Array ( [total] => 10 [pageSize] => 24 [page] => 0 [results] => Array ( [5344] => Array ( [iID] => 5344 [tTitle] => Christmas on the beach [tSlug] => christmas-on-the-beach [iTime] => 1324854000 [iUpdate] => 1324854000 [tDescription] => For Christmas, we camped out under the stars on one of Sierra Leone's Turtle Islands, a hundred kilometers or so due south of Freetown, and really only reachable by canoe, a good eight hour sail from River No. 2, itself a good hour south of Freetown by car. With the nearest proper shops being in Freetown itself, we had to bring all our supplies, which primarily meant water, beer and liquor. And some food. And we had to bring in camping gear. In which we nearly succeeded, Niamh and I missing a mattress, which resulted in some sleep-challenged nights and painful backs in the morning. Fish were caught, though not speared, bottles with messages were posted, the name game was played, and good times were had by all. One bottle came back on the same day, dropped off by two young fishermen. How did they know the bottle came from us? It's customary to check in with the local chief, asking for permission to camp on his grounds, even if it's an island away. The chief will then 'donate' some useful items, in our case a table, some eggs (many of which contained young chicks), firewood and a guard, upon which we were supposed to 'donate' some money. We camped on two islands, the first night staying close to a village, where we were full blown entertainment for hours, villagers standing on the edge of our camp, or just walking in, checking out to see what we were doing, in the evening for a while even taking over our cozy little campfire. Amazingly, in the 30 to 35 degree heat, some have no problem wearing fur winter coats and snow hats. None of us ended up getting seriously burnt. A surprise, particularly as, during the long boat ride, we had to regularly jump in the water to 'swim', typically losing liberal latherings of sunscreen in the process. [iCategory] => 12 [tURL] => [iViews] => 2665 [iClicks] => 0 [iRating] => 0 [iVote] => 0 [iVoters] => 0 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 1120 [iOldID] => [tCover] => [iAccess] => 1462178126 [iHot] => 0 [tTemplateName] => default [iHideMap] => 0 [iForSale] => 0 [iImages] => 15 [iFullImage] => 0 [fLatitude] => 7.5929 [fLongitude] => -13.0114 [tLocation] => Baki [iPrimaryCategoryFeatured] => 0 [tCategory] => Blog [iCategoryFeatured] => 0 [iPrimaryCategory] => 12 [categories] => Array ( [12] => Array ( [iID] => 12 [tName] => Blog [tSlug] => blog [tDescription] => Find my upcoming travel plans over at Dopplr and a listing of major (and some minor) travelogues over on the travelogues section. [iOrder] => 1 [iActive] => 1 [tType] => article [tTemplateName] => default [iFeatured] => 0 [iPrimary] => 1 ) ) [flickrTag] => 20111226 ) [956] => Array ( [iID] => 956 [tTitle] => Barcamp and plain camp [tSlug] => barcamp-and-plain-camp [iTime] => 1261177200 [iUpdate] => 1261177200 [tDescription] => Saturday saw the first Zambian barcamp, and I attended. A barcamp is something of a loosely organized open plan technology oriented conference, typically bringing together innovative minds in an informal setting. Barcamps are a great way to bring 'geeks' together and facilitate cross pollination of ideas and solutions as well as networking. This one saw significant sponsoring from iConnect and no less than three Googlers attended. Though some 60 individuals registered, less then 30 showed up, including five or so from iConnect. The eyes were on Google to sort of lead the discussions, and the baton was easily picked up by Googler Eve, with vocal input from Googler Divon. After a bit of soul searching as to what the group as a whole would be interested to talk about, I had enough time for four of the topics before I had to rush off to attend the Christmas dress up hash, followed by Christmas carols, punch and minced pie. As could probably be expected, the topic that most attendants were interested in was Google's strategy for Africa. Divon took the floor, explaining that Google's focus is on growing internet usage and connectivity in Africa, not to directly benefit Google specifically. Apparently, 7% of the Zambian population uses the internet, almost only educated urbanites, Google's goal would be to increase that significantly. Google is making their interface available in local languages as well as improving their products for low bandwidth locations. And, indeed, I've noticed a significant