D'oh!Posted by Gala Mon,
September 06, 2010 09:07:07
Customs in India are quite unique, all the way around.
Starting at the airport
I have never been so thoroughly checked for a short flight before, 12 people (count them TWELVE) stopped me at some point or another to check my bag, take all items out, open any closed containers, one of them had my breakfast, some fruits and I forbade the officer to touch it telling him his hands were dirty and he would NOT be touching my food (he didn't).
My passport was read oh so many times it just got silly (try pronouncing GALA GUIBA GUERRERO), and the frisking was... frisky, that is more foreplay than anything else. I got touched everywhere by the female officers... and I mean EVERYWHERE... lovers -if I remember correctly- are not that detailed, I kid you not.
From those 12 people, 5 were posted from the boarding gate to the actual seat.
I think soon they will install a gynecologist to do help with the process.
You think that is bad? you guys will get a proctologist, mark my words!
Photos in Kathmandu
Mushy Stuff / Mariconadas
Posted by Gala Fri, August 27, 2010 11:15:08
I am really crappy photographer; I have no instinct, technique, good eye, quick reflexes and certainly not gutsy enough to make good shots: being brave is of the essence! you gotta have a good pair to stick a camera right on a Monk's face while he's having a smoke (some do!) or a bunch of men having a "shower" on a busy street (seen it in Burma: soap and all) or to capture the essence of a city via funky looking gurus smoking pot by a temple (saw that in Kathmandu).
I don't have any of that, and it is a shame, really. I am too slow, too shy (laugh not!) and my equipment is a teeny weenie camera with a faulty battery. Never the less I try. Would never submit anybody to my hundreds of boring shots, of course and have come to terms with my lack of photographic talent, but today was different...
Kathmandu is a place like no other even within the realms of "every place is unique". I stay in the backpacker district which caters to all non-trekking travelers' romantic notion of the town: exotic, crowed, literally hundreds of stores selling all sorts of clothing, textiles, handcrafts all tucked away in suspicious looking alleys; dozens rickshaws, holy cows (batman ha-ha!) wandering around... seriously, they are cows and considered to be holy, they stand in the middle of the street while MAD traffic respectfully drive around them when no such respect is shown for human life: pedestrians are no more than speed bumps to drivers.
People walk shoulder to shoulder, elbowing and pushing and jumping out of the way of crazy cabbies; little kids come and ask for money with heartbreaking whimpers only to turn around and mess around laughing hysterically with their mates. surprisingly men NEVER touch, whistle, stare, grab, pull or are disrespectful to women; this is a place where a yellow sari clad guy, with 2mt long dreadlocks, face ashed white and heavy red coloured forehead or lips, not sure (not unlike Ronald Mc Donald only tantric) comes to you and throws flowers on your head, put red stuff on your forehead and dictates your as "blessed" .
I can take a thousand pictures and it could never reflect the smells, a mix of incense and rotting corps -the city has no garbage disposal system, so people choose sites and dump their rubbish there, it rots thanks to the unbearable heat and the stomping around of seemingly thousands of people, eaten by dogs & cows... I have seen piles 1.5mts tall-.
Even if I was a master with my little camera -which I am not- the constant honks of cars, scooters and cleverly designed hoots bicycles use made out of up-side down ketchup bottles could never ever be properly reflected on a picture.
IF I take a shot of that I see, it appears to be only another traffic jam, but it is Oh! so much more than that! it is a mind blowing defiance of space and logic, it is impossible colors, shocking scents, human misery and beauty all mixed in one. How can I convey the impact of seeing a bleeping cow taking a nap in a busy intersection? it would just be the picture of a cow, wouldn't it?.
I am certain that in some years photography will be multi-censorial experience, where one can smell the smells, hear the sounds, feel the textures, taste the tastes... this would certainly give a twist to those (boring!) honey moon pictures in Mumbai...
Books & Flicks
Posted by Gala Sat, August 21, 2010 07:48:15
The Hunchback of Notre dame (Victor Hugo); just read it; so sad, heartbreaking really.
Took me a bit to get into it as it is descriptive to a fault specially in terms of architecture; reading it 180 years after it was written I am bound to miss many of the back handed comments about government and church, although most of it can be applied to politicians and bishops of this day and age.
