Uh oh, uh oh, uh oh, oh no no"
- Beyonce, "Crazy in Love"
Uh oh, uh oh, uh oh, oh no no"
- Beyonce, "Crazy in Love"
"I'm the 7 in the center of the sun, I keep shining
My inner light would turn my baby's tear drop to small diamond"
- Wu-Tang Clan, "Sunlight"
Bad luck today because I've to visit a flat at 4:30p in another neighborhood. Argh worst timing possible in a day if I wanted to skate. I can't go before or I'll be pretty sweat and broken for the visit (which is not the best tactic possible if I want the flat); and I can't go after cause at the time I'll be back at the (other) hostel to grab my skate sunset will be there. Bad organization. I've to pay more attention next time. Well funny thing is I start to use more and more the weather app of my phone. I've never used it before. Well in Spore it was easy: hot, humid, maybe it'll rain (ie in this case don't be under it or you'll be completely and entirely wet) but no worries it won't last. Then LA: even easier cause it's a blue sky and a mega sunlight everyday. Perfect for skateboarding and no need to plan your session according to the weather. In fact the beauty is: you don't give a thing to the weather at all. Really different here. I start to check frenetically the weather app several times a day; and I check the entire week to come! I'll get used to it I hope. Well the good news is: we're in March so the weather could only be better and better. And I'm never too far from LA neither.
Interesting cause it's noon and some peeps in my team have a visit planned at noon. From where I sit I can see them. They're waiting in front of the entry door of the building. We arrived together actually and it was 11:30a. Haha they wait there in front of the door from half an hour! Strange behavior for me. I hate waiting first (probably like everyone else). But the second thing is: if you visit a flat in a new city and you arrived 30min in advance; take the opportunity to walk around and discover your possible future neighborhood. Look at the people, walk, enter into shops, order a coffee etc. Especially since on my mind the location is worth more than half when I judge an apartment. Anyway; their style; their flat so I don't care; it's just a funny situation from my point of view.
I'm sit down at a terrace of cool kinda coffee. I say 'kinda' cause it's not a coffee shop per se. It's more like a mix b/w a tiny bio-supermarket and a bio-restaurant. I think the flowers shop just next to it is owned by them too. So the atmosphere is cool. I ordered a bio juice pretty original and apparently it's locally sourced (and it's super good!). I've to ask the brand. But the context is beautiful. Nice terrace w/ wood tables and chairs, a lot of flowers, crates, some straw... The atmosphere is b/w a farm and your beautiful garden. It doesn't look like super original for Berlin in fact. I've the feeling that I've seen other places like this one in the city. But for sure I haven't seen a lot them somewhere else.
In Paris, London, LA, Spore, Barcelona... the type of coffee shops where people meet and tend to like are way more hipster-like. Funny cause you start to see those type of coffee shops everywhere around the world and... they all look the same! You have a lot of them of course here; but I've also seen stuff like that in more exotic cities like Bangkok, Jakarta, Mexico, Oaxaca...
Well they're a bit right for sure when they say that city centers around the world tend to all look the same; with the same coffee chains (welcome Starbuck); fastfoods (welcome McDonald, Burger King and cie.); hipster-like shops; fashion brands (welcome Levis, Zara, H&M and cie... + their luxury part w/ Louis Vuitton, Hermes, Dior and so on). Which unfortunately leads to the same people.
My friends got into the building and I've just seen them on the balcony at the top. Hmm the flat seems good; well, high at least, and big cause I've seen them on two different balconies. I hope it's good inside. I look forward to listening to them about it.
It's a beautiful day.
"Bitch, bring Softpacks oder Shisha
Chille mit' ner Messe-Hostess von der IFA"
- Shindy, "Nikotin & Alkohol"
March 5th. I'm in Berlin. I finally found a shisha bar. I don't know its name oh yep Marrakech I think but written in a german way it should be 'Marrakesch'. I like the oriental atmosphere; the smell especially. It reminds me the one I used to go (hell a lot!) when I lived in Paris 9th district. I always liked shisha bars; 'lounge' as they say; I don't know why they put that word 'lounge' everywhere; it's funny. It's probably due to the sofa all around; maybe because it's kinda bars where you just lay down on the sofa in this sort of way where you're half sleeping half dreaming. It's not hard wood chairs where you have to sit straight.