increase in performance using Google Mail over the last two years or so. Interestingly, with making the Google interface available in local African languages, it turns out that for lesser used, non-literal languages, there is no real consensus on how words are written. After that, the discussion slowly rolled into talking about the role of IT in education. There's a severe skills shortage in development, that is, programming. Anyone with some expertise gets absorbed by telcos and banks. Hence, obviously, my creating, a very simple solution which fulfills a clear need but, strangely, had not been done before. On working together with universities to establish training curricula, Divon made it clear he wasn't too impressed with the public universities on the African continent: "Public universities are basically focussed on extracting donations from international companies." One of the facilities Google maintains is, which has whole courses contributed by universities. Incidentally, Apple has something similar in iTunes U. The second topic ended up being a presentation of Google Adsense by Googler Eve, followed by a talk on how to engage government in facilitating the development (programming) community in Zambia. Divon's suggestion was to, instead of talking about ICTs, to talk about applications deploying ICTs. That is, to talk about the applications and the value, rather than the technology. The last topic I managed to attend was a presentation of Googler Misha on Google apps. His presentation wasn't too bad, but his demonstration on how to create a simple Twitter-like application in minutes made me seriously consider moving to Google apps as my development platform. It would require me to learn Python though. Camp! After Misha's demo, I rushed back home to make it in time to the Christmas hash dress up party. Though there was a clear gap between dressed ups and nonos, it was a lot of fun. And Lynn, who threw the afterparty, had the cutest kitten this side of the Indian ocean. [iCategory] => 12 [tURL] => [iViews] => 3012 [iClicks] => 0 [iRating] => 0 [iVote] => 0 [iVoters] => 0 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 972 [iOldID] => 1335 [tCover] => [iAccess] => 1462023801 [iHot] => 0 [tTemplateName] => default [iHideMap] => 0 [iForSale] => 0 [iImages] => 26 [iFullImage] => 0 [fLatitude] => -15.3842 [fLongitude] => 28.3273 [tLocation] => Mulungushi village [iPrimaryCategoryFeatured] => 0 [tCategory] => Blog [iCategoryFeatured] => 0 [iPrimaryCategory] => 12 [categories] => Array ( [12] => Array ( [iID] => 12 [tName] => Blog [tSlug] => blog [tDescription] => Find my upcoming travel plans over at Dopplr and a listing of major (and some minor) travelogues over on the travelogues section. [iOrder] => 1 [iActive] => 1 [tType] => article [tTemplateName] => default [iFeatured] => 0 [iPrimary] => 1 ) ) [flickrTag] => 20091219 ) [897] => Array ( [iID] => 897 [tTitle] => Quizing, movies and more games [tSlug] => quizing-movies-and-more-games [iTime] => 1229554800 [iUpdate] => 1229554800 [tDescription] => Before going to a free showing of The Day the Earth Stood Still at Montecasino on Thursday, I did my workout at Virgin Fourways. There, I ran into personal trainer Steven who convinced me to join in the 30 minute ab attack. It's listed on the schedule with three sweat drops next to it, which indicates it's pretty tough. It was. I nearly died. Well. I felt my abs for days afterwards. Afterwards, first splurging on nuts, milk, fish and a health bar, all to get the proteins flowing again, I stumbled over to the casino where, on the main square, Kurt Darren was singing Christmas carols for charity. It was packed. Arriving at the cinema, a large Futurama display brightened up my day. Grumble I'm using MacOSaiX to create a few nice, you've guessed it, mosaics. My computer was churning away the numbers for three days when the 3G modem decided it was time to crash and reboot the system. All work lost. Who's allowing me to kill them? I'll settle for significant mutilation. It also seems that this fubar somehow ate into my data usage. And at almost 200 Rand (20 USD) per gig, that's less than funny. Meanwhile, I seem to have maxed out my credit card. Out of the three bank cards I have with me, a total of none is currently working. Risky On Saturday, it was another night of Risk. After the hash, this time close to the Kyalami race track, with a christmas theme and very spicy vodka, I drove over to Elvis to butt heads over two games. We finished just