Cucuhouse blog

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

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Almost in Zurich, almost

Given that my reasons for continuing smoking were obviously weak, and destroyed by Noelle's cost accounting skills, I'd better stop writing about this issue until I find a better excuse.

I wanted to write something original that I have been thinking about this afternoon, after reading an article about the brain differences of men and women, but I guess this post will never happen. First reason is that after watching a computer screen with small excel cells at 80% size during 12 hours I am veeery tired of computer, i don´t have enough time, and I want to finish this fast to go have a drink and maybe recuperate a bit my "normal" face expression. Second reason is that given the controversial nature of both the article and my opnions, I still have doubts about what to say there being ironic in english and not looking stupid ("a cautela, cautela y media").

OK, so today I will only show the video of the concert we went yesterday close to the river. Nice place to listen music after work and relaxing a bit. I don´t remember the name of the group, they played some reggae, folk, and rock, which change my mood after all. The stage is in the middle of the river. If the weather is good you can do the Rhine bath with live music. However, the concert was extremely short, and after 40 min everybody was leaving....It was not even dark yet!! Strange, very strange. Another possibility is that they made a pause and because of the stereotypes we were already complaining about the Swiss nightlife and left. i wanted to watch another chapter of "House" so no problem.

Good weekend to everybody. I come back next week when my body is recovered from the Street Parade and post some pics. I was thinking about not going to Zurich because of work today...Stupid idea. I hope to see another frind from London last year, and then: Saturday inferno in Zurich. Today the girls have gone to do some shopping to dress up on Saturday for the occasion. I was enthusiastic at the begginig (this is not exactly true), but now I am thinking that dresing like a "megadiscogay" is not for me. The option of thong and cowboy boots for which Ali was very enthusiastic was discarded right from the no, before the beggining! Aaron, come on, I am sure you are not going to deceive like me!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Blandiblu and more about cigarretes

I am sorry but my decision to give up smoking has to be postponed. Yesterday I realized that I have an entire box of 10 camel that I bought in the "dutyfree" in my way back from last weekend in Barcelona. I know that if your reasoning is not in good shape the following lines could look like weak reasoning or a bad excuse (of course it is not the case). One of the incentives to give up smoking that I mentioned in the last post was the economic one. If the incentive is to save some (currency) as I give up my camels, in the case I do not touch the box, I would have lost a considerable amount of money invested in cigarretes. This means that in order to make the most of the economic incentive to give up smoking, I have to smoke around 10 more packets. I am not going to sell the box (this is an ilelgal activity in Switzerland), and I am not the Santa Claus of smokers, so the option of giving it to someone is by no means considered. Besides, with the "santa" option, I would be incurring in the violation of the moral incentive as I would be inducing the lucky person to perceive smoking as a free activity and then making him/her unaware of his/her economic incentive (me estoy liando un poco). In conclusion, this represents around 200 more camels to be smoked in order to give up smoking. At an average of 10 cigarretes a day, including saturday and friday nights, this gives me 20 more days in which the economic incentive will be overcoming and hidding my moral incentive......And stop talking about smoking until then.....Thank god I bought that box!

Ok, now the main reason for today's post. Work has been increasing steadily last weeks and now we are close to the peak...hope so :( As most of you know, I am sharing the office with my friend Ali from IESE. We have recorded a short video this afternoon. Me and Ali at the office (Or I should say me and Ali's toxic substance). The contaminated office
Note: If this is my last post ever that means either Ali has killed me for posting this or I have died from "green" intoxication.

Well, as I said lot of work, so not much to say appart from "chorradas". Tomorrow I go to have some drinks with people from Paco's floor in Novartis (biologists....yeah), and then we will probably go to one of the open air concerts that "Basel center of the music in summer" offers in August. And the rest of the week I will have to dedicate more hours to work in order to compensate for the fact that I will be pretty tired on monday. This weeeknd...Zurich! Street Parade!!
2nd Note: When I write "Basel center of music..etc" it is not in ironic way (you know). As an example, Paco told me that in his first day here in Basel, when the relocation agency woman was showing him the city in their way to the appartment that all interns have for the summer, she stopped for a second in front of an old building, to tell him that 4 years ago, Simply Red was playing in Basel.....Simply Red!!!! WOW...4 years ago!!! No..that is not possible! How I didn´t know about that???!!!

On the other hand, this weekend I will think also about Chovar (the little town I go near Valencia). They will be starting the holiday week there, and for second year in a row I won´t be there enjoying the party, the town, the people, the best "patatas bravas" in the world, the paella contest after midnight, and the bulls running in the streets. In fact I think I will post next week about the bulls in the town.

