joi, 29 octombrie 2009

She banks, she banks...

“ Hi O, how are you maaaaan?” Why do we think that we become friendlier if we pronounce the gender in a gayish manner each time?

“I am fine” was my reply, holding the mobile phone close enough to hear but also distant enough to ignore him. Last time we met, at a fancy restaurant, he didn’t dare to stand up to shake my hand, but waved his head to indicate his recognition about my presence. He was surrounded by few celebrities then. (Most of the “celebrities” showing off at that place on a daily basis are just tabloid puppets and they earn as much as a bus driver, limiting their glamour to the dress they are in). He didn’t know, he was feeling important… Talking loud about the article he read on Walk (?) Street Journal.

“Hey maaan, long time no see; you are OK? The bank is well?”

Nope dumpy, I was just about to call you, to save me and the bank from the boredom we suffer.

“Yes, yes; the bank is fine”. And actually I enjoyed that "long time" with “no see”.

“You know O, I wanted to call you earlier, about.. eehhmm… about…”

“About what?”

“I have this friend of mine, a very good friend, like a brother to me. A perfect gentleman, an important businessman with good contacts.”

And he wants to marry me?

“He is a very reliable person, trustworthy and a good potential as a client for you”. Yes, sure, almost all prophets have accounts with us, just he was missing. We offer sins in installments.

“And he is looking where to deposit his money?” I am mocking at him.

“No man, you know the situation these days, very difficult to find a business oriented banker, a reasonable financial specialist”. So I was worth to be found. Please wipe after licking, I prefer my seating parts dry…

“He, my friend, has a well thought business plan, already settled to start. But he needs a bank to support him”

Ahhh my friend, my maaan friend, so he needs a bank to screw? Thanks for flying with us.

Cannot bear similar conversations anymore, I want to cut it short and interrupt “How much he needs? For how long? What is the business?”

“You know, it is just EUR 300.000, for the beginning of course. He wants to pay it back immediately, in a year or so, but you better arrange it for 15 years, you know. And starting with the second year he may need an additional EUR 500.000, also for short term” Another short 15 years, the time passes like a lightning when you are a banker.

Also he gave some brief details about the “business”: it sounded like selling palm leaves to cover the rooftops of the coffee-shops' terraces, which will be built adjacent to the suspended highways, future highways…export-import, you know… Good contacts at the Ministry of…You know…

I already have my script ready for this act “What kind of collateral could he bring?”

“Yeah, that’s the issue man, he had some trouble in the recent past. His partners fooled him and he lost almost everything to a bank” Nope, the bank has recovered part of the loans granted, with the assets financed by this or another loan.

“I see, if he applies as an individual client and if he has the necessary incomes to pay the monthly installments, we may arrange something’

“I am not sure if he could apply himself as an individual. You know, he had some headache in the 90’s”

“What kind of headaches?” I feel like the cashier lady at SensiBlu, do you have a fidelity card? Algocalmin?

“Aaghh, he was helping some Swiss families to adopt kids, poor kids without families, from Romania. Everybody was better-off, kids were fine but not the police, man.”

“Did he do also drugs?” , I was just kidding.

“Just for fun, few times. They were wrong when he was caught with the load of his friends, claiming that he is a dealer, huh. You know the media here. He is clean, man.” He wasn’t kidding..

“What about his family”

“They are no use, man. They were upset when he gave the parents’ house as collateral to some gypsy. The bastard threw them out"

"His wife? Is he married?"

"Sure he is, he is a family man, but right now his wife is also not in good waters with him, after catching him with this TV moderator - a fantastic woman, you know”

“His wife?”

“No, man, the TV puss…whatever…”

“Ok, so he’s like a brother to you, so you don’t mind being guarantor and giving us some promissory notes signed by you, no?”

“C’mon, maaan. I cannot do this. Why to risk my reputation?”

You just did my friend. Probably you ruined your reputation when you were a glimpse in your father’s eye; but with me, you did now.

I said, “Give him my number and ask him to call me”, I will answer just for the first time, once, and then save the number to block it.

---- ---- ---- ----

I said already, WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS!!! This is the third trophy of our team at the Bankers’ Cup. I have my own medal, given by a player-colleague of mine, for being the loudest supporter.

marți, 27 octombrie 2009

Kinder Joy

Another day of corporate joy and solidarity; our guys won the semifinal game against RBS 4-2… The final is on Wednesday.

Few banker-beings, while sweating after a head-size ball, were also presenting their deep knowledge of alternative dictionary. All the P-words have been used with utmost efficiency and high frequency… 15 colleagues from all ranks of the organizational hierarchy were fighting shoulder to shoulder, without hesitating to remind each other about parents’ genitals after every mistake.

The game itself could summarize the real meaning of teamwork. It is not about collaborating, co-operating, synergy and sharing (at least not only), but about each member trying to give his/her best for the common good. They did…

---- ---- ---- ----

The elections are coming; hopefully a sizeable majority will go to vote, sacrificing few hours from their weekend leisure time. Otherwise “the regulators” will continue “regulating” all of us. (Isn’t it funny that Romanian slang uses “to regulate” as a substitute for “to”?)

When worldwide politicians, bureaucrats, technocrats and international media was talking about severe measures, fiscal policies and executive actions to shorten the lifespan of so called crisis, we were discussing to liberalize prostitution and dope in the parliament, on TV and at home.

