Saturday, October 01, 2005

I am in Luxembourg City

Luxembourg is pretty, prosperous, civilised, and look at all the cranes.


Technically in fact, Luxembourg is the richest country in the world. This is in a way misleading: it is possible to find plenty of regions the same size as Luxembourg that are more prosperous, they just aren't countries in their own right. (The really amazing thing is that the United States is nearly as rich as Luxembourg, meaning that the average income of 300 million people in the US is close to that of only the very richest regions of Europe). Still, though, this is a nice distinction to have. And Luxembourg is certainly very rich.

I have read in places that about 30% of the population of Luxembourg are actually Portuguese people here under their EU treaty rights. I haven't seen many (any?) people who are obviously Portuguese today, and I haven't noticed the language. There must be a Portuguese quarter of Luxembourg City somewhere, but I haven't found. it. (I shall Google in the morning). Luxembourg is quite unusual in the French and German seem to have pretty much equal status - try to thing of anywhere else where that is so, other than perhaps Switzerland. French seems to be the more commonly spoken language in the street and in shops and the like though.

However, time for bed. I got up too early this morning, as I had to catch the Eurostar. This is a very comfortable hotel, but alas the internet access is wired rather than wireless, and I cannot take the laptop to bed and remain connected.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Michael tries not to reveal himself

On Tuesday I went to the Globe Theatre to see The Tempest. The production was, alas, disappointing. At the end of the performance, I went with a couple of (female) friends to a pub nearby for a post theatre drink. Over this drink, we realised that we were all hungry, so we proceeded from the pub to a nearby restaurant. Once we had reached the restaurant and when we were about to order, I realised I did not have my mobile phone, but I remembered having it at the pub. I therefore excused myself, told the ladies what I would like them to order on my behalf, and went to the men's room, from which I called my mobile phone, discovered that it had been found in the pub and handed in at the bar, and arranged to come back and get it later.

There are two possibilities as to why I went to the men's room to do this. One is that I am slightly self-conscious about being the sort of person with a tendency to lose things, so I didn't want my companions to know that I had done it. (On the other hand they are my friends, and they know already what I am like). The other thing I was slightly embarrassed about has hopefully been detected by alert readers already. I was able to go into the men's room and call my mobile because I was carrying a second mobile phone, and I didn't want to reveal that I was the sort of person who feels the need to carry more than one mobile phone.

(The "second mobile phone" is actually a Windows Mobile PDA, but like many modern PDAs it also works as a mobile phone. I don't use it as my primary phone, however, although I do often carry it).
Belated Redirection

I have a picture of the front of a Portuguese McDonald's posted at Samizdata.

Monday, September 26, 2005

A nice weekend in which I tried to do too much

I spent the weekend in the Douro valley in Portugal, driving up from the city of Porto to the vineyard country where the grapes are grown for the finest ports. I didn't really have enoug time - and I really must go back and take the train up the valley some time. The railway follows the river even through some spectacular and quite brutal chasms where there are no roads. But still, it was nice. And it was pretty.


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