Sonntag, Juni 28, 2009

something I like to share with all the people reading my blog. just because.

thanks to the ones reading my blog that I did not mention in my last post.

a "scusi" to Phil from practicality blog. haven't been visiting u for ages, but I did catch up now. sorry to hear about your loss.

myself, I just lost my godfather. he had a heart attack last year, got a bypass, there were complications, he was in intense care for weeks, they had to take his leg off, he got an artificial leg and went into rehab. he was pretty happy there at first, laughing at the psychologist, having a good time. then the shock set in, about not recovering as speedy as expected, about having lost the leg, about not being able to join carneval except for a lousy afternoon in a wheelchair.

then there were complications again, and he recently died of Blutvergiftung - poisoned blood, kinda.

he was always a heavy smoker, always up for a good laugh, full of energy, passionate for BMW, and carneval in Basel were the three days a year he gave loads of energy to. the rest was diving, reading, driving, drinking, enjoying life.

the thing that troubles me is not so much that he went away now. he had a good life. his wife will manage - though in grief, she manages already now. but to know that at the hospital, they messed things up... that there are different departments treating different sicknesses, and that they neither care nor are forced to interact with each other. one doctor actually said, "we were so focused on his leg, we forgot to treat him for his heart as well".

I guess it happens. it probably happens far more often than any of us would ever want to know. that we perfect one thing, but forget about the other. it's an old wisdom, that good doctors treat their patient as one person with heart and soul, with personality and biological characteristics. we also know that in today's world, this is not the case unless you pay a fortune for your own private clinic. I know that in Western Europe we are still immensely privileged to even have doctors treating you.

just wanted to share with you. not going anywhere specific, except perhaps... hmm, getting a lesson out of the story... be there for people in need, so they will be there when you need them. eg, to speak up at the bedside and protest against a god in white who just read your patient history for the first time.

Montag, Juni 22, 2009

random thoughts

... I will be buying the new MacBook Pro, 15 inch. my first mac, and I am not even really convinced that I'll be happy with it. but everybody tells me it's more than a hype, more than design, really good. let's see. I can still go back to some "wurst und brot maschine" later...

... and my laptop here is really going nuts. it keeps shutting off in the middle of anything or nothing, and sometimes I don't even manage to get it started again. time for a new one.

... work is fantastic. it was worth coming back to switzerland for it. will have news soon, but cannot post about it yet.

... I've just spent three weeks in argentina. the meat is just extraordinary. otherwise, it confirmed once again the old wisdom, Earth is a beautiful planet, no matter where you go.

... facebook is great, but the bad thing about it is, that it stretches transparency to a point that people forget about privacy and decency. some become utmost childish, and cancel u from their friends list - the low point is reached if u send a message with the finish line "have a nice life"... childish, indeed. where have the good old times gone, where u just stopped interacting with someone? or, if u really felt the need to say something, you would choose to say it to the persons face? but maybe those times never really existed. who cares :-)

... it love facebook status updates, though. I just wrote yesterday that I am thinking about the issue of PMC - private military companies -, the good and bad aspects about it. got a few reactions from friends. one white, one black, one making fun of it.

... I am glad that I can entertain myself by thinking about issues, looking at different angles, trying to argue for and against things. sometimes I don't like that I have arguments for the side I am actually not on with my heart. gotta find arguments there why to follow your heart or head in such cases...

... another interesting thing, I discovered lately that of the seven sins, there is one that does not apply to me at all. but then again, I don't even manage to list the seven sins... lust, voellerei, geiz, neid, wut (wrath), ... ehm... hochmut, faulheit.... guess which one does not apply at all.... of the others I am more or less guilty more or less often :-)

... I have this blog almost exclusively to talk to hafez and worldman, a little bit for Peter Casier and Benedikt. don't think that anybody else ever looks at it for more than a fleet second. that's okay :-)

Samstag, Juni 20, 2009

I don't seem to manage to embed this thingy... what I want to say is


check out

Montag, März 30, 2009

no reason to complain at all

job is almost as good as on paper

found the absolutely fantastic great apartement I was dreaming of (well, I did not exactly dream about apartements at any point in my life so far, and Bern would not be the place either, but still)

having a fabulous time with my parents

looking forward to visiting Argentina for almost three weeks, together with the best travel partners I know (my parents)

loads of people are happy to have me around

I just miss New York... the City... miss it so much that when I think about it, it physically hurts. so, I am very successfully not thinking about it. really: it's not the people. one can be in touch from any place with people all around the globe. it's not the culture, there are things to do here as well. it is just the vibe of this city. god, I never loved a place that way before...

otherwise, no reason to complain at all. trying not to be ungrateful, trying not to complain as there is no reason to, it's just a few minor turbulences entering the atmosphere again :-)

Dienstag, März 10, 2009

welcome back Hafez!

du solltest an die Jahrestagung der Humanitären Hilfe kommen, Freitag 28. März!

Mittwoch, Februar 25, 2009

maybe I should avoid the news

talking about the news in Switzerland, the Tagesschau, 10 vor 10, BaZ and other mediocre sources.

