Author: doraz

GEORGIA (Batumi, Kutaisi)

THE GOOD

– Food portions at the restaurant are huge, often it was hard to eat up a full meal.

– It seems a safe country, I never felt in danger, even walking alone outside city center in the night.

– Batumi is generally clean, I didn’t spot any “forgotten” waste in the streets and on the seaside. Kutaisi is much worse: there is garbage in the river, in the parks and in many abandoned areas.

– Despite all the mess and issues, they seem quite used to them and they take everything easy!

 

THE PECULIAR

– If you know where to go, you can find good places (accommodations, restaurants, …) at dirt prices, but as a tourist you will likely end up in the popular ones, with high prices (compared to Georgian standards) and average quality. Decent accommodations in Batumi vary from 40 to 60€, a full meal around 10€. Kutaisi offers excellent rooms at 20€.

– At some supermarkets, there are plenty of assistants that take care of their specific shelf: basically each area has two or more dedicated assistants. They can help the customer, they put products perfectly aligned, and probably they also check that nobody steals items.

– In Batumi most of the tourists are Russians and Turks; I spotted many bold big belly men “escorted” by showy Russian ladies… maybe I still have some chances 🙂

– Batumi beach is made of stones, so a deckchair is recommended (they are rented directly on the beach at 4-5GEL each, as well as umbrellas).

– There are some stray dogs all around the city and on the seaside, they are calm and don’t bother anybody. People are comfortable with them. Same situation in Kutaisi.

– No strip bars or sex clubs, even if in Batumi some bars with dark windows seems to offer more than a drink.

– In Batumi old city, Turkish area, there are plenty of thai massage parlors: in spite of the poor conditions of the house and the lack of cleanliness, the massage itself can be very good. Girls may propose some “sensual” services beyond massage to round up their low salary.

– CouchSurfing and Tinder don’t work at all.

 

THE BAD

– Batumi is one of the ugliest city I visited, there is jumble of “modern” skyscrapers built randomly and surrounded by old ruined houses. The road infrastructure is inadequate to serve the large number of tourists that come in July and August; in June there were already frequent traffic jams all around the city.

– Very few people can speak English, even among young people it’s not common, only teenagers know some basics. They usually speak Russian as second language, not surprising Batumi is full of Russian people.

– it’s an underdeveloped country, they lack good infrastructures and their mindset is still backward.

– I rarely felt welcomed, I wonder if I was a nuisance of them, or it’s just their own behavior. I didn’t have any chance to get in touch with locals, apart some short talks with the staff at the restaurant or the hotel. I would say that in Kutaisi the normal approach with foreigners was friendlier, whilst in Batumi I was just a customer.

– Finding a comfy accommodation is like winning the lottery, there is always something wrong:

place n. 0: they debited my credit card 1 month before my arrival – got a refund after a written complain through Booking.com and I canceled the reservation.

1st place: nice modern hotel with hard mattress and super thick pillows (apart that, it was an excellent place).

2nd place: a private flat in a modern building, I even didn’t get inside since the landlord was cheating and brought me in another place in an old building, of course with the same price. I tried to find an agreement, but when he started to shout in Georgian language, I just picked my stuff and runt away (quickly…)

3rd place: decent room with a strong sewer “flavor”, lack of cleanliness, and stinking super heavy pillows.

4th place: finally I got a nice bright room, but… there were water issues in the shower, so that sometimes water pressure was very little, sometimes extremely strong… sometimes water was very cold, and an instant later ultra hot without touching the knob… Just impossible to have a relaxing shower…

It’s recommended to carefully check the room before accepting it.

– Blinds at the windows are almost not-existent, blackout curtains are rare: better to apply some aluminum foil or dark waste bags on the windows to avoid sunlight in the morning

– Party places were usually not crowded and boring. Some clubs seem scam places for tourists (20€ entrance fee!) with some unappealing men hanging around and inviting you.

– Salsa dancing is not popular at all, I went to a Salsa festival in Batumi and I met only Russians and Ukrainians.

– At the restaurant, waiters can’t “wait” to take used napkins as soon as you put them on the table: a continuous intrusion. Moreover, most of the time, dishes come all together, probably it’s part of their culture to show a table full of food. Service fee (10%) often is exposed in the bill, but some waiters told me that it’s not a tip for them, but it goes to the restaurant (!). Service is usually poor, staff is not trained for the job, they just bring dishes back and forth.

– Queueing, as first come first served, is an unknown behavior; they (as well as Russians) also jump in when a customer is dealing with the staff at the hotel desk.

