Archive for June 19, 2006

Weekend of June 17

We are still recovering from our trip and played it close to home this weekend. Saturday was spent at Playa Icaria and I was under the umbrella all day. I still managed to get sunburn. The water is nice now and the waves were about a meter high which is unusual for this beach. We went to Baja bar afterwards because we thought the US was playing Italy. Marc, a furloughed United Airlines pilot was all keen to watch the game. It turns out that the game was at 9:00 and not 6:00 as we thought. Alex and I headed home and met up with them later at Bo’s. Had a great chat with Marc and Matt and headed home around midnight. The streets are still crowded at that time with families strolling about, talking in groups and just being outside.

Sunday was spent cleaning (has to be done from time to time) and studying my Spanish. I have only been doing Spanish in class and last week was getting frustrated by not advancing enough. I guess I’ve hit that point where my dissatisfaction has prompted me to put in more effort. Later in the afternoon we went to la casa de Eliza y Carles where a group of friends gathered for the Brazil vs. Australia game.

Alex dressed me up in a Brazil team shirt and tossed me into the centre of an Australian fan club. Had a great time.

That was the weekend.

One of the things I love about Barcelona are the scooters and motorcycles.

I’ve seen women in their sixties taking their helmets off beside their scooter as they get ready to go shopping. Men in business suits, teens in jeans, women is skirts, they all have their scooters to get around town. Last week, I even saw this young woman driving a Harley and I was SOOOOOOO jealous. They even have parking spots for bikes at the side of the road.

If we ever live here permanently, we’ll be a family of two bikes, a scooter and a big Harley cruiser (for country riding of course).

June 19, 2006 at 6:09 pm Leave a comment

Why Civilizations Decline

Click here for Peter Montague's interesting commentary on Jared Diamond's (Guns, Germs, and Steel) op-ed on the New York Times entitled "Collapse; How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed." In his article, Jared Diamond looks at how past civilizations have collapsed and highlights the role of damage to the environment and isolationism of the country's elites in the sudden demise of past superpowers. Interesting reading. The environmental issue worris me. I hope we don't have to completely destroy the planet before the powers that be finally decide to do something about it. How long will be we able to fool ourselves that the situation is not that bad?

June 19, 2006 at 3:20 pm Leave a comment

Brazil 2 x 0 Australia

Brazil won and friendships survived. It was tense and I spent the match trying not to scream too loudly and at times hiding under my Brazilian flag. You can see pictures on Alan's blog soon.

From Brazil one expects not only a victory but a master class. The victory came out of a nice goal by Adriano (via Ronaldinho and Ronaldo) and Fred (via Robinho) and some nice attempts by Kaká. Yet, it was bittersweet for many Brazilians and the international press that keeps criticizing Ronaldo for being out of shape and the famous "magic square" for not performing to their full potention. In Spain the main criticism is the position given to Ronaldinho in the team – a bit further back than his usual position at Barcelona – which many here find unsuitable for his talent. But as the 1982 and 1994 world cups have taught us – what matter, in the end, is not how we play but the results we get. And so far we have delivered. 

June 19, 2006 at 1:00 pm Leave a comment


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