Something different...

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Years will pass and I will never forget you. I met you exactly as I had imagined you, so charming, lively, with thousand secrets to discover, thrilling. Years will pass and I will never forget you. I will remember your smell, your music, your bright and grey days. I will keep all your secrets. The best moments? The cozy places I discovered on you, those crazy evenings, laughs and great moments. I will remember each centimeter of you, each feeling, each emotion, each step walked. Years will pass and I will see you clearer in my memories, even more than in photographs. I met you exactly as I had imagined you. I will always remember you, my lovely London.


Filed under London Travel Memories Londres City

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The Paradise on Earth

The Canary Islands are one of the favorite destinies for tourists that think about spending their holidays in a peaceful and nice environment. Their climate and kind people make of these islands a delight that have to be visited at least once. Everybody will be agree with its natural attractive, since their daydream beaches or its warm climate during all the year, but the truth is that its charm lies in their geographic position, in the Atlantic Ocean.

We have been conscience of their existence since far-off times. Some Greco-Latin classic texts had been already written about them. From the beginning, the Greek man thought that Occident was formed by Italy, then by Iberian Peninsula, and the rest was situated beyond The Pillars of Hercules, what we know as Strait of Gibraltar. After discovering new boundaries, Canary Islands would be found. It was thought that all those things situated at the ends of the earth were wonderful, shady and sinister, and Occident was considered the resting place of The Sun King. Because of this, it was believed that there were heavenly places, and also that souls of just people went there to stay in.

For this reason there are some myths related with Canary Islands. Some of them are the next ones:

  • Elysian Fields: the name Elysium refers to an abode beyond death where the souls of fair people live in. It is a place where life is comfortable, the climate is nice, with fertile land, etc. Acording to Publius Ovidius Naso, the roman poet, there is a holm oak forest in that place, and wet land always stays green. It was said that this place was the home of Pious Birds, where Sinister Birds were not allow to enter in. The famous bird Phoenix also lived there. Publius Vergilius Maro, author of Aeneid, wrote similar things in his famous work, and it is said that that place alludes to the Canary Islands.

  • Islands of the Blessed: this name corresponds to the Greek translation μακαρων νησοι, that we can understand it like ‘Islands of Gods’, because the word ‘makaroi - the happy ones’ means ‘Gods’. These islands are described in the Ages Myth, where it is explained how lineages of heroes and demigods will reside, after dead, in some fertile and rich islands, where they will live a new Golden Age. Fair souls also came there to rest, so it is something usual to confuse the Islands of the Blessed with Elysian Fields, and for this reason, many classical Greek authors write about both places to refers the same place. 
  • Fortunate Islands (Fortunatae Insulae): this name, which we, Canary people, know our islands for, is the Latin equivalence of ‘makaron nesoi’. When it is pretended to explain why these islands are fortunate, it is turned to elements of the Golden Age myth, this is, long time ago, where human lived without working, because Nature produced everything and war was no known. Nevertheless, some Latin authors only speak about the geographic position od the Fortunate Islands, example of that it was Pliny the Elder in his work ‘Natural History’. Roman sites have been found in the island of Lanzarote. Some of these perfect descriptions about the islands were a kind of guide to Roman people who came here to explore the Canary Islands. 

  •  Hesperia’ Garden: Aegle, Arethusa and Erytheia were the daughters of Atlas, and together, the women were called Hesperia. They lived in the most occidental place in the world, in some marvelous islands situated in The Atlantic Ocean. The place had a good climate and trees produced golden apples. The Goddess Gaia made these apples as a present to Zeus and Hera. Hesperia cultivated the garden, that it was also guarded by a hundred-heads brave dragon. The magic apples where an immortality and youth symbol. In one of his twelfth works, Hercules had to steel them.
  •  Atlantis: According to Plato, Atlantis was a big island situated at the other side of The Pillars of Hercules, in the Atlantic Ocean, also related with The Canary Islands.

So, if you are planning to travel somewhere, visiting these incredible islands –all of them are different from each other, would be a good choice because it would allow you to discover by yourself if there is something true about these myths.

Filed under travel Canary Islands Canary myths The Atlantic Ocean islands nature Hercules Zeus Hesperia Arethusa Aegle Erytheia Pliny the Elder Roman Plato weather mermaid Gran Canaria Tenerife Spain

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Fidelity jailed

It is well known that, during centuries, the role of the woman has been always in a secondary level in comparison with the role of men in many cultures. There are many different kind of woman abuses around the world, but without doubt, ablation is one of the most cruel and unknown method of the control of women.

