Sunday, 9 June 2013

What would Austin Powers do?

 For me, my super hero is, and always will be, Austin Powers.
Austin Powers, from the sixties, who travels through time to haunt his arch enemy, Dr Evil. Austin Powers, who is challenged to readjust his sixties values to other eras.

A pursuit for justice, conquering all obstacles in a cunning and creative way. Austin will always find his way out, and teaches us useful things while being on his quest.

For instance, he teaches us about laws of economics. Take inflation. Did you know that 1 million USD in the 1960s is now worth 100 billion USD?

But also, more fundamental life lessons are not avoided, as can be seen in this scene from 'Goldmember' where Nigel Powers (Michael Caine) states the following on culture: "There are only 2 things I can't stand in this world: people who are intolerant of other people's cultures, and the Dutch."
Me in my awesome Austin outfit

Now me being Dutch, I could easily be sidetracked by the 'Dutch' remark. But I am sure that he has nothing against the Dutch in general, and that he is probably only emotional about this topic because of a one time indigestion after eating overly mature Gouda Cheese. No, the point here is that living in another country makes you so painfully aware of how relative your own culture is. And therefore, that a cheese sandwich is not necessarily the preferred choice of lunch all around the world.

To reduce intercultural misunderstanding, it is also important to learn other languages, as is effectively illustrated in a scene where subtitles are misread, and body parts are named that should not have been named. The moral of the story being: if only Austin had learned Japanese, this awkward situation could have been avoided.

Now there are a few points where Austin and myself fundamentally disagree. But they really all revolve around opinions on body hair and the use of deodorant.

For all other topics I can rely on Austin. Whenever I am stuck in a difficult situation, and there seems no way out, I just ask myself: What would Austin Powers do? In real difficult situations, I always put on my Austin Powers outfit to get the right feel. I do look quite cool in that, which, in all fairness, is largely due to the lush fake hair.

If only I could get the Austin Powers version of one of those Superman-revolving-doors. A revolving door where you go in on one end dressed like a nerd, and get out on the other end dressed in red briefs over blue tights, and a cape.

But I guess I should have chosen that other super hero for that to happen.


Monday, 3 June 2013

What the Hell? - Thank you readers!

I received the message that my Blog has been chosen as a finalist for the Singapore Blog Award.

I had subscribed for this myself, I still remember how it happened.
 I had just come back from the gym,  where I had run a solid 15 mins on the tred mill and where I stationary-biked until I was warned by the built-in computer that my heart rate was too high. I was tired, yet  satisfied. I had pushed my boundaries. I looked in the mirror, feeling happy about how I conquered my laziness. It was in this rush of victory that my girlfriend pointed out there was a Singapore Blog Award. I decided to subscribe.

I found out however that there were defined categories where the blog should fit into. But I realized that the photos I had put up would not nearly make it suitable for the 'Photos' categorie, nor would my cool helmet remark and cycling jersey make it fit the 'Fashion' category. I could not make it fit 'Travel' even though I am a foreigner, so a traveler by default. Or 'Food', although I did mention local food several times.
Fortunately, my eyes were caught by the 'What the Hell' category. A title that adequately describes the content of my Blog. Needless to say, it was in this category that I subscribed.

Contrary to the expectations of me, my brother, my girlfriend, my close friends and all vague acquaintances,  I then was informed that my blog is one of the finalists for the What the Hell category!

I checked out some of my competitors in this underrated category.
I noticed that most of them are quite pointless.
Yes, I am facing tough competition.

Now I hope you will find my blog the most pointless of them all.

I hope you will vote for me (Click here)!

Unfortunately, only Singapore residents can vote (ID number required). The phone number does not have to be real (you can even put '#' in)

but if I don't win.....What the Hell?