Cucuhouse blog

Stories from cucurulla street in Barcelona district 01 and the continuation of the killed blog "Güten tag rhine"

Friday, July 21, 2006

Night Rhine and "Que se besen los novios"

The image loading seems to start having a bit of compassion with me (a bit). Today only pictures to make the most of this chance. From lasts posts I've received more than a few comments about me turning mad here in Basel. Neither weird stories nor horoscope predictions today. I hope this will correct a bit my image of crazy person and regain some credibility as an "average" personality. The Rhine around 10PM.

This is Marketplatz, center of Basel. 1 min walk from Middlebrücke ("Middlebridge". See I´m learning!)

It seems that I am solitary man here by looking above. It is not true, in fact I can say that I am in very good hands as you can see. Julia and Cynthia, our favourite party swiss friends, and my workmate and personal German teacher and multilanguage girl Ali. Below our thursdays bar here in basel and Fernanda, Jay and Mischa, with "un servidor".

This is the button of my elevator in my way to the 3rd floor of Breischerstrasse 22. Night was finished already. And now....packing. We go to a wedding! Mi tio se casa este finde!!!!!!! Back to Barcelona for a weekend of family, eating, partying, eating, eating, eating, lots of good drinks, and enjoying a wedding! I have to go tomorrow morning to give the Bride her bunch (ramo) of flowers (yeah me!) and read her some speech. You know, I have been writing thousands of words in teh blog and i am unable of writing a short "wedding" speech. I think I won´t prepare anything and just tell her that tomorrow will be a very especial day for me and that they deserve the best after all things our family has been through this last year. Roser, Aureli: VIVAN LOS NOVIOS!!!!

The music for today, of course: Felix Mendelssohn - Wedding March.

Back next week. Have a good weekend (you too).

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Scorpio and

Hello everybody. Normal day in Basel. Work, meet Ignacio after that for our daily swim sround 8:00PM (Aaron we waited for you I swear!) then go home, some cooking and a bit of the 24 series, which in the 4th DVD is still quite interesting. Ok so far so good. Now here comes my daily nightmare. If you don´t want to loose useful time stop reading here, I´m serious.

I didn´t want to write anything today, just to load some images before going to sleep early (tomorrow we have second bar of the week in Basel), but apparently the favours I gave to the ninja-hacker yesterday didn´t work at all. Obviously I was "swindled". Not sure if this is the correct word, that is what my minidi-oxford dictionary says about being "timado". For the moment we exclude the possibility of her being deceptioned (well I think so but you never know). and me will never have a love affair like the one with the ninja (see last post). We just simply are opposites, and probably what I write everyday about them don´t make things better. The thing is that I don´t know how but I ended up connecting this with the zodiac signs (weird), and I though that probably and me are incompatible (or at least their image loading application). This lead me to try a couple of fast "googles", just to entertain myself a bit before going to bed and then I realized I lost almost 1 h of my life searching stupid things on the internet. When I mean that I have lost one hour of my life I mean that I have ABSOLUTELY lost one hour of my life. I could better have read more of the book I am in my way to finish (Guns, germs and steel-Jared Diamond) or just simply looked at some naked women pics in the net. So I decided to make the most of it and write about the zodiac signs I have been reading.

I am scorpio, or "a" scorpio (whatever), which for me means anything at all. But many times when you say that you are scorpio, usually in very stupid conversations, their expresion is like (mmm you are scorpio, mmmm, meaning something "bad" and "good" at the samne time). So I decided to search a bit to expand my scorpio knowledge. And you know what. Being a scorpio can be as good or as bad as you can. always depending on what are you looking for, and also in which web are you looking that.
The adjectives are endless, so you can choose between thousands of them inorder to find yourself identified. A short sample: Determined, forceful, emotional, intiutive, powerful, passionate, exciting, magnetic, self-critical, persistent, resolute, captivating, animalistic (??), vigorous, loving....I am the best!!!!.........jealous (ups), compulsive, obsessive, secretive, obstinate....well that´s enough, we´d better stop here with the adjectives.
Scorpios, don´t worry, you can be everything if choosing the right webpage, or send the girl with the weird expression in her face the correct link to the appropriate astrology site in order to convince her that you are "THE" sign.
Ther is plenty to choose and their disagreements are quite easy to find.,,,,, cafeastrology......and so forth.
But now the important thing. COMPATIBILITY. Then its even more confusing. says that I am ok with taurus (taurus is the average ok sign for scorpio in the netI would say) but not so ok with aries and geminis. However, in they say I am ok with piscis and cancer, but bad with aquarius and taurus (Taurus??!! that was my ok sign!!)., and in another website they tell me that I´d rather should go with cancer or virgo.
If we look a bit more into it, to give some examples (Now I´m going faster because I feel already loosing too much time here) you can see that scorpio has some of the following compatibilities with:

