureau members in my apartment by the end of the mandate (31st of December). So far there already were Renaldas, James, Marianna, Peter and Jan. Beginning of the week they were joined in the club by Diogo. I still think it is embarrassing that Hiro was never here and I am really hoping to get Marta, as she is coming to Vienna for the Seminar on “employment, precarious work and social inclusion” beginning of June, to be held in Stockerau. I like it a lot to be the host, I like to make people feel homey at my place. Since I moved into the apartment in September 2000 I had 8 flat mates, this summer there will be 2 more and from autumn on, I hope I have a bit more stable flat mate situation again. But first goal is, get Hiro and marta into my apartment. (sorry Jaakko, Joao and Leif, looking at the upcoming events, you are too challenging for me!)


(w)esib again :-)

So the ESIB alumnus meeting was simply splendid. It was great to see so many faces again. Most of the alumni’s were actually from the time that I was active in ESIB and many of them are still active in the education sphere or in volunteer work. And then there were also a view from generations before me. It is amazing how quick you re-connect once you have spent so much time working with each other. And it is equally amazing how many good stories people can tell and how I can laugh about them although I have heard them for 12 times and every time they keep on changing, getting more dramatic or explicit. So it was a really joyful weekend. Unfortunately we were very separated from the actual board meeting, so I did not really get to know the current ESIB people.

Donnerstag, Mai 11, 2006


servus in wien

The EU-Latin America/Caribbean summit is taking place from today till the 13th of May in Vienna. The summit will comprise Heads of State and Government of 60 countries of the European Union and of Latin America and the Caribbean.
Today the foreign ministers of these countries are having a preparatory meeting, and on 13 May there will be a number of sub regional meetings of individual countries and sub regions of Latin America and the Caribbean with the European Union.
Some of the Latin American Heads of States and Government are already in town for a view days, such as the Mexican President Vincent Fox, yesterday. Michelle Bachelet had a dinner together with the Austrian – Chilean Friendship Association, where Austria’s president Heinz Fischer is member.
The main aims of the summit are political dialogue, enhancement of trade relations and development cooperation.

The weird thing is, that with all this Head of States and governments, including Kofi Anan, there is less security personal and less streets closed then there will be once George Bush is in town.

When Dubja comes he will bring alone 800 people of his on security staff and 400 Advisors. If all the heads of states would travel with this amount of staff, Vienna would have to be evacuated just for the 60 governments to be represented, cause that would be around 72 000 people then just for the summit.

Parallel there is of course and alternative summit in Vienna where many civil society organisations take part. The Hero of those 3 days is Hugo Chavez.

I will miss all of this prominent figures and jump into my train to Belgrade in a minute.


the national unions of students in europe

This weekend I am going to take part at the first ever ESIB – The National Unions of Students in Europe Alumni meeting. I am really curious and exited to see some old friends and acquaintance again. I will be on a 11 hours train ride to Belgrade the whole day tomorrow, this is the part I am less looking forward to. The alumni’s meeting is linked to the board meeting. This is the meeting where all decisions concerning policies, work plan and budget are taken by the ESIB member organisations. This specific board meeting is the 50th meeting in ESIBs 23 year old history.

Mittwoch, Mai 10, 2006


wood garlic

I started my day in the woods today. I was there with a school class and a project called „experiencing nature“. They were equipped with pots and brushes and of course loupes. They were standing in the runnel and fishing tiny animals out and the project leaders where explaining them under the loupes what animals they are or what this creatures will soon turn into.
It was such a beautiful and sunny morning, but it was still quite cold under the trees. The whole floor was covered in green and white because of plenty of woods garlic.
The moods and sceneries that the sun painted though the fresh green leaves of the trees was just amazingly beautiful. I started missing my little village and my granny who I used to go to the woods with.
But the best thing about it is, that this all is happening in Vienna. Vienna is such a green city, that you can be almost wherever and it will never take you longer then 20-30 minutes to be in the middle of a forest! It was a wonderful and energizing start into my day.

Dienstag, Mai 09, 2006



I usually do not have nightmares. I only remember 1 nightmare from childhood where I dreamt that there was a crocodile in granny’s soup pot. Scary, I can tell you. But tonight I had a nightmare. I woke up and knew it was a dream only, but I could not stop thinking about it and I was really frightened. I was so frightened that I did not dare to turn around my head. I was thinking of who I could call in the middle of the night, and actually decided not to call anyone. Though I was close to call Clemens, who lives in New York and for him it would have been a more decent time to be called then for anyone here in Europe. I would have called my flat mate to crawl into my bed and take care of me, but he was not at home. Bad luck. Finally I managed to turn my head around, reach out for my laptop and started doing personality quiz stuff on the Internet. Now I know that my mental age is around 90! That sucks. I know that my holiday theme song is “we are family” and such things. I am not sure what was scarier, my nightmare or the actual results of the psycho tests, who basically say that I am as conventional and boring as it gets.

Sonntag, Mai 07, 2006


fruits are healthy

I use apple. For lifestyle reasons, because it is beautiful, it is user-friendly and – well, I am in the apple team. I fully agree with my friend Tommi, that taking my platinum little book out in public makes me feel proud of owning this baby. See also Tommis related post.
I love my iPod, I use iPhoto and iMusic a lot, I look for new apple products and improvements and admire them. And I find their new adds hilarious. Please have a look at the spots

Dienstag, Mai 02, 2006


mocow :-)

The 3rd time in 5 month that I am in Moscow. Some things are always the same. Till the very last minute I never know if I actually do get the visa. The travel is always exhausting and the weather here is always unexpected. When I was here in December I expected it to be freezing cold. It was around 0°Celcius, which you can easily have in Vienna too. This time a departed from 6°Celcius in Vienna and landing in Moscow it has 20°Celcius. Maybe I should start using Internet weather forecasts more. And- I just paid 12 Euros for 1 hour Internet in the hotel here, as I really had to read one important mail. There was no cheaper option anywhere near the hotel…

Montag, Mai 01, 2006


council of members

I had the great luck of spending the last days in Prato, a city in Tuscany, Italy, with a population of around 180,00. When I went there I only brought summer cloths. But, unfortunately it was most of the time rather chilly and also raining. I did unfortunately only see the airport in Firenze (longer then I wanted) and the hotel in Prato. As you can imagine I was not there for holidays but for a conference - the Council of Members from them European Youth Forum. Though on the arrival day everything seemed rather chaotic, in the end everything went well, organisational and content wise. We had very interesting debates on the Future of the Youth Forum in 8 smaller working groups and I am already very curious about the contributions from the members concerning the strategic priorities for the Forum. In addition it was great to see friends again, to talk to some of them, unfortunately I did not manage to talk to everyone I wanted to spend quality time with, but I will meet them again. Now I am preparing myself to go to Moscow. It is the first steering group meeting for the youth event in St. Petersburg later this year.

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