220 years in Neckarsulm.

220 years! The birthday party in Neckarsulm, Germany. Are you thinking who could have completed 220 years? Don’t think more…

Four “primos” (cousins) have completed 20th, 30th, 40th and 50th. I know if you add all of them the result is 140 years, because the Grandpa has completed all of 80 years.

My business partner is 40 years old already! We used the party to meet the directors of QDesign in Germany and Spain there. We planned to stay a couple days after the party. It was difficult for me, being a long way from Mumbai as we were in the middle of negotiations for a new project. It was perfect, three weeks before the party we bagged the project and I booked the flight the same day.

Mumbai, 3rd September 2015.

3.30 am. Tring, tring, tring. The alarm rang. I got ready and I booked an Uber cab.  Since the start of Uber in Mumbai,  life has changed.

11pm. Neckarsulm. ( 2.30 am in Mumbai). The train stopped, I push the door.  I was not lucky opening the door. It was jammed! Suddenly someone from outside open the door…. My business partner was there with his parents. I jumped on him I said:

I need a German beer, right now!

From where have you sent the sms? It is a long story I will explain it to you on the way until I get a German beer.

My flight was at 7.20 am, I was early as always. When I passed the passport control I heard 2 guys saying; Oman,Oman, Oman…. I didn’t pay attention and I went to the washroom.. Oman, Oman, Oman…again! I headed to the departure screen and saw that my flight was 40 minutes early.

I headed for the gate and I said to the air hostess: how come my flight is early and I don’t have an email or sms? You are lucky, you will arrive early. They told me. I am going to Germany and now I have to wait longer for the transfers. I didn’t have a coffee and I was too sleepy to argue. My trip started!

Muscat’s airport is small; there are not too many options. I had a splitting headache and I went to the pharmacy to buy ibuprofen. I always carry it with me, but it was a long month and I had finished the last one the day before.

Have you seen green Ibuprofen pills? Trust me, they are very effective! You can find fuchsia ones in Mumbai, but this was new for me green and with gel. I always try to have ibuprofen from Spain.

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I sat in Costa café and I had an American decaf coffee and black chocolate doughnuts. Black coffee without milk and without sugar. In Mumbai you have to repeat a million times: without sugar! They always give you the coffee with sugar, although you say: without sugar!

When I was struggling to close my trolley after putting the tablet inside, an Indian guy sitting next to me helped me to shut it. He had one more hour longer to wait than me. I thought: Oh ! Poor him!!…

We were talking about business, parties and life in Mumbai. His parents are building a house in Aamby Valley, where we have most of our projects. He loved our projects and said: why did I not meet you one year ago?. Don’t worry I will follow you to make your new house. Always business!

The flight from Muscat to Frankfurt was delayed.. At least the plane was new all full of European people, most of them  coming from Thailand. My co-passenger was a nice girl, we talked, drank wine and watched movies together and shared stories. I sat before her and when she arrived next to me it was fun to observe the time that she took to be ready before sitting down.. I was laughing because I do the same.  I need with me: a book, a notebook, small computer, sunglasses, glasses, jacket and sweater, socks….. and of course my toilet bag!

Before we landed, she asked me: What do you think I should do? (She was giving me different options and different viewpoints). Really? Are you asking me that? I am living in Mumbai, one of the craziest cities in the world!

We landed one and an half hour late. I lost the last bus directly to Neckarsulm, so the adventure begins anew.

Me: I landed right now. Lost the bus.

My business partner: My flight was delayed too. On my way from Bonn to Neckarsulm. Take the train!

Me: No, it is not direct and slower. I know there is another bus.

My business partner:  Take the train!

Me: Let’s see…. Don’t worry I will arrive; I just have to figure out how and when. See you soon!