Anyway the 'Apfel' shisha I ordered is good. I have my fresh mint tea but it's too hot to be drunk. I never succeed to drink too hot beverages I've to wait. So I'm thinking and dreaming mostly; look outside too. I picked up the sit near the large window in order to contemplate the street outside. I always loved contemplate people going through their lives like this. It's night already cause it's 7:15p here. It's raining; something common for a place like Berlin at this period of the year as far as I understood it. People are funny outside; they seem to be in a rush; there are a lot of traffic jam; probably due to the time; peeps leave work and go back home massively I guess. I don't speak german yet so I dont understand the words in front of me like 'Feinkost' 'Reinigung Reinigung' 'Bucher'; well I know Bucher in fact; it means Books. I love bookstores I've to go there at the end of the week (we're Wednesday, well, I think).
Weird I'm not sure which day we are in. We work all the time so I'm pretty lost in the week. And we don't sleep that much nowadays so the schedule in the day is a bit special; I didn't have lunch per se and I'm not hungry for a dinner. Anyway I also think that smoking make me loose the appetite. I've to keep that in mind; being more tactic regarding the time I smoke and the time I've to go out to eat. Hmm I've to ask this 'lounge' bar when they close too. I'm alone. (nb: it's 4:42a and I checked; we're b/w thursday and friday; well technically we're Friday super early)
Peeps in my team don't like shisha apparently; they don't smoke also. They're probably right. I came with my current book consequently. I used to read one book a week back in the great old days; probably succeed to keep that pace for years; I'm particularly proud of this timing during my time in Spore. I'm reading a Bret Easton Ellis book named Lunar Park; in french unfortunately. It was a gift for my GF but she doesn't like it. Well funny enough she didn't give it a try yet so she only supposes she doesn't like it; I've to force her to try at least.
On my side it's the third book I read from that author. I discovered him when I was in school and read 'Moins que zero' in french... dont know the title in english; oh here it is: Less than Zero; I felt in love at first sight; then I instantly bought the second one named Imperial Bedrooms. And bang; another love. I didn't know LA at that time but I thought about those books a lot when I was there last year. I love that city; it's completely different from what I know but I love it. Interesting fact is that I spend most of the year 2014 there and... I don't have my driving licence; yep it means that (a) you can enjoy that city w/o a car and (b) you can even live it w/o a car. Most people don't think it's possible. The thing in my case is that I love cycling so it didn't bother me to ride for an hour to go somewhere. And when you go out at night Uber is the perfect friend there; reliable pretty cheap (I mean compared to cabs elsewhere) and the experience is pretty good so at the end of the day I'm not convinced a car is absolutely necessary in LA.
Well back in Berlin; back to this 'Marrakesch' 'lounge' bar. It's funny cause they're a lot of peeps around me who seem to come from arabic country but they speak german b/w each other. I guess it's normal but still it's funny to notice. As a french guy who lived in Asia and the US I didn't get used to that mix. In this type of environment I truly and sincerely love our world. So many places, people, languages and everyone live among each other; I'm optimistic in this kinda atmosphere. It makes me think humans are great.
Argh I hate typing on my phone, it's horrible, I make a lot of typo. Note for later: bring your laptop to write! Especially since writing is one of my goal for this year 2015; I already wrote about that.
Haha cool; the guy next to me starts to sing in arabic. I love that sound; that music; wave! I've really the feeling to be somewhere else now. It's still common life outside. Oh I'm impressed for few days w/ one thing here: there are a lot of bikes despite the weather, this freaking cold weather I should say. It's like more than a hundred bikes which passed by in front of me since I started typing this (ie 10min. max right).