---- ---- ---- ----

The crisis becomes part of our daily life, doesn’t make the news any more that often. But the urban wisdom of blaming bankers is so contagious, even the bankers started cursing themselves. This weekend the famous General Manager of the local branch of a foreign bank was mentioning the irrationality of a bank director earning EUR 10,000 per month (and he earns three times the same amount but he is the Almighty, he deserves it. How much those golf clubs cost you, Pal?)

---- ---- ---- ----

Don’t watch the movie “Surrogate”, Bruce Willis became the 12th monkey himself. Search for “Black Books” on YouTube, watch some episodes. Read “The White Tiger” by Aravind Adiga. And have a nice day!

sâmbătă, 24 octombrie 2009

Soccer or Socrates?

There are some questions with no reasonable answers, like “do you love your mother or your father more?” where the answer is either “I love them both” or “I hate them both”, depending on the aftershocks of your blooming.

It was a similar awkward situation for me when Dinamo Bucharest and Galatasaray fell into the same Euro League Group. The first duel was last Thursday in Istanbul; at the end my team has won and lost 4-1…

---- ---- ---- ----

The tickets for the game and the overnight hosting has been arranged by a multinational company, also a supplier and client for us.

The trip with Tarom has been quite comfortable, except the sandwich-alike looking chewing gums. The PA (personal assistant) of the host has arranged the transfers to/from the hotel, tickets and rooms through an agency in Istanbul. She was “well informed” by the agency that our plane will land at 17.40pm; we will reach the hotel at 18.30pm (same day?) and will have enough time for a 3 course dinner before the game (which starts at 22pm)… Hah! Darling, I should have told you that we might be landing on time at 17.40pm and we will be on the way to hotel for the next 2 hours; welcome to Istanbul, here the traffic doesn’t flow!

Of course we didn’t have time for the dinner, but to be polite, we did a food triathlon of 3 courses in 7 minutes, washed down with a cold beer (Efes Pilsen).

Ali Sami Yen is an old stadium, in the middle of the city’s financial district; to get in the stadium requires great effort and patience, which the Turks do not posses (otherwise Ottomans would have entered Vienna few hundred years ago but they couldn’t wait; Balkan girls were more interesting and my grand-grand-grand-grand father decided to withdraw. Now, I am exactly at the same place where he wanted to be then)

We have entered protocol tribunes exactly at the same time with the guests from Romania, around 150 spectators. The male “spectators” were not in the shape to watch anything but they had to be watched. During their female partners’ daylight shopping and also at the hotel lobbies, they tried to consume all available alcoholic beverages. Probably they aimed at helping the team, by terminating all spirits in the hotel, to assure Dinamo players will arrive sober.

One of the supporters was hugging an obviously unhappy policeman and shouting “Arkaddaj, arkaddajj, I love Turkey…yeaaaa” Another one was asking to a security agent “where ijj ze toiletzza? I want to pishu before zje game” The ladies were still sharing shopping feedback, showing their fake designer bags to each other.

I was trying to conversate both with few semi-drunk Romanians and another Turkish friend when someone tapped my shoulder. Returned and saw a policeman grinning to me “You? Speaking? Turkish?”

“Yes. I, speaking, Turkish…”

He asked again “How did you learn?”

It was evidently too late for me to say my origins and replied, “By reading, I am fascinated by your culture”. My Turkish friend was on the floor, laughing...

He grabbed my shoulder, turned aside and shouted to another policeman “ Hey, Hamit, this bastard speaks Turkish better than you do”. Yes, I do… No, I am not.

The game resembled a cat-rat fight, Dinamo tried to resist in vain. At the halftime, our drink-drank-drunk friends were chatting with Galatasaray supporters “Djinamo hadj few occasjions; if we would shcore, ooohooo…” . Sure mate, if my aunt had a dick, I would call her “uncle”…

But nevermind, the score is another reason to drink; together with the players…We go to Reina…

---- ---- ---- ----

“Once made equal to man, woman becomes his superior”… Socrates knew stuff…”I am the wisest man alive, for I know one thing, and that is that I know nothing”.. He really knew…"Beauty is the bait which with delight allures man to enlarge his kind"... Kinky Socrates, kinky...

marți, 20 octombrie 2009

it's over

Missus is back, decided to eat out for the evening, drove to Baneasa Shopping City.. A deserted city actually, because of the crisis..
Walking towards favorite steak house, Argentine, she asks "wanna eat some chinese?" and I answer with a backhand using the cliche "sure, there are a billion and a half of them.. whoooaahhaahaha..."
The chinese restaurant has been named She She, for the memory of lesbian Pekinese. Seated ourselves at the entrance, greeted by an agitated waiter. I don't know why he was a "waiter" as he was there to be waited for; didn't have time for the clients. He threw two menus to the table and disappeared for the next 20 minutes. It was 20 minutes of listening and looking genuinely interested, so time passed by as a... turtle...
Mr Waiter arrived back.
"Will the cooking take as much time as ordering?"

He replied, "I am alone!". Yes, I am here with missus, to listen to your personal frustrations and relationship status... Post it on Facebook, axxhole!
Reverted back to him, "sorry but that's not our fault, huh?"
"I am alone" he repeats... I am terrified, it seems that soon we will be eating some sexually harassed chicken...

Gave the order; few spring rolls with chicken, sesame meatballs and crispy duck. Another 20 minutes of being gentle and finally our food arrives. We have spring rolls with vegetables (which probably could be eaten by a hen and then convert into a chicken, so the cook just had a Benjamin Button approach), sesame balls with a smell of meat and 2 portions of veteran ducks, which should have died of malnutrition after Second World War.. Sniffed, ate, paid, left.

