Showing posts from 2012

Shabbat shalom!

The sun is slowly going down, Shabbat is coming. The candles have been lit, the TV is running in the background.
The kettle is on, everything is peaceful. If I compare it to home it'd be one these Sundays when you stay in your pyjamas all day just wandering about, reading, watching tv, drinking tea but not doing anything productive. The atmosphere is very still.

It's raining. Not like the Indian monsoon but like a heavy rainy day in Britain or Brittany.

"I can't remember the last time I was stuck at home because of the rain! We haven't had rain like this in ten years! This is very good for Israel!"

I have been put under house arrest by the Jewish Mother Police. I only have Converse AllStars with me and a pair of crocs and I don't have a good enough raincoat.
It doesn't matter that the world is ending and that it is our last chance to go out ever, I'm not going out because my feet would get wet and cold. There is no arguing with a Jewish mother.


Jaffa anecdote.

20/12/12, Sderot Yerushalayim, Jaffa.
I'm walking in the street, on my way to buy a SIM card and like a two-year-old, I miss a step and fall on my knees (they still hurt today), I make a whole in my trousers, I'm on my hands and knees.
Opposite me a lady who sees the whole scene:

"haaa! (Shock) HaKol Beseder? Looooooo!" she smiles and leaves. ("Everything okay? Noooooooo!)

LOL. This is a perfect reflection of the Israeli mind (No offence any Israeli readers).

Shalom Israel!

After many hours of travelling, I finally arrived in Tel Aviv this morning.

Yesterday I left my family behind to embark on this hopefully productive journey that will be my trip to Israel. I flew to Zurich Airport where I waited for about 4 hours before getting on their intra-airport underground train after they finally announced my terminal. The airport is just that big. So after that train ride I get to the end of terminal E where I undergo the El Al security questioning which went quite well, far better and shorter than last year. Maybe I look better.
Then of course I get taken to a room where I empty my entire cabin luggage and it gets checked for trace of [explosives? I really have no clue]. Then my shoes. And my passport. Then I am released from the room where my bag has to stay until boarding, in case I was planning to go get that bomb I'd hidden in the toilets. FAIL.
On board are a large group school kids going back home after a cultural exchange in Switzerland (from what…

Orbis edition one.

As part of our assessment we have to produce a magazine every three weeks called Orbis. Here is my story for the first edition for which I also did the layout. Enjoy!

Reflections on journalism studies and studies in general.

I think it is safe to say by now that I have found my call. This might shock some people who think I have no secrets to them, when I was applying to university I was seriously considering the army path in my head it was always the army or journalism. In the end I chose the "safe" path (note the quotation marks as my aim is to become a war reporter).

Studying is great, I love it. In fact I wanna do some more after I graduate (hopefully) next summer.
And when I say studying, it is a tricky subject for me because yes I study international journalism but not much actual studying is done on my part (I still get excellent grades so I will not change my methods).

I feel university has taught me many things but has failed to teach me other things I wished it would have or more like it failed to force me change my methodology when it comes to actual work. I love what I do and I honestly think I am better at what I do now than I was two and a half years ago thanks to my "studies…

Abortion and whatnot.

Just in case you have been living in a cave and the first thing you're doing after getting out is check my blog (thank you!), Obama won the US Presidential election! Yay!
To be honest, I was a bit nervous for my friends over there,I mean, what if scary Romney would have won?

There was a lot going on about the economy and that is all the Romney supporters were talking about but one thing they were reluctant to talk about was the whole social justice issue.
One thing that bothers me about the US is the whole "pro-life"/"pro-choice" debate, I don't get why in 2012, in a Western, developed society it is even a debate. I mean I know why, it's because some Americans have a hard time separating church and state.
But I mean come on! We see all these men talking about being "pro-life"and all but shouldn't the choice be left to women until we find a way to get men preggos? How come men have a right to policy about what is wrong or right for a woman&#…

Leaving Delhi.

Yesterday was my last day of work, it felt so strange.

Over the weekend, our dog was hit by a car, it was sooooo scary. She followed us intotown and waited for us outside the cafe, wondering why we wouldn't let her in. We came out and all headed back home, we stopped at the shop to get some water, I waited outside with the pup. We continue our walk and then, a hundred meters away from the house she got attacked by a heard. Chasing a dog in the middle of the street, a car just went BOOM at full speed, it all happened so fast, we thought she was dead. We heard her crying and rolling under the car, the driver didn't even stop as if it was completely normal to hit a dog and continue your way as if nothing had happened. The pup went back on her feet and ran away in a park where even more dogs were waiting for her. We followed her and got to her before the other dogs did. She was shaking and wouldn't move, she wouldn't respond anymore. Sarah carried her into another park an…

Alive and melting.

