We never change..

IMG_0029

After forgetting both my WordPress username and password (thank the stars for email based password retrieval!)..

This is all I have to say…

I wanna live life, never be cruel,
I wanna live life, be good to you.
I wanna fly, never come down,
And live my life,
And have friends around.

We never change, do we?

Advertisements

My private performer

He sat in a small alcove at Torre Norde of the Placa Espanya. With his geared cycle behind him, a small mic and amplifier fitted into his soundhole and his guitar cover lying open in front of him, all he did was sit on his tiny stool and play.

He didnt get much of a notice, except people passing by would always slow down to listen to a snatch of what he was playing or to empty their change/coin purse of 5 and 10 euro cents.

Funny though, he really didnt look like he needed the money. He had a long aquiline face, with an appropriately placed french beard, clean cut looks, black sweater with a warm black scarf around his neck, a great pair of glasses and shoes. No, he really didnt look like he needed the money.

I sat on the steps in front of him, tired of carrying around the tiny bit of groceries I bought in a hurry. Walking all the way around town with them in your backpack, has got to be the most surefire way of getting a killing neck/nape/back ache. I was more than happy to set them down and sit for a moment’s rest.

I wasnt expecting an outstanding performance, but I got one. One song, and then another – each one bested the one before. He noticed me, I clapped after each – grinning madly from ear to ear. I tried to take a video – covertly – without thrusting a lens into his face. I sort of  succeeded, capturing the legs of all the other tourists walking by, in the process.

I stopped the recording after a bit of one song, to stop worrying about whether my memory card was filling up, and then, he began.

The one song, I probably was waiting for since I got to spain. It filled the small cupola and alcove with notes that were oh-so-strong and yet had a sense of gentle longing about them. The sounds bounced back and forth between the red brick walls and the curves of the columns  – just like they bounced inside my inner ear and my cranium. I dont know what they hit on their way, but they were resplendent. I kept trying to correlate his fingers on the fretboard with what I was hearing. I gave up after exactly 30 seconds of doing this. I was not there to study and understand, heck, I do that all the time! I closed my eyes, held my bag closer to me and just listened. The closest approximation of what it sounded like is the song on this page called ‘Dont you care’ by Los del Norte. A deeper, stronger, more sad version of this.

I left a small note in english (sadly) and 5 euros in his cover. I knew he didnt need the money at all, but I felt his performance earned it.

Walking back from my flamenco evening, with colours and the staccato of heels on wooden floors in my head, I bumped into the very same guitarist with his set of rambunctious and extremely genial friends. We unsuccessfully tried to talk in broken english and fast spanish. It only ended up in perplexed looks, wide grins, lots of hand movements. Alise from Panama, stepped in after a particularly long spanish sentence and translated the whole thing in perfect english! I was most pleased and relieved. I was a local celebrity among his friends – the girl who stayed to listen to him play and left a note! He was most pleased and invitations to join for a drink came from all directions! There was no way of saying no and heck, I had nothing better to do anyway!

“La Carboneria located in the twisty alleyways in front of the Cathedral offers free Flamenco shows nightly at 11PM” is all what wikitravel has to say about the place we went to; which is quite a pity. It is one of the most quaint, interesting, awesome places to hang around in Sevilla. Carboneria, used to be the place where coal was hoarded and sold. The signs remain, small sooty corners in walls, covered up with plaster, paintings and posters. Beneath a small chimney sat a small piano where a small, non-descript man was clearly enjoying himself. Further inside was a small picnic area, filled with benches and people with tinto de verano, sangria or their poison of choice. A small elevated table stood towards the centre of the room with 3 chairs, which hosted a small, intimate but forceful flamenco performance.

The evening passed discussing poetry, philosophy, neurons, music, rhythms and in the same vein –  tissue slicing, microtomes, paraffin embedding, brain slices, staining and Ramon Y Cajal. My kind of crowd, totally.

I walked back to my hostel a happier, slightly giddy, grinning backpacker.

Melt

I was here today morning. I had to take a friend with her mother along. I didnt want to go in, I hesistated, dilly-dallied, waited.. maybe it wont be as good, I thought. Maybe all I’ll get there are the bitter 90% ones that I can eat once – but have to have a dialogue in my head about how good it is for my health to actually keep eating it.

She opened the door. An old wooden frame with clean glass pane. From within came a warm, tempting zephyr of simmering coacoa. My frontal cortex shut itself down and in I went.

A tiny corridor, with chocolates on display, where ever I turned. Slabs, crumbles, tiny bricks, smooth balls, dusted with coacoa powder, glazed with sticky caramel; all in – nougat, amandes, caramel croquant, noir, vanille, blanc avec le fruits rouge and the eternal classic – lait.

No, I told myself. Ive spent a lot today. Maybe next time, maybe next weekend. I should deserve such things.

I was offered help – did I want to buy something? I mumbled an excuse, said I was waiting for my friend to finish.

