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City Rat Race

If you really, really miss the city (or live on the countryside for whatever reason) you can do like artist Burden and create it yourself. Check his marvelous Metropolis II installation out here.

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In the final weeks of 2010, Rotterdam, and indeed much of north-western Europe, was covered in a blanket of snow. Snow and ice disrupted public transport, caused slippery roads and subsequent accidents. Depending on your media of choice the country was ‘paralyzed’ by ‘snow terror’ that caused ‘massive failures’ of railway companies or bus companies or the ministry of transport and public works or… etc. Casual observations (i.e. me being outside) suggest that there are basically two types of response. The first type encompasses frustration, anger and blame. People scolding staff nearby, the weather, anybody in charge of anything, capitalism and socialism and the rest of the world for disrupting their schedules. They run around platforms and streets trying to find an alternative way to meet their undoubtedly tight meetings and deadlines. The second type of response is all about acceptance. People displaying this response were seen to be wandering off to get a cup of hot coffee or chocolate, going back home to work there or simply just deciding that this is a good opportunity to have a day off. I’m in second group of people, as you may have gathered from my wordings. Alright, so we started our lectures a little later than scheduled and some meetings were rescheduled and yes, it took a little longer to get back home. But did that disrupt my life or that of others fundamentally to the extent that we were unable to continue it? Surely not. It was just a good opportunity to do something unplanned but fun.

Disrupted life or a beautiful morning? Picture by me.

A little snow and even the bleakest city looks good. Picture by me.

New brutalism given a romantic touch of white. Picture by me.

So, here is my wish for 2011: take it easy and enjoy life. Life is way too unpredictable to be fully planned so accept that surprises will spring up continuously. And when it happens: enjoy it. There is fun and good humor in everything. Accept the inevitable: that things will always go a bit different from what you expected. So perhaps we should expect a bit less and be a bit more open for life’s erratic course. Have fun.

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Today I came across this most unusual request from the local authorities. One can only wonder at what the planners were thinking, and only marvel at what this does to our 2.0 generation of drivers… But I love it!

GPS uit? En dan?

[To non-Dutch speakers: the sign requests you to switch of your GPS. I guess too many people got confused because their satnav couldn’t cope with the changes made to the road. A good lesson in regaining your independence and self-organization!]

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