after it had started to get light. This time, though, not even half a bottle of whisky was internalized. We started a discussion on what, statistically, would be the best attack and defend strategy and, in the end, we couldn't agree. I almost wrote a small program to calculate the stats using a brute force method but, not surprisingly, this has already been done. With three attack dice against two defender dice, the attacker has a very slight advance, to my surprise. It's about 7/13 to 6/13, just above half. One more quiz Turns out, there's also a very good quiz right next door. Three blocks away, the Irish pub in Linden does a bi-weekly quiz which is very enjoyable. Not a chain, more like a local, with cheap fish and chips at 28 Rand and free snacks. We messed up the sports round but still came in 5th. Downside... no new quiz here until January 14th. Which, at least, is one week before the quiz at the Keg and Filly starts up again. [iCategory] => 12 [tURL] => [iViews] => 4576 [iClicks] => 0 [iRating] => 0 [iVote] => 6 [iVoters] => 2 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 911 [iOldID] => 1271 [tCover] => [iAccess] => 1461661479 [iHot] => 0 [tTemplateName] => default [iHideMap] => 0 [iForSale] => 0 [iImages] => 0 [iFullImage] => 0 [fLatitude] => -26.1407 [fLongitude] => 27.9941 [tLocation] => The Buxt residence [iPrimaryCategoryFeatured] => 0 [tCategory] => Blog [iCategoryFeatured] => 0 [iPrimaryCategory] => 12 [categories] => Array ( [12] => Array ( [iID] => 12 [tName] => Blog [tSlug] => blog [tDescription] => Find my upcoming travel plans over at Dopplr and a listing of major (and some minor) travelogues over on the travelogues section. [iOrder] => 1 [iActive] => 1 [tType] => article [tTemplateName] => default [iFeatured] => 0 [iPrimary] => 1 ) ) [flickrTag] => 20081218 ) [618] => Array ( [iID] => 618 [tTitle] => Christmas on the river Kwai [tSlug] => christmas-on-the-river-kwai [iTime] => 1198364400 [iUpdate] => 1198364400 [tDescription] => Originally having hopes for visiting Japan, Malaysia or Singapore, we eventually opted for staying inside Thailand's borders and are now going to see the bridge on the river Kwai, where, during the second world war, more than 100.000 prisoners of war lost their lives in building the infamous death railway, of which said bridge formed a part. The area around the town of Kanchanaburi supposedly is very popular with tourists, so we'll see if that's a blessing or a curse. We took a night train to Bangkok, this time getting one of the lower bunks in an aircon wagon, and I actually had a very decent night's sleep. The hotel in Bangkok, the Blooms, isn't too fantastic, but the sheets are clean and the bed is decent. As last weekend, Thailand is dry country this weekend. Today, Sunday, saw the elections with last weekend the absentee voters being allowed to cast their votes. Here, around elections, alcohol is officially not allowed to be sold and although the rules are not strictly obeyed, just when you'd want a beer or a nice mixer, chances are you'll have to very look for a place serving drinks. Typically, bars and restaurants catering typically for foreigners tend to be easier going. In Bangkok, we had what probably was our worst dinner experience in Thailand, yet. For days, I'd been pining for a good Italian pasta so when we headed over to soi (side street) 11 on Sukhumvit, where Felicia, a colleague of mine also staying in Bangkok, had her hotel, I was happy to find not one but two 'real' Italian restaurants. The area is a bit more upmarket, but I was willing to shell out the money for a good meal. Felicia had had dinner with Tom, yet another colleague, who had lived in Bangkok before, and he told us that 'Pizzeria Limoncello' was a very good restaurant, at least, it was two years before. Now, it was crap. The drinks were extremely overpriced, the food was a bit overpriced. The 'prosciutto' turned out to be regular ham, the rocket (salad) with dried tomatoes turned out to be very sparsely populated with dried tomatoes and, the kicker, a mandatory 10% service charge and 7% tax were added to the bill. Reading the menu again, tiny lettering near the bottom did mention tax and service charge, but not percentages. In short: don't eat at Pizzeria Limoncello in Bangkok Thailand. It's crap. Fake iPod Betsy got a fake iPod shuffle today. It looks and feels exactly like an iPod shuffle. The only difference being the lack of an actual shuffle button and the price: Four of Betsy's for one real shuffle. Fake