New Delhi; Sikh, Heat & flirt

20160502_161546Walking barefoot between some cockroaches, food, flies and dirty water was not exactly my original idea of being careful in India to don’t get sick. It was kind of a joke from the destiny to do not exaggerate on my precautions while being in New Delhi on my 1st day.

To visit India was a cherished dream since my father used to tell us stories where my sister and I were travelling around the world and visiting the Taj Mahal back in the days were it was constructed.

It was 42°C and we were trying to stay at the pool little bit in our nice hotel but it was quite impossible, I think that if I had put an egg on the floor it would have been cooked like in the movies. We wait until the temperature dropped a little (something like 35C) and went out to visit Gururwara Bangla Sahib that is a Sikh house of worship. It is a beautiful place and I was feeling happy to visit it and embrace the Indian culture.

On our way out while putting our shoes back on, the guy from the visitors center insisted to show us one area we were missing and he gave us a little tour in the kitchen were they prepare food for whoever wants to come to eat without distinction of religion, gender, ethnicity, etc. I just didn’t expect to be barefoot walking in this not very clean area and also it was quite uncomfortable how pushy the Sikh was to get some “Donations from our heart” which we didn’t have at the moment.

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It was so interesting to see how this big kitchen works with all the volunteer heroes that cook every day in high temperatures and for long hours to feed hundreds of people NO MATTER THE BELIEVES OR NATIONALITY. In Mexico we say “Haz el bien, sin mirar a quien” which means “Do good things to no matter who”.

Outside I could stay for hours looking at the clothing with beautiful vibrant colors, the language, the believes, the architecture…the heat…oh the heat, yes IT WAS MAY!. We continue our way and went to the Jantar Mantar that is an observatory in the middle of the city, and was apparently constructed in 1724 wow, almost 3 centuries ago. I am sure that in that time they would never imagine that it would survive such a long time and would end up surrounded by “modern” buildings, Mac Donalds and shops, but still is an interesting peaceful space in the middle of Delhi hustle.20160504_115247

While crossing a complicated avenue a guy approached us to “help us” doing it the right way and then offered himself to  show us the Official Delhi Tourism Center which end up being a scam that we partially suffer later on but I will talk about it in another time.

A roof top restaurant to admire the city sounded like a good idea to close the day, my friend went to the toilet and in a fraction of a second I had a man standing in front of me introducing himself, asking me my name, last name and next second he was already sitting in the table talking about how he got fired from his job that day – and I was not sure how was I feeling. My friend came back and look at me like – what’s going on? As the guy suddenly started drinking my friend’s beer and was obviously quite drunk and start hitting on me, so Daniel and I need to say we were a couple. To make the story short, we let the things ran, and this guy invited his friends who arrived later on and we end up all chatting for a while and meant to meet next day but Dany and I didn’t show up as the whole thing was quite bizarre.

Well, my first day In India was already full of stories, it seems impossible to fit all in 24hrs but the time in India is different LOL… in fact everything is.

Japan: Snowflakes, nudity and red foxes

FB_IMG_1508813372484A red fox!!!! I couldn’t believe it. We were driving on the roads covered by snow on our way to an onsen that was in the middle of the forest and Lydia was yelling: red fox, where are you? Come red fox!. I was in the back, in the darkness and in silence appreciating the nature’s shapes and shadows, last time I saw snow, it was in Canada 9 years before and just in the city. Suddenly it happened, a red fox jump into the road and we all got excited like kids in our car, whoever was driving diminished the speed as it seems it wanted to cross the road, but in fact the red fox was playing with us…or at least that’s what we assumed as it was running on the side of the car and then kind of in front guiding us until it finally left.

The onsen was still closed as it was end of November, so we came back few days later and we succeed, I stick my nose to the glass on the window on our way to this place as it was snowing and I also enjoy to see the naked trees covered by this white powder.

20171024_110808We pay in the onsen by putting a coin inside a machine, got in, got naked and proceed to take a shower sitting in a little plastic chair in front of a long mirror, side by side with other ladies taking shower, fortunately or unfortunately it was separated for boys and girls, so while washing properly all your body with the soap and shampoo provided I was trying to don’t look in the mirror the other ladies around me and also avoid to see my fat reflecting all those hamburgers and beers that I should not eat and the lack of gym hours. We entered to the suuuper hot water where another 2 Japanese old ladies were already there, in other situation I would be making jokes and laughing loud but it was Japan. I need to admit that was little bit embarrassing to be naked with some coworkers but I was trying to focus in the cultural experience, that was very quiet by the way.

