Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Just a wee bit scared

People tell me Im brave a lot. And I never know what that means. Its strange for me to think of my own bravery or courage because, in fact, I think I am the opposite. Courage, as defined by the american dictionary, is 'the state or quality of mind or spirit that enables one to face danger, fear, or vicissitudes with self-possession, confidence, and resolution; bravery.'

Its not bravery because it doesnt scare me to travel alone. Not knowing where I am doest bother me and I have no problem being on my own making decisions. What scares me in life is sharing parts of myself with others.

I have been offered the opportunity to write for a web based magazine, starting in the fall. I really want to contribute but the more I think about it the more I want to back out.

I have never been good at sharing certain parts of myself. 'Talents' or 'skills' that show how smart someone is is where I get nervous. I've never considered myself a terribly smart or clever girl, nor have I ever thought I was good at much. Its like Im ok at everything. The idea of writing articles and posting them on the internet scares the hell out of me. My words up for critique?

Its completely different keeping a blog or writing about my day to my friends. I dont have to worry about writing formally because its not meant to be anything. But writing articles for something, well, thats formal and I just dont know if I have the gumption for it.

This all sounds so stupid when its written out like this but its been weighing on my mind for some time now. Im not sure if I am ready to put myself out there to be shot down and laughed at. And even if they dont laugh, what the hell am I going to write about thats so interesting anyway?

Funny, coming from the girl who apparently fears nothing....

I have a while to decide. And I think Im going to be brave and try it anyway, even though Im scared as hell. But rest assured that I wont be telling any of you about how to find it until Im totally comfortable (read: confident).

Monday, April 27, 2009

Oh Damn! BSG + Tattoos = Happiness

Lets start with the fact that I got to go to the Jules Vern awards thing for Battlestar! Oh yeah. Thats right. Captain Adama, President Roseline and the Dr were all there. Yes, I know they are actors but I prefer thinking they are their characters, alright?! Alright.

The pictures are blurry because my camera sucks but I had a lot of fun going and watching an episond on a huge theater screen. It makes me want to rent an cinema for a week and watch the entire series that way. So fucking EPIC!!! (sorry Mamo for saying the f word so much. Im just over come with excitement.)

I got all sad and wanted to cry when they were talking about it being over. So sad. Even more sad that I am that attached to a fucking television series. But thats not the point here.

I finally saw the Arc de Triomph the other day too. Very exciting business. Pictures....

And then there is the fact that I leave for Prague tomorrow afternoon! Yay! Ill be meeting up with a friend of Ruth. I trust he will be an interesting character because I would expect nothing less from her!

I will also be getting tattooed while there. Not in Prague but near by. I will have the backs of my thighs tattooed with daggers that look a little like this.

Im happy about it for a number of reasons. I will have to share more later as it is very late here and I have a long day ahead of me tomorrow!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Change of Plans...again

So I could see it coming from a mile away but still got my hopes up anyway.

Charlotte has backed out of the trip and will not be joining me for Turkey and India. Im kind of bummed about it since I wont have a travel buddy after all but Ill see Jake and Alex in India in a few months.

Char has made the decision that is best for her right now. I have my own opinions about all of this but then again I always do. Either way, its better that she does what she wants and is comfortable with and says it now rather than being pressured into something and backing out later.

But I suppose thats what I get.

I will say that this is why I dont have many lady friends (sorry girls). This is going to sound extreamly sexist but in my experience it's true. When a guy says yes, he means yes. And when he says no, he means no. There is rarely any complication in that. Men are taught to say what they mean and to stick by it. I can respect that.

There are exceptions but I find that with women, feelings always complicate things. Its like all women over think everything and constantly second guess themselves and their decisions. They can never seem to do things just for the sake of doing it and are constantly looking for validation from others. Maybe its their friends or boy friends or family or whatever. Its lame and Im tired of trying to be nice and PC about all of it. Ladies! For the lack of a better phrase: Grow a pair!

Im not angry with Charlotte. I am angry at the patterns I find in female behavior.

Im just tired of being alone all the time. I like my own company but after almost 8 months of my company, Im a little bored.