– Roads are like a jungle: they do not respect signs nor pedestrian strips, they park where it comes, they drive talking or typing on the phone, they are honking all the time, they seldomly use safety belts… on the other side, pedestrian also cross whenever and wherever they like, doesn’t matter if the traffic light is red or is a 3 lanes road…

– Roads are in a bad condition, above all outside of the cities the lack of maintenance is evident.

– Many people are used to walk on the bicycle lane, and (not surprising…) many people use bicycles on the pedestrian street.

– There are not few idiots that drive at very high speed in the city with fast cars or bikes, making a lot of noise when they pass by… it seems that nobody complains about them, in spite they are curious about who is so “noticeable” (!).

– There are several homeless people and gipsy children in the streets, they look quite deprived.

– Better to avoid unofficial taxi, also with official ones is better to agree on rate before leaving. “Maxim” app is recommended to book a taxi from your smartphone, it is simple and reliable (a kind of Uber).

 

RECOMMENDED PLACES in BATUMI

Gonio Inn (both hotel and restaurant are great)

Orbi Residence

Batumi Piazza (often there is live music)

Sazandari restaurant

Botanico cafè

 

RECOMMENDED PLACES in KUTAISI

Nana’s home (super-comfy bed, nice room, kind host)

Satsnakheli wine gallery

 

OTHER

Maxim app to order a taxi.

 

MAP

GE – Georgia

 

PICTURE GALLERIES

38 Kutaisi

 

01 Gonio
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Aperitivo alla discoteca FELLINI (Pogliano Milanese)

Ognuno vende bene i suoi prosciutti! (così diceva un mio vecchio project manager) – questa potrebbe essere la sintesi della serata aperitivo di domenica 25 Marzo 🙂
Non importa se sono fuori stagione, agli estrogeni, siliconati, abbronzati, snelli, grassi, acerbi… L’importante è vendere! e di ciccia ce n’era molta in vendita, ma da spolpare solo con gli occhi, ahinoi!

Andiamo con ordine:
Accoglienza ok, nonostante la coda che lasciava presagire un’affollamento interno, e così è stato.
La ragazza alla cassa probabilmente si è confusa, e non mi rilasciato il talloncino regolare ma solo quello del drink…
Il cibo era buono, direi ottimo per un’aperitivo su larga scala e per un prezzo limitato (15e). Putroppo il personale, nonostante corrano come matti, è insufficiente: ad esempio, per trovare le posate ho atteso 10 minuti.
Ressa esagerata, la mia attitudine nordica è stata messa duramente alla prova per muoversi in mezzo a quella bolgia.
Musica piacevole e cantabile fino alle 22 circa, dopodiché è degenerata in un continuo tunz tunz… ma i miei gusti musicali fanno poco testo, visto che non avevo mai sentito la maggior parte dei brani che gli altri cantavano a squarciagola.
Ambiente che vuole apparire ricercato e di buon gusto, ma ho notato non pochi comportamenti burini come farsi strada a spintoni e fumare tranquillamente all’interno. Qualche dubbio anche sulla magnificenza all’arrivo delle bottiglie, manco contenessero un elisir di lunga vita…

Ammirevole un ragazzo handicappato che non si è fatto scrupoli a divertirsi in un ambiente così imbellettato: dove molti sembrano atteggiarsi a super-uomini, lui si muoveva con disinvoltura nonostante la camminata sbilenca.

Un paio di suggerimenti:
– La fila di macchinoni in bella mostra all’ingresso è un fenomeno che ho visto in pochi altri paesi, tra cui Turchia e Romania… valutate voi se siamo in buona compagnia…
– Non sarebbe male lasciare la sala circolare vicino all’ingresso con musica a basso volume, magari qualcuno si accorge che vuole fare un discorso senza gridarsi nelle orecchie…

Personalmente mi sentivo piuttosto fuori luogo, ma in ogni caso l’aperivito “movimentato” merita, da riprovare sul presto quando si spera ci sia meno calca.

MONTENEGRO (Podgorica, Niksic)

THE GOOD
– cheap (good 4* hotels are less than 50€, a full meal is around 10€)
– friendly people, they are usually open for a casual small talk
– most people speak English
– sometimes waiters offer a drink for free as hospitality
– they like to party, bars are packed with people even in week days, and you can easily find live music performances
– dishes are most often with large portions, I have only one meal per day after breakfast
– at Bonella shops they have wonderful fruit salads priced 1€
– roads are in decent conditions
– not many tourists (apart summer time)
– people are used to dogs and they get along easily with them
– almost no homeless persons
– taxi drivers are honest, they do not overcharge foreigners (just avoid the few scam taxi at the airport)