But I stuck to it, more like a chore than a pleasure but then it happened, pure magic; the book "grabbed" me and I couldn't put it down.
When my Boys were little I used to tell them there were some "magical" books, after reading a bit something would come from its pages and take a hold of them, from that point on everything will revolve about the story untill they finished it. I don't think they remember that now, but we use to define books as magical or not.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame? Magical.
Wonderful to read classics and dissipate all those misconceptions I might have, which largely come from loosely based films, adaptations, side references and the likes, which is all fine, of course, but the very cool thing is to know the basis of it all and; I am sure most of you have already read them, but for me it is new and little by little I nibble my way through, with surprises and all:
Frankenstein (Mary Shelley) was a good, tender hearted misunderstood creation (sans bolts on his forehead) there wasn't any plank, thunderbolts or "IT"S ALIIIIVEEEE" yell from Dr. Frankenstein, in fact, he just abandoned the poor thing there and did not come across it for YEARS until his creation caught up with him. Another terribly sad story.
Dracula (Bram Stoker) has no allergy to garlic; does not require an invitation to get into a house and does not necessarily prefer hot young blond girls;
Gulliver (Jonathan Swift) was quite the stubborn one and had NO sense of direction as he goes for his travels on 4 separate occasions, getting lost every single time. I knew the trip to Lilliput, but he visits many others, the last being the Yahoo's (horses dominating mankind and superior in every way) and the most impressive -to me- to the land where people were immortal... sounds like a good deal? well, not really: they kept getting old and decrepit, despised by all. You see, it is only cool to be immortal if you look like Brad Pitt in "Interview with a Vampire" that is trim, sexy and not a day over 35; any other way living for ever would seriously suck.
The weirdest thing ever, in my Robinson Crusoe (DeFoe)book there was no mention of Friday, his companion (found much a long while after he was stranded) was named Sunday for he found him "on the day of the lord", I might have quite a funky edition as I have done a brief research and have found that the native is called "Friday" everywhere else, which leaves me terribly confused.
I have never seen the adaptation of the Hunchback in any of its forms, but now I am curious to see the Disney version... there is NO way it could have kept in line with the story and make it politically correct and safe for children; there is torture, heartless treatment to handicaps, hookers left and right, be-headings, abuse of justice, VERY naughty sexual arousal and a priest looking behind a door how a girl is being seduced... to put it politely (boobs fondled and all) the same priest tries to rape Esmeralda, who by the way is 16.
HOW THE HELL did they manage to make this into a kiddy movie???
Err... exit please?
Mental notesPosted by Gala
Sun, August 15, 2010 09:52:39
when making a stupid face in the attempt to ruin a stranger's picture (AKA Photo-Bomb), make sure you are not trapped in a confined space such as a bus, subway or restaurant; chances are they will check the photo, pass the digital camera around and notice the weird brown woman sitting behind them gesturing... they will look at you grudgingly or in the best case, mock you mercilessly...
D'oh!Posted by Gala
Mon, August 09, 2010 03:00:44
I am now in Myanmar, Burma.
My travel guide, under ATM's wrote: "Dream on"
Boy! they were not kidding!
The very same day I left Singapore I read this and ran like mad to airport ATM's and currency exchange joints where I paid ridiculous fees just to get some dollars. I wasn't too concerned as I thought that things may have changed here and AT LEAST I could go to a bank.
Nope, no banks, no debit nor credit cards, ATM do no exist, so this time I have to stick to a budget FOR REAL.
I exchanged 100 USD at my guest house and got about 2 or 3 inches of local money (Kyats) which I hope will suffice.
That is another thing, they take only new notes, none of that old crumpled stuff, they want 'em dollars fresh out of the press, 100 notes get extra credit BUT there are certain serial numbers which are not favoured, so those get rejected, no matter what: if it is a "bad" number you are screwed...
D'oh!Posted by Gala
Sat, August 07, 2010 10:03:16
Just had such a fabulous week in Singapore, I am totally in love with the place.