Explained like a ritual for the initiation to the adult age, or like a religious practice, ablation consists of the mutilation of the clitoris and minor lips in girls that are 10 or 15 years old, girls that haven’t have their first menstruation. This habit is practiced mainly in Africa, but there are other countries like Asia or Europe that also carry it out. All the women of a clan have to be mutilated. It is thought that the female reproductive system is impure and for that reason, the clitoris has to be eliminated of their bodies; otherwise, the woman will be exiled, ostracized and treated like a prostituted by all her family.

The ritual begins when the girl is going to get marry. In general, her husband is an adult or an ancient, and they are not chosen by the girl. On the whole is the man who offers a very good offer to her family in exchange for the girl. The ceremony is celebrated with typical dances and songs, and many girls stay with the future wife to give her their support and provide her with stillness. Having not anesthesia, the girl has to bath in the river to sensitize her genital organs but sometimes, the sorcerer or the person that will do the practice, goes straight to cut.

There different tools to make the process but all of them are not sterilized: usual razor blade, coins… Sometimes, a rice grain is put into the vagina of the girl and the sorcerer place a hen near her to make it peck that part of the body and cut the clitoris according with their believes. During the mutilation, the girl is hold by four women and any man can witness the process. Sometimes she can’t even shout.

This reality is present on the life of many women that can say nothing. A common terrifying practice for all of them but that any of these women want to accept. What can they do? Nobody can lives isolated by the rest of their lives. As well as religions, traditions are made up by people. The question that we should formulate is if this kind of lore is a justification for, in this case, submission of the women.

Filed under woman women ablation clitoris religion believes

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Mysteries beyond life

We are always advised to be prepared about everything in this life, but… what about death?  Tibetans know the issue very well and so, they spend a big part of their life to prepare their souls for the day of the end (of this life).

First thing we have to know is that Tibetans believe in the embodiment of diseases. For this reason a person can educate their soul and mind to have a good reincarnation in their next life.

But, how is it possible? It is said that, when a person die, their mind can remain in the body for 3 days. In that short period of time, the person will experiment some hallucinations where has to be able to recognize determinates signals in their wish to access to a good new life. Helping the disease to choose the best way, their family or acquaintances must read them a book, The Tibetan Book of Diseases, to guide them in their hallucinations.

But before this, the person has to be used to some signals that had entraining during life. Mantras, mandalas, sounds… can help the person to familiarize themselves  to the good signs. Memorizing them, the disease can remember these sings in their subconscious and so, don’t fear about all the different hallucinations that can their mind can create.

There are Six Liberations to be used to the good signs:

  • Thong grol: through visions like contemplating the picture of a mantra, you can memorize the symbol to be sure you can evocate them during the hallucination state after having de
  • Thos grol: this method uses sounds that you can hear during the spiritual state. Tibetans pronounce a serial of syllables without a specific meaning, but it is said that these repetitive sounds can be remembered when they are etched on our memories.
  • Dri grol: the same happens with the smell. Fragrances like incense can help us to evocate a good choice for a good destiny. 
  • Reg grol or btags grol: this method works with touch, when our body touches the written shape of the syllables of mantras. Mantras can be engraved on wood, for instance, to be touched by the person who wants to remember how they look. You can also wear a charm for the searching of protection.
  • Dran grol: basically, we can say that Dran Grol technique covers all techniques, because its bases generally on the memory.

We have seen how can train our senses to guide us in the searching of a good body for our next life. Nobody has returned from death to tell us which good or bad things we are going to see or experiment. Nevertheless, we can resort to the Tibetan ideology to understand the mystery of the hidden life.

Every hallucination is different for each person, but there are some common images we can see during our mystical travel. Without entering in details, one of the first images we will see is our self conceived like a deity. A wonderful and rich self will appear in front of us. Also, a tiny self will be looking to the deity. Both will be connected by two different lights that will touch their heart: one of them is the light of wisdom, blue one; the other, with an indefinite color is a light of the most primary wishes. The book begins working here. Acquaintances of the disease will have to tell them to follow the blue light, without distractions, to continue the good way of the embodiment. This image of both self will appear always since the 40 days the book works. It is normal to find figures of animals around you.

After experiencing the rare images about yourself, the well-known deity, called Karma, will examine your acts. You can lie him all you want, but Karma has a magic mirror in his hand with which can see all you have been doing during your life. According to this, two beings, black and white ones, will count your good and bad actions by marbles they have in little bags, and depending the result, you will experiment different stages to decide the next body. For example, if you see yourself climbing a pyramid, it means you will be embody in a good body, if you are walking next to the pyramid you will continue being a human in the next life, but if you are going down the pyramid, you will have a bad future.

