Csíkszereda Musings

My life in and around Csíkszereda, also known as Miercurea Ciuc.

Archive for the ‘the blogosphere’ Category

Brought to book

Posted by Andy Hockley on 6 December, 2006

Like a bus, you can wait years to be tagged and then loads come all at once. And so it is, that I have once again been tapped on the shoulder and become “it”. This time by Mirona at Cheezy Cheeky, to name One Book.

Now obviously I want to regale you with pages about all the fascinating books you should read, to (a) make sure you understand that I’ve read a lot of books; and (b) attempt to brainwash you into thinking like I do about important world issues, but this does not fit into the rules, which are as follows:

  1. Once nominated, name one book you’d recommend wholeheartedly and explain your choice within one paragraph.
  2. Nominate three people that you’ll introduce to your readers in one paragraph.
  3. Let these people know that they’ve been tagged.
  4. Refer back to the person who tagged you, so that readers can travel back as well.

So, here goes. I’ve plumped, after much turmoil, for a novel. “The History of the Siege of Lisbon” by Jose Saramago (I read it in the translation done fantastically by Giovanni Pontiero). Saramago is a brilliant writer and I’d recommend all his novels, but this one in particular drew me in and turned me inside out. The story is of a proofreader who changes one word in a text about the siege of Lisbon in 1147, and the ripple effect that this act has – mostly on his own life. It is a love story, it is a study of language and its power, and it is a historical analysis of Portugal. It is, in short, completely and fantastically brilliant. And you should all go out right now and beg, borrow, or steal a copy from somewhere. It starts slowly – but this ends up being part of its charm. Believe me.

So, I’ll pass this on to Romerican, who is probably too busy to read at the moment but who could maybe spare a few minutes now Christmas is nearly here; Paul, who is the Internet’s most prolific Ulsterman living in Hungary; and Catherine who writes about the Balkans, music and London (not necessarily in that order).

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Posted in books, the blogosphere | 3 Comments »

Brought to book

Posted by Andy Hockley on 6 December, 2006

Like a bus, you can wait years to be tagged and then loads come all at once. And so it is, that I have once again been tapped on the shoulder and become “it”. This time by Mirona at Cheezy Cheeky, to name One Book.

Now obviously I want to regale you with pages about all the fascinating books you should read, to (a) make sure you understand that I’ve read a lot of books; and (b) attempt to brainwash you into thinking like I do about important world issues, but this does not fit into the rules, which are as follows:

  1. Once nominated, name one book you’d recommend wholeheartedly and explain your choice within one paragraph.
  2. Nominate three people that you’ll introduce to your readers in one paragraph.
  3. Let these people know that they’ve been tagged.
  4. Refer back to the person who tagged you, so that readers can travel back as well.

So, here goes. I’ve plumped, after much turmoil, for a novel. “The History of the Siege of Lisbon” by Jose Saramago (I read it in the translation done fantastically by Giovanni Pontiero). Saramago is a brilliant writer and I’d recommend all his novels, but this one in particular drew me in and turned me inside out. The story is of a proofreader who changes one word in a text about the siege of Lisbon in 1147, and the ripple effect that this act has – mostly on his own life. It is a love story, it is a study of language and its power, and it is a historical analysis of Portugal. It is, in short, completely and fantastically brilliant. And you should all go out right now and beg, borrow, or steal a copy from somewhere. It starts slowly – but this ends up being part of its charm. Believe me.

So, I’ll pass this on to Romerican, who is probably too busy to read at the moment but who could maybe spare a few minutes now Christmas is nearly here; Paul, who is the Internet’s most prolific Ulsterman living in Hungary; and Catherine who writes about the Balkans, music and London (not necessarily in that order).

Posted in books, the blogosphere | 3 Comments »

The Mikulás

Posted by Andy Hockley on 4 December, 2006

The Mikulás is coming. I think he’s due on Wednesday. The Mikulás, in case you’re not up to date with these things, is known in English as St Nicholas, and he actually comes on St Nicholas’s day (Dec 6th) rather than on Christmas Eve. Anyway, the Mikulás comes and leaves sweets and fruit in your shoes. So, you can end up eating somewhat smelly apples after his visit.

