Sunday, 27 February 2011

Dig on vegan food (no, I haven't heard your band cause your guys are pretty new)

This post goes specially dedicated to my beloved mum who thought I had became “normal” and felt happy about it. Mum, I'm still vegan! But being vegan is not special in Australia (sic). Dam it!

Lately, two ideas / Chinese proverbs has have been very live in my head and they are: “knowing is the basis of appreciation” and “hearing something a hundred times is not as good as seeing it once”. The second maybe doesn't make any sense here but it has it in the post about the Great Barrier Reef and in other orders of life such us love.

I want to focus in the first one: Australian people seem to be very linked to their environment and live it in a very deep way maybe because they love doing sports in the nature (surf, kayak, trekking...). Anyway, their respect towards the animals -although they still keep them in zoos, they are a kind of “zoos in he wild”-, seems to transcend to other orders of live such as food and if there is a huge variety of meat to eat, from kangaroo to emu, there is also an important awareness of what this meat comes from and how the animals are treated in order to get it.

Being in an small airport with the exact time for a juice and something to eat or on board of a boat in the middle of the sea and nothing to do but eat, it is not a problem even when it looks like there will be few options to choose. Many fast food restaurants ( and coffees chains has an offer of vegan food enough to choose. My choice today: vegan baguette made of lettuce, pumpkin, pesto, red pepper, toffu, eggplant and a juice called the red baron made of tomato (a must for me when traveling), carrot, celery and beetroot... delicious!

Also, my first day in Cairns was a market day and I could enjoy the lively of Rusty's market, in the back door of Gilligans (a horrible backpackers hotel full of party for young drunks) where many Asian people has their own stall, children play ukulele (Carmeeeen!), organic cosmetic (Martaaaa!) is sold and rice with strange mixtures is cooked to sell. I had there a rice with something I couldn't identify but it looked as a cashew, and coco, a sambusak of vegetables and a refreshing cane juice on the rocks with lemon.


And I could write a post with my daily meal but don't want to bother you and myself with that (no worries!!)

Maybe because of the variety of fresh vegetables, maybe because they really love doing sport in the nature (surf, kayak, trekking...) what make them respect the animals, maybe because of the influence of Asian cultures where the meat is not at hand for everybody, I feel that the vegetables and fruits are much more appreciate here than in Europe. I don't really know. But people is more conscious about the existence of food with names as pumpkin, beetroot, lettuce, quinoa, etc.

An now, for a bunch of reasons: because it makes me laugh so much, because it's about a sad thing but from a witty perspective, ironic, because for me this is one of the best songs from the last decades along with its video and never get tired of it... oh yes, and because it says something about vegan food at one point and simply because this is my blog and I want to hear it and share it, Ladies and Gentlemen: The Dandy Warhols!

Are you looking so bohemiam like me? Cause I'm getting wise...

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Sunrise in the Great Barrier Reef

Cuddling a koala

The koalas sleep 22 hours a days. "It's not because they are lazy, it's because eating eucalyptus doesn't give them to much energy". In the Australian Zoo, the keepers awake them to hug the tourists -Queensland is the only state in Australia that allows this- and so they take advantage to poo when they are awake.

"Koalas of the Australian Zoo. Shitting the tourists since 1970"

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Diving in the Great Barrier Reef

I can't believe it has passed almost a week since my last post in Brisbane!

Things that I've been doing since then: going to Cairns, discovering this great although touristic corner of the country, shopping in its fruit and veg market, free vegan eating, sending postcards, going diving for three days in a boat to the Great Barrier Reef, kayaking, attending random parties where adolescent people get quickly wasted... and that sort of things.

Although I don't feel specially proud of how easily my life runs here, having in mind what's going on in Libya and in the Middle East and how disconnected I am from everything, that's what this experience is about, about feeling in a remote part of the world where nothing affects me really and where I'm going to make the most of it until I go back to reality.

Diving during three days in the GBR has been great although the water was not as clean I supposed to be because of the cyclone and we could see some damage in the Reef. We took a boat and did nothing but diving, eating, sleeping and talking so it's normal that after 11 dives in 3 days I feel much comfortable and free inside the water than before: I deal much better with the "buoyancy" and not as before, when going back to the surface for no reason was something normal in my underwater life. Now I do it just well, keeping from half a meter to a meter over the ground and diving with my arms crossed, so no air is over spent, balancing and finding gravity playing only with my tank!

We got to make two night dives, one of them jumping over a family of sharks and coming back with my buddy half an hour later than the rest of the people... simply magical!

I saw rays, parrot fishes, sharks, trigger fishes, lion fish, turtles, sea horses, clown fishes and many others but the big surprise was to discover the most funny fish I have ever seen: the "funky" clown trigger fish. Really, it looks just like a fat black soul singer doing his show between the seaweeds.

And since this post is about diving and I feel like becoming an instructor someday too, I want to ask you please support my friend Waleed, who wants to become one and he's running in a competition to get a free course in Bali. All you have to do is leaving a comment to his video in youtube and hopefully I will be able to get some free classes from him one day!!!

Friday, 18 February 2011

I'm a little Retarded

I feel stupid. Or as my non friend Mr Bigott would say:

I'm a little retarded:

(1) Today I got lost at the train station and took a train in the wrong direction. I had to go on my track to be on the right path and then, 2 hours later, reach my destination: Australian Zoo.

Never more. But at least the countryside made me think about the beauty of Australia and the quality of the people living here meanwhile in the radio of the bus sounded this song:

Anyway, I will try to explain this in other post because tonight I'm tired and feel a little Bigotta.

