- [29th October 2006]
As most of you will know I am quite a big fan of Fiorentina, Firenze's football team. I am also an happy owner of a team on a quite popular internet game called Hattrick, nothing serious but I like it.
Sport wise the last weekend has been quite bad, I have lost at the last minute the game over the internet, Valentino Rossi lost the championship in a very bad way (MotoGP) and Fiorentina lost at the last minute too a game that deserved to win.
In the evening we went for a nice aperitif in a bar near the place where I am going to live next, and I ended up at Luca and Laura's place to watch the latest Wallace and Gromit movie.
Memories of England of course ensued, and I have to say that having lived for a long time there helped me in getting a lot of jokes and double meanings that normally a foreigner wouldn't catch...
Oh well, mixed Sunday after all, next week it's going to be quite busy by the looks of it, let's hope I can move to the new house quickly, I really need to start working on it asap...
- Slow Saturday
- [28th October 2006]
I was planning to do some work at the new house, starting to drill a couple of holes in the wall, moving some more stuff, opening some boxes.
Unfortunately I was feeling totally crap and decided to skip this bit.
I went in the afternoon with Federico to the Prato Linux Day Festival. It was a good chance to see Mandriva at work, the novelties in terms of Linux systems and some funny things all linux powered such as an electric train that was controlled by the computer...
In the evening I went to see Giancarlo, we watched some football and then off to the late show of an Italian movie called "Fascisti su Marte" (Fascists on Mars), a satire of a very famous Italian comedian.
The movie was nice, nothing mind blowing, but the idea is really good (all shot in a "30's fascist style movie") so it was a good idea to have been able to go there.
That's it really, I am really longing to move to the new house as soon as possible, on Monday morning I will meet the landlady there to discuss when she can remove all the furniture and the surplus bits that are still there. I really can't wait to start a new period over there, times are ripe...
- Alessandra Farewell Party
- [25th October 2006]
The choice of having this work related tour on the 24th and 25th was not completely randomized. Three weeks ago I have got a mail from Alessandra, one of my old company's designer, saying that she was going to have a farewell party, as she would finish at the end of October.
So I have arranged the schedule around this event, I couldn't miss it of course!
Ale is a very good friend and coming to the party would have meant seeing all the other people that I have left two months ago.
The party was held in a German restaurant, quite appropriate as she was in charge of the German market.
So in the midst of rivers of Wiessbier and other German delicacy the latest farewell in my old company took place.
Alessandra got a marvelous Furla bag, a lot of cards depicting her life in the company (she worked there for more than 10 years), lots of hugs and kisses.
So many people came that we had to be divided in two tables, this is one aspect that I will always miss of this company; we all felt like a family.
There were some embarrassing points too, like nobody wanted to sit next to the boss. Actually he had the bad idea of sitting first and basically there was a table with twenty people and another with merely ten... Moved by this situation I went in front of him, Marta was next to me, but I think that he realized what happened and he was a little disappointed...
Oh well, you get what you sawed for I guess...
Anyways, Alessandra BEST OF LUCK, BREAK A LEG!
- Back to the North
- [24/25th October 2006]
On Tuesday and Wednesday I went back to the Milan area to visit some suppliers and technically starting the job that I am allegedly paid to do (I say allegedly because no invoice has been paid yet...).
The visits were quite interesting, I managed to see a lot of people that I know, plus I went back to my late employer, this time as a client. It was great to see all the friends that I have left there!
On a positive not I half turned down a job that was offered me by one of these mills that I visited. They wanted me to work for them, but that would mean moving again in the area and I really don't want to ear anything from that side...
Shame that they are not near Florence because they were offering me a starting salary of 4,500 Euro (3000 pounds more or less) plus benefits...
If I had that offer last year I would have probably gone for it, now, I have a new adventure to fight for... I didn't close the door though, I told the owner that I am flattered about this offer (it's one of the biggest companies in Italy, a world leader in very expensive fabrics and they also have shops for final goods), and that it would have been better to see each other in July next year when things about my new job are clearer.
