Monday, 21 April 2014


I thought time was going slowly, but having just looked back at my last blog update I can see that I wrote it on the 27th March. That's almost a month ago, but feels like last week. In hindsight however I can see that I did managed to fill up the last 3 weeks. Milan isn't really growing on me, though there is a lot to do here. I am pretty excited about leaving and being in a smaller and greener place. Here's a round up of what I have been up to in the last month...

At the end of March there was a Yelp event, Mi Casa Es Tu Yelp Casa. I invited three friends along to this little yelp event at Toasteria Mi Casa near the metro stop Turro. We each got treated to a little aperitivo with an aperol spritz and a choice of toasted sandwiches, many of which were vegetarian or vegan. As always, Yelp provides a great excuse to check out new areas of the city and meet new people. In early April I got to see Romain again, un ami grenoblois who came to visit, albeit for an evening. We enjoyed an aperitivo al Milanese at Ginger Cocktail Lab, caught up on life and love before heading to the cheesy residenza party that evening.

It had been a while, but I finally got to go climbing again. We went to a small climbing area near lake Como. Dorothy and I had severe nausea and felt a lot weaker than we had been previously, but we still managed a few vias and with a lot of pushing I did a super difficult 6b. We also got the pleasure of meeting a couple of new climbers who I hope to go out with again.

Heading to the University library a friend and I were surprised to see the courtyard transformed into a museum of Design. There were projection screens, curvy edges, an infinite staircase, a mirror tunnel and various transformations and mosaics. Free coffee was being given out from a futuristic silver bar which I think was one of the many installations.

After a week of stress trying to find accommodation during the fuori salone weekend, I finally managed to find a place for two nights which cost less than 100 euros. A special person came to visit me for the week, and we didn't hesitate to start the week with a bit of adrenaline, taking a train and a taxi to the Cremona Sky Team Drop Zone, free falling for 60 seconds (tandem) before our parachutes opened and eating some Japanese food when back on the ground.

The following day we headed to the Cinque Terre, a UNESCO world heritage site I had wanted to visit for quite some time. The Cinque Terre consists of five picturesque fishermen villages set against some stunning craggy cliffs in a lush and fertile national park. Arriving in Monterosso from Milan we took a boat to Riomaggiore. We would have taken a train but there was one of those dreaded public transport strikes. Riomaggiore seems to have the most budget traveler options, but it also seemed to be the quietest and most beautiful of the five towns. We walked around trying (and failing) to pick lemons, watching an incredible sunset, eating fresh pasta and farinata and just enjoying the beauty and relaxed local atmosphere. Riomaggiore reminded me of Cornwall with its dramatic cliffs and rocks, but it was quintessentially Mediterranean with its mild climate, citrus fruits and olive trees. We took a hike up to and beyond the church on the mountain, taking in the amazing scenic views and somehow seeing Asian rice terraces in every vineyard. To finish we ate pizza and watched the second episode of the 4th season of game of thrones, before heading out for a drink. The next day we spent sitting on beaches in Vernazza and Monterosso, eating focaccia and both getting progressively sicker.

So the next week in Milan was mainly spent coughing and taking aspirin and paracetamol to control symptoms, but we did manage to walk around Brera, check out a cool yelp elite event at SempreBio where we nibbled our way through hummus, vegan cake and farinata alle zucchine, eat Indian food and veggie burgers, climb (despite the fever), and watch a few movies. I still have said flu. Easter was more of an annoyance; it meant closed supermarkets, swimming pools, climbing hall and I didn't get any Easter eggs this year.

This evening I am heading off in what is most likely the last of the Milanese rain to see the Grand Budapest Hotel, fortunately in the original language. It would seem I do have enough things to do with my remaining time here, like a trip to see the Rocky Horror picture show, Turin, potentially canyoning, Lucca and Verona, and more climbing alongside a few essentials i.e. the close approaching literature exam...

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

5 years forward

Do you remember the era of social networking quizzes? They served as such a fantastic way to showcase one's identity... I definitely did far too many of these once upon a time. What has really changed in the last 5 years though? I have put new answers in red for the year 2014 whilst I wrote the original answers in February 2009.

- Available: nein still nope
- Age: 17 22
- Annoyance: umm... that feeling of not feeling quite right every day is pretty annoying recently not sleeping
- Animal: many, all types of cats from domestic to tigers are quite nice though... and meerkats are cute Still cats and how could I have forgotten to mention squirrels?