It has been soooooooooo hot here in Delhi, we are melting. the AC has been on and off (off mostly though) because of power cuts and mosquitoes are at war with me.I kill them but our flat"mate" (cough cough) keeps knocking on the door and stand there talking gibberish while the light is on and lets all of the Delhi's mosquitoes in.

We are also being invaded by cockroaches... the JOY.

On a positive not, I have been published twice yesterday, you can read my [might I say awesome] work here on the Times of India Crest Edition. *does a little dance*

I also got numerous smiles from the tea and coffee guy in the cafeteria, a nigh impossible task might I add, he is soooo shy and it took time.

Six days of work left, it went so bloody fast.

I have to leave you I am sorry for the shortness of this post but I am losing all of my water here (no internet connection in our room, the only room with air con.

I hope you are all having a great summer!

Welcome to Brussels, capital of Europe.

Many of my friends and some members of my family don't understand this but I don't like going to Brussels town centre or taking public transport in Brussels especially the underground transportation. They tell me I'm being unreasonable, paranoid and weird.

A few days ago, Sofie Peeters, a Belgian film student released her short movie/documentary that raised a lot of debate. The film, "femme de la rue" depicts sexism in the centre of the capital.

I don't consider myself to dress in a provocative way, it is not my style, I don't like women that do not because it is (they do what they wanna do)  but because in my humble opinion it is vulgar, I don't want to see a girl's chest on the same account that I don't like low cut jeans that show off men's asses (and often women too) because I don't need nor do I want to see people's attributes other than in an intimate context.

Many people say that victims of sexual harassment in the street h…
Started working at The Times of India today (as an intern)!!!!!!!

This week Sarah and I will work on the weekly paper called the ToI Crest. I have already started on a travel piece about... Belgium.

It has been a very long day today, I am not too sure I enjoy the working hours (2pm-10pm) but it'll have to do and I will probably get used to it. We got a ride back home from the editor himself tonight which saved us the trouble of finding an auto rikshaw that would be willing to take us to our part of Delhi.

So today was fun.

On the downside, on our way in, we took an auto-rikshaw and at a stop we were harassed by two men (one on each side of the rikshaw) who wanted to sell us boxes of tissues. The one on my side kept staring at my chest and saying nice after each glance. Then just before we left the guy put his hand, quite deliberately, on my chest to have himself a nice touch. The same happened on Sarah's side... If we hadn't been going I would have punched the guy or crush…

Kashmir, Himalayas, power cuts.


Between the last time I posted and now, so much has happened.

So I ended up in a family house after picking up Sarah at the airport on the 20th. We did a little sightseeing, went to the local market (one of the best markets in Delhi according to every local we've talked to).

On Saturday night I hurt my foot, forcing me to use crutches. On Sunday a friend of the family, AJ, arrived from Kashmir, we met him briefly but it is important I tell you about him for he plays a huge role in the following events.

On Monday the 23rd, we met with the editor at the Time of India and got ourselves a full-time three week internship (we start tomorrow).
Coming back from the meeting, we have a little chat with AJ who is planning to go back to Kashmir the same night and he convinces us to come with him for a week in the Himalayas. So on Tuesday at 5am, we are on a plane to Srinagar, Kashmir. An hour later we land and are on our way to our houseboat.

Sarah and I spent two wonderful nights i…

New Delhi, here I am!

So yesterday was a boring day, I was looking for a place to stay but I had no success.

Today however...

This morning I woke up (kind of) early to get breakfast (which wasn't very good but whatever) and then went at the reception and asked where I could exchange my money and buy a phone.

After a small discussion with the reception guy, a guard from the hotel took me to the bank, we're walking in the heat and the sun, and we get to the bank only to be told they don't do exchange. But the lady tells me to go elsewhere. As we're getting out of the building, a guy (I later found out his name is Pawan)the guard there is no exchange at the place. We go anyway but as Pawan said, no exchange. My only option: Connaught Place. It's not far from where I am, I want to walk there, the guard insists he wants to drive me there, Pawan  says he's going in that direction anyway so he will take me.

The guards hesitantly leaves me with Pawan. I learn Pawan is a student, taking a c…

Welcome to Incredible India!


Scary. You don't realise how big New Delhi is until you're flying over it!! I cannot start to describe the immensity of it!

New Delhi is probably as big as Belgium if not bigger!

I have an awesome flight especially compared to the two people who had a malaise. We almost had a lady give birth on the plane!!

