Category Archives: bits

May 26

So we spent the weekend in Paris and I couldn’t be happier about it. We arrived to Orly airport around 9pm, took a bus to the city centre, then a RER train to St. Michel-Notre Dame station and finally walked a couple of blocks to get to the place where we were staying: a small student apartment we found on Airbnb. The building was quite run down but the flat itself was cozy, clean, and had a very comfortable bed, which was pretty much all we needed.

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We dropped our bags and went to check out the little light show at the Eiffel Tower. As you would expect, it was packed with tourist and full of locals trying to sell you overpriced bottles of champagne and cheap souvenirs. Once the light show was done, we walked back to Notre Dame, all along the canals, marveling at the hordes of french hipsters drinking, raving and inhaling helium from colorful balloons on both sides of the river. It was amusing.

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On Saturday morning, we went for breakfast at La Caféothèque, a very nice coffeeshop I read about online. Good coffee, good cakes and friendly staff. We walked around Le Marais and then met up with my friend Laetitia and a friend of hers who was in town visiting, and the four of us went for a drink in a bar close to the canals.

At 5:30pm, I parted ways with them and headed to the Stade de France for the AC/DC show. Once I was inside, I decided to go all the way to the top of the stadium, just to see what it looked like. It was mind-blowing. I had never been in such a massive venue and it looked impressive, even half empty. As the opening acts played, the place got more and more crowded until it was fully packed, just before AC/DC hit the stage at 9pm.

Now, I really could write dozens of pages telling you all about this show, how much it meant for me and how excited I was, but I wouldn’t be capable to bore you with those details. Instead, I will just tell you this: if you ever have the chance to catch AC/DC on tour, please do, I promise you won’t regret it. If you have seen them live before, then you know perfectly what I’m talking about. They were fantastic and, even though Malcom is no longer in the band and that diminishes the experiences to a certain extent, the truth is that this has been one of the greatest concerts I have ever attended to. Just being in this massive stadium, surrounded by 80,000 crazy metalheads wearing red, blinking devil horns, all singing and dancing like one big family was certainly something I will never forget.

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I found myself looking at the crowd around me quite a few times, just amazed by the beauty of it all. By the end of the show, a dude next to me, with whom I rocked out throughout the show, was just standing in awe, tears of joy running down his face. Him and his dad had attended the show together and were both very excited. They sang every word, they played air guitar, they threw their fists up in the air… it was awesome. There was a sense of brotherhood that is difficult to describe but that anyone who has experienced it before can easily understand. As he was standing there, all misty-eyed, I gave him a metal hug, thanked him for being such a great concert neighbor (and for taking a picture of me with the stage in the background) and wished him farewell.

The next day, Kat and I jumped on a boat for a tour Seine river cruise and then spent the rest of the day strolling around the city and eating as much as we could. We flew home around 9pm and by midnight we were back in Copenhagen, exhausted but pleased with our trip.

I’m now counting the days to see AC/DC again at Roskilde, I really can’t wait…

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You Can’t Always Get What You Want

And so it happened: after all the anti-immigration bullshit that went down last year in the UK, which radically limited my chances to secure a job in London, I decided to jump at the opportunity to work in Scandinavia and moved to Copenhagen a month ago, to work as a Creative at independent digital agency Hello.

To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect from this city before coming here. All I knew was that they were crazy about bicycles, that women were stunning, and that it was fucking cold, but the moment after I went through passport control at the airport, I knew there was more to Copenhagen than bikes, hot chicks and bad weather. I had a feeling that things were going to be just fine and a sense of contempt soon took over. From the cab driver who drove me to the office to pick up the keys of my apartment, to the people at Hello, to the little welcome note left by the lovely girl who rented out her place to me, to the little cafés, the beautiful landscapes, the locals… everything has been wonderful. It took me just a couple of days to realise Copenhagen is probably one of the most charming places I’ve ever been to, and right now I’m quite happy to be here.

However, I must admit that I miss London sometimes. Every now and then, I still wish I had been able to stay, simply because most of my life was there. Some of my biggest dreams, too. There were so many things I wanted to do, so many plans I had envisioned myself putting into action, that not being able to live up to those expectations sometimes brings me down. But then I remember Mick’s wise words and everything is good again.