Anyway, yesterday I was watching the news and they were doing some piece about Mos Nicolae (the Romanian name for the Mikulás), and were showing people shopping in Bucharest (Romanian media never bothers to leave Bucharest unless someone gets murdered) for toys and stuff. I asked Erika whether Mos Nicolae, unlike the Mikulás, leaves toys, and she explained that no, he leaves sweets and fruit like his Hungarian equivalent, but that these days both of these Nicholases have started leaving toys, spurred on by the advertising industry and a compliant media (she didn’t actually say all that, I just inferred it). Ours, however, still sticks to finomsagok (sweets) and gyümölcs (fruit). In fact he even sent an advanced party this weekend, in the shape of my father-in-law who left behind various exotic fruits previously unseen in our household – a pomegranate, a pineapple, a coconut and a mango. It was all very tropical and un-Decemberish.

(He – the Mikulás, not my father-in-law – also popped up in town to deliver a pair of victories for Sport Club Miercurea Ciuc over Steaua Bucharest in the ice hockey. I went on Saturday and saw an excellently exciting match – 3-0 up, we were pulled back to 3-3 before a last minute winner sent the rink, and the town, into paroxysms of ecstacy)

So, anyway, I have been tagged by Ada to provide a list of things that I hope that the Mikulás will bring us. Obviously the whole world peace, freedom for the Palestinians, health and happiness for everyone I know, ending of dictatorship everywhere it rears its head, stuff etc etc goes without saying, and anyway, I suspect they won’t fit in my (or anyone else’s) shoes. I will probably be hearing news of a very interesting job possibility on or around Dec 6th, which I hope goes my way, and that can be one thing. Aside from that, I kind of feel I have everything I want. A shortish winter maybe. I’m really a tad stumped. Seems a little bit churlish to wish for material things. So you know, health and happiness in 2007 will have to do.

Posted in ice hockey, romania, the blogosphere | Leave a Comment »

The Mikulás

Posted by Andy Hockley on 4 December, 2006

The Mikulás is coming. I think he’s due on Wednesday. The Mikulás, in case you’re not up to date with these things, is known in English as St Nicholas, and he actually comes on St Nicholas’s day (Dec 6th) rather than on Christmas Eve. Anyway, the Mikulás comes and leaves sweets and fruit in your shoes. So, you can end up eating somewhat smelly apples after his visit.

Anyway, yesterday I was watching the news and they were doing some piece about Mos Nicolae (the Romanian name for the Mikulás), and were showing people shopping in Bucharest (Romanian media never bothers to leave Bucharest unless someone gets murdered) for toys and stuff. I asked Erika whether Mos Nicolae, unlike the Mikulás, leaves toys, and she explained that no, he leaves sweets and fruit like his Hungarian equivalent, but that these days both of these Nicholases have started leaving toys, spurred on by the advertising industry and a compliant media (she didn’t actually say all that, I just inferred it). Ours, however, still sticks to finomsagok (sweets) and gyümölcs (fruit). In fact he even sent an advanced party this weekend, in the shape of my father-in-law who left behind various exotic fruits previously unseen in our household – a pomegranate, a pineapple, a coconut and a mango. It was all very tropical and un-Decemberish.

(He – the Mikulás, not my father-in-law – also popped up in town to deliver a pair of victories for Sport Club Miercurea Ciuc over Steaua Bucharest in the ice hockey. I went on Saturday and saw an excellently exciting match – 3-0 up, we were pulled back to 3-3 before a last minute winner sent the rink, and the town, into paroxysms of ecstacy)

So, anyway, I have been tagged by Ada to provide a list of things that I hope that the Mikulás will bring us. Obviously the whole world peace, freedom for the Palestinians, health and happiness for everyone I know, ending of dictatorship everywhere it rears its head, stuff etc etc goes without saying, and anyway, I suspect they won’t fit in my (or anyone else’s) shoes. I will probably be hearing news of a very interesting job possibility on or around Dec 6th, which I hope goes my way, and that can be one thing. Aside from that, I kind of feel I have everything I want. A shortish winter maybe. I’m really a tad stumped. Seems a little bit churlish to wish for material things. So you know, health and happiness in 2007 will have to do.

