Sunday, 31 May 2009

Mon Paris

I've wasted a LOT of time tonight trying to upload photos into the post body for my most recent article about India at Examiner.com -with no success. Sitting on the couch now realizing it's 3am and I've done any of my essay that I need to have done for Monday! :S It's all written but I need to fact check and source it, which will take longer than the actual initial writing... sigh.

Paris was amazing. SUCH a contrast to India. It was quiet, clean and the people were polite -far more polite than my England experience! The city is beautiful, what I expected London would be like. I Definitely will go back.

Here's a few photos from my half-day there. Too tired to write more right now!





Pittsburgh Student Travel Examiner: Take your Time in India

Pittsburgh Student Travel Examiner: Take your Time in India

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Thursday, 28 May 2009

Ahoy Me Matey!

Off to Paris in a few hours -looking forward to doing the typical touristy things like seeing the Eiffel Tower!

Today went to Ulsoor Lake and got some classic footage in a paddle boat -the kind of stuff you cry over when you're old for the stupidly fun things you did when you were younger! "Land ho!"

I also came across a really large slum and tried to get some photos. My friend got nervous and hailed a rickshaw auto but I still managed some good shots. The children ran up from the slum to be in more just as we were driving away and I felt bad that half of them were blurry. It's interesting, and nice to see, that these children can become happy so easily. The smile comes naturally to them when they see me with my camera. They look of proper weight so at least they must get enough food, its just the living conditions, at least in the slums I've seen, which are terrible.






Applying for a few jobs with the spare time I've got before going to the bus station. It's absolutely pouring outside... I hope it stops before my flight so that it's not held up -I want my full stopover time in Paris!

Bye for now!
Eva :)

4:20am alarm clock

The last three nights I have been awake at this time to hear the praying from the Mosque. It's very distinct this time of night when the motors on the road are minimal, the honking horns aren't constant and the other noises are that of weird sounding birds, and what I believe to be monkeys!

Here are a couple of photographs before I head to bed (don't think I'll make it to Mysore in the morning; what with the long stopover in Paris Friday and then two days back in Leeds before off to Hungary, thats a lot of shlepping around and I don't mind hanging around here in Bangalore!)

A slum child, Bangalore


Bangalore Palace


Worker at Bangalore Palace


Rooftop view of intersection at Residency Street, Bangalore


In a richshaw, nighttime, air blowing past

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

UNIIIIIITED!... next year boys, next year

In India watching the United V. Barca game -this is what it's all about! Sport is an international language. (Or I WAS watching when I wrote this post but it's taken so long to upload the second video that the game is over by the time I'm posting this and United lost :( Hate Barca! --They've got a cool stadium though, have to admit I was in awe when I went on the Nous Camp tour while in Barcelona last year.)

I stopped in at a nightclub in Bangalore earlier tonight and a guy was dancing with a Barca scarf around his neck. The video is sideways, sorry guys!

video

It's pouring buckets outside right now. Unavoidable after the heat during the day! I didn't get as exhausted as yesterday though -walked four hours yesterday up to the High Court, around to Commercial Street and the markets and back down to Double Road (a bit of geography for those of you from Bangalore following my posts! Thanks for your guys' greetings and suggestions for places to see!)

Today I went up to the Bangalore Palace and it was pretty nice but I'm hoping to get to the city of Mysore tomorrow and see the real thing; the Bangalore Palace was just the summer house -small potatoes, haha. It's supposed to be stunning.

One thing is for certain, I'm tired of being treated like I'm a moron. I expect the stares because of my skin colour, but it is completely out of line for locals to think that my skin colour gives them license to be dishonest. I'm good with a map and I know when a rickshaw is driving loops in order to run up the meter. This behaviour by them is not condusive to tourists thinking well of them -and it just creates a viscious cycle. If I treated a person of colour in North America how the locals treat me here, I could be charged with racism. I may be visiting India, but that doesn't make me a money tree, and it doesn't give anyone the right to try and con me out of money that they don't deserve. This may sound harsh, but this is how I feel.

I'm also tired of the unnecessary car horns. The incessent honking in real traffic in the busy streets is one thing, but honking at me when I'm walking on a side road and you have all the room in the world to just drive by, is obnoxious. The sound polution, on top of all other forms of polution here, is through the roof. I mean, obviously my carbon footprint isn't the best because I fly all the time, but in day to day life... the waste here is disturbing.

