Almost forgot

I actually had a blog.

Gonna be back home in 26 hours, guess I’ll start writing with the newfound time.

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Human Nature

Funny thing, it.

People want things to happen, yet so many are too lazy to do anything because they know if they just hold out a bit, eventually someone else will do it, no? I’m guilty of it, so are you. And eventually, the one who cracks first loses.

But anyway, that’s life.

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Win-Lose

So it’s all over, and the result everyone knew was coming came. Still, I never quite expected the landslide that eventually came (Obama currently leads 338-163, and it may well end 364-174. Not bad compared to Bush’s 271-269 win in 2000). While the result looked pretty much beyond doubt even before yesterday, I still tuned in to a considerable chunk of CNN’s coverage, and switched over to FOX’s once in a while for a good laugh. If you don’t know what I mean, you haven’t been following the elections enough!

Which brings me to my next point – suddenly Facebook statuses became a flood of victory proclamations that largely went to the tune of “Change has come” or “May Barack lead us to a new world” or things like that. It was slightly bemusing, because honestly, I don’t think Obama will come even close to meeting his campaign promises in the next year, and perhaps not even in his entire term. Either way, his policies and promises don’t look like any form of panacea to the problems the world and his country face now.

I felt both candidates are really similar in terms of their aptitude towards the economy (read: not very strong), so where it mattered most to me were things like foreign policy and energy issues, and to a lesser degree (since I’m not American), taxes and healthcare. Obama clearly wins on his healthcare promises, but in terms of foreign policy and energy, I’m way behind McCain. Well, not his Drill, Baby, Drill tirade but his plans for more nuclear plants. Obama promised to stop nuclear proliferation, to shut down the coal industry (if I’m not mistaken), and yet to reduce US reliance on imported oil. How? Raising oil prices? I’m not sure that would’ve been the right thing to do in the current state of the economy. Foreign policy – no fight, McCain clearly has the greater experience (and it’s not just from being a P.O.W.).

Anyway, I felt McCain would’ve been the more suitable president, and might have been if it wasn’t for the totally inept handling of his campaign, and the nomination of Sarah Palin, which probably destroyed his last hope of winning the election. In fact, the tactics of hate and deceit, and in Palin’s case, pure idiocy, reduced my admiration for the man to pity, and you only have to watch a few episodes of The Daily Show to know how pathetic his campaigning really was. Or, of course, you could watch FOX and learn how great the man is.

So I really don’t know why I’m writing so much about elections I’m hardly involved in, but now that it’s over I guess I’ll just have to blog about other boring things like travel and photography.

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It’s about the issues, stupid.

So, once again, just like every other non-American with too much time on his hands, I’ve been trying to follow the elections over there, or as Jon Stewart refers to it, INDECISION 2008. And wow, just when you thought the elections in Zimbabwe were as bad as they got. Thanks to the McCain-Palin campaign, the elections have descended into little more than a mudslinging contest.

A few months back, I was quite undecided on who I thought would be a better choice – but overall I leaned towards McCain for his policies, for less tax cuts and also for his support for nuclear energy. To me, nuclear was the way to go and as close to a panacea for the world energy problem as anything we’ve got. Then everything changed with one word – Palin. Even without knowing a thing about the woman, McCain’s selection of his running mate gave me a worse feeling that I would have got had Obama chosen Hillary Clinton as his. Clearly, he was trying to win people over using superficialities – trying to win over disappointed Hillary-supporting feminists with a woman, as well as conservative evangelicals. (And hey, her evangelical background showed as she incited increasingly angry crowds with tenuous claims that Obama was a terrorist) Well, if she turned out to be an able candidate, my views would have changed, but she’s proven herself to be quite the opposite.

