Tuesday, 31 May 2011

My last day in the US - Nokia and Carmel

My last day in the Silicon Valley was very exciting!!
Erkki and me had a meeting at Nokia in Sunnyvale where we discussed Nokia's involvement in our African  project..and then we headed to Carmel,a beautiful beach south of San Jose, with Sami and her beautiful wife Natasha.

Monday, 30 May 2011


At Frankfurt airport....after having missed my flight connection to Bologna due to technical problems with the aircraft engines in Philadelphia...I can t wait to be home..
The last 2 days in the States have been absolutely great and too full of activities! I ll post the pics as soon as I am back!!

Friday, 27 May 2011

How one day at Google in Mountain View can change your life....

So many things have happened in the last 2 days that I don t even know where to start from. Yesterday I had a wonderful day in Palo Alto: first the conference, then a meeting with Heidi. We hadn't seen each other for almost 3 years, so it was absolutely wonderful meeting with her and spend some time together chit chatting. We had a coffee at Stanford book store then we drove to a burger place in Palo Alto..and Erkki was obviously with us!!
Today the day started with a meeting at Google's headquarters in Mountain View..o my!! Google complex is such a fascinating place!!
Then Erkki and I took a train and went to San Francisco (we missed the "bullett" train, it took us something like 1,5 hour!)...we walked from Caltrain Depot to the Fisherman's Wharf..almost 6 miles..but every single mile was worth the effort.
I love the Silicon Valley, I love the energy one can breath here, It makes you think that everything can be possible!!

Pic 1. Heidi and myself..Heidi, it was great to see you!!!

Pic 2. Erkki and his homework- to choose the hamburger from the menu

Pics 3 - 4. Google's headquarters

Pic 5. At San Jose station..heading to Frisco!

San Francisco downtown

Dinner with Erkki at Pier 39

P.S..by the way..for those who happen to visit my blog for the very first time...Erkki is simply the fabolous Finnish professor I work with....he is happily married to a great woman..and is a very inspirational guy!!

P.P.S. Obviously I went shopping in Frisco..I bought  a beautiful leather bag...:)))

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Getting lost in San Jose -- and addicted to Anthropologie

I am finally coping with the 9 hrs difference between Italy and California. I spent the whole day at the conference, except for part of the morning (erkki's laptop broke down, we took it to the Apple store in San Jose...and they fixed it for free!!) and the evening...I took a walk in Jose and discovered a nice, lively area...and of course I shopped at Anthropologie!!
Pics 1-2. Apple Store

 Pic 3. Poster against Berlusconi in Stanford..ha ha ha!!

Pics 4 -5 San Jose


Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Between Stanford and San Jose

After a looooong trip (more than 24 hrs on a plane - Bologna-Frankfurt-Philadelphia- San Francisco) last night I have finally arrived in San Jose, California. Me and Erkki - yes, the Finnish Professor I was working with in Maputo- have been invited to make a presentation at Stanford University. He flew from Mozambique and arrived in the US a little bit earlier than myself.

Although the conference is in Palo Alto, where Stanford University is, we are staying in San Jose, hosted by a Lebanese biotech professor - Sami- married to a Russian lady, Natasha.
Sami is one of the most wonderful person I have ever met and a great cook. Tonight he spoiled us with excellent Lebanese food (hummous, pita bread, foul, babaghanoug...)

Here are some pics which I took today.

Pic 1. The backyard at Sami's place

ic 2 Erkki at the entrance gate

Pic 3. Sami at work

Pic 4. Food is almost ready


And this morning's pics at Stanford

Friday, 20 May 2011

The Yacoubian Building

The Yacoubian Building is definitely one of my favourite books. First published in 2002 - it was translated into English in 2004 - the book is a portrait of modern Egypt. Using the lives of the residents of the Yacoubian Building as the vehicle, the author- Ali Al Aswani-  weaves a tale incorporating Islamic extremism, vote-rigging, corruption, police brutality, secret second marriages and homosexuality.
It is a book of intense realism and very beautifully written.
The Yacoubian Building really exists in Cairo (you can see a picture below) and it is located in central Cairo.

Recently a movie has been made out of the book and I know that it has been a success in the Arab world.

Pic 1. The Yacoubian Building

Pic 2. The Book

Pics from the movie

You can see a trailer of the movie here

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Exki - organic fast food in Brussels

Not very long ago, "fast food" usually meant "bad food"...but a few years ago Exki was established in Belgium! Exhi - which I recently noticed in Brussels, but I have been told it exists in Italy too- is an organic fast food with a nice atmopshere and excellent food at a reasonable price...sandwiches, salads, soups, everything is super yummy!!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

MMMMh restaurant in Brussels

MMMMh restaurant in Brussels was definitely an experience. I have to thank Nathalie for having taken us (a group of people of different nationalities working together on a European project on food waste) to cook and have dinner there.Yea, because mmmhh is a restaurant where you learn to cook some recipes and then you eat what you have cooked. The Chef Carlo, an Italian who has been living in Belgium for most of his life, is a great man...
Tonight Emily and myself were in charge of the strawberry mousse...

Pic 1. The entrance

Pic 2. the first floor

 Pic 3. The chefs. Carlo is the first on the left

Pic 4.Emily and the strawberry mousse

Pic 5. Emily, myself and the strawberry mousse

Pic 6. More cooking

Pic 7. The strawberry mousse recipe (in French obviously!)

Pic 8. From above

Pic 9. the chef Carlo and myself