 I took a bus to the train station where I supposed there are also buses. I was asking everyone for the bus, but people didn’t know about. The funny thing is when a German friend told me: German people don’t know about these busses because we have them since the last 10 years. Really?!. I asked myself Is 10 years is a short span???…

There are amazing machines to get the train ticket, with dozens of buttons and screens, yet they don’t give you the time of the train and the platform. I went to the information point to understand what time was the train that I wanted to catch. He started to print papers and papers to give me all information. After four papers printed I ask him: but when is the next one, I have still a long way to my destination. He told me: right now, so you have to wait one hour. Really?! I quipped with a wry face.

Train time in Germany! The coach was empty, only a girl student next to me. I approached the girl and asked if a could send an sms. She wrote the sms for me: I will arrive at the train station at 11pm in Neckarsulm. Marisol.

I was in the train for an hour. I had 10 minutes to change the train. The train arrived 5 minutes late and I was running to find the platform and catch the next train. Thank God that the second train was late if not I would need to wait one more hour. I was checking all printed papers and the train did not halt according the printed papers. I was wondering for a while if I had caught the wrong train, but I arrived at Neckarsulm.

After almost 24 hours travelling I had 3 German beers in a local before taking my room 105 and sleeping.

It was nice to meet all the people already there and share our experiences in reaching Neckarsulm. Great time, great people, great beers!

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Neckarsulm, 4th September 2015

I woke up very early. The bedroom was hot but a cool pleasurable breeze came through the open window. It was amazing to stand up seeing through the window the green views and feeling on my face that fresh breeze.

I decided to start the day early. I took a shower and I went downstairs to have a coffee in the restaurant of the hotel. The restaurant was full of corks as decorations around everywhere and of course bottles of wine. Unbelievable but is that area of Germany is famous for wines.

I sat on the terrace and suddenly the architect appeared. He also woke up early. We had a coffee and went for a walk.

We got lost around the village, taking photos of the façades and studying the architecture. I was in love with the balconies, no matter what is the façade or style of the house; they always have at least one balcony in cantilever attached at the façade and mostly open on all of three sides.  We enjoyed a cold sunny morning in Germany. It was 9 degrees!

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It was time to have a real breakfast and a second coffee. We decided to go to the place where we had been the night before. It is logical when you are travelling in a group and the first day you take a liking to a place it becomes the meeting point. In fact we were right, people come there.

After an amazing breakfast and a really nice conversation we went to the Audi exhibition. The Audi factory is in Neckarsulm. We enjoyed ourselves and played at table football.

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I always say that I prefer a nice house to a car, but if you give me a black with some details in red convertible Audi car I would say: Yeah! I can imagine myself driving this car along the Mediterranean coast. Do you want to come?

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The family was organizing the party, so the first group went to have lunch in a garden,  Biergarten Saline ( Bad Friedrichshall). I had my first sausages with curry in Germany. I have to clarify that in India the food is not with curry, it is with masala. Masala is composed of different powdered spices and one of them is curry. Sausage with beer, of course!

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Then, we went to the hotel to rest for a while and get ready for the party. Everybody was coming from different parts of Germany and different countries. I couldn’t resist gossiping and talking with everyone. The girl from Bosnia was lost looking for her room. The neighbours from next door with beers in hand around the hotel. People coming and filling the hotel. The hotel was ours!

When I dressed up and went downstairs my business partner was there with his friend from Russia. I had heard about everyone over the years and finally met them. Suddenly, a guy came up to us It was an Italian guy friend of my business partner in Rome, and also my friend. We went out several times together and he visited our house as it would also be his house. I was happy to see him after almost 4 years. It is amazing how you find people along the way and after years you meet them again.

I remember one night: a friend from Russia visited us in Rome. We went out to have dinner at Vecchia Locanda restaurant (www.vecchialocanda.eu ).  We were a group talking, eating and drinking good wine around a round table. I had spaghetti alle vongole. We went to different local restaurants and the last one was Shari  Vari ( www.sharivari.it ) opposite home. And of course we passed the night at home drinking a full bottle of vodka that the Russian girl brought. Vodka shots as if we drank water with sugar. Good Vodka! The bottle was inside the big Matryoshka.