- Aries: The problems can be overcome. It is worth trying!
- Cancer affects that part of your chart having to do with long-range planning. You look ahead; you make adjustments. You begin to utilize your assets more intelligently (Hey man, 1st year of MBA is finished, forget me!)
- Now, listen: I am not attempting to describe some sort of utopia. Not all will be perfect with Cancer, nor with the native of any other sign (Really?)
- Leo: The relationship is not without problems (Really???)
- Virgo: Listen: this depends on the individual Virgo and the individual Scorpio (Really?????)
- Sagittarius affects that part of your solar horoscope related to money, personal possessions and income potential. (Definetely I stay with sagitarius!), in other words, a tendency here to fool yourselves. This could lead to more spending than earning (well, ehem ehem)
- Now, Libra is not perfect, nor are you. But together.......Same crap with rest of signs, nothing clear. Well, wait a minute, if I overcome the problem of fooling I think I take sagitarius anyway (cash is king!)

Conclusion: ALL signs can be compatible with me at some point.
Advice: Don´t look too much on the internet about these crappy things because otherwise you can end (as always happens while surfing bad stuff) by chance in places like "", and remember we started loking for zodiac signs. we are not going to translate that name but that explains why women look more for zodiac signs in the internet than men.

The best is the prediction of your very near future. An example. "Best of the week: confidence. Worse of the week: legs and arms" (what the hell !!!). In they say that "as the week progresses things will get increasing better for you when it comes to love and romance. Prepare to make a move on someone you feel is very special and you will end up being in a long-term relationship"....WOOOW!

Wilkipedia says that was created in August 1999 and its a Leo....which for a pure scorpio like me, I would say means NOTHING. Anyway, I still don´t understand my image loading problems. I have to go to bed now for sure. Next week normal posts with pics from the river.etc I promise.

Music for today´s really mystical horoscope post: Snoop Dogg feat. Pussycat Dolls (because I think that man doesn´t care about zodiac signs at all).

Best regards, Mit Freundlichen Grüssen, Meïlleurs Salutations.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

2nd Average day

Yesterday I had another average day here in basel and thus it was not possible for me to write in the blog. You'll see why in a sec, but first I should congratulate some of my IESE colleagues that have been writing (and entertaining) almost everyday in their blogs this year (Noelle, George, Miller, Pradeep.etc etc) Absolutely admirable. After a week I have realized that for sure I would be unable to do this for a year, even without taking into account my tendency to get bored quickly with routinary issues.

Well, here is my day: First of all I got up very early by the personalized morning alarm clock that Novartis pays to all associates, consisting of a group of people playing traditional swiss songs with strange instruments in front of your balcony for 10 min (I guess the neighbours can enjoy the human alarm clock up to a certain extent as well). Novartis takes care of its employees with original solutions for their needs.

Then it was time to go to work after watching teletubbies (Rationale: I need to watch something else during breakfast in a language that I understand, appart from CNN, and that's teletubbies. No coment on Italian TV). I ususally walk, but yesterday I was extremely tired and decided to take the tram. The big surprise was that during the previous night the center of basel acquired this appearance (see below), and obviously there were no 4x4 trams going through that street at 7:45 in the morning (there are some 4x4 Hummer trams here but only work at night).

No problem. I decided to steal a bike. Two years ago my loved yellow "Marin" was stealed in Barceloneta (our dirty beach in bcn), and yesterday I took my revenge from a swiss neighbour that is everyday playing "ragaton" (aka "dame gasolina") on his stereo at 6:AM. Easy job since here the security level of the bikes is close to zero. Road bike in order to go faster because I was already late. Very professional, fast, and clean job.

Then I managed to arrive on time at work, but I was really really tired, so I decided not to work. I decided to have a very long and pleasent siesta at my office from 8:00AM till 7:00PM. No worries, here you have freedom to work or not, depending how you feel.

I was feeling sleepy so I slept.

