Picture of the Week

21 December 2015

Week 53: Cycling, toy factory, and lots of food

Filed under: — Administrator @ 12:44

During the last full week of work before the holiday break, we launched a report on counterfeit toys at a toy factory. There were also two Christmas lunches to attend and food to eat and photograph. And of course I was out and about on my bicycle as well, reaching the milestone of 10,000 km for the year.

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And, of course, I walked Cheeta every morning. During those walks, sometimes I see pretty things:
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And sometimes I see ugly things, like this bench littered with junk food wrappers, apparently left behind by teenagers who hang out here in the evening:
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On Sunday I rode my bike to a town called Tibi. It is one of the more challenging rides on my “menu”, about 80 km total with lots of climbing:
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But the mountains are beautiful, whether in colour…:
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…or in black & white:
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In winter we also get a break from the boring blue sky:
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On Monday, we launched a report on the economic consequences of counterfeit toys, obviously just in time for the Christmas shopping season. The report was presented at a press conference hosted by Educa Borras, a toy manufacturer in a town called Ibi (yes, it is close to the town Tibi where I had cycled the day before). In fact, that area, about 50 km from Alicante, is a major centre for toy manufacturing in Spain (and Spain is the no. 2 producer in the EU, after Germany). As will be apparent from the pictures, the room in which the press conference was held reflected the nature of the company’s business.

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Here are two women who played a big part in the effort. On the right Carolina, the economist on my team who actually did the analysis and wrote the report (with subsequent editing from me), and on the left Claire, our communications specialist who makes sure that our publications get the coverage they deserve. They are standing in front of a display showing one of the company’s best-known products, apparently known to generations of Spanish children. It is a box of things that can be used to perform magic tricks. Claire is holding the genuine article, Carolina a Chinese fake:
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One of the TV networks that was going to cover the event was running late, so the CEO of the company demonstrated a race track in the conference room:
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Some of the journalists got in on the act as well:
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Finally, everyone is there and the press conference gets under way:
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The CEO, explaining the differences between the fake and the real thing. Having such case studies in our reports is a nice addition to the somewhat abstract numbers and econometric analysis:
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The company building contains a lot of nice, playful/cute decorations:
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And a small nativity scene in the lobby:
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Wednesday was the big day–my daughter was coming home from the UK to spend the holidays with us.

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In the morning, I walked Cheeta as usual. It was still dark. A lone girl sat on the bench in the park with her phone:
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But shortly afterwards, sunrise arrived, and so did a planeload of tourists:
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That evening, I was waiting for Monica in the arrivals area at Alicante airport:
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Happy reunion with Cheeta:
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And with Taco, who has always been Monica’s kitty more than anyone elses’s:
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On Thursday, we had the Danish Christmas lunch at the office:
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This is Birgit, a deputy department director at our office, and the instigator of both the Christmas lunch and the game we played, consisting of trying to guess who was who on previously submitted baby pictures:
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And on Friday, the seasonal eating and drinking continued, this time with our department Christmas lunch, held at El Capricho de Raquel, one of our “standard” restaurants near the office. Here is Claire again, saying Cheers (or rather, Santé, since she is French):
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Carolina and Tina:
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Adela, a newly minted law graduate from the Czech Republic, currently doing a traineeship in my team:
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Stephanie:
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The food we ate was not particularly Christmassy, it was more typical Spanish tapas.

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Bonito and tomatoes:
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This looks like Iberian ham, but it is in fact cured beef:
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I was not sure what fish this was, but it was delicious:
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The pulpo:
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Razor clams, one of my favourite seafoods:
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Finally, something sweet:
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Two more food pictures, this time from home. My wife made a Polish dish called gołąbki, basically green cabbage rolls stuffed with ground meat. Except that this is a vegan version, with the stuffing consisting of bulgur and fresh herbs and spices.

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The cabbage leaves are carefully boiled to make them soft and pliant, the rolls are formed and placed in the pot:
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Add tomato sauce, simmer slowly for an hour so, and you have pure deliciousness (and very filling as well):
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1 Comment »

  1. Fascinating work you do. The world is a challenging place. I especially liked the people photos.

    Comment by Brian — 22 December 2015 @ 16:43

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