What kind of a business mind opens a restaurant at an expensive location with affluent client potential and at the rush hour keeps a single annoyed waiter to serve the clients? The same mind who charges 79 RON for a half grandmother duck... If you are on a diet, go to She She..

luni, 19 octombrie 2009

Phase Book

It was quite a cold day. Nothing much to do or no mood for what is to do. Staying at home and watching EdTV on HBO.
Actually we are all trying to become "Ed"s, writing blogs, posting thoughts and photos on Facebook; at least I am getting there :)

to do list for this winter:
- go to ski every weekend possible
- get 2 tattoos, one with the signature of Ataturk, one with a crying clown
- start to learn playing guitar or kanun (an oriental harp)
- take a lot of photos, mostly in b&w
- run every two days for 5 km
- watch all the good new movies (at Multiplex, pay with CardAvantaj)

---- ---- ---- ----

Flashbacks continue; The first car that marked my present

Year 1993, Ankara. I am one the few guys without a car in the faculty, hindering my chances to increase my chick-index (The chick-index is a statistical the trend of the correlation between the personal choice of females and the approximity of the encounters with those of the choice. Keeping the data of your first score as =100. Alcohol and age are main rate diminishing factors, while a table in a nightclub or fancy car are supportive elements)

I had to get a car, a vehicle with 4 wheels, functional and drivable. A friend's father used to have a junkyard and was participating to all kinds of auctions to buy junk metals and ironically, there was an upcoming auction, organized for the embassies of several countries where the diplomatic metal garbage was dumped. Romanian Embassy was going to sell a Dacia Coupe. When I heard "coupe" I was already feeling a sports car, almost tuned to perfection. Didn't have Google to check it out.

I asked the dad of the dude to join and bid for me, with starting price 200 US dollars. Probably my curse helped and for 300 bucks I had a yellow painted East European wonder in front of the faculty's dorms. "The coupe" was an upside down pressed Renault 12 TL, with slightly more engine sound and stunt-wise exhaust fume. The car had a perfectly functioning radio, but the rest seemed more of a wheeled penetrator. It was trembling so strong, I was keeping the steering wheel in order not to fall down the seat or to jump out of the car.

But, it had a character, it didn't like to be managed. It was the only car moving diagonally straight ahead. With the dirty yellow color, it was looking like the promoter machine for a baclava producer... That was the first time when my chick-index was hitting historical lows, going to negative area; even my guys did not want to hang out with me.

Once, when I gathered more hitchhikers than the fingers on one hand, police stopped me. He was supervising the car like a bomb squad, trying to avoid any public harm. Keeping the steering wheel, I was shaking as if I was doped and doing an electric buggy on the seat, while the others in the car were getting to know each other, trembling on each others laps. Perfect machine for kidney stone discharge.

The policeman asked something, didn't understand.. He asked again.. Couldn't hear, my brain was buzzed. He shouted at me to stop the engine. I turned the ignition key off, the engine didn't stop. I took the key off, the engine still running... We all left the car, the police driving us back to the dorms. He was laughing with tears. After 1.5 hours when I returned back with a service truck, the car was still alive and kicking.

I sold the car later on that year for 350 bucks. I was said that the commodity prices were rising in international markets and my yellow piece of metal baclava was worth more money as a bulk of junk then...commodity? prices?

---- --- - ----- -----

Hope I will finish my to-do list this year.

duminică, 18 octombrie 2009

Hats Off / Jos Palariile!

When the idea of a “ business retreat” came to my mind, I was thinking about a trip to a 4-5 star hotel, on Prahova Valley, somewhere near Brasov. Few colleagues suggested (and then insisted on) Fratii Jderi (Marten Brothers), which seemed like a lot of effort for only a 2 days trip. (Google “marten”)

It had been a long while since our last teambuilding (and I was considering that an efficient teambuilding stands for S.C.R.E.W. - Staff Can Recreate, Entertain and Work)

As a courtesy of Premium Auto, my trip, individually, has been a climax, testing the new Range Rover Supercharged, with a 510 horsepower engine and anything (or everything) you may fantasize about fitting in a car. As an iPod fetishist, the on-board management of the music and the sound systems’ performance was well beyond the expectations. (If it wasn’t above100k EUR, just for the iPod connection I could buy this car. Still waiting for an iPod compatible woman, with touch-screen and small memory space; I will upgrade her on a daily basis)

Fratii Jderi is a “must go” in Romania, in a large group or as a couple (don’t go alone, you will risk remaining there). Unfortunately the website and the presentation of the facilities is not explanatory enough ( if you just want to throw a peek.

Cezar (El Capitan), Marcel (Marco), Stefan and Constantin (Animalu) made us feel at home from the first moment we stepped in to their world. Dorina should be a Michelin-star cook, besides treating all of us as her kids, with utmost care. Guys, if she has a daughter, marry her! (The daughter, not Dorina…Idiots!)

After several games of climbing, jumping and balancing; there was no doubt about Charles Darwin’s Theory; at least banker-beings have evolved from monkeys if not all humankind.

At the end of first day, we were all complaining about own lives, didactically talking about relocating there and changing everything, the usual “I have the guts to do it” type of bullcrap, which we apply to, whenever we see people happier than us.

Just once, give up on your usual weekend schedule of shopping/clubbing/eating-out and go to Fratii Jderi. You will probably spend less money there for the whole weekend as compared to a table in a nightclub but will come back 10 years younger. Fck Tuscany!

vineri, 16 octombrie 2009

Show must go on!