Traveling alone is great. I love it. I would never want a travel partner for more than a few weeks or months at a time but it gets a little lonely after a while. Constantly meeting new people quickly looses its appeal because the conversations are always the same.

Anyway. So thats that.

On another subject many people have been asking me about my plans and when Im "coming home." So here is my loose plan or schedule or whatever....

*April 24th - May 2nd ish:
Prague and part of Czech

Id like to stop in Albania for a few days before Turkey but Im not sure

*May 6th ish- June 15th:

*June 15th- August 31st:
India, Nepal, Bangladesh
There is a possiblity of heading to Thailand in this time but it depends on Jake... kind of.

*September 1st- November 30th:
Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia, Indonesia, etc.

The loose plan is to get to Australia in December to work for the summer there. Id like to make some money and then next spring head back to Europe.

There is a possibility of going through China, Mongolia and Russia on the train or back through southern Asia the way I came. I may just fly back to Europe from there if I have the cash and dont feel like more epic journies, although, that is extreamly unlikely.

Id like to spend next summer, yeah, summer 2010, in Europe getting settled and starting on paperwork and language and everything else.

Hopefully in September or October 2010 I can take a month to go back to the states to see everyone. Id like to start on the East Coast and then fly to San Francisco before getting to Portland.

Then Id come back to France or Spain or somewhere to live.

This is all a very long way off and can change yet again (obviously).

Its crazy to think that if I follow this plan I will be 24 by the time I get back to the states. Thats the age when you have to start thinking about being a grown up and shit! Eeeekkkk!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tu fais quoi?

I finally went to the doctor. Cost me €120 but at least I will know if Im going to die by Monday. Its always fun trying to talk about your health problems with someone who doesnt speak the same language. I was hoping to be in Berlin by now but I have to wait to hear from the doctor on Monday. Maybe in that time I can spend another €100 on getting vaccinated for India.

They say I cant eat any fruits or vegetables for three days. Im a vegan! What the hell am I going to eat?! Pasta is great but nothing but plain rice, pasta and potatos is just going to make me crazy, not to mention bloated. Gross.

Im getting pretty excited for DS9. I have to go pick it up in a few and then Ill be able to nerd out on Star Trek for a while! Giving me a television series about space travel for my ipod is a really bad idea.... Just sayin.

I am in need of some new clothes and I think I may just have to stop in a department store in Paris and go shopping! If I have to wear my purple long sleeve shirt again Im going to scream! I have been wearing essentially the same clothes since before I left the states and I just cant take it any more! I just want one new shirt....

Im tired of looking like a bum all the time. I want to wear a real skirt and heels and makeup and to go out proper. To have legs and decent hair that isnt frizzy and to feel acctractive in my clothes again!

Keep your panties on. I know its shocking to hear but I really do like looking nice, its just that it doesnt usually fit into my lifestyle. Bikes and dumpster diving doesnt really work out well when in a skirt and heels.... I never think I can pull it off anyway so I usually dont try very hard.

Char and I have been talking about learning/practicing Spanish together while we're traveling. I like that idea quite a bit but I worry that I will just get confused and mix my french and spanish together. I already do that sometimes anyway. But I will need Spanish if I decide to live in Spain....

On a totally unrelated note, here are more pictures of me cooking. Very interesting, I know.

The other night the guys let me tattoo them! I can hear all of my friends that are tattoo artists (as well as my mother) cringing right now. It was fun and everything but I dont think I have a new career option or anything. It was just a simple anchor on each of them. I think I did a pretty good job for using a sewing needle tied to the end of chopsticks....

This is the guy that stares at me when I pee.

This is the only picture I took of Mons, Belgium. Im trying to be a better tourist but its difficult because I usually just dont care. Anyway, the town is actually very small and very pretty.

And of course, the woman I stayed with. Belgium is the land of gingers, if you didnt already know.

Lets see... what else.... Oh I know! I took a bath and had to take a picture of it because its probably the last real bath Ill have for a year and because it was a bubble bath!!! Its been years since my last bubble bath. I just needed a handsome man (or woman) to keep me company and a glass of wine to make it better. Oh well, next time!

