Thursday, January 31, 2008

Moving Down

This weekend I am moving out, or well, in fact, I am just moving downstairs to another room in the same building. So before everyone asks me why I move out to the same place, I thought I'd write about it.

I have been living here for already almost 2 years, I just knew this was the place I wanted to live in when I enter the room and saw the high roof and the window up there that made the room look much more open and clear. Plus the fact that it had a loft (I used to sleep in lofts all the time when I was living in Bucaramanga, and even in Bogota I used to sleep in the upper bed of the bunk bed I used to share with my big brother) and it cost only ¥37000 a month made me choose this place even when it wasn't so close to university (its still only 15 minutes by bike, but of all my classmates who go to university walking or by bike, I am the one who lives the farthest).

Anyway, this semester has been really stressful, with the design studio project, and being so busy working in it, staying at university all night, and so on, my room was getting really messy all the time, and I was getting tired of coming back from uni late at night (or early in the morning should I say). So I just felt like I needed to move out, to just refresh and start again. Its what Japanese call 「気分転換」, or something like starting a new life. Most Japanese will probably just buy a new cellphone when they want to start a new life, but that wouldn't work for me (in fact I have already lose my cellphone twice...), so I just decided I would move out.

First I was looking at rooms near my uni and Matsudo station, and I found one that I thought I liked (those guys at the Agency know how to convince you!), so I fill out the form to reserve the room, and canceled by contract in the room I was (am) living. But after a weekend with more time to think about it, I just realized how much I like this place, and specially how used I am to this neighborhood...

The two indian restaurants with nice and good priced Dal and Vegetable Curry and friendly staff, the small natural bakery that uses 国産小麦 (flour produced in Japan) , its delicious bread (they even have Vegetable Curry Bread!) and where they already know I am vegan and always tell me if a new bread has milk or egg in it, the 2 八百屋 (vegetable stores) where I can buy cheap vegetables and fruits and smile with the 元気 old ladies shouting around, the 手打ちそば restaurant in a very nice traditional house (which I have only been twice to, but I just like to see it on my way back), the nice bar in the corner of the station with the surfing boards and the palm in the entrance (which I have never been to, but I always say I have to go to when someone visits me), the big nice park 25 minutes walking from here where I used to go whenever I had a free day (now I am becoming Japanese and I carry a schedule with me all the time, so not so many free days lately) and so on...

So I just felt really 懐かしい about it, and I figured out it was better just to stay in the same room. But when I went to talk with the agency, they told me they had already rent it to someone else from March... So I asked if they had another room available in the same building, and that's how and why I am moving down. And even the price goes down (well just ¥1000) but that's good. And well the high roof also goes down, but since this room is in one of the corners
I get a really nice window on one of the side walls. So all in all I am happy with the moving out (or down)!

Come and visit me sometime soon~ :)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Un poco de Gandhi para Colombia

Bueno en estos dias he estado leyendo "The Essential Gandhi. An Anthology of His Writings on His Life, Work, and Ideas", y hubo un capitulo ("Gandhi's road to jail") que de alguna manera me hizo pensar en la situacion actual de Colombia.
Si, claro que Colombia es un pais ya "independizado", pero definitivamente no es libre, al igual que muchos paises (por no decir casi todos).
Pero no dire mas, y por ahora los invito a leer y sacar sus propias conclusiones...

*****

"...For me patriotism is the same as humanity. I am patriotic because I am human and humane. It is not exclusive."

"...If India makes violence her creed and I have survived I would not care to live in India. She will cease to evoke any pride in me..."
"...If I can have nothing to do with the organized violence of the Government I can have less to do with the unorganized violence of the people"
(y aqui tengo que decir que la violencia empieza por los pensamientos, sigue con las palabras y en ultimas se convierte en accion)

"Firstly, we must acquire greater mastery over ourselves and secure and atmosphere of perfect calm, peace and good will."
"Secondly, we must still further cleanse our hearts, and we Hindus and Moslems must cease to suspect one another's motives."
"Thirdly, we Hindus must call no one unclean or mean or inferior to ourselves."

"Parties may fall and parties may rise; if we are to attain freedom our deep convictions must remain unaffected by such passing changes."
"...We must not resort to social boycott of our opponents"
"The rule of majority, when it becomes coercive is as intolerable as that of a bureaucratic minority."

"Our motto must ever be conversion by gentle persuasion and a constant appeal to the head and heart."

