Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Shelter (Sarah McLachlan)

Crowded into the smallest spaces
While outside all of nature cries
It’s known to be cruel and unfair but there is no place to hide
I’ve seen a part of people that I ever really wanna share
Oh I’ve seen a part of people that I never knew was there

(Give them shelter from the coming storm)
Give them shelter
(Give them shelter from the coming storm)

I can’t sleep I’m haunted by their faces
The sadness in their eyes
It hurts so much to see them helpless
It makes me want to cry
But still there is so much left unanswered
For so many innocent lives
But close the door and I’ll let in nobody
And only the strong will survive

(Give them shelter from the coming sstorm)
Give them shelter
(Give them shelter from the coming storm)

I’ve seen the anger and I’ve seen all the dreams
Watched their existence torn apart at the seams
Though I may seem helpless I will do all that I can do
I’ve seen a part of people that I ever really wanna share
Oh I’ve seen a part of people that I never knew was there

(Give them shelter from the coming storm)
Give them shelter
(Give them shelter from the coming storm)

Embrace the World~

Saturday, November 25, 2006


I was looking around about the Chinese New Year, because I still dont know if I should go to Taiwan during that season, or after that, but anyway, I ended up looking about my Chinese zodiac and I found this...
I would like to have your comments about it...
maybe I should become a travel writer??? :p or a explorer? or a restaurant manager? no, animal/social activist is ok for me... :)
you see, I guess thats what they mean by "reluctance to make up their minds"~

Years of the Tiger
1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022

Tiger personality traits
One of the most dynamic signs in the Chinese zodiac, Tigers are by turns fascinating, commanding, and exasperating.

They are patient but short-tempered, calm but rebellious, petty but noble, fearsome but affectionate, free spirits but fiercely territorial.

With their many & various personality traits, Tigers are also - not surprisingly - noted for a marked reluctance to make up their minds.

What makes them magnetic and commanding figures is the absolute loyalty and affection they show for those they love. With a natural air of authority, Tigers easily earn the respect and admiration of those who love them in return.

While domesticated Tigers are quite happy among familiar surroundings, they are just as apt to fly off on an adventure at a moment's notice. Unpredictable and emotional, they can become quite fearless when standing up for themselves or others, and often hold definitive views on how to right the wrongs of society.

At work, Tigers show natural leadership ability, but prefer to work alone. They usually excel as business managers, social activists, explorers, or travel writers.

Friday, November 24, 2006

BPE - Bremen

Aug 25~26...
The musicians of Bremen! It is one of those images that had been in my mind since I was a child and I saw the pictures of the time when my family lived in Germany for two years before I was born... really!

So, after leaving Amsterdam... by train (we actually tried hitching for around an hour, but we were in the center of the city, and it started to rain, so not good conditions for getting a lift...), we got to Bremen, where we stayed at the Galleti's place where my sister had stayed for a month to study German...
We got there around 10 pm but no one was there... the mother and the kids were travelling, and the father was still working... :s we waited for some time, went to eat at a Turkish restaurant a falafel roll :p , and went back and still no-one there... so, we decided to stay in the back of the house as it was cold, and then my sister remembered about some key they keeped in somewhere, and when we looked for it, it was there... we were in another person's house, no-one inside, but we had the keys, and it was cold and late... so, even when my sister didnt really want to, we entered the house, and went to sleep at the room my sister had been sleeping at... and wake up next morning to say hi to Angelo! :p ok, he knew we were coming so he wasnt so shock, but we had forgotten to close the back door, so he kind of suspected something had happened during the night... :s :p

Next day, we went around Bremen, the Schnoor (a really nice place with small streets), visited the musicians, asked for a wish, and then went around the city (town?) by bike... They had this island in the middle of the city where they divided the land into small "gardens" were people grow vegetables, fruits, or simply spend their free time... that was quite peculiar...

this is a really nice fountain... bottom~dogs, middle~horses, top~birds

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Please watch the first 10 minutes of this movie (until the 1st Part - Pets)... and when you have time please watch all of it (90 minutes)...

So, yesterday I watched part of this movie, I hadn't see videos about Factory farms, or fur, since quite a long time ago (maybe 6 months), and I was thinking that I didnt really want to see it anymore, but yesterday I just felt that I needed to...

I guess after going travelling, having fun, and all, I could see why so many people just tend to ignore cruelty towards animals... I mean you dont see anything like that when you go out... you dont need to go to a slaughterhouse when you buy meat, and you dont need to go pass factory farms on your way to school, or watch how animals are raised and kill for fur before you buy a fur jacket or anything... and even when you can imagine that it must be terrible and cruel, you just dont want to know... why bother?

I guess I needed to understand this, because after watching this things for the first time I was so shocked, and felt so sad and mad with the whole system that sometimes I forgot the most important thing... people dont know this, and havent seen it. They dont continue to eat meat because they dont care and they want to torture animals, we simply were raised doing this, and thinking of it as normal, and somehow we think it cant be so bad, and it is necessary so there is nothing we can do about it. and more than anything, we think it is troublesome and difficult to do something to stop this cruelty, either eating less animal products, or becominng veg.

