My name is Fil. Dr. Fil.


Actually, it is not. I’m neither Fil nor have I earned a PhD. And I’m not a medical doctor, either. So why the nick? Both subscribers to this blog’ RSS feed already know the answer, but lately some inquiring minds wanted to know as well, so here it comes. The story of this blog wannabe.

Once upon a time… Having worked as a freelance translator throughout my studies, I realised that the work was simply too solitary an affair for me. I needed to get out there. This sentiment coupled with the idea that one needs a ‘real’, ‘full-time’ (ha! now that’s a joke considering the hours freelancers put in) job, encouraged me to explore other options.

I became a real estate agent and hold a license back in Slovenia. In complete contrast to my previous work, this job allowed me to talk to people all days long. What a wild ride! I met so many incredible people and heard countless life stories. Some nicer than others. Several of my clients turned into friends. One in particular.

This British guy was, for some reason, convinced that I should try blogging. Uh huh? I started reading some blogs and especially one blew me away. Said blogger has since become my grandson. Long story. Aaaaanyways. Actually make that two blogs. The first one written in Slovenian and the other one in English. Aaaaaaaanyways.

Just before I started commenting and posting on my own, I had moved temporarily to the Grand Duchy for the first time. During my stay I got to know so many wonderful people. One of them became my jogging-in-Bambesch partner. The beautiful surroundings and extra oxygen encouraged us to discuss all the truly important matters, ie. relationships. Inevitably, I would come up with a simple, clear-cut, no-bullshit solution. Which may well have been over-simplified and possibly wrong, but sounded good at the time and more often than not triggered laughter. Thinking back, it may have been the running-induced adrenaline, but who cares.

The way I ruthlessly kept cutting through the crap to point out the core of the problem reminded us somehow of the guy who became rather famous doing the same thing in better clothes and less of a perspiration issue, sitting in the studio of arguably the most influential US TV show hostess.

So there you go. Call me Fil. Dr. Fil.

Seemed like an OK enough nick to use in the blogosphere and it stuck.

The thing is, I like people. I really and truly do. Sure, I may forget that for a few seconds.. minutes… eg. when a jerk tries to jump queue (note: tries), roads are filled with cars operated by folks who should go back to driving school or when politicians play the card of nationalism. But basically, as far as I’m concerned, homo sapiens is the most fascinating creature of them all. What s/he can accomplish, the complexity of the psyche, the art s/he creates. Music! Love, hate, ambition, depression, thoughtfulness, recklessness. Dramas unfolding throughout the world, intertwined with the stories of other living creatures and the Earth herself, united in a single giant pulse in the Universe.

Anywhere I go, no matter how wondrous the nature or how impressive the man-made objects, nothing can touch me quite as deeply as people and their stories. You are beautiful.

Dr. Fil
PS: Dear mentor, I promise to start writing my MA thesis one of these days. Not sure about going for that PhD, though. 😈
PPS: Chuchi insisted I add this: It is also true that when I travel, I miss my cats.

News? Make mine dry.


(Photo by dr. fil: entrance into the building of Le Figaro, Paris)

Lord help me, but I like newspapers. Good old printed newspapers. And magazines. My dislike of televised news seems to be growing exponentially. I do own a TV set. A rather nice one, actually. But it always seems to either be off or connected to the computer for viewing the few shows I do enjoy or feel a need to keep track of.

I managed to leave my laptop’s battery charger behind in Paris. Which led me to turn on the TV and try watching the news on one of the many channels I pay for. The attempt failed miserably. Why is it that the news channels just make me feel nervous? Very little of the news they provide is of true significance, yet every piece is presented as the greatest story ever. Until the next one. I do not tune in for drama. I am looking for news. Information. Data. And good commentary. The pathos and unnecessary decor are distracting.

