Archinect - Urban Vignettes 2020-08-06T22:03:07-04:00 https://archinect.com/blog/article/150098928/back-from-la-la-land-and-other-urban-adventures Back from La-La Land –and Other Urban Adventures bragabond 2018-12-04T15:27:45-05:00 >2019-02-03T18:50:04-05:00 <figure><p><a href="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/06/06696ed00a26e53d4df32a79de88927c.jpg?auto=compress%2Cformat&amp;w=1028" rel="nofollow" target="_blank"><img src="https://archinect.imgix.net/uploads/06/06696ed00a26e53d4df32a79de88927c.jpg?auto=compress%2Cformat&amp;w=514"></a></p></figure><p>Marhaba! (or hello in Arabic). So, back to Saudi Arabia I went, another job offer, another mega project too good to pass. And another experience in solitude, isolation, loneliness, frustration and patience. A lot of patience&hellip;</p> <p>As soon as I arrived, I was reminded of the "<em>lost in translation</em>" everyday surprises there: as when on my first trip to the supermarket I bought, laughing out loud, a container of "Homo salad" (hummus)...or the picture featured above, which I took in my neighbourhood displaying the often-seeing, hilarious translation mistakes, this one for "a room for rent" and which gave me the idea for, well, taking room for <em>a rant.</em>...<br></p> <p>Just like my first job in the Kingdom, now with a European firm, I was advised on my first day that since my iqama -Saudi work resident card- was not yet issued, I should just make sure to tell whomever asked that I was a Za&rsquo;ir (a &ldquo;visitor&rdquo;).</p> <p>But I digress; a new job and a -huge- new project; I was in charge of overseeing a very ambitious and c...</p> https://archinect.com/blog/article/150097088/marhaba Marhaba! bragabond 2018-11-21T08:45:23-05:00 >2018-11-24T18:29:22-05:00 <p>Well, back from KSA (and this time I trust for good).</p><p>Will be updating shortly and share here my experiences...</p><p><br></p> https://archinect.com/blog/article/105318864/living-in-la-la-land-or-escape-from-the-un-magic-kingdom Living in La-La-Land...or Escape from the (un) Magic Kingdom bragabond 2014-07-29T12:31:00-04:00 >2018-01-30T06:16:04-05:00 <p>Nothing I was told or that I've research could've prepare me for a real taste of Saudi Arabia. But, hey I am an adventurous urbanist, a curious observer, &nbsp;I've left my dear New York craziness for a great job in the outskirts of Washington, DC which was already very daring for a New Yorker, then moved to Lisbon, Portugal, a place with a great quality of life, so....taking this "fantastical-sounding job" in Saudi Arabia was a sort-of no-brainer (for me anyhow).</p><p>The first shock was when I arrived in Riyadh and people's answer to anything was "no problem", that should have tip me off....if people say no problem so very often, there were problems galore coming up. The second was the incredible chaotic way in which the driver sent to pick me up at the airport navigated the parking logistics (refusing to paythe fee and trying to get out of the parking lot without paying) whilst holding-up an extremely impatient, increasingly long line&nbsp;of unhappy Saudi drivers. The third was&nbsp;that although th...</p> https://archinect.com/blog/article/86967127/lisbon-where-the-land-ends-and-the-sea-begins Lisbon, Where the Land Ends and the Sea Begins bragabond 2013-11-20T07:03:48-05:00 >2013-11-25T19:58:29-05:00 <p> Lisbon, Where the Land Ends and the Sea Begins</p> <p> By Lennie Araujo.</p> <p> Sometimes nicknamed Rainha do Mar (Queen of the Sea), Lisbon is intrinsically connected to water. It lies in the western Iberian Peninsula on the Atlantic Ocean and R&iacute;o Tejo (Tagus River).</p> <p> Its location on the river provided royalty with a grand entrance at Terreiro do Pa&ccedil;o (Palace Square), which &ndash; adorned by a triumphal arch &ndash; became its main access and point of departure and arrival for sea-going vessels. [i]</p> <p> (Credit: Lennie Araujo)</p> <p> As Europe&rsquo;s westernmost and only capital city along the Atlantic coast, references to water abound; Lisbon might have been named Allis Ubbo,[ii] Phoenician for &ldquo;safe harbour&ldquo;as its sheltered estuary was an ideal spot for a settlement and provided a secure port for provisioning of Phoenician ships, and as the city was also an important centre of commercial trade.</p> <p> Bel&eacute;m, home to the presidential palace, monuments and cultural institutions, is famous as the place from which many...</p>