- [22nd October 2006]
Sunday was the day set for the main bit of the move to the new house. After gathering some friends we managed to move all the bulky packages and the furniture that I have, now it's all in the house waiting to be unpacked/rebuilt.
Fortunately I didn't have much stuff to move and in the end in a couple of hours we managed to finish it all.
I really have to thank my friends for helping me it would have been a rather long process if they weren't there.
On the negative sides there is the fact that during the move my new car got scratched. I guess it is part of the risk of using the car as a loading device for the boxes, the worse part is that it wasn't me inflicting the damage.
I really mean it, I am not so much upset about the car (that can be repaired), of course I am not happy, but the thing that is really uncomfortable is that one of my friends was the culprit and it's a really awkward position for me now because I really don't feel like asking money for the damage or anything.
They were helping me after all, and even if it was an accident I wouldn't ask for anything.
My friend was quite sorry about it, this also makes me feel very bad, and told me that he wanted to pay for the damage...
I decided to take it to a garage near here for an assessment of the damage and, as I was fearing, the scratch is quite deep and will need a re-painting of the whole bit that was injured.
Needless to say that this shitty tiny five centimeter scratch will cost dearly, but on the other side the car is only two weeks old and I really feel that I ought to repair it.
This whole happening made me think about my relationship with cars. This is the first new car that I have ever bought, the other one was used.
I didn't treat the other car all that well, I rarely cleaned it, if it got scratched or bumped I probably wouldn't have cared.
I think that the same would have happened with this new ride, if it all happened in one year time, probably.
I always considered cars for what they are, a mean of transportation, but since I spent so much money on this one I think that the prospective changed a little.
On the positive side, let's say that at least the car lost its virginity, now it's a matter of taking it to some garage and get it repainted, since I have a free check up at the dealer garage this week, I will take it there and hope that they will not ask the hideous amount that I have been asked at the other unknown place...
- Mushrooms and Cinema
- [21st October 2006]
Nothing special to report today. I woke up quite early because the guy who comes to clean my mum's house forgot the keys and started ringing the bell at 8 o'clock in the morning...
Luckily for him I get plenty of sleep during the week, so I didn't get too much upset.
In the afternoon I brought yet more boxes to the new house, the big move is on Sunday, but I thought that starting to bring stuff might be a good idea.
Then before dinner we went with Federico to Gianfranco's Wild Mushroom Show.
Gianfranco is part of this association that deals with wild mushrooms, he knows them all, and usually goes picking them when the time is right.
The show was quite interesting, of course my attention was drawn by the most poisonous ones! :)
In the evening we got some Chinese (at the "Luxurious Chinese Restaurant")and then off to see a an Italian movie called "La Sconosciuta" (The Lady Unknown), which was surprisingly great.
Then off to bed!
- Houses, Life and Work
- [20th October 2006]
The original plan was far too optimistic maybe, I wanted to get done with looking for a new house and car by the end of September.
Considering that the whole of that month I was busy traveling around Europe and the World for work, it would have been an impossible task, although I did come close to meet that target.
One month later I have finished my starting deeds, and as of today I am the lodger of a new house in Florence.
The place isn't grand but it does the job, during the weekend I am trying to muster a squad of friends to help me moving the boxes and the stuff that I have piled in my mum's house and if I am lucky I might even start living in the new place by the end of next week.
During the day I managed to bring two boxes full of stuff in the new place and my memory went to the Reading times when apart from the clothes I had barely one box full of things.
Now I have more than fifteen of them, I guess that's life and the process of growing up...
I have been waiting for this moment, there is going to be quite a lot of instability yet, due to the fact that I have to refurbish the place a little, arrange all the furniture, get the ADSL and phone line working and some other administrative points, but the main bit seems to be finished and the track looks downhill from now on.
Of course is downhill before a huge mountain which is what the job represents, I haven't really been able to put my head 100% on that yet, but I said that it would take probably a good year before things are churning away decently.
Yesterday I have had a nice chat with my cousin Matteo. He's 22 and will finish uni in a couple of years. We have been discussing about what he wants to do next, and I see myself seven years ago, when I came back from England with NO IDEA whatsoever of what I wanted to do as well.
