Monday, June 26, 2006

Moved to Zurich, Switzerland!

Ok, a retrospective post; but nonetheless it deserved its own entry. So on Wednesday, June 26, 2006, I moved into my temporary flat in Zurich, Swizterland. Located on the third floor of 139 Seefeldstrasse, Seefeld 8008. Me and all my bags were taken to here by my cou-cousin Nicole - thank you very much!

So, what did it feel like? well - v.strange. I went shopping at the local Coop - you wouldn't believe it, but whammo - my first cultural faux pas - I had no shopping bags! In Switzerland, it is definatley a BYO only option, so completely overestimating the goods I had, I purchased 4 shopping bags! Also realised that you pack your own, and rather quickly because people are waiting for their goods to be put down the lane - phew, made it, only just! I then went to the local kiosk and bought an English newspaper.

V.impressed with flat, a nice 65 square meters, 1 beddie, and balconie on both sides - whoa hold on ... I can see into apartments - very Vertigo like; briefly transfixed at cute blonde neighbour having a smoke, and other neighbours having a chat - weird!

Bunkered down with 'International Herald Tribune', a steal? at only 3.60 CHF, and watched, the rather boring only-English-TV-channel CNN TV (think business news 24/7).

Started to get v.anxious about going to work the following day, but equally was excited to find the locations, meet everyone, see my desk, etc.. Nonetheless, distinctly recalling going out to the balcony and staring out into the red-blue sky ... thought to myself - what the hell have I done?

Friday, June 09, 2006

World Cup - and what it means to me ...

Ok, well I am about to head off to see every Australian game (yes, me and my mate got tx!) for the soccer/football World Cup 2006 in Germany and I thought I would recollect the experiences in my life that relate to this, this is a long blog! (well it is covering 20+ years of memories!):
  1. first memory 1982, Buochs, Nidwalden, Switzerland; staying at my Aunt's house, I remember playing soccer with the local Swiss children - everyone wanted to be on the Argentinian team - me included! In conjunction with this, I collected a sticker book with all the teams, and stadiums in which the games were played. I didn't actually watch any of the games (as there was no TV in Warsaw, Poland where I was living at the time, but to those who are interested, here are the details of World Cup in Spain 1982) Not surprising, the next year in 1983 when I returned to Australia, I started playing soccer at school (with some handy skills on the left wing).

  2. second memory 1993, Canberra, Austrlia; the attempt by Australia to qualify for World Cup 1994 in USA. Not a very vivid memory except I do recall that defensive midfielder Paul Wade (Australia's captain of the time) had to tag Diego Maradona! of Argentina (at the time, Australia's opponent to qualify for the World Cup). On aggregate, Australia lost 2-1 - I'm surprised in hindsight that the scores were that close.

  3. third memory - 1997, the one that everyone remembers the second leg of Australia v Iran, Melbourne - the score being 1-1 from the first leg in Iran. Now, I had just finished Honours at the Australian National Univeristy (ANU) and was celebrating with my girlfriend at the time (Naomi) in the region of the NSW coastal town, Batemans Bay. And guess what, there was no SBS (the Australian broadcaster who had the rights) TV coverage in the area!!!! So, I ended up listening to the most important game of Australia's soccer history on the radio. Anyway, all my friends were revelling it up for being the end of the academic year, and at 2-0 (Australia winning), I stopped listening and went and joined them, happy in the knowledge that Australia had made it through to World Cup 1998 in France ... oops! (for the record, Iran made a remarkable comeback to 2-2 and won on the away goals rule).

  4. fourth memory - 1998, Melbourne, Australia; having just moved to Melbourne, to study at the University of Melbourne, a good friend of mine (Adam) invited a couple of classmates to his house in Elsternwick to watch a previously video-taped game from France (I recall it was Brazil v Scotland); those who attended - Adam, Georgia, Simon, Jacinta are still my best mates today - gold!

  5. 2002, Melbourne, MCG, Australia; again at the final qualifier for World Cup 2002 in Japan/South Korea, being at the ground and watching Australia win 1-0 against Uruguay with a penalty - you can imagine the crowd went off! These celebrations were premature - later Australia got thrashed in Montevideo, Uruguay 3-0 in the second leg.

  6. And lastly, 2005, Elwood (random pub), Australia; watching with my touch football team Australia grimly hang to a 1-0 scoreline for the majority of the match, and subsequently winning it on penalties - the pub heaved that night with the celebrations - well briefly at least, as I had to go home and go to work the next morning ;)

So now to the World Cup; if I get a chance to get some internet time, I will post here to my World Cup travel journal!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

A friend recommended a book ...

Last Friday night I was out in the city with a few friends at the Phoenix bar, on Flinders Street (probably my favourite bar for catching up with friends in Melbourne, although Cookie bar, on Swanston Street comes a close second - both have excellent ambience, drink selections, and food selections!).

Anyway, an interesting discussion ensued about books. You know the one ... where a person that you respect talks about a book that he/she read and then offers a brief description about what the book is about and why you should read it.

Argh! now a couple of days later, I find that I am trying to recall the book, the title, who the author is. Let alone if I actually remember the book, how will I ever remember to read it?

Now this is the important - if a friend has recommended a book, isn't it one of strongest compliments to pay he/she the respect of his/her opinion and read the book! I know, I know, time considerations, etc. but given that I am holiday - it is probably now or never in terms of doing this - so I have created a tada list.

Now to track down my friends and ask them to reiterate what book they mentioned on Friday - yes too many beers were consumed ... for me to recall the exact title ;)

Who moved my blackberry?

Ha! I ordered this book 'Who Moved My Blackberry' Lucy Kellaway, a couple of months ago and I was reminded about it tonight when I was reading another blog. I read it a while ago and give this a book a distracted 10/10. That is, it won't change your life, but if you are seeking some light reading and work in a coporate culture - it is absolutely fantastic. Basically, it is told in first-person email. You only see the emails that manager 'Martin Lukes' writes to his boss, fellow managers / workers, family, friends, etc.. It is a complete satire and a book that will make you cringe every time you ever receive an email on 'culture change', 'hedgehogs', etc.. If you have some time, a caption is here ...

Sunday, June 04, 2006 part 2

So, listed on Friday; from what I could see it hit the ASX boards just above $3 and finished the day on $3.32 for a 66% premium to its listing; not bad capital gains for 1 day!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Tomorrow leading online o/night overnight accomodation Internet site lists on the ASX following its IPO. So what is well it is essentially a broker between consumers and accomodation providers. It details what accomodation is available when, for what locale, and for what price. This is displayed through a price matrix of accomodation / price. So what about the financials?
  • some comparisons have been made to SEEK which listed on the ASX last year at approximately $2.00 and is currently trading at $4.60 and a price earnings (PE) ratio of 42! (wow, only found this out tonight - it must have some exponential earning per share in the pipeline, although this would be nothing compared to the PE of Google)
  • has a 35% of market share of o/night accomodation in Australia; with some capital behind it, brand flooding may occur such that its market share is substantially increased (and typically with e-commerce, branding is 'winner takes all' - for example, Amazon, SEEK, eBay, Google, etc.)
  • is offering a 4.5% dividend yield; not bad returns even before any capital gain is factored into the equation!
So, WTF (yes I know v.funny) lists at 12.00pm - if you have some spare investment monies lying around, it might be worth an investment; this is the preliminary commentary on the IPO pre-listing:'s (WTF.AU)

A$172 million IPO has closed heavily oversubscribed with the shares priced at A$2.00 - the top-end of the indicative range. The general public has missed out with institutions scaled back to as little as one fifteenth of their requested allocations.