(2) Also, I'm conscious about how I look speaking in a language that is not my mother tongue and that I assuming lately how bad I'm at it.
It is not as if I were specially wise in Spanish either, but I feel I can communicate my feelings and thoughts -as superficial and trivial they can be- in a more deeply way, make them look much more important of what they really are even, make me understand better without feeling me so impotent, desperate and silly!
I don't know why I bother something with this because I am not really clever in any language... I only know I know nothing.

PS. Please correct my bad English in the comments: it would be much appreciated and I'm here and doing this to learn!

Walkabout in Down Under

Every male Aboriginal reaches a point in their lives, generally during the adolescence, when they feel the need to go away for a couple of months, generally six or so, to think about the meaning of live and to learn the songs from their ancestors with the teachings of their culture. Also, Walkabout are a chain of Australian pubs in the UK where people usually lose the cameras, wallets, bags, t-shirts and dignity.

My walkabout, since I think I will never stop being an male Aboriginal adolescent, it's about thinking over casual things in daily live with the perspective of someone who is traveling.

Down Under is simply a colloquial way to call Australia and New Zeland as these countries are always presented from an European perspective as if they were really upside down.

A Day in the Zoo

I've gone to the zoo today. I hate it and I hate myself for going there. Mi karma is below 0 right now after seeing so many brothers and sisters living in captivity although they haven't done anything wrong... (and we allow that although they could be our mother's reincarnation).

I knew that it would be like that but I had to see it with my own eyes. I have to say that most of the animals are fine and they are taken in care by professionals but the point is why do we think we are, the human beings, to determinate where an animal should live? to select two specimen of some breed -crocodiles, gooses, ponies, Tasmanian devils deeply on danger, Bengal tigers- and putting there to show them to an audience that just want to take photos and cuddle koalas.

What we think we are to choose if they should live in captivity or in the wild? It is unfair to say that this way we are protecting them and saving them from their extinction when we know exactly what are the habits we must stop to really protect them and allow them to live freely.

But we, that wear the adjective "human" as "sensible and sensitive" creature of the nature, forget this compassion towards what we still are, only living beings, and only think in our own benefit and to a short term.

I cuddled a koala, I must admit but in the hope that I would be able to set it free during the photo moment.

And Steve Irwing was not a warrior or the Wildlife Warrior, whatsoever. Crocodrile Hunter, he has worked hard to make those convicts animals generate important profits even after his death.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Brisbane, 2 points

Is this the lowest punctuation in Eurovision?

Then, I have been too hard: just because of it's people Brisbane deserves 15 points! But the city is just not for me, at least at first glance! What I don't feel very comfortable with are the spaces and the buildings, there are only malls, fast food corners where the 9 to 5 employees run for their lunch, at 6 every shop is closed and you can't find flip flop to relieve your feet in pain after having walking the whole day... oohhh that's why I don't like the city, because of my shoes! but not, seriously, I will give it three more days but I'm starting to look at the next cities. This first day, I couldn't find this city has a strong personality: the farmer markets on the street were OK but there was just one today and packed and they are thought just to feed the workers in the business companies around. From my personal perspective, it's like it suffers from lack of cohesion. There are a bunch of cultural venues but they look cold to me, as if they were sports centers.

This morning, the young lady that shared the train trip with me told me: "I have to say that Brisbane doesn't look very pretty today. Specially the South Bank -the suburb that was more injured by the last floods-, I'm looking at my city as if it was the first time I see it and everything just seemed old and scary". Her genuineness obligated me to give it a second chance. When we arrived to the river, I tried to make her feel better explaining that it's brown colour could be because of the clouds but she pointed "no, I'm sorry to say this but unfortunately it's like this all the year round!". Poor girl, I made her realize that she lives in a sad city.

Of course, we talked about our travels and as an Australian, that considers going to New Zeland "a travel", she wide opened her eyes when she heard my list, although compared to other people in Europe they are few countries to be honest, and asked me what was my favorite destination. It took me a second to say the city I want to get lost (and that I won't tell here otherwise I wouldn't be able to get lost) and two to say the country I want to live in. but now, relaxed and tired after a whole day walking and being so far from both homes, I have to admit that my favorite destination is the one I have never been to yet.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Planes, jetlag and other drugs

Here I am finally! Walkabouting Down Under after a long trip of almost 20 hours.

My first impression once I put my feet on the ground of Brisbane shall be the same as the one we all had when we were born: wet and warm. And to be true, it is veeeery nice!

But let's go back to the plane. As there wasn't to much to do nor places to go, I decided to give myself to the vast film offer of Singapore Airlines watching four Egyptian films to match my mood these days (what I'm doing going there when I should be going there):

- Farah (****)
- Ehky ya Scheherazade (***)
- Risala al Bakhr (**)
- The Butcher (*)

The three first of them got me thinking about how the cinema in Egypt has been taking part in this revolution for years now carrying the message of upset and nostalgia although directors usually had to link those sad feelings suffered by the main characters to a bad behavior as drinking, taking drugs, being gay or being liberal sexually to legitimated. Of course, it couldn't be fault of the Government!

Also, got me thinking about the need of a full database in the internet for Arabic films. Excuse me if there is already a complete one in Arabic... shwoya, showya!

The second flight from Singapore to Brisbane lasted 7 hours and, although I would have loved to have more memories about my journey sited next to an Iranian top model, I'm sorry but I only could sleep!

Second impression after landing: these people are extremely nice... it's very important to them to say hi or smile to everyone they have eye contact with no matter if boy or girl. Also, they will walk along with you to the train station and talk with you during the whole trip. For example, I bought today an Australian SIM card and frankly made me laugh how the man on the phone that was about to activate my SIM card asked me my name: "could I have the honor to know the name of the lovely person I'm talking with?". This would sound weird in Spain, right?

To support my this thesis, and as my friend Nolu researched for me, Australian people were the first who started the free hugs movement! Normal!

And I disconnected myself from my impressions until the next day.