Monday, June 20, 2005

group email from India

Hi everyone, thought it was time to let you all know what we have been up to.
This is our last day in India after about 6 hectic weeks. We have seen a lot its really only scratching the surface of this country…. Its very big!!
We started in Varannasi after crossing the border from Pokhera in Nepal. Varannsi is on the banks of the Gangees River and is Indias holiest river. Varannasi is best known for the Ghnats which are steps leading down to the river which are used for every day life. Everything from washing to cremations take place at the numerous ones along the river. Here we saw a cremation take place and visited a few temples and Jacinta took a boat ride down the river at dawn which she highly recommended to see the river at its busiest time but unfortunately I was sick in bed with food poinsing. Although it’s a very interesting place to visit it wasn’t the best introduction to India thanks to the constant hasaling from shop keepers, rick shaw drivers and pretty much everyone else.
From Varannasi we then went to Agra. We saw three major sites there which was the Red Fort, The baby taj and, of course the Taj Mahal.
They were all increadible!! The Red fort was an increadibly big walled fort of Red sandstone with the residence of the king inside. All the internal structures were wonderfully ornate with inlaid white marble and beautifully calved columns everywhere.
The Baby taj was the tomb of and also increadible with symmetry and ornamentation and was a great warm up for the Taj Mahal wich is just amazing. It is massive and beautiful. Every surface is inlaid with different coloured stones making geometric patterns all over it. Inside are the two tombs of the Murgal King and Queen and surrounding that are screens of calved marbel. It was increadible!!
From here we then went to a place called Orchha. Here are the ruins of two palaces and many temples. We spent some time exploring these, trying to imagine how they must have looked in the time when they were built.
From Orchha we then headed to Kudgerho where we looked at the wonderfully preserved temples with there erotic scenes. Each temple was entirely covered with images of gods calved from the stone doing various things, usually with some very curvy women.
It was about this time that we decided that the heat was too much. We both got sick here from the heat, which had been above 40 ever since entering India, so decided to head back to the hill further north.
Our first stop, after three days traveling, was McLeod Ganj. This was originally a place for the English to go during the hot Indian surrmer but is now a place for tourists to go during the hot Indian summer. We spent around 5 days there recovering and eating some wonderful cakes!
From here we then visited the Chamba valley. This was a very nice valley with the town of Dalahouse in it. This is another place that the English set up to escape the summer and is filled with crumbling mansions and rows of delapadated terraces.
From here we worked our way back around to Manali which, again was set in a valley surrounded by the snow capped mountains of the Himilayas. Manali was really good because it had hot springs so each morning we were able to start with a wonderful hot bath in amongst all the Indians.
We then worked our way down this valley staying one night in a castle and one in a Palace before getting to Rishikeish which was our next major stop. Rishikeish is best known for being the world capital for Yoga so we made good use of this by practicing Yoga each morning.
On our way back to Deli we stopped overnight in Hardiwar which is set on the Holy Ganges river and is a pilgramage town for the Hindus population. It was quite amazing to see all the Indians bathing in the river that runs through the town and making offerings of burning boats made from leafs and flowers.
From here it was straight back to deli where we checked out a few of the sights. We saw the red fort of Deli which was great and the mosque which is the biggest in India. Yesterday we also went to a Seik temple and had a tour of Old Deli on a cycle Rick shaw.
At the moment we are waiting to head out to the airport to catch our planes to Eurpoe. We are both excited about getting to Europe which is going to be a bit of a shock after spending the last two and a half months in India and Nepal.
Hope that everything is going well back home,
Take care everyone, Chris and Jacinta