Although it is the biggest shopping mall in the world -seriously, I have never seen so many shops and malls all connected- I still love the city, the weather, sites, architecture, heritage; adore how everything works like clockwork, it is clean, safe, fun, GREAT subway & bus system, cinemas... I had a film watching orgy of 10 movies in 7 days: Despicable me is the best movie ever! dazzled by Leo di Caprio (I know...) , experienced my first 3D with a very cheesy Hollywood flick, cried like a fool with Toy Story 3, how could I not! Andy leaves Buzz & Woody and the whole gang! (Mr. Potato Head rocks) On an unrelated side note: little snotty children should be taught not make fun of their more sensible elders in movie theaters.
My friends tell me I love it so much here because it is totally western, I suppose they are right, I just felt so... at home but in a bizarre, like the antipodes of home (wherever that is) where it feels very real but in a Chinese version? I even saw people who looked like friends of mine but with Asian features... weird, man!
By the way, and this is not very PC, but I had trouble following a couple of Chinese films I saw, the characters looked all the same to me and I could barely keep up with the story as I thought it was the same actor playing multiple roles or the same guy chasing and being chased... very confusing! I have been told by local acquaintances that they have the same problems with westerns: we all look the same to them, do you think that when they watch a movie they are not sure if that chick is Julia Roberts, Jolie or Sandra Bullock? or that there are only 6 characters in Ocean 11?!!
I should ask.
It is the city's 45th Birthday on August 9, many happy returns.
D'oh!Posted by Gala
Tue, July 27, 2010 02:52:46
My I-tunes library suffers from morbid obesity.
It used to be lean and trim music machine way back when; then I started feeding it just about everything: classical, pop, rap, rancheras, opera, blues, rock, house, lounge, oldies, newbie’s, everything I could get my hands on would go in, byte after byte.
Then it just got worse, not only would I do this in the privacy of my home, but I started taking my lap to my friend's house and binging on a whole all new array of flavours and styles, in a horrid display of musical gluttony.
I got to the lowest point when I visited my kids, their dad has the most amazing collection, so I would hide and stuff my poor I-tunes in the wee hours while people were sleeping. Embarrassing.
At this point I realized I had a problem, this had to stop! The hard disk was feeling tight, it hardly fit anymore, not a single note could be added to my 80g Ipod and it was constantly refluxing; the shuffle just popped and there was no apendixectomy to save it; this depressed me so we went trough the bulimic stage; downloading tons and tons of music over the internet only to be deleted afterwards; the trash bin was constantly emptied.
Now we have stopped all of that… mainly because it is impossible to add so much as an album cover.
Now we have realized the consequences of our actions
Now we are too fat to move.
When I open the Itunes application my poor, poor Mac cannot stand the weight and collapses, the little colourful ball of doom spirals like crazy whenever I attempt to upload my library and there is not a chance in hell I can get it to stop.
As I work, I see it from the corner of my eye… It just stays there, the little music note icon, staring grudgingly at me, accusing me of its inability to perform, to even put a B after an A while sorting, not to mention dealing with the Artist… that just throws it into a pathetic fit.
I try to help, I really do; I quit all other applications so it has a bit more room to manoeuvre; entice it to exercise and flex those chubby genres, move ‘em flaccid albums to the rhythm of the deceased King of Pop, but all to no avail.
It is simply too podgy; all other applications are beginning to hate it as it slows them down, at times there is a strike on the toolbar lead by a defiant Firefox.
It is sad, really.
In a mad attempt to revive it, I pressed the wrong key (repeatedly) and the library doubled, quadrupled, whatever comes after hitting a button 10 times BAM! Just like that it exploded into 168,324 songs!
It really breaks my heart as now I fear I may have to pull the plug and wipe it all clean, kill the poor bastard and start a whole new life with a leaner, cleaner, younger version of it. Seems such an unfair betrayal.
No, I am not ready to give up on my meaty creation. I shall find a cure! download a program that guarantees to bring it back to life and whip it into shape, to lypo-suck all the excess entries; I have found all this promising Gurus online and I am hopeful.
Ah! the irony… almost 170,000 entries and I cannot listen to music.
Greed is a bad, BAD thing.
x-ray of an email
Mushy Stuff / Mariconadas
Posted by Gala Sat, July 24, 2010 07:34:46
Yesterday I briefly emailed with this person I had met almost a year back. It was all fun and games back then but unfortunately the last time we actually met it was one hellish encounter, one of those we all keep in the annals of infamy? yeah, like that only nastier.
