Life in Colour Photo Challenge, September 2021: GOLD

Self did not think she would find anything on this. TBH, gold is not a color she gravitates to.

But, this evening, she was looking through her archives, and she landed on a series of pictures she took in Paris, December 2017. There’s definitely gold in those monuments!

So here you go, a post for Travel Words’ Life in Colour Challenge for September 2021:

Thursday Doors Challenge: East London

This challenge is hosted by Dan at No Facilities.

Somewhere Near Tower Hamlets, East London, November 2019

Shoreditch, East London, November 2019

Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge (CBWC): WEATHER

Very happy that I found a photo for the CBWC this week.

Algodones, New Mexico (December 2019)

Thursday Trios (on the Last Friday in August 2021)

Summer is over. Over over over.

But thank you to Mama Cormier for hosting this challenge. Her gallery today has roses and garbage bags and a trio lawn bowling. Fun!

Without further ado, self’s trios:

Triangular Table, Observation Deck, de Young Museum, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco

Geraniums on Front Porch

Sally Loo’s Café, San Luis Obispo

Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC) # 7: Central Coast

Self still playing catch-up on the Photographing Public Art Challenge, co-hosted by Cee Neuner and Marsha Ingrao, which she adores.

She just completed a road trip to the Central Coast. She loves doing road trips because it’s a break from the unrelenting heat in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Robin’s, 4095 Burton Drive, Cambria: Each Table Top is a unique patchwork of tiles. Mine had a plane.

Cambria Nursery, 2801 Eaton Road, Cambria

Fence as Art: Cambria Nursery, 2801 Eaton Road, Cambria

How Iceland Changed the World: Introduction

Self has finished reading the Amanda Lindhout memoir (written with Sara Corbett), A House in the Sky. She decided she would just have to get it over with. She wasn’t even sure she’d have the stomach to read it all the way through, but the writing is amazing. That’s what amazing writing can do: it holds you hostage. Self spent the whole of this beautiful day (sun was shining, and it was NOT HOT) just racing to finish A House in the Sky.

There are some parts that, okay, made self laugh, like the part where Amanda and Nigel are being taken to yet another “safe” house. They were being held in separate rooms and when she sees Nigel, she notices Nigel is shirtless and wonders if . . . okay, never mind. Nigel was unmolested. Lucky for him, he was a man. They sort of respected him. There is a lot about her feelings for Nigel in this book, which adds to the sadness because . . . Amanda was clinging to him so hard, just to make it through, and Nigel was essentially helpless, and made a lot of promises he didn’t mean, because — hey, there were hostages!

Anyhoo, she’s alive, he’s alive, it’s all good.

Onward!

Self’s next book might seem like a strange choice, except that her son has gone there. To Iceland. All by himself. She found out recently.

And also, once, self spent Christmas in Paris, and the only other guests at her tiny hotel in the 17th arrondissement were a Filipino family who were on their way to Iceland for a family vacation, and came with tons of luggage.

Imagine the odds of two different Filipino entities meeting in a Paris hotel on Christmas day! And we didn’t even know each other from Adam! The three kids of the family ranged in age from — if self were to guess — five to 10. WHO GOES TO ICELAND FOR FAMILY VACATION. For that matter, who spends Christmas alone in Paris! But self wasn’t alone! She was with Francine and Francoise, who were so circumspect they never greeted her a Merry Christmas and acted like it was just an ordinary day! All they said to her that day was: “Madame, you must go to the Louvre. NO LINES TODAY.” Which turned out to be very good advice.

This is a very digressive post! Finally, the Iceland book:

Introduction:

The town of Selfoss is a rare find. Nearly all of the sixty-three towns and cities in Iceland were first established out of nautical convenience, in sight of approaching ships, but Selfoss sits inland, away from the stony coast. I grew up there, landlocked.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Kabul, Through the Eyes of Amanda Lindhout: 9 June 2005

Self hopes Amanda Lindhout became a travel writer, because her descriptions of Kabul are gold. She hitches a ride to Kabul with a man and his son who live in Peshawar but visit relatives in Kabul regularly.

