Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Multitasking......my A**

I have failed to write in this blog for quite sometime, but I felt that now was the ideal time, since it is very obvious that #shit has really hit the fan!

I have been driving since I was 18 years old, thus an odd 21 years and I was never 'scared' - that is until now.

Our roads in #Malta, have become a total mayhem and I am sure this is not only due to the unprecedented increase in number of vehicles. So what is the reason? I can immediately come up with 3 reasons which crop up to my mind.

No. 1   : Multitasking



Multitasking is a myth! Even though we #humans (with an IQ higher than room temperature) can 'manage' to do two things at once (or think we can), the focus of the human mind is split and priority is given to the 'harder' task - if you don't believe me since I am no psychologist - you can check out this Link.

So if we cannot really multitask, lets have the following scenario:
What are people doing in their cars nowadays? I limited myself to 15 - anyone that would like to add please go ahead!!! 

Task 1  : Drive (This is supposed to be priority number 1)
Task 2  : Listen to the radio
Task 3  : Participate in competitions on the Radio (hopefully using hands free!??!)
Task 4  : Answering calls on Mobil Phone (Again hopefully in hands free mode!)
Task 5  : Read Text on Mobile Phone whilst driving
Task 6  : Write Text on Mobile Phone whilst driving
Task 7  : Fiddle with central console or other instruments
Task 8  : Arrange the seat up down / side / front forward etc - whilst driving!
Task 9  : Have an argument or heated conversation (with a passenger or with another driver!)
Task 10: EAT!!
Task 11: Read Newspaper (Saw it!)
Task 12: Do your makeup (again yes! Saw it myself)
Task 13: Play with the Kids (kids are jumping from rear seat to front seat and vice versa etc)
Task 14: Play or Shout at the Dog
Task 15: Hold the Dog on your lap

Just thinking - if you ignore Task 1 (Driving) and concentrate on let's say Eating (a piping hot, oil dripping pizza or pastizzi) will this "hinder" your driving ability? I have a tendency of saying yes!

Just yesterday, whilst walking in Msida, Junior Collage area, an amazingly talented driver, sped into the round about, turning at speed (or tried to), whilst gorging her face with a pizza slice and arguing with the girl in the passenger seat! She nearly ran me over whilst I was still on the pavement!

So I guess people should re-think their amazing abilities of #multitasking - please do!!!

No. 2   : Common Sense


Well it's not so common! And it really shows. Unfortunately we experience this every day in all walks of life - but seems to highlight itself in driving! When you see some accidents, sometimes the question is "how the hell did they manage that?" Well usually it is due to lack of common sense.

For example : If its a blind corner, don't turn with elevated speed and hope for the best. If its a tight road and there is oncoming traffic STOP, not keep pushing and bully your way in (usually the one coming opposite is a bigger bully!!) etc etc.....

Yet again - common sense is also compromised while "trying" to multitask - thus turning a round about at speed with one hand on the wheel, since you are concentrated to stuff your face in Pizza makes it near to impossible for the mind to comprehend that at that speed you won't make the turn!!

No. 3   : Arrogance

You pay taxes?? - GREAT - you are paying for using the road, but its not bloody yours!!!

Arrogance I think is one of the worse contributors to the mayhem and this is totally escalating. Road bullying is becoming a common trait and seems that it is on the increase. Common courtesy has become an endangered species and is nearly not seen anymore. I understand life has become faster, but that is the perception we put on our selves with all the readily available info we have, but this shouldn't make us Monsters that we cannot tolerate someone coming out of a side road, while the road is totally jammed and instead of giving way, we keep pushing as long as we block him, when still we are blocked in the queue.

Arrogance has grown and is growing in every corner of our life and everyone think they are "King" (or "Queen" - or "Princess" - to be fully sexually correct) and this simply creates a real life Game of Thrones scenario, which unfortunately a lot of them happen on the streets!

Well I guess I said too much now - I hope you can contribute more as my Thoughts & Tantrums are only mine and yours would definitely add the colour and flavour!