He seems to be in the same position, it's quite hard to give advice because he has to find his own way, the fact that he's doing Economics doesn't help because there are so many things that you can do with that degree, and normally, at least in Italy, you have so little knowledge of how a company works and what there is to do...
I have asked myself if I'd like to trade places... Maybe not, I didn't like that period of my life, although I was younger and much more confident about my strengths, dreaming about careers in finance or whatever...
Now I am self employed, I have had my share of experiences (sand kicked in my face, to quote Mr. Mercury) and still I cannot put my finger on what I want to do when I grow up! :D
Oh well, step by step that'll come into view, for the time being I'll simply enjoy the fact that I don't have to look for new houses for a bit!
- Lox is Idle
- [17th October 2006]
SIP is the acronym for one of the new "technologies" that were added to Windows XP a long time ago, when it was launched.
It stands for System Idle Process, keeps the CPU from running uselessly, apparently.
Well, today my SIP has been using a lot of memory and CPU cycles, as I have been at home doing fuck all.
Not that I don't like it, it's just that the plans that I had for the week (basically signing the rent contract as soon as possible) completely went pear shaped when I got the phone call from the estate agent that the landlord wants one of my parents to sign the contract as a sponsor...
I have no tax return to show for the company at the moment (it only started last month!), so I had to produce my parents pay slips.
Not a great problem I thought, but the fact that either one of them has to be present makes things a lot more complicated, as they are busy and it's not easy to get a free moment out of their schedule.
I am also waiting to know when the landlord is going to decide to be free, but I have the distinct feeling that the house keys are not going to be in my hands before Friday, which means having to rush at the weekend to move all the bulky stuff.
My urgency for the house is due by the fact that the sole process of getting all the basic stuff (electricity, gas) takes ages and days queuing, while the REAL urgent stuff (Internet, phone) will take at least one month before it's operational.
The latter is what scares me most, as on the 26th of November I am off to Japan for three weeks and if by any chance the service is not running, it's likely that it will be attached/started when I am not there, meaning that I cannot try out anything.
Tomorrow I will go and try to register myself with some doctor in Florence, also this process is bound to get me upset, surely they will need a document that states that I was born here and there with a stick protunding out of mu arse and a tramp card in my right hand...
When I am finished with all this bureaucracy I am going to drink not less than 5 pints of Guinness.
- The Weekend
- [14th - 15th October 2006]
Marta arrived on Friday night, quite late as it was past eleven in the evening. I went to pick her up with my new car, and we went to this sort of American bar, where she could have something to eat, and we drank a couple of beers (rigorously Guinness for me).
Then it was bedtime.
On Saturday we went to IKEA for a spot of shopping there, one week ago Marta bought a sofa but wasn't able to find the cover for it, as for me I had to start looking for a bookshelf, a table for my computer, some chairs.
After the furniture business, we went to this other shopping mall to do yet more shopping, Marta had to buy a new watch and she also found a nice red dress from Zara, as for me I went looking for some ankle bandages for my football efforts, but I found none.
By the time we were back home it was quite late, but we managed to organize a great dinner with Federico and Gianfranco at the Indian restaurant close to my house, and a movie in the evening.
The movie of choice was "The Devil wears Prada", which I loved completely. It IS exactly (well more or less) the same situations that I live in my work every day, it was quite accurate in its descriptions and I loved the acting.
On Sunday nothing special to report, Marta went away around 2 ish in the afternoon, and I went to see Fiorentina winning against Empoli. Then I came back home to see that my mum managed to plug the USB adaptor of the ADLS modem, ON THE OTHER WAY ROUND, effectively destroying her machine.
I didn't wanna know how she managed to do such a thing so I left her to her woes.
In the evening a nice frozen pizza and now some computing, maybe I'll call someone to go out, maybe I'll stay at home...
I have a strange sense of uneasiness, I can't really put my finger on the cause, but I don't like it... Let's hope that the next week will bring some good news on the house front, I really need to start that part of my life too, only then I will be 100% flying solo...
Let's hope I'll be able to "fly casual"!
- Slowing Down
- [13th October 2006]
The reminder of the week has been pretty hectic for me, a lot of things to do and much running about around the city.
