EIC 2018-10-01T16:53:06+00:00

Death: Double Trouble

The Experience One day, as I was in the street outside a military hospital with a Congolese coworker, we saw many bikers drive by with music and yelling. I got scared and asked him what was going on: - They are celebrating someone’s death. - Wow! It’s so festive! I reacted. - Yes, we have to lionize the dead all night long and most of all respect their last requests! Upon dying, a person will provide his or her instructions for his death party. For example, my mother has already chosen her casket, the music and the guests! It’s going to cost me so much! - It’s like a wedding! - Sometimes we even fear someone’s death because we know it’ll be expensive! - It’s funny because in France, for us, we can long for someone’s death because we can potentially inherit from them. I checked up on [...]

November 22nd, 2018|Uncategorized|

We are not Mortals

The Experience So I found one ecotourism company who offers tours with bikes. Bikes and Hikes LA. We did West Hollywood and Beverly Hills by bike. I should have known "hills" meant “climbing" and with the heat, it was quite tough. My daughter Emilia got sick and had to take electrolytes; and my bike chain fell of twice, but it was worth the effort and the money. And do you know why there aren't any hospitals and cemeteries in Beverly Hills? Because its residents or visitors shouldn't be reminded of their mortality... As if one could avoid that?!! I was shocked. Place Shared on Facebook from Los Angeles, California, USA Date 2016 Who Talks Since she moved to California, Nathalie has set upThis Way to LA, that offers walks in the city (and outside) in collaboration with Via Americana, an organization she created [...]

November 22nd, 2018|Dying|

The Value of Life

The Experience Today at work, we got wind of some sad news. A colleague, in charge of the production, died last night in a motorcycle accident. At first, I didn’t quite get what was going on: I saw people gathering in small groups, saddened faces. Then a coworker came up to me to explain. The news ripped my heart out. I didn’t know this man very well, but seeing the whole of the factory (about 200 people) in tears, comforting one another shook me up. Especially since it reminded me the death of a close friend under similar circumstances. Little by little, the machines shut down, the lights turned off, the bustling of the production lines ceased. For a second there, I thought we were about to observe a minute in silence. In reality it went beyond. Our boss decided to close down the factory for the day. [...]

November 22nd, 2018|Dying|

La mort, et si on en riait?

The Experience "In Mexico, the people proudly claim that death is not taboo: they talk about it, they celebrate it. Catrinas: thin female skeletons with pretty dresses and beautiful hats, remind us that we are all equal in the face of death. Rich or poor, primed or raggedy, it takes us all one day or another. I take a closer look at them on the altar. I am impressed with the precision in the details. How much time do the artists spend on these works of arts? In the end, I’m not so sure Mexicans are that laid back about death. At this point, it looks more like an obsession." Place Morelia, Mexique Date 2009 Who Talks Marine, a French national, has been living in Mexico for a year. She is perpetually astonished by her misunderstanding of the ways of each [...]

November 19th, 2018|Dying|

Crashing a Funeral

The Experience Five tourists (one South African, one Russian, one Spanish, one French, and me, surely the only Bosnian in Cambodia) on our bikes, alongside the Mekong river, for two days. We ride through “isolated” villages or at least villages where tourists don’t come often. The Cambodian people are very warm and welcoming. All the villagers say hello to us, with big smiles. The children run behind us… Our jaw is actually hurting from all the smiling, but our joy is immense. We gladly play along and answer back “HELLO”. To ride a bike on muddy roads paved with a thousand potholes is quite tiring, hunger strikes fast. Here’s the deal though, Cambodia is a poor country and as soon as you sidestep the tourist routes, it becomes hard to find a ‘restaurant’. After an hour or two, we come across a place that could very well be [...]

November 19th, 2018|Dying|

The Right to Silence

The experience A few years back, I was lucky enough to explore Japan. I remember traveling in the public bus in the city of Kyoto and getting a call on my phone. After about a minute of conversation, I realized that - even though the bus was almost packed - the only sound around was my own. A bit shameful, I hung up quickly and struggled to shyfully blurt out excuses in English to the Japanese woman sitting next to me. Luckily, not only did she understand English, but with sweet compassion, she told me that in her culture, there was such a thing as a right to silence. This explained why no one would take a call (except for emergencies) in public transportation. These particular conversations do in fact interrupt the public silence owed to the inhabitants of this millenary city. This is one of the best [...]