Wish you all a great day!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Driving in India - Seems like organised chaos - but it moves!!

Currently in Malta, traffic is becoming kind of .... unbearable! The so called "rush hour" has been extended to "congestion hours".

Although I am aware that the island is small and the amount of cars we have is incredible (that is each member of a family has a blessed car) and that the public transport is, well lets say, ermmm, not 100%, it always amazes me how a place like India with all the modes of transport available and amount of people can have an "Organised Chaos" on the streets, but still manage to move effectively.

Well the clip below is a 5 hour and a half drive from Delhi to Rishikesh, although the GoPro battery survived for only 2 continuos hours or simply got scared of the toll gates!


            

Hotel Booking Suggestions


Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Budapest - A pretty nice surprise!

Unfortunately I do take long to getting down to actually writing my blog, but at least here we are!

The idea of this blog is to help other travellers with our personal experiences of places we visit and to get the best out of it as much as possible.

At the end of February 2015, my wife and myself travelled for a holiday to Budapest. I have to be honest, I was a bit sceptic about the place at first and also since we were going there with a low cost airline (Wizz Air) of whom I had no knowledge whatsoever. But I must say - all this changed.

We arrived in Budapest in the evening and after meeting the taxi guy (pre booked via the hotel), we headed to the Carlton Hotel. The hotel seemed very nice and is situated on the Buda side a few meters away from the Chain Bridge (you will not see the Chain Bridge from the hotel!!). Happily just next to the hotel there was a Belgian Beer Cafe, where we indulged in a nice Hungarian platter and obviously Trappist and Belgian Speciality beers!

The next day we decided to venture a bit around and after going to the main city area near St. Stefan Cathedral and wandered off towards the main Market, we realised that all we needed to do is get our bearing right and it will be easy to explore this city. We decided to use the hop on hop off bus to get our bearings and lay down a visit plan.

After getting your priority visits set and decide to walk there, Budapest reserves some nice surprises for you, in the form of small "antique" shops, old school Barber shops, a Butcher shop converted to a fantastic Hungarian food speciality eatery etc.

We did walk all the way around the city. This wasn't because of the "fear" installed in us that taxi drivers will scam you, but since it felt nice to walk and the scenery was beautiful. Obviously we visited the staple attractions including the great Rudas Baths, which we highly recommend, but always take a towel with you and check the floor for glass if you don't want nasty surprises in the changing rooms :). We also visited the old city of Buda and the castle and we were amazed with a, you can call it tradition, in which people put out all their junk in the street twice a year for the City to collect. Instead this will be taken over by gypsy families, who will guard the heaps of metal, old lamps, books etc with their lives. Luckily we knew what this was and actually was tempted to try to purchase some cool antique, but to be honest some of these guys were pretty intimidating.

        

(A typical "walk" in Budapest)

I was amazed with the great selection of Belgian Beer pubs, with long lists of speciality beers and most importantly for my wife, Kriek which we found everyone on tap or in pretty 33cl bottles.

One very important aspect for me was the people. They are nice. They love their country and they define service with a smile like it used to be before - a genuine smile, which I hope they will not loose by becoming greedy, like a lot of EU countries did.

Last but not least, we recommend that when travelling back and you have checked in luggage, do wrap it at the airport, since both our luggages were tempered with and opened on the trip back, although nothing was stolen (since there was nothing to steal), this could have been a lot worse.

If you go to Budapest or you are from Budapest, drop us a line will be happy to share experiences and make new friends!!


Hotel Booking Suggestions


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Online Live Aquarium!

I love the sea and I feel bad that due to work and other commitments I do not spend enough time in it swimming and snorkelling or on it with my kayak!

Lately I came across this web cam site who managed to get a wonderful feed from a Web Cam in St.Julians. It was like having an Online Live Aquarium!! Simply fantastic. I ended up leaving it on all day on a Saturday waiting to spot some particular fish zooming across.

Click here or the image below to view and let me know what you think of it!!

