The Escalator Kiss, more like the Escalated Kiss

Something that makes me more bitter than ever are escalators.
No, let me rephrase that.
I hate couples in escalators.
It's like people cannot ride the escalators without automatically kiss.
escalators are just kiss-excuses!

Yes, and this is coming from a very mature place.
Aggression is my shield!

Now, I ride quite a few escalators every day.
and there's no telling how many versions of this kiss I've witnessed.

Berlusconi vs Reinfeldt

Yes, everything is politics.
And if I've learnt anything it is the extreme difficulties of establishing even a prospect of a global political order. These difficulties are sometimes highlighted in the most dazzling ways.
I have experienced them in official meetings at the UN, where US "diplomacy" scares the s*** out of a whole room of prosecutors, while Latin America politely pleads for the protection of Human Rights.
Or when the Argentinean chairman waves his arms in frustration, while the EU representative (incidentally from Sweden) shyly looks down at his hands folded in his lap.

The most recent political gossip in Sweden concerns our Prime minister Fredrik Reinfeldt and whether he is too cocky or not. Allegedly, most other high profil politicians and party leaders agree that he is, based on a speech where he announced his intention to lead the (right-wing) Moderaterna to become the dominant party in Sweden. The exact words were:

”It is time to offer Swedish voters a long-term dominant-party governing responsibility. It is in the very nature of this issue, that it be a one-party show"

Shame on you, Fredik...........

To show the ridiculous fear that Sweden in general and Swedish politicians in particular, are suffering from, I turn to the one man who can make any other political leader seem like the dream option. Signor Berlusconi. Still heading the Italian State, even after such outrageous expressions as:

"The best political leader in Europe and in the world."
"There is no-one on the world stage who can compete with me."
"Out of love for Italy, I felt I had to save it from the left."

It is clear and obvious that leaders of State must appeal to the mentality of the citizens in his state. And Italian politics can hardly be put as the equivalent to that of Sweden. But I think it is still important to take a breath before over-reacting to a political actor (be it the prime minister or not) expressing his political intention.

In this case, I believe it is not so much the politics that people oppose, but the unforgivable breach of the Law of Jante, so beloved by Swedes throughout history.

all these things we'll one day swallow

Fall is nostalgia.
I think it's something in the fog that creates the illusion of a dream.
(Like a bad soap-opera. Progonist seemingly introspective-fog coming-rolling dream world)

Since our society is all about the time..
organizing time, short periods of time, long periods, lack of time.
the passing of time creates this compulsive reflecting on the past
"what did I do by this time last year? Last month? Five years ago?"
And since All is illuminated in the light of the past,
it all comes back to you, wrapped up in a neatly, glorified package
oozing of perfection.

How come we are always blind to this alleged perfection until it has ended?
Yes, I admit, I am not a realist (shocker!)
and I occasionally pride myself on being a (de-)constructionist.
But I just don't know how to solve this obnoxious riddle.
How to catch that Diem? And how to fully appreciate it?

Just a thought..

"There is so little life, and it is fraught with chance.
We meet, we don't meet, we take the wrong turning, and still bump into each other.
We conscientiously choose the 'right road'and it leads nowhere."

Seal the Deal!

/ صفي٩

- be the change that you want to see in the world

In case you haven't heard, I have a  new office. Instead of sharing with my lovely Austrian girls,
I am on my own in this huge space that overlooks the Danube and the Vienna skyline.
As you can tell from all the papers scattered around I am extremely busy and important........
at least I am busy.

yes, I have a phone.

The lasts three days have been like living in a surreal world, but an invaluable experience.
We had an EGM, meaning Expert Group Meeting to establish the Model law for Smuggling of Migrants (SOM). Expert group meeting for the UN means inviting high official experts from the whole world, in this case being judges, prosecutors, lawyers, human right advocates and police inspectors. 
The goal was to agree on the UN Model Law that will later be given to all countries that wish to implement it in their legal systems in order to protect the rights of smuggled migrants.

