Tag Archives: Work

Rome – The good, the bad and the ugly

The last week I’ve been in Rome, Italy. Monday to Friday I’ve lived in Frascati and worked in Morena, and during the weekend I’ve stayed near Termini in central Rome together with M.

Frascati was okay, I guess. Small, worn down but not completely without charm. We found one good restaurant there with both good food and nice staff.

Work went well and the clients appeared very happy with my part, so no worries there.

The bad and the ugly
Going into central Rome, I realized that the worn down thing was not specific to the suburbs but the city core as well. The streets were very dirty and we often came by areas that smelled very bad. The traffic was horrible, and the subway stations felt like nobody has bothered to renovate or otherwise improve them since 1986.
Everywhere on the streets people were trying to sell us cheap imitation bags and various crap with a very intrusive attitude. This was worst when eating at outdoor seatings, we often had to tell the peddlers at  least 3-4 times that we were not interested before they gave up. And came back again 30 minutes later.

Speaking of eating; I don’t know if we just had bad luck, or if the italian restaurants really are very bad. About 3/4 of all meals we had were a major disappointment. Service was most of the time terrible, and even though we always tried to be friendly and start the conversations in Italian, we were often treated with arrogance and not the smallest of smiles.

The good
The ice cream/gelato was good and the wine was cheap.

Sure, Colosseum was impressive and there were a lot of ruins, fountains and statues that would probably be reason enough for some people to go there, but after a while things start to look the same everywhere.

For us, Rome was all together quite a bad experience.

I hope I don’t have to go here again very soon. It will be really good to go home tomorrow.

Work in Italy

The last few weeks has been quite hectic for me. Being involved in several top-priority projects coupled with preparations for next week has meant a lot of overtime at work, and too little sleep. But the bulk of the projects is over (at least for now), and I can hopefully get back to a normal speed soon.

Tomorrow I’m flying to Rome, Italy for a week. I’m going to hold a course there in one of my areas of expertise for a group of people at one of our big partners. I’m a bit nervous as I have never done anything like this before. Sure, I’ve held small workshops for a handful of people  before, but that was always in or own office and never more than a day long.

Well, at least it’s warmer in Rome than in Stockholm right now. I put away the motorcycle for winter storage the other day due to the cold. Partly because I can’t ride more than an 45 minutes or so without starting to get cold (especially the hands), but mostly because it’s dangerous. Frost in the mornings and fallen leaves on the road is not a good combination when you’re on two wheels. I hope the winter is short this year so that I can bring out the bike early.

Now, time to start packing.

Good day, Bad morning

Yesterday I had a very good day, for a number of reasons:

  • A big project I’ve been working on for the last month or so took a huge step forward, and this will mean a lot for the company if everything goes according to plan.
  • We had a very nice (free) lunch with wine on the company, plus a cake for dessert.
  • My vacation application for this summer was finally approved, this will be my longest vacation ever. And hopefully I will have taken the MC driver’s license and bought a bike by then.
  • After several years of hinting, asking and convincing I finally got to  order the latest version of the Adobe Web Suite (CS5), to replace the ancient Photoshop v5.5 (from 1999) that I’ve been using up until now at work. I’ve been using Photoshop CS4 at home, and am constantly reminded of a lot of missing features when I use v5.5 at work.
  • I managed to write a nice little script that automates a common procedure at work. It only saves a few minutes, but it will give a consistent result and after a year or so those minutes will have added up to much more than just a few minutes. Those are my favorite scripts.
  • I went out with some friends after work and had an excellent dinner, good drinks and a very nice time, followed by a cab ride home.

Today, not so good.

I woke up with an intense cramp in my right calf, and it felt like the muscles/tendons would snap. At first I could hardly breathe, and then I started hyperventilating instead – which also made me nauseous. After two minutes or so the cramp started to go away, but as soon as I touched the leg it came back. It’s been about three hours now, and I still cannot support myself on the leg without getting the cramps back. The calf feels tense all the time, and massaging the leg doesn’t help.

It’s a pretty bad experience waking up almost screaming of pain, and at the same time desperately needing to go to the bathroom. :p

Update: It’s now been 16 hours, and I can still not walk without limping, and get that tense pre-cramp feeling as soon as I put some weight on the leg or stretch it out to much. 🙁