Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Alex got us tickets to see NIN on March 10th. I only like a couple of songs. This one particularly.
EXPLICIT LYRICS. Sensitive souls, please abstain from watching.
I thought Alex was kidding when he said he bought tickets, but why not, it should be quite an experience.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
My favorite new word is 'baruso'. Soy baruso (I'm rubbish) or Esta baruso (that's rubbish) two expressions that come into use fairly frequently.
The lovely Julianna cracked me up yesterday describing her favorite spanish food was...
Juliana: Ohh what is it called... It looks like shit... huh... sorry, I mean it's in a shape of a turd.. huh... sorry, I mean it's covered in chocolate.
Indeed, churro is a deep-fried dough snack that one eats with sugar or chocolate. I know blokes laugh quite easily at poop jokes (most likely Steven Novak), but coming from a girl as sweet as Julianna, it was very unexpected.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
On the Saturday morning, we visited Schonbrunn palace which was the summer palace of the imperial family. It was good fun walking outside in the gardens of the palace with Ron. Shame that it was winter and very grey.In the afternoon we went ice skating with Beth, Alison, Dani, Manny, Martin, Kenneth and Klaus. Klaus is an excellent skater (he plays ice hockey) so he scared us a couple of times. I fell flat on my tummy once, and had nasty bruises on my knees but it is starting to clear.
After skating, Ali, Beth and I went to the hairdresser and got ready for our gala dinner. I was exhausted came dinner time, the photos show large dark circles under my eyes, not the best.
I was given a certificate of « Outstanding Achievement » in contribution to the Company in 2006. I was so very surprised and a bit moved, especially since Ron was wounding me up 5 minutes earlier, saying that I only scratch the surface of my potential in 2006 and that I had better do better in 2007. I received a gold bullion from the Philharmonic of Austria worth a 100€, I am going to keep it.
After dinner, I danced the waltz !!! In Vienna !!! With a long black dress !!! On a real ensemble of 10 musicians. It was a dream come true... You see I grew up watching the New Year's Vienna ball every single New Year's day, and I loved Strauss and I loved how the ladies moved accross the ballroom and the beautiful dresses they wore. I could hardly believe I was there. I danced with:
- Leo who was not a very patient teacher, too strict for my liking
- Mike, who was more lost than I was and kept stepping on my feet, too sloppy for my liking
- Olivier, who was a good lead and waltz very quickly until my head was dizzy
- Winfred, who was a lovely dancer and teacher, and I had the most enjoyable dance with him, and it was on the waltz of the Blue Danube, so I could not have hoped for a better experience.
Seow Ling is a lovely Penang girl, Cantonese Chinese, my mother in law explained to me once that it was easy to recognise Cantonese girls because their face is like a full moon, round, small features, pale skin. She is so petite yet has a grand personality inside that little body. Alex said she bullied her husband and I thought he was teasing her, but when Neill arrived late...
SL: Why are you so late? Choose what you want to eat.
N: Hi. I'm sorry baby. I have not looked at the menu yet.
SL: It's ok. I choose for you - taking the menu away from his hands.
That made me laugh so hard, she does bully her husband! This pair met doing due diligence in KL in the data room of a client of Alex back then, so Alex could picture the scene very well. The honkie waiters were rude but the dinner was great , we had:
They are a lovely couple and she is good fun. It is the second mix couple Malaysian/European we meet, I'll invite them over with Natascha and Grant when I come back from Malaysia.
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
On Thursday Night, Klaus giving Beth and I some bunny ears and Simon in front
On Wednesday, it was just the back together night, we had a lovely dinner and caught up with everyone from the team, I was also happy to meet other people from the different regions, such as Spain, France and Italy.
In the rude restaurant, Cristina from Spain; Dani from SA, me and the girls from the French team Estelle, Celine and Julie
On Thursday we ended up in the worst restaurant in the World. the food was blend and the waiters extremely rude, pushing us around and screaming very loud 'EXCUSE ME' if we were not paying attention, and they were bad at pouring us drinks too, but that's probably good. I found out that Klaus is going to be a daddy this March, which means his missus was just pregnant when we were in Oslo, and Fabrizio from the Italian office is getting married this May. Congratulations to them both.
On Friday, we worked harder, with discussions in the afternoon - tiring. So I was very happy to be going for the dinner and party after to re-energize myself.
Simon, Kenneth and I in the bus on the way to the restaurant.
The restaurant was absolutely lovely, it was a vineyard within the city. Apparently Vienna is the only capital city in the World that has a vineyard and Bethoveen came to rest in this very place and composed his 9th Symphony. The food was great and the company good as usual. We sang very loudly 'We are the Champions', 'Vindaloo', 'Three Lions' and The Beatles 'A Hard Day's Night'. I also danced with the president on the traditional countryside Viennese music.
The UK team, Carrina, Beth and I
After the dinner, we went to town and ended up in the most horrible night club, it was stripped girls who - obvisously were all over the men from the team, it made me feel a little uncomfortable. So I went for a walk with new French team mate Syad in charge of Emerging market in Middle East, when we came back the music was better, so I joined the girls and Simon did a strip tease for us, so we would not feel left out!As you can see, Danni and I are enjoying ourselves a bit more thanks to Simon's surprise strip!
Saturday was even more exciting but I have not got the pictures yet, so stay tuned!
Monday, January 15, 2007
Good old days relived.
Saturday, January 13, 2007
Tuesday, January 02, 2007
Nicolas is a very cute kid and good fun. He, like Jacques before him, were always intrigued by Tonton Alex, I assume because he is so aloof, it is a rare sight for these kids who attract attention. Jacques left the aloof Tonton Alex well alone and that was fine by Alex, however the little one thought differently and worked his way into Tonton Alec's heart. Ha ha! that was no typo, x is a difficult letter for a 3-year old and so it is Alec.
It all started one fine morning after Christmas.
N: "Tata, where is Tonton Alec?"
Me: "He's sleeping"
N: "But Why?" (his favorite sentence)
Me: "Because it is still early and he slept late"
N: "Are you going to wake up Tonton Alec?"
Me (Surprised): "do you want to wake up tonton Alex?"
The little one nodded, so I carried him upstairs and sat on the bed and told Nicolas to wake up his tonton. There, he felt very shy and pointed his finger at me. (his way of saying 'you do it').
So I woke up tonton Alex, and Nicolas was very shy hanging on to me like dear life and did not say a word, so I took him back downstairs and sat him next to his brother. On my way out, I heard:
N: "Jacques, Jacques, I woke up Tonton Alec!" said he very proudly.
So that became a game between the naughty little Nicolas and the distant Tonton Alex. Thereafter, the two became great friends, playing at threatening each other at the dinner table with the knife (Tonton Alex) or the decorative gold nuggets (for Nicolas). Then Nicolas would call on me and whisper in my ear that "Tonton Alec is very naughty", which led to a conversation of this kind:
N: Tonton Alec is naughty
N: He's using his knife
Me: It's dinner. He's eating. You're also naughty.
N: Points finger at tonton Alex
A: You're naughty
N: No. you're naughty
A. No. You're naughty
N: No. You are.
Every morning, Nicolas woke up his Tonton and made Tonton read a book about marine life. I have to say that Alex particularly enjoyed the fact that Nicolas is curious ("But Why?" syndrome, without abuse) and impressed the two of us with his knowledge on sharks and insects and dinosaurs, although Jacques is the expert at dinosaurs.
I also had my share of cute conversations with Nicolas and Jacques but this was well worth reporting.