Six are the sections where ‘the other world’ is divided in. The world of humans, the most similar to ours, the world of animals, the hell, the world of ghosts –hungry souls looking for a body-, the world of the gods, and the world of demigod, that are turn them against the others gods. It is said that all life goes around these worlds.

So, now that you know the mysteries beyond life, have the opportunity to decide if you want to have a good life in the next level of your life. Take conscience of your acts; they determinate your destiny for the future, and don’t forget to train your soul every day. I’m sure they can help.

Filed under Tibetans Hallucinations Death Life Karma mantra mandala The Tibetan Book of Diseases

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Moscow: the other world

As much as we recognized London by its red buses and phone booths, or Egypt by its huge pyramids, when we hear the word ‘Moscow’ we think about vodka, matryoshkas and snow. But beyond those abstract and general concepts there is an interesting culture, often complicated but magical, that can get a traveler who visits the country for first time completely puzzled.

Life in Moscow is difficult. It may seem too tough for the starters, but this is the naked truth. Life is Moscow is very difficult. You only have to spend a few moments at any Moscow’s metro station and see the avalanche of people to realize how hard it is; but if you really want to watch the show, stay sat the corners, never in the center of the station. Soon, beautiful colours will appear in front of your eyes, moving itself very fast if it had its own life. Different people, young, old, strange ones, will run in different directions across these wonderful undergrounds museums of tunnels. And, yet another truth, all of them are blonde with blue eyes, and with an extremely serious glance in their sad faces. Because in Moscow, the metro only knows silence. Nobody talks, nobody breaths. Only the sounds of the old wheels are heard. People are tired.

Life in big cities is hard, but in the heart of Russia it is ever harder; just imagine waking  up extremely early to go to work. If you are lucky, you won’t get a traffic jam, but there is also a bitter chance to spend hours on your way to work. The same happens while coming back home, after working all the day outside. And once at home, you have to prepare everything for the next day. And thus, day after day, without counting the extreme weather conditions that Muscovites have to bear.

But Russian people can survive anything. Because after having a hard day, a usual person from a usual country can relax themselves in a usual cafe and forget that bad day. But Moscow is special, and Russian people have to face courageously another two things. No time for free time. And prices on everything and anything, even on an evening in a coffee, are extremely high. Because Moscow hasn’t have enough with its own problems yet, and of course, it has to be the most expensive city in the entire world. If you thought that Japan is a country of contrasts, you should visit Russia, Moscow. It’s marvelous.

But not everything is so grey. Food is just wonderful. Although the famous Russian salad is not Russian salad in the Soviet country’ it is called Olivié and it is thought that it was brought by a French cooker, Russian cuisine mixes usual ingredients and creates very attractive plates that turn into a wonderful explosion of pleasure on into your mouth. Beyond pickles and marinated herrings, the traveler who visits Moscow is obligated to try the known pelmeni, strogonoff or the delicious borsch. Non-alcoholic drinks are not that famous abroad but it will be a proper sin not to try the delicious mors, compot or the delicious kvass. Wild fruit are a must on the menu.

Another delicious thing that is not really edible, but nonetheless is very nice are Russian children, that unlike adults, will make the day of anyone more than once. Although at first sight Russian people can look distrustful or cold, when you get to know them, they turn out completely kind and hospitable. Time is the clue. But be careful to go pubs to drink with Russian people; it is impossible to compete with them!

And, for sure, culture shock is served. To start with, when you enter a Russian house, remove your shoes before going into any other room that is not the corridor. Like in Japanese or Arabic culture, Russian people also have this curious habit, not only in winter, where snow is all around, but during all the year. Do not whistle at a house! Or you this household won’t see any money in a while. And always remember to bring presents to each member of the family. They will be very grateful with this gesture, traditions that they always put in practice with friends and family.

Books can be written about this fascinating culture. Sometimes you don’t have to travel to know about a place, but truly, visiting Moscow is an unforgettable experience. Any car can turn into a public taxi, and there are no laws on the road; beautiful places of your daydream like the great Saint Basil’s Cathedral, in Red Square, or a walking over the Muscovite river trying a traditional Russian salty corn is priceless. Guaranteed.

Filed under Russia Moscow Travel country matrioshka vodka Muscovite Saint Basil's Cathedral

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Language: the main tool of the traveler

The origin of the different languages that are spoken in the world still being a great mystery for linguists. Beyond the symbolism of the Babel Tower we find that, despite the more than 6,000 registered languages throughout the globe, it exists a thinking mind, an innate universal language common to all speech that may have originated in the earliest development of our human mind, when all signals of communication were based only on sounds and gestures.

