Ciudad de Mexico (Mexico City)

September 30, 2021

Quite the beautiful dynamic to go beyond the surface, pull back the layers of life, and dig into beauty…to find….

Soon come…

Waking up this morning and looking for today to have a little something special to it!! Is it me, but does it seem as though breakfast in the United States versus most of the other places in the world I’ve been…is, ehhh…well, quite the bit different?? Most places I’ve traveled, well…if there is breakfast…it is a cup of coffee, a biscuit, medialuna, croissant, maybe an egg as such…the only place I’ve been where breakfast is loaded up is the United States, and I am not talking about the buffet at the hotel for the tourists,….if that is the case…well, that explains a lot! But, then again…there are variations…so, maybe it is just me… 🙂

We have a few plans today, so up and out with the sun-rise. I can be a simple person at times, I don’t require much entertainment. In fact, I’m still fascinated at being in this part of the world…experiencing it, seeing it, sensing it…even now…reflecting back on it…the environment…what it is like…what is life like for those living here…a few shots for you to consider as we pass along…

Whether in the dense housing townships or out in the sparsely populated…side of the road life…there is so much to learn about Africa. Even considering the geography. Often times Africa is mentioned as if it is one place. When, many countries, multiple cultures with variability, divergent histories, and, so much to learn that can be integrated…ahhh…to ponder…

Arriving at our destination – Kruger National Park!! Yes, we are going on a personal safari!! 🙂 First of all, let me show you the expanse. Huge wide open areas where you could spend all day driving. This isn’t a BBC or Netflix special, or the old school ‘Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom’. This is a certain reality! Which means, sometimes the animals don’t show up. The benefit of them not being in a zoo is that often times no one knows where they are. And as represented in the 3rd picture, because of the terrain and not being used to them – you can look right at them and not know they are present! 🙂

However, we are fortunate today in that a few showed up to add flavor to our trip. I’m not a professional photographer, no special lens, and as common sense would dictate…these pictures were taken from afar. The vision and experience were perfect though…but, here are a few pictures to share the experience…the elephants…you could feel their power even from the distance…

And, the Zebras. Came across several groups of those. As you could probably tell, much calmer than the elephants 🙂

Now for me, one of my favorites are the Water Buffalos. Maybe not as interesting for some. But, for me I love them. Admittedly, I am an addict to the animal shoes. And, I love how one can get brought down by a Lion or such…but, if they just hold on for a bit…the rest of the herd comes back. Shortly thereafter, you see the Lion running. They stick together, move as unit, they are a crew!! A lot of us could learn some powerful life lessons from a herd of Water Buffalo!!

Ahhh, the Hippos!! Quick Story!

My Mother: Look at the Hippos! Isn’t this nice! Why don’t you get out of the car so you can get closer and take a better picture?

Me: Ehhhh!!! Obviously, you don’t love me! Did we come all this way so you could have me killed. You do know that beyond perception, Hippos are the most dangerous animals in Africa and by far the #1 killer! I am not about to get out of the car to get closer 🙂 I am not trying to end up on the dumb-dumb channel as we see some people do!

My Mother: Guess you have a point!!

Me: Yes!! Guess I do!! 🙂

She meant it in a good way!! 🙂

Rolling through, a few others. A Wildebeest, Hyena chilling, some Antelope, what looked like a Kudu (tough meat – yes, we tried some later in the trip), there was a giraffe in the distance but way to far to catch on my phone.

There are special tours to see the apex predators, but, that would of taken more time and also is dependent upon probability. Nothing missed, this actually was a wonderful experience! Add in lunch looking out over the plains….ahhh….yes, that map keeps expanding 🙂

Feeling very fortunate to have had the experience…but, then also…the most important part was sharing it with family…isn’t that true for many things….individually we can experience so many things…but, isn’t that the sweetest part….the sharing….with loved ones…

Heading back towards our abode, we stop to enjoy a bite to eat….a picnic….as family/friends…at Debegeni Falls – Tzaneen… I am told it means place of the big pot – in reference to the pool of water you see at the bottom of the fall…

This is one of those places where you can just sit…and, breath in the air, the midst, the coolness, but also allow your mind and soul to breath in the moment…the experience…allow it to be a turning point…