I was blessed as fate put Nira on my way, a wonderful lady who was coming back from Toronto.

I don't even know what time it is here. I'll ask Google.

See you soon!

I'm off!

I know. It's been a long time. I have an excuse though; my dog ate my computer.

So anyway, I have finally obtained my visa and booked my flight just hours ago.

This time on Monday I'll be in New Delhi!

Stay tuned for great adventures!

KONY 2012.

Yes. Again.

The Kony 2012 has quickly been criticised on the basis of numerous arguments (If you still don't know what I'm on about, I suggest you get out of your cave).

Once again today I contributed to Rupert Murdoch's fortune by buying The Time in which Daniel Finkelstein wrote a pretty good opinion piece on the campaign. I must say I agree with him.

While it is probably naive to think that the Western World can put an end to the LRA and arrest Kony just like that, because people have seen the Hollywood-like, 30-minute-long film and felt really bad (my eyes teared up, I admit it) because let's face it, Western Governments aren't interested in spending a great deal of resource on arresting a powerful man as Kony, it's all about business and money, what's in it for our governments? Nothing so chances they will act are close to nothing.

People have criticised the fact the documentary is too Hollywood-like and manipulative. I have to say yes, it might be, bu…

KONY 2012

For a little while now I have been struggling to find a subject to write about but tonight I have found something that really affects me.

You might have seen KONY 2012 posters, people wearing tshirts with the same slogan or even heard about a man named Joseph Kony and wondered what it was or who he is.

I urge my readers to support the KONY 2012 campaign and to raise awareness to stop the criminal that Joseph Kony is.

For almost three decades Kony has been abducting children from their homes to turn them into soldiers or sex slaves.
Kony is the founder and leader of the Lord's Resistance Army which fights for a theocratic governments based on the bible laws and while it started in Uganda, the LRA has now spread to other African countries.
An estimated 66,000 children are forced to fight for them. These children are forced to mutilate others, to kill their own parents and other terrible things.

Last year, Obama sent 100 advisers to help the Ugandan Army catch this man but the US gov…

An akward reunion.

I met Nate last year in the street when I was walking home with a friend of mine. We met him a couple more times after that. It was always very casual, a nice hello then we both went our separate ways.
The neighbourhood kids always chased him around. Then one day, no more sign of him. I slowly got used to the idea I would never see Nate again. He was always so happy to see me and I was always happy to see him too. Now I was sad. I didn't know where he lived so I couldn't really look for him.
But that's life, isn't it?

Life went on as usual, lectures, grocery shopping, spring past, then summer, I went back home, came back to Preston, fall passed, then winter.

This morning I had planned to take my bicycle and go check out the new Waitrose that recently opened a couple of miles away. I opened the backyard door and saw that it was gone. Half-shocked/angry, half "there's nothing I can do" attitude, I decided to walk there.When I arrived back in my street I slo…

Neda Agha-Soltan, a life cut short.

Tehran, Iran, 20 June 2009. People are protesting, they want freedom: they shout, they are angry. The streets are crowded with people. In the middle is Neda.
Neda Agha Soltan was a very special 27 year old, she was a gifted musician, was spiritual, she had dreams and aspired to be a mother, she loved the arts and travelling, and was hoping to live in Istanbul one day. The kind of person you would want to know. But most of all, Neda, like many other young people in Iran, longed to be free.
Neda died before she was given the chance to make her dreams come true. When young Neda left her house in that spring afternoon, she didn’t know she would never see her mother again. “She left the house mid-afternoon. I couldn’t join her but I said I’d keep in touch with her.” said Hajar Rostami Motlagh, Neda’s mother. Hajar, as any mother would be in times like these, was worried for her child. She managed to get through to Neda twice during the protest. When Neda told her mother the streets were f…

Killing Us Softly.

Yesterday I watched two documentaries. The first one I watched was about children preachers and it was questioning their motivations, it was quite good, it's a National Geographic documentary called Pint-Sized Preachers.
The second film I watched was the 2010 “Killing Us Softly 4” by Jean Kilbourne. Killing Us Softly 4 is an update on three previous films she made about the same subject, only in different decades, the advertising’s image of women.
And then, wow. All these small ideas and theories that I had about media and feminism and women’s image, they all connected.
Jean Kilbourne is my new hero. I admire her work just in this film so of course I will look into her work more deeply (once I finish writing this).
Everyone should watch this film!

“Jean Kilbourne, Ed.D. is internationally recognized for her pioneering work on the image of women in advertising and her critical studies of alcohol and tobacco advertising. Her films, lectures, and television appearances have been seen by mi…