The more I stood in that corner, the more overpowering the scent became. My head felt like a warzone. I had too many loud voices in my head, each vying for attention.

Thats it!

Excusez-moi? Si vous êtes libre, je aimerais bien prendre quelques petite morceaux…
  • White with red fruits
  • Classic milk
  • Crunchy caramel
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Fleurs de Sel (Flowers of salt)

I grudgingly shared the white with the friends, consoling myself that white chocolate isnt chocolate at all. Folded everything else and stuffed the packet deep into my bag.

I ran back home, carefully opened the waxed paper packet, peeled the ‘Blondel’ sticker, stuck my nose in it and took a deep life-giving breath.

Gingerly I opened the individually packed tiny thin slabs and took a tiny bite and let it sit on my tongue…

Test number 1.

Normal chocolate -> melting -> liquefying ->… mmmm…. -> !! what the!! ->… chilli!!! .-> cayenne pepper… -> *loud moan* -> flopped back on my futon with my eyes closed….. -> let the rest make its way down my throat along with copious amounts of wetness..

Test number 2.

Normal chocolate.. -> slightly darker that I like it -> inching its way to the sides of my tongue -> *HOLY CRAP!* moment -> tiny granules of salt sitting on my tastebuds -> melting like firefly flickers only to meld with the normal dark chocolate -> Oh…. my….*breath escalating* -> Silently having an epicurian orgasm…

Amen.

IMG_1576

My red shoulder bag  – check

My trusty camera in the ‘other’ shoulder bag – check

Sunglasses – check

.. and off we go!

With my current ear worm on my ipod and my eyelids closing and opening in time to the drugged beat, and a warm-hot sun on my sundress clad back, saturdays cannot get better.

Walking down from the cathedral, as I wind my way into cobblestone streets – a wave of riotous colours hits my retina. Peaches, bananas, apples – brilliant reds and greens, basket of neatly arranged starwberries, the wet, verde of lettuce leaves – a dozen varieties of them; poky pink-tipped asparaguses tied up in bundles; tiny, yellow potatoes and fiery red tomatoes on a stalk; royal juicy purple onions and my favourite – broccoli so green and fresh that you can hear them call out to you – from across the street.

I try, I really do. I take my camera with me every saturday, with hopes of capturing some colour, an iota of life.

A smiling paysan with crinkly eyes, a laughing madame with flowers in her hair and stalks of violet irises in her hands, a tiny toddler seriously examining her own fingers – sticky with toffee..  red balloons bouyed by the slight gust of wind at the town square; a small crowd of families and cybershot-toting tourists waiting for the enormous house-sized cuckoo clock to strike the hour; kids selling home-made cakes and cookies to fund their summer trips; similing locals walking with pamphlets urging you to “Sauver Lavaux” or “Pensez aux enfants en Somalie” or even “Utilise le transport locale” !

Up and down the steep streets I walk, hoping for a quiet corner somewhere, where I can take my camera out and try to think about framing a shot – it proves close to impossible. I have clutched the camera body through my bag, many times, only to losen the grip and walk on, into the milling crowd – to simply soak in the summer milieu.

After going through the motions and armed with an overflowing bag of vegetables on one hand and a bouquet of lillies and chinese roses on the other, I fight the urge to take the metro back home and walk back uphill through the same winding streets.

Its during times like these that I feel truly lucky to be human.

There isnt a higher joy than earning your share of fresh vegetables every week 🙂

Things learnt today –

spring

  • The smell of baking is what makes a house a home
  • It is definitely possible to OD on oatmeal and raisin cookies
  • Plain, white, polished rice is SO boring!
  • Plain ol’ sliced bread is SO boring!
  • A pod of garlic can transform even boring moong dal into something that fell out of the heavens and straight on to your taste-buds
  • Just because it is summer, I dont need to buy multiple heads of broccoli and multiple boxes of strawberries like I’m going to hoard them up
  • A flower vase can have – orange, yellow, purple and pink – as colour combinations and still look like it wont gobble up your cones.

I can be (just as I already knew) perfectly happy when I am perfectly alone.

Of photos and moons

traipses

Whoever thought a low-slow rising moon behind the skeletal black branches would bring back so many memories…

I think it is necessary to feel light.. when one traipses through life. There is too much weight in the air these days. Lest one breathes in the g-heavy particles.

I finished organising my photos today and realised I have 500 of them of various denominations and articles that I dont even remember shooting.

Clearing backlogs is such a cathartic process, n’est pas?

Fuzzy

  • shaky
  • You know its not going to be a good day, when you get up and feel like your head has been infused with lead. I wish I could unscrew my head and leave it at home. Sometimes, my shoulders feel oh-so-heavy.
  • The more I try to see into the future, the more it gives me a headache.
  • All that kept me going for the past few days, was a borrowed canon g9 and a decent amount of sunlight to help me make my Vit.D
  • SfN, Chicago seems so far away, it doesnt even feel like Im working towards it.