My role in this meeting was as a note-taker. Now this may seem as less than pressing, but let me tell you what this entails. There were 30 participants in this meeting and they were all from different parts of the world, some from common law systems, others from civil law. Some from Asian cultures, others from the EC, which made for quite a lively and interesting debate. Since my task was to write down Everything that was said, who said it and specify each and everyone's proposals; i had my hands full.
3 days of discussion resulted in 60 computer written pages of comments, proposals and argumentation.
But more importantly it resulted in an extensive and new knowledge about SOM and a growing interest for jurisprudence and international law.  Never before have I felt like what I am doing have an effect on the world as I did during these days.

But, consequently, I have had absolutely no time for my own home-exam that is sitting here waiting for me.
There is no need to wonder what this weekend will be spent doing.
Globalization of the nation state.

1, 2, 3, toca la pared.

I have a complaint and what is frustrating is I don't know where I can take it.
Vienna tops the list of Best cities in the world to live in.
To make it clear, I am living in what is said to be the Best City in the World.
Now I have a few pointers on this subject:

1. I cannot cook in my kitchen. There are no pans, utensils or any kind of things normally required to prepare or eat food.

2. I cannot wash my clothes. There are washing machines, but in order to operate them one must possess an Austrian credit card which has a special "quick pay" function. The machines do not accept cash or any other kind of credit card.

3. There is no elecetricity in my apartment. I have already missed 2 days of studying for my home exam because of my job taking over my life. How much more can I take? How can I read without light?

This said, I think that Vienna has all the potential of being the best city in the world, Mutatis mutandis.
I shall be back and list all the things I love with this city when I am in a better mood.

(de-) Constructing

Ever since I took English literature and literary theory a long time ago, I have been attracted to deconstruction.
Those who know me, will know that I am strangely drawn to paradoxes, contradictions and multiple meanings.
Deconstruction is all about this.
It is about breaking down the structure, exposing the flaws and revealing the infinite layers of meaning that is hidden in all aspects of life.

Now, as with everything that does not provide a quick fix, or even a really slow one;
deconstruction is not widely applied.
Maybe, cause once you start using it, the world as you know it becomes dangerously unfamiliar.
Nothing is certain, neither the past nor the present
legitimate concepts lose their justifications and there is No one to turn to for guidance.

in deconstruction, Every man is an island.
Sorry, John Donne.

early morning flirting at the screening

I dont consider myself to be very superficial,
but some days you just don't feel like yourself.
somehow the clothes don't fit and it seems like you gained 10 kg over night
your skin is uneven and your hair couldn't possibly look worse.
This morning was such a moment.
Got on the U-bahn already sure that it was going to be a bad day.

Got off at the UN and went through the obligatory x-ray screening, when I see this guy staring at me.
I pretend I don't see him, and keep walking,
but he synchronises his walking with mine, catches up and says; Good Morning.

Me- uuhm, Good morning!
Guy-  How are you today?
Me- ( i know him??)  I am fine, thank you, how are you?
Guy- Great, great. Listen, are you a real redhead???
Me- (baffled, patting my own head) Yes, yes I am....
Guy- Oh man, wow, that is awesome (Looking like he just discovered gold in the ground)
Me-  uhm, yeah.hehe. especially since it seems so be in fashion right now..haha.
Guy- Well its Always in fashion in my book!!
Me- (uncomfortable!) haha, well thanks, have a nice day.
Guy- You too, I am Lorenzo, what is your name?


The sensmoral of the story is unclear.
I'd like to say that I don't care about other people's opinion of me
but I can't help it; i DO feel a bit better now....

UN security. ©Beth :)

subjectivity, stupidity, society


Is every relationship in fact a simple, straight forward nexus between two people
until we destroy it with our questions, our desires?
And if so, whose fault is that?
Before organized society, before literature, looong before pop culture..
- was there no need to classify relationships?

The most important things are the most complex
but is that a prerequisite, or just the result?
Meaning; is something important because it is complex?
Or is complexity the consequence of the level of importance?

is it thus a subconscious drive to deliberatly complicate things to create a deeper meaning?
that would be stupidity, as Meaning is the ultimate act of subjectivity.
and as previously agreed, stupidity is painful.
Pardon me, it should be.

have a little faith...

la traviata?