Magoebaskloof Forest which you can see on the border, and extends lots of life – birds, monkeys, amongst others out into this area. As you sit and enjoy your lunch, there is always something watching and waiting for an opportunity to snatch a treat 🙂

Sharing a family moment, my mother with the white top, and my long time friend/family Trafton (sipho), and his mother Cordelia Kirk, right along with Renae Ilwae with the distinguished yellow top hat…friendships – in all walks of life – I am getting there….around the globe 🙂

This was just a small snapshot! I’ve learned much this trip, mostly for my personal reflection as I grow as a person and absorb more of the cultures of the world into my own life. I believe it was Thoreau that said, ‘wealth is the ability to fully experience life’, and of course now we have to define ‘fully experience’. That definition may be different for each of us – as it should be!! While I learn to get out of my own way, and to make sure others are not in my way as well when it comes to my own realizations…I’m getting closer…and in fact, these trips are making me wealthier 🙂

And, so a beautiful day…together…a beautiful trip…another one….what a composite being built. Although the sun is setting….over the horizon it continues to shine…igualmente, it continues to shine in me….we shall meet again soon. Destination already chosen…so excited to continue ❤

Amigos! Hasta Pronto!!

So, I am staying in the ‘Northern Territory’ in South Africa! BUT!! Did I mention that I am staying on a small farm in this area?? 🙂 Talk about updating the map of my life journey!! Obviously, you should be able to tell with an event and post such as this that I am looking for a specific thing! And with each step inside, I am finding it!

While there is an entire host of various animals on this small farm, it is primarily a chicken farm. When at times, there are baby chicks everywhere!! And, this includes being in the house in the room next door…I never knew how sensitive chicks and chickens were to their vicissitudes of life. Temperature and disease can whip out the entire flock of chickens. And the chicks require high levels of attention and care…thus, they are right next door…ahhh….the chirping…but, I am in South Africa…it is all good!! 🙂 This is a part of the daily view around the compound….

And, of course the Big Chicks…egg layers and those for the dinner table. Living in an area where I have plenty of room for chickens…and some of those in my neighborhood have some as well…I’ve had thoughts about raising chickens for quite some time. Getting away from the commercial style, full of fat and whatever else, and getting down to some good o’l home and natural raised yard bird!!

Well, one of the beautiful aspects of this experience is that I have come upon my own romanticized notions and am now fully aware of a few of them. In regards to chickens!! Beyond the day-to-day care, every morning they rise early to deal with chicken prep for sale. That would be the last picture in this set…neck rung, feathers plucked, and on the slab getting ready for sale….

Yup, that romanticized notion is over!! I’m strictly on the consumption in…not the prep. Of several lessons learned on this trip…one is that I am not interested in raising chickens…that is someone else’s gift! I greatly appreciate the raising and preparation…but, call me when it is time to cook or eat them 🙂 That’s it…next…. 🙂

The other major contingency on this farm – Sheep!! Interestingly, the chickens are basically a commercial item…they raise them, eat the, sell them…but, the sheep. Well, they are more like the ‘security team’ part of the crew!! The folks from ‘Charlotte’s Web’ would be ecstatic! 🙂

Quite the interesting place here…in addition to the sheep, the turkey’s, geese, and rabbits (not pictured) each had their own contingency 🙂 Why do I call them contingency…well, their survival is contingent 🙂 Okay…it is a farm you know… 🙂

Just a few pictures to share the environment. In actuality, being in this open space surrounded by the farm animals really added to the thoughtfulness about life I experienced then and feel now as I reflect and share. While being out here in the territory could be considered isolation, the fact is this place is teeming with life (also plenty of fresh oranges right off of the trees). And, of course…I have at least one of my personal security team members with me!

What a place to be. Where you must sit and deal with yourself, your thoughts, your life…amongst life! Not always easy to do, and not something everyone will do! However, this is one of those places for it!

As James Baldwin shares, ‘Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.’

Interestingly, the same thing I was facing then, I am facing now! The change isn’t always immediate, sometimes it takes time. And, that time is necessary! This is where I needed to be – Then and Now!!