Posted in ice hockey, romania, the blogosphere | Leave a Comment »

Viral Blogging

Posted by Andy Hockley on 16 October, 2006

Is it just me or is the word “meme” really, really overused? And more than just overused, but used really badly? And does it represent the fastest that a word has been perverted and come to be almost meaningless? It was only invented in the mid 70s after all, and as I understand it it means something like a cultural item that gets passed down through generations (basically a cultural version of a gene). Thus the passing of a set of questions from one blog to another is in no way related to a “meme”, and I wish here and now to state my objection to that term being used to describe this practice.

Far better to use the other commonly known word for this that I have seen – “blog tag” (or though when I was a lad it was called tig rather than tag, so for the purposes of this entry I will use blog tig).

I have been aware of this blog tig game for some while through the reading of other blogs, and have pretended to look upon with mock disdain for this little game, while all the time feeling desperately sad that no one ever tigged me. That is, until now, and I have been saved from a life of ignominious tig free blogging, by Romerican. Finally I have arrived, finally I can say my blogging experience is complete.

So, without further ado, since I am now “it”, here are my answers to the questions posed:

Three things I love about Csíkszereda

The market – gorgeous fruit, delicious vegetables, intercultural interactions, friendly people, open air browsing, the place where Romania converges on the town, with stall holders from all over the country. I have heard from four different people that the rumour is it will all be closed down now that Romania will be in the EU, but I suspect (hope to hell) that they are wrong and this is just one of these ridiculous rumours that go on with EU accession (I remember when the rumour in the UK was that bananas would have to be not too curved under EU rules. And obviously that was bollocks too)

Bilingualism
– not mine, obviously, since I’m a bit crap, but everybody else’s. I think it’s cool that so many people here speak two languages fluently. I spoke to a Romanian couple who live here recently who put the (Hungarian) Minimax cartoon channel on for their young daughter because they want her to learn the language, even though they themselves don’t speak a word of it. It’s all cool.

Small town/Big fish
– I like the fact that it’s a small town, so you know everything you need to know, and everyone you need to know (that last one is important in Romania, where it’s who you know rather than what you know). But I also like the fact that the town has more importance than a town of similar size would have, thanks it to being the county town of Harghita and thus the de facto centre of the autonomy for Székelyföld movement. Plus it’s the market/hub for a large region, so the population that use the town is much greater than the actual number of people who live here. And finally the annual pilgrimage makes it very lively – at least for a weekend.

Three things I hate about Csíkszereda

The cold – I can handle the cold for the most part, even when it drops down below -30, but it’s just the sheer relentlessnees of it. Month after month after bloody month.

Nationalists – Hungarians who bang on about how terrible Romanians are and teach their kids to hate the language (and in so doing effectively hold back their own children – idiots), and Romanians who are so aggressively pissed off about living in a town in their own country in which they are not the majority that they take it out on everyone they meet, and also whine and complain to the national media (and the PRM) about how terrible it is to live here like some kind of oppressed minority. Give me a break, scummers.

Lack of things to do – what can I say, it’s the flip side of small town advantages. We also have small town disadvantages.

Three places in Csíkszereda I like to go with friends

Friends? What are they? Going out? What’s that all about? I have children.

Lobogo Panzio – not actually in the town, but a great restaurant in the mountains half way to Udvarhely. Great food, great location.

Outside on Petőfi Utca – any of the terrace cafes on a sunny day. Enjoying the weather, watching the world go by, on the street that makes Csíkszereda a good place to be.

Gambrinus Csarda – outdoor beer garden type place with large barbecue thing going on. Good place to sit and enjoy a nice large glass of cold draught Ciuc of an evening (and at 20,000 ROL for a large one, you can’t really go wrong can you?)