Spring is here, the sun is shining, and Copenhagen indeed seems to be just what I need. All I can do right now is smile.

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Man, it feels great to be walking normally again. Since I got off the crutches I’ve been rediscovering the pleasure of travelling on foot, a luxury I had taken for granted, and now that I’m slowly going back to shape, every flight of steps that I successfully climb within seconds, every little jump out of the bus, every shower that I take without having to sit on the edge of the bathtub first to then rotate my body carefully into the receptacle to finally stand on one leg while I wash myself, every tap dance around the kitchen… every single step that I give without the aid of a stick becomes a tremendous victory I celebrate in all my Rocky-like glory.

Besides making great progress in the physical department, I’ve also been moving forward in different paths of life: I’m officially graduated, got a freelance gig at KK Outlet last week (fantastic place with lovely people inside), I’ll be home next Sunday, Jimmy bought and signed a copy of “Celebration Day” for me (really nice of him) and Ross took me to see Soundgarden play at Shepherd’s Bush Empire a month ago. It just seems like everything is finally coming together and although it’s still too early to sing my praises, the immediate future looks much brighter and exciting now than it did a couple of months ago, and I can only cross my fingers and pray for everything to go as planned. If so, this goddamn tough year might actually end on a high note. We’ll find out soon enough, I guess.

Now, why isn’t WordPress displaying the title of this post? I have no idea…


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I need some sleep

After 26 hours travelling, whatever is left of me is finally back in London. I’m tired, a bit nostalgic and of course, jetlagged. I hate jetlag. There’s not much difference really, just four and a half hours, but that’s good enough to keep me awake at 2:30am even though my body is begging for mercy. Can’t blame it, I haven’t got any sleep in almost 2 days. Why, you ask? Well, I can’t sleep on planes, that’s why. I take off my shoes, place the little pillow behind my head, put the blanket on, recline the seat, close my eyes and wish with all my heart I get some sleep but I always, always, always fail. I have even tried listening to Coldplay and I must say, it almost got me there once, but in the end it was useless. I can’t sleep on planes no matter how hard I try and that inability has unchained a nasty aversion towards people who can, particularly those who pass out just minutes after take-off. I don’t know how those bastards do it but it makes me terribly uneasy. I look at them while they sleep and I swear to God sometimes I wish they snored themselves to death. Well, not really, but you get the idea. I just think it’s very unfair some people can sleep on planes while I can’t. Maybe they take sleeping pills. Yeah, it makes sense, maybe that’s why the pass out so quick. I could easily enjoy the benefits of chemically-induced sleep too, you know? I could sleep the whole flight without worrying about crying babies, fat snoring men and restless kids singing christmas songs to their proud parents, who probably should tell them to shut the fuck up because a) no one cares about their stupid carols anyway and b) there’s people on the plane who might want to get some sleep without the help of any fucking pills!

Fuck it, I’m going to bed.

Pack. Unpack. Repeat.

Today I bought canvas, acrylic paint and brushes. I’ve decided that I will make a painting, my first one, and I already know it’s gonna be shit. I can feel it. Well, maybe not absolutely shit but certainly not as good as I would like it to be. Oh well, I will give it a try and see where it takes me, in the meantime, let’s time-travel for a bit, shall we?

October 7, 2011

Oh man, what a day. I had to leave in the middle of my first “Design for the Internet” class to sign the contract of a new house me and some friends are renting, which means I’m moving out for the fourth time in 15 months I’ve been living in London, a ridiculous average if you ask me. The reasons behind every change are different but at the end, it all comes down to one thing: I can’t stand injustice. Or arseholes.