A UN-intern's Diary

Working for the UN means going through a variety of different feelings during the course of the day.
I dont think anyone else can understand the complex processes of pride/humiliation/stress/happiness that go through our mind and somehow manage to take over most of our lives.

(speaking of life, we don't have any, as according to the UN ETHICAL GUIDELINEs, we are obliged to ask permission of the Secretary-general, i.e. Ban Ki Moon, if we want to engage in any extra curricular activities that are not work-related....I am so nervous now cause I didnt tell Ban Ki about the birthday party that I will attend tomorrow. Hope he won't disapprove.)

So, anyway, I thought I would take you all through the mental evolution that I experience most days.

1. 08:30, Pride
Going through the security, walking past Gate 1 and passing the Fountain and the 192 member flags, I always feel kind of moved. It is crazy to think that I am living a small, tiny part of my dream every day that I am here. Making an impact, working to improve the lives of people all over the world.

2. 12:00, Hunger/stress
When you are an intern you have to accept the fact that work comes in waves. Not like regular, predictable tide waves, but just waves that sometimes come and other times do not come.
At this point the work has accumulated as to create a gigantic tsunami of tasks and projects, all of which have #1 priority.
Adding to the point, the fact that I have recently joined an Arabic class that meet 3 times a week at lunch-time; this means that 1) I am always hungry and 2) I never have time to eat.
The good part, though, is that I am learning Arabic. (aLhemdoulillah....!)

3. 15:00, Satisfaction and self-development
In the afternoon I usually become much more relaxed and feel more confident about my tasks. My feelings around this time may be a bit biased as it is usually around 3 o clock that I eat my daily dosage of chocolate and have my afternoon coffee. Also, things are slowing down a bit, but I have learnt not to shut down the engine (see #4 for explanation)

4. 17:30, Frustration
Our working hours are from 09-17. But as an intern, you want to make an excellent impression and show everybody that you do not care about having a life outside of the office.
Usually, around this time I am well buried in work without a thought of leaving in the near future. BUT on the rare occasion that I have made plans or have to leave; you can be sure that the phone rings at 17:30 and my supervisor hands over some assignment with priority #1++++.
Tasks that come up at this hour normally include such urgent matters as document formatting or research on the very specific topic of "current events"...

5. 20:00, resignation with a hint of self-fullfillment
I won't lie; usually I have left the office at this hour.
On a number of occasions, however, I have also stayed past this time.
When I do stay, its a special feeling that comes over me, looking out over the city from the 14th floor and seeing the lit up ferris wheels and the Danube.
I am trying to picture myself with this lifestyle in an approaching future. It is difficult to complain, even silently to myself, when I know I am doing something that is more than I could have ever believed I would have the chance to do.
But still, after 8 o clock I am mostly thinking about how long it will take me to get home and why do I not just leave the office at 17.00 like normal people?

6. WHENEVER, home, at the office, downtown
Despite the hard work and how little brain cells I actually have left for more popular activities, such as catching up with friends or having a drink (outside the UN bar)...I try to never forget how privileged I am to be exactly where I am and how most people never come this close to their most sought after dreams.
As somebody wrote; If it is not impossible, it is not worth the effort.

Conference of the Parties (CoP)

Yesterday I was lucky enough to be present during a Work Group meeting (WG meet) of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC)
The Conference of the Parties is the governing body of the Convention and consists of persons from all the member states.
As it happened, the Argentinian Ambassador and UN representative was chairing the meeting and was doing a great job with both charisma and authority, until about 2 hours into the meeting.
First clue that something was wrong, was the fact that H.E Mr Curia paused, looked up around him and said that he Hates it when the translator cannot properly translate his Spanish into English...
However, he continued talking his Argentinian Spanish for a few minutes until he stops, rips out his ear-piece and publicly and loudly tells the interpreters that they SUCK and that he will be forced to continue in English.

At this point I was pretty happy not to have pursuid an ancient dream of becoming an interpreter or translator for an international organization and that I "settled" for something a little less easy to mess up.....


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