We went to the outside area for what you need to do few steps in the snow and jump in the hot water as the temperature was about 10 and my only cover was my own skin. It was not snowing anymore but if I stand I could see the forest and all the trees covered by the snow as long as the light allowed me to see, it was purely amazing. I felt so alive and grateful to be there, sharing it with a girl from France and a girl from Japan, across the bamboos that separate us from the male onsen we can hear the boys voices so 1 guy from Morocco and another from France where enjoying this as well.

Few days later I was taking pictures outside of the resort when I started to hear some bustle in the back and when I look there was a red fox standing very close to the entrance surrounded by some people taking pictures, suddenly the red fox started walking towards me and I got super excited ready with my smartphone to take some pictures, and then for a second I got little bit scared as it was a wild animal, What if it attacks me? Then this beautiful animal just accelerated the pace and got lost among the trees not before I took few pictures to remember this forever.

Japan was welcoming me with so many treasures to make me wanting to stay there between snowflakes, nudity and red foxes.

Waiting, weekly photo challenge

Waiting

Time is 1 of the most interesting cultural dimension… Can be synchronic or can be sequential. 

On this trip to Lombok Island I climbed a hill and found this man that stop his work to rest or to pose and the animals did the same thing. Were they waiting for me to take the picture, were they looking to me wondering why my camera was interested on them or wondering what I was doing on top of that hill? I DON’T KNOW but they all wait for me to take several pictures before continuing their journey and it seems that we both enjoyed it.

Sahoro; snow trekking, snowflake & happy ending

Another day, another adventure! We took the gondola and went all the way up to the mountain to go down by doing snow trekking. It was quite confusing for the security guys at the entrance as normally people will do either ski or snowboard but they let us go.. the problem was when we keep going up and up and I started to feel vertigo and once we came out of the gondola and I look down to the mountain I was full of fear.

Here I am, a Mexican girl without experience in snow trekking, on the top of the mountain and with vertigo what a great combination!…suddenly a snowflake settled on my arm, I was absolutely astonished as it looked exactly like in cartoons and I took a picture of it to never ever forget how perfect it was and that it might be a sign of nature saying that everything will be fine so I made my mind and started to walk all the way down from the mountain feeling its ethereal consistency and capturing the beauty of the snow with my poor 5mp smartphone.

I do need to say that I had a short rehearsal for my snow trekking experience couple of weeks before with a funny ending.

Let’s go out to walk on the snow and verify the area as we will open the resort soon! I was not exactly fit so she was in the front opening up the path for the virgin snow. Me, well…trying to manage to get her same pace, don’t fall down and take pictures at the same time. Believe it or not I perfectly managed all of this and before getting back to the hotel as it was lunch time I wanted to take the last picture because the wind was making the powder snow fly and with the sunlight was just magical, but right after I took the picture and try to walk the last steps down leading to the entrance next to the restaurant, my snowshoes got stocked one into another and like in a slow-motion shoot I was going down, first on my knees and then for a fraction of second standing like a crucified person as my hands were into the poles straps and …puff in a blink of an eye my face was in the snow!! Then with some help to remove my equipment I managed to get up and realize the full restaurant with the entire ski and snowboard instructors were stuck to the big glass wall looking at me, laughing hysterically and taking pictures. That night was the first training I need to deliver for all of them at the packed conference room… well, at least all of them know me by now, I said to myself.

That night my introduction for the training was: Good evening everyone, my name is Abi, I am from Mexico and YES it was me today the one that fell down in front of the restaurant, the whole room exploded into laughter including myself. We need to laugh about ourselves sometimes, it’s healthy.

I can say that this day I came face to face with the snow haha and I like it.

Snowtrekking- There is always a first time
Coming down from the mountain
Need a break
Bloody scary
Vertigo time
The picture I took before falling down
Landscapes with my guide
In love with the shadows

Japan; a dangerous Mexican landed!

12313970_10153324932600888_3130647259952545521_nI was stopped by customs at the airport! Of course I was the quota of the day; a Mexican girl (dangerous) living in Thailand (double dangerous) and coming for the 1st time to Japan, it must be something suspicious! Even if my passport was full of stamps from all over the world.

In fact I was going there to train the staff of one of the resorts from the company I work with, but well, there is always a 1st time to be stopped and I found it quite funny, one more story to keep. NO marihuana, NO tacos, NO… porn (well… not sure about my phone). Officers were super nice but with their poor English they didn’t arrive to understand everything that easily, anyway I didn’t stay there more than 10 or 15 minutes. An apology from the officers and then I came out to meet my Japanese friend that was waiting for me with an ironic smile knowing something went wrong.

