OH EM GEE

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I’m half a century old. This birthday is painless and carefree.  If I’d  lived during the pioneer days or the Byzantine Era I’d be dead already.  Now I’m eligible for some mature person discount and the fun will be finding out where and when I can explore these perks. My mom says when I was born she was scared to take me home from the hospital  and my Auntee Lover came over and gave me a bath.  This simple statement reminds me we are  all so lucky to be loved and cared for. Nothing has changed.  I feel like I can live forever  and I bathe in the notion that this life is not read thru.  My birthday wish is this “To rock steady and keep closer God like qualities in my heart and think clearly with my big ol head” I might not party like a Rock star but  its been fun trying.  Ziajian

Foiled in Frankfurt

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Lufthansa pilot says “we are diverting to another airport”. Apparently the weather was so bad all flights grounded.  My Swede passenger and I were suspicious. Both of us had come from harsher climates “Terrorist threats?” Two hours later waiting on the tarmac, we leave for Frankfurt. Long story short I got meal and hotel voucher to spend the night. This will be only the 2nd time I’ve stayed in Germany. Angela Merkel has been  chancellor here for at least 10 years. I know very little but the Germans say she “okay” (I asked a few people while waiting in line) I also  found out the Mega Panama canal is open (more people in line). I took pics back in Dec. 2013 and story back then was the Chinese were running out of money to finish it.  Not much has change with German food. Pickled, sour and bread type food  still same. Euro strong, dollar weaker. Played with makeup, perfumes and sunglasses at duty free and learned a little about caviar. If anyone ever asks me what kind of roe I’d like I will say “Imperial of course” But I thought caviar was a Russian thing? Oh well Auf wiedesen

Oops Forgot Malaysia

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There is debate in Malaysia. This country conveys that religion is freedom of choice  and it’s people can choose. Someone else said “if you are born here you are Muslim” I would agree that Penang is Asia’s equivalent to Silicon Valley. High rises million dollar condos and a stream of Ferrari cars race past me while I’m on the bus.  Lush jungle rain forest landscape makes me jealous. Motorbike madness is here too. A bright pink building compound looked benign but alas the barb coiled wire confirmed it’s a prison. The locals say it’s rough too and prisoners in The Americas are in hotels compared to here.  The straits of Malacca is one of the most important trade routes. My penangite  guide made me homesick “you know the song ‘When I’m sixty four’?” “Well its gonna be my birthday” He started singing and I started crying, happy tears of course. All the same things are shared that make us happy. I am grateful for this month long journey and realize I still have so much to feel hear and taste. Thank you Asia for all your gifts. Ziajian

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Sweden and Sampo

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This is a Swedish Finland heavy metal  band. It has a few meanings “Storm and drive” or Storm and Stress. Finland has one of the greatest number of death metal bands, who knew?  Swedish fish Ikea and meatballs is what I initially think of. We talked our driver in to taking us to Sweden last night extra 50 €. We drank cider and Irish table whiskey. He drank Fanta Orange. Zero tolerance here in Sweden and Finland etoh level 0.05. The driver shared that  3 out 5 top formula 1 drivers are Finnish. Kemi Finland bought Sampo the ice breaker ship from the Finnish government in 1987 for today’s equivalent of 125k euro (deal). It was going to be sold to Russia for scrap metal.  And now it’s strictly for tourism. Several rivers run into the Baltic Sea so it’s not so salty and water forms into ice. We put on the red survivor suits and floated in the ocean and it’s was not as cold as I thought and the water tasted more like creek river stream water then briny ocean. I felt peaceful and relaxed and the suits do really protect you. They have Sauna on the ship but not for guests. One person lives on Sampo and the ship was built in 1961. They give you a “Diplomi” for Artic operations and it’s signed by the Captain.  Ahoy Mate.

Where Are They…The Men.

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I remember the segment on Alaskan men  and what was said after loads of gals arrived there with their stuff.  ” The odds are good..but the goods are a little odd.”  Here in Lapland they like calm and quiet. The men here are hearty to say the least. I observed men doing the following; reaching into fires to adjust burning logs, cooking and fetching water (frozen lake and axe).  Chopping wood and starting a fire so quickly. And offering coffee in one fell swoop. I  took an informal survey and found out there are plenty of singles here. To apply one must like wide open spaces, the cold and working hard Every single day. Beautiful names “Aiva, Santos and Opi” do not begin to describe their solid mass and strength. You will be safe because they read tracks ” rabbit, reindeer and red fox” Bears? “No they are sleeping now…no worries”  beautiful faces and love of nature make them attractive but the courtesy and kindness make them special. These guys aren’t pleasure seekers, living here provides that. They are low key and content. They are asking for the same.  When you apply tell them the Mexican sent you. Ole haavya

