Sunday, December 11, 2011

Un jour, un "post", une photo: Vetusta Morla

In terms of music I am always open to new stuff, this my friends know better.  Recently I have discovered my passion for "Indie".  For those who are not familiar with "Indie", this is like a more alternative way to present the traditional pop rock (personal opinion).



A friend proposed me to join a group of his friends to go to the Vetusta Morla's concert in Madrid at La Riviera, and this was a great opportunity for me to change my perspective on spanish bands and concerts.  And yes, since I am a very "musical" person, I coudn't refuse going to this live gig.

Apparently this was the last concert to be announced because all of the other 4 were already sold out. Lucky for me!  I was able to buy my ticket.  Expectations regarding this event were increasing.  It was the moment for me to start "rehearsing" the set list.

Vetusta Morla's singer, Pucho, not only gives the band a solid appearance but his voice gives charm to all of their tracks.  The concert started to the tune of the song "Los dias raros", a soft entrance for the band which didn't cease to increase the euphoria of the crowd.  

Tracks like:  Autocrítica and El hombre del Saco, started with some amazing sticks sounds, giving an  amazing "african touch" that caught my attention even more.

Technical review:  The sound during the whole concert was a 10.  The voice of the singer was just as the one in the CD's - very difficult thing to find these days -.  The doors to the Room were not open until very late, the waiting line was too looooong and it was too coooold!!!!  No smoking nor weed allowed, this was perfect.

Overall, Vetusta Morla has been a great discovery for me.  The lyrics, the sound.. make it a band to list as one of my personal favorites and that I MUST recommend.

To him, who told me to join his group of friends to this concert, I must thank.






Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bordeaux



For locations like this is that I declare myself a “French culture lover”.  Actually, I still believe that I should have moved there a while ago and I think I will eventually.

Bordeaux is a city in the southwest coast of France with a very high number of students, immigrants and bikes.

The grace of this city is not based on its size but on the amount of architecture it has consolidated in such a small space.  Not only amazing to the ones that go for pure tourism – like me - but also to the ones that live there.

The journey started a bit late with my arrival at 11pm aprox.  We headed towards the city centre by bus and then Mimi and her friend (A) gave me a “short-night-tour” by railway. 

The charms of the city include – things you can’t miss:

The Market.  Colorful place with very friendly attendants willing to pose for a picture they will never see. In it you will find a bunch of seafood, which is a normal thing because of the location of Bordeaux.


Santosha and Place Fernand Lafargue.  I am not an asian food lover – my friends will know better – but I must say that it is not only the food they serve in Santosha, but some other details…  The location:  Place Fernand Lafargue is a very bohemian area, which is also the point of reunion for night events, other “cafes” in the “Place” include L’Apollo.  The Sansosha restroom:  a-must-visit piece of the place.  Big and decorated with vivid colors and with lots of flyers for concerts.






Macaroons and Canellés. 2 Master pieces of the French gastronomy.  If you ever go to this place, you should never miss trying either one of them, or both.  I myself stick to the macaroons.


The Great Dune of Pyla.  I must confess that we were 3, and I was the one that had the worst time climbing it.  For those who are a bit “chubby" or had not gone trekking recently, this is a challenge... a necessary challenge.  To meet the tallest sand dune in Europe, to get to see some of the most amazing views, is worth the effort.


Place de la Victoire.  Taking a picture with the turtle in the middle, having a beer in one of the terraces around, watching one of the University of Bordeaux campus, admiring the Arch of the Victory, getting yourself ready to start a compulsive shopping day all across the Rue Sainte-Catherine or just sitting in a bench, will make you love Bordeaux.


My personal recommendation is that you also add a biking tour through the Garonne River and a wine tasting night in the centre during your visit.


 As of me, I will definitely return to visit Mimi and continue discovering hidden places of this bohemian treasure.

Additional info:

  1.  The Port of the Moon, declared World Heritage for the UNESCO 

Monday, November 21, 2011

Seeking for Order



They say order is good.  Today, I find it somehow inspiring.


The need for a change, the sense that I might be a bit comfortable is not good, it is not letting me dream.  And oh, I miss the excitement of new experiences, of new challenges, of new people, new things to learn.  Thirst. Thirst for youth to last a bit more, for as long as my heart asks for more.


In the upcoming days this page will suffer some changes.  Let us say, all my social media environment.  I need to renew.  If the challenges don’t come, I might somehow seek them.


So, yes.  Let us put order.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Pérdida de la noción del tiempo


Entre una cosa y otra, siguen pasando los meses y uno a penas se va dando cuenta. Si le hubiera creído a quienes me decían que esto pasaría mientras me fuera haciendo mayor...