I see 5 cars packed in front of me. In that order: BMW, BMW, Mercedes, Mercedes, Audi. Welcome in Germany!
Yippee my tea is getting colder so I can start drinking it. It's good; it doesn't taste like real traditional one tho but still, it's pleasant. Let's enjoy it and go back to the book. Oh I have to ask for new charcoail.
"It's all about the motherfucking money
It's all about the motherfucking money
It's all about the motherfucking money
It's all about the motherfucking money"
- Troy Ave, "All About The Money"
I'm always fascinated by one thing: how fast and easy we notice and consequently criticize some behaviors and/or ideas and/or you name it in other people but not in ourselves (we don't even see them in ourselves).
The thing here for me isn't the election in Mexico and if yes or not it's scandalous that some mexican peeps accept money to vote for X or Y; no the thing is: actually how money make everyone do anything. And sometimes (most of the time?) money makes people do really really stupid (or bad) things. The irony in that story? Most of the people don't even realize that they follow the money in their daily life!
I see everyday most of us spending our time, our energy, our brain, ressources for... companies, institutions that kill the planet, kill animals, create poverty and the list goes on. Nevertheless I dare to assume that most of us aren't bad people, we aren't evil (I hope). So why the hell do we spend most of our lives to create such bad outcomes?
One word I guess: money!
Chris Langan in Outliers (I recommend) talks like this: "Harvard is basically a glorified corporation, operating with a profit incentive. That's what makes it tick. It has an endowment in the billions of dollars. The people running it are not necessarily searching for truth and knowledge. They want to be big shots, and when you accept a paycheck from these people, it is going to come down to what you want to do and what you feel is right versus what the man says you can do to receive another paycheck. When you're there, they got a thumb right on you. They are out to make sure you don't step out of line.".
Yep the example is not even about a bank, an oil corporation or a big food company; nope it's even about one of the most popular university in the world. Still, money buys most of us!
"Yeah, this is how to kill God
Holocaust, Crusades, Zionism, Jihad
Yeah, this is how to kill God
Racism, sexism, every ism is a schism"
- Apollo Brown & Ras Kass, "How To Kill God"
For a week I can't think about anything else: why, what, how some peeps around us are lead to kill some others? I'm not talking about the instant-brutal-animal-survival-mode-kinda-gut killing; I'm talking about the one you think in advance, the one you plan, the one you meticulously execute because you're victim is only this or that (put anything here like skin color, religion, nationality, family...).
Is it the fear of the other only? the misery (not only financial but also intellectual, psychological, physical you name it)? I realized this week that a big majority of fanatic killers (no matter under which fanaticism they lie) are become fanatics (ie they weren't initially). They have been trained to, indoctrinated. Why? How has been there any empty space in their mind to get infected? Worse: how to be sure that we'll never be such a victim, how? Education? Happiness? What if people could be immune to such a tragedy?
I'd love to hear read talk about create such a debate. In fact I'm sure we should manage a massive one, this is our duty, our citizen duty. If we wanna leave in peace, leave free in a democracy, in the secularism, we must ask identify and understand how to never ever fall into any -ism.
Fuck... I wanna cry scream howl shout out...
"Bitch, I'm a monster, no-good blood-sucker
Fat motherfucker - now look who's in trouble"
- Kanye West, "Monster"
I just read a book about tattoos (in french) and it rose a point in my head: some topics seem to be way to vast to be explained by words. And to my mind tattoos are an example. I've a real problem when someone says: here I'll tell you why X or Y. The thing is: most of the time the explanation is way too simplified.
I wonder wether the simple fact to put words on something simplify it right away and by itself. It's not a big deal when this thing is simple like 'how does the rain work' but when the thing is 'why people take drugs' or in our example right now 'why people get tattoos' the answer is automatically (a) for the best: a part of the global one and (b) for the worst: a lie.