Crossing the street itself is a bit fun, but because it's just so ridiculous.

I tried uploading a video of me crossing the street but it's not the best wireless here and after an hour I gave up on it :( I'll post it when I'm back in England!

...

Distracted by the game... Uuuuugh Giggs, so close!!!

Anyway, chugging water with the fan on, as I have been since I got here! Obviously in stark contrast to the experience of those living in the slum right next door. Strange to think about.

(PS, check out my most recent London photo album at Examiner.com! http://shar.es/0rxr )

Monday, 25 May 2009

Pittsburgh Student Travel Examiner: Northern Stop: Newcastle and Beyond

Pittsburgh Student Travel Examiner: Northern Stop: Newcastle and Beyond

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India

When I arrived in New Delhi on Saturday, the heat hit me like a blast. Got used to it though -and just took to drinking a lot of water!

My first experience in Indian traffic was one of those moments where you're looking frantically around at your surroundings and thinking over and over "oh my god I'm going to die, oh my god I'm going to die!" I'm more used to it after a couple of days now but I've got somewhat of an ongoing headache from all of the car horns. They honk every 5 seconds and most of the time it's unnecessary!

Oh, and not only do lanes not exist on the street, but they're dotted with people pushing carts of fruits, pedestrians and cows.


Speaking of animals... I arrived finally to my destination in Bangalore Saturday night after a two-hour delay in Delhi due to the flash storm (I was almost petrified that we were going to take off in it -I had never seen lightening like that before!). I got to my friend's house at 1:30am and was further held up outside by wild dogs. I was frightened that one of them was going to pounce and bite me. He was barking ferociously at the foot of the driveway I needed to go up... You have no idea how scared I was! Couldn't dial out from my cell phone to local numbers and I'm in the dark, deserted and smelly back road... But here I am today!

Currently on the balcony enjoying the cool night air. The traffic below is still quite loud but seems removed. We overlook a residential area but there's a small slum in the lot to the east. It’s hidden from view from the main road. But not that it would need to be hidden. There's enough blatant poverty around that I don't think it would cause shame.


There's a man power-walking laps up on the roof here -didn't you know that's the next big thing? I suppose it just wouldn't be safe to walk this late down below. My friend and I at around 8pm walked to the local alcohol point and she warned me to be prepared for a harder time than usual -women aren't supposed to drink here. "They're probably thinking: 'you're drinking, what a whore!'“

In general I stick out like a sore thumb here. I thought I would see more Westerners around. Most people are helpful, but it also seems to give the locals license to want to rip me off. Luckily I have traveled enough that I won't allow it. In Delhi I had several people come up and want to be in photos with me and here I've had young girls wanting to touch my hands.

I've been trying to take candid photos of the locals but when they see me flash the camera they get excited and want to pose. I still have a really nice collection of photos so far. I've been trying to show the real side of the country as opposed to the touristy shots.


I went to the market today and got three nice skirts -I LOVE the Indian skirts and specifically wanted a few. I also got henna up my arm that I also love. I can't wait to be walking around Hungary and England with it on my arm :) My friend got a design too but she needs one of those dog collars that keep the pup from knawing at stitches because she's obsessively picking at it!


It's just so different here that I don't feel the need to go around touring or see other places. Just a stroll down the street I know I'm in a different place. If I were here for longer I would want to see Bombay and the Bollywood stuff there, and probably want to go up to the Himalayas. This is good for now though.

One thing that is seriously shocking is the state of public works. I admit I am mostly ignorant to the political situation here, but it seems to me there is enough investment in India that there must be high-level corruption here. The streets and sidewalks are in utter decay and the garbage piles with their stench are unbearable.

More to come.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

What's important...

Is clearly not what's fun! But we all knew that anyway... Exam tomorrow, radio show tomorrow night, film to finish shooting and edit by Thursday, still an essay to do -but obviously I'm spending my time on twitter and my new Examiner.com page. I rock!

Do you rock too?

Procrastinators only welcome.

Oh, and booked my ticket to Budapest for beginning of June. India I may not get my Visa in time, joys! And Poland... I promised a review didn't I?

