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Saturday, February 22, 2003

Internet censorship in Fiji !!!
Boy, this is a big one ... and has to be stopped before it get's worse ... Some may recall my ongoing article about the pretty bad online connection here in Fiji, based on the fact that it is a monopoly situation. Fintel sits on the only one cable connecting the island to the world, and they give the right to sell to retail customers to the only ISP of the island: Connect.

Now Fintel has decided to cut off access to a certain service of the internet. No longer are people on the islands able to use net2phone or related voice-chat features!!! I personally do not use it at all (mainly no good software exists for the mac), but I find that very alarming when a monopoly player exercises this kind of power ... if not stopped, what happens next ? Next they cut out text chat like AIM, ICQ and IRC ? and then ? email ???? and then ... certain websites ??? THIS is the beginning of censorship .. and I find it unthinkable that this happens in a democratic and wannabe civilized country !!!

Of course, Fintel does that to keep their revenue stream from international calls ... they charge something like 1 US$ per minute if you try to call europe, while europe can call here for 35cents a minute. I noticed that even the mobile phone agreement I got here states that I must not engage in so called "call-back-schemes" (remember those ? you tell a website to call you from the US and then they relay the call to a number in the US or wherever .. thus you play the US fees, not the fiji fees)

well .. let's see how that develops ... so far I see the internet connection here is getting worse .. not better

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Friday, February 21, 2003

Happy Saturday World !!!

there is always space for some cute pics involving our cat:

Last night for dinner we went to Daikoku and had some basic, but nice tuna sashimi ... the closest we get to real japanese food here .. and the shrimp tembura was quite fatty ... but then the spicey chicken was great ... I finally caught the name of our seemingly underaged chef: Kapilesh ... he was the first chef we encountered at Daikoku .. and he was so nervous back then that we thought we may have been his first customers ever .... but he is getting much more relaxed and he starts trying doing little tricks :) but his food has always been well prepared !!!

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Thursday, February 20, 2003

So, I went to see DareDevil, and first impression: I really liked the movie! I had no real expectations, since I never read anything about that character and had no idea about it. And I am not a big fan of Ben Affleck .. and the trailers I had seen so far did not tickle my fancy too much.

But what I got to see was a very realistic superhero movie, showing a very different New York than e.g. in "Spiderman" and the casting is right on. You will probably read all over the place how great Collin Farrell is playing Bullseye .. and yes, he is ... I love how he uses peanuts to enjoy a quite flight ... amazing actually that he was flying in coach .. you would expect someone like him to fly first class :) Minor thing. So, in total I was not bored, I enjoyed the visuals, the characters, the relationship between the characters ...

My biggest gripes are some of the CGI, especially the ones featuring full body CGI doubles ... they look like the fighting Ninja Cats from Cats and Dogs. It just looks rubbery and fake and I have no idea how they can ever fix that ... In this case they were mainly smart enough to obscure the fake movements in the dark atmosphere of the movie ... until the final battle involving a huge organ in a church ... that was just too bright and looked like a saturday morning cartoon. But hey, it is a comic adaption :)

Surely looking forward to get the DVD release as I hear a lot of character interaction had been cut to keep the movie snappy and short ...

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These are the little things you can find in the newspaper and it makes you smile :)

Anyways, last night (Thursday) I made us a nice salad, which we do not get to often ... iceberg lettuce is relatively expensive ... and once you buy one, you have to eat it in 3 days or so .. so we will have lots of salad in the next days. But it was very nice.

The coming weekend will be full of watching movies, since a couple of good ones started and they usually stay only 2 weeks before they are pulled. So, on our list is Chicago, Daredevil, Big Fat Greek Wedding, Darkness Falls ... and some more obscure ones ...

I am wondering about the rating system here ... e.g. there are 2 movies, one has an "R21" rating, while the other has "STRICTLY R21" ... i really wonder what that is about :)

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Tuesday, February 18, 2003

Today is cleaning day and I finally found out what smells so funny in mine and Ritsu's studies ... I first thought it had to do with the cat .. but when I looked under our desks .. I noticed that mold and mildew were prepping the underside of the desk for winter with a nice green fur coat !!! ... so .. well .. since there isn't too much stuff on Ritsu's desk, I got that outside, scrubbed it and now it is baking in the sun ... those plywood things just soak up the water in the air like a sponge .. My desk started going U shaped a bit already a while ago .. bigger load on it ... need to clean that off soon !!! (note: if coming to the south pacific, do not bring cheap plywood furniture !!!)

More later .. maybe some pics of moldy office furniture ..

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Monday, February 17, 2003

Sunday night we had dinner at Great Wok of China .. i have not been there in quite a while. Their shark fin soup is really super yummy !!! Before we actually caught a really nice sunset (see below) and yes .. Here are also some more cat pics :) Misha was very happy that we were back and she is turning into a house pet cat. She spends the night now in her bed indoors, which keeps her out of harm's way.

Monday, after dropping Ritsu at work and picking up my first ever snail mail from the US (had to go to the customs office and pay 2F$ clearance fee), I spent all day at home with the cat and some work that came in that snail mail. This will keep me busy for the next couple of weeks I bet. Lunch was "Great Wok" leftovers (yummy lamb) and dinner was red thai curry chicken on thai noodles with grilled veggies ... Veggies turned out to be a bit too salty, while the chicken could have used some of it.

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Sunday, February 16, 2003

We just got back from a wonderful romantic valentine's day weekend on Toberua Island, and it was great. We did 3 dives, we had great food (see below), everybody was super friendly and remembered us from our stay just 4 weeks before. We even got the same bure (beach hut) again and the weather was even better than last time, but then again, I managed to get not as burned as last time.

Also nice was that this time more people, especially couples were there, most of them locals from Suva, a great fun mix.

Ok .. and the food was:

  • friday night:

    potato celery soup
    ham / cheese risotto

    beef in redwine beurre blanc
    fish in filo

    banana in something
    cheese and fruit

  • saturday lunch:

    minced beef in puff pastry with tamarind sauce

    fried walu and chips
    fettucini with chicken

    honey glazed pineapple with ice and choco sauce

  • dinner:
    chicken - corn soup
    seafood quiche

    fish garlic crusted on veggies
    roast pork, cinemon banana, lovo stuff

    passionfruit clafouti

  • sunday lunch:
    grilled veggies on a puff morney (a pastry puff thingie soaked in cheese sauce)

    warm trevally (fish) salad with tamarind dressing
    pork salad with apple dressing

    fruit something caramel

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