Music for the green slime toxic substance: Morcheeba - Antidote

Monday, August 07, 2006

Sunday in Lucerne, my incentives, and some pirates

Sunday. I stayed at home on Friday because me and two more people planned to go to Lucerne on Saturday morning, and also because after finishing the 7th and last DVD of the 24 series, I have a new pack of DVDs to maintain myslef occupied at home when I am not reading, working or going out ("House"). Saturady morning was rainig a lot, so no daytrip to Lucerne by popular decision. I really wanted to go there for some hours so I didn´t go out on Saturday, and this morning, although was still raining I was in a train around 9am. Rationale:
1) I have started a new book and reading in the train through the swiss mountains is more interesting than reading in my appartment or inside a bar in Basel (reading under the rain is not an option for me yet).
2) Maybe in Lucerne is not raining (Veeeery naive)
3) Go for walk in a beautiful city and come back to have lunch and my sunday siesta at home.


Its not raining!! After a coffee in a bar runned by an Italian man, and full of people from Napoli talking with that nice Napolitanian accent, I start my walk in Lucerne. I go first to the most famous monument in Lucerne: The Lion Monument. When I see the monument, a kind of flashback comes to my mind and I feel good. The reason is that I travelled around Switzerland very long time ago with my family, and they always complain that despite all the trips we did together when I was a kid, I don´t remember anything. Just like travelling as another luggage bag until I was 10 or 12 years old, with the difefrence that this one complains, eats, and...Well, I think I remembered the Lion but tomorrow I will check with my mother. Maybe I had never been in Lucern before.

"The dying Lion of Lucerne" was hewn out of natural rock in memory of the Swiss mercenaries at the Tulleries in 1792. Mark twain said that this monument was "the saddest and most moving piece of rock in the world"....And I agree with him, especially with the sad part. The moving...well, I don´t know if he was ever in Firenze and Rome, but the Lion is impressive anyway. Despite the dozens of japanese taking pictures (just like me), you can´t avoid standing for a while in front of this rock thinking about...

Spreuer and Chapel bridges, both of them have paintings from the 17th century inside.
Right after I go out from the bridge the rain comes back again. No problem, the thin "gore-tex" that I bought last week at half price in the middle of the "wealth effect" after receiving my first salary here, has been the best and most useful thing I could have bought in Switzerland(together with the half dozen of different cheeses that I buy every weekend at marketplatz).

After leaving I decide to smoke a cigarrete with the view above, so that 10 or 12 Japanese families and their friends can see me in their photos when they come back to...Japan? The cigarret reminds me the stupid bet I made with Yuha in Frankfurt that I would give up smoking before starting IESE in October (the easiest and most silly way to end up a conversation about "you have to give up smoking" is just to bet with the non-smoker and hpe that he won´t remember after some months). That was after another conversation about the dangerous activity of buying meat in Barcelona beacuse of the bacteria and other microorganisms that you can find in any butcher there. are the best!!
No, seriously, just a comment about tobacco. As I spend more time alone here than in Barcelona, I can say that I have increased the number of cigarretes, but I still have the purpose of winning the bet. Here is where the incentives come (and this is related to the economics book I am reading). Of course, smoking, like peoples decisions in economics, is also based on incentives. The three types of incentives are economical, social, and moral ones.
1) From an economic oint of view, it is pretty obvious that giving up is a wise decision, but I still can afford it and probably I would spend that money in another trivial thing (The fact that in this moment I still don´t have to pay a mortgage or feed and grow a baby helps I guess).
2) From the social point of view, we smokers are not yet viewed as drogadicts and persons without future by most of the people, and I have never believed people who say that kissing a smoker is like sucking an ashtrey. I think I would have noticed that by the expresion of the girl, and pardon my lack of modesty but I still can find lots of "normal" girls who don´t mind kissing an ashtrey. Also at work or inside a plane I have no problem if I can´t smoke for long hours. Conclusion: No social point of view for me in this case. The only thing I could concede here would be that a very important person for me would tell me that she doesn´t want to stay with me if I continue smoking, but this has never point
3) Moral incentives. These are the ones which I think can save me from the addiction. For example, my health. This is a weak point now, because economics also tell us that people take a lot of decisions thinking in the long-term (eg: you are not going to spend all the money af your internship the first week after finishing because there is still one year of the MBA to go without any salary, and if you have been working in IB in London this summer you don´t have time to spend so many pounds), so it is impossible to think about the health danger of tobacco when you are 26. Final point: sports. This is the key point. I would be a better runner or swimmer without tobacco, and I would feel very proud of with myself if I can give up. So the MBA olympics is one incentive to give up, and my ego after being able to tell smokers as a non smoker that kissing a smoker is like sucking an ashtrey is another incentive to give up (and then I could go out also with women that think like Yuha in this respect).
To finish this long and boring post about tobacco: I am not so sure if my three types of incentives to give up right now are enough to overcome my addiction and the fact that I like smoking. We will see....I am not very optimistic.

After Lucerne I worked for about 2 hours and Sunday has ended with a movie this afternoon (Pirates of the Caribbean). First time in a Swiss cinema, and its like in Italy. They stop in the middle of the film!!!!for around 15 min!! This is the most anti-climax thing possible when you are watching a movie in the cinema. If you have to go to the bathroom or to buy a 2kg pop-corn bag you can do it at the beggining. By the way, in the pause I smoked a cigarrete with Ignacio.

Music for the train in a rainy day: The Notwist (Neon golden)-Pilot ......of the train