- Beer: eurgh. Not acquired a taste for this. Still eurgh.
- Birthday: 19th July hopefully this hasn't changed ;)
- Body Part on opposite sex: eyes are more a feature, i dunno, hands, everything :/  still eyes, but also hands and backs.
- Best feeling in the world: loved, warm,  intellectual or artistic inspired moments/satisfaction the satisfaction which comes with reaching a goal, but also still being loved. I think most people would agree with that.
- Blind or Deaf: neitherrr i love music, reading and beauty too much Still the case, though I think if I had to choose I'd want to see.
- Best weather: warm and sunny or snowy so that it settles I have since decided I like strong seasons.
- Been on stage? many times and many times since.
- Believe in Magic: no but i'd love it I believe in what science cannot yet prove, and science still doesn't have all the answers.

- Candy: fruity stuff still so
- Color: Green, turquoise, purple, hm this varies because i also sometimes like pink best hehe Turquoise and various shades of green and blue. Definitely no longer a fan of purple.
- Chocolate/Vanilla: dark chocolate Always the same
- Chinese/Mexican Food: both Whilst some buddhist restaurants in China did really good naturally vegan food, as a general rule I would now say Mexican.
- Cake Or Pie: depends on type cake. Edinburgh has taught me well.
- Continent/Country to visit: Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, Paraguay would be amazing. But also Laos, Vietnam, Japan, Cambodia. and many other places... BAM! Visited Brazil and Paraguay, heading off to Vietnam and Japan this summer. Still got lots more world to see though.
- Cheese: not so great. Still the case.

- Day or Night: both can be bella  I prefer the day now :)
- Dancing in the rain: it's singing not dancing! why shouldn't it also be dancing? Cocky 17 year old me.
- Do the splits: would really hurt... inclined to agree But why not try and master it so that it doesn't hurt?

- Eggs: no thanks Still nooo.
- Eyes: green hasn't changed...
- Everyone's got: DNA and RNA presumably Most people also have life.

- First thoughts waking up: i'll read a bit before going into the other room... What time is it...?
- Food: bircher muesli Agedashi tofu and steamed sticky rice.

- Greatest Fear: drowning, spiders, losing those I love. I can't remember being scared of drowning, though the second two are the same
- Goals: photojournalist  Would still be cool! For now though-graduate in languages, learn Japanese and/or Chinese, get some experience working abroad wherever life takes me.
- Gum: chewing gum? handy chewy
- Get along with your parents? my dad and I get on really well I get on with both of them pretty well

- Hair Color: blond but not dumb
- Height: 5'4 I think I didn't grow anymore
- Happy: ^^ sì, on off anyway that's always the way of the world. In a general sense, yes!
- Holiday: one of the above mentioned countries or cultural city tour even though I've done this a lot, way too many places to do even a few visits, just looking further into galleries and local cultures. Don't really get what I am on about there... Anyway a journey of discovery in an exotic land hopping between destinations, meeting cool people, feeling the place and trying new things. Learning the language is also cool.
- Hate: not really sure, i find hate a too intense word I don't hate anyone
- How do you want to die: a 'wise old woman' living on top of a mountain giving odd advice to knights, with lots of cats, a leaky roof and a vegetable patch. That is the only way old age will be beautiful. Still the best way to go.

- Ice Cream: Italian gelaterias ^^ Always gelato.
- Instrument: I love the sound of piano and violin, and acoustic guitar, alongside flute especially when used in native american or Indian classical music. Haven't changed much here.

- Jewelry: two necklaces I always wear, one made for me in Jaipur, an emerauld, the other a vintage silver heart, really lovely, from, guess where? ^^ Both of them broke... :( I'd like a replacement.
- Job: i quit my work at the harbour even though i said i'd come back after stressful times, it conflicts too much with my school work and free time and I don't like dealing with drunk people... I have gone up in the world, teaching English as a foreign language in Italy ;)

- Kids: some are cute. for instance, my nephew :) I should make that plural.
- Keep a journal: oh god yes an online journal, a written journal and another written journal. I write a lot. I still write a lot, though most of what I write is just for me.
- Longest journey: Mont blanc to Paris in a day seemed to take a while. So was clarement ferund to some rural place on the costa del sol. and some of those journeys in India took some time. the trip across death valley to yosemite was long.  Shortly after this post the 72 hour journey to Rio to Argentina had to be amongst the longest journeys I have ever taken. Also one of those overnight trains in China.