“I see myself as an instrument of a will greater than my own and I really try to keep myself connected to that. All my life I have always known I was born to greatness” Oprah Winfrey

What kind of self-esteem is that? Does she post on Facebook “Oprah is attending herself”? I presume that she hasn’t been to Fratelli on a Saturday evening, at least not yet…

Someone told me that she appreciates the self-ironic nature of the posts; actually these stories are slightly manipulated versions of real memories, distorted to be more interesting.

I have stayed two and a half years in Moscow and each day had been another surprise… until I reached Romania, where the surprises are served on an hourly basis.Tomorrow I am getting my ID as a Romanian citizen and probably no one else could fit the prototype better than me.

… … … … … … …

Year 2000, we have just taken over the management of the institution to which I sold my soul. The head office is an old building, on Doamnei Street, which we were told has a red dot, indicating reduced chances of survival in case of a likely earthquake.

Main office is on the fifth floor and the branch at the ground floor, my department and staff were located at the mezzanine.

The branch manager called when I was at the fifth floor for a meeting and invited me to meet "an important client", a Chinese businessman from Voluntari, who was also curios about “the Turks”. I was looking for such an occasion, to have my first encounter with a client since I arrived (for the first 3-4 months we were kept under quarantine by the rest of our colleagues).

The lift of the building functioned reluctantly, worn and torn from years of usage. Pushed the button and waited 10 minutes until it arrived to the fifth floor. Stepped in, pushed M for mezzanine, where also the branch manager’s office was. From fifth floor to fourth it was a 30 seconds trip, but from 4th to 2nd floor, it took around 3 minutes and with screechy noises the lift stopped.

While I was looking for the alarm, the lift moved suddenly, as if it loosened from its bindings and fell until the mezzanine, stopping between mezzanine and ground floor. With the pressure and the effect of the fall, 25 years of dust from the lift’s hole has entered in the cabin.

I didn’t know that the director of the branch, to honor me, has brought the client to the door of the lift and was waiting outside.

I found and pushed the emergency button that also opened the lift doors, and through a cloud of dust I jumped 50 cm up to get out of the cabin. The moment my feet landed on the floor, there was the client, the branch manager and her deputy, clapping their hands with excitement, for my spectacular appearance. “Ladies and Gentleman, The Turk has entered the building!”

I was sorry for not having a microphone with me.

... ... ... ...

Unfortunately, the clients do not show similar excitement lately when they see their banker. We, the bankers, have caused the sub-prime crisis, real estate market crash and global recession while everyone else was watching.

miercuri, 14 octombrie 2009

Brit-shish kebab

I was delirious when I left his office… I received an invitation to Euromoney Conference in London few days earlier and just wanted to give it a shot with my boss, whether I could go. He mentioned that we do not have any budget for such expenses but due to my recent achievements he approved “the idea”. He asked me not to stay at the Hilton Tower Bridge, where the event was held, for 300£ per night (and for 3 nights) but to find a “decently priced” hotel. I also had to fly with Aeroflot economy class. Until then I had enough travel experience flying from Russia to Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan with this company and since then I aim to earn my living writing stories on these trips. (I still think that Aeroflot stands for “Avoid ERror Of FLying On This).

A colleague of mine had a friend working at Shell in London and he promised to help me with the hotel arrangements. The next day I had a hotel reservation confirmation on my desk, for 50£ a night, at a 3 star hotel, which was also acceptable by my boss. YE$$$!!! I was going to UK, to London, to breath the “British” air, to get a hold of their accent and also to make some shopping.

Days before the trip I started studying to imitate the famous British accent and when I reached the passport control at Heathrow, leave aside the accent, I couldn’t say any words in English…I was mute in front of the customs officer, probably looking as an illiterate Middle Eastern immigrant. While the excessively polite officer was checking my passport page by page, another officer came to me and with a highly excited voice “Sir, you have been selected for extra screening” he said. It sounded as if I am the one-billionth tourist reaching Heathrow and will be greeted by the mayor of London, journalists, where I will be handed the keys of London; started rehearsing my speech. Unfortunately, it meant entering a small cabin and undressing in front of an African-origin officer, while he was searching through my handbag wearing medical gloves. Once he was sure that my bag is harmless, he waved his head and asked me to dress up and to leave the cabin. I was feeling sorry for him, for the job he is doing; to screen naked men from all around the world, 8 hours a day… and the lucky bastards doing the same job with women on the other side…

I have started my royal trip by taking a cab from the airport; when I told the address and the name of the hotel to the driver he asked whether I am from Mumbai, which was actually a useful hint that I couldn’t get.

When we reached the hotel, I saw few men lying (and sleeping) on the entrance stairs. Climbing through them, I was hit by a thick smell, the moment I entered the hall. The fume and density of the aroma created an eatable fog, through which I saw the big billboard reading “Indian Housewives Cooking Festival”. Those guys on the stairs probably fainted and fell unconscious on the stairs after a 15 minutes visit inside. A group of Indian women were yelling to each other for the sake of a conversation. There were spices and there were girls; so I encountered Spice Girls.

The hotel was fully booked for the shows and presentations of the cooking fest, each room serving as a cousy kitchenette for food fetishists. The friend of my friend booked the last room available (Later I learned, his name was Raaji). My room was neat and clean, although the heater unit was blowing the clean curry air to my face.

I couldn’t resist the noise and the smell, grabbed my handbag and left the hotel for a late afternoon shopping.

