Monthly Archives: March 2008

A boring squared 1st world

Some years ago I went to Syria, and when I came back, I felt that Europe is a too squared place. Too perfectly designed.

Internet here!Last Thursday I arrived to Madrid, from my 2 week trip to Costa Rica. In that country people have enough money to live, but not to choice among lots of things. So “functionality” is more important than “design”. They use, for example, iron surfaces as roofs, because mud tiles are more expensive, and (in their opinion) they are less durable. That’s the reason San José (the main city) is the ugliest city I’ve visited. Luckily, their natural environment adds an incredible amount of beauty to that lovely country.

I came back to Europe, and suddenly I saw around me a too designed world. The new Madrid’s airport building is really cold designed, soul-less. Designed to be beautiful. But with a enormous lack of functionality. I’ll not speak about the bizarre behaviour of the bathroom hardware. I’ll speak just about the benches, as an example. They are specially designed to not let people to lie down (we don’t need an airport full of people sleeping, it’s ugly, right?). They have armrests for every seated person, with precise dimensions. [I found a way to lie down however, joining to benches facing each other. It was funny to see, when I woke up, that some people copied my idea.]

Most of the time, in my ex-office, designers fought against programmers… Beauty or useful? The average point is the solution, Aristotle said. The problem is that in Europe things are over-designed, over-beautiful. Of course we need some good looking things to make us feel good. But, do we really need all this sick detail-focused over-design in our world? It seems that we lost our souls long time ago, our simplicity, our nature.

Report #6 from Costa Rica

I spent my last two days near Arenal volcano (about 2 km from it). I saw rocks falling down all the time, day and night (when it’s even more impressive, due to the red light colour). I saw more animals, specially colorful birds. Pura vida!

Today I’ll come back to Spain. I took a bus to come back to San José, and after having lunch I’ll fly, 11 hours, to arrive tomorrow to Madrid. See you!

Report #5 from Costa Rica

Today I took a bus to Monteverde (actually Santa Elena town). The weather is quite different here in the mountains than it was in the jungle+beach in Corcovado (Drake bay). Warm but peaceful. I did canopy this evening, which is moving among the trees using a rope and a pulley. It was interesting, but more an attraction than a really nature observation.

Tomorrow I’ll cross Arenal lake, to go to a lodge near Arenal volcano. I’ll spend my last 2 days in Costa Rica taking pictures of that incredible volcano… I saw it today, far away, and it was really big.

And, “finally”, I’m a bit tired of doing tourism non-stop during 2 weeks. I’m eager to come back to Europe, and enjoy some jet-lag while discovering new tomatoes in my balcony. And organize more than 400 pictures from Costa Rica.

Report #4 from Costa Rica

I took a airplane from San José to Palmar, then a car to Sierpe, and then a boat to Drake Bay (near Corcovado natural park)
… and then I arrived to the Paradise. I mean, the real paradise.

We had some heavy rain while in the boat, and the captain said “welcome to the rainforest”. When we jumped out the boat directly to the beach (no piers around), a couple of “lapas” (the local name for scarlet macaws) where flying over us. Those were some of the thousand of animals we were going to see. From thousand of colorful fishes, to a big tapir. From hermit crabs to dolphins. From hummingbirds to congo monkeys (which roar like lions). Animals everywhere!

“The most biologically intense place in the Earth”, guides say. That’s honestly true!

Of course there are some problems in the paradise: mosquitoes and other insects are really working hard to bite you. It doesn’t matter how strong is your anti-mosquitoes spray, they really succeed! I even discovered some ticks on my legs, ouch. And the guide told me about a fly that inserts a worm under your skin… scaring. Moreover the weather is hot, really sticky hot. The sun burned my back the first day, while snorkeling, as well. And finally, no electricity (well, just 2 hours per day), no mobile connection, cold water showers… but some local people had Internet satellite connection at home. I told you, a real paradise. I could live there and work as freelance web developer, hehe.

I saw animals, I rented a boat to travel on a river (with the perfect temperature for swimming), I read “the hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy”, and I enjoyed the jungle enormously.

Report #3 from Costa Rica

I came back to San José, after a quite long trip by bus. My stay in the jungle was… intense.

I took the opportunity to meet with some Go players in San José. They were so kind to invite me to have dinner, while playing some games. I was a bit stronger than them, so I tried to show them some trick moves, and different move ideas.

Today we (my host family and I) went to Irazu volcano, and later we went to a nice place in the mountains, to fish trouts. I tried to fish, but my skills are really bad on this issues. Anyway they fished some big trouts and ate them.

My agenda for next days is: Corcovado 5 days, Monteverde 1 day, Arenal volcano 2 days…

Report #2 from Costa Rica

Today we took a boat to move along the rivers and channels of Tortuguero national park. We saw a lot of different birds, monkeys, some alligators (really close to the boat… I mean 1 meter) and some undefined animals (I can hardly remember all those names). Of course, I took pictures non-stop. All the tones of green were being pictured as well.

I went walking down the beach, 45 minutes, to arrive to this curious Internet access point. Between the hotel and here, just jungle… endless jungle. But the real reason to come to use Internet is not my net-addiction… the reason is that one of my programmed trips for the next week (Easter) was canceled, so I’m looking for alternatives. I hope I’ll be able to take a small aircraft to arrive to Corcovado, the original canceled trip destination, and stay there in another “hotel”.

Meanwhile I’ll relax sleeping on an “hamaca”, listening to the bird’s singing and the hits of the ocean’s waves.

Report #1 from Costa Rica

Mr Columbus took 3 months to arrive to America. I took 11 hours, in the stomach of a giant ship.

One day later, carrying some jet-lag, I took a bus and then a boat to arrive to Tortuguero, a small town among big rivers and an endless jungle… a place without cars and traffic lights. But surprisingly, with a small house which offer Internet connection and AC… unbelievable!

Is Google better than Sex?

Trying to “blow up the Internet”, I wrote “Google” in the search box of Google… next I tried with “Sex”. I’ve got surprising results:
· Google: Results 1 – 10 of about 1,930,000,000 for Google
· Sex: Results 1 – 10 of about 638,000,000 for Sex

So, is Google at least 3 times better than Sex? 😉

The last week of winter

This is (hopefully) the last week of “my” winter. Next week I’ll be in Costa Rica, taking pictures jerkily to all those details of the green jungle. And when I’ll come back to the Mediterranean, 2 weeks later, the Sun will have done its homework.

It would be nice to live 6 months in a warm place, during winter, and the other 6 months in a cold place, during summer, wouldn’t it? Something like winter in Malta and summer in London. Any company can offer me a job with this flexibility? I’ll sign it, even for the legal-minimum salary.