What’s next!! 🙂

Maybe this is my interpretation of a hobbit series…in that it seems of late, I’ve had a few ‘unexpected journey’s’ 🙂 Although unexpected, it is special in its own way because I’m traveling with the behest of my mother. She just jumped up and said, “I want/need us to go to South Africa.” How many times do we look back on life and wish we would of been better children to our parents. Well, like many….not the perfect child! But, as it is said…’when I was a child I thought, spoke and reasoned as a child; but, now that I am a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me’…yes, I am a preachers kid. Soooo, gotta throw a verse in every-now-and-then 🙂

So, off to South Africa!! Now, this isn’t one of my usual trips that will be associated with a population center. Obviously going to South Africa, there is Cape Town/Coast, Johannesburg, Soweto, Robben Island, and others…basically, anything of course to do with the Sage ‘Nelson Mandela’. However, this trip is different! We are going to specifically see ‘Family’. 🙂

Sounding like a ‘Game of Thrones’ episode, we land in Johannesburg and with little delay, drive through Pretoria (love that name) and head to what is called ‘the Northern Territory’.

In particular we are in a province called Limpopo, definitely in a territory where the closest, I’ll say town, is called Polokwane! Now this area is about a hop, skip, and a jump from the borders with Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Botswana! And, the plan is to get in good family time, absorb some local culture, and reflect. So, I’ll post a few things, but mostly will just share a few experiences. This trip is more for me…and family – you get me!! 🙂

The Abode:

I love it!! Now, this is not specifically a place you come to be entertained. This is a place with solo and family time. An experience not characterized by a lot of personal delusions 🙂

There are exceptions; however, there is only so much of day-to-day culture that is going to be found in a motel/hotel room. So much to be said about opportunities to get on the other side of the world and immerse in daily life. In these places, time has a different dynamic.

As is critical in most situations, it is very important to be introduced to and become comfortable with the compound security team. With that said, meet the crew…

🙂 I believe there are about 12 of them standing post…considering the size of the place and the environment, make it happen!! Never-the-less, they were great companions and I do really love the feeling conveyed when through the look in their eyes you can tell that you have their full attention! 🙂

Like I said, this isn’t a dense population center. There isn’t a corner store or restaurant. There are things to do, but you have to know because you may not be able to see it….

Just so you can look around a bit…around the house…and the neighborhood. It has a feeling to it…some of it because of the consciousness of where you are…and other parts…that rise from allowing yourself to feel…

This gives you an idea of the characteristics of the location. For me, it doesn’t take long to develop a symbiosis with the environment. The rising sun, the weather was not hot/cold – perfect, the walks, the solitude, greetings from the security team…and the knowledge of where we are…and what that means. And, there is always something different that pops up from some place…

Walking the road, I see a few things that make me wonder! So I am familiar with the gun/dog combo to protect the home, but the snake? Thinking that also means something else! And, a cat crossing sign? Hmmmm….well, okay 🙂

It would of been quite easy to schedule a trip to the populated and most visited locations. Ahhh, to visit the sites of ‘Mandela’ and to look out over ‘The Cape’!! But, this is a different story. One of family, but also this region where Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Mozambique intersect with South Africa has a story as well (and, the Zulu Nation being not far away)!

While Africa is often romanticized in Black America, no issue there – often times we need a dream to get by, There are also some realities in Africa that get ignored. These realities remind me of Malcolm Gladwell’s book, ‘Sapiens’. Like it or not, there are some serious indicative parallels in that book about how people intersect that reflect realities throughout the world. Quite apparent here as well!! You will dig into it if you are interested!! 🙂

I’m no rookie to Africa, the big delusions departed from me long ago. So for now I will dig further into my own curiosities and explore….get into my purpose. As, I mentioned…it was not on my personal map to be in this part of the world. But, I heard a quote the other day that says,

“Life is a long journey with a map written by a fool…”…. if you have life experience, then you have played the fool before 🙂 so then that should resonate with you….update our maps continuously…. 🙂

Introspection in the ‘Northern Territory’!!!!

La Candelaria! Street Art!

August 20, 2021

Street Art, such as this, permeates La Candelaria!! It is also tucked into many places throughout Bogota. So, although I am just now posting about it….it was an every day every moment type of experience. I just found it to be such a significant contributor to the overall experience, that I saved it for my last post 🙂 !!

