domenica, febbraio 16, 2014

Amsterdam: 3 months, 3 weeks and 5 days (or something similar...)

Double post today, I am in that mood!

Ok, so some real updates on the situation here. It's been 4 months that I am here and I have an idea of how things are going on, now. The weather is not good, I have to say. There are a lot of days that evolves like this: 
- morning sun 
- midday cloudy 
- afternoon rain 
- evening heavy rain for 1 hour 
- night recovering to give a wonderful morning 

 It is not that bad, the only problem is that in the morning you work, but you can enjoy a nice ride to the workplace, that's for sure. Than in the afternoon you are still working. And just 1 hour before leaving the skies open and rains cats and dogs and you are scared that going home will be as wet as Venice.
Than you want to go out to take a beer with some friends, at the bar your trousers are as comfortable as sitting with a ball under your ass (one of those balls...). Than it's time to go home, the warm and cozy house of yours, so it doesn't matter if it's raining, snowing or else. but instead there is a wonderful night with bright stars.

But don't talk only about weather.

I am working in Almere, the youngest city in the Netherlands. Youngest as in "the last built" not as in "the city where the population is the youngest, they are all babies". It's 45 minutes of train from home, but since I've got the station at 2 minutes and the workplace is 2 minutes from the station, in less than 1 hour I am from home to work and vice versa. I know, I left Milan for more or less the same amount of time. But I have to say that sitting in a warm and comfortable train riding through the wonderful neetherlandese (a word that I just made up) country side is a bit different than being interred in a metro wagon with 1 hundred other persons looking at a underground wall.
The job is Customer Care, so I answer a phone and answer emails. Not difficult, and up until now I am just doing training, so not stressing at all. The colleagues are nice and friendly, the office is nice and fine so... perfect place!

Than... I started playing football again, in a tournament, I mean. 7 vs 7... the ideal situation for an old man like myself. Even if I am playing in defence, just as usual I let other people enjoy and I have to sacrifice myself... Or, maybe better said, I have not at all the legs to play in another position and defence is easy. HAHAHA... Old and smart like a fox. We are a good team, with some player quite good, but it is obvious the lack of practice and of been used to playing together. We just lost a game, but are still in the hunt for the top positions and can do well.
I just hurt myself, as I already said, and am recovering. We play on Tuesdays, I will miss the next one and be back, probably, for the last week of February. Hope not to hurt me again.

Last update. I have begun hunting (I like this world more than I like the action itself) for a new apartment. Ideally a wonderful, luminous apartment overlooking a canal in a old part of the city. Ideally... than who knows where the heck I will end up? But the hunt has begun. In March, April at most I would like to move and really start living here.

So, that's it... so long!

Springtime again

Yes, I know that it's only mid February, that we are in for some cold storms, rain, snow and whatsoever. But this morning, as I woke up around 12 (yes... technically it's still morning!) there were patches of clear skies up above and the sun was lighting up Amsterdam. I could not believe it! After fifteen minutes to re-discover where I was and who I was I managed to look out of the window and one of the trees in front of the house had sprouts of flowers and young leaves. It's SPRINGTIME!! I am sorry for the tree... he will have some problems in the next weeks, but I know he is strong and will survive. Took the bike, ride along the city, through a park and to a pancake bar... to have a nice breakfast with pancakes and scrambled eggs... or better, a croissant. Bit of a delusion, I found one of the few waitress who doesn't understand English... or maybe I was still too sleepy to explain myself well. So... springtime. A time of growth, recovering, warm days and still chilly nights... maybe I could use some of that. The sun shines, the ladies are out with nice dresses, the boy are out to watch the ladies in nice dresses. Some of them just to watch the ladies, but it's not necessary to have springtime, for that. Life in the Netherlands is going along well. I woke up in the morning, take a train that in 40 minutes brings me to work, through nice countryside and nice Amsterdam (the other way round...). I work 8 hours and it's not stressing... I would say it's at the same stress as in Paris, so no stress at all, but more interesting than there (I have not watched wikipedia pages yet...). I come back home and do what I wanna do. As now, absolutely nothing! I play football as much as I can, I eat sushi as much as I can, I ride my bike as much as I can. It's nice living, easy living. The things that I need are a new apartment, a seasonal ticket for the train and some girl friends. Yes, girl[space]friends (plural). I am not use to go around only with guys... as for a girlfriend [all together] (singular) there is time.

mercoledì, febbraio 05, 2014

Father Time finally catch up

Yep, that's all folks!

No, I'm being a bit too much drastic, probably. I am just a bit angry that when I was finally starting gearing up with the intensity of sport activity... CRACK! I pulled (and really hope not teared) my hamstring. It was coming, I knew it was coming... and did too few to avoid it. I almost injured myself in the same place before Christmas, but I stop playing for almost a month, than I begun training a bit, going jogging almost everyday. But Sunday I felt it... and tonight had not the time and will to warm up properly. And so... in front of me probably a month or more(even if I still hope less, but it's not probable) of resting and watching my teammates play...

I hope they win... even without me... SIGH!

domenica, febbraio 02, 2014

Organizing... and life changers...

Getting organized for a new life can take some time. I, for example, need between a month to a year to do the easiest things. Today I downloaded the application to check my trains timetable. Not a moment too soon! I still haven't got a bank account, a internet connected phone contract and some more things that probably I should have got by now. They will come in good time.