You spend a lot of time with biased, pre-judged and narrow-minded selection of news, strangely presented. It doesn't surprise me that Switzerland is not half as open, democratic and value-based as it claims to be. I even understand how it happens, and I find it difficult not to be sucked into the same dull but strong stream.

my problem is just, I am not happy with left or right either. I just miss individual thinking, tolerance without accepting everything. I perceive it as so swiss to teach all the time, everything has to make sense, and it is very clearly defined what goes and what not. 

I am so happy meeting all my friends here back home, and I look forward to my job, but I am a bit scared that I might re-integrate too much and become another Besserwisser...

Dienstag, Februar 17, 2009

a bit bumpy, but not too bad

the title is the description of my re-integration process back home :-)

I do feel a little home sick for new york. I only realised now how much I love new york. that is not a big surprise. I am generally rather slow on the emotions side, on realising who would make a great friend, or even realising that the guy(s) I spend time with are growing on me. I hardly ever get what I mean to others, unless they tell me straight forward - which happens at times, but not often enough :-)

that is why it is so good to have farewells... it makes you think about it, and say it, and it goes a two way road. it ends up, in my case, with feeling somewhat homesick at home. the curse and blessing of being home in several places!

I'm NOT complaining. I'm still doing fine. I am a little nervous though, I've been to the gynecologist before leaving NYC for routine check, and some tests were showing abnormal results, so I have to go again now to find out if it was just a emotional "Ausrutscher" (lol), or some minor infection to be treated, or even something potentially serious. Knowing myself, I did NOT google anything, NOT trying to find out what it could be, and buried myself in blissful ignorance.

so, integration at home is going fine enough, a little bumpy, but the real bumps I guess lie ahead. I'm gonna take them one at a time, with a little help from my friends.

Montag, Februar 09, 2009

looking forward to getting home again

time to leave :-) still not time to settle down!

New York is the one city, and I will dearly miss its diversity and possibilities. I will also miss some very good friends.

but all in all, I want to move on. and going home is a nice perspective for the next about 3 years.

"home is the place where you know you are loved" - so it is several spots on this world that live up to this description for me, but Basel/Bern is gonna be a particular strong love spot :-)

Donnerstag, Januar 22, 2009

some thoughts

I was reading an article on mass executions in Iran, and realised with a little shock that I tend to forget how reality is in other countries.

I lived there, but I forgot. I saw Kosovo from inside and from peacekeeper perspective, I lived and worked in Afghanistan, I've been to Darfur. I experienced Ghana. I saw Georgia in a troubled times with eyes wide open. I know the difficulties that people face around the world because I work on those issues. Because I keep myself informed. Because I care.

and still, life in the United States lulls you into a strange state of mind. I have to get out of here!!! with so much navel-glancing around here, even when WORKING on world affairs one tends to get lost in shopping and attractions, in brunch places and excellent food, in a thousand cultural events and books and movies and plays and operas. One starts paying attention to fashion, enjoys shopping (I turned from a rather male shopping-for-practical-purpose into shopping-is-relaxing-and-fun person - unbelievable to me, but true). I've done and explored so many things and enjoyed myself fully, from sports to meeting people to do new things such as taking helicopter lessons.

and over all this excitement, over watching Deadwood and The Wire and Mad Men and Six Feet Under and going to the gym on daily base, having a personal trainer and a personal masseur who does home visits - shit, I was just leading a fabulous life.

don't get me wrong. I love it. but, reading this article mentioned above (and it could have been any other), it just hit me. maybe the Obama cult has to do with it. as diverse and fascinating as New York is, it is too close to the United States ;-)

all the excitement here makes it so easy to forget how real life in majority of places on this planet looks like, and even if you do follow a range of media incl. Stratfor and even if you try to think for yourself and question things, you end up following the mainstream to a certain extent - another pathetic sheep running in the crowd. thinking that our economic problems with restaurants only half full during restaurant week actually are really important and rightfully top of the agenda.

thing is, it just sucks not allow yourself to take an extreme stance to things. it would be so much more easy to think black and white. it is a difficult balance, taking seriously the problems of the admittedly squeezed middle class, and not being that annoying bitch putting everything into "be glad you have a roof over your head" perspective and therefore just plainly annoy people who do face problems... real problems. but then again, some of the problems stem from their feeling to be entitled to so much - probably after having been spoilt for living in brillant conditions so long... or wanting to be spoilt because this wish is created by consumer society here... media playing with greed and egoism and envy and making people forget about what Obama calls the "old and true values".

economic troubles in the West undoubtedly will have a severe impact on developing countries and humanitarian aid - and while governments/people have not been overly generous in good times, having financial troubles sadly might not lead to more understanding followed by more sharing either. this means, yes, restaurant week with empty restaurants is a symptom of a problem that needs to be top of the agenda.

ah, the difficult balance between self-flagellation and hedonism!

Donnerstag, Januar 15, 2009

lol I guess this is most def pix of the week!

all are safe and sound. hooray to a great pilot for bringing that plane down so smoothly and cheers to the flight attendants - it happens rarely enough that they are more than mere service personnel.

Montag, Januar 12, 2009