Lorenzo Pirisino
lox.Journal lox.Stuff
Istanbul, Constantinopolis, the Bosporus and Religion

[27th April 2006]

The day didn't started all that well.
First of all it seemed that Ayla could not come on time because she had a problem with the car and had to get it replaced, then I had the usual work related troubles with the most important client that I have in Japan.

We didn't have appointments in the daytime so I was toying the idea of asking Ayla to take me to see some parts of Istanbul, especially the Muslim part, which is full of important things to see.
This plan seemed to fail miserably, but after lunch she told me that the appointment was postponed until 6ish, so I had a couple of hours to go there.

The agency driver (a very nice man) got me on the car and took me to all those places that I wanted to see, we didn't have time to actually get INSIDE anything, but the view was so breathtaking that I will let the pictures speak for me.

Definitely have to come back here, it's too beautiful.

The thing that strikes me most is really the mix of cultures and life styles that you have here. Only a city like Istanbul could create something like that. A city that has been important for centuries, the door to Asia for Europe and the door to Europe for Asia.
This city is so NOT how I imagined, I thought I was getting to something Indian looking, or North African looking, but instead I get a mix ranging from the Suk in Fez to 5h Avenue in New York.

Food also is great, extremely fresh and with lots of colours and flavours.

Nice stuff!

Going to Turkey
[26th April 2006]

And there I was, at 6 o'clock moving towards Malpensa to catch the flight to Istanbul. First time for me in Turkey.
Flight went allright, even managed to chat with a rather nice girl on the plane, and when I arrived the new agent Ayla was there to meet me.
Together with her there was also another girl Gaya who works with her in the office, they shared the clients apparently.

Both of them are really nice people, very young (37y.o.) and lively. They started this job recently, quite an hard thing in a society lithe they have in Turkey where the "man" is king.
After a small incident with the car (took the wrong turn), we arrived at Istanbul. The traffic is really bad, a bit like Seoul in Korea, and the exterior look of the city reminded me a lot of Taipei, with very high skyscrapers but also with very small, poor houses. Mind you this is the business center of the city I am talking about.

After a stop at the hotel we went (me and Gaya) to the biggest shopping mall in Istanbul. Here Istambul changes clothes and become like New York. I was amazed.
There was a bit of an interesting point when the security checked our car, and when we had to pass tight security checks (like the one that you have in airports) at the entrance of the mall.

This reminded me that this is Islamic territory and that within Turkey two opposite cultures live together quite close to each other.
Ataturk, the former leader and founder, did a good job of putting them together, but Ayla and Gaya told me that it's not always easy to make them stay this way.

The day was almost over so we went to the office, did a bit of work, and then off to a very nice restaurant, a KEBAP restaurant, where we had a quite marvelous dinner.

After that it was bedtime, I was quite knackered from the trip and from the previous holiday...

22nd/25th April - Cinqueterre, Wine and Friends - A brief account

Cinqueterre was our choice of location for the 4 days national holidays that we had. I couldn't dream for a better venue and a better time spent with my friends from Florence!

[Click here to read more...]


[14th - 17th April 2006]

Despite Easter being an holiday, in Italy it tends to be more of a test for liver funcionality and spending capabilities!

[Click here to read more...]

I've got proofs! Computers are living beings
[19th April 2006]

Well, well... There have been quite a lot of complaints from people here at "La Maison" (technically TWO complaints, but you don't need to know that right now...) of me not updating the blog recently.

They are COMPLETELY right, and I am quite sorry about it.

There are several causes, the biggest one being the fact that I haven't got an internet connection anymore back home.
Secondly, we are now in a period full of festivities here in Italy, so I am actually travelling around the country quite a bit, taking lots of pictures and generally having a lot of things that I'd love to write about, but yet again the absence of internet connection leaves me cold and dead as I cannot upload the pictures taken.

I'll try to find a way to solve the problem, in the meantime I managed to gather the last fail proof evidences that computers are not only sentient, but they actually live their own life and happen to interact with us flesh-made people.

I have recently managed to get my computer home, it was something that I actually bought 1 month ago, but since I was in Japan and, most importantly, since it wasn't working, I only managed to carry it back home the week before Easter.
The first boot and install was pretty good, the computer is quite fast and I was pleased with the result. After 2 hours, installing drivers and programs, backing up data from the old computer, I realized that the sound system wasn't working properly, i.e. only one speaker was working.

The absence of internet connection is once again dreadful; I had to wait 1 day to look over the net what might it be. I decided to download the updated drivers from everything and re-install all the software.
Nope... No chance... The computer wouldn't work...

It was then that I thought that MAYBE there was something wrong inside, so I started to scan all the connections inside the PC until I found that one crappy jack wasn't correctly plugged in the motherboard.
Now everything is ok and working so I moved onto the older PC.

This is where the fun starts.

I plan to use the older PC as a media center in the lounge, replacing the old 13"TV (YES Thirteen!)... So I installed a new TV card, that apparently get some Terrestrial-digital TV too, and proceeded to what I thought it was very easy to install.
The old PC is CLEARLY JELAOUS of the new one, SHE knows that I am not going to play with her and use her anymore, plus SHE doesn't like Marta, and SHE didn't want to hear anything about "new hardware" or stuff like that...

At a certain point I think that I shouted in frustration "Ooooohh fuck you then! Don't work! I am going to dump you then!"...

Marvellously SHE decided to that it was time to comply, and gently reminded me that PCI 2.0 standards are not automatically compatible with old PCI 1.1. In a matter of second the old TV card was back into place (it took a while to fiddle with drivers and stuff like that), but now the two PCs are working and we have the TV that we (should I say "I") wanted.

