Fri, 15 May 2009


So, today I turn 31. Fortunately I've had a year to learn that the thirties change nothing, and looking back, I can easily say I've enjoyed one of the best years I remember.

Today, a bit of protesting in the Plaça de l'Ajuntament against the old menaces of the Valencian Botanical Garden, and just after that, beer time around the Cedre area.

The amount of email, Facebook stuff and calls I've been getting today since I woke up is impressive. Thanks everyone! ;)

Wed, 13 May 2009

Spanish Cup final in València

València is again taken over by football fans, who have come from all over the Basque Country and Catalunya to watch the Copa de España final in Mestalla stadium. The city is literally tinted in red, white, blue and maroon and thousands of supporters (more than 60.000) have flooded the streets.

If you can't beat them, join them, so for a change, I'm going to join the crazyness and will go to the Athletic Hiria to watch the game in the middle of the leonera.

I can't wait to see how the Basque and Catalan supporters who have tickets for the game will react when the King of Spain enters the VIP area in Mestalla. Apparently, more powerful loudspeakers have been installed in the stadium in an attempt to mitigate what I expect to be the biggest catcall in a Spanish football stadium since we have a King...

Gora Barça, Visca l'Athletic!

Wed, 01 Apr 2009


Some days I wish I could selectively get rid of some memories. I would probably cut out a small chunk of today's evening, to avoid remembering some tough words that I've been told. On the other hand, I feel I have lots of things to learn from these moments, given enough time, after the dust has settled. El tiempo todo lo cura...

Fri, 06 Mar 2009

Calçotada in Valls

It's here! This weekend is again the time to go up to Valls, my friend Frago's town, to meet his friends and enjoy a new edition of their calçotada. Like other years, this will be a crazy event that will cover the whole weekend. I'm looking forward to our traditional calçot war, and spending tomorrow's night around a big fire in the middle of the country side of Tarragona.

Frago and I, after last year's calçot war

Tue, 30 Sep 2008

A horrible Valencian tradition

My workmate Pep was kind enough to drive me home back from work today. Ideally I would have cycled home as always, however today my bike was stolen again. It's not the first time or the second one, not even the third. My red Orbea is the fourth bicycle that gets stolen since cycling became my primary means of transportation more than 10 years ago.

Sadly, in València, the norm is to get your bicycle stolen every few years, if you need to leave it unattended during work hours. In this case, its even worse as the bike stays inside the University campus all day, supposedly guarded by security personnel, and in a place where dozens of people tie their bicycles, with constant presence of the people who work in the CPI complex.

This bicycle was given to me by Cherry when she left València, just a week after the previous one had been stolen. She had bought it to cycle around the Valencian mountains during her 6 month stay in Clara's lab, and was immensely kind to give it to me when she learned what happened to mine.

I planned using the mountain bike during the long 9 d'octubre weekend, but I'll have to see if someone can lend one for this year's cycling trip.

It seems I'll have to resort, again, to my 29 year old Laida to move around València, which will need an extensive repair of both wheels and brakes. Time to visit Benimaclet's bicycle workshop.

Thu, 18 Sep 2008

Mouth Freedom

Today I got the brackets attached to my lower jaw teeth removed. What I'm experiencing now is something like mouth freedom. I mean, I can even move my tongue around my mouth painlessly!

Wed, 10 Sep 2008


The word is out! Carles, Jonathan, Sabri and I will be throwing a hopefully great 30th anniversary party next weekend. It will start at 12:00 on Saturday and finish at some point during the next day. We have planned fun games during our “30thlon”, prepared infinite hours of all kinds of music (including Chimo Bayo, NO LESS!), bought a supermarket worth of drinks. Do not miss!

Uno, que no pare ninguno!

Fri, 04 Jul 2008

Marc Belzunces' conscience objection fight

Yesterday, my friend Marc had to visit a court in Barcelona, after being accussed for an electoral penalty.

Marc has always had a strong Catalan sentiment, and fights for the independence of his country from the French and Spanish states in as many ways he finds convenient. In this direction, he's been involved in countless activities promoting independence, in the Internet and in the streets.

For now, he has to deal with living in the Spanish state, and recently this became a legal problem. Spain held parlamentary elections in March, and Marc was appointed to serve at one of the polling stations in Barcelona. Believing he had nothing to do with an election process to elect the Spanish parliament, he conciously refused to take his seat during that Sunday, infringing the Spanish electoral law.

He presented his allegations to the officer, and refused to declare anything else. He now faces a fine ranging from 180 to 1800€ or community work (which he would, again, object to perform). The officer told him that he's apparently the first Catalan to object like this, so what will happen next (besides he'll have to sit in court and see how it goes) is unprecedented.

While Marc and I don't share many of our political views, I admire his dedication and his solid defence of his ideals. If I had been called to serve in a polling station last March, I would most probably have had my own personal debate on what to do, but suspect I would have ended going there to avoid creating these kind of situations, and would have had to participate in a process that I consider broken, unfair and undemocratic. I admire and support Marc for being stubborn enough to get this far.

His case has had quite some echo in the Catalan blogsphere and some Catalan media like VilaWeb. Some people have started a campaign to collect money to help Marc pay the fine. The response so far has been surprisingly positive.

Marc, molta sort i una abraçada!

Wed, 18 Jun 2008

In the news

The newspapers brought good news bits in the last two days.

Público reports on Paco Rivière's ongoing quest to get a refund for the extra money he had to pay for a Windows licence when he bought a laptop. Paco is a well known member of the Ubuntu Catalan community and has been battling for this common-sense right for 3 years. The trial took place last Monday, and hopefully he'll be able to report some good news soon.

In totally unrelated news, the Valencian caveman Juan García Sentandreu, leader of the right-wing “Coalición Valenciana” party, was arrested yesterday, for still not too clear reasons. Being one of the biggest enemies of my language, and having a long record of violent attacks to cultural entities and other political parties in València, I can't say I pitty him at all. I hope he had fun sleeping with the yonkis in the central police station last night. :)

Thu, 12 Jun 2008

Naked bike ride

Knowing many people in the Debian community, I knew others would be there too. And Gunnar confirmed it yesterday via Planet Debian. Yes, I participated in the World Naked Bike Ride, although at the time I didn't know about the campaign, I thought people were doing it “just because we can” mostly.

So, after being invited to the ride the week before, 5 of our colla were in the old Túria's river bed, near the Fira Alternativa's scenary at the scheduled time. Not having done anything like this before, we were a bit expectant to see how many people would actually do it, before deciding to join them. After a while, more and more people seemed to gather, and it finally took off. Pants off, and there we go!

The insane amount of photographing and filming that was going on around us at the beginning was a bit uncomfortable, but after a while we had mostly forgotten we were riding our bikes naked through the commercial arteries of València. The ride was too long for my taste, covering the whole Fira, Plaça d'Amèrica, carrer Colom just in front of “El Corte Inglés” (I wonder how many known people saw me there), Xàtiva, Russafa, back to Xàtiva, Town Hall, Ciutat Vella, river margin and Blasco Ibáñez.

Even if it was a sunny day, the chilly wind made me feel really cold, but overall it was quite fun, and an interesting experience I might or might not repeat. I'm certainly not becoming a naturism activist or anything like this. I do think we have way too many taboos, and every time I get rid of one, I feel a lot better. :)

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