Monday, April 26, 2010

Un jour, un "post", une photo: La Camaradería


"La Negra Tomasa" is a well known Cuban restaurant in Madrid that offers very good Caribbean food and great live concerts.
My roommate and I have fallen in love with the Monday nights there because is less crowded than any other day of the week and therefore one can better enjoy the music & the food.

The group that plays on Monday's is called "Los Chocolatinos". My personal opinion? If you hear the members of this band separately
they are great, if you put them altogether they sound amazing.

But today, I'm not here to talk about "Los Chocolatinos", but about "La Camaradería".


(Picture from www.myspace.com/lacamaraderiaflamenca)



I was sort of "invited" by one of the members (to me, one of the best guitar players I have heard in a while) of "Los Chocolatinos" to "La Camaradería"'s concert. He plays there as well.

"El Local", as he said, is an underground bar in Madrid. My first impression? Not so underground... the only thing that was underground is that to go to the bar itself you have to go downstairs ( =) ). Very small, simple, cheap and among everything cozy. The soft lighting made it just perfect.

So yes, I was not going to go by myself, so I convinced Mimi and 2 other friends to join me and watch them play. We sat at the seats that were left not too far from what one could call "stage". They started 45 minutes after scheduled, but it was worth it.

"La Camaradería" is a spanish band that plays "flamenco", sometimes with a very interesting latin-american touch.
The sound of the flute, guitars, the box of wood ("cajón", not sure how to translate that..), and the beautiful voice of the girl that sings, made just the perfect combination.

This concert was like hearing a group of friends doing what they love: Music.
Emotion is always present in this type of plays in which the "flamenco" style is the main character. And that you can tell by the face, or better said, the passion with which the singer performs.
The complicity with the audience was evident and the magic flew fastly to each one of us.

No doubt, "La Camaradería" will see me around very soon... this concert was just charming enough to remain in my head for a while...


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Shanghai



I forgot to mention in my previous post that the tiny little bag of A.L. didnt arrive to Shanghai. So he had to manage with a t shirt a few days... because he never bought anything.... and yes.. the 3 of us, suffered the consequences..


Since we arrived late at night, we found just one open and "decent" (sarcastically) place to have dinner. The "exquisite" food was: noodles, soup of noodles and chicken...



So after having dinner, we decided to go back to the hotel and ask to the people there for places in which we could have a drink or dance.. The girl wrote us some directions in a piece of paper (in chinese and "english"). Wow, that place in the paper was so hard to find. We went forward and backward just to get there, although in the process we discovered many cool views of Shanghai at night.




Once we arrived to the final destination, which was sort of a "terrace" with many many bars altogether, we sat down, asked for drinks and talked for a while about the bad chinese dancing and many other banal things. Clearly this zone was not cheap. So we went to bed early that day.



The following day was very intense, because we planned a citytour and we had to catch a plane to Hanoi.

In the few hours we stayed in Shanghai, we discovered: 1. a good Bakery nearby our hotel in which we had breakfast, 2. their organized subway, 3. People Square, 4. some malls, 5. the monument with the 2 "balls" and so on...

At the airport we finally were introduced to what I will call "floor - toilet" (squat toilet or turkish toilet), and thank God it was at the airport!



We saw the typical chinese cats with its moving arm. And our first day and a half in Shanghai was over.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Ser coherentes, qué difícil es...


En la vida, tenemos que ser coherentes.
Coherentes entre lo que decimos que somos y lo que demostramos que somos.
Coherentes entre lo que decimos que vamos a hacer y lo que hacemos.

Es difícil, no?

Alguien hace poco me dijo que había permitido que la ira sobrepasara mi educación (Esto a causa de un inconveniente subido de tono que tuvimos y que no vale la pena recordar).

Y honestamente prefiero que haya sido así, porque si en ese momento eso era perder la educación, sé que no dije nada que no pensara.

Hoy, me siento coherente, siento paz y creo que "GRACIAS A DIOS HE RECUPERADO LA EDUCACION" jaja...

Sé que probablemente la persona que me dijo esto no la recupere nunca, y es una lástima...
Ahora, lo interesante sería que esa persona dejara de acceder a este blog a leer mis artículos, porque siendo coherentes... no entiendo cómo sigue leyendo las ideas de tal maleducada..


Madrid - Shanghai


I left home just in time to go the airport. I was supposed to meet with H.C. in one of the train stops and she, at the same time, told A.L. to meet with us in the second subway that we had to take in order to go to the airport.

H.C. arrived a few minutes late and while waiting for her A.L. arrived.

