Sunday, May 31, 2015

My World - My Travel: Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Last year, while visiting Angkor Wat, for the first time in my life, I realized that traveling and tourism in general also had a dark side.
I visited the ruins of Angkor Wat, walking around, avoiding tourist groups from all over the world (impossible), sweating, waiting my tour to take pictures (yes!! you read correctly) and thinking (and feeling) how amazing this place was (it had been a dream of mine come true, this trip!) ... I started thinking about the dark side of tourism. This wonderful site, full of history and good vibrations is literally overrun by tourists. 2.5 millions per year. 2.5 millions per year!! Imagine! IMAGINE!! That cannot be only good, right? Too many people. Hotels are springing up like mushrooms, water gets scarce. Pollution (all these people need transportation). Sadly prostitution is never far away. Corruption (well, that may always have been existing). The dark side of tourism I had never up to then thought about.

Monday, May 25, 2015

My World - My Travel: Portland, Maine (USA)

I love Edward Hopper's Art. I adore it. So you understand my astonishment when, while taking a harbor tour in Portland Maine (back in 2013), I looked at the above lighthouse and (it took my mind a second) to realize that I had already seen this lighthouse. Not seen from this perspective (not from the sea but from the land) and not seen "for real" ... but seen just a couple of days before ... while visiting the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston! That was one of Hopper's lighthouses! It was the object of one of his paintings!!
How cool was that??? So totally cool.
It felt surreal. 
Traveling suddenly became like being in a painting. hahahaha

Friday, May 22, 2015

Learning Spanish

I am learning Spanish, and I love it (thinking about a trip to South America next year and without some proper Spanish no trip - so I am highly motivated).

Most of the time, knowing other Latin languages helps me with my Spanish. And then, sometimes, it's hard to "reset" my brain and tell it that this words in this language means something else than in the other language. For me it's one particular word. Oh my, I can't get it right.

It's the Spanish word "pero" for "but".
In Spanish the accentuation of "pero" lies on the "e".

In Italian though there is a difference.
Però with the accent on the "o" means "but"
Pero with the accent on the "e" (like in Spanish) means ... pear tree.

While speaking I use "pero" quite often and EACH time I say "però" ... then realizing I was wrong ... correcting my sentence with: mmmh, I mean "pero". And then Gustavo, my Spanish teacher, and I laugh out loud. It's like a running gag.
Però ... mmmh, I mean ... pero.
Like all these words become one: peròmmmmhImeanpero.

hahahahahaha

When will I get it right????????????


Monday, May 18, 2015

My World - My Travels: Tulum, Yucatan, Mexico

I had seen many pictures of the Caribbean Sea before actually arriving in Tulum, Mexico. I LOVED the pictures (and was a reason why I wanted to go to Tulum) but somehow, deep down, I kind of thought they were photoshopped. Or that all the pictures were taken just on THE couple of days where the sea looked like a 50 shades of blue painting.
Well, I was wrong. On all the dix days I spent in Tulum the sea looked ... photoshopped :-) Every single day. Amazing! And all the people I've asked since then, confirmed to me that the Caribbean Sea simply looks THAT WAY.
Isn't that amazing?

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Poem by David Huerta: Ayotzinapa

My Spanish teacher Gustavo and I spent yesterday's lesson reading and discussing the poem written by David Huerta: Ayotzinapa.

When I was in Oaxaca (Mexico), back in March, I visited the Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Oaxaca (MACO) and one room was dedicated to this poem. The words were projected to a black wall, within a cube all in black as well which had no roof. The words were not only projected to the wall but were spoken out loud through a loudspeaker (google for more pictures if you are interested!).
I stumbled across this room more by chance actually but it got to me. 
I remember sitting there for a long time, reading and listening to the words over and over again. It was just ... wow. Goosebumps wow. I understood some of it, not all (active words in Spanish at that time: about 20 SMILE). But what I understood went directly to my heart.

I loved the sound of the words (since yesterday I understand them as well!). How can something as beautiful be so sad at the same time?

Here my favorite part:

[...]
Esto es el país de la fosas
Señoras y señores
Este es el país de los aullidos
Este es el país de los niños en llamas
Este es el país de las mujeres martirizadas
Este es el país que ayer apenas existía
Y ahora no se sabe dónde quedó
 [...]

Monday, May 11, 2015

My World - My Travels: Hong Kong

I am more a day person. I have been a night owl for a few years during my twenties. Going to clubs and stuff. These days though I am more into enjoying the daylight :-) Same applies when traveling. I love to get up early and spend my day discovering a new place.
Hong Kong was different from this point of view. Spending day time in Hong Kong had an energy that didn't please me particularly. Still don't know why. I couldn't and still can't quite grasp the why. It was something about a certain kind of energy that didn't go along well with mine ... Or something like that. What was funny though (or should I say interesting?) was that the city pleased me during night time. The colored lights being reflected in the water? Wow. I am glad I got to love at least something about this city :-)

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Time!

I am getting back to my new old life of having more free time! It's good, I have to say. More so. It's wonderful.

You wonder what I did?
Well, that's easy.
I spent a day in Como
Shopping, obviously (silver ballerinas! and two very nice blouses!! two purses!!).

I met people that I hadn't seen in ages. Had a bit too much wine (but as I didn't have to get up the next morning?? SMILE)

Spent a whole afternoon doing nothing else than reading a book.

Looked for a hotel in Munich (yes, I am going to Munich for a weekend in June!) and bought the train ticket as well.

Put my winter clothes away (well, not all of them, just the really warm stuff and the coats!)

Life is good :-)


Sunday, May 3, 2015

My World - My Travels: Washington, DC (USA)

Washington, DC (USA)
It was back in 2009. My first American road trip by myself. Exciting and kind of scary at the same time. I made mistakes ... first while organizing the trip and later on the road, but hey, that was to be expected, don't you think? Traveling is like everything else in life - one has actually to "learn" it :-).
One of these mistakes was ... timing. I started my trip at the end of October and didn't realize that nature would not show me its best side. So, standing in a rose garden in Washington DC, the above roses still doing strong even though they shouldn't have, I decided ... to take a picture of every single flower that would cross my path during these weeks. These roses were the first. Later on I discovered the special macro feature on my camera and I took a lot of amazing flower pictures! Like this one:


What I hadn't realized back then, standing in this rose garden, that this picture would start my passion of macro photography!