Los padres se fueron, vino Mimi a casa, vino el hermano. Han sido unas vacaciones cargadas de energía, de descubrir lugares desconocidos, de comida del mundo, de corridas de toros, entretenido sin duda.

En la oficina todas las ofertas que tenía fueron cayendo por una cosa u otra, me ha dado mucho coraje porque "quiero aprovechar el tiempo y mi juventud", pero parece como si no avanzara y no me gusta la sensación. No es que no esté contenta con lo que hago, pero como dijo Steve Jobs - y se lo copio a un compi del curro que lo puso hace poco y me recordó el por qué del éxito de algunas personas - : "I have looked every morning in the mirror and asked myself:
If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today? And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something."

Por otro lado, he encontrado compañeras de piso: Una chica escocesa de 21 años que va al army (C.S) y una chica italiana (G). Todo indica que la casita podría funcionar, ya veremos si he elegido bien =).

El amoooooorrrrrrrr!!!! La pregunta del siglo.... La pregunta de la familia que espera "desesperada", la respuesta que esperan l@s amig@s... y que al parecer cobra importancia en un mundo donde todo gira en torno a las magníficas parejas. Debo decir que sin duda, algunas veces se echa en falta y otras veces simplemente se aprecia el tener un pequeño espacio, un universo en donde todo gira en torno a ti mismo. A lo mejor lo segundo no es más que una excusa. Sea una cosa o la otra, me encuentro bien y estoy ilusionada.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Junio - Julio


Entre el estrés de las últimas semanas de junio - trabajo, boda, eventos sociales - ahí estaba yo. Que por todo ésto, me perdí de acompañar a mi amiga Mimi a su oposición en Versailles.


En el trabajo, estoy cubriendo una "Baja por maternidad" que me ha ocupado el 90% del tiempo la última semana: Presentaciones de último minuto para el "Country leader" de mi oficina y las que tienen una denominación habitual. Trabajar para managers de este calibre, supone la revisión de ciertas diapositivas unas 3 veces más o menos. Los managers aquí son (algunas veces) personas de poco tacto, pero de las que se aprende bastante... Se aprende a tener buenas ideas y a tener distinta perspectiva para analizar datos - que es mi trabajo -, pero también se aprende a ver "cómo no debo ser, si quiero ser educada y mantener mi sentido de formalidad ante los demás".

Las presentaciones en las que he estado involucrada gracias a la ausencia de esta compañera, han sido entretenidas porque me han permitido descubrir lo bien que se encuentra mi empresa dentro de un mercado tan desequilibrado. El otro día, en una reunión que recogía a gente de toda el área de ventas, vino un analista de una consultora. Los datos que presentaba el individuo no eran especialmente interesantes o novedosos, pero si hubo un dato que me pareció chulo, y era el hecho de que en el 2009 mientras se producía el gran bajón de los mercados, el climax de la crisis y todo eso que ya ustedes conocen, a mi y a otros dos compañeros "extranjeros en España" nos contrataron. Bueno, esto no lo dijo el analista, lo digo yo... jeje.. Y si, esto me hizo sentir bien, muy satisfecha y
me dio la seguridad de poder decirme a mi misma.. parece que soy muy buena.



En cuanto a la boda, fue un acontecimiento íntimo, se casaba una amiga a la que aprecio, con un chico muy bueno. Debo confesar que nunca había ido a una boda. Y para ésta fui invitada como testigo, es decir poner mi autógrafo en un papel que permanecerá en algún lugar para la posteridad. Da satisfacción participar de estos eventos cuando la pareja en cuestión te da buen feeling. Lo normal es ver que la gente se quiere, pero cuando uno está convencido de que ésta es gente capaz de mostrarse respeto y amor, pues, parece tener sentido y parece que todo es más bonito.

Mis padres vienen a mitad de julio, y eso me tiene contenta. Me tiene contenta porque, a diferencia con la experiencia del viaje de mi hermano con el que tener expectativas no es lo más favorable, hace mucho que no vienen los dos juntos y estoy organizando un mes de intensas actividades. Por solo decirles, que ayer ya "nos" he comprado un billete para ir a Estocolmo. Un lugar de entre los nórdicos, caro y que no conozco.




Monday, May 23, 2011

Discovering Central East Africa (Volume 3, Rwanda)




The country with a thousand hills and million smiles...

Not in vain have they called this country that way. Rwanda is a tiny piece of Africa, it is a place rich in nature, history and people with incredible needs.

Intense questioning at the airport's migration area began my discovery of this (contradictorily) green but arid city (Kigali). Different than in many European or American countries, in theory developed places and (some) engaged with the "Save the Planet" slogans, Rwanda is a country with a very important recycling commitment (No plastic bags are allowed through the airport).