iPod nanos, for less than a quarter of the real price but with the right logos and an interface that almost matched the real interface were on sale as well. Oh, Betsy's iPod had one song preloaded: 'Butterfly', a DDR song. [iCategory] => 12 [tURL] => [iViews] => 4443 [iClicks] => 0 [iRating] => 0 [iVote] => 0 [iVoters] => 0 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 612 [iOldID] => 990 [tCover] => [iAccess] => 1462128732 [iHot] => 0 [tTemplateName] => default [iHideMap] => 0 [iForSale] => 0 [iImages] => 4 [iFullImage] => 0 [fLatitude] => 13.7014 [fLongitude] => 100.59 [tLocation] => The Blooms [iPrimaryCategoryFeatured] => 0 [tCategory] => Blog [iCategoryFeatured] => 0 [iPrimaryCategory] => 12 [categories] => Array ( [12] => Array ( [iID] => 12 [tName] => Blog [tSlug] => blog [tDescription] => Find my upcoming travel plans over at Dopplr and a listing of major (and some minor) travelogues over on the travelogues section. [iOrder] => 1 [iActive] => 1 [tType] => article [tTemplateName] => default [iFeatured] => 0 [iPrimary] => 1 ) ) [flickrTag] => 20071223 ) [512] => Array ( [iID] => 512 [tTitle] => The best wishes for 2007 [tSlug] => the-best-wishes-for-2007 [iTime] => 1167519600 [iUpdate] => 1167519600 [tDescription] => Well, Christmas is gone, but I can still wish everyone all the best for 2007. In fact, you can also choose the new year's card that suits you best from the three below. If you click on a card, you'll be taken to Flickr, where you can see a larger version of that very image. The above image is the one I wanted to send around. But Betsy couldn't appreciate the object at the foot of the tree too much, so I had to come up with something else. Instead of a dead baby (which is actually a doll), I inserted two dead drunk idiots. But although two dead drunks are funny, I figured I was missing some deeper artistic sense. So, combining the drunks and the baby, I think I've come up with something a real artist could create some spin around, invent some deeper meaning or whatever. This one is my favorite, but if you like one of the other two better, just assume you reveived that card for new year's. What do you think? [iCategory] => 12 [tURL] => [iViews] => 9110 [iClicks] => 0 [iRating] => 0 [iVote] => 21 [iVoters] => 6 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 421 [iOldID] => 882 [tCover] => [iAccess] => 1461244482 [iHot] => 0 [tTemplateName] => default [iHideMap] => 0 [iForSale] => 0 [iImages] => 5 [iFullImage] => 0 [fLatitude] => -26.0287 [fLongitude] => 28.0151 [tLocation] => Shingara Sands [iPrimaryCategoryFeatured] => 0 [tCategory] => Blog [iCategoryFeatured] => 0 [iPrimaryCategory] => 12 [categories] => Array ( [12] => Array ( [iID] => 12 [tName] => Blog [tSlug] => blog [tDescription] => Find my upcoming travel plans over at Dopplr and a listing of major (and some minor) travelogues over on the travelogues section. [iOrder] => 1 [iActive] => 1 [tType] => article [tTemplateName] => default [iFeatured] => 0 [iPrimary] => 1 ) ) [flickrTag] => 20061231 ) [446] => Array ( [iID] => 446 [tTitle] => Christmas in July [tSlug] => christmas-in-july [iTime] => 1152914400 [iUpdate] => 1152914400 [tDescription] => Since it's winter NOW, here down under, it makes some sense to celebrate in the spirit of Christmas, does it not? So, with the lovely folks from the JHHH, that's the Jacaranda hash house harriers, if you're wondering, we celebrated Christmas in July today. We had a run, we had christmas carols, there was a christmas tree, there was father christmas, gifts, stuffed turkey, gluehwein. All the things you expect to be there with christmas. And then, still, it was en enjoyable 20 degrees during the day. [iCategory] => 12 [tURL] => [iViews] => 6153 [iClicks] => 0 [iRating] => 0 [iVote] => 15 [iVoters] => 4 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 441 [iOldID] => 814 [tCover] => [iAccess] => 1462145250 [iHot] => 0 [tTemplateName] => default [iHideMap] => 0 [iForSale] => 0 [iImages] => 0 [iFullImage] => 0 [fLatitude] => -25.7766 [fLongitude] => 28.2608 [tLocation] => American Embassy Recreation Grounds [iPrimaryCategoryFeatured] => 0 [tCategory] => Blog [iCategoryFeatured] => 0 [iPrimaryCategory] => 12 [categories] => Array ( [12] => Array ( [iID] => 12 [tName] => Blog [tSlug] => blog [tDescription] => Find my upcoming travel plans over at Dopplr and a listing of major (and some minor) travelogues over on the travelogues section. [iOrder] => 1 [iActive] => 1 [tType] => article [tTemplateName] => default [iFeatured] => 0 [iPrimary] => 1 ) ) [flickrTag] => 20060715 ) [285] => Array ( [iID] => 285 [tTitle] => African food and patented dance [tSlug] => african-food-and-patented-dance [iTime] => 1103238000 [iUpdate] => 1103238000 [tDescription] => While I was off to Amsterdam, having dinner with some of the people working on 'Eye on Development', Betsy went to the EPO, the European Patent Office, to party the night away at this year's christmas party. At my end, the plan was to have dinner with all six of us, working on the portal, but only four showed up. A bit of a bummer, considering that the two who didn't show up were also two people I've never seen. We enjoyed African food at 'Rendez Vous en Afrique'. I was quite reluctant to get in, having some experience with the African kitchen. The fact that the menu mostly had west-African dishes didn't make me feel any better. However, the food was surprisingly good. And affordable. And the Czech waitress was cute too. Heading back to Rijswijk, where Betsy was partying, I arrived just in time to experience the last 30 minutes of the festivities. Interestingly, we still stayed for some 2 hours, hanging around at the office where Betsy her friends, the ones who had invited us, worked. Needless to say, almost, Betsy woke up with a stiffling headache. [iCategory] => 12 [tURL] => [iViews] => 10794 [iClicks] => 0 [iRating] => 0 [iVote] => 0 [iVoters] => 0 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 277 [iOldID] => 474 [tCover] => [iAccess] => 1462183287 [iHot] => 0 [tTemplateName] => default [iHideMap] => 0 [iForSale] => 0 [iImages] => 0 [iFullImage] => 0 [fLatitude] => 52.3689 [fLongitude] => 4.89767 [tLocation] => Cafe restaurant 'Rendez Vous en Afrique' [iPrimaryCategoryFeatured] => 0 [tCategory] => Blog [iCategoryFeatured] => 0 [iPrimaryCategory] => 12 [categories] => Array ( [12] => Array ( [iID] => 12 [tName] => Blog [tSlug] => blog [tDescription] => Find my upcoming travel plans over at Dopplr and a listing of major (and some minor) travelogues over on the travelogues section. [iOrder] => 1 [iActive] => 1 [tType] => article [tTemplateName] => default [iFeatured] => 0 [iPrimary] => 1 ) ) [flickrTag] => 20041217 ) [2437] => Array ( [iID] => 2437 [tTitle] => Dead celebrity xmas card generator [tSlug] => dead-celebrity-xmas-card-generator [iTime] => 1101337200 [iUpdate] => 1516117889 [tDescription] => Xmas cards, xmas cards, get your own dead celebrity xmas card right here. Haven't you noticed how many famous people died this year? Doesn't it make sense to send a nice xmas card to your friends, featuring these dead celebrities, making your friends all warm and fuzzy inside? Well, now's your chance. Visit the 'Dead celebrity xmas card generator' and create your own dead celebrity xmas card. Then, give your friends that fuzzy feeling they so need around the holiday season by sending them a copy. This sub-site was discontinued in June 2006. [iCategory] => 6 [tURL] => [iViews] => 4201 [iClicks] => 219 [iRating] => 0 [iVote] => 21 [iVoters] => 6 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 5 [iOldID] => 1694 [tCover] => [iAccess] => 1461975654 [iHot] => 0 [tTemplateName] => sparse [iHideMap] => 1 [iForSale] => 0 [iImages] => 0 [iFullImage] => 2 [fLatitude] => 52.0109 [fLongitude] => 4.33628 [tLocation] => Home [iPrimaryCategoryFeatured] => 0 [tCategory] => Own stuff [iCategoryFeatured] => 0 [iPrimaryCategory] => 6 [categories] => Array ( [6] => Array ( [iID] => 6 [tName] => Own stuff [tSlug] => own-stuff [tDescription] => Erich Fromm said that "creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties" and, without giving freedom to my creativity, I'd die. [iOrder] => 2 [iActive] => 1 [tType] => article [tTemplateName] => sparse [iFeatured] => 0 [iPrimary] => 1 ) ) [flickrTag] => bf:blogitem=1694 ) [589] => Array ( [iID] => 589 [tTitle] => White Christmas [tSlug] => white-christmas [iTime] => 978217200 [iUpdate] => 978217200 [tDescription] => I spent most of Christmas at my girlfriend's. Her mom, Remke, being both a university professor and a great cook prepared the most wonderful meals for the Christmas dinners. And to top it all of, it even had started to snow on Christmas eve, making for a something of a white Christmas. On Christmas day, Vinca (my girlfriend) and I, walked around Leiden a bit, to try and get something of that 'white Christmas feeling'. The weather became worse (or better, depending how you look at it) as the week moved on. On Wednesday, the layer of snow covering the land had