10 December 2016

The Train Ride from Hell (or when German Trains Don't Work)

It's interesting to realize that sometimes, you hold some countries to a higher standard, because you expect something high from them, and when they don't deliver, then you get mad. Yet, when you have no high standard, and they don't deliver, you just shrug it off. I realized this when we were taking a train ride from Poland, traveling from Poznan to Berlin, one weekend.

08 December 2016

Impressions and Images of Iran: Masjed-e Āghā Bozorg in Kashan

Upon reaching my guesthouse in Kashan, I took a small nap. If not jet-lagged, I was at least sleep-deprived. So I went to my bed and slept for about two hours before doing anything. I later realized that this was a wise move, as Kashan is situated in a hot climate, and so things actually close during the middle of the day because it's just too hot to do anything. The bazaars close, the shops close, everything closes around 12. And they open again around 4 in the afternoon.

06 December 2016

A Cocktail of Coins

We took a trip to Poznan recently. It was a short trip, just for the weekend, but nevertheless I'll blog about it later. Anyway, since this was Poland, it wasn't part of the Eurozone. Hence, when I was packing, I had to dig up my basket of coins which I have collected while traveling, to see whether I still had Polish zloty with me. I've been to Poland a couple of times before, so I am sure I still have a few remaining with me, and it would be great to be able to use them instead of them simply sitting in my cabinet.

04 December 2016

Impressions and Images of Iran: Hitting the Ground Running

I arrived in Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport a little after 5 in the morning: my flight was a red-eye flight from London, which was about 5 hours long, but truth be told, flights like these are the ones I hate the most, as the time tricks you into thinking that you'll be traveling in your sleep, yet in reality, after the drinks, the meal service, and the duty free service, all that remains are about 2-3 hours of relative silence and darkness where you can finally try to fall asleep. Needless to say, I was sleep-deprived when I landed. It was in this condition when I hit the ground running in Tehran.

02 December 2016

A Cultural Out-of-Body Experience (or a Case of Reverse Culture Shock)

A few weeks ago, I was invited to attend an event hosted by the Filipino community here in Berlin, together with the Philippine Embassy and a Catholic Church (who hosts services in Filipino). It was an event which was a joint art exhibit and concert: the point was to showcase talent within the Filipino community here in Berlin, so there was time allotted to view some artwork, and there was also a concert where local members of the community sang and performed. I wasn't really interested in the talent, but since several of my friends were there, and since I haven't seen them in a while, I thought this would be a good venue to see them collectively. I typically don't like group meetings, and would prefer seeing friends in smaller groups, but since I haven't seen them for a long time, I figured it was not a bad idea to see them this time. Little did I know that I would have an out of body experience.