While I travel a lot…the destination is not the primary…it is actually secondary to the human and cultural story. So yes, throughout the years…you will usually see a couple somewhere in there expressing themselves!! Yes! I’m a believer…. 🙂 You’ve heard it, ‘Art mimicking Life’…or vice-versa…you get it…beauty…

A special treat…. ‘una sorpresa especial…’ ….

And…as I mentioned – the human story! This gentleman was the ‘capstone’ of the trip. Kindness just exuded from his pours to the degree that as soon as you walked into the room you felt at ease, accepted, and at home. Part look – Part personality….He somewhat reminds me of this ‘tango organizer’ guy I know in Charlotte, NC 🙂

This guy, I would love to see again…

I enjoyed sharing these moments with you….I am getting caught up…

Let us meet again soon!!

Ciao!!

One of those days when you get up feeling appreciative and excited about what the day may hold. Without many significant plans, just going to wander…and pass on by…pause and enjoy a nice cafe…practice a little Spanish…or broken Spanish, whatever you want to call it…this post…just sharing the day….

Look at that art!! Got a ‘big treat for you in a few days when I highlight La Candelaria! Street Art!! 🙂 Very nice young man! Easing out into the day, and right into all the local dynamic…chillin…

It is a lovely day!! Plenty of good vibes, interesting sights, obviously plenty of things that you do not see every day…and as a book lover, I have to love this…

Books, books, books…I love that…everywhere…and of course ‘shout out to my tango friends’….Carlos Gardel in a hat shop chilling in Bogota… 🙂

Today is really a strolling day…cafe, nice shoes, cap…maybe yes…maybe no…let’s see what we come upon. And, behold one of the things I really love above about many of these countries….la plaza… grande…Plaza de Bolivar…

Just stopping and taking in the views and the feelings….

These places always give me a bit of pause. Quite the dynamic to read about the history of a place and its people, and then come and sit and consider what their lives have experienced. Not the the sites, the easy part….but, what takes place on the inside….if you consider Columbian history not just in this city or plaza…but, throughout the country…then…

Shout out to My Man!! Nice enough to take a break and let me get on in! 🙂 I look like I need to eat more… 🙂

Stopping for a short break…not tired…just absorbing the moments!! Sometimes, I will delay posting these trips because I like to let them get inside of me a bit more. But, then also because looking back…I feel it all over again! And, it is such a beautiful feeling…as if I am reliving it! Break at ‘Cafe de Luna’….

Righteous vibe…sandwich…let’s just say that I made sure to go on Trip Advisor and leave a review….when I go back to La Candelaria!! Indeed…and initial stop!!

Back to the stroll!! Now keep in mind, what we are looking at was not the result of a long cab or uber ride! This is simply walking…this area is very walkable if you are in moderate/decent shape with good shoes…take your time…soak it in…around town a bit…all this, mind you, settled into the mountain elevation…

Strolling through these areas landing at a wonderful reminder of the historical significance and dynamics associated with Columbia! Just like the Plaza de Bolivar, now ‘Casa Museo Quinta de Bolivar’. I try not to get too far into didactics here…as I mentioned, just a guy roaming the world. However, the significance of Simon Bolivar to South America can the world…can not be overstated…beautiful to be here…and take this into me…

Reflecting back, I recall sitting in the garden of Simon Bolivar’s house feeling the good fortune of that specific moment. moment. And, now I feel it again. Such a reminder on how we have to take in these moments, hold on to them, build our lives with them…as times change…life changes…but, we can still build on it! Ahhhh….Simon!! Muchas Gracias!! 🙂

Ohhh, the day isn’t done yet…

And within a very short distance…behold…the mountain top that dominates the skyline of Bogota…part of the Andes Mountain Range…standing at a grand elevation of 10,341 feet…Ahhhh….

Monserrate….

I have to tell you!! I am not a man of heights…the ride to the top was not my favorite moment…but, it was necessary…and worth it…up there is a shrine…restaurants…eateries….but, most importantly….it is an opportunity….but, it is for each of us to determine what that opportunity is….as we said… ‘Aqui la magica, comienza contigo’…

I know that I am very fortunate….

