Friday, June 23, 2006


All is good, but with the bump in my tummy I was afraid I'd start talking only baby stuff or football so, I decided to take a break until things calm down in the bump department.:) We know now the little one is safe and bouncing.

Moving along, Ake passed down to me an interesting article that appearred in several newspapers around the world - A GOOD MANNERS survey in the world's biggest cities.

World of Courtesy: Ranking of 35 Cities

Below is a ranking of the most courteous to the least courteous -- 35 major cities included in RD(Reader Digest)'s Global Courtesy Test. Figures reflect the percentage of people who passed in each city. When multiple cities had identical scores, they are listed in alphabetical order.

New York USA 80%
Zurich Switzerland 77
Toronto Canada 70
Berlin Germany 68
São Paulo Brazil 68
Zagreb Croatia 68
Auckland New Zealand 67
Warsaw Poland 67
Mexico City Mexico 65
Stockholm Sweden 63
Budapest Hungary 60
Madrid Spain 60
Prague Czech Republic 60
Vienna Austria 60
Buenos Aires Argentina 57
Johannesburg South Africa 57
Lisbon Portugal 57
London United Kingdom 57
Paris France 57
Amsterdam Netherlands 52
Helsinki Finland 48
Manila Philippines 48
Milan Italy 47
Sydney Australia 47
Bangkok Thailand 45
Hong Kong 45
Ljubljana Slovenia 45
Jakarta Indonesia 43
Taipei Taiwan 43
Moscow Russia 42
Singapore 42
Seoul South Korea 40
Kuala Lumpur Malaysia 37
Bucharest Romania 35
Mumbai India 32

Note from the Editors:

Our Three Tests

We sent out undercover reporters—half of them men, half women—from Reader’s Digest editions in 35 countries to assess the citizens of their biggest cities. (In Canada, we tested the people of our two largest population centres, Toronto and Montreal.) In each location we conducted three tests:

• We walked into public buildings 20 times behind people to see if they would hold the door open for us.

• We bought small items from 20 stores and recorded whether the sales assistants said thank you.

• We dropped a folder full of papers in 20 busy locations to see if anyone would help pick them up.

To allow us to compare cities, we awarded one point for each positive outcome and nothing for a negative one, giving each city a maximum score of 60. We did not attempt a strict scientific survey; it was the world’s biggest real-life test of common courtesy, with more than 2,000 tests of actual behaviour.

So, which city emerged as the most polite and which as the rudest? Here’s what we discovered:

The Top Three: New York, Zurich, Toronto

Carmen Says...

Bucharest - No surpise for me here, Bucharest hanging onto a 34th place, just ahead of Mumbai...Romanians are gonna be the first to say that people in our capital are used to bossing everyone around and wether you speak Romanian or not, getting proper directions or a decent taxi is a huge struggle there. Everytime foreigners tell me 'Oh, you're from Romania? I've been to Bucharest!'...I'll go ' Boy, that must have been awful, cause for me it is...every time..'

Bangkok - Yeap, I can totaly see how Thais would fail the 'hold the door for the next person' test...Everyone just marches in, not to mention squeezes in trains, buses...and, boy, getting a seat on the sky train in Bangkok at rush hour is a challenge EVEN if your 8-9 months pregnant. That's so far one of my biggest disapoitments with Thais..Rats! My friend was in labour several months ago in the BTS (sky train) and NOT ONE person stood up, until Jen made a loud remark...Having said that, Bangkok's 45 points were prabably Thank yous and helping hands in picking up stuff..

New - York - I'm a fan! I love the city...although I must say it didn't strike me as THE MOST POLITE, I can't also remember any incidents when people weren't polite.
Am I getting old? :)

I'm surprised that Budapest and Warsaw are highly positioned...I expected them to be Bucharest's better buddies. Good on them!

Times online - source

Thursday, June 01, 2006

What's up...

1 - We've been on baby routine for weeks now...but hurray as the first trimester comes to an end I'm getting my strength back, though I'm not out of the 10 hour sleeping patterns.

2 - It's agreed, there'll be no flying this year, so the coming summer holiday we'll rely on the car, maybe train. North of Thailand is the number one destination, however that looks a bit far, and our 20 year old Toyota has long lost any hill challenges, so maybe just NORTH of Bangkok will do. :)

3 - Number one on the waiting list is Merryl Streep's movie, 'the devil wears Prada'. I've always loved her. I could watch Out of Africa a million times. Ahhh, when Robert Redford washes her hair...:)

4 - Of course, the world cup. Betting has started at work and we're all up to our neck in statistics...It's great! The football fever!. I've put in my dad's predictions as well and boy, there was a bit of dissapointment on the Englishmen side when he predicted England out - second round ('He's serious? England out so early? - We'll , you'll be crossing blades with Germany and Sweden).

I haven't put in my predictions cause I'm stuck with the African teams. All those newcomers that'll be there to give their best shot ever, Togo, Angola, Ivory Coast.

Dad's no 1 contender is still BRAZIL...I'm hoping Czech Republic or Argentina.

Not too much hope for France, Italy (sorry Roberto :)), Japan.

Curious about Spain and England, always aiming high but hardly making it to quarter finals.

Da da da...