The reason for the contact was innocent enough, I had realized some applications I use kept sending emails to my contacts (if you received them I apologize!) which is annoying enough, problem was it kept using an old address book which still had his contact details I had totally erased him, or so I thought... bummer! the mere idea of him thinking I was desperately trying to get in touch with him made my stomach turn, so I followed the undeniable female logic and I contacted him to let him know I was not trying to contact him...
Yeah, I know...
Polite as he always is he replied nicely not to worry and the usual pleasantries came back and forth in the next and final email.
All is fine, we are civil and grown up but I could not help but to analyze what REALLY made me want to email him. After our last redez-vous it is absolutely clear to me, without any shadow of doubt (yet with certain melancholy) that he is not a person I would want to be with at all, he is the OPPOSITE of what I consider attractive in a man; really detested his behavior and he was a great disappointment to me as a person. There is nothing that would make me reconsider him as a romantic option and I am pretty damned sure he feels the same way about me.
Then why the hell then did I contact him?
My original reason was valid 100%, I was ticked off for this e-blunder... we always have a good reason, don't we? but if we go deeper we realize there is always something else going on; perhaps we want to find a way to say those things we couldn't? maybe we need to tell people "hey, you really hurt me... you SUCK!" or "I am sorry I behaved like an idiot (not entirely my case, but there are some elements of my idiocy, no doubt).
Why do we go back to places we don't want to be in?.
I think in my case, it upsets me that I never really got the chance to be me, he never got to know me and I still got crucified; in reality I can live with that, it is a superficial reasoning.
The hard core truth of it all, the X-ray result is that having been so utterly mistaken for so long about this person makes me doubt myself and my judgment and THAT I can't live with, not with self doubt, I can't... how could I possible be SO dead wrong about somebody? am I totally unable now to tell good from evil? am I so totally delusional? making up stories and believing them? did I just imagine this perfect person? because gawd knows that the nasty little troll I met a couple of months ago had nothing to do with the man I had met a year back. AM I THAT STUPID??
I guess what I want is to get to know the real person -at a safe distance- and find peace of mind in the knowledge that I have not lost my marbles just yet, that he behaved like an as*h*le (and I reacted like a lunatic) and in reality it is simply a story that did not work out, but the original character did in fact exist and was not a fixture of my feverish -and lonely- imagination.
And this is the x-ray of a personal email, right to the bone.
Quotes, jokes & BabosadasPosted by Gala Thu, July 22, 2010 09:36:32
Found these answers given by high school kids in various exams.
I am even MORE proud of my kids after reading this...
It's a little long, but worth the time!
Q. Explain one of the processes by which water can be made safe to drink
A. Flirtation makes water safe to drink because it removes large pollutants like grit, sand, dead sheep and canoeists
Q. How is dew formed
A. The sun shines down on the leaves and makes them perspire
Q. What causes the tides in the oceans
A. The tides are a fight between the earth and the moon. All water tends to flow towards the moon, because there is no water on the moon, and nature abhors a vacuum. I forget where the sun joins the fight.
Q. What guarantees may a mortgage company insist on
A. If you are buying a house they will insist that you are well endowed
Q. In a democratic society, how important are elections
A. Very important. Sex can only happen when a male gets an election
Q. What are steroids
A. Things for keeping carpets still on the stairs
Q. What happens to your body as you age
A. When you get old, so do your bowels and you get intercontinental
Q. What happens to a boy when he reaches puberty
A. He says goodbye to his boyhood and looks forward to his adultery
Q. Name a major disease associated with cigarettes
A. Premature death
Q. What is artificial insemination
A. When the farmer does it to the bull instead of the cow
Q. How can you delay milk turning sour
A. Keep it in the cow
Q. What is the fibula?
A. A small lie
Q. What is the most common form of birth control
A. Most people prevent contraception by wearing a condominium
Q. Give the meaning of the term ‘Caesarean section’
A. The caesarean section is a district in Rome
Q. What is a seizure?
A. A Roman Emperor.
Q. What is a terminal illness
A. When you are sick at the airport.
Q. What does the word ‘benign’ mean?
A. Benign is what you will be after you be eight
Q. What is a turbine?
A. Something an Arab or Shreik wears on his head