Three things an outsider would not understand about Csíkszereda

Language – The fact that the first language of the city is Hungarian and not Romanian – even though we’re miles and miles from Hungary.

Football – Is there any other European city in which football is so unimportant? It still baffles me, to be honest. It’s all about ice hockey, and the local football team aren’t even in Romania’s third tier (which means that they’re really really bad – there are 3 divisions in the second tier and 9 in the third.)

The main square – a vast windswept plaza stuck in the middle of the town for no reason (or at least no reason known to anybody but Ceausescu, as it was one of his architectural masterstrokes). Not attractive, not a nice place to hang out, just not, basically.


Fanciest neighborhood in Csíkszereda:
Csiksomlyo. Not really a meighbourhood, technically, but rather a village which has become an effective suburb of the town. Where all the rich people now live.

Ugliest neighborhood in Csíkszereda: Probably the Mosquito district, which was built on a swamp (hence the name). But this town is saved from real ugliness by the mountains around – however ugly the buildings are, you can always look up and be reminded of the world beyond the communist era apartment buildings.

OK that’s done. Now to pass on this blogging virus (more apt than a meme I feel) – to Paul and to David (the latter one in a probably vain attempt to get him back to his blog).

Posted in csikszereda, the blogosphere | 1 Comment »

Viral Blogging

Posted by Andy Hockley on 16 October, 2006

Is it just me or is the word “meme” really, really overused? And more than just overused, but used really badly? And does it represent the fastest that a word has been perverted and come to be almost meaningless? It was only invented in the mid 70s after all, and as I understand it it means something like a cultural item that gets passed down through generations (basically a cultural version of a gene). Thus the passing of a set of questions from one blog to another is in no way related to a “meme”, and I wish here and now to state my objection to that term being used to describe this practice.

Far better to use the other commonly known word for this that I have seen – “blog tag” (or though when I was a lad it was called tig rather than tag, so for the purposes of this entry I will use blog tig).

I have been aware of this blog tig game for some while through the reading of other blogs, and have pretended to look upon with mock disdain for this little game, while all the time feeling desperately sad that no one ever tigged me. That is, until now, and I have been saved from a life of ignominious tig free blogging, by Romerican. Finally I have arrived, finally I can say my blogging experience is complete.

So, without further ado, since I am now “it”, here are my answers to the questions posed:

Three things I love about Csíkszereda

The market – gorgeous fruit, delicious vegetables, intercultural interactions, friendly people, open air browsing, the place where Romania converges on the town, with stall holders from all over the country. I have heard from four different people that the rumour is it will all be closed down now that Romania will be in the EU, but I suspect (hope to hell) that they are wrong and this is just one of these ridiculous rumours that go on with EU accession (I remember when the rumour in the UK was that bananas would have to be not too curved under EU rules. And obviously that was bollocks too)

Bilingualism
– not mine, obviously, since I’m a bit crap, but everybody else’s. I think it’s cool that so many people here speak two languages fluently. I spoke to a Romanian couple who live here recently who put the (Hungarian) Minimax cartoon channel on for their young daughter because they want her to learn the language, even though they themselves don’t speak a word of it. It’s all cool.

Small town/Big fish
– I like the fact that it’s a small town, so you know everything you need to know, and everyone you need to know (that last one is important in Romania, where it’s who you know rather than what you know). But I also like the fact that the town has more importance than a town of similar size would have, thanks it to being the county town of Harghita and thus the de facto centre of the autonomy for Székelyföld movement. Plus it’s the market/hub for a large region, so the population that use the town is much greater than the actual number of people who live here. And finally the annual pilgrimage makes it very lively – at least for a weekend.

Three things I hate about Csíkszereda

The cold – I can handle the cold for the most part, even when it drops down below -30, but it’s just the sheer relentlessnees of it. Month after month after bloody month.

