Lorenzo Pirisino
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Quiet Saturday
[Saturday 20th March 2010]

One week into the business trip I still have 2 full weeks to tackle before I can board the plane that will get me back to Italy.

Life when you are on a business trip is quite strange because there is never really time to "unplug" and relax. Today for example I had to go and check out some stores, although I told my agent that I did not want to do anything else because I feel that after the second pay-cut I am giving far too much to this company...

Normally relaxing even when I take the time to do it, is quite hard. Packing, replying to emails, catching up with the work that you could not do during the week, follow ups on clients demands and most importantly, preparing things for one of the frequent movements inside Asia (that anyway involve check-ins, waiting, body scans, airplane trips and all the stress related with these activities).

But today was different as I prepared everything is good time, few minor adjustments to be done but nothing major.

I managed to avoid any social engagement and I just relaxed, had a bath, played some music, watched a Family Guy movie that I downloaded (Star Wars parody, absolutely GREAT), had a simple burgher delivered to my room and just enjoyed the simplicity of it all!

Well, tomorrow I am bound to Taipei, but hopefully the day will be free for me to do whatever I like! :P

Maybe a sauna? Could be good before another stressful week opens up ahead!

Fire walk with me
[Saturday 20th March 2010]

My stomach is on fire!

It must have been some food that I have had at the beginning of the week in Zhongshan, I think that it was some "not so fresh" abalone, because the other people ate the same stuff as I did and had no problems whatsoever.

Well, the bottom line is that food poisoning in Asia is not a good thing, especially when you are on a business trip and EVERYONE (I mean EVERYONE) invites you to dinner and lunch and expect you to eat everything.

Not that I do not like Chinese cuisine, it's actually pretty great and I can eat REALLY everything (snakes, scorpions and the likes included), but with this sense of constant mild nausea it's not easy.

So me and my boss, who came with me for the first time in his life to China, tried to escape all the invitations, to eat something simple at the hotel but we failed miserably. Apart from that the business trip is as usual, same problems, same faces, same complaints. There would be a solution to all of this, which involves me moving here, but at present state I cannot envisage it any time soon because the company I work for just simply do not have the money to afford a resident manager.

At the same time, after the second pay cut at the beginning of the year, I am thinking if I did a good thing at organizing such a long trip, my services and expertise is worth much more than what they are paying me, and still I cannot seem able to offer the company the services for what they are paying for.


It happens here
[Thursday 18th March 2010]

Life happens here, business happens here, new ideas happen here.

China is certainly a great place to be if you want to be involved into a business/money/sex spiral, it seems that everyone is happy, or at least looks at the future with such a positive outlook that every time I come here going back to Europe stinks like fish left out of the fridge for 3 days.

Not everything is golden though, we do know what are the issues involved with this country, but to be honest with them they are opening quite rapidly, in 4 months, since my last visit they started the 3G network on their mobiles, which apparently bypasses state censorship on internet sites (I can use Twitter from the phone but not from the mac!).

Little by little things are changing on that area as well.

Now bound to Shanghai, which is similar to Tokyo or New York, I wish that I could sleep better, the first leg of this trip has been a bit hard under that point of view!


Fake Chinese Luck
[Saturday 13th March 2010]

The trip has begun, 25 days roaming around Asia is the next task in hand, fr those who follow my blog regularly there is a brief update on the situation described in the previous post.

Well, after much grieving and fighting the work related issue was "politically" resolved with my apologies to the top manager for my "not so professional behaviour" and an explanation on the "misunderstanding" (as bosses never make mistakes, they are misinterpreted at worst)that created the whole thing, and in effect the famous client that was taken off me should go back to my direct supervision...

Anyhow, with a lighter heart I set off to Asia thinking that MAYBE the spell of nasty luck was over, well, I was mistaken... Kind of.

After a SEVEN HOURS wait in Frankfurt to get my next plane to Hong Kong upon my arrival my bag was nowhere to be found.
Initially the staff said that they did not have a record on it being lost (which means that someone has stolen it!!), but eventually they found out that it was in ZURICH! Certainly a very bad start of the trip...

I am in HK with my boss, and I knew that the company has an insurance thing that covers up to 1500 Euro worth of shopping if the bag is delayed for more than 4 hours. After checking with all my colleagues I set off and went shopping for the grand sum of 700 Euro, buying designer clothes and stuff like that.

Eventually my bag was found and arrived after 7 hours to my hotel, so the insurance thing is covered (or at least it should be) and I am left with new items!! While I will not rejoice (I want to make sure 100% when I go back that the company is not going to charge me 700 euro and that the insurance really exists), the prospect that I might have gotten a free ride is quite nice! :D

Spirits rising a little!
[1 comment]

Black Tuesday
[Tuesday 9th March 2010]

I do not know if today is going to be the lower point of my year (already), but I would quite love it to be so because at the time of writing the day it's almost finished.

The day started in a terrible way, I have been summoned by my directors and basically the told me that my biggest client, and one of the best of the company, will be given to a different person.