There were million shops, on the endless streets, their doors shoulder to shoulder with each other. I was looking at store windows, checking prices and converting them to US dollars. On St James Street, I found myself in front John Lobb store, famous with its leather shoes. Eye-picked a pair and stepped in to ask for a try. ”Cheers, mate! Can I have a pair of 8’s?” showing with my finger somewhere behind me, supposedly at the shop window. With this attitude and approach, I was genuine Brit.

“Whaddoyawant?” replied the shop assistant dressed as a clown. A real clown.

I couldn’t give up on my Brit attitude, “Actually I am used to 8 and a half’s, but I heard these get larger and more comfortable in time”. Two kids, hardly walking age, jumped in front me; one of them fell and started crying. The clown pulled him up and said something like “Nofugging fugg, you fuggs” and turned back to me.

-“whaddoyowant man? Huh? You, pervert?”

-“I told you, I would like to try those”

When I started searching for another shop assistant to get help, I realized that his other 2 colleagues were also dressed in clown costumes and there were few dozen kids playing around. By mistake I entered the next door and now I was at the kids’ playground of Selfridges, where the mommies park their kids while shopping. And I was asking for a pair of 8 year olds, hoping they get larger in time… Left the room when all clowns were gathering to beat the pedophile, and I mixed with the crowd.

Decided to stop by at Starbucks. At the counter, a dark tanned, Asian looking happy face greeted me,”Welkomm!”. I cannot see the menu on the wall because of the peacock he is wearing on his head.

“Hi there, can I have a small Frappucino and a fruit bar, please?” I asked.

“Sure Sire, that makes pipe!”

“I beg your pardon?”

“You owe us pipe, Sir”

“Which pipe and why?”

“It is pipe pounds Sire” showing all fingers of his right hand. “Ha-ha, here you are” and I paid.

“Thank you” he said and shouted “A prappucino por the gentleman and a pruit bar, coming”. Cute Balinese…

Scanned the location, almost all seats empty but at the corner a brunette at her late 20's was sitting alone, drinking her coffee and reading. I cannot resist and walk towards her, with an air as if the coffee shop is full and I have to make the entire road to the table next to her. Took off my blackberry, the gadget proving that I make money, and started buttoning. She doesn’t look. There are few paper napkins on her table, I asked if could get one, she nodded OK.

Gathering all thoughts, rehearsing the accent in my mind, I approach her “Ze wireless is down, I presume”. She picks up her mobile, checks its screen and answers back “Nope, the connection is fine”. At least she looked at me and smiled, or grinned. I didn’t turn on wireless option... Now we have a turn-on.

-“Ssshhite, my blog, not working” trying to open a conversation but my efforts for the accent makes it hard to understand. Also the “sh”-play ends up with a small drop of spit being launched and land on her book. Took the napkin and cleaned the juice.

-‘Sorry, what’s with your bullock?”, she is very serious.

Seems that I emphasized wrong syllables but didn’t realize that time. To make sure that she gets the point, “My blog, virtual diary”. This time I am sure the accent was perfect.

She hopped up, ran to the counter and showing me to the pipe Balinese, said, “Look, this idiot came next to me and started talking about his bullocks and his diarrhea.”

Jackpot, once gain… Returning back to Curry Palace, I am determined to preserve my own accent tomorrow during the meetings.

marți, 13 octombrie 2009

Sweet Child of Mine

“I am trying to be honest with you,” he said, “and it hurts me”. Yes, the truth does hurt. Don’t let that truth happen to you and be a creative truth teller. The truth is your servant, not your master. (Excerpts from “What Would Machiavelli Do?”)

So, back at the “Operation Izmir”, before going on, please read the “s-permite” post if you didn’t do it yet (and send me an apology letter signed by your parents for not reading it on time);

After not eating anything for more than 18 hours and abstaining from any human flesh for 5 days with hallucinations of the freaky image of small Hagi-alike lady midgets running around my bed, I was dreaming about breasts… Chicken breasts…Hunger beats libido and I am ready to flip off the bra down on any fried chicken just with two crispy potato fingers, before biting a piece…Woke up to the voice of my host, whispering loud to get me going to the clinic. It was 7.30 am in the morning.

We hit the road to meet the “nurse”; the iron lady who probably have distributed imprinted invitations for the second half of the show.

In front of the big sliding door leading to the reception area there was a security guard, attentively watching me climbing the stairs … or he was wondering about why was I so dynamically reluctant, jumping the stairs, one by one, but in slow motion and spending few milliseconds in the air after each jump. He knew what I was in to, I guess.

At the information desk, two young girls were sitting, with identical smiles imitating toothpaste TV commercials. Their faces and noses were targeting me but they seemed to look through me or past me. I have enough business meeting experiences at commercial centers and I know the “receptionists”, the experts in receptions and receptioning, descendants of a long line of receptionists, the founders of post-receptionism. They hate each individual orbiting them and punish any act or intention of communication by denying their existence.

To become receptionable, I made few reverences, several head bows and using Sesame Street voice I was accepted by their community, being led to the chief nurse, Ms.S.

She was actually a young girl, mid twenties but had an air of authority over anyone and everyone. “Good Morning Mr.O” she greeted, “how are you feeling today?” “I am fine” I said, and actually thought so until arriving to the clinic.

“You know we spoke on the phone, for the full check-up and the test” I continued, giving her a perfect chance for the verbal backhand.

-“ The test?? Aha. Are you feeling productive today?” and the receptionist who guided me to her room burst in giggles, leaving the room. "Seeds of Love" should be playing in the background and now half of the hospital talks about me.

