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'News from Roman' is a place where I write about events or experiences that are important to me for one or another reason. It is a space where family and friends can get themselves updated on my latest undertakings, and where occasional readers can learn about issues which are important to me.

I used to be so fat...

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_16e7I have decided to transfer my all online galleries, associated to 'romanmajcher.eu' from Facebook to Google Photos. As I have over hundreds different galleries, it will take a while, before the move is complete. Yesterday and today, I managed to finish the transfer of around 10 galleries. It takes time, as I open all the pictures, try tagging them to a specific location and then writing something about what a specific image represents. So far, I love the experience, as it turns out to be very, very sentimental. Looking at the images from 15 years ago is special… One of the main observations from the pictures is… how incredibly FAT I used to be…

In case, you want to check some of the pictures out, here are the links:

Archives:
A day in Kuala Lumpur.

Archives:
Working in, and exploring Indonesia.

Archives:
Spring in Warsaw, Poland's capital.

Archives:
New Year's Eve 2008/2009.

Archives:
Przemysl, the beauty of eastern Poland.

Archives:
Travelling to the southmost part of Africa. Cape Town and its surroundings.

Archives:
Ile de Re in France with ACF colleagues.

Archives:
A visit to Rio de Janeiro.

Archives:
The Angolan coast.

Archives:
Memories from Namibia.

Finally, I will be alerting you with more links, as additional galleries are completed and transferred.

And yes, the next project will be digitalising some of my very old paper pictures (some very old ones). This however will take some time.

The climate change seems so real.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_11f53The Atlantic Coast, Baleal, Portugal.

As I have already reported to you in my previous posts, I had a wonderful and restful time in Portugal. I managed to relax, visit some of my favourite sites, discover new ones, and deal with the administration duties that I have as a resident of the country.

Europe spilt me with a wonderful weather. There was enough sunshine to make you happy, but there was some rain too, which made things fresh and green.
The mixture of beautiful surroundings and pleasant weather nearly made me believe that I was in paradise… Nice and welcoming distraction for a week.

But then Bangkok welcomed me with hellish heat. It is unimaginably hot that one cannot function normally. Okay, heat is not unusual in Thailand, but even my Thai colleagues and friends complain and underline that things are really bad this year. Today, when I was walking to the office, at 8:30 in the morning, the temperature already reached 36 degrees Celsius… Imagine the middle of the day. It is actually scary and extremely concerning. I even do not know how on earth, we will be able to sort our planet out? It is even possible, or shall we prepare for gloom and misery?

I will be travelling to Belgium and Austria next week. The trip will be related to my work. While in Brussels, I will participate in some meetings, and then in Austria, I will be undergoing a training for the civil protection teams of the EU countries - the teams that are in the frontline to response to the disasters, such as earthquakes, floods, volcano eruptions, etc., when they strike. The idea behind is to make sure that all teams, even if from various countries, are able to follow same standards, when they work and respond together. As usual, I will document the experience, and tell you all about it, when it finishes.

Happy times in Obidos

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The neighbourhood of Pinhal, where my house is located.

I am in the middle of my Portugal's home visit, and I am enjoying it tremendously, even if, this time around, nobody is with me, and most of my time, I am spending on my own.

The visit to the country is special, as we are now in the middle of 'Holy Week', or
Semana Santa', as it is called here, which gives me a chance to learn some Easter related customs of Portugal. It seems that tomorrow (Thursday) and a day after tomorrow (Friday), there will be some very interesting religious festivals.

As Portugal is paralysed by the strikes of the truck drivers carrying fuel, there are severe shortages of fuel all of the country. Lack of availability of fuel, made me skip some of my plans of travelling within the country, and I decided to spend my time in Obidos and in villages around, so that I can make sure that I have enough diesel to be able to return to the Lisbon Airport on Sunday. Oddly, I am enjoying the change of plans. Obidos, Caldas da Rainha and villages around are extremely pretty, and it is wonderful to walk around and getting to know them more profoundly. Walking around slowly gives you a chance to talk to people. Portuguese appear to be very friendly and chatty, and I get very enthusiastic comments from people, each time, I make attempts of communicating in their language.

It is only 4 more days left until my return to work to Bangkok. While, I am a bit sad to be leaving so soon, I am thrilled to know that I will be coming back soon. On top of that, when I am here next time, I will be coming with Mum and Tahir!

Finally, I am preparing some pictures that I will post online soon. I hope that you will have a chance to see the images and enjoy them as much as I do.

A week of festivities

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_11e73Hua Hin's local train station.

It is a week of festivities coming. While Thailand is gearing up for possibly its most important holiday of the year, the Songkran (Thai/Buddhist New Year), the Christians are getting ready for Easter celebrations. One can feel the holidays coming everywhere. Most of my Thai colleagues have either already taken their days off, or are about to do that in coming days, so that they can travel to visit their families or friends. Also the foreigners in the country are planning their time off. Most of the people planning a seaside trip, or a short break outside of the country.

I have decided for a slightly different approach. I took a Monday off, and decided to travel to Hua Hin, outside of Bangkok, last weekend. I had a wonderful and quiet three days at the coast. Walking on the beach, admiring nature, and visiting street markets. Very relaxing time indeed (
you can find some pictures from the trip in this gallery)!

I will still be travelling more though. This Saturday morning, I am setting off for a trip to Europe. I will first visit Brussels and spend some free time there with friends, and then off to Lisbon and Obidos! So much looking forward to that. The best part is that I actually do not have lots of plans with regard to Portugal. I will just take it easy and take things as they come along. All in all, the strategy is to enjoy the moment, eat good food and sleep a lot!

Before making it to Europe, there is some humanitarian stress that I follow up on in Iran. Some of you may have heard that the country is hit by very serious floods. Many people have lost their lives, and the destruction is immense. We still need to comprehend the detailed extent of the disaster, but we are already trying to team up with our partners and
roll out a humanitarian response in the affected areas. It seems that many of the EU countries will also support the victims in their own capacity too, which is so important in the first hours after the calamity - when the needs are greatest and the most severe.

I will be updating you on how things go with the work soon. Until that happens, passing to all of you best regards.

A long weekend is coming!

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During my last visit to Hua His at the end of 2017

This weekend is, unexpectedly, longer! The coming Monday is off, so together with friends, we are planning to travel to the seaside, and visit Hua Hin! This is, likely to be, one on my last trips to the Thai coast, given that I am leaving the country soon. I am really excited to be going. It is unbearably hot in the city, and I will appreciate and enjoy the cooler breeze from the ocean.

And some updates from Tahir in Canada. We have the news that Tahir is likely to finally receive his first Canadian 'travel document', not a passport of Canada yet, but a document that looks like a passport and is called 'Certificate of Identity'. A booklet that essentially confirms that you have a right to live in Canada permanently and allows you to travel out of the country for holidays. Once he has this document sorted, we will be able to plan Tahir's visits to Europe, and possibly later to Panama too! Exciting times, as he starts enjoying more and more rights, after years of misery of a refugee life!