I know this!! Although the vicissitudes of life makes this realization, at times, mentally and emotionally averse…and difficult to hold on to!! Yet, we must remember that life isn’t just vicissitudes…let us keep that in mind!! All of this is dedicated to regardless of the vicissitudes….try to see the best in ourselves….and the best in life…maybe that can help us see the best in others….

Amor!!

La Candelaria!!

August 18, 2021

Got situated, popped a squat…excited…time to roll…..Soooo… I am definitely not an expert on Latino or Hispanic culture! However, I am no rookie either!! I regularly take Spanish language lessons…listen to the music a lot…read books on it as such…but, just as much I travel regularly to those countries…and I mean I’ve been to more than a couple, obviously…some more than several times…

One thing I absolutely love…is how you see so many age ranges of the families in all types of places…instantly!! To me, from my experiences…tends to be not so common!! Young people practicing their art, skateboarders, mingling in the streets between cars, the asado shop (barbequing it up)! Gotta get me some them overalls when I get back 🙂

Always, such a mix a people, ages, functions, uses…kinda matches how ecletic these environments tend to be…as I said…bring your own fantasies with you…the environment will bring them out into your reality…and who doesn’t love a ‘cafe’ that doesn’t feel alive…

But, mis amigos, this one thing that also lets you know how chilled the environment actually can be….a chilled, relaxed, dog day afternoon…

Chuckle!!! I love it!! Everywhere…and the dogs look cared for….not just stray or feral…I mean…siesta time for every one 🙂 Even the one hanging at the restaurant door…okay…so the one walking with the officer looks a little uptight!! But, hey…there is always one 🙂 But, as I mentioned, regardless to what the social write-ups said about safety. This place had serious security around it. It is in proximity to the Capital Square which I’ll show later. So you have the Capital police, military police, regular police (and undercover), and tourist police. They make sure things are locked down around the area as they are also attempting to build up an alternative economy based on tourism…and, it is working!! Looks Great!!

Sometimes you just don’t need a lot of words, the corridors, buildings, simple and complex designs….just a lovely place to come chill…

If you notice, there is some serious elevation going! If you have heart issues or have a problem slowing down, then be mindful…it will make you stop and pop a squat. The weather is amazing as the elevation is amazing!! And, it is nice just to chill and stroll…

Always a place close by for a cafe, or a nibble (delicious food), and if you pay attention…like in the first picture with the green highlights – there is always someone watching 🙂

One lovely dynamic though that really set the day off…is La Candelaria at night!! As I mentioned before, the entertainment is family oriented…all ages…and such a good onda (vibe)…it pulls you in…

Story telling, acrobatics, and the crowd…the full crowd is completely engaged!! I am not talking about tourists from the United States! Frankly, I didn’t see many there!! Locals…it was amazing and so captivating just to watch…full family fun in the middle of the night! Of course there were a few that the undercovers had to help find their way…always one we say!! But, overall…just good stuff…

And, if you really knew what was going on…you looked for this…

As my friend says, “MAMMA MIA”!!!!! NOW this WOMAN could THROW DOWN!! Do you see that grill…now that meat was good…but, the corn was MOTHER OF GOD RIGHTEOUS!!! Anthony Bourdain, would of took up a spot in the line!! I mean by the time we got done…my teeth couldn’t get anymore corn in between them!! What a cool chilled evening…and this was just the beginning…

Remember what I said about ‘magical realism’…get off the kool-aid…you bring it with you…as it says right here in the middle of La Candelaria!!

It says on the wall, “AQUI LA MAGIA…COMIENZA CONTIGO” – Here the magic begins with you!!

Lo Amo!! It, I love….

Peace!!

A family friend of mine, a Harvard trained Ph.d. in Anthropology always teases me about how in my travels I am a budding anthropologist because of my curiosity about so many cultures. Always love him!! If I were to focus on that view, I might start this off with a discussion on magical realism. Not because of the stereotypes spread by shows like ‘Narcos’ – which I did enjoy 🙂 But, more along the lines of the artistic expressions. Although the magical realism, was initially ascribed to a painting style, and then to latin writers, and then back again to maestras such as Frida Kahlo. My ventures are less about that structure, and more about I’m just a regular person who is exploring, feeling, experience, asking questions!!