Nationalists – Hungarians who bang on about how terrible Romanians are and teach their kids to hate the language (and in so doing effectively hold back their own children – idiots), and Romanians who are so aggressively pissed off about living in a town in their own country in which they are not the majority that they take it out on everyone they meet, and also whine and complain to the national media (and the PRM) about how terrible it is to live here like some kind of oppressed minority. Give me a break, scummers.

Lack of things to do – what can I say, it’s the flip side of small town advantages. We also have small town disadvantages.

Three places in Csíkszereda I like to go with friends

Friends? What are they? Going out? What’s that all about? I have children.

Lobogo Panzio – not actually in the town, but a great restaurant in the mountains half way to Udvarhely. Great food, great location.

Outside on Petőfi Utca – any of the terrace cafes on a sunny day. Enjoying the weather, watching the world go by, on the street that makes Csíkszereda a good place to be.

Gambrinus Csarda – outdoor beer garden type place with large barbecue thing going on. Good place to sit and enjoy a nice large glass of cold draught Ciuc of an evening (and at 20,000 ROL for a large one, you can’t really go wrong can you?)

Three things an outsider would not understand about Csíkszereda

Language – The fact that the first language of the city is Hungarian and not Romanian – even though we’re miles and miles from Hungary.

Football – Is there any other European city in which football is so unimportant? It still baffles me, to be honest. It’s all about ice hockey, and the local football team aren’t even in Romania’s third tier (which means that they’re really really bad – there are 3 divisions in the second tier and 9 in the third.)

The main square – a vast windswept plaza stuck in the middle of the town for no reason (or at least no reason known to anybody but Ceausescu, as it was one of his architectural masterstrokes). Not attractive, not a nice place to hang out, just not, basically.


Fanciest neighborhood in Csíkszereda:
Csiksomlyo. Not really a meighbourhood, technically, but rather a village which has become an effective suburb of the town. Where all the rich people now live.

Ugliest neighborhood in Csíkszereda: Probably the Mosquito district, which was built on a swamp (hence the name). But this town is saved from real ugliness by the mountains around – however ugly the buildings are, you can always look up and be reminded of the world beyond the communist era apartment buildings.

OK that’s done. Now to pass on this blogging virus (more apt than a meme I feel) – to Paul and to David (the latter one in a probably vain attempt to get him back to his blog).

Posted in csikszereda, the blogosphere | Leave a Comment »

A collection of unconnected trivia

Posted by Andy Hockley on 11 August, 2006

I’ve been headhunted by the “Gimme your stuff” website who would like a Romanian representative to join their gang of people swapping culturally significant items (As has Paul in Budapest). The object is for me to offer up some item from these parts which can then be exchanged with someone else in another part of the world. However, as I thought about it, I realised I have no idea what that would be. If I went for the Hargita County/Szekely option then the things that are produced round here are Palinka (Hungarian fruit brandy), Ciuc beer, borviz (mineral water) and potatoes. I’m guessing none of these things will be easy to post, and may even be illegal, especially now that liquid is banned on planes (by the way, since people are now – since yesterday- being asked to taste baby’s milk in order to check that it’s not explosive, what happens to people with colostomy bags?). The other cultural artifact of the Szekely would be a big knife, but once again, there are questions of legality and postage which may cause issues. So, I could market myself as a representative of Romania and send polenta (or, as many menus seem to translate mamaliga, “corn mush”), or an advert for BRD with a picture of Nadia Comaneci on it or something. Any ideas? A lock of Ion Tiriac’s moustache? An old shoe which I could pretend was one of the thousands owned by Elena Ceausescu? Gigi Becali’s head on a platter (I wish that were possible without committing some crime or other)? Any ideas?

Bit of a bad week here – I brought a major cold* home with me from Barcelona, and have had to spend the week attempting not to spread it to anyone in my family since we are hoping to fly to England on Monday (terror alerts permitting) This is very difficult since obviously having been away for a week, the first thing I want to do is to spread germs around (or at least offer up a kiss or two). Then my hard drive died, with lots of important and un-backed up data on it. Thankfully, my computer expert friend Attila (yes, there are Hungarians called Attila – loads of them in fact) came to my rescue and managed to save all the vital stuff.