There was an ant on the wall which is why Im staring at the wall and the picture wasn't that blurry.... I think its funny that it just looks like Im staring at the wall like a creep. I do that a lot in fact... now Im just rambling.

And last but not least, a really great mask! Weird, no?

My French is getting significantly better. Its exciting to be able to see it and to know its possible for me to learn. I was getting a little worried there for a while! But of course it gets better just in time for me to leave again.

Oh! I almost forgot! I just found out that some pictures of me are going to be in an exhibition on May 2nd in Hambourg, Germany. Ill try to get a link to the artists site so you can see because I am forgetful and cant remember it or his last name... figures. Aparently I will also be featured on the cover of the exhibition catalog, or whatever it is artists make to promote shows. (its sad that I dont know this since my partner of two years is an artist... Yeah, I know....)

Anyway, more ramblings and pictures soon!

Monday, April 20, 2009

I like a nice taut lobe......

So many things I want to talk about but cant because the internet is too accessible. Bummer.

I have made a list of things I want/need for my travels and since my birthday is just a few short weeks away I thought I would share it with you. If you feel so inclined to send me something you are more than welcome to but it is not necessary (obviously).

In no particular order:
Travel books for Turkey, India and maybe SE Asia
Polaroid Camera (I had one but Im pretty sure its with Phil now)
and Film (I have been shown the way, expired is the way to go!)
A Tarp
Medicines: Anti-malarials, Stomach meds like pepto, anti septic, etc
Water Bottle because I lost mine in Chicago
Bug Spray (cancer, here I come!)
Bike Light to use as a flashlight
Alarm Clock again I think Phil has mine
Extra Battery for my Camera
Pocket Mirror
Lock for my Bag
Money..... Who doesnt want money?

Other than making lists of things I need/want I havent been doing much. Enjoying my days being lazy, making plans for getting to Berlin, Prague and to Turkey and just trying to regain all my energy before the next leg of my trip.

I spent the weekend in Belgium. It was alright, could have been better but could have been worse too. I stayed with a wonderful woman in Mons! She is 54, an artist, vegetarian and extreamly active! I really liked her! If anything I would like to go back to Belgium just to stay with her again! The rest of the time there was less enjoyable. I shot another set for SG but honestly Im not sure if I like the result. Ill wait and see....

Ive been feeling pretty anti social the past few days but still happy. Strange combination for me. I have been spending hours stretching and trying to do handstands and listening to music in 'my' room. Its good because Ive been having body image issues so exercise is making me feel better.

Not riding a bike or dancing is really changing my body. Its taken me a while to notice because Im never naked long enough to really see the difference. You would think that all the walking I do would help make up for it but it doesnt.... I have gained quite a bit of weight since I left DC and I can see the shape of my legs changing. Im sure you all think Im crazy but its true and Im not exactly happy about it.

Sigh. I have to pee again! Im so sick of peeing every 10 minutes!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

More Pictures from the past few days

These two pictures next to eachother make it look like were in bed together. Haha. Not the case at all. Just a silly coincidence!

Char cut her hair. I dont think she likes it and Im not helping. I think she looks like a Southern Poodle. Ive been calling her my little French Poodle....

Then there is me cooking.

Charlotte and I went to my favorite spot in Paris the other day. We listened to American girls talk about how they cant be friends with guys because you cant talk to guys about shopping and hair. I hate some people.... But I had fun up there anyway!

I love the sun on my face in the morning!

And a silly picture for the road!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Spring, Food, Flowers, Plans!

I just love spring time! There are flowers everywhere and its finally warm enough that I dont have to wear thermals anymore!! I have arms, legs and a chest again! They dont have to be coved by five layers of clothing to keep warm! I am going to spend as much time in shorts and a tanktop as possible because I cant do it in Turkey, or India for that matter!

I wake to birds singing in the morning (lets be real here, afternoon) and the sun shining in through the windows! It all makes me so happy! I just miss all the dogwood trees in Portland. They should be blooming about now. There dont seem to be any here which is a bummer because they are my favorite!

Its been nice enough here that Char and I have been up on the guys roof making travel plans and talking about life. There is a nice view of the city too! I could stay up there for hours.