I was a little bit worried because of the dimensions of my bag. The guys were planning to not check bags and keep them as hand luggage. And when I saw A.L.'s backpack my level of "worriedness" increased. He was only carrying a tiny little bag and 2 professional cameras!!

But the sensation passed as soon as I saw H.C. and her bag. It was of similar dimensions and weight, so that "cool-ed me" down.

The 3 of us, happy and excited for what was about to come, couldn't stop talking and speculating about different things on the trip.

S.D. was waiting for us at the airport, and indicated through a phone call the exact place to which we had to go. Once queued for the check-in, a man without a vi
sible uniform nor airline identification was sort of warning us that our bags could not be passed as handbag because of the weight. At the same time we were wondering why was this unknown man asking about our bags.. Anyway, said and done, not even A.L.'s diminutive bag was admitted. Chaos in the air, everyone was deciding how and what to carry. I limited myself to leave all my things as they were. 0 complications, no stress.



Without stress and without calmness, we entered the plane.
"Qatar Airways" was the name of the airline.
It reminded me a lot of Air Europa with the screens in each one of the seats, although I must confess that Qatar is a lot better (personal opinion).
In the first flight to Doha (because from Madrid to Shanghai there are no direct flights and the price is much cheaper..) there were a lot of people. I thought I was going to be able to sleep, but in the end I just spent my time watching movies, playing games, eating and that was it. Transfer was very fast in Doha because we arrived just in time. In fact, there was a huge line, but we were said to go through the priority line because of the time it was.

Doha is a city incredibly expensive, and you can tell that because of the huge cosmetic store inside the airport.

To go the airplane we had to take a bus, and while waiting we saw a chinese man that was screaming for help because his 2 year old girl faded. It was an interesting and our first chinese episode.
The experience in this second plane from Doha to Shanghai was "particular", if we must call it something. Because I didn't have a red passport (and again this is my personal opinion and still don't want to sound discriminatory), I was seated alone. My 3 tripmates were seated in a 3 seat row and I was with 2 other strangers.

From the moment I entered that plane I couldn't stop feeling how the sights of the people were staring at me (and after mentioning this to the tripmates, they said they felt the same way). I must confess that this "situation"
forced myself to sleep in order to not think on the strangers beside me.. Because my tripmates were "confortable enough" to ignore my situation (personal opinion)...

The funny thing is that once we arrived to the chinese Inmigration, the "police woman" allowed the owners of the red passport to pas
s, but when the black passport arrived she carefully analyzed with a magnifying glass my data sheet. She must have seen something, because a few minutes later came another "police man" to analyze the black passport. Thank God this man was good enough to let me in!

Arriving to Shanghai was exciting for me. Asia felt just amazing!... So we went to the currency exchange office and took a taxi.
The experience in the taxi was good and it reminded me a lot of home: Public buses, wild transportation and a long though a little more wide "high-way" that reminded me of those short ways to "El Ozama " and " Alma Rosa".



Our hostel in Shanghai was cozy, just as the chinese girls that were working there. The street was full of restaurants with an intense smell of fried food and Fishmongers in which often you could find a fresh frog...


Tuesday, April 06, 2010

"Tripmates"


One day my co-worker (H.C.) said that a friend of hers was organizing a trip to some exotic and far off destination. She asked to the people around her if someone was interested, and at that moment I didn't pay much attention to her what she was saying. At the time I was in an emotional state of mind, I looked over the proposed trip itinerary and said "Im in!".

2 strangers, my co-worker and I ventured off on a 17 day trip to Vietnam, Shanghai and Hong Kong, even though some other destinations were considered, such as Malaysia, many cities in China, Thailand and Macau. The chosen route was very exciting and in my following posts I will describe my experience in each of the locations we visited and the things we discovered.

Today.. The "tripmates"..

H.C., a 25 year old girl, lively, always positive, talkative, social, and has the ability to enjoy everything despite of whether is good or bad. She has white skin, brown eyes, straight hair and she is Spanish (from Madrid).

S.D. a 26 years old boy, trip organizer, sometimes wears glasses or lenses (depending on the day), also has white skin, always willing to investigate when he wants to see something in a city, not as talkative as H.C. but no as quite as me when I dont know someone that much. He is Spanish as well (from Madrid).

A.L. a 27 year old boy, friend of H.C. and of S.D., creative, with a good knowledge of photography, with a skin more white than the other 2, daltonic, incredibly funny but still a little tense depending on the answers he receive. Spanish (from Madrid).

Myself, 24 year old girl, tanned skin, Dominican, not so talkative when something does not catch my attention, love traveling, and if there is something I dislike I say it how it isy... With specific preferences in food and love to shower frequently.

The four of us, alike but different at the same time, left on March 18th destination Shanghai...