Today the situation is quite calm, I have spent the whole day at home sorting out work related things, unfortunately my plan of signing the contract for the new house failed miserably and it looks like we are going to have that done next week.
I am trying to plan ahead the move as much as possible, I have been calling all the utility companies to know exactly what to do once I sign the contract.
Bureaucracy is quite terrible in Italy and the last two months have been so full of it that I cannot wait the time when it will all be over...
Marta is also coming to Florence today, it has been three weeks since I have not seen her, she had to sort out her house as well so there was little chance to meet.
Things are not easy being apart, especially during a time where we are trying to start up a new house and job.
We'll see where the tides take us, we knew that we were going to face a tough time, but I am still convinced that it will be important to understand if we want to be together or not...
- She is Here!
Ok that's it, my old Peugeot has gone away, sent to the scrapyard after beign registered by its first owner in 1992 (I was the third one apparently).
The new lady is a Golf, barebone setup as this car is terribly expensive, but I see it as a sort of investment for the future (investment is not the right word to be honest...), as I hope that its value will not crumble to the ground in the years.
Now I have to get used to drive a Disel car, bigger than what I had before and more than everything more "powerful"... Oh well, we will see, for the moment I can say that I loved the ride from the car dealer to my house, it's a completely new feeling!
- Getting there
- [12th October 2006]
Today I am going to pick up the new car.
This is the very first new car that I buy so I am in the midst of a maelstrom of feelings.
I am excited of course. Finally the car has arrived.
I am scared. New things attract unwanted attention usually, plus it's a bigger car than what I am used to so I hope that I am good at driving it.
I am sad. My 106 is going to be scrapped and with her many memories of the last six years.
If this is a new car for me, the very first car has been the 106, bought used from a friend, and worthy companion during my northern days.
But as a new era has begun I think that I should look forward rather than backwards.
Luckily for me I have managed to avoid picking the car on Friday 13th (tomorrow), although I am sure that if something bad has to happen it will happen even on a more anonymous Thursday 12th.
On the house situation I am pretty much close to signing the contract, which opens a whole new world of problems (at least here in Italy)like, getting the electricity and gas to work (hours at the respective offices to get the contract with them too), TELEPHONE AND INTERNET (this is going to take at least 1 month, I am not joking).
On the latter I have decided to go with Tiscali, which you probably have in the UK too. It's an alleged 8Mbit ADSL + VoIP telephone included.
Yeah, if the ADSL stops working or the router is off line, you cannot call, but it seems a decent service and I cannot stand having to use the normal Telecom Italia line, especially because they charge you an hefty 70 Euro (since I must register as a business contract) every two months just for the pleasure of having their services.
Call it Telephone Tax, but if I go with some other operator I don't have to pay it...
Anyways things are moving finally towards the direction that I planned, hopefully by November I will be in the new house and I will be able to concentrate on the job...
- Chronicle of a Better Day
- [10th October 2006]
My pleads for a better Tuesday must have been heard by some higher diety and as a matter of fact today was a Better day compared to yesterday.
The big problem that we had with the fabric was indeed quite serious, but a good 8 hours of work on them in the finishing mill got us a good enough product to ship ahead of schedule!
Then I have got a good reply from the landlady of the prospective house that I had seen, I have to provide with more insurances (basically I have no fixed income to show as a proof at the moment) but everything should be on the closing bits.
The Adsl guy came this morning. As I imagined the problem was not with the cable or anything, was with the DSLAM in their office, basically someone fiddled with some jumpers and fucked up our connection... In a matter of seconds the ADSL is now running fine.
No more positive news but these have been sufficient to lift my mood, tomorrow I have to speak with the saleslady of the car dealer, if I can get that MP3 cable installed for free it's going to be a perfect come back from the gloominess and malaise of Monday!
- Chronicle of a Bad Day
- [9th October 2006]
As I am writing the Monday has not finished yet, but, as it might have happened to you during the course of your life, it's one of those days when you wish you were narcoleptic.
[Click here to read more...]
- I have a new Car!!