October 9th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Sweet Andean Awakenings

The Experience In Turkey, it was the call to prayer, in Reading (England), the soft drizzle of rain down the windows… In Medellin (Colombia), waking up is rather intense: by 6:30 am, street vendors selling fruits and vegetables, mops, newspapers, masamora*, flowers and more, swarm the streets. This is dedicated to my friend, the aguacateeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee madurooooooooooooo** vendor. Sure, the first few days, you’re a bit grumpy, atop your 11th floor, you point down your finger, but in time, you get used to it and come to cherish your little street vendors, mainly when you dawn on the heat in which they work! You cherish them almost to the point that I would climb out of bed to buy a few of his aguacates… * Columbian Porridge ** ripe avocado Medellin, Colombia, 2012 Who talks Flo, is a French national who works [...]

October 9th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Best Choice Ever

The experience What struck me most was when we ordered a coffee in Australia and the waiters replied, sincerely: "Wonderful, amazing, best choice ever!" They were systematically very enthusiastic. Their culture is very enthusiastic. Our French friends on site confirmed that it is indeed very Australian to be enthusiastic about everything. They’ve lived there for six years and in the beginning they didn’t understand the ways to go about things. Everything is awesome, amazing, and when it’s just awesome, things are really bad it turns out. Emilie, my French friend, reported back to her direct superior about her intern with wom things weren’t going well. She proceeded to share what was wrong and for what reason. She then witnessed her boss review her intern and according to her, none of what she had shared was rendered… “Great, amazing” or I don’t know what. In some ways it’s nice [...]

October 1st, 2018|Premières impressions|

Beware of the Evil-Eye

The experience A nazar is an eye-shaped amulet believed to protect against the evil eye. In Turkey, I saw some outside people's homes, in a car, or even on a plane the Turkish airline Fly Air used the nazar as their logo on the tailfins of their aircrafts... (but that didn't stop it from going under). But enough with my Western skepticism. The more I got used to the nazar, it's literally everywhere, the more I liked its colors, look, even the message behind. So I bought a fat stylish one for our home in Paris. Real proud of myself I showed it to some Turkish friends. I was almost telling them, look how Turkish I've become... Not. They felt bad for me. "A nazar is only effective if it is offered to you, Eleonore, not if you buy it for yourself". - Really? I understood then why [...]

September 30th, 2018|Premières impressions, Uncategorized|

Stop Smiling so Much

The experience In Ekaterinburg, I met a young lady who was looking to practice English and we spent a few hours wandering the city. When people walked by, they'd stare at me balefully and then shake their heads and look away. I finally asked her, "did I grow a second head or something?!" "No," she said, "you're SMILING. So they think you're insane." She explained that when she was 10, her mother told her to stop smiling so much because people would think she had lost her mind.  Though Canadians have a rep for being nice, we aren't known for smiling as much as our USA counterparts. Interesting piece about the cultural aspects of our facial cues, and how they don't always go over well in other countries. Ekaterinburg, Russia Who talks Jodi Ettenberg (Canadian) is an award-winning writer and public [...]

September 30th, 2018|Premières impressions|

Indian Standard Time

L'experience Il me semble que les Hindous prennent en considération un temps plus long que le nôtre. Pour eux, la vie humaine est un cycle (réincarnation), de même que l'univers : il est crée par Brahma, maintenu par Vishnou, puis détruit par Shiva. Ce cycle se répète infiniment : il n'a ni début, ni fin. Comme cela avait été évoqué une fois, en cours, cela veut dire qu'un jour dans la vie humaine n'est rien dans l'océan temporel de l'univers. C'est peut-être pour cette raison que j'ai constaté que les Indiens sont souvent en retard, et qu'ils prennent beaucoup de temps à réaliser une tâche précise. Par exemple, je devais régulièrement aller à la poste pour envoyer des documents officiels, parce qu'étrangement, les femmes ont le droit de couper la queue, et sur les nombreux guichets disponibles pour envoyer le courrier, un seul était ouvert, ce qui avait bien sûr pour conséquence de créer une immense [...]

June 13th, 2018|LE RAPPORT AU TEMPS|

Une idée de l’heure

L'experience Dans une escale touristique près d’un village d’Indiens Tarahumara, on souhaite savoir si on a le temps de faire le tour du lac qu’on trouve magnifique. On s’adresse à des locaux pour savoir si une heure pour faire le tour du lac est suffisante. On aurait dû se douter en analysant la tête qu’ils ont fait « genre je réfléchis», qu’ils n’avaient aucune notion du temps qui passe. Au bout de 45 min de marche nous avons dû faire demi-tour car on commençait à se rendre compte de la taille réelle du lac... Comment des personnes vivant sans contraintes d’horaires auraient pu nous donner des indications de durée fiables? Creel, Mexique, 2010 Qui raconte Alexandre, (Français), ingénieur, la trentaine, découvre le Mexique avec un mélange d’entrain et d’étonnement. T'en penses quoi? Marine: "Alors qu’il y en a qui chronomètrent à la [...]

June 13th, 2018|LE RAPPORT AU TEMPS|