Watching this movie again made me realize many things, and the importance of people watching by themselves the way animals are treated... and question their own prejudices.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

BPE - Holland

Aug 24...
After going around Amsterdam, we wanted to see Holland's countryside, typical landscapes, and of course, its windmills!!!
the best way to do that in Holland is, of course, by bike! it is amazing the road network system they have for bikes all around the country! they even have signs for the bikes telling you which direction to take and how far is it till next town... they have numbers for each road and all... even without a map, we could make it all the way to Alkmaar and back home!
So we rented our bikes in the camping site, and we headed north... the landscapes were amazing, the birds, the water canals around the fields, the cows and sheep eating grass happily, the power windmills in the background... saying hi to other fellow bike travelers, and the people who lived in the towns we passed through...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Free Hugging!

Wow! I think Hugs are addictive... :p I have been watching at videos of Free Hugs Campaign all around the world (from Argentina to Japan, from China to Turkey, but there is no Colombia...), and feel like going out-there and hug someone!!! :p

So, yesterday I did my first Free Hugging in Shinjuku! It was so great, see the people's smile when they got a hug, people running after us, joining us to give free hugs... even in Japan, there was more people than I thought getting hugs from us, and more than half of them were not foreigners but Japanese!

We started doing it in Shinjuku Park with two friends, and then we went out to the streets of Shinjuku (Tokyo), were there was lots of people but most of them just ignored us, or looked us like "what is that???", or just took pictures of us... I mean, in Japan people almost never hug eachother (maybe only with their boy/girlfriends and not in public places...), the people is so closed-up to themselves, and pretty much everyone is considered a stranger, so yeah, its difficult to do it here, but there is always people that need a hug, and are really happy to get one!

but there is something I thought while doing it... if you really want to change such a closed society as the Japanese one, make people notice that all those other strangers are people just like them, and make someone happy, what better way than by giving free hugs to strangers?

Something really funny about doing it in Japan is the fact that there is no good translation for "FREE HUGS"... first of all there is no word for "HUGS", well, there is "抱擁" which is to formal, and there is "抱きしめる" which is used mostly by couples... so the only way to say it is "ハグ" or in english... so we have to be very creative to make people understand... the ones we used were...
"今日はハグの日" (this means "today it is Hug's day" and then to those who asked us wether it was really the Hug's day, we answered "everyday is Hug's day" :p)
and an explanation of what "FREE HUGS" means...

Once again, Thanks Juan Mann for inspiring so many people to go out there, make someone happy, and change the world one hug at a time! :p

pd: the video doesnt have so many "hugs moments" because well, I was giving hugs so I couldn't take video... but I will put more pics when my friend sends them to me.

and dont forget... Hug a stranger!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Fast Food Nation

Wow! I am really looking forward to see this movie after watching some of the behind the scenes... and I will actually try to read the book as well (if I find it in English in some library...), actually I would like to read about the situation in Japan as well, but reading in Japanese is not something I really like, so...
I just know that here in Japan the term for slaughterhouse (屠殺場) is actually considered discriminatory (I still cant really understand why, but it has to do something with the people who works there I think), and so they cannot use it in TV or broadcasts... kind of weird isn't it?

This movie seems to be not actually a documentary (like Super size me which I also liked a lot), but more of a narrative, but still it is really good that they put this up in the cinemas for people to think more about where their food is coming from, and all what it involves... in this movie they focus a lot on other aspects other than animal cruelty, like workers rights, marketing, environment, etc... have to see it before saying anything else about it...
Oh, and Avril Lavigne, and Catalina Sandino (a Colombian actress) act in this film as well... :)

Another movie I really want to see is An Inconvenient Truth, guess I'll rent it when it comes out in dvd...

BPE - Amsterdam

Aug 23...
After packing our tent, we had to wait for a long time before someone gave us a lift... He was a really nice Holland guy, heading to work, but he had some time left, so he actually tried to take us to see some windmills, but he got lost so he end up taking us to a river to look around... we had a really nice chat with him, and then he dropped us close to Rotterdam, where a man who worked in Amsterdam airport picked us up, and took us to the airport from where we could take the train to the center of the city. And from there we went to the camping site by tram, pitched our tent and went back to visit the city...

Amsterdam was a place I really wanted to know, I mean it is the capital of Holland, famous for its landscapes, windmills, flowers, etc... but more than that it is so "open-minded" to say it someway... it's the only country were marihuana is legal, and it is famous for its red light district. Neither of these two things are something I actually agree with, I havent really think about it anyway, but somehow I wanted to actually see it... just like the guy who gave us a lift told us, it is something you have to see to think by yourself about these things.

One of the things I really wondered after seeing all the "Coffee shops" around Amsterdam, was about where did the marijuana they sell comes from... I mean coming from a country that is "famous" for producing cocaine and other drugs, I actually had no idea of the difference between marijuana, cannabis, coca, cocaine, amapola, etc... and with my sister we kind of wondered wether the pot that is "legally" consumed in Amsterdam (mostly by tourists btw) is "illegally" imported from other countries... I am still wondering about that...

