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Tuesday, May 8, 2007


I spent the whole Saturday with Dana and Radu in Luxembourg. It’s funny it made me think of a winter evening at least four years ago when I was in Buacharest and we went out to a bar. That’s when I met Radu in fact.

The trip from Brussels to Luxembourg was quite pleasant. The two-storey train was full of students going back home for the weekend. Most of them descended in all those towns along the line, Namur being the biggest. I remembered my student years when I used to make a very similar trip from Sofia to Sliven with the 4 pm express. This trip could be such fun depending on the company. It could be long and boring of course.

The Belgium train was clean fast and comfortable, a real pleasure. However, I was thinking that some of the early 1990s Bulgarian trains fun was rooted in the compartment system. Several friends could occupy a compartment and create great atmosphere for four hours. This wouldn’t be possible in the modern types of trains which incite you to quietly discuss things.

Luxembourg is a very strange town situated in a valley and the hills and plateaus around. It’s not very densely built so in the centre - very elusive - there are huge areas of green that allow the city to breathe. Luxembourg is plagued by striking poverty, its inhabitants still being far from the EUR 50,000 per capita GDP. Not all of these poor people can afford to change their BMWs annually or to buy a big house overlooking the valley.

Today we had a fun trip around the country, first north to a nice town by the river Sure, then east to Sure’s confluent with Mosel and then south along the Mosel. The road was on the verge of being romantic but not quite so. They say the German side is better. It was great though - driving slowly, cracking jokes and listening to Bob Dylan’s Saaarah. There were small hilly vineyards by the road and the landscape used to turn more impressive when the sun managed to pierce the clouds.

In the late afternoon we hurried back to Luxembourg to visit the European Court of Justice and the European Investment Bank where there was an open doors day. It was curious but not impressive. The architecture of those buildings depresses me a bit. It smells of inefficiency and rigidity. I hope I am wrong. The important thing is that Dana feels ok there.

I liked a lot Dana’s apartment looking at a nice quiet park. And very importantly, she has a great baby foot table. I had a steep learning curve yesterday and even managed to beat them a couple of times.

I had a great weekend with friends. I hope Radu is not angry that asked him questions about my knee. It turned out that he has operated cruciate ligaments and knows things about my cartilage problem. Sorry, Radu. Thanks for everything, Dana.

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