- [7th October 2006]
Finally I have bought it! A new car. The very first new car of my LIFE! It's a Volkswagen Golf 1,9 TDI, no fancy things because I couldn't afford spending more money on it, but I am happy of this choice. Let's hope it's a good car!
In the evening we went to see Pirates of the Caribbean II, I strongly advise everyone to refrain from such movie as it is a piece of shite. Even Johnny Deep is under par to his usual performances..
That's it really!
- Cars, Flat and yet more taxes
- [6th October 2006]
So that's it! I have done it. I have set my mind to the car and tomorrow I will go and buy it. At the same time the crappy estate agent finally gave me the contract proposal and my uncle approved most of it, meaning that I can go on Monday to make the official proposal.
The way things work here is that I make some requests (normally lower rent and less money to give up front in the "damage fund", a sort of insurance to the landlord that I am not going to thrash the place), then if the landlord accepts I am legally bound to accept the contract.
Failing to do that results in loosing a lot of money.
This is why I wanted to see the contract first.. Anyways, if all goes to plan I will also have a house on Monday, which is what I really needed as I must move forward with my life.
More delays woes on the textile part, but fortunately the tones have lowered a little (my Japanese boss was in total panic yesterday), while the very bad news are once more the tax side of my company.
Due to the new government I have already lost a lot of chances to claim taxes for the new automobile. This is a sheer loss of at least 3/5000 euro.
I voted these guys so I feel rather gutted!
To make things worse my uncle told me that I cannot claim part of the expenses that I will sustain for the company, once again I am quite upset about it, as you might understand.
Tomorrow I will see my uncle to check if there is a way to work around this issue, if it is not possible it will be another loss of 3000 euro per year.
Needless to say that I cannot change the contract now (by the way we are still discussing over it!!!), and I haven't managed to get paid yet meaning that I am quite dry on the financial point of view at the moment...
I hope it's just a bad spell, surely things will improve.
On a more positive note, tomorrow morning I will play football again after almost one year since my operation at the cruciate ligament. I am thrilled like the first time I stepped into a pitch when I was six years old, on the other side I am a bit worried, I hope that I will be able to finish the match and start a new career from now.
In any case I'll play goalkeeper to avoid unnecessary tackles and possible injuries, I must take things easy especially now that is the first matches...
Wish me luck!
- Japanese Cook
- [5th October 2006]
The day was enlightened by a massive number of work related problems, mostly linked to the fact that some of the suppliers are late with deliveries and we need to find a way to work around the issue.
Some of the delays are totally the supplier's fault, but some of them are actually originating from our requests that in some cases are totally crazy.
I have been trying to explain these issues to the Japanese colleagues, unfortunately I cannot concentrate 100% on the work as I still have to sort out the house, car and company related documents.
The good news is that I might have found the first two the next days are going to be important to close those deals.
The car buying technique that I have employed is a new one to me. I have decided to act totally Japanese.
I go to see the dealer, get them to do their bit of talking (I am immune to sales techniques now, I use them too!!!), I show myself totally interested in what they say, but of course prices are high maybe we need a little effort. I leave the place almost giving the impression that I am about to buy.
The second time I go to see them is to say hello, and I tell them that their competitors made a good offer on a similar car, of course they are the same brand but different in terms of optionals, I show a lot of indecisiveness and leave with a further discount/bundle thrown in the deal.
After a week I go back, this time is the good one, I almost sign the contract but hey, I am going to pay cash, so I need a couple of days to get the money transferred you see, then I start asking stupid questions like "is this car imported", "do you offer repair service" and so on.
The forth time is a phone call, where I say that we really need some more effort on their side, taxes are high, I am going to pay cash in one shot, the colour is ok but not quite what I needed... More promises of little discounts and finally the car is mine...
This technique at the moment granted me an hefty 10% discount on the retail price, which is NOT what everyone pays, but considering that their margins are around 15/20% it's not too bad...
In the evening I went with my friends to a place that Francesco has found out, called "ACCADI". There is a Japanese cook who is specialized in typical Tuscan recipes. We decided to give it a go, it sounded interesting, as a matter of fact it was good, but not a place where I would go back normally, as for that kind of food there is much offer in Florence, of course....
