Noi6 means "the 6 of us" in Romanian.

We are five, you are the sixth one.

We thank you for joining us in our trip around the world...

Monday, April 30, 2012

Camping in the Outback

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From the sky, the land around Alice Springs is red. A bit rusty of a color. It melts into a purple for a few inches, and then turns into a hazy blue— the clouds. It looks beautiful from the sky.

As we approach the ground, you can start seeing the green. There seems to be more green than I'd been expecting from the air.

We land in Alice Springs and Dad heads off to rent the jeep that will serve as our transportation vehicle for the next six days. There's a tent in a duffel bag in the back that will serve as bedroom.


The Red Center

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In Melbourne Airport, we are waiting to embark on our flight to Alice Springs. Christina Perri is also in Australia and performs live on the morning show the first song ever to be dedicated to an anatomopathologist "Jar of Hearts". We love the song - it's a good start on a Monday morning. We are excited, despite the early hour, we will soon be in the wild Australian outback.

A few hours later, as the plane starts descending into Alice we are passing through multiple layers of clouds. The land is green, some tracks are red, but there are plenty of puddles of water. Why is it all so green, what is it with all this vegetation? We were supposed to arrive in the desert! We will learn later that they have a wet year like this every 30 years. It is not unusual not to have rain for 3-5 years. Also the temperatures, up to 44 in the summer have dropped to 20-25 during the day and 6-9 degrees at night.


Middle of Australia, on the left

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There is life after Uluru. It is called King’s Canyon, in Watarrka National Park and we walked around it. 


You walk on some ground and think: this is a beach, this is a hill, this is a mountain, taking your cues from around: sea and sand, grassy or wooded area gently curving upward, or rocks. Do you slow down enough to think what was before? In the King’s Canyon you can see that it use to be a sea, then a sandy dessert, then mountains that eroded slowly to the hills of today. Do you think I’m making it up? I have proof, it is written in stone! 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Videos

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So, I made a couple videos with the Hong Kong footage. The first one has a song by Roxette called "Fireworks" and it's about Hong Kong in general.



The second one has a song by Daisy Dares You called "Number One Enemy" and it's about the Chinese New Year parade.



Enjoy!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Uluru

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Uluru? Where’s that? What would we do there? Why would we want to see a rock in the middle of the desert?

Sunrise at Uluru, with the Kata Tjuta in the left background
Aborigine is the name of one tribe of native Australians, the only one that stayed, though there are numerous tribes. The ones who live in this area call themselves Anangu and speak two languages. Their hair, black and curly at birth, becomes blond when they are 5 of 6 years old, and slowly turns black toward adulthood.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Uluru

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Uluru is everything. It is a "big rock in the middle of nowhere" to most everybody that only heard about it. It is also the oldest cathedral ever built, the oldest still in service, the place of all past, present and future creation of the universe and any living being. It is a story book written in stone and every little indentation has an explanation, but only very few people know it. It is a maternity ward, a nursery and a school, a place for countless religious functions, a spa resort for families, the orchard of the desert, the refuge for trees and animals and the ultimate source of water in times of drought. It is everything.




Monday, April 23, 2012

Melbourne, in a bit less glory

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Melbourne. It's a masculine apartment with one dark gray wall, dark gray carpeting… dark gray tile in the bathroom and open kitchen… there are black shades over the windows to stop too much sun from coming in. The granite countertops are black.

On the first day we actually took out our red Marmots and hung them up on a chair just to brighten up the space.

There are enough beds for six people, but Ioan elects to sleep on one of the couches instead of bringing out the folding single bed.

We watch TV. The person here has a collection of movies (almost none of which we find interesting-looking at all), which includes Ghost Town (Ricky Gervais, Tea Leoni; a man going in for a routine operation dies for seven minutes while under general anaesthetic, and finds he can see ghosts)… and some Pierce Brosnan movie with the… Vietnam war? I didn't watch it, so I don't know. Rest assured though, I heard a great deal of gunshots, groaning, etc, and I read the back of the DVD cover, so I know enough to be able to say why I didn't want to watch it.

It's a pretty big city, this. We generally walk to the tram station,

Melbourne

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I love the time spent in an airport! You have to be there waaaay ahead of your flight, so you have time to spare, to peruse the stores, see what’s new, to go through security and count how many times you can go through the scanner with your iPod nano clipped on, to find your gate and a block to park yourself and your whole family and luggage. If the airport has windows on that side, you can see the take-off or the landing of a different flight. It is the quiet time before a storm of new experiences ...
Looking at all the possibilities of transportation to our apartment, Mihai felt confident to take the train. After finding out where to buy tickets, and which tickets (for two hours of for the whole day) and where to change the trains, we boarded one. The children were out from schools and they were migrating in their groups, girls giggling and primped up, boys slurping from sodas and with clothes in a disarray. People talk loud, I can follow their conversation and their accent tickles me.
We walk on the streets in the Prahran neighborhood, looking in the shop’s windows, at how people dress... We meet with the owner of our apartment and she explains everything that we need to know. It is a nice one bedroom apartment, furnished in a masculine style, with a large balcony. We like it so much that we don’t want to leave it. This is a problem that slowly grows on us: the moment we find a clean new house, we just want to stay there, away from the crowds, from the touristic objectives, from the options of restaurants and their choices of food, away from each other. Yes, we find a spot only for our own self and with a book or headphones, we are free to be in our own world. But it can’t last... Mihai wants to see!
Prahran market is THE market, a covered space with natural lighting in which there are different vending spaces, according to their ethnicities. Greek food with olives, tszaziki, hummus and bread; French pastries and cheeses; Italian ravioli and vegetarian lasagna mingled with stalls of vegetables and fruits, flowers, candles and soap, seeds, and wine and beer. The meat and fish were in a different part, enticing you to buy from their beds of crushed ice or their illuminated trays. This is the place to buy your vegetarian burgers, next to the real ones! In this market you can have a massage, or do your manicure, or take a picture with the owner of a shop and get a free cheese!