 Underwater Web Cam


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Not only during Christmas

You hear a lot of complaining about how people drive all around the world and here in Malta its quite a normality to hear such complaints, but surely I guess one of the reasons is that a lot of drivers just dont care or do not want to care.

One big issue has always been indicators. All you need to do is get a comfortable chair, sit in the shade near a round about and start counting. You will be better off counting the ones that actually use their indicators then actually those who do not as surely they will be fewer!

I guess Transport Malta should use some of their marketing budget to educate drivers in Malta, maybe in a funny way like proposed below and hope (or pray) that it will make an effect and indicators start being used as they are supposed to be used rather than an additional decor to the car or to light up for Christmas!




Friday, April 5, 2013

Water over Dubai

The last time I was in Dubai I wasn't impressed at all. It's quite an 'artificial' city full of state of the art buildings which overshadow any remnants of history of it's fishing village past. But I was in the wrong as the way to view Dubai is as a new, state of the art city with luxury and lavishness!

Actually I had the opportunity to view the fountains at the Dubai Mall and I must say they simply rival the fountain show of the Bellagio in Las Vegas!! It was a great show and was impressed by the amount of people waiting every 30 min for the shows to commence!

Here is a clip from this show filmed last March... hope you like

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Religion - why so much hassle?

I always had trouble with religion. I do understand that, the human race being so frail and fragile compared to all other animal species in the world, needed something to identify with, to believe in and why not, to blame or praise for the good things and bad things that happen. That's how religion was born.

Also I must say, the first 'religious' persons to come around must have been quite entrepreneurial as they created a job for themselves, gaining thrust and being revered as the 'servants' of the gods and gaining power and high rankings in any society embracing any type of religion.

I was born in Malta, a Roman Catholic country. When I was young religion was quite imposed on us kids, be it at home or in school. Religion was a daily chore and everyday I had to go to morning mass as an altar boy and in the eve after school have my religion lessons to prepare me for my communion and later my confirmation. To add insult to injury after dinner my parents used to make me sit to recite the rosary with them - which apart from being a bore of repeating the same prayer for 50 times and answering to each other in a weird way, I ever could grasp the concept why praying shouldn't be easier!?

Growing up and meeting other cultures I started seeing similarities in the religions and their messages. Nearly all speak of one god, even Hindus, which even though they have a multitude of deities and gods, the trilogy of gods at the top because one, or so it was explained to me some years back in India. So I wonder, why is it so complicated to communicate with god? If god as all religions say is benevolent and loving and a father or mother figure, why do we need complex prayer structures, ceremonies and the lot to get through to him?

I guess the answer is simple - religions around the world have made a name - created a brand for themselves and as any other commercial company their aim is to grow and prosper. They keep you within their grasp, explaining that without them you cannot reach god or you will be in sin or will loose eternal life after death if you abandon the church (whichever that is).

Yes it's all a business model and it's proven wrong by the very pure people that dedicate their lives to god - hermits living in total poverty, away from the crowds and fortunes and fame, monks in remote monasteries etc. These people dont have churches or gold or huge buildings adorned with marble etc yet they have a contact with god, a contact through the greatest church of all - nature.

Two days ago the pope of the Roman Catholic Church announced his resignation. There was a media frenzy, people even started to fear that it might be a sign of something bad! But one thing that people fail to realise is that the pope is a man like us - he is human, Fresh and blood. He even poos and pees and yes he can resign too if he desires. So what's the big deal?? I only wish that the pope had the guts to resign and retire in a humble monastery somewhere in the hills not inside the walls of the Vatican, with all it's riches and comforts, which even Jesus himself denounced.

Religions are so caught up in tending to their brand they don't realise they are veering off from their original teachings and whilst preaching humble lives, love and understanding, they are the first to accuse and prosecute, to threaten and point fingers.

I do have my beliefs, but surely not in a man made church, as I do not need anyone to tell me how I should 'pray' or how to find god as he is there always and I don't need the church or even utter a world for him to know!