All in all a busy day!
- [4th October 2006]
Today I set off trying to sort out the house issue once and for all, I got a nice appointment with the estate agent and I managed to do nothing.
Basically the way it works in this country is that you have to sign a sort of pre-contract, which is legally bounding.
This means that if they agree to the rent proposal that you give them then you are forced to take the house even if you changed your mind all of a sudden.
Failure to do that results in paying money as a penalty.
So I went there and asked them to give me the copy of the contract before signing anything, but of course they didn't have it ready so basically I need to come back again collect the papers, get them checked by my uncle and then eventually commit to a written request.
Hopefully the whole thing will not take more than a couple of days, meaning that my plan of having the house sorted before the end of the week will be fulfilled.
On a secondary note, I have been proclaimed an "IDOL" by some of my new clients.
It's kind of strange, I have been knowing them since one month, but the impression that I must have made is certainly big, everyone seems to like me, which of course is doubly good, for work related reasons and ego related ones.
In Japan being an Idol (a real one) is really hard job, as there are always throngs of people following you everywhere, screaming at your passage and generally getting crazy over your presence.
Incidentally I let my mind roam a bit in a sort of night dream while going back home on the bike, I can see me in a couple of years meeting some TV hot shot, maybe through the friendships that I am making at the moment.
He likes me as well and invites me to one of the many programs that are on Japanese TV, then just with one show I become a real Idol and my life changes all together! Anyways just a dream of course!!
Yesterday we went to this fairly common restaurant, there were nine of us, the two clients are the ones with whom I went out on Friday.
Standard dinner that started with the explanation of the whole menu (sometimes it can be hard), and ended up later with five bottles of wine gone and a couple of beers too.
Normally Japanese people cannot drink TOO much, but these two clients that I have been out with during September defy completely this scheme.
It's starting to get scary, as I don't like drinking too much myself, and the next trip to Japan has already been planned and I will have at least 10 dinners out together with these new clients, colleagues, bosses and so on.
Either I am going to get fat like a cow, or I am going to need a new liver by the 16th of December...
- Looking for Gold
- [2nd October 2006]
After a Sunday spent ironing, watching football and discussing invoicing methods with my uncle, today I have set off to see some houses.
To be honest in the end I manged to see only one.
The apartment is quite nice, not huge but it might be enough for the purpose of living plus having a little office for the company, rent is decent too.
I left the house thinking that it might have come the day to leave my mother's house and really starting to get things rolling for me.
As it happens in these cases browsing one of the millions magazines with rental ads, I also found another option that might be interesting, but the guy of the agency said that he's got time only on Friday afternoon.
Normally I wouldn't care too much about it, but having lost a very good house before due to a little procrastination on my side, I am now worried that I might loose this train too.
I'll try calling the agency tomorrow to see if it is possible to schedule the appointment earlier.
Looking for houses is quite hard, especially because I am concentrating on flats that have an office contract rather than a normal residential one.
My uncle said that in that way I can save some money off the taxes.
I also have to sort out the furniture problem, I have some pieces myself and the landlady said that she can remove any of the things that I find useless, the house is furbished as a matter of fact.
Negative points are the absence of car park, and the fact the the area is not the greatest in Florence...
So far I have been thinking about finding a good location, not so much about actually having to sort it out to make a decent flat. Sometimes I wish things would come pre-packed and ready to eat, like a frozen pizza! :)
Anyways, in the afternoon I did a bit of work with my uncle, checking financial positions of our main suppliers, then I went back home after a bit of grocery shopping.
Nothing eventful, I feel that I ought to do more to get this business on line, but on the other side the total absence of a place to live and to work from is quite crippling.
On the contract side there are little news yet, this week the company that I work for said that they were going to let me know the result of the discussions about the proposal that I sent them, I still need to be paid for September and the 4000 euro that I have spent for them are quite an heavy burden on my bank account.
Let's hope that everything moves swiftly, the only thing that is certain is that I'll be in Japan again from the 26th of November till the 16th of December, by then, I must have all the presentations made, the house sorted, the car running.
- 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