Laura, I seem to have caught your blogging bug! Mine is falling behind.
This is Zurich. Well, this was Zurich last week.
Big-ups to Lavanya and Stieven for hosting me and showing me unconditional love.
Everybody’s dream, to be surrounded by chocolate.
Posted this on my blog’s social media and someone asked, “small hands or big chocolate”? Definitely, big chocolate. Big delicious dark chocolate with a dark caramel filling. Though very very expensive! Almost 6 American dollars for ONE.
Hey University of Zurich do you need an English lit lecturer in say, 5 years time? (I can dream can’t I?)
I’m so mad at myself for not having come to Geneva earlier. It is only 40 minutes from my auntie’s place and so so spectacular! Wow. You should have seen me. For the entire day I looked like a smiling idiot. Which is why I’ve decided that I’m definitely a city girl. And you know what, I’ve also decided that there’s nothing wrong with that. So, I can appreciate nature. I DO appreciate nature. I love a little peace and quiet. Fresh air. But, I also LOVE culture. Art galleries, boutique stores, cafes, bakeries, flower-shops, book-shops, parks, park benches, park pigeons, I’m lovin’ it. All of it. When I walk through a city like Geneva, I hear poetry in my ears.
I had an entire day in Geneva before my flight to Belgium so here’s what I did:
A look at Jet d’Eau (water jet), one of Geneva’s biggest landmarks.
BEEP BEEP then went off my foodie sensor! I still don’t know exactly what it was but I can definitely say there was meringue, mousse and chocolate. Bye bye diet.
For lunch, I had a soy latte (cos I’m hipster like that) and a vegetarian “Paradiso” salad which I’d seen posted several times on Instagram from Paradiso cafe. And though it was yum, I wished I’d gotten their famous avocado toast instead. First world problems. Wish there were money (and calorie) refunds for bad food decisions.
For dinner, I went to Golestan. A legit Persian restaurant in Geneva’s red light district! I had a Persian favorite: Ghormesabzi with mint and cucumber yoghurt. It was so good, it made me miss my mother. I wish my stomach was larger because I wanted to eat kebab as well. Then, before you think I’m even more of a glutton than I actually am, I walked for 1 hour and 45 minutes to the airport to catch my flight to BELGIUM!
Such a cool exhibition showing beautiful faces alongside the equally beautiful lake.
Lifa, that you?
Dessert. Shoosh. I earned it/I’m on holiday… (always).
Do you remember Yasu? My ex-neighbour that was too shy to talk to me for a year but then became my best friend? Well, she came to visit me in the big city and we had a blast together and I showed her my new favorite places. In saying that, I couldn’t help but notice a lot of this (see below picture) which made me think… (don’t say I told you so!) that the countryside does have its benefits. For one, I am spending a lot of unnecessary money here. Mostly on over-priced drinks (oops) and it’s hard to walk past a top that’s been reduced by 80%! I also can’t help but feel body conscious with the crazy amount of advertisements everywhere. However, I still believe the more I live the less I fear.
I forgot to take that yucky end-bit off of the fruit. Oops. And now it’s the only thing you’re noticing since I’ve pointed it out to you. Argh. But look! There’s also Lifa’s spoon. He’s with me. They all are.
There are SO many cute dogs in Osaka! I swear, they’re everywhere. In fact, I told my friend Soroosh that I’m contemplating starting an Instagram account titled: Dogs of Osaka. Sounds like the name of a biker gang, he replied. Alas, I am determined to photograph em all!
I am in Osaka and I am already loving it. So far, I haven’t really figured out how I’m going to post about this place (I will be here for one month) but I guess whatever I do will be similar to the others: honest snaps of my every day. All I know is that I can’t wait to wake up and explore even more. Ah, I cannot begin to tell you how good it is here. Maybe because I was in the countryside for a little longer than I should’ve or maybe because this is just how Osaka is. It is alive. I feel energy everywhere. People are living, riding their bicycles, lighting their cigarettes, blowing on their hot food and catching Pokemon. I missed civilisation. We were born to connect. Don’t get me wrong, nature is beautiful and important but there’s only so much solidarity a young lady (only 23) can take!
In addition to vending machines and convenience stores, Japan has ample hair salons. And not just any old barber shop, their hair salons are so cool! Super chic and fancy! I always think they’re restaurants.
Japanese are experts at making fake food look just as appetising as real food! Actually, I once watched a documentary on this… so good!
“You can’t understand a city without using its public transportation system.” (Erol Ozan)
I presume my first teaching lesson in Japan will most likely include an introductory powerpoint of my home town. So, to collect material (and oh my goodness how incredibly lucky am I that there’s so much to draw from) I embarked on a mini mission with my hilarious friend Chantelle to document pictures of the breathtakingly colourful talent that has plastered our quake city.
The art form of Graffiti, usually generated in city streets and on city walls often elicits negative feedback but in Christchurch, street art has not only cultivated beauty amidst earthquake destruction but has also provided hope, entertainment and sense of belonging and community for us Christchurch residents. Today, the majority of the city’s wrecked establishments and cleared spaces showcase magnificent artworks – the broken buildings and walls we previously overlooked or more often intentionally avoided now have our eyes glued and WOW are the aesthetics good!
The great Banksy once said: “graffiti is one of the few tools you have if you have almost nothing. And even if you don’t come up with a picture to cure world poverty you can make someone smile while they’re having a piss”. Except, we’re not continuously pissing in the CBD, we’re walking/running/driving around to work/school/shops/cafes and restaurants and we’re continuously wowed by the street art around us. In particular, it is the contrast of the artworks’ vibrant colours against the shattered, war-zone-like backdrop of the broken (but ever restoring) city that has produced such powerful visuals.
“Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist.”― Pablo Picasso “You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”― Maya Angelou
“If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.”― Émile Zola “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”― Pablo Picasso “Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.” ― Banksy “The painter has the Universe in his mind and hands.” ― Leonardo da Vinci “Art without emotion is like chocolate cake without sugar. It makes you gag.” ― Laurie Anderson “Creativity takes courage. ” ― Henri Matisse
“The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination.” ― Albert Einstein