[*Interesting fact about colds in Romania – it is almost impossible to convince otherwise intelligent people that a cold is a virus. Colds are caught just through being cold, and there are no viruses involved. It’s baffling. Mind you I’ve just heard a stat on Euronews that 60% of Europeans believe that antibiotics are useful against colds, so it’s not just confined to here obviously]

In Milan airport on Sunday evening, I was presented with an impossible dilemma from a British perspective. I needed to go from the Schengen terminal where my plane from Barcelona arrived to the non-Schengen terminal where my plane to Bucharest departed. The problem was that I didn’t have a lot of time, and there was a passport check to pass through between the two. And at that checkpoint there was one person working, and a queue that was immense. This created a mental vortex within me, as the competing cultural imperatives of being on time and respecting queues battled for supremacy. In the end the need to catch the plane and be home with the family won out and I pushed in brazenly, while keeping my head down and not cacthing anyone’s eye. I felt shitty about it, but ultimately the fact that I was in Italy saved me, as presumably people are used to it. If I’d done the same in the UK, I would have been hung, drawn, and quartered.

Not sure when I will next post here, since we are off on our two weeks holiday to England on Monday (in fact on Monday we fly to Budapest, and thence to England on Tuesday), but I still want to craft my Hungarian/Romanian national psychology post promised some time ago. If I get to it today/tomorrow, you’ll see it, otherwise it’ll have to wait.

Posted in personal, the blogosphere | 4 Comments »

A collection of unconnected trivia

Posted by Andy Hockley on 11 August, 2006

I’ve been headhunted by the “Gimme your stuff” website who would like a Romanian representative to join their gang of people swapping culturally significant items (As has Paul in Budapest). The object is for me to offer up some item from these parts which can then be exchanged with someone else in another part of the world. However, as I thought about it, I realised I have no idea what that would be. If I went for the Hargita County/Szekely option then the things that are produced round here are Palinka (Hungarian fruit brandy), Ciuc beer, borviz (mineral water) and potatoes. I’m guessing none of these things will be easy to post, and may even be illegal, especially now that liquid is banned on planes (by the way, since people are now – since yesterday- being asked to taste baby’s milk in order to check that it’s not explosive, what happens to people with colostomy bags?). The other cultural artifact of the Szekely would be a big knife, but once again, there are questions of legality and postage which may cause issues. So, I could market myself as a representative of Romania and send polenta (or, as many menus seem to translate mamaliga, “corn mush”), or an advert for BRD with a picture of Nadia Comaneci on it or something. Any ideas? A lock of Ion Tiriac’s moustache? An old shoe which I could pretend was one of the thousands owned by Elena Ceausescu? Gigi Becali’s head on a platter (I wish that were possible without committing some crime or other)? Any ideas?

Bit of a bad week here – I brought a major cold* home with me from Barcelona, and have had to spend the week attempting not to spread it to anyone in my family since we are hoping to fly to England on Monday (terror alerts permitting) This is very difficult since obviously having been away for a week, the first thing I want to do is to spread germs around (or at least offer up a kiss or two). Then my hard drive died, with lots of important and un-backed up data on it. Thankfully, my computer expert friend Attila (yes, there are Hungarians called Attila – loads of them in fact) came to my rescue and managed to save all the vital stuff.

[*Interesting fact about colds in Romania – it is almost impossible to convince otherwise intelligent people that a cold is a virus. Colds are caught just through being cold, and there are no viruses involved. It’s baffling. Mind you I’ve just heard a stat on Euronews that 60% of Europeans believe that antibiotics are useful against colds, so it’s not just confined to here obviously]

In Milan airport on Sunday evening, I was presented with an impossible dilemma from a British perspective. I needed to go from the Schengen terminal where my plane from Barcelona arrived to the non-Schengen terminal where my plane to Bucharest departed. The problem was that I didn’t have a lot of time, and there was a passport check to pass through between the two. And at that checkpoint there was one person working, and a queue that was immense. This created a mental vortex within me, as the competing cultural imperatives of being on time and respecting queues battled for supremacy. In the end the need to catch the plane and be home with the family won out and I pushed in brazenly, while keeping my head down and not cacthing anyone’s eye. I felt shitty about it, but ultimately the fact that I was in Italy saved me, as presumably people are used to it. If I’d done the same in the UK, I would have been hung, drawn, and quartered.

