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Irish working days

Through previous interviews, it already became clear to me that working is not the favourite pastime of the Irish people. Most of them so it simply to earn money and that`s it. They have not got a lot to complain about: the economy is in good condition and anyone with a reasonable record had the luxury of even being picky when looking for a job. Or, as Tony (50) tells me with a smiling face: ‘If you want to fight, you`ll get some. The same goes for work in today`s Ireland`. Since most of the recent industry boom has been realised by the professional services sector, I have been out on the streets again today to ask people about their experiences on the Irish work floor. That doesn`t seem to be the worst place in the world to hang out, as you can read below.

Posted by Bruno

Latvia`s economy has been growing rapidly over the last few years. In parallel to that, consumption has increased and people have started to produce an evergrowing amount of waste. Equipment that was once manufactured to last a lifetime is now replaced by newer gadgets on a regular basis. Multi purpose vehicles (MPVs) are a common sight on Latvia`s roads, which were once only populated by small and cramped Ladas, for those who could afford one. Like in many other modern countries, the environment suffers. How does that match with the Latvians` love for nature?

Posted by Bruno

Estonia is far from being a hotspot tourist destination but many people who get here for the first time are surprised by what they find. I am talking to foreign visitors today about how they ended up in Estonia and what they think of the country.

Posted by Bruno

Unlike the Baltics, Finland managed quite well in preserving its own territory during World War II. Fierce forest fights against Russia helped Finland largely maintain its easterly frontier. Over 10 000 man died on the Finnish side, while more than 100 000 Russian soldiers did not survive the battle for Finland. Although Finland has faced no forreign threat to its nation after the Second World War ended, it still requires its male citizens to serve up to twelve months in the army. The two only alternatives are to find a 13-month civil service placement, or to spend 6 months in jail.

Posted by Bruno

Ask Europeans to rate the other members` cooking culture and England is likely to end up in the lower ranks of the competition. They frequently fall victim to the French joking about their taste, while the obesity problem suggests that an English diet may also be harmful to your health. A good reason to ask people in Newcastle: what are you having for dinner tonight?

Posted by Bruno

Thinking of shopping on a Sunday? Not in Portugal. It all happens on Saturday morning, for clothes and food alike. Open air markets attract masses of people and shopping streets fill up. Halfway Saturday afternoon, most shops close their doors only to re-open them on Monday. If it wasn`t for the restaurants and supermarkets, the streets of the city would be empty on Sundays. How do people keep themselves busy when everything is shut?

Posted by Bruno

Many of the big European countries have a wide variety of different people within their boarders. Firstly on the individual level, secondly in the groups they belong to. Beside human barriers ? language, religion, habits, wealth ? these differences are often caused by natural reasons. Landscape, climate and the presence or absence of natural resources exercise major influences on the way people in a certain area behave.

Posted by Bruno

I`m a few days ahead of schedule, inserting another `personal reflections` article into the Us Europeans archive. The reason is fairly simple and straightforward. I have been following the news in The Netherlands quite closely while travelling, and am quite worried about what`s happening. Politicians are messing around with something they all label as `Dutch heritage` and which they see as the ideal future for The Netherlands: a future of national safety by social exclusion and religious separation, where freedom of expression means that people should be prepared to be insulted by people who have a different point of view.

Posted by Bruno