In contrast, I find some newspapers a pure joy to read as they offer both information and commentary by people whose little grey cells seem to be making that extra mile. So anywhere I go, that’s about the first thing I buy. So interesting to compare the way people reason. Especially on the same issues. It’s not about getting the news first, my dear fellow instant gratification generation members, for me it’s also about its presentation and accompanying background. With a commentary that requires time for reflection.

Enough with the rambling. I’m off to read the bit of Le Figaro on finance and finish the Scientific American magazine. The TV with its increasingly foxified news programming will stay turned off while the blackberry keeps preserving the illusion of my keeping up with events in the world. And, possibly more importantly, streams a nice jazz radio for me.

This, too, is Paris, part 3 1/3


This man was working out at that same spot every single morning during my two weeks in Paris. I walked by on my way to school. A number of hypotheses come to mind as I try to figure out who he is and what he does. His regular exercise, for exampe, was rolling a plastic water bottle half-filled with wet sand back and forth under his foot. So what do you think?

Paris was a fun learning experience in many respects. I do hope to return soon. A bientot!

This, Too is Paris, part deux


Just making a living by looking at the world upside down. At the moment, it probably makes more sense that way.

Blog Action Day: Turn Off the Lights and Get Warm


Sunflowers Need the Sun
Il faut que tu respires (photo by dr. fil)

The subject may be a bit omnipresent, but nevertheless, I decided to participate in this year’s Blog Action Day just as I did last year and the year before.

When tackling the subject of climate change I suppose that the logical front-line discourse is that on its very existence. Is the climate really changing or is the data on which research and reports are actually faulty. Such as temperature measured at the same spots that now happen to be in an urban environment whereas a hundred years ago they were surrounded by forests.

The next logical question might be whether it has been established beyond doubt that climate change has been brought about by human action rather than being a part of the nature of all things on Earth where the only constant is change.

And even if everyone agreed on the above, people would argue whether anything can be done to halt let alone reverse the process.

Today, I choose not to plunge into any of these debates. I know that I like living in a clean environment. I know that I enjoy nature. I know that I hate nasty smells. I know that in most countries, very little energy comes from renewable resources nowadays and that its production causes tangible and visible harm to the environment and to people in vicinity of the power plants. I know that we have developed a mainly buy-as-you-go-then-throw-away society. Other than that, I don’t know very much.

This morning as I went for my early morning jog in Paris (shameless brag plug) and it was still pretty much night out there, I ran past the Notre Dame cathedral and the Georges Pompidou centre. A few days before, I ran to the Sacré Cœur on top of the Montmartre. None of these famous buildings were illuminated except for a few light bulbs inside. Same goes for other world-renowned sites I admired. While in another little country I know, a countless number of little churches are illuminated throughout the night. I find the difference sobering and find myself wondering whether shutting those lights could be a good place to start eliminating some of the light pollution and excessive use of energy.

In total disregard for local weather, I went jogging in my usual gear, i.e. shorts and a tank top, with the temperature at freezing point outside. I passed by not only the grand monuments, but the usual ladies of the night / early morning as well. Two of them – at different posts, mind you – asked me whether it wasn’t too cold and expressed concern for my health. Somehow, I think that may have been ‘the line’ last night. When I returned some 45 minutes later, they were gone. I suppose they were some place warm.

All the rambling aside, I don’t know whether the climate is changing and if so, whether through actions of men. But I do want to live in a place that is clean and green. In my little world, what counts are the actions of every single person.

So let those who talk the talk walk the walk rather than ride private jets. Use public transportation. Heck, use your legs and do some walking or ride a bike. Let’s turn off all the unnecessary lights and get warm without overheating our homes. Clothes help. So do blankets. Or a hug.

Mickey 3D: Respire – Tu vas pas mourir de rire…

This, too, is Paris


This, too, is Paris

Starting a new day. The child in the tent still sleepy, but about to… get up.

Still Life in Paris


Actually, life here is anything but still. I love this place and am really looking forward to getting to know it better during the next two weeks.