Freedom Fighters Wanted…Must Have Exact Fare

July 2006.

Jaipur, India.

Train Station.

Ticket window #769.

Jaipur Train Station

Lyn went up to the window with instructions to purchase 2 tickets:

  • 1 x Foreign Tourist (Her)
  • 1 x Freedom Fighter (Me. Sure. Why not? I fight for freedom!)

So, what’s wrong with this picture?

If a person is prepared to fight for freedom, is it absolutely necessary to insist that they provide the exact fare? I mean really, can’t you cut a brother some slack…I’m trying to fight for freedom here!

The Marvellous City!

Twelve months ago I was travelling. I found myself in Rio de Janeiro – “The Marvellous City”.

Image
View from Sugarloaf Mountain, looking back towards Copacabana

And marvellous it was.

Alone in a city of 12 million people.

My knowledge of the local language (Brazilian Portuguese) limited to “obrigado” and “de nada”.

From a 1 room apartment on Rua Nossa Senhora, about 100m from Copacabana Beach (thanks Airbnb), I had the perfect base from which to explore the sights.

  • Cristo Redentor (aka Christ the Redeemer)
  • Sugarloaf Mountain
  • Avenida Atlantica, promenading with the locals as the strip is closed to traffic on Sunday mornings – walkers, joggers, cyclists, rollerblades, dogs, even children driving electric toy cars
  • the beaches of Copacabana and Ipanema
  • magnificent steakhouses – like Churrascaria Palace (http://churrascariapalace.com.br/en/)
  • ‘Kilo’ restaurants, where your plate is weighed and you pay by the gram
'Kilo' restaurant chain
‘Kilo’ restaurant chain
Weigh that guy's food
Weigh that guy’s food

My friend Malcolm from Melbourne Yoga (http://melbourneyoga.com) previously lived in Rio for a number of years. He put me in touch with some friends from his time there (okay, so I wasn’t completely ‘alone’).

This meant multiple visits to Blyss Yoga in Ipanema for a local yoga experience.

http://www.blyss.com.br

Blyss Yoga

I can’t wait until the next time I get to visit Rio. Perhaps in time for the 2016 Olympic Games?

Let Sleeping Giants Lie

“Put the smartphone down and come out with your hands up….

…your life is waiting for you.”

Funky Town

It's A Marathon AND A Sprint

20141013-202017-73217386.jpg

There is nothing like a hike on a perfect fall day with your Best Guy to make you smile. Really smile. Like with all your teeth sparkling.

20141013-202023-73223294.jpg
Yesterday we took a ride to Sleeping Giant State Park, in Hamden, Connecticut, for a lovely walk in the woods. I hadn’t hiked The Giant in years. Years. I was excited. Many, many, moons ago my friends and I would hike it every chance we got. In high school. On breaks from college. Even thru that ‘After College What The Hell Am I Doing With My Life’ transition period.

We hiked.
And chatted.
And laughed.

And perched our cameras on rocks, hit the self timer button and scrambled back in a panic trying to get the perfect shot in the nick of time. Inevitably the picture would get taken 100 times- until we ran out of film. We’d always get…

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Teach A Man To Fish

TAMTF

A few years ago I was working for a multinational company, heading up one of their local practice divisions. I was approached by one of the other practice heads asking if I had some resource to help him with a temporary staffing shortfall. More specifically, they were short processing staff to raise monthly client invoices. The staff member primarily responsible for this function had recently departed and had not yet been replaced. There was a lack of processing expertise amongst the remaining staff to pick up the short-term slack.

Being a helpful, sharing, caring sort of team player, I was only too happy to help out. At the time I had an employee on my team who:

  1. Was an expert with the company’s processing system;
  2. Loved to help others any opportunity she had; and
  3. Had some spare capacity.

Perfect! Right?

Not so fast.

What was being asked was if I could ‘loan’ this resource to do some processing of invoices. Going a step further, I suggested that she would have sufficient time to be able to up-skill the existing staff, so that they would be able handle some of their own processing whilst their manager searched for a permanent solution. After all, teach a man to fish and he can feed himself for a lifetime.

The response to my proposal: “Thanks. Leave it with me. I’ll get back to you.”

Naturally, that never happened.

The other manager was fearful that if his existing staff were provided with the skills and knowledge to be able process invoices, senior management would reject his business case to replace the recently departed processing assistant and elect instead to save the personnel costs by spreading the workload over the remaining employees. (Note – this concern was NOT unreasonable.)

So, how was the situation resolved?

Rather than accept the offer of assistance, the manager reduced his division’s estimated income for the subsequent month to $0, on the basis that there was no resource available to process invoices. Further, it was indicated that this situation would continue until approval was received to hire a replacement processing assistant.

Approval was duly granted. A replacement was hired. Problem solved.

And, importantly, nobody else had to learn to fish for themselves!

So with that in mind, here are some variations on the theme:

The Philosopher:

TAMTF Lao Tzu

The Entrepreneur:

TAMTF Entrepreneur

The Politician:

TAMTF Gov't

The Sociopath:

TAMTF Murderer

The Pessimist:

TAMTF Pessimist

The Pessimist (2):

TAMTF Pessimist 2

The Reality:

TAMTF Reality

My Favourite:

TAMTF Swanson

Chile or….Bust!

Running In The Desert

This is the week that Thomas and I (LongBuddyRun) were to be tackling the Atacama Crossing in Chile.

Instead, we remain in Melbourne….and I am housebound, foot elevated, struggling to walk.

What happened?

In a word…injuries. Collectively:

  • 1 x PCL strain
  • 1 x viral tonsillitis
  • 1 x hip/back strain – limited to 20 minutes walking at a time for several weeks
  • 1 x severe ankle sprain

We recently (and reluctantly) made the decision to postpone our 4deserts adventure. This was done at some expense (the entry fee is non-refundable), but we didn’t want to head over there to merely survive the event. We want the experience to be positive…not just hard.

The Atacama Desert, Chile
The Atacama Desert, Chile

I am still formulating a plan for another adventure before Xmas, ankle permitting. If things fall into place I will share the details here.