S showed me the direction with her left eyebrow, indicating where to follow her. We went out to the corridor, the hospital personnel from all levels watching my parade to the lift, not encouraging. She pushed “-1”, which meant we were going to the underground floor. That was logical; probably there was a dark joint, where nurses were bar-dancing during off hours and helping the patients with these tests in VIP rooms. I will ask for a champagne.

The lift door opened and on a narrow corridor, with benches on both sides, I met painful or tired glazes of a dozen pregnant women. Passing through them, entering a maze, turning left, turning right, turning right again; I might not be fertile but as clever as a rat (at least), I am sure that I would find my way out from here if needed. We stopped in front of a closed steel door, with a plate on it “Sperm Room”. When she pulled her hand to grab the handle, I wanted to shout and run; I was afraid that once the door opened, a big load would flood past us. Spots of Indiana Jones, buttock-skiing on a river of... Nevermind.

The room, a cubicle of 8 square meters was painted in dark grey, resembling a prison cell. "I could have tattooed the plans of the clinic on my belly" I thought.

A nice and comfortable couch, bunch of paper towels and napkins; the quantity of paper-based drying tools is a clear proof that whales and elephants also visit this room occasionally for similar test. She pulled off a curtain and a huge LCD screen TV, a DVD player on a shelve full of DVDs were squeezed behind. From the noises coming from the other side of the wall, I realized that I was just next to the corridor where the pregnant ladies were waiting. I feel like being filmed for an early pregnancy prevention campaign for youngsters; "If you don't want to be on that corridor, ask your boyfriend do his thing in the grey room"

She explained that there is also a shower and clean towels, a hairdryer and flip-flops. With all the facilities provided, it could easily serve as a bomb shelter. Started thinking Tom Jones singing “Sex Bomb” and lost any productive hope for the next few hours. Why not Kylie Minogue but him?

S gave me a 100ml plastic glass, “Is it enough, Sir?”. “Yes, for the next year or so” I wanted to say but just made a sound, kind of “Iiighh”….

Without any word, she pushed the play button of DVD, went out (actually jumped out) and shut down the door.

…. …. …. …. ….

I was sitting in front of the doctor, His Haines keeping the results of check-up, including cardio analysis and the “test”… From his unhappy face and mimics, I could easily understand that I wouldn’t be able to make to the door of the clinic and should make my testimony quickly. While distastefully chewing an inexistent gum, he burped out “mmmmm…hmmm… hsssss... uuuummmm...goood…weeelll…”

-“Did I pass, Sir?”


-“The test… eehmm. All O.K.?”

-“nnnmmm… hhhmmm… yeeaahh.. Your results are quite fine. But please be careful; because of those guys considering themselves fertile banana trees, there are too many monkeys around us.”

Russians have a proverb “Men have 2 heads, the depth of trouble depends on the one they use for thinking. Women have 2 mouths, the size of disaster depends on the one they use for talking”

joi, 8 octombrie 2009

I am alive!! I am alive!!

There was a single digit number of clicks to my worldly posts but my indecent memories reached a bit less than 500 clicks..
It seems that I am bounding with a group of sexually frustrated loners while expressing my real self.. Love you all..
At least I have a few hundred females followers (me , Charles Manson); getting closer to the network hook-up I was targeting...
On the other hand, I still have one "interested person", Sorana... A bit embarrasing, though. I feel like the 7 year old, singing at the school event when the only audience is the parents. Do something and become interested.. Otherwise I am planning to outsource and recruit few dozen "interested persons", I have several friends from hi5 that I can bring down here..

The tests, you remember? All OK, I am healthy and rightfully able to do anything, so beware!
Just a bit of cholesterol issue, indicating my belly (the sexiest organ I posses) should get smaller. The mitral valve of my heart does bounce when closing, instead of working as a straight sliding door; this explains the machiavellianism in my life...
Do the test for yourself and see the damage you cause to others :)

Tomorrow, the work week starts again; EUR/USD will go lower to 1.4580, EUR/RON will try 4.3000 but eventually fail, few more fights and scandals in the political arena and we will sail through. Hope that few clever guys will become the solution to political life in Romania, otherwise Romania will become the most effected country in this crisis.
Read anything written by Stephen Clarke, try the sushi bar/restaurant behind BNR (former Market8), buy some Turkish cheese and spices from Efendi Market on Sos. Pantelimon...

miercuri, 7 octombrie 2009

Thinking with the smaller head

Although I am in the convenient atmosphere of my hobby room at home, I am sweating. Spring is turning into summer but there is no sign of heat, I am being perfectly preserved at room temperature. I am just excited, and a bit nervous, 20 cm in front of the 24 inch Mac monitor… The ant watching TV…

After listening to the "real life" experiences of the guys during lunch break, I am decided to make my mark in the virtual world and hook up a girl from a "social network"... Arrived home, got a quick shower, I am not decided to put on a perfume. Better not to, the effect will fade until the girl will arrive; so wait. Dressed light but not in pajamas, I should look like ready to go, while chatting on the net.

