Slowly, I'm starting to begin to slowly commence with preparing for my trip to Afghanistan. Slowly, my projects are wrapping up.

I'm now more than halfway with my Farsi lessons and Vahid presented me with a small exam today. I did reasonably well, but not too great.

Meanwhile, I finished up a quick redesign on North of France, the last travelogue that needed retouching. Also the very first real travelogue I ever created.

Extensions

Also, you might have noticed the Flickr 'thing', down on the right. It's something I'm experimenting with at the moment. Another way of including pictures in this blog. And possibly a more convenient method when traveling around the globe. We, as they say, shall see.
If anything, including pictures through Flickr also gives my blog more coverage through the tags Technorati supports.
If this is gibberish to you, forget it.

Police state

Meanwhile, the Dutch minister of Justice, Piet Hein Donner, is trying to change Holland into an authoritarian state. Now, police can search anyone, anytime, for whatever reason. Currently, this, luckily, only applies to Schiphol airport and, soon, other international airports in the Netherlands.

What's even worse is that, if the minister gets his way, and most likely he will, persons who MIGHT have contact with people with fundamentalist views can be blocked from having access to Schiphol airport, parliament or 'certain' people.
What's more, a person can get bugged if there's a slight notion he might be planning a (terrorist) attack.

It's been said often, and has been proven time and again. Holland, indeed, is the most American country in Europe.

Goodbye personal freedoms, hello police state. According to Wikipedia, the term authoritarianism is used to describe an organization or a state which enforces strong and sometimes oppressive measures against the population. Having to report, weekly, to the police, only when you KNOW someone who's a 'fundamentalist' easily falls under authoritarianism in my dictionary. It might even be totalitarian.
And what's one step up from that? Yes, fascism.

You might see I'm probably better off in Afghanistan. At least there won't be many fascists there.

Books?

Oh, not to forget: the interesting sage that is the (not) receiving of books from Amazon.

In the comments section of one of my recent blog updates, this morning, I found a message from an employee at the library of the Technical University Delft (my alma mater). They had received a shipment from Amazon with my name on it. Well, that is, my first name, not my last.
The library's post office box is number 92. Mine is 1082. A bit remarkable, but not impossible that a mix-up somehow resulted in 92 changing into 1082. And since I recently ordered several books from Amazon, the shipment could actually indeed be mine.

Not so. The shipment contained two books, worth some 70 USD, on Java servlets. I don't 'do' Java servlets. I was puzzled, but let it be.
Then, later in the afternoon, I talked this over with Vahid, a friend and my Farsi teacher. Turns out, he actually knows another Babak, studying at the University and working with Java servlets. He's also working at the library.
These people...

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