There are languages that range from the roughest grunt until the most complexes declensions, and this may be precisely the main problem of the person who travels to a country without knowing the use of this valuable tool.

One of the negatives that arise from learns a language that is not the native one is the difficulty that lies in their endeavor. A rich language in vocabulary and complex in its grammatical form produces a much more developed than a simple language with easily structure. Languages condition our perceptions of the world and life as well as our society or our way of living, hence there are languages that are very difficult to understand and learn.

But nowadays there are no excuses to learn the language we want. With the possibilities that Internet supplies to us it is not difficult to find multilingual web content that facilitate the learning of a language. Moreover, each time there are more and more websites whose purpose is to facilitate interpersonal communication through international social networking where it can be shared hobbies, culture and folk with just one click.

For those ones who are not so keen on virtual reality can always count with an autodidactic learning. This method can be developed through intensive sessions based on the display of foreign films of the language we want to learn, subtitles included. The ongoing use of a book for beginners related with the selected language is also a first step to dive into a new language.

The desire to know a new culture over reading travel guides and even the fact to cook nonnative recipes put into practice in our own kitchen help to increase the interest on a language of a specific country that is not ours.

And even if so, the person is only interested in knowing a particular place without delving into the language of the area, with the means available to them, may get one of most usual visual dictionaries, manuals of many pictures with which the traveler will be easily understood with natives to the simple fact of pointing the draws by which wants to express their messages.

As we have seen, tools are everywhere and with the peak of Internet everything is possible. The only that we need to learn a language is patience, perseverance and desires, and learning some new aspects every day we will see good results soon. It consist of open a new window to the world we have around us to let seep through the fragrance of a new way of living across a different culture. As Ludwig Wittgenstein so aptly said: ‘The limits of my language are the limits of my mind’

Filed under Languages Travelling Natives Mother tongue Country Grammar Social Networking International Communication

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Querer y Amar

We have to words in Spanish language to express that wonderful feeling which love is. To say ‘I love you’ you can say either ‘Te quiero’ or ‘Te amo’. Both sentences mean the same, but if a feeling could be measured we would say that the second sentence contains a more profound meaning. You say ‘te quiero’ to your family, friends or even pets. The verb in English ‘To want’ means ‘Querer’ in Spanish language. It sounds rather dominant, although it’s something very common. Nevertheless the verb ‘Amar’ comes from ‘Amor’ (Love). You say ‘Te amo’ only to your partner. It envelops a very deep feeling, and it’s very difficult to be expressed. Saying ‘Te amo’ you gift yourself, all you to that special person. Our culture has forgotten the value of the most basic values but without going into depth, nowadays there are not distinctions between both verbs. Anyways if love exists between two people doesn’t matter how can be expressed it :)

Filed under Love Valentine's Day Feelings Complicity Couple Affection

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Nowadays, who doesn’t have a phone? I’m not talking about those mini fashionable mobile phones that are used by excited Japanese girls, or the well-known iPhone that everybody -not me, has. Either landline, mobile phone or even over Internet (programs like Skype), the truth is that we are completely connected to our society like monkeys jumping from branch to branch. And as in a jungle, we can determinate personal features of the user only attending to their device, this is, the phone. Because like nature, our values are influenced by the things we own.

If some years ago it was unthinkable to live without our phone, now, the answer to this question would be part of an imaginary and insolate primitive world. One of the common situations where the presence of the mobile phone is very intense starts almost when we woke up to go to work. People on the metro, for instance, reading the morning news in their phones, teenagers listening to music by the same way, some guys coupled up to the game of the moment, and of course, the business man talking with… yes! The phone! It’s incredible how something so small can make so much things of itself.

Paradox: the phone talks about us. We find mobile phones with stickers, false diamonds, old phones with smell of vintage style, phones with lid –that makes of us interested people when we answer the call, phones with antenna! Phones for everybody with different applications for each person. But if there is something that is equal for all people who has a phone is the call.

In this point, we are all similar facing a call. Because when is our mother the person who call us, we can read ‘mommy’ on the screen. Even our mother-in-low (in this case, we will see ‘mummy’) But what happened when the number who calls doesn’t appear in the screen? What happen when ‘unknown’ is calling? We have to answer. Some people just drop the call, but in some moment of their life will take the call: allo, hi, what’s up? The answer doesn’t matter. We have started the game of a ghost call. When nothing is written on the screen, we can’t guess who is in the other side of the phone. And in that precisely moment, that call can change our life.

