barcode room Studio_01

barcode room is a concept studio apartment composed of product furniture-walls which move freely from side to side, permitting the resident to customize the size of space to fit a variety of uses.  Placing functional elements such as storage and furniture into these walls, only to be pulled out when in use, also allows for more of the floor area to be used by the inhabitant and guests, thus creating a space where one is able to both comfortably live and entertain a different number of guests easily.”

See a video of the project here.

(5/7) “Everything that wasn’t destroyed in our house was stolen over the next two days. We left with nothing. I can’t even pay the rent of this apartment. I’ve been in Turkey for two years now. I’m dead here. I have no life, no respect, and my children aren’t going to school. I have a PhD but I’m not allowed to work without a residence permit. There is a university here that is teaching with a book I wrote, but still won’t give me a job. In order to survive, I’m forced to create designs and give them away to Turkish citizens, who take all the credit and pay me barely enough money to cover the costs of my materials. This year I created blueprints for a giant construction project of 270 big houses. I was paid maybe one percent of what a Turkish citizen would have earned. There is no respect for my work here. Only money is respected.”

(Istanbul, Turkey)

Burger time!

Well, I went to the Immigration place and got my residence permit. They tried to make me do a Dutch course and this whole naturalisation thing like a test about the Netherlands but I think it was a mistake. The lovely ladies at school admin rang them and sorted things out for me. Glad that’s over now!

External image

Des examens médicaux à la chaîne

Pour obtenir un “resident permit”, Tim et moi avons du faire une batterie d'examens médicaux afin de prouver notre bonne santé.

Le matin du mardi 15 novembre nous sommes allés au centre de santé et des voyages internationaux du Sichuan. Nous avons rempli un questionnaire pour constituer notre dossier. La liste d'examens à effectuer est copieuse: analyse d'urine, prise de sang, électrocardiogramme, radio des poumons…

Nous nous rendons au 3ème étage pour la prise de sang. Et là, choc culturel ! Une file de gens attend devant une vitre. Derrière celle-ci, la biologiste, chargée des prises de sang. Pas de banquette inclinée, pas d'intimité. Quand notre tour arrive, nous nous asseyons sur un tabouret et glissons notre bras dans le trou de la baie vitrée pour se faire prélever deux petits tubes de sang. La bonne nouvelle c'est que la biologiste ne rate jamais la veine et ne fait pas mal… Piquer à la chaîne des centaines de personnes toute la journée, tous les jours ça aide à avoir la main !

Nous avons également fait pipi dans deux petits pots que Tim a donné à la biologiste, voisine de la preneuse d'hémoglobine. Passage plutôt drôle car Tim s'est un peu mélangé dans les petits récipients et au moment de mettre les noms des propriétaires dessus, il y a eu un petit moment de flottement…

Nous descendons ensuite à l'étage inférieur pour les autres examens. On passe de salle en salle, de consultation en consultation, de machine en machine. Contrôle de la vue, tension, poids, taille…Les examens sont expédiés.  L'électrocardiogramme vaut le détour dans son genre. On s'allonge, l'infirmière met des sortes de pinces aux chevilles et aux poignets (un peu flippant…) ainsi que des électrodes au niveau du coeur. Et hop, au bout de trente secondes, c'est bouclé ! L'échographie dans la salle à côté bat également des records de vitesse.

On descend au premier étage pour le dernier examen: la radio des poumons. Là non plus, hors de question de s'attarder. Les hommes enlèvent pull et t-shirt devant tout le monde. Les femmes, heureusement, ont le droit à plus de pudeur. On se déshabille derrière un paravent pour enfiler une blouse. Mais homme ou femme, l'infirmier fait preuve de la même délicatesse rugueuse pour nous placer contre la plaque de la radio.

C'est fini. A la sortie, on nous donne le papier pour récupérer les résultat et deux petites briques de lait sucré…

Uncertainty is my biggest fear.

How long will I be gone? What’s the process for dealing with this? Will I ever get to live here again, or am I stuck with a stressful last semester?

I know it has to work out, but it still terrifies me. It’s not like I’m going somewhere completely unknown; I’ll be with my parents and Minnie and all of my books and stuffed animals. 

But it’s stressful. I’m tired and know I won’t sleep for the next few days. I leave tomorrow morning and pleading with the universe to give me the hugs of every friend I’ve ever made.