I've this feeling nowadays that everyone tries to explain everything. And honestly I don't know why; well I probably imagine some possible reasons but I certainly don't have the global one. Actually if you're honest when you write and then publish a book regarding the reason why modern western societies get tattoos; you shouldn't say 'here is the book to understand why' but 'here is a book w/ inside some reasons' (which instantly means not all of them).
At that point I start to wonder about the intellectual honesty in our world.
Well if you're interesting in tattoos and specifically on the reasons why some people put something on their skin, this book could eventually be a part of the answer (at least for westerners); but if you really wanna dig deeper into that world I also suggest to follow The Tattoorialist (and they also have a book); to read that story for ex.; watch that micro-film... ahem sorry that f***** piece of art etc… etc…
I love writing. The thing is: I'm bad at it. Disclosure: the feeling to love something and at the same time be bad at it is weird. Interesting tho but still, it's weird. Anyway, back to our subject. I'm pretty proud of one thing actually, back in the super early days of 2013 (it was around the same period I remember, i.e Xmas, back then I was based in Singapore) I succeed to write and even publish a blog post everyday during something like 1.5 months (maybe two but I'm not really sure exactly). And you know what; it made me feel good. So good that I promised myself to start again this experience one day.
Here we are. I think it's a good period. We say that we need to make the same thing during 30 days to start to make it a habit frankly I don't know but in my own experience: it's wrong. Well even brushing my teeth isn't a habit for me although my mum forced me to do it few times a day non-stop for many many years. Anyway, writing makes me feel good (maybe great) and I hope that I could succeed to dedicate some time everyday to practice (I still hope to become good at it one day). And I know something else: you can be good at anything by practicing.
So, 2015. I won't try to publish everyday; once every two days will be good enough. I know it'll force me to write everyday and I'm already happy. And this time I target way more than 2 months. I'd like to write all along the year. This type of resolution or experience or test (whatever you call it) makes me think about the ones Emi makes for a while. I'm impressed so I give it a try right away.
It was funny for me to read the following this morning cause I experience today my first black friday in the US. I was astonished yesterday morning (on Thursday) when I noticed in front of the Best Buy near our offices at least a dozen of tents queuing (cause apparently the store opened at midnight)... well, nothing more to say.
Here is pure sarcasm like I love, enjoy:
This is just a friendly reminder to take today and give thanks to those who matter most in your life: the 40%-off Flat Screen TVs, the 2-in-1 Toaster Ovens and the buy-one-get-one-free deal on ultra-absorbent dish towels. Be grateful for all of the amazing deals and discounts our society has afforded us today. Give thanks for all of the annoying and repetitive Christmas decorations that have been up since September. For this is the day to take a moment to think back on all of the ways your mass-produced consumer products have blessed you this past year. Where would you be without them?
This weekend I went to Downtown LA and walked a lot (we even enjoyed a free tour; I recommend it's pretty cool, really architecture and history oriented).
Look at this pic for a minute. What do you see?
Yep I agree, first thing to notice is this great piece of street art from How and Nosm. I even must admit that it's really representative of the atmosphere of that neighborhood, at least part of it. And that's also why I love it.
But there is something else, super important too, to look at in this pic. Nobody is in the street! I mean no pedestrian. Yes I know it could only be a random fact in that context but actually I can ensure you that it's the case most of the time. We really walked all afternoon long, and a Saturday one, and we were surprised to be alone on the sidewalk 90% of the time.
On the contrary, some part of the streets were crowded. Then I've had this thought, this feeling (that my american friends confirmed): here people go to a specific point mostly by car. Let's call it The point A. They park the car and enjoy their time around. Then if they wanna go to The point B, they go back to the car, drive there, and park it again, and so on so forth. The funny thing is that sometimes, the point B is only few miles away or even less from the point A. And in this case, as an european person, you instantaneously think 'let's reach it by walking' but no, not here.
The side effect is that if you're walking around downtown you're gonna go through 'desert' spots. Cool ones tho, w/ a really special atmosphere in the air, but still, no one is around. That's a shame to me cause at the same time, this city, these streets, have so much to offer...