Saturday, June 18, 2005

Here i'm dying of heat, it's really hard sometimes, like to fall asleep for example but hey, i'm not gonna complain since it is summer afterall. Still, it gives quite a shock to change seasons like that, so quickly.
Yeah chris sure is almost here, it feels strange, because now that it's only a few days, time has stopped again somehow and it feels long, although i say that but it will come before i realise it, i'm pretty excited, he's probably on his way to amsterdam now....
I saw flo yesterday, i decided that it would be better to face the problem now, rather than being paranoid and afraid everytime i went somewhere with chris. It went well and at least now he knows and at least i can relax about it a bit more. He's gonna come over tomorrow to say good-bye to my mum anyway so we'll see how he is then, after a few days... Oh well, i'm sure he's fine and now i did what i had to do so it's not really my problemo anymore.
that's pretty much about it, laurent just arrived from dallas until wednesday when they all leave. We're gonna have dinner tonight in some south west of france restaurant, that kind of food is sooo awesome although really really not recommended to fit into your fave jeans, but hey... he loves me for my interior beauty, right? (i love that excuse so much)
Anyway, i've been having a pretty good time, not doing anything mildly exciting, lot's of really boring tv, and sleeping quite a bit. Oh yeah, yesterday, i had a 1 hour long massage from head to toe done, oh my god, i felt like paris hilton, i should be ashamed but it felt so good that i don't give a manouf. I also had a little haircut, nothing to talk about really since it wasn't much at all but i feel a bit better about my hair now.

Friday, June 17, 2005

I spent yesterday and part of today with Fred and some of his friends. We didn't really do much but it was alright. His friends are always interesting people with lots of projects in music or urban cultures in general.

My legs are smooth and soft, as well as every other part of my body pretty much, (it was a lot of hard work but we did it) and i'll go to have a haircut soon. Just for your info, the weather is pretty hot today but it seems to change a bit, with some showers... so i can't really predict how it might be when chris gets here but it should be hot and sunny. We'll have to go to nice (pleasant) beaches out of Nice (corsica???) we'll see but i could use a jump in the water right now, i feel so gross and need a shower. i won't need to do the human leach because there really isn't any waves but i can do it just for fun.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

home sweet empty home

I had an awesome night sleep, ooooh it felt good to fall asleep like that, i was sooo tired after the flight(s).
Overall, it went quite well but it was just so incredebly long, it felt like i had been on the plane for ages. The first flight went fine except that the audio system was broken so i watched movies without the sound, great!!! million dollar baby was on so i could figure out what was going on, and i also watched part of "be cool" which looks like a good movie but hard to understand without the sound. That was pretty boring so i tried to sleep a bit, and i had two seats for myself which was nice.
On the second flight, i ended up with a seat in the middle which would have been a nightmare but i managed to change and get a seat on the aisle. The middle seat was free too so i could sort of lie down a bit. I managed to sleep a little there too. We didn't have individual screens though, they showed a few movies but i was pretty tired by then so didn't really watch them. Then, I had to wait about 2 and a half hours in amsterdam and got onto the last flight to nice for two hours. that was good, I had 3 seats for myself so i read and slept a little more.
I was so exhausted yesterday but i managed to stay awake until a decent hour to go to sleep, and that took me about a whole 2 minutes to fall into a deep coma.
It was good seeing my mum, marc and my dad. Everyone is fine, and it's nice being here. The apt is pretty empty. I'm not sure what i will do today, i might try calling fred to see what he's up to, we shall see...
Eventually, I'll have to get my legs etc... waxed because it's so embarassing and might have a little haircut... not sure when i'll do that though but it will be before chris gets here. I want him to still find me purty....

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Collected short stories, Roald Dahl