- Letter: here are some letters. I also like to write letters, though more often receive them nowadays.
- Laughed so hard you cried: too long ago! :/ need those friends overs Sadly this was probably watching some cat video on youtube.

- Milk flavor: chocolate, kesar pistar or rose I don't drink milk! Though it'd be kesar pista or mango soya milkshake.
- Movies: comedy, art house movies, fantasy, adventure, anime  Oh dear that was vague. Kind of the same and it's a really long list so I guess I will just leave it at that.
- Mooned anyone?: nah nope
- Motion sickness?: have had had it this weekend actually
- McD’s or BK: no thanks no thank you. Unless in India, mcurry all the way.
- Number: 4 Because in French number 4 sounds like cat...
- Number of siblings: 2 brothers not changed ;p

- Overused phrases: aww, lol (only on the internet obviously!), hehe, weird, a few more i probably don't notice this hasn't changed at all unfortunately. Lack of personal growth?
- One wish: apart from infinite wishes and happiness... I'll keep that to myself.  Oh why didn't I say? I think I have forgotten what I wished for now. Oh well the new wish will also be kept to myself...
- One Phobia: Only one-spiders spiders still

- Place you'd like to live: los angeles, kerala, darjeeling, france or italy, a little swiss mountainous town/village like grindelwald. Um I'm not sure yet. I haven't been everywhere. Would still love to live in India and could live in France. A few more places come to mind now though, like Berlin, Lijiang and Rio. Doubt I could live in Italy or Switzerland after spending some time in both countries.
- Pepsi/Coke: does it matter? pepsi? neither
- Perfect Pizza: fungi, jalepeno  Oh I got sophisticated here. Rucola.
- Piercings: just ears Potentially just ears still, though maybe I can't even put an earring through the hole now.

- Quail: egg? yes, it is an egg..

- Reason to cry: not really no reason to cry for now.
- Reality T.V: no thanks No.
- Radio Station: i don't listen to the radio. video killed the radio star didn't you know... Still applies!
- Roll your tongue in a circle: i don't tend to do so often ? no!
- Ring size: Idk. don't know.

- Song: really difficult. I like 'your song' and 'can you feel the love tonight' by elton john, 'across the universe' by john lennon, blowing in the wind by Bob Dylan, mad world (the version from donnie darko), creep by radio head hallelujah ORIGINALLY by Leonard cohen but covered by Jeff Buckley, dum maro dum by asha bhosle, star man david bowie, loads more and some modern though these change starman, blowing in the wind and across the universe are classics. Manu Chao rainin' in paradise makes me happy. 
- Shoe size: 4/5 6
- Salad Dressing: french or italian just good olive oil and balsamic vinegar or lemon juice with a sprinkling of salt.
- Sushi: veggie sushi inari!
- skipped School: from being ill or with good reason..... Whenever I wanted really...
- Slept Outside: many times, it gets a little chilly I'd like to do so more often.
- Sing In the shower?: yes one of the best places aha not so often now I share my flat.
- Strawberries/Blueberries: both blueberries now

- Tattoos?: preferably not, i like some tribal tattoos though like those you get in the amazon regiona and south sea islands. I wouldn't get one though. never
- Time for bed: when tired when tired and convenient
- Thunderstorms: excitinggg yes
- TV: documentaries, travel channel ie. globe trekkers, music channels, some dramas like skins, doctor who... Add GAME OF THRONES, breaking bad, the walking dead
- Touch your tongue with your nose: no, sadly i just tried already knowing i couldn't yoga didn't teach me this trick

- Unpredictable: very sometimes

- Vacation Spot: this keeps getting reasked in different ways Somewhere beautiful with great people and an interesting culture

- Weakness: not telling or it will be used against me NONE I am powerful!
- Which one of your friends acts the most like you: hmmmmmm none of them?
- When you grow up: i'm 18 in July :/ but I want to be a happy photojournalist, married, well traveled, well cultured, experienced and have achieved as much as possible.  Maybe some of that
- Who makes you laugh the most?: it varies a lot! cats being silly
- Worst Weather?: wet, cold, windy wind

- X-Rays: i think i've had too many for it to be healthy but not so many recently luckily

-Year: 1991 1969
-Yellow: we all live in a yellow submarine mellow

- Zoo animal: tigers, meerkats, giraffes, elephants, blah blah tigers
- Zodiac Sign: the goat hasn't changed...