grown into as much as 10cm in places. To make matters worse, I had a minor accident with my car on Wednesday, just before picking up a laptop. I had to bring the car to the garage though. Lap top One of the managers of OGD Software, an, as you've probably guessed, software company, was so kind as to borrow me a laptop for my time abroad. However, the laptop wasn't working anymore. That is, if I could get it to work, I could keep it. Unfortunately, I couldn't., although a friend of mine, Nico, was so kind as to try to get it to work during my stay in Portugal. Later, after returning from Portugal, Nico confirmed the suspicion I had in relation to why the laptop wasn't working. It seemed the processor hadn't been adequately cooled and broke down because of that. If anything, I now have a non working laptop to give me comfort. Meanwhile, the tickets for Portugal had arrived. To refresh your mind, we (my girlfriend and I) were going there because we were invited by my parents. They hoped to get all the kids to go to the Algarve with them. Because we weren't sure whether Vinca would have the time to join, Vinca and I booked our tickets much later. Although we all flew on the same day, my parents were to arrive on Friday, in the evening, going back the next Friday in the morning. Vinca and I were to leave Friday morning, to return the next Friday in the evening. All in all, almost two whole days of an extra vacation, which proves that all good things come to those who wait. The trip to Monte Gordo was fairly uneventful, if not very inconvenient. We had to get out of bed at 3:30am, to be picked up by a cab at 4:10. Since the cab still hadn't showed some 15 minutes later, it was a good thing that we, accidentally, had awoken Vinca's mum. She was already trying to start her car when, finally, the cab did come. At Schiphol, I was mildly surprised that after the body shop, the chocolate shop and the toy shop, they now also had a cheese counter. Monte Gordo itself was very much what we expected of it. And we didn't expect much. The village, if you could call it that, was not much more than a large collection of gray colored concrete hotels. All menus from all restaurants where available in multiple languages. English, French, German and Dutch being just a couple of the available selection. As these things go, to a location and a vacation style such as this, older couples flock to it as flies to a fire. At some point, to have some form of entertainment, Vinca and I played a game, where the winner would be the first one to spot a second couple of our age. After some 30 minutes, we gave up. At the local tourist office, I asked if the new year was celebrated in Monte Gordo with some special kind of event. The reply was plain and simple: "We have bars, discos...". "But is anything organized, especially for the new year?" I tried to ask again. "Well", she said, "In Villa Real", a small but real town some 5km from Monte Gordo, on the border with Spain, "there will be a party in the street. If the weather is good." So, I asked whether she new anything about the weather for new year's eve. "Not so good"... Surprise Although we had rented an apartment, breakfast was included in the price. Still, the fully equipped kitchen we had to our disposal invited us to go shopping for goodies. At the local supermarket we tried, a large guy was filling up his overcoat with bottles of J&B whiskey, looking at the counter to make sure no-one saw him. Strangely enough, he didn't see me, nor Vinca, since we approached from the other direction. First, I bumped into him, later Vinca. Both on purpose. Without being disturbed, he kept on filling his jacket. When later, with much difficulty, we tried to tell the Portuguese shop-owner that this guy was stealing his liquor supply, we stopped when the thief was walking past us. The reply of the shopkeeper? "Do you want meat?" In the evening we went to the hotel my parents had booked. I asked one of the clerks what their expected time of arrival would be. "Nine o'clock. But they fly Martinair, so it could be 10, 11, who knows!" Fine. Luckily, the transfer from Faro airport did arrive at nine and we were happily united. Not a moment to soon, that is, because since Vinca had used her GSM to check the time earlier in the evening, we had arrived at the hotel an hour earlier as planned. In Portugal it's one hour earlier as in the Netherlands. Finally for some dinner. And very soon we understood the usefulness of the fully accepted Portuguese practice