I don’t want to go on talking about her inadequacies, most can be seen for yourself by searching “Sarah Palin Katie Couric” on YouTube, as well as watching the (very biased but still enlightening) Daily Show with Jon Stewart. I also don’t know if any Americans even read my blog such that it’ll actually make a difference, but hey, if I wanted a Joe Sixpack or a Hockey Mum to be elected into one of the most powerful offices in the world, I’d vote myself in. What I do want is an educated, articulate individual who has the brains and leadership ability to make the right decisions. I don’t want a person with virtually zero knowledge of the workings of the financial system (see: Couric interview), who repeatedly claims to be a “maverick” without any facts or actions to back it up, who will abuse her powers of office as she wishes, and who will stop at nothing to get her way. Quite simply, Sarah Palin cannot be allowed anywhere near the White House, and therefore for me there can only be one winner by default.

(also, read this)

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EIN PROSIT DER GERMUTLICHKEIT

Or, in short, *boilk*.

Anyway, just back from a weekend at Oktoberfest (and friends), and back to semi-reality in Spain, which more or less is a return to inefficient and dysfunctional systems, none better exemplified than my first day of school. But first – Oktoberfest.

Oktoberfest was fun and all, but with the massive crowds that descend upon Munich at this time of the year, it was never gonna be as fantastic as it could be. So after a short time there, we headed off to Stuttgart, where the almost as excellent Cannstatter Volksfest would be held. Yet another of them crazy beer fests, this one was not as crowded in the early hours of the day, meaning that a seat could be had in a beer tent for early arrivers. It was, in short, crazy fun. Too much fun, in fact, and I ended up with a big bout of drunkenness mixed in with food poisoning, which together with near zero-degree temperatures in Munich (where we returned to for our return flight) at midnight damn nearly killed me. Can’t say it was most enjoyable, but at least a few hours in Stuttgart proved to be among the most fun hours so far in Europe!

So anyway, exchange admin has been a bitch. Thanks to my course requirements back home I’ve got this huge set of limitations on courses that I can take here. Thanks to my fantastic faculty here I’ve got about 10 subjects in English that I can take here. And thanks to the fantastic admin here, on the 3rd day of course registration (and 1st day of either class that I intend to take) I come to school to find out that both my courses are full. So I am royally fucked.

Anyway I’m still trying to work out a solution with the school and mine, so maybe

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Knight Life

Hello from Rhodes! Still no photo updates because I’ve no time/Photoshop, but I’ll describe things semi-vividly and you can imagine all you like (can also be aided with Google Image Search).

Anyway, our hotel is in the very pretty Old Town of Rhodes, which is pretty much a huge castle with 12 metre thick walls. Yes, walls almost as thick as my skin. Once again, we’re housed in a pretty B&B which we hear was actually a 15th century mansion.

I’ve totally fallen in love with Greece, really, after Santorini and now this – it’s pretty hard to imagine a place with as diverse experiences available within a single country.  I’m dying to explore the other islands and it kills me to know I’ve to wait at least another year before summer comes around again.

Anyway the pre-term travelling is almost done, and it’s hard to believe that after all this I still have to go back to school and (pretend to) study. Well, I guess Barcelona isn’t the worst place to be!

Pictures, soon.

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Whee!

Hello from Vienna everyone! It’s been quite a frantic past 12 days, moving from city to city every 3 days or so, but I’ve enjoyed (almost) every moment of it. Would love to share photos but for the sake of portability I’m travelling with my Eee PC, and have absolutely no photo editing software with me.

Anyway, a similarity that Prague, Salzburg and Vienna have with each other – the streets are lined with piss and horse poop. No, seriously. All three cities are unbelievably beautiful, but the smell along some streets is unbearable.

Despite the smell I have absolutely enjoyed every of my destinations so far – all have been stunningly beautiful and despite the best attempts of Czech waiters to make my life miserable I’ve also quite loved the food; what I’d give though for a steaming hot plate of char kuey teow though.

We’ve also had the good fortune of enjoying some of the best (yet affordable) B&B around, and absolutely will recommend them to you if you’re ever going to any of the cities we’ve been to. More about those in due time though, once I’ve got the time to write and all.

So anyway I’ll leave you with a photo from Prague, will share more whenever possible!

Old Town (Stare Mesto) Square, Prague

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