THE PECULIAR
– I manage a conversation only with men
– waiters are 99% men
– they hug and kiss between men when they meet
– they never go out alone, it’s something unthinkable in their culture
– girls like to dress up and to be noticed, but it’s just a “mood”, no real action happens
– when they go out for coffee or drink, they are always looking at who is passing on the street; several cafes in the main street have chairs oriented one direction only (the street itself)
– they seems very religious, people make sign of the cross in front of sacred places, and they kiss the doors of the curch
– there are many stray dogs, tame and sometime scared
– it’s a developing country, they lack good infrastructures and their mindset is still backward
– CouchSurfing and Tinder don’t work at all
– no strip bars or sex clubs at all

THE BAD
– dirtyness, parks and rivers are studded of “forgetten” waste like plastic bags, papers, bottles…
– boring, not much to do… natural parks and mountains are the main attractions
– smoking is permitted everywhere, and there is no separate room for it: in restaurants or cafes it’s not so common, but in clubs or party places it’s a widespread habit. It’s even worse because no place has adequate ventilation system
– a few cars go around without license plate (!)
– parties are quite boring, everybody “flutter” around their table, but usually there is no real dance floor. People don’t mix together, they stay only with their friends all the night. I try to “approach” few girls of different age, their reaction was often laughing (kind of…), turn around and move away
– salsa parties are nothing special, music is ugly, there are 70% girls (not interesting and not interested…) but they dance usually with their friends

RECOMMENDED PLACES
CentreVille Hotel & Experiences
hotel M Nikic
hotel Yugoslavia
Bonella Green Bazar

MAP
ME – Crna Gora

PICTURE GALLERIES

53 Podgorica
08 Podgorica

serata latina all’Horus (Gallarate, VA)

Finora mi sono astenuto dal lasciare commenti su questo locale, ma stavolta prendo la palla al balzo sfruttando un po’ del tempo libero delle vacanze natalizie. Chiedo venia fin dall’inizio se la recensione riguarda anche l’ambiente latino nostrano, ma del resto l’Horus è impregnato e vive di tale ambiente.

Serata di martedì 26 dicembre.

Ieri sera sono andato al circo, ehm… all’Horus. C’erano spettacoli di tutti i generi, grazie a sedicenti ballerini che roteavano piedi e braccia con mosse apprese direttamente dalla scuola di Hokuto, e spettatori che scrutavano imperterriti pronti ad avventarsi sulla fanciulla di turno e dar inizio al proprio momento di gloria.

Rispetto allo “standard” di ballo attuale, sicuramente il livello è medio-alto: con buona pace di chi reputa il ballo un momento di incontro, qui più che altro però mi sembrava un auto-scontro… nonostante i sorrisi di circostanza, si vedeva lontano un chilometro che non c’era nessuna affinità e nessuna sintonia tra il 99% delle “coppie”: l’unica aspirazione sembrava quella di fare acrobazie, giù a muso duro per i 3-4 minuti della canzone, e poi sotto con un altro partner… mi chiedo se la maggior parte degli astanti lavori in fabbrica e quindi applichi lo stesso approccio al ballo, stile catena di montaggio.

Spesso le ragazze che accettano di ballare sono visibilmente annoiate se il ballerino non è sufficientemente tamar… ehm, figo… Ma anche quando avevano il sommo onore di essere di fronte ai tanto osannati ballerini, al finire della canzone, come allo scadere di mezzanotte di Cenerentola, tutti di nuovo a bordo pista dopo un fugace grazie.

Sull’organizzazione nulla da dire, hanno trovato un format che funziona, e che attira molto pubblico da molti anni.

Sulla musica, non oso mettere in discussione un mostro sacro come Zoro, anche se, come lui ben sa, se fosse per me metterei solo salsa romantica anni 90 🙂 In sintesi: musica varia ed attuale, ma per i miei gusti troppe salse “veloci” e pezzi “pasticciati”, nel senso che partono tranquilli per finire molto ritmati e “carichi”.

Mi spiace… come qualcuno mi ha suggerito, sono rimasto indietro ai tempi della Marna… ho visto crescere negli anni l’ambiente latino e vedere la degenerazione a cui è arrivato mi mette tristezza… qualcuno dei pionieri sostiene che “fa schifo”, ma non condivido una visione così drastica; vedo invece tanta solitudine, la necessità di contatto umano ma nel contempo l’incapacità di instaurare un dialogo che vada oltre al momento del ballo ed a brevissime battute. Molti vengono da soli, e tornano da soli, soli come prima. Inoltre, vedo la considerazione verso una persona direttamente proporzionale al livello di acrobazie che mette in pista, per quanto mi riguarda una tendenza davvero svilente – ma proficua per la mercificazione imposta dai venditori di coreografie (mi riesce male chiamarli “maestri”).

