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Last night, we played a murder mystery with the title “Death by Chocolate“.

I have to admit, I’m disappointed. I bought 300gr of chocolate for each of the outspoken chocolate lovers, but we did not even come close to finishing it. At least this means that I don’t have to worry about breakfast/dinner for the next week or so.  🙂

The game itself was, as always for these games, extremely entertaining. If there was a prize for the best impersonation of a character, it would have to go to Irene, aka anti-chocolate campaigner Hazel Nutt, for her very creative and entertaining leaflets warning about the dangers of chocolate.  🙂

A somewhat strange side-effect is that after the game you only remember the names of the characters (and their story) but not the “real” names. For example, there’s now a girl (character: Kit Catt) who’ll always be remembered for her legendary “four finger deep tissue massage”.

Still, I really, really enjoy these games as they “force” people to interact, regardless of how shy or geeky they are. You might find yourself having an affair with somebody you’ve never met before in your life or being blackmailed by a person, whose real name you don’t even know.

Oh, a good tip which I found on the internet and which I also used last night: Toblerone works really with a chocolate fondue!

Another tip: A chocolate tasting test can be fun. Just buy about a dozen of different flavored chocolate bars, break them up into pieces, wrap them in aluminum foil, ask the participants to unwrap/eat them without looking, and see if they can figure out, which pieces are of which flavor.

A beautiful winter (or spring?) day, a nice lake and my running gear. That’s all it takes to make Ingmar happy.

I really enjoy running reasonably long distances (20km) but fairly slowly (2h). You feel, you see, you hear, but you don’t really think coherently. You just run.

You observe things. Birds, the water, the light, people. The atmosphere changes. For 1-2 km you’re on a crowded esplanade, then you’re in a bit of forest.  You just run. You hear pieces of conversations, you try to interpret facial expressions and you just run.

You’re not actively searching or waiting for anything. Things just come to you and you acknowledge them without judging them or holding on to them.

Your mind is open and relaxed, but not focussed on anything. You just run.

Try it. But be sure to pace yourself and to run as slowly as possible. You’ll be surprised how far you can get.

I used to love Lego. I really enjoy improvisational theater. It seems so obvious … why not combine the two?

If I was a South Park episode, I’d be shouting “The Simpsons already did it!“, but it was not the Simpsons, but the Pool d’Impro du Poly.

About two years ago there was a talk in SaarbrĂĽcken on “Buddhism and Love”. The punchline (in my own understanding) was this: You cannot be good to yourself without being good to others. And to be truly happy you must learn to love all other beings.

[I was reminded of this when I recently bought myself a book in French with 365 quotes by the current Dalai Lama.]

The speaker made it explicitly clear that (in his understanding) love in “Buddhism” (… I forgot what Buddhist school the speaker was from …) is not a goal in itself, but is only the means to a goal. You love to be happy yourself.

This is different from (my understanding of) the Christian philosophy, with the famous quote “love thy neighbor as yourself“.
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:36-40

[ Cool! My first bible quote in my blog ever! 🙂 ]

I, personally, somehow prefer “love to be happy” over “love or go to hell”/”love because someone tells you to”.

I mentioned about the Hospitality Club.

Needless to say that I’ve been misquoted (… I actually did meet the people, even if I was alone during the first few days …), but I guess the club still appears in a positive light, so I don’t really mind.

Le Matin Dimanche. 21 octobre 2007. MĂ©dias. Page 42.

Le Net communautaire, par Laurence Nagy

Globe-trotter sur canapé

« Ils m’ont dit : nous sommes absents, mais la clé est sous la pierre devant la porte. Je suis arrivé en rase campagne, chez des gens que je ne connaissais pas. J’ai dormi là et j’ai remis la clé en place, sans les avoir rencontrés. » Cette expérience surréaliste, Ingmar Weber l’a vécue lors d’un séjour en Alsace. Globe-trotter allemand, aujourd’hui installé à Lausanne, Weber es un inconditionnel des réseaux d’hospitalité en ligne. En voyage, il loge « chez l’habitant », privilégiant les contacts humains plus que le simple tourisme. En échange, il reçoit chez lui, à l’œil, les membres du site Hospitality Club.

« J’ai hébergé plus de trente personnes. Je ne crains pas les inconnus. A mois que l’internaute ne profère des insanités racistes sur le site, je lui offre mon sofa. »

Le principe des réseaux comme Hospitality Club (HC) ou Couchsurfing (CS) est simple : vous vous inscrivez, en précisant si vous êtes prêts à accueillir le voyageur, pour un verre, pour la nuit ou pour une visite guidée. Plus de 300 000 personnes font déjà partie de ces réseaux. Sur CS, vous pouvez consulter librement les profils des uns et des autres. Les plus détaillés sont rassurant car, plus on en dit, plus on met en confiance. Je contacte ainsi un couple de Fribourgeois, « Nico et Steph ». Cet architecte et cette enseignante sont en plein tour du monde. Ils me répondent de Shanghai. « Nous sommes chez un expatrié français. De loin la meilleure expérience. » Pour choisir leur « couch » (canapé), les deux tourtereaux se basent sur les photos, la description de la personne et la date de sa dernière connexion au site. « Cela marche très bien ! Au Japon nous sommes même restés à un endroit plus longtemps que prévu, tant notre hôte était sympa. »

Les expériences embarrassantes existent. Weber a logé chez un couple qui n’arrêtait pas de se chamailler. Nico et Steph se sont partagé la moquette sale d’un Russe de Sapporo. Mais dans l’ensemble, les globe-trotters du Net on plutôt bonne réputation.

www.hospitalityclub.org

www.couchsurfing.com

www.stephetnico.com

Last weekend I had the chance to explore Lausanne a bit as my mom was here to visit. Two places I discovered which are absolutely worth knowing are:

1. Le Théâtre des Lutins (http://www.babysittingservice.ch/theatre.htm) [A puppet theatre.]

2. Jouets Davidson (http://www.jouetsdavidson.ch/) [A really amazing toy store.]

If you’re in Lausanne and you don’t know these places, make sure to check them out as quickly as possible! 🙂

Although this time it was actually Rohan (or rather “Brian Sewer”).

I like Murder Mystery parties! A great way of throwing a house-warming party. (11 people in a 1-room appartment.)

I used to think that a nice smartphone with built-in WLAN and GPS would qualify as the
world’s best invention – I was so wrong!

This weekend I finally discovered the true
champion in the category of usefulness: a shelf!
It’s amazing how much you can transform your room/appartment if you
pick up the huge pile of stuff spread all over your floor and you
put it into shelves in a random fashion. Suddenly you get this feeling of space.
You can even walk from the entrance door to the balcony with
a risk of tripping over a misplaced item of under 5%
(… this figure used to be close to 99.9% until last Saturday).
Now I only have to find the time and energy to take everything
out of the boxes/bags, organize/sort the things and put them
back in some sort of structured manner. Until then I’ve decided
to at least label some boxes according to their contents. Now
I have one big box labelled “Useless stuff” and another one labelled
“more useless stuff”. Not the most useful, but the most precise
description of the contents I could think of.

… since I last heard a French song that I really, really liked. [Of course, (i) I don’t listen to a lot of music, (ii) I certainly don’t listen to a lot of French music and (iii) there’s not that much French salsa music out there.] Last time it happened it was with “Aisha“.

But this one also has a really catchy tune. “Double je“. And the lyrics, oh pardon, les paroles sont ici.

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