Time to lengthen my residence permit. It was surprisingly painless, so hope that isn’t a sign that I didn’t triple check everything and all the uploaded files are crappy quality. Once we got to the end the Swede goes “ it costs money!?” ( oh, dear, sweet boy…) and he was like “you’d better get the right to get CSN or something, I mean I’ve paid nothing to live here”

Hope everything goes smoothly and it doesn’t take too long to get the result.

Eurovision 2016: Google Translate edition
  • Inspired by @eurovision-everyday 's posts : )
  • I translated every song's title in 5-10 random languages and then translated it back to English.
  • Albania: Will do it
  • Armenia: Wool love
  • Australia: Only plata
  • Austria: Location
  • Azerbaijan: Miracle
  • Belarus: Trick help
  • Belgium: What is the problem
  • Bosnia & Herzegovina: Love
  • Bulgaria: When love is a crime
  • Croatia: Lighthouse
  • Cyprus: Other independent
  • Czech Republic: Just
  • Denmark: Like soldiers
  • Estonia: Games
  • FUR Macedonia: Woman
  • Finland: Psalm to
  • France: Sought
  • Georgia: Gold midnight
  • Germany: Show
  • Greece: No nation
  • Hungary: First
  • Iceland: Provide
  • Ireland: Day
  • Israel: Stars
  • Italy: Not on secession
  • Latvia: Heartbeat
  • Lithuania: I’ve been waiting all night
  • Malta: Get on the water
  • Moldova: The fall of the stars
  • Montenegro: Real
  • The Netherlands: Slow
  • Norway: Icebreaker
  • Poland: Color your life
  • Russia: Will
  • San Marino: I do not know
  • Serbia: Welcome (temporary residence permit)
  • Slovenia: Add red, blue
  • Spain: I congratulate them!
  • Sweden: If the damage
  • Switzerland: Category
  • Ukraine: Another nine hundred forty-four
  • United Kingdom: This
Van local one of 38 people speaking Urartian

Mehmet Kuşman, 74, is one of the 38 people in the world who can speak, write and read the Urartian language.

Kuşman has served for 40 years as the watchman of Çavuştepe Castle, an Urartian castle in the eastern province of Van’s Gürpınar district. He still voluntarily keeps watch on the castle. He gives information about the castle and the Urartians to visitors.

Kuşman was given a residence permit from the U.S. to teach the Urartian there and has also received proposals from Japan, but did not accept these proposals because could not leave the castle, to which he is loyal. Read more.


The Prague Trip That Saved My Sorry Canadian Tourist Ass

When I went off to Prague last weekend, on a three-day get-away trip with a bunch of my Erasmus buddies from the dorm, I never expected it to matter much beyond the fact that I was putting off working on a very important presentation to do so. Little did I know, that the trip to Prague would eventually become the one thing between me, and an untimely ticket back to Canada.

The trip itself was great. The nine of us (the three Turkish girls Beril, Elif and Dilan, the two Italians Rita and Mirko, the two Spaniards Leyre and Antonio and Team Greece-Why-Did-We-Think-Breaking-In-New-Shoes-In-Prague-Would-Be-A-Good-Idea-Canada, Andrew and I) spent Friday night, all of Saturday and part of Sunday walking around the Old Town, the New Town, the Astrology Clock, the Christmas Markets, the Jewish cemetery, Charles Bridge, the Castle and the shopping streets. No easy feat for so short a stay. Despite our rushed schedule and the fact that we knew little about what we were doing and seeing at the time (case in point, the picture of me rubbing that dog, the legend of which I had no clue about), and the fact that it was hecka cold and rainy for most of our stay, I can safely say we all had a great time.

The fact that because of this trip I left the Schengen Zone for over 24 hours, and coincidentally carried around the paper trail proving it when I went to get my residence permit, which stopped the Austrian government from kicking me out of the country for having stayed 86 out of my allotted 90 tourist days as a Canadian citizen when my permit would take more than four days to be ready, made this trip all the sweeter.

Oh, and I kicked ass on the presentation I put off in favour of going to Pague. The Grammaticalization of Deixis and the Grammaticalized Deictic Dimensions in English, French and Spanish can kiss my ass!