of ordering half a portion for dinner. If you don't open your mouth, you get a German sized portion of Spanish food at Greek prices. After dinner, Vinca and I went for a role on the beach. Putting the jaws together After an extensive walk on the beach on Saturday, walking from Monte Gordo to Vila Real, we all joined for dinner. Waiting, outside, for a table to free up, one of the patrons, who was Dutch and had eaten at the restaurant, just had to tell Nico that he should take the piglet. Something they normally never serve, but was truly delicious. Nico took the piglet. And was very satisfied with it. Although staff tried to make it clear they had only one specific piece left, Nico had to get the piglet on his plate. He only came back from his decision after he bit in a piece of jaw, concluding he had already eaten an ear and an eye. Celebrating the new year wasn't as thrilling as it could have been. Not that it was bad, it was just a little bit boring. The group simply was too divers and made it difficult to have a very good time together. Nico and Irene preferably watching some game show or cabaret on the telly, Jaap en Giso wanting to go for a (large) number of beers on the town and Vinca and I just wanting to 'go' some place together. However, some Yahtzee and Scrabble pulled us through the evening and we watched the Germans celebrate the New Year an hour early on television. [iCategory] => 12 [tURL] => [iViews] => 3835 [iClicks] => 0 [iRating] => 0 [iVote] => 0 [iVoters] => 0 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 565 [iOldID] => 961 [tCover] => [iAccess] => 1462068713 [iHot] => 0 [tTemplateName] => default [iHideMap] => 0 [iForSale] => 0 [iImages] => 14 [iFullImage] => 0 [fLatitude] => 37.1778 [fLongitude] => -7.45079 [tLocation] => beach [iPrimaryCategoryFeatured] => 0 [tCategory] => Blog [iCategoryFeatured] => 0 [iPrimaryCategory] => 12 [categories] => Array ( [12] => Array ( [iID] => 12 [tName] => Blog [tSlug] => blog [tDescription] => Find my upcoming travel plans over at Dopplr and a listing of major (and some minor) travelogues over on the travelogues section. [iOrder] => 1 [iActive] => 1 [tType] => article [tTemplateName] => default [iFeatured] => 0 [iPrimary] => 1 ) ) [flickrTag] => 20001231 ) [670] => Array ( [iID] => 670 [tTitle] => Paris with Christmas [tSlug] => paris-with-christmas [iTime] => 914626800 [iUpdate] => 914626800 [tDescription] => It's December 1998. I had started working for Procter & Gamble half a year earlier and also had moved from Rotterdam to Brussels. My then-girlfriend even moved in with me shortly after I had set up shop in the capital of Europe. To my surprise, this capital was a very pleasent surprise. A friendly and diverse nightlife, internationally oriented and French quality restaurants at affordable prices. However, our Christmas was going to be spent in Paris. With quite a bit of luck, we still found a nicely priced hostel with terrible breakfast but reasonable beds. And the weather was bad. really bad. I guess we had hoped for snow, or at least a winter 'atmosphere'. But instead, it was autumn, through and through. Then again, I guess Paris with Christmas is still worthwile. Mainly because, I guess, its always worthwile. We didn't do any of the standard tourist attractions, though. We just chilled mostly. Drank coffee in small cafes, enjoyed French and foreign food in tiny restaurants, laughed at the tourists (looking in mirrors) and visited Jim Morrisons grave, where it was forbidden to take pictures. At Versailles, we only visited the gardens since the line of people waiting to get in the palace was just tooo long. [iCategory] => 12 [tURL] => [iViews] => 2496 [iClicks] => 0 [iRating] => 0 [iVote] => 0 [iVoters] => 0 [iRedirect] => 0 [tISBN] => [iLocation] => 659 [iOldID] => 1042 [tCover] => [iAccess] => 1462126250 [iHot] => 0 [tTemplateName] => default [iHideMap] => 0 [iForSale] => 0 [iImages] => 16 [iFullImage] => 0 [fLatitude] => 48.8611 [fLongitude] => 2.39296 [tLocation] => Pere Lachaise [iPrimaryCategoryFeatured] => 0 [tCategory] => Blog [iCategoryFeatured] => 0 [iPrimaryCategory] => 12 [categories] => Array ( [12] => Array ( [iID] => 12 [tName] => Blog [tSlug] => blog [tDescription] => Find my upcoming travel plans over at Dopplr and a listing of major (and some minor) travelogues over on the travelogues section. [iOrder] => 1 [iActive] => 1 [tType] => article [tTemplateName] => default [iFeatured] => 0 [iPrimary] => 1 ) ) [flickrTag] => 19981226 ) ) ) Keyword: christmas ::