A city tour that lasted less than 10 minutes, but that showed the safety of the American Embassy, the location of the humble UNICEF office (where my brother used to work), and important monument where - according to my brother - brides and grooms go to take wedding pictures at.

My brother's place...

In order to access the house there was a non asphalted road1, decorated with very few electric lighting. A cozy attic welcomed the first one of the family to visit T.M. in Africa. Some family pictures and african paintings were hanging in the wall. The attic had a balcony that provided a view to an artificial lake. From there, an interesting panoramic of what was about to come from my Rwandan trip.





UNICEF

A coffee, a shower and we were out.









Rwanda's weather is very similar to then one in DR. But when you have been living in a place with 4 seasons, you lose fit. Exposing myself to the incredible sun rays, the sweating like an animal sensation and the incredible fight with my brother (that included crying and yelling because he didn't call a taxi) was the entertainment for the 10 minute walk to the office (the truth: 30 minute walk, my rythm). People here were very friendly, they asked me about the places I have already been at and about the upcoming destinations. As per all the comments received, it seems that my brother had been doing a great job and gave the office his dominican flavor.







Food












Shokola, a chic restaurant in East Africa - probably one of the bests in Kigali - with a menu mainly focused on indian food. Good taste, decent service. I even asked the waitress to let me take her a picture and as a way to thank she came with a huge desert that neither my brother nor I could finish.










Next stop: renting a car... (To be continued in Volume 4)





Notes:







1 Non asphalted road: Most of the areas that are actually asphalted are mainly the ones located nearby/in rich neighborhoods. Nevertheless this doesn't mean that the roads aren't even more clean than in many european cities.







Additional Notes:




  • Food service: In Africa, food service requires of at least 30 minutes of waiting.


  • People in Rwanda do not have a sense of space respect. In many cases I was standing watching a video in a museum and someone would go before me and would not let me continue my watching. They do not mean it in a rude way, but it seems to me that they were just not educated to give people some space and respect each ones area.


  • Kinyarwanda is the main dialect in Rwanda. They also speak - not everybody and not necessarly both of them (this depends on the place and period of time they were raised - english and french.


Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Discovering Central East Africa (Volume 2)





Africa is not all about empty lands, poor people, deserts, black kids going around asking for money, camels, elephants, or whatever those things you are thinking. But yes, you see many of those.

In the past, present and posts to come I just wish to share my perspective on this trip and by no means meant to dispise the work/life of people/organization/city here mentioned.






The reason to chose Kenya was because my brother had some friends living there. They work at United Nations, which happens to be the HQ for Africa. It made a huge impression on me the office they have there, it looked like a College Campus. Makes me wonder that if they claim to be a NGO, shouldnt they be using their funds for the causes they are working for? (UN stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace)


I mean it is ok to have comfortable offices, a comfotable restaurant, but what is the need for a club that includes a pool, a gym, 2 tennis courts, a park, a ping pong table, and many many other things that you may see in the picture below.



The truth is that all the transfered employees must be really satisfied with this company's benefits. And that you can tell, because when you ask people for all of these commodities, at least my brother's friends, they tend to be very protective of the UN.



Nairobi in Kenya is a city of parties where you don't dance, safaris with all sorts of animals that you can think of, the most amazing hand-stone made jewlery I have seen and bought, unexpected good food, fancy malls, british driving, 4x4 old but useful cars, incredible mountains, campings...





Upcoming Rwanda...








Friday, February 18, 2011

Discovering Central East Africa (Volume1)

As you all may know, my brother was living in Rwanda for 2 years aprox, just left it a few days ago. I was excited about visiting him because I loved the idea of seeing his life there, know the people that surrounded him and of course, not least important, discovering a new piece of the world I hadn't seen before.
First stop: Nairobi, Kenya

In Nairobi they speak very good English because of their british influence. They got their independance from UK in 1963.
But they also speak swahili, which is the local language. Why am I saying this? Because it surprised me a lot when I went to inmigration, the great pronounciation they had when asking the typical questions of: how long are you staying, put your fingers here for fingerprint scanning...

The first interesting moment was having my first dinner: we went to an ethiopian restaurant and ate "tef" with various "wat" and meat from an unknown animal. All hand eaten. Great.. my first reaction was to ask my brother if in Africa they always eat with the hands.. Yes, Im not used to that, but he told me that there is no other way to eat the ethiopian flatbread, as if I couldn't notice - I have moments of ignorance, they don't come very often, but they come =) -.