First target, the easy preys; early arrivals at Facebook (everybody knew, as the guys said, but not me). I entered my account, input status “ O. is missing the days from childhood” as starter hit, began making all tests about favorites and suitables. Changed status “O. is dreaming of a long walk on narrow streets of Sicily”, the appetizer… Checked requests, “Mihaela M. wants you to add her as a friend”, what? Huh, Dear Mihaela M, I am not that easy. Before confirming I click on the profile photo. At a closer look there are two creatures in that profile image, one substantially more hairy. Trying to understand, I read the comments and actually Mihaela M commented herself for the picture “The monkey in the Zoo of Bali was very happy that day”. Sorry? The problem is that in the photo both creatures are smiling, so to investigate further and to find out which one is Mihaela M, I click on the photo. Aha… the darker hairy one is gone but the other light colored specie is in bikinis sipping a brownish cocktail.. Ooohoooffff Mihaela M, you shouldn’t have chosen a beach photo when searching for “the man” (with those perky tits, hah!)... Click back, click “ignore”… I am looking for quality and class…

Entered hi5, where all the girls look like Pennsylvania Strip-school graduates having PhD in Sexually Transmitted Diseases. Started creating my profile, name, age, hobbies…Age minus 5, hobbies as car racing, yachting, traveling, clubs and of course, reading… I am the young rich handsome literate Formula driver, while watching the skies from the board of my yacht on the Caribbean shores, looking for my soul mate in hi5… why not?

Few more sites and networks later, I just realized that I am creating my profile for an escort site with only female profiles… Third question is “Do you charge by the hour?”… Me? By the hour? I am happy if I resist half an hour, c’mon… Fourth question, “Foreign languages spoken?”… WTF, should I pass TOEFL to get laid? I better quit. And did.

Started getting stressed, already 2 hours passed and no hits… back to Facebook, sent friend requests to all friends’ single friends… Hey ladies, look at those test results, I am everything you may ever dreamt of. I am a Mini Cooper cabriole, I am Rio de Janeiro, I am red in your rainbow, the rabbit in your farm, I am R&B, I am even a suitable quick date partner for Angelina Jollie (or vice versa, but is the same shit). So, I am here waiting for you to “confirm” yourself in my arms while Angelina is rejecting calls from Brad Pitty…

Seems that my mojo doesn’t work here… I would have called Brad for a beer now. Searching for Mihaela M to add as a friend…

The corner of my eye saw the Yahoo Messenger icon… Yahoo. Yeeeeaaahuuu. Yieeehieee… That’s it, I have few dozen contactinas there, hope some are logged in… Entered my Id and password. Wassup? Password wrong? As a relief, the password is sent to my e-mail address… Digged in and got the password I deserve… Really difficult with women these days…

Somehow and fortunately few historic failures are online… trying to think of a pick-up line, to attack as a guerilla and win the war in seconds. Double-clicked on P, entered the most creative words coming to my mind “Ce faci? (How are you?)” … The curser is blinking, I am cursing the blinks…”Hei!” she replied….Yesss…. Few words about how decent I became lately and looking for a long-term relationship, bored of hit and runs, spiced up with my “sincere regrets” about missing an “opportunity” with her… She is melting… stupid… I want to see your morning face…

I invited her to have a coffee, she answered that she’s hungry… “What about a pizza?” and her reply came “let me grab one on the way and come to you”…. Hallelujah… Few minutes later she texts me to get the address for the taxi driver, she hasn’t been at the ‘head office’ before… I text back the address, ran to shower, 2 puffs of a perfume and Mickey Rourke-fit in blue jeans and white V-neck…waiting…

The doorbell rang in 45 minutes, exactly when I was about to call her…Opened the door with a kinky smile to meet a human slice in the form of a pizza delivery man…holding a box of pizza… The fifth element said that pizza was paid…Took the pizza, closed the door and while entering the kitchen opened the box… It is a large margarita and with half-cut round olive slices, a huge message reads in the middle of it, “IDIOT!”… my parachute doesn’t open….banged!!!

Just changed few of the olive slices and now it reads “I DO IT!”; thanks for cooking, babe! And please improve your grammar..Hih!...

Ashamed? Neenah… I am just hooking up with the smart ones J ; send me friend requests, I might be in your fortune cookie…


Today had been a day of goodbye's... Farewells are just bullshit if you are not the one leaving but the part waving the idle hand... I just remembered the words of an Indian tycoon, interviewed by a famous journalist about his wealth and personal life, celebrating his Forbes 500 worldwide entry. Once asked "when did you feel the first sign of wealth and power you are about to acquire?", the Bollywood figurine-alike answered "when I realized that my fingers and toes are enough to count the ones I love and those who loves me'... A western educated business man would mention a first commercial experience... or the cliche of wife and kids...
There are few people who always loved me and been there for me, even if I didn't pay attention or simply betray them. For those one, I stand up and sing loud;

Yes I understand that every life must end,
As we sit alone, I know someday we must go.
I’m a lucky man to count on both hands
The ones I love.

Some folks just have one,
Others they got none.

Stay with me.....
Let’s just breathe.

Practiced are my sins,
Never gonna let me win,
Under everything, just another human being.
I don’t wanna hurt, there’s so much in this world
To make me bleed.

Stay with me....
You’re all I see.

Did I say that I need you?
Did I say that I want you?
Oh, if I didn’t now I’m a fool you see,..
No one knows this more than me.
As I come clean.

I wonder everyday
as I look upon your face.
Everything you gave
And nothing you would take.
Nothing you would take,
Everything you gave.

Did I say that I need you?
Oh, Did I say that I want you?
Oh, if I didn’t now I’m a fool you see,..
No one know this more than me.
As I come clean.

Nothing you would take,..
everything you gave.
Hold me till I die,..
Meet you on the other side.

from Pearl Jam "Just Breathe"

Ekin, Ferus, Bulo, Shama, Nasii, Erdink, Sinanaki, Utchu, Ancuta, Miami Vice, Gorkem, AishaRose, Sa-buzz, Topcu's, Karali's, Yilmaz (Eniste), Nuris; thanks a lot for any second shared with me, even if I wasn't available for you...