for those who only know about his children books, R.Dahl is also an amazing writer for a more mature audience.
I guess his name came back to my mind when I heard that "Charlie and the chocolate factory" is in production for a movie by director Tim Burton with Johnny Depp.... I can't wait to see that movie, it should be amazingly good. Check it out here (wouhou, that's a bit fancay!!)
Anyway, I also remembered reading one of the short stories, "Lamb to the slaughter" for my creative writing class in the states, so I thought I would read the whole lot.
I'm not disappointed at all, although I wasn't expecting to be either. R.D. is such a good writer, the stories are all quite macabre, full of unexpected twists and black humour. Either near the middle or at the end, the story is completely twisted and turned to another direction without ever being able to predict how, when and what might happen. As any good short story should be, they are never quite finished, or they are open-ended, leaving the liberty to the reader to reflect on it, interpret it or imagine what might happen next.
I haven't finished it yet although I intend to on the plane, since i'll have plenty of time for that. So far, some stories have made me smile, but not a wide open showing every teeth smile, more like how you would smile when something very ironic happens, a grin really, more than a smile, but some and especially one are just haunting and ask so many questions about life, love, how we treat others and how others might treat us in return.
The one that I have so far found the most powerful is entitled "Genesis and catastrophe".
It starts with a woman giving birth to a baby, a healthy little boy. The woman is very worried and scared and keeps asking if the baby will live as she and her husband have already lost three kids at different ages, always very young. She is very distressed and the doctor tries to reassure her. The husband described as an abusive drunk comes into the room and the doctor gives him the good news " it's a boy, herr Hitler" and this is obviously when the whole story becomes different.... Those parents who anyone would feel very sorry for about their tragic loss, suddenly become the parents of Adolf Hitler and the eye of the viewer changes right away. While 5 lines sooner you were hoping and wishing that the baby would live and they could be a happy family, it is then impossible not to see that baby as what he will become later, one of the worst things that have ever happened in the world. But is this baby responsible for that? Is the viewer allowed to wish the death of that new-born baby and more sadness and misery in the lives of those parents? The last line is the mother saying "oh god, please god, let him live, let him live........." That was cruel Roald, it really was, it's still sending chills down my spine when i think about it. I think that this is the purpose of a good short story though, asking questions that have no answer, letting the mind wander but without the ability to draw rigid conclusions, just accepting that things happen after the last line.
All the stories aren't like that, otherwise I woud be very distressed myself, I don't think I can handle another "Genesis and catastrophe" too soon, but one thing is sure, seldom are the ones that aren't intriguing, disturbing and exciting, and all are incredebly well written.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

East of Eden, John Steinbeck

"There is only one book to a man" Steinbeck wrote of East of Eden, his most ambitious novel. Set in the rich farmland of Salinas Valley, California, this powerful, often brutal novel follows the intertwined destinies of two families - the Trasks and the Hamiltons - whose generations helplessly re-enact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel. Here Steinbeck created some of his most memorable characters and explored his most enduring themes the mystery of identity, the inexplicability of love and the murderous consequences of love's absence.

"The greatest terror a child can have is that he is not loved, and rejection is the hell he fears. I think everyone in the world to a large or small extent has felt rejection. And with rejection comes anger, and with anger some kind of crime in revenge for the rejection, and with the crime guilt - and there is the story of mankind."

Monday, June 06, 2005

the time traveler's wife (round 2)

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah, for those out there who were waiting, here it comes!!
This is the story of Clare and Henry who meet when Clare is 6 and Henry 36, and get married when Clare is 22 and Henry 30... Ah ah, how does that work?? Hum, well quite simply in fact, if you take into account that Henry has a genetic disorder that makes him travel back and forth in time with no control over it. Usually, he travels into the past, sometimes into the future, and always into time/places related to his own life.
More than being sci-fi for people who don't like sci-fi such as me, it is a story about truuuue luv and longing, waiting, time and I guess distance...
At first, it's a bit confusing and hard to undertand how the notion of time works throughout the story but after a while, it becomes clear which is obviously greatly helped by the quality of the writting. The idea of time in spaces is interesting to think about because in the book, past, present and future all co-exist and happen at the same time, what has happened in the "future" will happen in the "past", and if that sounds like a determinist conception of life, what allows us to have control over our life is free will, the possibility to make any decision....once.
I found myself reading the book in two days (600 pages), incapable of putting it down. And a bit like the 6th sense (the movie with B. Willis), it makes you want to read it again to pick up everything that you missed the first time without knowing the rest of the story.
I found it very well written, considering how difficult the story would have been to plan, it seems to flow and make sense after a little while.
And a little bonus for the lazy ones, not pointing any fingers, the movie is in production....

