martes, marzo 31, 2009

Hong Kong Sevens

Hoy me he topado de casualidad con este video de agencia EFE al entrar en YouTube, y me he acordado de los Hong Kong Sevens, un torneo de rugby 7 (escuadras de siete por equipo) que se celebra todos los años en Hong Kong a finales de Marzo.

El torneo dura un fin de semana, y vienen equipos de todas partes del mundo. Lo mejor es el ambiente, miles de fans toman las calles tiñéndolas de color y ambiente festivo. No recuerdo haber visto tanta gente concentrada en LKF en mi vida. Lo principal es emborracharse y pasarlo bien, el resultado, por contra, es lo de menos.

Entrada en Wikipedia: Hong Kong Sevens, con lista de ganadores y semifinalistas. Y por último, entrada de Javier Sampedro contándolo todo en primera persoa.

jueves, marzo 19, 2009

Happy St.Patrick's day!

Having lived part of my life in Ireland (ok, it was just a few months, never mind...), celebrating St.Patrick's day is a kind of obligation to me. By the way, St.Patrick was the one who introduced Christianity into Ireland, at the time when Christianity and Catholicism were both the same thing. Nowadays, Irish people care less about the religious meaning of this fest and St.Patrick has turned more into a day for getting pissed and showing your Irish patriotism, although you were born in Micronesia and have never put your feet onto Ireland.

On the day before, I surveyed my flat mates if they would be interested on going to an Irish pub nearby for celebrating (surprisingly the pub was called Mollly Mallone). For one reason or another, at the end of the day I found myself alone, but I was determined to go. Interestingly, my feelings were just the same as on St.John's day. This is a Spanish fest, as far as I know, which takes place on the 23th of June every year, that means, the summer equinox or the shortest night of the year. Although is not a bank holiday, on that night everybody goes out and have a few. Going out to see the bonfires and drink something is a must. I felt on St.Patrick's day just the same.

So I went to the pub. I hesitated whether to get into Molly Malone when I was at its very doorstep, and finally went to the other Irish pub next. There were a few more people there and the atmosphere was in fact more warming. I ordered my Guinness, got my free Irish leprechaun hat, and slowly paced my pint while ate some snacks. In fact, I don't like Guinness much, it makes my stomach feel stodgy, but one is ok, and in St.Patrick's a pint of Guinness should be a must.

After that, I made my way back home. I was done with the black stuff one year more. Once at home, I took this stupid picture to immortalized myself with this hat commemorating the 250 years of existence of Guinness. Maybe someday when Guinness turn 300 I could show this pic to my grandsons and tell them: “I still remember the day Guinness celebrated its 250 anniversary and I went alone to a pub on St.Patrick's day...blablabla".

Happy St.Patrick's day 2009!

domingo, marzo 15, 2009

Back from London

At the end of February I visited London. Finally I could upload the pics to Facebok. It's a shame the plugin for uploading pics is still not working in Linux (at least in Ubuntu Hardy, or maybe it's something I'm doing wrong). Actually, I went there for a conference (more about it here: Back from Software Craftsmanship 2009), but I stayed there till the end of the week.

I finally couldn't visited neither Cambridge or Oxford, will keep those for a second chance I think. I spend my time walking back and forth the crowd core of the city: Picadilly, Regent Street, Soho, Chinatown where I enjoyed some Hong Kong and Japanese food: chicken curry at Cafe de Hong Kong, and a nice salmon donburi at Tokyo Dinner. I think I covered the basics. I like more walking aimlessly, go to a park, make some pause to enjoy a coffee. And although I don't like much to shut myself all day in a museum, I think London museums are worthy, at least The British Museum and The Natural History Museum.

Typical London telephone cabin

Eros, a popular meeting spot, at Picadilly Circus

People having fun while taking pictures

For obvious reasons London reminded me to some extent of Dublin, but there was one thing, apart from the double-deckers, that reminded me of Hong Kong, and it was the rows of posters hanged on the sides of the escalators at the metro stations. I told this to an Englishman friend of mine, and surprisinly he confirmed me that whenever he thinks of London this comes to his mind.

A pack of youngters posed for me at Vigo Street (I was actually taking a picture of the street plaque :))

Finally I couldn't take myself spotted next to Dr.Who's tardis. But the pints of Bulmers I enjoyed at the BBC Club (yes, a pub within the premises of the BBC studios, no need to go to the pub after work to get drunk, you can leave work already drunk ;-)) together with some guys from SongKick and other BBC engineers largely surpass that.