Come al solito non ho ballato, me ne sono rimasto in un angolo ad osservare la monotona situazione per un’oretta, e poi me ne sono tornato mestamente a casa. Se mai noterò una ragazza che balla con semplicità ed eleganza, e che accenna un sorriso incrociando lo sguardo, allora la inviterò volentieri, magari per ballare tutta la sera insieme… a chi considera tale ambizione un’eresia, non mi resta che un avvertimento: non avete capito nulla del ballo!

Capture One 10 – how to change default catalog folder

By default, it places the catalog folder in the Pictures folder of OneDrive, so that OneDrive keeps synchronizing useless stuff…

If you decide to change this “feature”, just follow these easy steps:

1 – close Capture One application

2 – find the user.config file in your user profile, its path should be something like this:

CaptureOne1

3 – make a copy as backup

4 – edit the config file with a text editor and replace all the occurences of the path you want to changeCaptureOne2

5 – move the folder Capture One Catalog from the old path to the new one.

CaptureOne3

6 – open Capture One application and it will use the new path for the Catalog

CaptureOne4

 

CanoScan 9000F – how to clean the inside glass

This is a brief guide about opening the scanner body and cleaning the internal side of the glass. After some years, the scanner works perfectly, but some tiny particles can accumulate inside and produce strange little spots over the scanned images.

You will need:

  • a Phillips screwdriver (cross head, to remove screws)
  • a little flathead screwdriver (to separate parts)
  • a clean microfiber cloth
  • a glass detergent or water for extra safety

 

1

Open the cover.

Remove the 2 screws.

NOTE: there is no need to unlink the flat cable that connects the top with the main body, but be careful to do not stretch it.

1 DSC06354

 

2

Remove the black plastic front cover by first releasing the small clip at the bottom and then pulling it up. It may be easier to flip over the scanner and use a flathead screwdriver as lever between the gray edge and the black front cover.

2 DSC063533 DSC06340

 

3

Remove the 2 other screws.

Then, push the plastic frame containing the glass towards the other side (where the front cover was mounted). You can insert the flathead screwdriver between the grey frame and the black glass frame and use it as a lever. Do it gently to avoid damaging the plastic parts.

4 DSC063475 DSC06346

 

4

Now the glass frame should be released and you can lift it up and clean it.

6 DSC06338

 

Other guides

http://www.carlmcmillan.com/CanonScanner/Canon.htm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dAAB7dMbf-s

after another Erasmus “party”

Erasmus people, you won’t fool me: most of you goes in a club just for meeting a partner, so don’t try to be so “friendly” with everyone to expand your contacts and increase your chances… party smiles are almost worthless… and Erasmus girls, your selection of guys with whom stay, talk and spend your night based on a “friend of friend” relation is at least constraining, even silly if you think that they are so different from any other guy that can approach you… go on surrounded by a fleet of boys, you will feel like a star!

(luckly Finland is full of beautiful Finnish girls!!)

L’amore più bello

“L’amore più bello è quello che risveglia l’anima e che ci fa desiderare di arrivare più in alto, quello che incendia il nostro cuore e porta la pace nella nostra mente.”

dal film “Le pagine della nostra vita” di Nick Cassavetes, 2004.

è bastato uno sguardo…

… per scatenare le pulsioni recondite della ragazza. stava ballando normalmente, ma come mi ha notato, ha iniziato ad avvicinarsi ed a strusciarsi con calore, e subito è partita la lingua a mulinello ed un movimento pelvico ancestrale. la musica ed il fumo artificiale faceva da cornice a questa situazione eccitante… ad un certo punto le mani toccavano ciò che sarebbe stato indecente in altre circostanze, e le gambe di lei non toccavano più il pavimento…

urge una precisazione: non ero certo io l’oggetto delle sue attenzioni morbose, la tipa in questione l’avevo incontrata tempo fa in un locale latino, dove abbiamo scambiato qualche battuta; ieri era con un/il tipo all’Alcatraz, e se pensava che questo comportamento potesse suscitarmi invidia, sappia solo che ha suscitato un goliardico divertimento soddisfatto ed una beffarda compassione… volevo fermarmi per farmi ringraziare dal tipo, ma meglio evitare questioni inutili.

L’ho detto e lo ripeto: se mi va male con l’informatica, sono pronto ad aprire un’agenzia matrimoniale, con consulenze psicologiche per ravvivare il rapporto di coppia!