Well, it wasn't what I expected. I was a history major in my undergrad, I taught myself German in order to be able to read documents from the war... and in general I was brought up knowing a lot about what happened there. So... when I got there, I wasn't upset like I thought I would be. However, I seriously believe everyone should go. Perhaps it will awaken enough people to the fact that genocide in Darfur, Rwanda, etc, are TODAY. The visuals of what the real places these things happened will maybe me a wake-up call. I hope. And not just about the present, but the future. Hatred spreads like wildfire. People forget and history repeats itself. We can't let this happen again.

Here are a few pictures from the trip:

Oscar Schindler's factory in the Krakow Jewish ghetto


Thousands of shoes at Majdanek work/death camp. Their shoes were taken and they were given wooden clogs.


Remnants of a synagogue. The stage was stone, the rest was wooden and burned down.


The crematorium chimney at Majdanek


Another shot at Majdanek.


My camera battery didn't last through the trip, but I think these shots were indicative of the experience. Auschwitz bunkers look very similar to Majdanek.

Last shot is of the Jewish quarter in Krakow which has been revitalized because of the visitors. Thousands and thousands of Jews lived in Krakow before the Hoocaust. There are now 200 Jews living there. That's more than most places that used to have populations.

Pittsburgh Student Travel Examiner: Mancunian Stop!

Pittsburgh Student Travel Examiner: Mancunian Stop!

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Friday, 15 May 2009

Argh!

I'm too lazy, lady and gentlemen. I know I promised a blog about Poland but I just can't make myself put thought into something serious right now!

Just got back from the audio-visual lab, spent most of the day finishing off a promotional film -doesnt it feel AMAZING to finish off a project? To watch through it and not see anything else that you need to tweek?

I can't WAIT until I can feel that way about my other project I've been working on... I have to re-shoot a whole bunch of stuff tomorrow cuz my main character got a haircut -GRRR!!

I've been hired on by Examiner.com as the Pittsburgh Student Travel columnist. I'll will start posting on there soon! I've definitely got hundreds of stories to post on there!

However, speaking of traveling... I may not get my India Visa in time -sooo sad. Mostly upset about the wasted money though :S Couldn't change the dates. Sigh.

I should be responsible and go to sleep now but I've probably got a couple more hours of tweeting in me, at least.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Poland on the way

I am currently in Krakow, Poland. I have a lot to say, but this is my first time to myself since the group I'm touring with left London Wednesday morning so I'm going to relax. I will definitely write more later..

Have you been to Poland? If so, comment on this blog entry and share your experiences. Maybe I can compare them to mine in the next entry I write.

Until then,
-e

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Life atm

My life right now is:





When it should be...



So. Screwed. Period.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Stressed!

I've got an essay and a screenplay due at the end of the week. Film submission the 15th, exam 18th and my large film is due on the 26th. Stressed because I go to Poland tomorrow and its right dab in the middle of everything! I wasn't going to go but I got guilted into it by the trip group advisor because I also bailed last year -it was just as bad timing last time as well!

I loatheeee taking national express down to London. If you don't book in advance you get completely ripped off or have to take the coach which takes FOREVER.

I would work on my screenplay but I can't find my outline ahhhhh

Oh and I booked a ticket to India this morning for the end of the month but then my visa got declined because I was over my limit having last night also booked a flight manchester to pittsburgh and from pittburgh to edmonton. Wow, can you tell I'm tired? Starting to write in informal chat mode with lack of capitals. But yeah, so there was a whole mishagus with trying to sort out the ticket on a different card and it still hasnt been booked and I'm worried I'm going to lose the wicked fare I got. Sigh. It was spontaneous afterall so I guess it wouldn't be the end of the world if I can't book my ticket (I may be an adult but I also have to take into account that dad will probably KILL me when he finds out -if I do indeed book it!)

What else... well my usual gripes with England for everything closing at whatever chance they've got. Just got out of a bank holiday weekend and the union on campus was completely shut so my radio show on LSRfm.com was canceled. And since I will be in Poland I will miss the last Newslink of the year as well on Thursday.

Oh and Avid Composer and Audacity programs drove me absolutely MAD before the weekend, both being extremely difficult and quirky -aka not doing what I wanted. To be fair, I think something was actually wrong with Avid because it froze a couple of times...

With all this busy-ness though, it WILL be nice to go see Paige in Bangalore before leaving this side of the world when all of this is over!

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Tbh...


To be honest, I don't have the energy/feel like investing into putting up a new blog post at the moment... but I figure I should at least keep it up to date and not have days and days go by with the same post!

So.... yeah! Haha, there ya go!