Then the good news. After sleeping the whole day I went home and guess what? I discovered why I'm experiencing those problems with the image-loading function in There has been a person hidden in my wardrobe the whole week, a kind of hacker that has made my blogging experience pretty painful. At the beggining I thought would be a kind of IT-indian-intruder-hacker-kidnapper, but it turned out to be a very different thing behind the black ninja dress below. I wanted to convince her that I don't deserve this kind of treatment by but she insisted in some kind of favours if I wanted to recuperate my full service at

Here the author of all my electronic nightmares.

The best of all this is that I am always ready for any kind of inconvenient, and by chance, the night before I had opened the special kid that the relocation agency gives to all associates in the company, called "luxury red satin nights", which incldes a full package to have a "good evening" with anyone. So at the end, after some hours, I managed to convince the mac-user sent by that I deserve to load images properly in my blog. And the day ended pretty well after all. (See today the image function is working!)

The relocation agency "special package".

Disclaimer: By no means any of what you have read here reflects the "real" life in Basel nor the services provided by Novartis or the relocation agency. The opinion of the author is also not reflected. The facts written here just don't reflect anything. The "satin nights package" is in my bed, but it is the only second set of sheets that I have here. The wine I drank it alone some days ago (during some days, I mean), and I haven't seen any kind of "body" hidden in my room (yet). Ahh! And I AM working here, really!

Music: Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington - Day dream (for your satin nights).

Monday, July 17, 2006

Analysis of the river experience

Ok, the first and indispensable thing anyone needs to go into the Rhine (we adopt the german terminology of the river from now on), is a bag like the one in the left. You don't have to buy it red or in this shape, I'm just showing you the most fashionable 20 L. bag model you can find nowadays in the city. And that is basically all the material we need for this activity. Well, a swimming costume can also be useful for the purpose of the activity but I think no one would tell you anyhthing if you just carry the bag.

Next is to walk (or run) towards the "enter point" you choose. I usually go three bridges from my place. This trip will go backwards because of course I won't risk the life of my camera to take pictures from the water.

While you are in the water, at some point you can grab one of the orange buoys if you want to stop for some moment because obviously, if you just don't do anything you continue going downstream. But not all the buoys are the same. The blue ones situated more in the middle of the river (where the speed is higher) are the good ones. One of the most funny things if you calculate good enough to catch it. In my first blue buoy on friday I almost entered in the club of the ones that just carry the bag...almost. Advice for the men: If you want to try the first two blue buoys, remember to tighten your swimming costume before. (La tercera boya azul es para mariquitas)

There is also a little swiss beach if you want to stop for a while while going towards the entry point. It is not exactly like Costa Brava but its the better you can find here. Here we make a pause to dismitify the "cleaniness" of this country. I don't understand how the only little piece of sand they have here to relax on sundays is full of bottles, cans and other stuff. Anyway the unltraminibeach is decent considering we are not in a country with sea coast, and you can even see some local fauna while sun-tanning. Well, if the beach is too dirty for your taste you can try another (very weird) option. There is a kind of structure that people use to take some sun. I don't understand why you have to be in a platform like that for lying under the sun but that's how it is. Maybe long time ago they decided to build the structure of what was going to be a huge building in front of the river which was never finished, and the mayor decided to promote the place as "suntanning in the heights". There are some showers in the platform also (reeeeealy cold).

After the beach we go through a kind of park with its own swimming pool for the children, and after walking through it and leaving the Roche headquarters on the left, we finally are in the "entry point". Important. Follow the indications (easy to get that even if you have my german level) of where to swim and not to swim because you don't want to find a huge ship transporting tons of stuff right in front of your nose after going under one of the bridges. No, no good for your skeleton.

Well, now its official again, it's not that I hate the truth is that hates me. So no images of the indications panel (the best pic) and myself before entering the river today with Fernanda and Helen (two friends from LBS). Yes, today I finished work, went for a run and I went for a swim with Helen around 8:30PM.

Now I'll watch another episode of 24 (kiefer Sutherland), the series to which I am officialy addicted. I guess that Ali gave to me the 7 DVDs of the whole thing in order to make me feel so sleepy in the mornings as her ;) Just one thing that I don't really like from 24, well its not that I don't like it, its just that I find stupid to see so many people working ALL the time without light, in the pure darkness. Even worse that the darkness of the CSI offices. Why it has to be so dark? what a quality of job is that, to work in the dark!!! At least I'm sure that the spanish counter-terrorist cops work with light (oh, well, we don't have any of those in Spain).

Good night. the music while writing this: Najwa - so often (because so often image loading is....)