Thursday, September 25, 2003

Sorry no blogging for a few days, our office was 'sem internet' on tue and wed. Today I'm at home as its a holiday to celebrate the first day of the 'luta armada contra o colonialismo português'. I tried to get the chief to give us permission to have friday off as well as many of the troops wanted to make it a four-day weekend. I had asked him quietly before but he had avoided giving me answer, so I hazarded the question again at the end of a big meeting.

I think this was a mistake, as he quoted a directive from the Minister that there was no way he could give days off without express written permission yada yada yada. However the sub-chief (AKA special advisor from a well-known Bretton Woods institution) then said 'of course you guys [the international consultants] can take the day off if you want. Me, I'm taking my family on a trip to South Africa.'.

As I don't think it is acceptable to skive off while my team have to work, I made a compromise arrangement when I got back to the office. Everyone has to turn up on friday but late arrivals and early departures will not be looked on unfavourably. This seemed to go down well enough.

Last night we went to a Jazz (great, but no Hungarian influence) concert at the Franco-Mozambican cultural centre. All the beautiful people as well as many hoi polloi were there. Unfortunately we sat next to some guys who seemed to think it was a rap do, and continually shouted out like Tim Westwood.
"Yeah, Ivan"
"Gimme some"
"Uh huh"

We eventually moved but they were very loud, often loud enough to drown out the (somewhat wanky) clarinet solos.

I have added a link to a new (to me) website called OpenDemocracy which has got quite an interesting discussion about Cancun and its aftermath. I am still a bit suspicious that the website might turn out to be a pointless talking shop (rather than a pointful talking shop, such as the BBC's Question Time programme, which I think is very important in a democratic society). But lets give it a try.


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