The morning after, we were up to the Masai Mara. I believe a 5 hour trip (aprox), going from Nairobi. The experience of being in touch with nature at a different level to what one is accustomed, felt great. An open savanna with the most amazing animals you could see, all in their natural environment. The opportunity of having a picnic in the middle of nowhere, reminds one of the impact of enjoying simple things.
Below a taste of our first contact with this incredible National Reserve:

After this, I was both curious and anxious to see where we were going to sleep. Of course, my great brother was making me doubt on whether we were going to sleep in a camping or not, because the Masai Mara is full of them. To my surprise, the truth was that we were going to sleep in a camping, not the typical one but a hotel camping or I would say a luxury camping.

It was a hotel that had the most amazing view. A pool with the savanna as background. Just perfect. Wild boars around, small monkeys.. Vamos! Eso que vemos todos los dias!



So far a 10 to my first Central East Africa encounter. More in the chapters to come.

Sidenote: The Masai Mara National Reserve (also spelled "Maasai Mara" and known by the locals as 'the Mara') is a large game reserve in south-western Kenya, which is effectively the northern continuation of the Serengeti National Park game reserve in Tanzania.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hong Kong



The one that said that Paris was the city of lights, had never gone to Hong Kong before.

Different than our first chinese approach in Shanghai, Hong Kong welcomed myself (the only one of the group who had not a european passport) with a 30 day tourist visa and the friendly face of an inmigration police officer. Totally unexpected!

The hotel room where we stayed was small but fancy enough at a "decent" price for Hong Kong. And WOW!!!! We left the hotel and started to see all those lights!! Lights for hotels, lights for advertising, lights for food, lights for stores.... lights lights lights... neon lights!!! just as the ones you see in movies, just as the ones I was dying to see for once in my life!



After walking around through the closest street to the hotel - always "looking right" to ensure there was no car coming and that we were not the stupid pedestrians crossing when it was not allowed (Thank you British to pass on the culture to the asiatics)-, we decided to head off to one of the markets that had fame of opening until very late at night.. so we went there and did some shopping. (paintings, tea cups, chopsticks, jewelry...) We had dinner there (at one of those chinese outdoor places that while living in a "civilized" country you will never plan to go to), options may vary depending on your taste.. but you could find chicken, noodles, beef, rice, seafood... It was very nice despite of the appearance.







After having dinner, we were in the mood for clubbing.. so we started looking for a place to go. After walking for a WHILE, we ended up in a "chinese" karaoke!!! Cant you imagine? Unknown and unreadable language.
But as you may have already figured out, going abroad with spanish people can be great enough, that we all ended up singing to the tune of the "Asereje", english version... =)







Second day in Hong Kong showed me another side of Asia. A sophisticated and elegant Asia. Including the bay, and the short trip to "The Peak". If you ever decide to go to Hong Kong, you must not miss the peak at night. Because its not only the view of the city, but the incredible perspective of amazing architecture and lighting all together seen from the top. To me, Hong Kong must be in your must-go-before-I-die list.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Enero


Como arena en colador se fue Enero. Mi mes favorito.

El mes de familia, de comida, de amigas y amigos, de planes, de ponerme mas vieja.

Mis vacaciones en casa fueron increibles desde todos los puntos de vista. Fui con Mimi, mi amiga francesa que no habia cruzado nunca el "charco". Nos paseamos por Santiago, Puerto Plata, Bayahibe, La Romana, Samana, San Pedro de Macoris, Juan Dolio, Boca Chica... en Santo Domingo recorrimos de extremo a extremo la ciudad. Un poco de cultura y de recordar lugares que habia visitado cuando tenia menos edad.

Vi a mis adorables amigas, A.S. y D.L. cada una de ellas con sus respectivos preciosos diablitos (2x2). Recarga de vitalidad y energia - siempre que lo miro desde fuera, por supuesto -.

Vi a F.C., mi gran amigo. Cada vez que nos vemos es como si no hubiera pasado ni un segundo. Siempre hay algo que contar y siempre me la paso muy bien. En este viaje nos llevo a lugares desconocidos para Mimi y para mi, pero que guardan un encanto especial, todos en la zona colonial. Es como si nos guardaramos en una burbuja para vernos exactamente igual, cada diciembre.

Me dio tiempo a cerrar un capitulo que quedaba medio-abierto y estoy muy feliz de que todo haya salido perfecto.

Me dio tiempo a estar en casa, con la viejita. Sacarla a pasear y a llevarla a donde su amiga.

Me dio tiempo a estar con los padres. Siempre preocupados y organizando todo durante la mayor parte de las visitas que hicimos.

Aire fresco, buena compania y carino. Enero, mi mes favorito.