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Old People Should Move Faster

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"Old people should move faster because they have less time left!" Ileana, my daughter, tells me that every now and then and we both start laughing. And laughing. And laughing. The whole show was full of stupid jokes like that but three of us had a wonderful time, sitting for two hours on the pavement in the Federation Square. It was the International Comedy Festival in Melbourne. Maria and Ileana Ruxandra walked along the river banks or read on a park bench.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Titanic World

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We saw "Titanic", the movie, in 3D. On an IMAX-3D screen, the third largest in the world, with the height of a seven stories building. The installation had 15000 watts, but I don't know if that is for the projector or the sound system, or both.



Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hawaii

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Blog about Hawai’i. (I don’t actually like that apostrophe, so I’ll start again.)
Blog about Hawaii. (There, better.)
So we hopped on a plane from New Zealand and reached Sydney, Australia, where there was a free internet station with four computers and no chairs. I stood on my feet for well over an hour, checking my Facebook, my email, my deviantArt, and could’ve stayed much longer had there not been a person waiting for me to get off. But in the end, I solved all those little things that had been saying, “Ileana… come to us… reply to all your comments… read those poems… favorite these pictures…” The only thing that I couldn’t do with those computers was to upload my pictures to dA, because they were on our computer. The one that is never, ever connected to internet, and if it is, then the internet is too weak to upload so many photographs. It’s not so bad, though. There are only 80 photos crying to see the World Wide Web, and six people who will definitely see them, not to mention the innumerable passerby’s that say, “Oh pretty! I will favorite this picture! And this other picture by the same person! And look through their gallery and favorite some more pictures! Oh, what the heck, I’ll just add them to my watchlist and see every new picture they upload.” And so increases my popularity*.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sydney

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G’day!
This is what is written above our heads as we get out of the airport’s no-man’s-land. We’re the only ones in line for a taxi, and, this being a civilized country, for the five of us it means a van. There are cameras on top of it and on the doors is written that we will be photographed. Hmm, curious...The driver is quiet, but from time to time he shows us the surveillance cameras installed in different corners of the intersections. He explains that they don’t necessarily improve the quality of the traffic, but certainly help with paying fines for breaking the rules. Later, I will find them on the street, the bus (at least three, one for each section), the subway...I really don’t like all that surveillance, it makes me think of one of the science fiction books...
Our apartment is in an old building with cockroaches and windy windows, but it’s quiet (if you ignore the heavy steps from the upstairs neighbor or the phone calls from the side one). We’re here because we’re five minutes away from the famous Bondi Beach. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sydney in all its Glory

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I always liked the name Sydney. I don't know why. It strikes me as a wonderful sound.

We get to the airport, find a taxi, and head off to Bondi Beach (Bon-dye… I really don't understand why, though). The fare is abotu $100, which is standard. We've come from pretty cheap countries, though and the $100 is a bit grating. But it's a relief not to have to take a bus or anything. Our bags get heavier as we carry them longer.

The house we're going to live in houses at least four apartments. It's a light green, the only light green house on the entire street, but all five of us (and the taxi driver) are looking for the number. I think it was 126 or 128 or something of the sort. Possibly even 132. See, I wrote the address on the entrance cards, but I can't remember anything beyond North Bondi… something Parade. You'd think writing it down four times would count for something, but apparently it doesn't. When we locate it, we wave off the taxi driver (I think he was Indian… we liked him almost on the spot for some reason or another, and it was probably because he was Indian) with a smile.


Happy Easter

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More often than not we are a few days off in celebrating Easter. It makes sense only to the Catholic and Orthodox churches, they commemorate the same event but cannot agree on a common day. This was one of the most important parts in the big picture of planning this whole trip. I had to find a way for us to be in a place with a Romanian Church. It's not just the Easter day, but the whole time leading up to it, the Palm Sunday, the Holy Week, the Black Friday. We decided on Sydney and it was a great choice! It was good to be welcomed with open arms by the St. Mary Romanian Orthodox Church and we met some great people. It was the first time this year that we heard somebody (other than us) speak Romanian, it was the first time in six months that we could get to a regular service, it was both a little weird and familiar in the same time. It was great, it couldn't have been better. Thank you!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Lava and Bombs

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We moved to another hotel, close to the volcano. On our way we stopped to visit Pu’uhonua o Honaunau.

Playing a traditional game.


 It is a sacred place and a refuge one. Hawaii was colonized by the Polynesian people, and isolated here, on this volcanic island, the religion became a collection of rules, of things that you could, or could not do. Breaking the rules would upset the gods, who would punish people by sending a tsunami or an eruption. To prevent this, the chiefs would have to punish people, and sometimes this would mean death. But there was a way to escape: if one could run toward the sea and swim through treacherous waves and currents and get on this ground, it meant that the gods spared him, and so should people.