For me magical realism, this mix of fantasy and reality, is what each of us bring with us! We have our perceptions of reality tinged and sometimes overwhelmed with fantasy! So it is less about discovering it in Columbia, and more about what magical realism I am bringing with me 🙂

Beyond the stereotypes of the cocaine trade, implications are real but unfair for many people…there are many people with a beautiful cultural lineage that has developed through the filters and vicissitudes of time. Interestingly, when I began to research the trip so many places listed most of the neighborhoods as dangerous. So I called a friend of mine who provided the insight; thus, land in La Candelaria!!

At this point, I usually ask… “Can you feel it? Can you?” Forget about the theoretical concepts of magical realism…can you feel your own move inside of you? chuckling…the mountains, the clouds and fog, the trees and elevation…the richness of the colors…. OKAY, OKAY!! I’m going to leave it at that…But, this place…Hell with the stereotypes, has magic as you shall see!! But, first stop…

The abode! As you know, I’m all about the experience…in the culture. Now admittedly, La Candelaria has a lot of tourist components….probably something that can’t be avoided this time. However, there is a very strong local mix…dynamic that allows for a bit of both if you are interested in digging. So, a small quaint, affordable, safe, clean…Airbnb:

Beautiful and quaint courtyard full of life! Kitchenette and front room up to the task! For me, close and comfortable…didn’t come all this way for a hotel/motel room…just need a nice place that allows for some rest and replenishment…so much to see…and,

And, what about these views…most of the day…every day…downtown, mountains, the sky, the breeze, life in the form of a bird of prey….1st day and I’m in love with this place…my magical realism is blossoming…and taking over…

As you may be able to tell, I am catching up with my posts…but, revisiting this trip is very exciting…La Candelaria, Bogota, and More….Here We Come!!

Arribamos!! 🙂

I have to admit! Saarbrucken was not on my intended map of places to visit. This place is an inspired visit from two wonderful people that I met. Now, it is, for me, considered a regular place for me to come! If you have read my blog, you realize I am a simple traveler (travel, accommodations, etc)…I’m looking for opulence of cultural experience not the other…

It is lovely to awake in the morning, have a cup of coffee and a light breakfast, put on the good walking shoes…and, set out!! Open mind, no clear intention, no expectation, just the question…simple curiosity…

A little wet here and there, but such a fresh clean day!! A wondering body with a meandering mind…with time to stop and observe and pay attention to what it feels like. What does it mean to me? The quaint areas, the open spaces, the bicycle lanes, the inter-mixing of uses….

To just stop for a bit and become aware of the feeling, in architecture/city planning there is a notable dynamic of how the built environment influences what takes places….also, in essence the overall feeling. There is something to note besides being in a new place, but also how the structures and their placement fit in with the culture I am absorbing. Not attempting to show everything or discuss all, just a few points. Each person has their own interpretation or non! 🙂

But, of course….there is lunch…and all the way in Saarbrucken, who am I eating with…no-one but the fabulous LL Cool J (black american cultural influence all the way over here – we really need to redefine what is happening)…I’ll stop short here…this is not just your regular fast food gyro – a little salty…but…pfew…yes…I think Anthony Bourdain would love it…I look for this place every time 🙂

Moving along through this part of the day, crossing over the river…we get to what they call the oldtown….these are mostly historical sites. I am not posting the names, per se, however a simple search will provide them for you. During this section, I actually saw a good friend who is quite familiar with the area and explained a lot of the history and significance of it….and of course…these images if you take a moment…all speak volumes for themselves…especially with their context…

Now of a particular point!! As I was roaming around…I heard some drums, radio’s, and some chanting taking place. Out of curiosity, I stopped to observe what was going on. And, found myself smack dab in the middle of geo-political dynamics. If you recall during this time, the conflict in Syria was spreading which involved the Kurds, Syrians, and Turks. This little small area in Germany has a pretty diverse population in that regard and little known to me the tensions involving these groups in their homeland, of course were reflected here…hence the protest…!! Good idea to be aware of the geo-politics when on the abroad 🙂 ….