Filed under phone mobile phone unknown society technologies

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Printing machine: the great forgotten one

While speaking about journalism, we bring up the image of an interesting but intense work, where time is the main factor to bear on mind due the great demand of information by the audience. The clues to define this job could be the press, mass media,or journalists themselves but sometimes we forget a very important element that makes journalism spread through, and it requires even more time savings than the journalism profession itself: the printing machine.

Time has changed since Gutenberg, German blacksmith (borns XV) modified the printing techniques to improve the quality of messaging, a whole array of techniques that, although have been modified by the new technologies, still are being used. But let’s take a retrospective view to the birth of the printer to comprehend this printer process of the journalism messages.

Utilization of stone to stamp is maybe the most ancient printing method. Of common use to in the antiquity of Babylon, as well as in many other villages, it was also used for religious purposes and as a replacement of signatures. The printer tools were formed by stamps and ink pads to print over clay or to be engraved into a surface.

But printer, in its more primitive way was invented in China, where the first method consisted of engravinge on clay an inverted symbol to bake it later to obtain a mobile type as a result. The mobile types are pieces, usually made of metal, prism-shaped, made of an alloy called alloy. Each one of these pieces contains a character or symbol in relief that they are also inverted. The first mobile types were created by Phi Seng, in 1041-1049. But as it was said before, it would be Johannes Gutenberg (1398-1468 aprox.) who perfected these print techniques. But the Chinese language is so symbolic that requires lots of mobile types. What Gutenberg did, so, was reproduce all the words of his language, German language, in a few mobile types.

More than just paper and ink, we could say that printer works with time. It is an untouchable tool that doesn’t wait for anyone. Until a newspaper page is not completed, can’t be printed. This is the reason that explains the constant tension that inundate the printers. This work doesn’t understand about free time. Computers are turned on all the day, receiving the latest news from all parts of the world. Printers don’t rest. The process can look easy, but beyond of usual printing procedure, we find an exhaustive succession of orders.

The first step required to begin the printing process is to receive necessary pages of the newspapers. To do that, not only journalists have to work fast, but workers of the printers have to put on the machines on time to send the copies to the respective destinations. Once the pages are sent to be printed, they are checked by computers. Pages have to have a correct order, and all the extension, called ‘spot’, have to be totally completed. It can be possible that some pages were not send on time, or they can have some mistakes. In those cases, the printer will call to the newspaper itself to verify the possible slip. When all the newspapers are finished, the pages are organized in a special order for printing. The number of pages, as well as their order are very important because they will determinate the cut of the newspaper. When the distribution of pages is ready, huge white sheets are printed with special colors. When the mock-up of newspapers are ready to be sent for printing, the colours of documents have to be converted into CMYK model (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Key or Black) to be as precise as possible.  It is necessary to print a metal sheet per page. Powerful and fast laser machines do this part of the work. Then, the sheets are put into a huge machine to be mixed, newly, with cyan and magenta color.

The second part of the process consists of preparing the rotary press. Huge cylinders of papers, with sizes of truck wheels, are carefully put into the machines. They will roll with an unbelievable speed, producing millions of copies which will be sent to different parts of the country. First, the technicial will put the machine on, slowing its speed, to check the quality of the copies. At the beginning, a thoughtful amount of newspapers will go directly to the bins. The main reason is that the colors are bad mixed or moved, but as they are printing more copies, the results are improving successively. Protection is something fundamental. The smell of ink is almost unbearable, and sounds of the machines is deafening. In general, the rotary press count has lots of small wheels which function is to move away the copies that hold up the printing process of the machine.

When the copies are made and the ink hasn’t finished to dry, another machine picks up the newspapers and groups them in piles. Then, workers have to tie them up and send them to a special zone of the fabric for those newspapers that are finished by the help of carriages. Newspapers will be delivered to their corresponding consignee.

Is it easy to say it, but the process of printing is a more stressed work that have to be done in just a few minutes. Newspapers are read by millions and millions of people every day, especially in the way of their works.  Nevertheless, new technologies have created new ways of information that develop other forms to be informed. The usage of tools like Internet in the latest mobile phones, or the actual birth of interactive tablets have made, because of their small size and usefulness, the preferences of the most demanding consumers. Although there are people who think that newspapers are still having future for a long time, nobody is sure of when the news on paper by will be relieved in second level the virtual ones. Meanwhile, printers will continue working constantly, while everybody is sleeping and notice nothing.   

Filed under journalism messages new technologies newspapers printer paper