Saturday, June 04, 2005

a song by caz.........

one week + 2 days

in just one week
one week + 2 days
my frenchie flamie friend
will be flying away away.... hey hey

what will i do?
what will i say?
will she come back?
will she be the same?.... hey hey

in just one week
one week + 2 days
my frenchie flamie friend
will be flying away... hey hey

what will happen to me
when half of me goes?
who will drink beer
and live in the mould... hey hey

in just one week
one week + 2 days
my frenchie flamie friend
will be flying away away.... hey hey

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Constructing evidence

The final cofa assignment is entitled "constructing evidence". It can be interpreted many different ways but basically relates to the idea of photography being true, real and debating the idea of photo-journalism vs staged photography as art.
My concept was to use the word "constructing" as a main aspect of my project by using collage to overlap two different "realities" happening at the same time, but with no consience of the other one. The collages create a new reality where two realities, situations coexist in the same time and space in a strange tension.
To form the background, I have taken photos of Coogee beach on a beautiful day, trying to express the peacefulness of going for a walk with your lover, sitting on the beach with a friend, watching the water on your own....
Then, I have cut photos out of the Sydney Morning Herald on internet. All the photos come from a special report on the war in Irak.
I have tried to express how easy it is to forget that there is a war in Irak in which Australia is involved. It is almost uncomfortable to look at those collages because the serenity of the people on the beach creates such a big gap with what I've made them watch and participate in.
To some extent, they also express the ambiguous role of the photographer who is an observer and never an actor. "The person who intervenes cannot record; the person who is recording canot intervene." (Susan Sontag, on Photography)
Maybe those collages are a passive intervention to raise the awareness of the viewer.
Maybe the images also ask the question "could you just sit there if that was happening in front of you?", "can you just sit there when it is happening on the other side of the world?"

i wanna be a sting ray, maybe if i'm a good human, i can be one in my next life and flap it away

getting it out of my system

instead of blogging, I should be workinf on my cofa assignment and posting my resume but I feel like finding excuses not to do that so i'll just write a bit first and get it out of my system...
There is actually quite a few entries i have in mind, first writting about the cofa assignment since it would be a good way of seeing clearly what i want to do.
Yesterday, I spent about 7 hours in the dark but it was a very productive time since I managed to get pretty much all my prints done and some are actually quite noiiiice. They are all of coogee beach and i just love that place. Anyway, now I need to start working on the next stage of the project which is starting the collages i intend to make with every print. Hopefully, it will be ok but i better get started today to evaluate the actual level of difficulty involved in the task.
I also have to go to the PO because I rang an architect yesterday and have to send him my resume. We'll see how that goes, he was very nice, but said that they didn't really have much work at the moment. I couldn't start until august in any case so who knows what might happen then. I got his number through my lecturer at cofa so the extra pressure of knowing she would ask about it forced me to call him which was good. I get super nervous with phone calls and stuff like that, but I had no choice and it went fine and was over in 5 minutes, not even. So, the conclusion of that is well, obvious...
I also need to write an entry on the book "the time traveler's wife" because I loved it, read it in two days (or nights) and just couldn't put it down so I should try to make someone interested in reading it as well.
Another entry could be how i like to spend time looking at other blogs. Some of them are somewhat interesting, but generally a bit like mine, with a lot of everyday life stuff that doesn't serve any kind of purpose really. That's ok, it doesn't have to be material for the next pulitzer price. the only thing that surprises me is that I've noticed that a lot of blogs by people from Singapore are very depressed and depressing. They all talk about suicide on the smallest matters. It's a bit upsetting.
Ok now I've just run out of things to write about so it means it's time to take a shower and get the day started.
Love ya'll, FB

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

sagar's outfit in barcelona, living la vida loca!!