Other than that, I have been spending my days cooking and getting fat. I made Meloui, the Moroccan pancakes, and friend aubergene the other night and ate until I thought I would puke. I altered the Meloui a bit and cooked it with the filling already inside and it was amazing! I hope to try it again before I leave. And once I am settled somewhere again, Ill try it with real yeast from sourdough starter instead of commercial yeast!! Oh yes, not traditional but so good!

I am finding that I love to cook which is quite amusing after years of fearing the stove. Turns out Im pretty good at it too! I still think everyone is lying to me about it but I am coming around to the idea, slowly. I want to keep posting on the other blog with recipes I have found or have come up with but its a lot of work and I can barely keep up with this. Maybe when I settle somewhere....

I drink too much tea, stare at maps and read travel books all day long. I havent even been into the city once since I got here.... I really should go! Im feeling much more relaxed and rested and ready to get on with my trip!

I leave for Belgium on Saturday! I am very excited about meeting some girls there and then its off to Berlin! Im not quite sure how long Im staying in either place just yet.

So overall, things are looking up! I am feeling much less depressed and more excited about life in general! I still miss everyone like hell but its getting easier to deal with. The massive doses of chocolate in my diet are probably helping a lot too. Actually its probably the hords of aphrodisiacs (sp?) in my diet as a whole: chocolate, strawberries, ginger, the Moroccan spice mix I put on everything! Its like drugs but not.

As it turns out Charlotte and I have quite a bit in common as far as our family history is concerned. It may sound wrong but I was pleased to find out that she has also experienced the death of a parent. There is something comforting about friends who have experienced this. Its like they know something about me or share something that most other people can not relate to in any way. The best part is that they are usually the only people who know how to react to hearing it. They never apologize.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Thank you, Julio!

I think my life is now complete. Or at the very least much more fulfilled now that I know this exists!

After watching the whole series, which you have to do, go watch the MadTV skit that goes with it.

On another note, I cant believe I lived without Metallica on my ipod for so long! What the hell was I thinking!?!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Oh lord I have to pee!

Im back in Paris!
Its a very bittersweet day. Im so happy to be with Charlotte and they guys again but Im also a little sad about leaving Barcelona. I will miss the sunshine, Lucie and the girls (and all of our gossip and stories), and surprisingly, Julio calling me a 'dirty fucking hippy.'

The city of Barcelona leaves a little to be desired for me but I have found that its always the people I meet that make a place for me. I will be back soon enough....

As for right now I am just trying to get my barrings agian. I feel kind of like I have been on holiday and need some time to relax. In my last entry I said some things that I think were taken out of context. Let me clarify: I am exhausted. I am so tired and feel like I just cant keep up with everything. I want to hear from my friends and family very much, I just dont always have the energy or time to respond. I have been feeling very homesick. I think its the first time since I left that I have REALLY missed everyone and its tough to deal with. So sometimes hearing from everyone makes me sad but at the same time its nice to know that I still have friends at home. I am not nearly as depressed as it may sound...

But on the up side I am very excited about being back with Char and our trip together! I will be visiting Berlin soon and Prague after that! Turkey is going to be so wonderful! I can hardly contain my excitement, especially after loving Morocco so much! I can already hear the call to prayer!

I worked with a photographer the other day who took some great photos that will be up in an exhibition. Its going to be pretty rad I think. And Im pretty sure my set with DiazArri is going to come out well too!

For the next few days I am going to be catching up on a few things, looking into and applying for visas to pretty much all of SE Asia and spending time with everyone here. I need to see a doctor for a number of reasons too. Im not sure how that is going to work....

Monday, April 6, 2009

Im an Emo Girl....

I suppose I should do this now when I still can and dont have to pay for it.

Barcelona has had its ups and downs since I got here. I have made friends, potentially lost friends, been bored to tears, been tired as all hell, excited about people\places\things, tried to relate and had so much fun I could puke. Its all a lot to process in a few short days.

I always (now) try my best to make friends with people. Not to just play nice but to actually get to know people and to create some kind of connection. Sometimes people dont want to cooperate and that is fine. And sometimes it just doesnt work. Its just a bummer when I am left in the dark and dont know what to contribute to a situation, there by making things much worse for everyone.