When I first arrived to England I had the fortune to have a good pair of friends to lend me a bed and embrace my bag of bones and suitcases for a few weeks while I looked for a place to live. Soon I found a nice room in a cute little house in Camden Town, a neighbourhood I later discovered to be way overpriced. But that wasn’t the real problem, the issue here were my housemates: 2 physics students and 1 law student, all in their early 20’s, which are probably the most boring and inconsiderate people I’ve ever come across with in my life. These were the kind of guys who would wake up at 7:30am on sundays to hoover the house, starting with the kitchen, the space closer to my room. These were the kind of people who would wake up early in the morning to cook breakfast and bang the kitchen cupboard’s doors mercylessly, day after day, without any care for me or my sleep. These were the kind of persons who would take you on your move-in day to the dullest pub they could find, buy you a beer and break the ice by asking what do you think about Tony Blair. These were my housemates. After 5 months I had enough and decided to move out, just before Christmas.

It seemed pretty smart back then but in January I discovered things wouldn’t go as smoothly as they went 5 months earlier. This time around, my dear friends, the process was as painful and miserable as it could get. Over the course of 2 whole months, I visited no less than 50 flats and every single drop by felt like an episode of some twisted version of American Idol but with rooms and housemates instead of wannabe singers. It was a fuckin’ nightmare. I would travel for an hour to some random house in West Acton only to find out the room they were renting out was completely different to the one portrayed in the pictures of their ads, or I would spent 45 minutes on a bus and 10 more minutes walking to finally reach a small council flat in the middle of Shoreditch with a decent room but a bunch of looneys who interviewed me for 15 minutes before procceding to read me a list of house rules that made no sense whatsoever.

Each day I would go out to check out at least 3 flats in various locations around London and come back to my friend’s house (again), completely defeated. Back to my laptop to go through thousand of ads with pictures of the garden, the front door, the kitchen, the living room, the stairs, the garage but no pictures of the fucking room they were advertising in the first place (something I can’t understand and consider to be absolutely moronic), until I finally found potential houses worth spending time visiting. After 2 months, I came across an ad that only showed one single picture: of wooden stairs painted white and a big IKEA globe lamp hanging from the ceiling. That was it. I was about to close the browser window but a second before I clicked it, I saw the price: 380 pounds all bills included. All of a sudden, a single picture of the stairs was good enough to give it a try. Called the guy, arranged a viewing and an hour later I was in the heart of Stamford Hill, the biggest jewish community in all Europe according to wikipedia. The house was quite run down, there was a hole in the kitchen’s roof and the garden was ridiculously full of rubbish and debris but the room was spacious, the rent was dead cheap, the people in the house were incredibly friendly and most important, I had no patience to keep looking or much money to afford anything else so I took it right away. After a string of failures, victory was finally mine. Or so I thought.

I won’t say I didn’t enjoy my time at 90A, I really did. My housemates were some of the nicest guys I have come across with since I got here and some of the happiest days of my life were spent in that room but there was something that bothered me: my landlord. Imagine a miserable guy who wouldn’t move a finger to improve anything within the walls of the house he was running and still feeling like he was doing us a favor. When I moved in, I was told the hole in the kitchen was going to be fixed, six months after all he managed to do was to cover it with a drywall panel. The garden was a joke and a couple of weeks ago, when I decided to move out, one side of the ceiling at the entrance got ready to fall at the slightest movement. I kid you not, the roof could have fallen on any of us at any given time and he would do nothing about it. Why? Because rent was cheap. Make sense until you realize there are 2 types of people in life: the ones who can put up with this kind of bullshit and the ones who can’t. I belong to the latter.

Fortunately, by the time the ceiling started to fall apart, a good bunch of friends found a sweet little house near Green Lanes, close to all sort of shops, restaurants, pubs, a big Sainsbury’s and a few blocks away from the mighty 29 route so when they rang me to ask if I wanted to move in with them, I wet my panties in a burst of happiness. The place looks like new, all walls have been recently painted (the smell is killing whatever brain cells I have left, though), the garden exists and there are no holes in the ceiling. Quite a change, if you ask me. That’s why I didn’t complain much when they told me I had to be today at 12:30pm to sign our contract so we can move in this weekend. Not looking forward to the process ahead but very excited to all it represents; batching things in boxes and suitcases to later unpack them in a new place you’re bound to make your own always brings a sense of hope and expectation that I find quite thrilling.

I will let you know how it goes.