I wish one day I will be able to show my joy of having you around as warm as Jack is greeting me each day I arrive home (as if I am not the one forgetting to refresh his food or water)

luni, 5 octombrie 2009

serious issues

United Nations' Human Development Report for 2009 has been released. Norway is "the country" to live in or to migrate to... Romania ranks 63rd, few places behind all neighboring East European peers. Sounds bad and makes you feel a heartburn. (several Asian, Latin American or even African countries outpaced Romania)
But it is not that bad actually; from the 63rd to the 1st, it is just a 3 hours flight or 2 days train trip. So why don't we all pack and move? Because we like it here... We all like the mess in social, economic and political life...
Just imagine that on a sunny day in Oslo (which is like, ehm, 6 months), your neighbor, Mr.Bjoerndalen instals the new BBQ he made from old bicycle parts and exposes whole neighborhood in smoke, covering anything green with the smell and foggy fume of meatballs... Nikka Liukin, the young football player with primary school diploma, driving his newly tuned Volvo on the main boulevard, listening loud Bergen folk leaking through his car windows... Eric Didricksen, the mayor of Trondheim, visiting the construction site of the 500m bridge, which caused protests due to ongoing works since 2 years and promises that until December, the work will be done (which year?)... Doesn't fit, huh? Sounds like a B-movie transcript.

On the other hand, Oslo has the highest rate of suicides in Europe. So maybe the mess keeps us motivated... Sincerely I couldn't stay more than a long weekend there and probably would miss Bucharest in those few days.


Early morning in the office, I am trying to whisper loud to the lady on the other line:
- "Good Morning, I will be in Izmir on Friday and would like to have the full check-up package"
- "Yes, Sir. Any further details we may need to know except the package you desire? By the way, how are you? I am fine, thanks for asking"
- "Sorry, sure M'am, hope you are doing well; I would also like to have the fertility test"
- "Which test?" she asks back in an obviously mocking manner.
- "Spermatogram M'am, for fertility measuring"
- "Whose fertility Sir?", now she took the stage for the other nurses listening...
-"My horse's fertility M'am", fck, I might have offended her. But she is evidently an oldtimer and cannot be hurt;
-"Then call the Vet Clinic, we check and treat human beings here"
-"sorry M'am, my sperm count..." I am afraid someone is listening to this conversation also in my office. "and despite all recent comments about myself, I do belong to mankind. I would like to check if I can leave a woman pregnant and need your help". Shit....Did I say that?
- "My help for you to check what, Sir? Maybe we should get to know each other first a bit?"
She is probably writing 'Bull's eye!!!' in the air with her index finger...
-"Nope, sorry, I just want to leave the... the liquid to you, to be counted".. pfff.... Pathetic...
-"I am just a nurse, Sir. I do not count anything. But your existence counts for us". Isn't she lovely being so frustrated and frustrating? Cleans her throat, now she is coming to her senses, the show might be over, "Sir, you need to have a 3 days diet prior to the test"
- "What kind of a diet, M'am?"
- "No sex, Sir. Is it clear enough?" . I sighed here, mostly exhaled loudly... That provoked her to communicate with me again, "where are you living, Sir?"
-"In Bucharest. Romania" the tone of my reply indicates the loss of any self confidence..
-"I see, Sir. Then just try to keep your hands off the Hagi beauties at least for 2 days". After she took the notes and announced me the hour to be there, I hear the laughter in the background while she is hanging off...
Hagi Beauties? How could she dare to mix the only 2 things she knows about Romania, in this manner? Or was that an implicit help to stay away from any action before the tests???

duminică, 4 octombrie 2009

Another day in crises

I have to join tomorrow the millions hitting the road to the workplace. The gloomy atmosphere caused by the economic situation, politics and even weather converts the previous money machines into gas chambers, suffocating each one of us with further bad news about a friend getting fired, a relative having cancer, a colleague having divorced and several other informative diarrhea without which we could have been much better off. There are so many sad stories around, in real life, the screenwriters union in Hollywood wouldn't dare to go on another strike..

It is raining outside and for someone like me coming from a city where winter means sunny days with plus 15 degrees, this rain announces cold, dark, muddy times ahead (The snow is not white in the city)... Fck, I also sold the Tetikmobil... Trying to think positive, trying hard...Nope.. It was not the time to break-up with the missus, I suppose. Not a good time to have the second phase of the middle age crisis, either. Worst of all, this middle age issue didn't teach me anything at all; still the same stupid guy inside a more worn body.

Pearl Jam released a new album, it seems that they are back on track. "The Fixer" is the teaser single, old-schoold PJ.
Rammstein also relased a new single "Pussy", nice sound and lyrics; but it seems that they aimed at proving their manhood after the comments on "Mann Gegen Mann" video.

Watched again "The Darjeeling Ltd", the story of 3 brothers trying to find their mother, their brotherhood and also themselves individually and spiritually. Perfect movie.

2 mistakes so far this weekend; "Knowing" featuring Nicolas Caige (someone should warn him about his hairdo in the last few movies- He looks like the gay nutty professor instead of the intelligent hero) and "The Spirit" featuring Eva Mendez & Samuel Jackson (I bet they did this movie to mock at audience to prove that the consumers buy everything if it is packed neatly - I did buy)

I wish tomorrow we will all wake up with Robin Williams screaming on local radio "Gooood Morning, Buuchareeeesstt!!"

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