As you can see, the civility of the moment descended quickly. Some of the men in the protest saw women dressed in their traditional garments and recognized what group they were from. They instantly began to attack them. That is when the police stepped in. Of course I’m standing right there!! The police officer YELLS at me in German…i’m fairly worldly but I don’t speak German. But, I do speak…’Uh Oh, this doesn’t sound good’…as they approached me….another officer stepped in and asked what I was doing…in english…I held up my dance shoes…since I was walking to the dance venue for the day…and became part of the escort….up and out of there…’ that was a hairy situation…But, I will say…the German Police were very professional!! Some might say, an interesting contrast to what is going on in certain parts of the United States today. Not condemning all officers, but there is a notable difference in policing in most places overseas!!!!! Just sayin..anyway…that was malik watkins live from the protest front…. 🙂

But, of course for me, I have to give a shout out to my peeps!! Who provided me the inspiration to come explore, learn, and study along this area of the French/German border corridor…

TANGOKOMBINAT – Melina Sedo – Detlef Engel & Company

And as the day goes on, I must say SAARBRUCKEN at Night….I absolutely love…!!!! My own personal dynamic maybe, but there is a certain ambiance…aura…onda…that just makes the night walk….feel so right…maybe you can feel it too…this part of the world…I would of never known….it’s good for me….do you see Jimi Hendrix?….and don’t forget the snack 🙂

Saarbrucken, we are going to get to know each other very well…. ❤

Admittedly, before my introduction to dancing….Alemania and Saarbrucken were no where even conceivably on my map of places to visit. Such is the beauty of life!! Let it flow…and it will allow you to flow… Saarbrucken is just a few miles from the border with France; thus, even just by location…it is an interesting mix of various European cultures. Without digging too deep into all the history, much of it derives from the river…and all that is associated with rivers – Saar!!

With a tidbit of breakfast, usually something I only do in this style when I am adventuring…I am heading out into my day, along the river…I still feel the good fortune…new places, experiences, and adventure. If you read my blog, then you know I have very little concern about the residences where I stay. I travel for the experience and less about the resort. Not diminishing the resort life, I just have my own preferences…and as much as I love to travel…simple and inexpensive…goes a long way….especially when combined with the value of a mighty fine grocery store 🙂

Lately, I’ve been introduced to the writings of Alain de Botton. In the description of his book, ‘The Art of Travel’, he talks about how,

“few things are as exciting as the idea of traveling…But the reality of travel seldom matches our daydreams. The tragi-comic disappointments are well-known: the disorientation, the mid-afternoon despair, the lethargy before ancient ruins. And yet, the reasons behind such disappointments are rarely explored.”

While I respect that this dynamic exists for many, it is not my reality. As I recall sitting by this river…and, I am a water person…

In all my travels, I’ve never had the experience of my travels not matching my day-dreams. Even as I sit here…it is easy to contemplate the historical concept of cities built by rivers. It is easy to wonder about the lives that have traversed…where are they now, their descendants, what will the flow of the river bring. But, it also makes me think of the many lives I’ve come across. The young man making faces at me laughing in the market in Surabaya, those standing outside the slave castles in Ghana, the rubber tree cultivators in the plantations in Liberia, the cooks at the residences in Haiti, my friends in Buenos Aires…ahhh…so many…and even more…these rivers…So, for me, it is not a matter of the experience matching the day dreams…I imagine it goes back to my own personal goals regarding traveling…whenever I travel….I always find them 🙂

Walking along the river ‘Saar’ and behind the ‘Congress’ center….is the ‘Buergerpark’ and ‘Saarterrassn’ business park basically located on the sit of the former ‘Burbacher Hutte’ iron and steel works industrial site…

One of my personal favorites is the mix of the old with the new – the ability to allow the story to remain and how the evolution of space tells the stories. Posted by the river, it is a great place to roam towards and to just sit…

However, wherever I go…I am most infatuated with culture and the human story. Here, so far from my own physical abode, what are the stories of these – those who contemplate, who reflect, who find peace by the pools, those who live on the water….and how these lives cross each other and demonstrate their affections for on another….

Recently, a friend asked me…’what is my favorite place?’…in truth, I don’t really have a favorite. In fact, when you dig down into it and find what I am looking for…are these places all that different. On the surface, there are the expressions that makes it to appear that variability rules the day. However, looking at these last pictures…brings to mind those common elements of the symphonies of our lives…and how are we doing with our part…

Back to around the town….