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I generally do not like sweet stuff at all and rarely have it. But a couple of times a year I somehow really go for it. And when I do, I have a lot of it in one go. I can have two full cakes to myself and eat them with a spoon without cutting them. Today was that day.



I don't know what causes the sudden sweet tooth twice a year, it doesn't make me feel unusual (no "sugar rush", no crashing, etc) and I am completely indifferent to sweet stuff as usual the next day.
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There seems to be no shortage of mistletoe in Moldova this Christmas. So much so that it turned some of the trees almost evergreen.



I guess in an ideal world there would be a road sign at least a hundred meters before one sees the trees with a trigger warning about rape culture. Or even better, the trees would be burned to eliminate any chance of anyone ever getting offended or triggered.
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It was red pants vs blue pants in Tuileries Garden.



And it was red pants' turn, so aim...



...and go!



Nah, he missed it. Well, next time I would try ditching those red pants, go for, say grey and see if it helps.

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We are flying back home to London for Christmas on Friday. Our Moldovan hosts are going to London for Christmas too, they lived and worked in London for four years a couple of years ago and will be spending this Christmas and the New Year with their friends in London.

Meanwhile we have been having a hard time trying to get our volunteers to leave. The core team is so awesome and people bonded so well that they do not want to split and leave. Three people (two Americans and a Dutch guy) who all came here separately and met each other while volunteering for us have now become Moldova's hottest interior designers to the stars (albeit Moldovan stars, which is rather low key) apparently and are swamped with the contracts from Moldova's upper class.

They designed and built the interior of our community house, the wife of a local MP saw it when they visited, liked it a lot and that was their breakthrough. They are quite excited about the money they can make here from those introductions and will be staying for at least a couple of months for which they already have contracts designing interiors of Moldovan MPs' hunting lodges apparently. Interestingly, not one of them actually is an interior designer. Well, they are now I guess. If there is a market with a low barrier to entry and not much competition when it comes to interior design, Moldova is that market apparently. This reminded me of Tony Hawks's "Big in Albania" a lot.

They want to continue living in the village at our place for volunteers though and are asking us to charge them rent because they won't be volunteers anymore. We agreed that they would just make a donation to the local art school instead to make it simpler now that we have closed the first phase of our project here.
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Water, boat, grabbing a bite.

In Paris:



In London:



It is Seine but it is not the Thames of course, just Regent's Canal.
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This Parisian couple was in the middle of sorting things out and she was really pissed at him.

Tuileries Garden, Paris.

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And it is "Drink from me and live forever" on the sleeve.

In Paris.

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When you're acting cool in front of your squad but your horse knows you're a bitch:



This never gets old.
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He heard my camera's button and turned around.

In London.

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We walked to the neighbouring village through the woods today before the sun set for the project closing meeting there. It was a great day.



They started decorating their Christmas tree there already. It will get much busier when they are done I was told. They start late here with Christmas stuff compared to Western Europe so this is considered early, there are no signs of Christmas decorations in our village yet. I think they are later than we are with this because Christmas is not that commercialised here so nobody is incentivised to start getting people in festive mood asap to sell stuff.

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After all the time I spent in Moldova I still do not drink like a Moldovan. They were the second heaviest drinkers in the world last year (they lost only to Belarusians).



The calculator is here: http://www.bbc.com/news/health-30500372
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I would really start lifting more with that upper set of arms. And perhaps stop tanning them too.

London

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The pier and the terraced gardens of Simonopetra Monastery from its balcony.

Mount Athos, Greece.

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No, Hillary didn't lose because of Putin (also not because of 'fake news', racism, transphobia). She lost because she was a horrible candidate (which has never been news to DNC). A truly horrible candidate.

But still, no matter how much you might hate Hillary and how convinced you might be that Trump would have won anyway, you still can think that investigating possible Russian meddling in the US election is important.

All this looking at everything not with finding the truth in mind but thinking how you can stress the part that supports your existing position and obscure and discredit the part that doesn't help your side asap and by whatever means is hilarious (and quite unfortunate).

Gates

Dec. 12th, 2016 10:47 pm
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Moldovans love a good gate. And they can be quite particular about it. You may remember this one (see here). Today I visited a family who must have put quite a bit of work into their gate too:



On my way back I saw a gate that had dolphins in crowns on it.
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So when I called the Moldovan election the least important presidential election in the world (see here) I was definitely wrong. It's gotta be the Transnistrian one, which has just happened. I was told that the average turnout was estimated at slightly over 25 percent. Apparently it is so unimportant that even Transnistrians themselves don't give a damn about it.

And I thought I'd post some random Transnistrians from Tiraspol to celebrate. I bet these three didn't vote.

In Tiraspol, Transnistria, Moldova.

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Latin Quarter, Paris

Irish pub

Dec. 9th, 2016 08:19 pm
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Irish pubs and the pavements in front of them look the same everywhere, be it London, Istanbul or Singapore.

This one is in Paris.

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