To go to work I spend at least 35 minutes per leg in a train. At most 47. I remember when I left Milan just because I wouldn't stand commuting for almost 2 hours a day to get to work. Now I'm doing 1 hour and a half and I'd remain in Amsterdam forever. It is true that the trip is on a train through fair country side and canals.

Life make we change. When we stop to change... it's time to die.

lunedì, gennaio 20, 2014

Running in a dream

I am running in a 10.000 meters competition. I am 5th or 6th, but still there are some kilometres to do and the lead is not so far ahead. The guy next to me start climbing positions, I keep calm and rest a bit more.
Then only 4 laps are to be done, I begin my attack, I start running more, reach the 4th, reach the 3rd, reach the 2nd and 2 laps to go. I start to launch the last lap, pass the 2nd and in the hunt for the lead. I reach him, it's the guy who was with me at the beginning, accelerate, he tries to respond and launches the final rush. For a moment I fear my legs will not respond, the fear rises in my heart... but I resist, after 2 or 3 seconds I launch my final rush and here I go, to the final hundred metres... The other guy cannot resist, I sense that his confidence has gone and with it his last strength. I WIN!

Ok... this is some kind of idiocy, but... have you ever been in a dream where you have to run and your legs just... don't go? You have no strength, they stay still, you cannot do a thing that you have done millions of times and it's frustrating?
Well, tonight I WON!

lunedì, dicembre 23, 2013

Amsterdam, week 7 and 6 days and some hours

Here I am, already 2 months come and gone in a blink of an eye. It seems like yesterday that I was arriv... no, it is not true at all! It's 2 months, I feel it, days have come, passed slowly, and gone. Thoughts, fears, happiness and all of the human feelings have been provided plenty in these weeks. I enjoyed a lot of things, some others have been annoying and some times I have been bored to death.
But, hey! That's life in every place of the world!

Today I made a new step in my living here in Amsterdam: I finally registered in the administration. That's a thing that took me 3 weeks to do in Spain, 11 months in France (but to some extent for my own fault) and 5 minutes here in Amsterdam. Well, technically 2 months, but I made an appointment on last Wednesday, I went this morning at 10 and at 10:05 I was already out and near to ask the secretary out too!

So, new steps... new job on the horizon, which will start with the new year, and in two months new apartment. Everything is fitting in its spot; slowly, but fitting.

domenica, dicembre 22, 2013

Pacific Rim

Yesterday evening I had nothing to do. Saturday night? Nothing to do on Saturday night?!? Well... let's clarify: I had nothing to do until 10:30, so I thought I would enjoy a movie.

I turn off the lights (it was already 7 pm or later, here in the Netherlands it's dark outside and I live in a suburbs neighbourhood so not so many lights outside either), turn up the volume and sat on my "couch".

The movie began and I was taken for 2 hours in a world in which giant monsters walks in the ocean to destroy us and giant robots fights them. They tried to fight them with conventional weapons but it was too difficult.
Let's start from the beginning. I grew up not watching at Japanese animation series, I grew up not reading manga or other comics than Topolino (look for it, not Italian people, it's Mickey Mouse!) but always wanted to. I could enjoy only some, like Macross (Robotech), Captain Harlock, Mazinga, but never too continuously. Just some episodes now and then... it  take me some years to start really enjoying them.
Other than that, I enjoy credibility, I think that for everything there should be a reason that must be believable, even in fiction... mostly in fiction.
And the movie starts with a giant monster who must be fought with a giant robot with it's bare (!!) hands (and what hands! HUGE!!). And I liked it!! From the beginning to the end.
At one time there where a fight on the screen and a firework exploded outside (you know, young guys are the same in every place!). I jumped on my chair... rationalized and then smiled. I was enjoying this movie so much!
Of course there are some things that are not right... some things that could have been done better. But guys... and girls... this is a really good movie! If you want action... if you want technology, if you want a show on the screen that leaves you without breath: this is the movie you have to see!

Well... now it's time for Juventus match, but this afternoon is raining and... after the football match if nobody calls me, it's time for Pacific Rim again!

giovedì, dicembre 19, 2013

Long due: Romeo & Juliet

I always loved DireStraits... and this song has been for so many years my favourite song. And I today discovered that still is. Just listen to the drums... and look at this video!

 And... if you don't think is simply amazing... here is a second version that I love too!

The use of Community in real life

Communities, Forums, FAQs... are a common thing in this internet era. If you are clever, any time you've got a problem with your pc or something related you just look on the web and you'll find somewhere a solution. Who hasn't googled something like: "... is not working!".

Somewhere, some place, there is the answer for you.

And then, in real life, we tend to forget it. We have got a problem that we cannot resolve and we are stuck. What we do? We check on the internet, again. Sometimes there is an answer, sometimes not.
Well... we forget that there is a real Community out there that can have the solution. Well, maybe not "we"... but "I" did forgot that there is a community out there. It's made by our family, our friends, the people that we know.

I had a problem with my registration here in Amsterdam, I needed a document that my landlord will not give me. And I needed it quite quick, or something else. But I asked a friend and neither him could help me. Then yesterday evening I went to take a beer with a new friend, just met him few weeks ago. And talking about this and that, it occurred that I mentioned this problem. And he solved it in 5 minutes, telling me a thing that I didn't know and that is so easy that it seems unbelievable that I didn't think about it myself!

Well... this is our Community outside, in the real world. We forgot that as big, unusual, complicated a problem could be, there is an answer out there some place and we need help to find it. It is too difficult to solve every problem by ourselves, and sometimes we miss simple solutions just because we don't think that sharing it's a great thing.

So... use the Community in real life too!