I’d taken a taxi that day to a wholesale market area near the center of the city, which sprawled in all directions, straddling the banks of the Kabul River, devolving into a labyrinth of crooked alleys. I bought a plastic cup of raisins and apricots mixed with pistachios and honey-sweetened water and ate them with a spoon. I browsed through little shops. In one, I found a shelf stacked with bars of soap, their wrappers showing a photograph of a smiling woman’s face, except that every face had been scribbled over with a marker. This was a fundamentalist Islamic move, something the Taliban once enforced strictly. Any images of things made by Allah weren’t to be replicated by a human hand, because it counted as playing god. Amanuddin had explained it to me: it was okay to paint or print a photograph of a car or building but not a person or animal. Idolatry was a sin.

A House in the Sky, p.64

Cee’s Flower of the Day (FOTD) Challenge, 20 August 2021: Cambria Plant Nursery

The nursery is just off the main road to Cambria. Self visited for the first time a few days ago. Highly recommend to anyone who’s in that neck of the woods. The nursery is large! And filled with plants of every type.

Decided to make this, rather than a specific flower, the Flower of the Day, Aug. 20.

As always, thank you to Cee Neuner for hosting the FOTD challenge.

Cambria Plant Nursery, 2801 Eton Road, Cambria, CA

Girl Was Learning, Just Not Fast Enough

I tacked my way from Bangladesh into India by bus and train, arriving in Calcutta sometime in February and finding a room at the Salvation Army guesthouse, in the heart of the backpacker ghetto. After Bangladesh, India seemed more user-friendly but no less crowded. Children tailed me down the street, calling “Aunty, Aunty,” their palms held open for change. Men brushed up close, muttering “Ganja? Ganja? Hashish? Smoke?” I spent about two weeks there, volunteering at one of Mother Teresa’s charities, working the morning shift in the women’s wing of the Kalighat home for the Sick and Dying Destitutes, delivering tea and giving sponge baths to patients with tuberculosis, malaria, dysentery, AIDS, and cancer, sometimes in combination. The frankness of it was galling, even nauseating at first, but slowly I relaxed. I would never be saintly like the nurses who staffed the place, but I tried at least to be helpful.

I was also getting used to being alone. What might once have overwhelmed me no longer did. I could read bus schedules, figure out the various classes of train tickets, ask for help when I needed it, sit in a restaurant and eat a meal alone without feeling self-conscious.

A House in the Sky, pp. 53 – 54

Lest we judge Amanda Lindhout too harshly, let us remember Daniel Perl, Stanford grad and Wall Street Journal reporter. Perl was lured in by the promise of an interview with an elusive target, and was kidnapped in Pakistan and subsequently murdered. He had lots more experience than Amanda. It made no difference. Amanda Lindhout emerged alive, and Daniel Perl did not.

Thursday Trios Challenge: 19 August 2021

Self loves this challenge. It is so much fun to look through her archives for trios.

Thank you to the host, Mama Cormier!

In July, self decided to Airbnb in Carmel for a few days. On all her drives around California, she somehow failed to hit up this place, which was one of the first places her Dear Departed Dad took her to when she was a wee little girl. We were on our first family vacation from the Philippines, and Dad decided to make of it a road trip. Somehow, he had always harbored a secret fantasy of having his entire family engage in that quintessential American family activity: the road trip. So he bundled all five of us kids and Dearest Mum on a plane, and rented a car after we landed in San Francisco, and took us on a road trip that included: Carmel, Las Vegas, and La Jolla. Oh, and Highway 1, which we drove all the way from San Francisco to La Jolla.

Anyhoo, last month, self decided to Airbnb in Carmel, and her host had a most interesting apartment, filled with original artwork, weights, records and turntables, hefty art books, and guitars (in case any of the guests wished to break out in song?). Here’s his guitar collection:

Self’s host was extremely cryptic. She notified him that she was vacating, and leaving the key in the apartment per his instructions, and got this response:

  • I am just down the coast a little, enjoying the vanlife.

She thought and thought about an appropriate response, and finally came up with: Have an excellent vanlife!

Stay cool, dear blog readers. Stay cool.

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