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-3 x as hot!

Posted The Hague (NL), 31 May 2007:

Once you visit a city, country, person or venue, it suddenly becomes interesting to follow what happens to your 'subject' after you got acquainted with it. In a process similar to my favourite chapter of Le Petit Prince where the little prince meets the fox and gets taught about emotional bonding.

I wasn't planning to write something as philosophical as that and just wanted to tell how my visit to Moscow made me quite curious about Russia and whatever is happening there. Most of it does not sound like very positive news, but there's always something happening at the other side of the previous Iron Curtain.

Today's news is about the heat wave that is striking the city. Which sounds almost bizarre, because when I was there in February, it was absolutely freezing! -12C back then, compared to +36C now. Let me see... That's minus three times as hot!

( Moscow - RU, February 2007)
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Chaos and Dynamics

Posted 24 April 2007 - The Hague (NL):

First Russian president Boris Jeltsin died yesterday in Moscow. In Europe and the US, state leaders declared admiration for Jeltsin having introduced democracy and improved traditional West-East relations. Domestically, Jeltsin will mostly be remembered for allowing a very small group of people to become impossibly rich and for turning the economy into chaos. Russia still is a very chaotic country today, as you can see in the photo below.

Current president Putin is working hard to stabilise the country, but he is doing so at the detriment of the personal freedom concept, introduced during Jeltsin's rule of the country. Which induces counterideological collectives like the one by former chess champion Kasparov and many others alike. Conclusion: Russia is a dynamic country..

( Moscow - RU, February 2007 )
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Maintenance work

Posted 31 March 2007 - The Hague (NL):

Neither exciting news today, nor sophisticated photos or events to talk about. I've spent a lot of time this weekend reorganising PhotoLogiX, although hardly anything of that is visible so far. The changes over the next few weeks will be subtle but hopefully useful.

( Moscow - RU, February 2007 Photo by MMJ)
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McDonalds and McPain

Posted 15 March 2007 - The Hague (NL):

Over the last month, I have collected quite some new McDonald's logos and also received some from all corners of the world. Thanks compadres Christophe (FR) and Jakob (AT) for fresh ones from Thailand and Japan!

Also worth mentioning, comedian Bart Chabot (photos on this log: 9 Feb 2007, 4 Mar 2006) just issued a new book called "McPain". The books are sold in hamburger bags.

( Moscow - RU, February 2007)
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Posted 14 March 2007 - The Hague (NL):

As promised, these are the photos of Moscow people challenged by snow, mud and traffic:

( Moscow - RU, March 2007)
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Ces gens l

Posted 13 March 2007 - The Hague (NL):

Some more people in the streets of Moscow.

Tomorrow: Facing the snow..

( Moscow - RU, February 2007)
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Enter here

Posted 12 March 2007 - The Hague (NL):

Moscow, its buildings, its statues: they are all very much in line with the ideology of the former Soviet Union. They tend to make you feel small and insignificant.

Below are some photos of building entrances to illustrate the idea:

ITAR-TASS (the Russian news agency), Cinema "Russia" and the Russian State Library, with a statue of writer Dostojevski.

( Moscow - RU, March 2007)
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Kremlin and Russian Elections

Posted 11 March 2007 - The Hague (NL):

What day would be more suitable to post photos of the Kremlin than today.. Local elections are taking place in 14 regions and they represent the start of the voting process for all of Russia which should be completed by March 2008. It's promising to be a controversial procedure, allegedly aiming to keep Putin in power even though his second and last term as president will have run out by March of next year.

( Moscow - RU, March 2007)
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Moscow in Stereotypes

Posted 10 March 2007 - The Hague (NL):

Here's another three photos from Moscow, all from our first day. Let me describe what's happening in all of them and why I find them so typical for Moscow.

The first photo shows the preferred dress code for Moscow people. Fur for women, uniforms for men. They incite respect and distance. Both the fur and the uniforms come in an overwhelming variety and there for sure is some ranking in it all that remains invisible to outsiders. The mobile shop in the background is also one out of many. In need of something to drink, eat, smoke... Place your head in front of the small window and try to get what you need..

Car crash.. No surprise if you read my earlier postings, driving in Moscow is hellish. But look at the cars, the one that drove into the red Lada is a modern car and it doesn't look very healthy anymore. What about the Lada? One little scratch but for the rest it looks like nothing happened.. 1-0 for the Russian tank.

One of many pathways in the snow. One other way of the individual being subordinate to the mass: you can take the typical pathway that everybody else walks or you'll be left slipping away and ending nowhere.

Tomorrow: Red Square and the Kremlin!

( Moscow - RU, February 2007)
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Still can do

Posted 9 March 2007 - The Hague (NL):

Moscow photos are in and they Rock!! Happy to see I can still do it, in spite of some persistant doubts that my best photos datum from a longtime ago. I will post quite some of them during the coming week, along with explanations and stories.

Here's already some songs to get you in the right mood:
Leningrad - Billy Joel
Wind of Change - The Scorpions
Civil War - Guns and Roses

( Moscow - RU, February 2007)
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Stamps and coins

Posted 2 March 2007 - Moscow (RU):

Our last entire day in Moscow and reading words finally starts to become a little easier (especially when you see logos that look very familiar.., see photo below). I bought some small souvenirs this afternoon and went to the post. I was expecting scenes similar to when I tried to carh traveler's cheques in Poland and the bank clerk claimed that my signature was fake.. This time, I got my stamps AND a few kopek (rubble-cents) coins that somebody had left on the desk. I asked whether I could take them, the answer was yes and the lady even gave me some other coins in addition. They're worth almost nothing but they will be a nice expansion to the foreign coins-and-banknote box, which is growing to be almost like a small collection.

( Moscow - RU, February 2007)
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Conference Day One

Posted 28 February 2007 - Moscow (RU):

I haven't seen too much daylight today, since we spent all of the day at the conference ground. Some presentations were in Russian and we were handed out headsets for translation.

I spent some time thinking about why I always get so sleepy during sit-down-conferences and came up with the following excuses: lack of daylight, fresh air and sensatory stimuli (worst thing is the monotonous sound) plus I'm not very interested to hear lengthy stories with many incomprehensible abbreviations.

Over the last few years, I only enjoyed very few business presentations. The one I remember best: Vinton Cerf, Chief Internet Evangelist from Google, talking about the future of internet and its integration in daily life, among others about internet-managed socks.

( Moscow - RU, February 2007)
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MOCKBA updatum

Posted 27 February 2007 - Moscow (RU):

Moscow proves to be quite an interesting and non-standard city so far. Today was cold again (-12 C), rather sunny and calm. Buildings are quite colourful, while people's clothes are monochromely varying between black and white with exceptions in the brown and yellow range. The streets are dirty with black snow/slash/mud. Pavements are slippery and crossing the road is an adventure that any Paris visitor would be jealous at. People in the street all seem to have a small cloud going in and out of their mouth and/or nose. They take it with them wherever they go. Many people wear fur coats and hats. Cyrillic characters are everywhere and they are pretty fascinating. I don't want to learn Russian (yet) because I am afraid it will get mixed up with the little Polish I know so I'll stick to characters alone. Quite some words do already sound familiar once you get to decipher them..

( Moscow - RU, 27 February 2007)
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