"There is not yet in India that truthful and non-violent atmosphere which and which alone can justify mass disobedience, which can be described as civil which means gentle, truthful, humble, knowing, willful yet loving yet never criminal and hateful"

"Non-violent attainment of self-government presupposes a non-violent control over the violent elements in the country."

"Our capacity for Swaraj (Self-Rule) will be proved by our ability to conduct our activities in spite of the withdrawal even of the originator of the current program"

"It would be a thousand times better for us to be ruled by a military dictator than to have the dictatorship concealed under sham councils and assemblies. (...) There is no such thing as slow freedom. Freedom is like a birth. Till we are fully free we are slaves."

*****

Y ahora si lo digo...
que triste ver como un pais ha terminado por caer en la misma violencia que tanto quiere rechazar, y ha sido polarizado tanto que ni siquiera nos podemos unir por una causa tan simple y noble como lo es la libertad, la paz y la no-violencia, sin estar hablando mal unos de otros.
Lamentablemente Colombia y la mayoria de los Colombianos no estamos listos para pedir y exigir paz.
Y mucho menos si seguimos insistiendo en juzgar a un sector sin mirar y aceptar nuestros propios errores.


"Peace.
It does not mean to be in a place
where there is no noise, trouble,
or hard work. It means to be in
the midst of those things and still
be calm in your heart."

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Why not 9?

"ARTICLE 9.
Aspiring sincerely to an international peace based on justice and order, the Japanese people forever renounce war as a sovereign right of the nation and the threat or use of force as means of settling international disputes.
(2) In order to accomplish the aim of the preceding paragraph, land, sea, and air forces, as well as other war potential, will never be maintained. The right of belligerency of the state will not be recognized."



The "Global Article 9 Conference" will be held in Tokyo, Japan, in May 2008. This conference will bring together the voices of the world supporting the existence and principle of Article 9. It will bring together Nobel Peace Laureates, intellectuals, cultural figures and NGO activists, and provide a forum to discuss what the citizens of the world can do to realize the principle of Article 9, through promoting disarmament, demilitarization and a culture of peace. It will aspire to create an international movement for realization of "peace without force." The holding of such a conference will be a concrete step in materializing the aim confirmed at the Hague Appeal for Peace Conference in 1999; "Every Parliament should adopt a resolution prohibiting their government from going to war, like the Japanese article number nine. "The endorsement of Article 9 in the World Peace Forum's final statement, "Vancouver Appeal for Peace 2006: Make Peace" has also greatly encouraged our campaign, supporting our ambition to stage a large scale international conference revolving around Article 9.

If you haven't, VOICE YOUR SUPPORT for Article 9!

Monday, January 07, 2008

Avaaz.org - Stop the Clash of Civilizations

2008... will it actually bring some change?

Happy New Year everyone! Hope you had a great time during the holydays, had a good rest, and are ready for enjoying and making the best of this new year.

This year brings with a really big hope for change for the world because we cant deny the influence the USA president has over so many issues: the environment, economy, human rights, security, terrorism, culture clashes, and so on...

I was quite happy to hear Obama won the Iowa caucus, and is probably winning the NH primary, most probably becoming the nominate for the democratic party, and hopefully president, since well he seems to be able to bring some change to the USA government.
But then I came accross this video of the New Hampshire debate, where the first question is about.... you guess... war, terrorism, Osama bin Laden, and military action.
I dont care how hypothetical the situation is, or how certain your intelligence service is about Osama bin Laden's hide-away. STOP talking about the possibility of yet another military invasion by the USA government on a foreign country!!!
I mean how bad is the hunger for war in the USA politics (or economy/corporartions to make it more clear), that they seem not to be able to stop thinking about military action for one second!?!?
Do they really think that if they kill Osama bin Laden the terrorist threats to the USA will finish? Really, why cant these people get it?

I really thought (and still think) Obama becoming president would be a whole much better than another republican, or for that matter, better than Hillary (and probably Edwards -dont really know much about him). But I guess none of them would really bring the deep changes that the whole world needs and is looking for in the USA government.

And it seems to be that the only candidate out there that actually makes some sense, Dennis Kucinich with his "Strength Through Peace" message, is simply unelectable for the press (and corporate America). But really, I am sure I am not the only one who would love to see one-day an environmentalist, pacifist and, on top of that, vegan person leading a country (specially the USA), am I? Is that so "hippie" to even accept that its definitely better than people who would start yet another invasion just for fear?