Not sure when I will next post here, since we are off on our two weeks holiday to England on Monday (in fact on Monday we fly to Budapest, and thence to England on Tuesday), but I still want to craft my Hungarian/Romanian national psychology post promised some time ago. If I get to it today/tomorrow, you’ll see it, otherwise it’ll have to wait.

Posted in personal, the blogosphere | 4 Comments »

Vote for me

Posted by Andy Hockley on 15 February, 2006

I have been nominated for two (count em) awards in the 2nd Annual Blog Awards at “A Fistful of Euros” – Go to this page and vote for me (or vote for someone else if you prefer). (I’m entered in the categories “Best Expat Weblog” and “Best Southeastern European Blog”)

A Fistful of Euros (or AFOE as they tend to refer themselves) is a pretty big deal out there in the blogosphere*, so I am dead chuffed about this.

Oh, and since I’m highly unlikely to actually win, here’s my acceptance of nomination speech:

I’d like to thank all those who nominated me for these prestigious awards. I’d like to thank Erika for her tireless support and my children, step and non-step for allowing me to type things once in a while. I’d also like to thank everyone who reads this blog and has helped to make it what it is today – a rambling, incoherent, mess of half formed opinions, rumours presented as fact, thoughts on the human condition as it pertains to life in a small town in the Carpathians, and generally random observations – without anyone actually reading this thing, I may have given up long ago. So give yourselves a hearty pat on the back, and let that be a warning to you all. In addition, I’d like to thank anyone who has ever put up with me in person.

[*Frankly I have no idea whether AFOE really is a big deal in the Blogosphere, but it does seem to be a fairly heavily visited website and at some stage, all hyperlinks lead to AFOE. What I know about blogging, the blogosphere and such like things can be summed up in the fact that I have absolutely no idea what RSS is. Or why something called Moveable Type is infinitely better than Blogger. Or many other well known facts to the more savvy blogger.]

Posted in the blogosphere | 3 Comments »

Vote for me

Posted by Andy Hockley on 15 February, 2006

I have been nominated for two (count em) awards in the 2nd Annual Blog Awards at “A Fistful of Euros” – Go to this page and vote for me (or vote for someone else if you prefer). (I’m entered in the categories “Best Expat Weblog” and “Best Southeastern European Blog”)

A Fistful of Euros (or AFOE as they tend to refer themselves) is a pretty big deal out there in the blogosphere*, so I am dead chuffed about this.

Oh, and since I’m highly unlikely to actually win, here’s my acceptance of nomination speech:

I’d like to thank all those who nominated me for these prestigious awards. I’d like to thank Erika for her tireless support and my children, step and non-step for allowing me to type things once in a while. I’d also like to thank everyone who reads this blog and has helped to make it what it is today – a rambling, incoherent, mess of half formed opinions, rumours presented as fact, thoughts on the human condition as it pertains to life in a small town in the Carpathians, and generally random observations – without anyone actually reading this thing, I may have given up long ago. So give yourselves a hearty pat on the back, and let that be a warning to you all. In addition, I’d like to thank anyone who has ever put up with me in person.

[*Frankly I have no idea whether AFOE really is a big deal in the Blogosphere, but it does seem to be a fairly heavily visited website and at some stage, all hyperlinks lead to AFOE. What I know about blogging, the blogosphere and such like things can be summed up in the fact that I have absolutely no idea what RSS is. Or why something called Moveable Type is infinitely better than Blogger. Or many other well known facts to the more savvy blogger.]

Posted in the blogosphere | 3 Comments »