Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Back to the USSR

I found this post draft from August 2013.... it was empty. It means that we shared nothing with you from our last travels and while it means we've been too busy too busy to create digital mumble, it is still a pity that you couldn't enjoy our artistic bursts. Poor you.

We will later on post here some photos of what we did on August 2013, just to get rid of that non-blogging guilt are suffering from....

And about being busy, as you'll see -- this blog has grown and now it is DJ&NB. As such, please welcome our new 'DJ NB rocking the globe'

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Some international insights

In a dull day in Leuven we started trying to humoristically phrase what we learned about different nations. I just ran into this text again and decided you may actually enjoy it.
You are welcome to comment and  share your own educated (and humoristic, no real stuff please) insights.

Upon arriving to a lonely island what will they do.....?

  • Israeli
    • Runs into his buddy from high school
    • Looks for a Leubawitz house to do kabalat Shabbat (saturday's ceremony) for the second time in his life (the first time was when he backpacked in India)
    • Opens an illegal stand for selling "Israeli Art" made in China
    • Haggles on the price of the staying on the island

  • Argentinian
    • Bribes someone to get on the next ship, complaints that the government is corrupt and stages a demonstration
    • Looks for warm water for mate
    • Checks if the locals can play soccer
  • Italian
    • Calls his mama
    • Drinks coffee
    • Calls mama again and promises that he has enough food and will not marry a non Italian girl
  • Belgian
    • Goes to sleep since it is after 18:00
    • Looks for an office to fill some forms
    • Finds a queue to stand and finds there another Belgian standing alone
  • Austrian
    • Arrives on time to the Island
    • Sits in a coffee shop and eats a semi boiled egg
    • Names the local coconut "Kaiser Cocus", ya!
  • Spaniard
    • Pushes his way to the head of the queue to get on the island
    • Tells all the locals that the Spanish jamon is better than the local
    • Looks for a TV to watch the match between Real Madrid and Barcelona
  • Russian
    • Buys a bottle of the strongest and cheapest alcohol he can find to celebrate
    • Sleeps drunk under the table
    • Gets nostalgic thinking about mother Russia
    • Is happy that he can be in the nature, have dried fish and bath in the cold ocean
  • Dutch
    • Laughs at the Belgian
    • Gets on time with the Austrian (but that's just because he is Guido)
    • Organizes a party (ha...that's Luc)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Getting serious on snow

It's been days with temperature below -3, and most of the time below -5

Some pics for you


Closing a circle or the Patron's Day

In my first days in Leuven, I watched the beginning of the year's professors procession, which was followed by a mass in the city's cathedral.
Now, these are my last  days in Leuven and I've just watched (Feb-02, Thursday) the professors' procession in the event of the university's protector patron saint (the Virgin itself).
At 9:45, time of the procession the temperature was minus 8.
Following the procession, mass was held in the city's cathedral - it was cold even with the heaters they used. So, I positioned myself nearby a heater and took a nap till end of the mass. Later, I joined the PhD ad honorarium that is held in once a year at the saint day. At the end I enjoyed free beers and great sandwiches with ham, brie cheese, other cheeses, tuna, etc.

The PhDs of honor were given this year to researchers in the field of aging. It was thrilling to hear the personal story of each. It's comforting knowing that there are people who dedicate themselves to knowledge and to doing good.

The reception and PhD room are beautiful rooms inside the building of the ancient library burnt at 1914. One is in medieval-style and the other is neo-classic.

I got from the windows a special view on the oude-markt (old market, the pubs center) and the cathedral.

It felt like closing a circle. I'm about to leave Leuven.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Post exams' vacuum

The last exam is over. A sudden vacuum. I smell the change.

The temperatures here are between -3 and -7. Tomorrow -11 is expected. The landlord lady offered me clothing if I'm cold. She's sweet.

After today's exam I had beer with a study buddy who wrote a paper with me and later had an end of semester bbq in the house of a friend. Now finally home after a frozen walk from down town.

It is the first exam in which I made a gross mistake that will cost me a lot of points, but I will pass the exam. I need not this course grades, but it again shows me how little do I enjoy scoring low, even when it's not important. The most funny thing is that I'm really proud about the answer I wrote. Great answer, but not for the asked question....

Now that's over, and I have no clue how do they check exams and grade them over here - so I cannot even guess my grade.

In general it drives me nuts that I've presented papers, done presentations and exams over the past 3 months and I will not know any grades till past mid-February. I just don't get this system.

In these months I learned a lot about my writing capabilities and how to approach a paper.
I also had to confront face to face my non-sleeping issues and my time management issues. There were no excuses now - no work, no family, nothing. I improved in some aspect, but there is still way to go.

My last anthropology exam seemed to be rather good and during a chat with the professor after the exam over an idea I had, he offered me to write a thesis with him on the subject.  We shall see. Things aren't clear. I still don't have things clear in my mind how everything will evolve now. The only clear thing is that I need to finish my MBA.

Tomorrow, will be a day of cleaning, paper work, publishing stuff for sale and hopefully being able to change my flight date so that I return earlier home to meet my beloved yellow and furry hamula.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Studies....and more studies....

I'm 24 hours before my last exam.

Today it snowed for the first time, though light snow. Temperatures are below zero so the snow didn't melt.

J is growing tired, but is ok. We expect that I will have to return home a bit earlier than expected.

I'm like a prisoner sitting at home studying, since the Belgium trade unions are again on transportation strike. Here is what I see from my window.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Just a typical day

I few weeks ago I got a letter from the municipality saying that my electronic resident card is ready. I didn't went to take it, after all I'll be leaving in a few weeks.
Last week the bank emailed me that they are freezing my account till I show them the resident card.

So, I went to the municipality just to find that I need to bring my previous resident permit in order to get the card. Regardless, the clerk was very nice, recognized me when I stepped in and greeted me with a full smile 'Shalom!'

Yesterday I arrived again, just to find again that I need not only my previous permit, but also the security codes they sent me by mail and the receipt that I have paid for the new card. Yes, they confirmed, they can see in the system that I paid already, but they still need to see the receipt.

Don't get me wrong. Everyone in the municipality are extremely nice. I also found that in the receipt I got 3 month ago when paying for the electronic card there was a list of all the documents I should bring. But, it was in Dutch and I wouldn't guess that the receipt includes the details for the next step. I will definitely learn for the next time I'm in Belgium.

Today I finally came with all the papers and got my residence card. At least all seems ok with the card. A Pakistani friend got his card with a new and interesting nationality assigned to him: Israeli - we made quite a lot of laugh of it.

Later I went to the local health clinic to pay debts I knew we had there. They sent me to the accounting department. Initially, it seemed I cannot pay because it was only 2 months ago and the invoice wasn't produced yet.... Eventually I managed to pay, but I will get the receipts only by mail....

The receipts are needed to get the refunds from health insurance, another procedure awaiting ahead....I think I'll see the money only after being back to Israel...

I then went to the optometrist to ask them to amend a receipt they made for me which didn't got the price correctly printed. It's good the lady was behind a glass window. Otherwise she would have eaten my head.

Now I only have another day or two of filling forms for reimbursements....

And just to keep things in proportion - J has spent 8 hours in the last 3 days trying to get two mobile phone companies in Israel to move my phone number from one to another and as of this morning they kept blaming each other without providing a solution.....