And then we kind of try to think of wether legalizing drugs in Colombia will be good or bad for the country... and wether it is actually possible (having the USA on top of us...) but didnt got a conclusion about that, its just too complicated... but for now, I still think that all the people who use drugs and think of Colombia as the drug paradise should first stop to think of the real consequences drug traffic has in Colombia's society, in the people who live in the countryside, that are either forced to join the guerrilla or paramilitaries, forced to leave their home and run-away to the cities, or otherwise killed... of all the poor people that end up working as "mulas" trying to take drugs into America and Europe, and well, all the problems that Colombia is facing because there is people willing to pay for the drugs, and support a business that gives money to the guerrilla and the paramilitaries to continue doing what they do, and all the war we have in Colombia.

Famours for its flowers... and its leaves??? well, as long as they grow it themselves I guess I have no problem with that...

After walking around the city, we were thinking of going back to the campsite... we kind of wanted to see the "Red Light District", but we didnt know where it was, and we didnt want to see it that much... but then on our way back, we first saw some bars, with "dancing-girls" signs, and then some roads ahead we started seeing the Neon-lighted windows... Seeing women behind a glass trying to "sell" themselves was completely weird... and I actually wondered wether people would actually go there to get their "services" (or as Sue calls it, "window shopping" :p), but then as my sis told me, I guess they dont really care about people looking at them. So, the only thing I have to say is it is probably much better this way thant the usual dark, dangerous, illegal way of doing it in other countries, as long as they are doing it willingly, but still not something I can really understand, or think as normal... (I was just reading, and it seems that even in Amsterdam, it is not really controlled, and there is a lot of human trafficking as well... :s)

sorry, I've got no pics of the neon girls... I was kind of scared of wether I could actually take pics or no...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

BPE - Belgium

Aug 21-22...
After a lot of rain during our stay in Paris, we had to wake up really early (still dark), clean the tent, pack our things, and head to the terminal to take the bus to Brussels. Where the weather was still not helping us... we had a really nice lunch after buying a just baked Moroccan bread with corn in it (yummy!), and (canned) stuffed tomatoes (from UAE).
We continued our way to the center of the city and the plaza, but we were completely wet by the time we reach the plaza, We were planning of going on our way that day, but we decided to stay at a hostel, and let our clothes and things dry.

The next day we took the train toward the north of Brussels to see the Atom building, take capoeristic pictures, and then take our way (hitching) towards Netherlands...
We got a ride from a man from Yugoslavia who couldnt speak English... :s he tooks us to Antwerp, but then he dropped us in the middle of the highway... where the cars and trucks went really fast and would never stop... :s so we had to walk up to the road, and then start walking through parks for quite a long time, until we got to a road that lead to Holland, and after some time waiting a woman picked us up, and dropped us at Breda, in the south of Holland (it so amazing that you can go from one country to another and not even notice the border!!!) where we decided to pitch our tent in a small park... and be part of the neighborhood for one night. ;)

Sunday, November 05, 2006

BPE - Paris III

Aug 20...
After washing and drying, we had a late start on our third day in Paris... We started close to the Mouling Rouge, which well... wasnt that great as I thought it would be... it looked fake... well it is fake, but I mean, when you go up the hill you actually get to see two of the old windmills, and those are really nice, so they should try to make the Moulin Rouge nicer... but yeah, I guess the show is the most important (if you have the money to pay for it...)... ok, now that I think about it, I havent see the movie, so I guess thats the problem. :p

Anyway... we continued our way up the hill of Montmartre, where you can find nice streets, cafes, shops, and lots of people... We had lunch in a small park next to the Sacre Coeur, with a great view of the city, the Eiffel Tower in the background, and pigeons trying to take our food... :p among who there was a really selfish pigeon who was fighting with all the birds that try to eat from his big piece of bread... but at the end, after watching him fighting so much we decided to take his pieces of bread, divide in really small pieces, and give it to all the birds... while the selfish pigeon was still trying to look for his big piece of bread...

After that we visited the church, my sister took Ameliestic picture, and then we tried to look out for Amelie's cafe but we couldnt so we decide to walk around under Paris showers (yeah, it wasnt rain... it just went on and off all the time... :s)

A strange example of "public art"??? The red line is actually taped in the buildings, signs, etc... so, it only looks like a line from where we were standing...

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Miniature Earth

If the world's population was reduced to 100, it would look something like this...

If one person of each country came together to talk about different topics every week, it would look something like this...
This is a project I have just joined, it looks really interesting! I have yet to do my first post, but I'm looking forward to talk about my country , and get to know more about other countries! (I really wonder whether I can represent all Colombia (and Colombians)... I am pretty sure I cannot, but I will do my best to be as neutral as I can... :p)
If your country is still not represented why not join? and even if it is already represented feel free to participate!