06 November, 2011

Winter is coming

I rose this morning brooding, thinking about what may come in the near future.

My second autumn in Paris dashed by and old man winter and an uncertain future are fast-approaching.  For almost ten years prior to arriving at the French capital, I measured my time by Capitol Hill's legislative sessions and the 2-year election cycle.  With university life, I pace myself freely and according to exams, weekends and travels, paper deadlines, revolutions won and hopes unattained, intellectually challenging and sometimes intoxicating conversations, and the validity of my French visa.      

Perhaps it is the season, or that my current mood tells me I have very little to trust the world about . . . the sweeping breeze, the hunchback lady by my neighborhood pub whose outings to the corner store are measured in painful steps, or just the inexplicable sentiment that all things in my life seem unsettled . . . the head is unhappy today.      

The father (extreme left) playing for his university rugby club in Taipei

I never sorted out how to talk to the old man before he passed away, but having this photo around helped.  

18 August, 2011

I said some words to the close and holy darkness, and then I slept.

Brecon Beacons National Park, Wales

Five days in Wales have passed but the songs and words still rest in my head. The Welsh rugby supporters in Millennium Stadium serenading the English . . . "bread of heaven, bread of heaven . . . feed me until I want no more!" still drone in my ears. The conversations meandered and were imprecise, but words spoken in the Swansea house where Dylan Thomas grew up brought back images, some good and some bittersweet, to reflect. As the three year anniversary of my father's passing clung to my thoughts, surfaced the verse "Do not go gently into that good night. Old age should burn and rage at close of day; Rage rage against the dying of the light". I still haven't got peace for never properly knowing the old man.

Almost four weeks ago I left Paris and reached the White Cliffs of Dover by ferry. That rainy morning on 27 July the wind blew over the Channel as if mother nature was unhappy with me. My mind raced with anticipation.

Two weeks at St. Antony's College were filled with cheers, engaging talks, new friends, good mates, hopes for the future, and unwilling goodbyes. Oxford treated me well and I didn't want to say farewell. On came Wales, with her fire breathing dragon and her gentle people. Of an uncertain night in Cardiff ending with the superb hospitality of a Welsh policeman, of kind travelers who stopped to give a lift to a perfect stranger stranded at the side of the road, and an elegant Swansea lady who put her soul and her fortune into the memories of a poet.


The Turf Tavern
Oxford, England

05 July, 2011

Paros, Grecia

4 julio 2011

Al contrario de la ferocidad de la temperatura del día, cuando la calle estuvo vacía, por la noche los paseos de Paroikia estan tan animados y la parte vieja llena de inhabitantes locales y viajeros. La Isla de Paros me ha tratado bien los dos días pasados. Aunque la vida acá no está tan emocionante como otras islas de Grecia, me alegra este lugar. Esta isla me ha atrapado el corazón con su gente amistosa y las noches dulces de Paroikia.

Las calles de Paroikia estan tan llenas de movimiento en la noche! En realidad, tengo sueño después de un día donde he pasado abajo del sol griego. Unicamente me quiero descansar en mi propria cama. Pero con más vagando, me pierdo y me animo más. Con cada puerta que pasé, hay músicas diferentes – las familias que ríen juntas, los niños que juegan el fútbol en las callecitas - sencillamente disfrutando el verano de esta isla.

Happy birthday to the United States!

* * *

In contrast to the day, when people took shelter from the bright Aegean sun, at night Paroikia's narrow lanes teemed with life, with shops, eateries and cafes teeming with locals and travelers. Though the island is not as exciting as other Greek isles, Paros captured my heart with its well-mannered people and Paroikia's gentle but lively evenings.

The streets of Paroikia is so full of life tonight! Actually, after spending a full day under the brightGreek sun, I'm exhausted. I only want to rest in my own bed and sleep. But with more wandering, the more I lost myself in the cheerfulness of the streets. With the passing of each door a new music drifted into the air – families who laugh together, boys who play football in the alleys and teenagers who flirt on the beaches - simply enjoying a warm summer night on the island.

Joyeux anniversaire aux États Unis!

28 June, 2011

Sunrise on the Aegean

So I'm on the road again. Actually, to be precise this time I am on the sea. Though four hours of sleep over the last two days of traveling by plane and by ferry made for an exhausting arrival to Santorini, it was nice to be lost in the shadows on the early morning, in my own thoughts, only to be animated by a brilliant sunrise.

Day one was logistical in nature. With arrival to Athens uneventful, sorting out the geography of this large city and the ferries were nonetheless something I was in no humor to deal with. Even prior to departing Paris, I was really not looking forward to airports, train stations and docks again. I'm just tired.

30 January, 2011

Home in Alicante, for a moment

Starting line for the Santa Pola Half Marathon

Alicante reminded me a bit of being home in Buenos Aires. As I was leaving at 07h30 for the bus to the Santa Pola Half Marathon, smartly dressed Alicantinos were joyously filing out of bars and night clubs - a wee bit intoxicated, singing, smoking, looking for an open cafe for breakfast - simply enjoying being young on an early Sunday morning.

Not familiar with the region I anxiously got the the bus station early and bought my ticket from Alicante to Santa Pola. Nervous I was for the half marathon. I hadn't properly train for the two previous weeks, and traveling solo I didn't have any trusted companions to air my anxieties. Not knowing how to handle the jitters, I closed my eyes and tried to forget about my apprehensions. It was a long 30-minute bus trip.

1:39:44 it took me for the half marathon.

Santa Barbara Castle, Alicante, Spain