Walking through the colorful ails full of what looked like hieroglyphics (Japanese Kanjis) I was feeling like a little girl in a candyland; food, drinks, bread, candies, basically the airport in Hokkaido Island was looking more like a supermarket for me. We stop to buy a “food box”, such a cute and smart way to bring some food into the train that we need to take to our destination. My friend put her phone (old one) in a little machine and in a blink of an eye she paid electronically…such a normal thing for her and super cool for me, especially as her phone was not a smart phone, but still smart LOL.

I was carrying quite a big luggage as temperatures were expected to be below 0°C and that would be a huge change for my body as I was living in Phuket, Thailand (around 30°C). The train was very proper and of course I was the only foreigner at that moment taking the train in Hokkaido Island and going to the ski resorts that were still closed, such an adventure for me. My eyes were trying to record everything as well as my ears, I was super excited… such a lucky girl…and I didn’t need to pay anything!!Well… I did with all my extra hours and no days off later on but that was nothing compare to what is one of these experiences in your life.

A lady with a little food cart was walking along the train selling food and beer, and of course as a Mexican girl who loves beer and knowing my Japanese friend also does, we bought our can to enjoy our 2 hours trip. When finally arrived to Shintoku station another 2 girls were waiting for us, we pass to the mini supermarket to get…of course, more beer! And snacks, OMG I was absolutely happy – a Japanese supermarket, and it’s me, I am here!! Hey parents look at this – I wished they were with me but they were at 10,616 km in Mexico.

It was getting dark when we arrive to our location in the mountains and the General Manager came out to welcome me together with the few staff working at the resort before the reopening that would be couple of weeks later, it was fantastic to see and feel a resort that is closed, no heating, just basic lights, reception and bar cover in blankets, empty vitrines at the boutique…WOW a perfect scene for a horror movie!

They took me to my room and OMG it was a traditional style one with a TATAMI! This particular smell was floating in my room, it was the tatami material, I wanted to lied down and roll over like a panda, and it has this small table with chairs that had no legs and slide doors covered by white kind of paper…of course I am giving you my description as a western that didn’t know anything about it…if some of you are reading this thinking how ignorant I am giving the descriptions, please forgive me.

I came down and walk to the small restaurant where we were meeting, walking through the dark and cold corridors with no more sound that my own steps and breathing was interesting still not scary. I was privileged to have the opportunity to see how does it looks a well-known resort when it is still closed and I was ready to rock my time in there. Be careful everyone, a dangerous Mexican is in Japan!

 

 

 

 

Yogyakarta; 5 years of friendship in a 6 hours ride

I was her first client she said! …and no, I am not talking about something sexual haha, it was the taxi driver from my application that couldn´t pick me up at the airport because of the taxi mafia in Indonesia…so she made me walk like 15 minutes carrying my luggage until the closest Gas station.

My holidays were about to start and we had a long way to my hotel in Borobudur from Yogyakarta city, but we made such a great connection and after 20 minutes we were talking like friends and I was singing “Despacito” that was playing on the radio.

When I came back 3 days later to Yogyakarta I called her, as I promise, to ask if she wanted to be my driver and we agreed the price of 300k rupiah for 6 hours, “Dee” took me to the Water Palace and as she said that she haven’t been there I invited her to join me…and she end up paying my entrance as I didn´t have change, quite a funny situation.

On our way to the famous Prambanan temple “Dee” told me about her dream to go to work in USA with her sister that is part of the big percentage of migrants pursuing a dream of a better life, but she was conscious that she will hardly be able to get the visa. We got to the temple but she waited for me outside and I run into the shapes of this 9th  century Hindu temple as it was around 3:30hrs and the temple was closing at 5pm. I am always running by the way 2 hours before the places close as I found it the best, because there is less people and great light for the photography.

Around 6pm I was starving and Dee was taking me to “Milas” a vegetarian restaurant that was described as a secret garden in lonely planet and it supports street youth. We had dinner together because at this point Dee and I, we were friends like from 5 years ago already.

My “friend” dropped me at my hotel and didn’t want me to pay her anything besides the gas which I didn’t accept…that day had been going between both paying us each other, entrances, or food, or whatever,(5 years of friendship in a 6 hours ride) one of the best things in life is to find these humans beings that it seems to be waiting there for you to find them in some corners of our world to lighten your heart, clients and no clients at the end we are just people .IMG_20170622_094741_352IMG_20170625_053256_86920170620_130004IMG_20170620_202726_478

A crazy Mexican decides to write

I am a funnylicious girl who loves to travel the world so I am not sure I am Mexican anymore LOL. I am currently working and living in Asia and I love it; my heart already tastes like curry and my skin smells like Japanese Umeshu.

Photography, people, nature, details, laugh…I am thankful to be surrounded by all of this and I love to share my stories so even there is tons and tons of Blogs, finally I decided to listen to some of the people that asked me to write my stories, and here I am…let’s see how it goes.

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