I normally say that computers are my "girlfriends", I do spend quite a lot of time with them anyways, but honestly I am getting to believe that they hear and understand everything that happens and decide who is good or bad...
At work when my colleagues have a problem they usually call me. There are times where I simply LAY MY HANDS on the screen (thus doing nothing practical) and the computer will start working again...

Oh well, time to start writing a new thory about it, maybe I'll get famous!

Rob and Kate

[7th April 2006]

Today I managed to sneak down to Florence and meet Rob and Kate.
They were in my hometown for their honeymoon, I couldn't agree better with their choice of location of course!!

[Click here to read more...]

Rob and Kate

[7th April 2006]

Wrong Post, please go to the main page! Sorry...
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Lovely, Lovely.... Not for us..
[3rd - 5th April 2006]

And finally I was back.

This "Lovely,lovely... not for us" motto, is what usually clients tell us referring to our fabrics. Basically they can't tell you that your product is shite (remember that we are in the everlasting false fashion business here!), so the product is lovely but "not for us"... Get on with the next one...

The first day at the office was quite busy, having to file all the documents and expenses related to the trip that I had just finished. It's now a routine for me to do so, it didn't take all that long.

Then there was the brief period in which, after 3 weeks, everyone realizes that you have not been fired or being abducted by aliens, so they feel compelled to come and say "hello", "how are you", "finally you are back!", "oh my God this time was a long trip" and so on...

After that there was the usual "confession" with my boss, now that we are on speaking terms and apparently cooperating terms too, things are a lot smoother and easier when dealing with him.

"Estore ergo prudentes sicut serpentes et simplices sicut columbae." (be careful like a snake and simple like a dove).

This is my new attitude towards work related issues, until now is helping me in keeping my sanity.

The trip was quite successful so I was welcomed back in a good way, but soon after my return all the novelty of being back in the office wore out and I am stuck again with nothing much to do (as it was passed on very efficiently when I was in Japan) and a lot of time in my hands.

Only one thought "Lovely, lovely... Not for ME!"...

Unfortunately I keep getting calls from companies in the textile field from this area, it's good to be called by headhunters, but on the other side I really wish that it was from companies back in Florence altogether.
If the latin saying "Sapiens fingit fortunam sibi." (The wise man forges his fortune) is true, I am not much of a wise man at the moment, I am stuck again, but that's hardly ground breaking news (i.e. Even a blind person could see it coming)...

Fortunately I will be back in Florence this Friday, it's a good thing to be able to go back, I will pick up my new computer, I will manage to see Rob and Kate plus the usual group of friends, my family and all.
On Sunday I'll be back up north, gearing up for the Easter holidays that will be in a fortnight.

Happy Birthday Lorenzo!!!
[2nd April 2006]

Today was my birthday! Marvellous I am 31 now, getting older and not much else really...

The day was pretty calm and relaxed, no big celebrations, I actually don't like celebrations all that much, especially if they involve me.
Ok call me strange but that's the way it is...

Marta gave me some presents, got a nice breakfast based on some pastries that she bought in a very famous patisserie here in the north of Italy.

The rest of the day was quite unpredictable, as we had to go to the airport to collect our bags, as a matter of fact they TOLD us that they would deliver the lost goods, but in reality they couldn't send them before middle this week. It was a bit of a pain, but they offered us some lunch so I guess that we cannot complain.

In the evening, after listening to the matches over the radio, we invited Paola over for a quick dinner together and the cake.

All in all a good birthday, though I wish I was in Florence with my friends, but I will go down there next Friday hopefully.

AH! I am getting old!!!

Italy welcomes me back!
[31 March 2006]

I guess that I should have seen it coming, as Pizzaland (Italy) draws closer to the elections, anarchy seems to be always on the uprise.

The flight to Frankfurt was quite ok, nothing major to report, once arrived in Germany a nice guy from Lufthansa told me that I had to hurry to the gate to catch my connection to Milan.
As I struggled around the huge airport to get there, I stopped in front of a monitor to see that indeed my flight was CANCELLED!
After a moment of shock I put myself together again and went to complain about the whole issue, the nice staff gave all the people that were scheduled on that flight another ticket for a flight that was meant to leave 30minutes after the one that they cancelled.

No big deal, we moved to wards the gate to see that also this flight had problems, and we had to wait 1 hour before beginning boarding.

So we left for Milan, this time the bad news came during the flight, as the captain told us that there was an unauthorized strike in Malpensa, and basically all the ground personnel was absent.

This resulted in even more wait ON the plane, once we landed... The worst had to come though.

We were patiently waiting at the baggage counter, when, after 40 minutes, a nice voice told us that basically nobody was unloading the plane, therefore it had to go back to Frankfurt with all our baggage!!

Immediately 120 people rushed at the lost and found counter, to complain, to ask for explanations and to start the procedures to claim for a technically "lost" baggage...
I can't start to describe the hell of an Italian queue (basically NO queue at all), people shouting, pushing, screaming, someone called the police, some other guy wanted to pick a fight with another person who allegedly barged into him...
I had more than 20 hours of travel on my shoulders, and I was so tired that I just sat back to "enjoy" the show, though I was right in the thick and thin of the action.

After 2 hours I managed to walk away with my piece of paper and the promise that the bags were going to be delivered at home...

This is the first time that I have such a bad travel experience, maybe I have just been lucky, but surely I was well pissed off with those people back in the airport. I have also spent quite a lot of thoughts for the several foreigners that were there... They probably couldn't believe such a situation, in the minds of people Italy is still a proper country, not the third world state that we really are...

Oh well, you live and learn!
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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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