I know this is all very vague and probably doesnt mean anything to any of you but I want to put it out there anyway.

On top of all of that, Im feeling like a lot of people in my life have expectations for me that I just cant live up to right now. I am not in a place to commit to anything. I need my space and time to think but it feels like everyone wants a little peice of me. I dont know what I have to offer anyone anymore and Im not sure if I want anyone offering anything to me. The point is, I feel completely distanced from everyone and everything. I dont want to hold anything close anymore because its just going to change or Im going to leave or somewhere along the way it will get complicated and wont be fun anymore.

I miss my friends. I know I say that all the time but its true. I miss being around people who already know me. I had a dream last night about going back to DC. Everyone was hanging out at T street when I got there. I hugged Welch, maurine, Nassif, Flynn, Trey, Tina, Redbeard, Phloomis and so many other people. I was SO happy to see everyone. We all just sat around and drank rootbeer and told stories and had a wonderful time. I woke myself up laughing. I love and miss everyone very much!

Its funny to think about what other people think of my life. Everyone says 'oh it must be so nice, you never have to worry about bills and work! I wish I could do that!' I never know what to say to that...

They are right to a certain degree. I dont worry about paying the water bill or rent. I dont worry about getting up for work or school on time but I still have stress. I still feel down sometimes. There are days when I just want to quit and go home to my mom and never leave the house again.

I appreciate the life and opportunities I have, please dont get me wrong but its still hard to get through the days when I feel like crap. Its still my life and I have the same habits and tendencies I always had back in Portland.

My life isnt any better or worse than anyone else I know, its just very different. So when I get bummed out, or just want to vent or talk about the things that bother me(like now), please dont email me telling me I should be greatful or that your life sucks and mine doesnt. This is one of the only places I can vent to my friends and family without paying out the ass.

On another note:

This evening I will be shooting another set for SG with Mr. DiazArri. He is a wonderful photographer and I just know the images will turn out well! I have a few hours to kill before meeting him and I just dont know what to do with myself.

There are a few errands I need to run but I just dont feel like doing them. I would be content to just sit in the sun and relax but Im already red and my skin is dry from Morocco. My SPF 70 isnt working very well and the last thing I want is a sunburn.

Ruth and I are going out tomorrow! I am very excited about this. She is one of Julio's coworkers and she is fantastic. She is one of those people who is really happy everytime you see her but isnt annoying about it. I wish I could have hungout with her and a few other people sooner because Im leaving soon but there's always next year when I come back to Europe!

Another thing I am excited about: My mother has mentioned wanting to come meet me somewhere in the fall or winter! It would be so nice to see her and\or Mamo again, even for a few days. Im not sure where Ill be or where she wants to go but its exciting to think about!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Back to Reality, Sort of....

Here are the rest of my pictures from Morocco. I miss it there already and Im finding Barcelona kind of boring compared to the chaos of Marrakech. Soon enough Ill be back in Paris and on my way to Turkey.

This is the first time I have really felt like I was on holiday. You know when you go on vacation and you get back and need a few days to regroup and relax? Yeah, Ive got that, bad. It was just so much packed into a few days that I am now completely exhausted....

I really like Muslim culture and Morocco as a whole. Waking up to the call to prayer was so great. Im excited to get to Turkey to hear it again.

This is the view from the terrace I stayed on....

Ive decided to make a stop in Berlin since I know a few people there and Ive never been before. Should be interesting to just stop in for a few days. That also means that I dont think I will be attending the reunion in Chesky Kromlov. I had some good times there with a lot of amazing people but that was a different time and I dont want to ruin my memories, if that makes sense.

Ill stop off in Prague to meet up with a girl from SG and to most likely get tattooed! Im not sure what I want just yet but I need to figure it out soon! Id like the backs of my thighs tattooed I think. Something traditional and not too big but not small either.... Any suggestions? I thought about daggers but they are so overdone.... I dont want bows or buttons or roses...

After Prauge its pretty much up in the air. Hopefully Char will be with me and we can figure it out together. Im hoping to stay in Turkey for at least one month before heading to India to meet Jake.