I spat blood to get this account, it was terribly hard work for 1 and half years, and now that the orders are coming they simply take it away from me to give it to this shithead director that was just waiting for it to boast how good he is.

Professionally I think that has to be one of the worst days of my life.

The funny point is that this client has been managed in a great way, even the people that decided to take it away from me told me so. I was furious of course and I vented my rage at a staff meeting in a very non-political way that got me "if someone doesn't believe in this group then I do not want to see him or her at this table during next meeting" (clearly addressed to me).

Then it started snowing massively, and I had to leave the office immediately, risked a couple of accidents during the way but manage to get home alive.

In the evening we had the tickets to go to see Fiorentina versus Bayern Munchen, during the first leg the Germs won 2 to 1 with a goal that was scored massively offside (3/4 meters), but of course since football is a third world sport there is no technology allowed to rectify these blunders. Still with a match to go some hope was still there.

Well the match was brilliant and Fiorentina won 3 to 2 but that is not enough to go through the quarter finals, because of the away goal rule. This of course made the evening totally bitter, as if the day was not bitter enough.

Now I am at home, pondering.

Of course the football match is just the icing on the cake, but the major analysis goes to the work itself.
Once again I have been professionally killed when things are going great (my results are honestly pretty good at the moment), I put so much effort in this job after so many bad experiences that I thought that things were starting to get stable a little.

Well, of course it is not the case, clearly.

I feel really empty. I got nothing, I didn't build up anything, I am left prey of these people that earn huge amount of money and that take decisions that affect my life.

I rest my case, I really threw away 35 years of my life and I feel like at a party when everyone leaves and you are left in an empty room with no friends.

Hard Disk Failure
[Friday 5th March 2010]

This week was highlighted by the new spell of flu that forced me at home for four days in a row. To be honest was much weaker than the one that I have had in December but since I am leaving to Asia next week there is little that I could have done but to play things safe.

But the topic of this short post is not so much my physical conditions, which are shite, but rather the first time that a computer died on me while I was using it.

I have bought my Mac Book more than 3 years ago, it worked like a charm ever since, kernel-panicking only a few times mostly for my mistakes than real OS problems. I still recommend a lot of my friends to buy one if they want something that "just works", mostly because I know that most of my friends would not be able to open a laptop PC anyway if something went wrong mechanically.
So my case is: if you need to bring it to the service centre anyway at least buy the one that has the least problems with it!

Well one year ago I bought some memory upgrade for my Mac and it wasn't all that easy to sneak the modules in the laptop, which kind of reminded me that if something happened to the HW I would also be in the position of having to service the computer, while any other PC laptop I owned came with reassuring fact that I could dismantle it and probably just repair the broken part.

Yesterday while I was working the Mac started acting funnily, and froze completely. I restarted, and nothing happened, grey screen...
Reset PRAM, nothing happens.

Finally I booted with the install CD to find out with my dismay that the HD unit was not mounted anymore. I had a feeling that was it simply by listening to the boot sequence, there were some strange mechanical noises that usually mean that the HD is dead.

No panic, I went on-line with another computer (we have 4 in the house now), found out where the HD is and took it out. Luckily one of my USB units bought in Japan is a new 13" SATA HD so I could replace it, re-install all the OSX and now the Mac works like a charm again with a bigger HD! :P

Of course I have also to thank the "shotgun backup unit" (2 500gb HD for mirroring the backup I do every day) I built with the help of Matteo (my computer genius friend, I am just a wannabe in comparison), because all my sensible data were there saved and secure. I really did a great thing to build one of those, now that I have had this HW failure I realize how important they are!

So in the end all went well and now I am re-installing everything to my little friend, the good side is that I did not loose all my touch with technology, which is nice!


Lox, Lorenzo... ME!!
A little introduction about the author and the blog itself. Plus contacts and CVs... You never know!

A Selection of the best pictures that I have taken all over the world during the years, all nicely indexed by year and geographical area. Jolly good!

History of this Blog
A collection of all the articles that I have wrote so far, divided by month/year.

I have had the bad idea of writing my e-mail address on the board before, so this time I'll try to prevent some spam to get to me by putting this little image.. Let's hope it does the trick!


A reminder to Myself

Left and right
Like day and night
That's what makes the world go round
In and out
Thin and stout
That's what makes the world go round

For every up there is a down
For every square there is a round
For every high there is a low
For every to there is a fro
To and fro
Stop and go
That's what makes the world go round

You must set your sights upon the heights
Don't be a mediocrity
Don't just wait and trust to fate
And say, that's how it's meant to be
It's up to you how far you go
If you don't try you'll never know
And so my lad as I've explained
Nothing ventured, nothing gained

You see my boy it's nature's way
Upon the weak the strong ones prey
The human life it's also true
The strong will try to conquer you
That is what you must expect
Unless you use your intellect
Brains and brawn, weak and strong
That's what makes the world go round


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