Lapland Challenge and Feats

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OMGI what did I sign up for. 2 days of husky sledding which meant falling…a lot.  Watching dogs go at like some couples I know, either f.ing or fighting. The guide introduced himself ” My nom  is Visa like the card I’ll be your guide. He gave us gear, a short lesson and off we went. I fell 1st and the 6 dogs kept running.  Heart beating so hard I heard it in my eardrums.  Although I had no regrets I began to realize that this was not for everybody.  Unfortunately (I won’t go into details)  we lost a dog (died) and the  3 females in heat created such a stir that breaking up dog fights became a routine. I would  yell in my harshest tone and the more blood I saw I had to  use something substantial to avoid further harm. I would pull off a branch tree switch and with all my might try to  break up the fights. Sometimes I could but the  pitch blackness made me really scared  and my head  lamp worked but in 35 below it’d freeze. I been bitten before..no thanks. The guide  helped  but only if he realize I’d fallen behind.  Then I remembered Visa  saying  theses dogs were more like a pack of wolves than pack of dogs. I had nothing to compare this to and writing about this has helped. I have a healthy respect for mother nature even in  its  cruelest moments, it  had defined me to be initially pro-active  then have my emotional collapse later. I wish to thank my true friend Cynthia who was with me and Visa the guide. I just didn’t want to cry. May the beautiful husky go quickly to dog heaven. Amen.

Helsinki

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Hell maybe hot but here is not. Observation led me to believe a few things. During winter with double digit negative temperatures the Fins get by with very little. One approached me and was frank, he pointed to my ensemble and said “it’s too much and I am from here.”   Diners looking out the window would tap their companion as to indicate to look at the passers-by.  I did not care because I was warm and planning on staying outside for hours.  Sardines and lovely jams do well for sustenance. You can have open bottles of booze in public. Saunas are ubiquitous. Sweden once occupied Finland then the Russians had a go at it.  Then around  1918 Finland came into its own, a relatively new country.  The language with its  multiple meanings and maximize use of the umlaut is an auditory treat.
Its a tongue twister without being harsh   KUSSI KITTOS and Terveuloa. Hei hei  moi moi are easy but ruisvalipalanakkileipa and suklaapatukka are not. I close my eyes to listen.  To me it’s the most lilting diaphanous language I’ve heard.  Next stop Lapland. A local said there is nothing out there, I beg to differ because it’s all new to me.

Lufthansa and the Spaniard.

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Ah the trappings of economy class flight. “Ein grosse bier” wine and champagne all complementary…Thank goodness because the gal in front is determine to recline her seat to  the max. If she reclines anymore it will result on girl girl action… The last time I was on a lufthansa flight I was 16 years old. My wise grandparents offered to help me get a car (freedom) or go to Germany  (opportunity of a lifetime).  Culture shock took place quickly.  A flaxen German goddess sitting on the floor at the Munich airport rolling tobacco.  I was familiar with rolled Marijuana joints so I was confused. Then the topless beaches.  My grandma tugged me hard and said ” don’t even think it”. I was in Deutsche heaven. Mailmen  had long hair, unshaven armpits and  Marienplatz.  The best memory was the pairing of me and some Spanish girl. She spoke German and Spanish and I English. We rode the underground  to meet up with her brother whose soccer team won some title.  And what a celebration it was. I was sixteen years old and all that is implied, to drink “Lyon’s brew” with a sea of young buff sweaty  men.  But not me.  I  was fascinated with the Spanish gal because she was my age, spoke two languages and could care less about the revelry. She was sophisticated and I was impressed with how she handled the beer laden barbarians.  And this time I’m impressed that nothing has changed in economy except better movies. Bitte please.

Getting by On the Fly

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I read a while ago  a brief excerpt  about a man seeking spirituality.  As  he went into seclusion he took very little,  one pencil, pad of paper,  and towel and  said these items lasted him a year. The people in the town provided him with food. I get it, having moved several times these past years, less is more.  And it is a spiritual thing because I reflect on the kindness of others. I got a tv on loan and foam top used on the air mattress. The TV stand is my luggage.  Blow up chair deflates easily so the perpetual camping continues but in an 2 bedroom apartment. Side note the company “homes for rent” did a bait and switch on me. Promised me a 1 bedroom, arrived back to Porterville California, “it’s not available anymore…whatever.  It’s sparse which allows other things to occupy my mind like thoughts and feelings of space. And peacefulness. No microwave either but I’m not that altruistic I have washer dryer in unit. I save the chopsticks from take out and they double for cooking utensils and stemware. One beautiful glass and bowl. I have a portable cook top “convection induction thing you see on TV ” it works nicely and is named after the 80’s.  Nuwave.  At the end of  13  weeks I’ll do this again. In another part of the country. I often hear people say “I can’t do without my (fill in the blank)..” they’re right but I’m not wrong either. In the end all its ever about is  choices.