An old Mercedes car driven by a gentleman in black jacket with jeans was coming to pick and drop us at the party. The driver was a handsome Portuguese living in Germany. I was talking a lot with him at the party. He is 50 years, but looked to be 40 or less! I don’t remember how many times I asked to him if he made a deal with the devil. He told me: the devil is my friend. I want to meet your friend, right now! He speaks Spanish and Italian and we were talking most of the time in Italian. I was practising my Italian with him and with my Italian friend with whom I enjoyed a lot talking about life, memories and deals.

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You will not believe me, but I was drinking white wine all night. In Germany! I told  the girls: this is the last bottle! And the six girls from Russia, Germany, England, Bosnia, Turkey and Spain   filled the glasses and said: Cheers in different languages.

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It was such fun that night; eating, drinking, dancing, talking, smoking….nothing to beat that night!

It was an emotional moment when my business partner started to call his friends who came from different countries and gave us a Memento.

Longest Journey

RC B-Day 2015

Germany

Who was the winner? Someone coming from Mumbai, India…

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 The party was in a private forest outside the village. It was a cool night of September, but we didn’t feel that. People from different ages enjoying together.

I was talking to the handsome man when suddenly I was lying on the floor. One of cousins was dancing the hip-hop or something weird; he stumbled and landed on top of me. It was just 3 seconds on the floor, but enough to set one thinking: Really, has this happened? I got up with a nice smile. Alright, all is well!

The handsome man in black jacket and jeans looked at me and said: look at you. You wear a nice a smile. And smiling I said: What to do? Cry? Girls don’t cry!

Later in the night there were more people in the kitchen eating than on the dance floor dancing. Of course I was in the kitchen laughing, eating some chocolates and talking some nonsense about wanting to fix the world with love.

The funny part was when the party was almost over and it was time to return to the village. We called for cabs. They didn’t come or took too much time. Always the same situation.. People tired, cold, hungry, missing things and wishing to be in bed. Take it easy!

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It was not any bottle of water in the bedroom, but the small Haribo packet saved me. ( Haribo is the famous brand of  candies. They made in Germany, and trust me they are very good for hangovers. The Hotel staff leaves a small Haribo packet every day on the night table.

We would meet all my partner’s friends for lunch. I am always the early bird around the hotel, but that time I was not. When I decided to get out of my room, just one girl was in the Hotel, the rest were together blowing bubbles. Yeas soap bubbles…

I met her and we tried to find two coffees, and it was not easy. She is a half German and half Turkish. She is my business partner’s girlfriend. She left Germany for travel around the world, but she stopped in Utila, Honduras to learn diving. Now she is a good diving teacher with a million stories and I would like to know all of them. I knew the story of her since the past 4 years and every step that she took. My business partner also has something to say about her. They met in Germany in a top flat on one of the beautiful areas in Bonn. It was long time ago….. One of my dreams is to do at least one diving submersion, now I know my instructor.

We went downstairs to find the coffees and the hotel was closed. The owner the hotel left us the full hotel; we were nice people, of course.

Everybody was coming back and we were enjoying another sunny morning in Germany. How amazing is to have a coffee on a terrace in a cool sunny day with new people feeling like family and sharing stories and recovering from the night before.

We were thirteen going for lunch, but two left early. Eleven nice people around the table drinking red and white wine on the restaurant terrace. I was handing out my green, gel pill around the table; some of them had a slight hangover. I was awesome, thanks Haribo!

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We went to the Hotel to rest a while before starting the evening-night again. I didn’t rest, when I am on holydays there is not time to rest, you can rest in the plane, at the airport or wherever, but not when you have someone around you with whom you can share moments.

It was time to visit the wine festival in Neckarsulm. The group  reduced, people left and  wanted to rest more. Five of us went ahead and enjoyed some beers with pizza. Finally we were drinking beer in Germany in a wine festival. One more nonsensical thing.

After a couple beers and German sweet coffee with pizza we went to the cousin’s house. Amazing loft on the ground floor.It was a garage, but he made an amazing house, also I have heard a lot of this place. Walking through: entrance, studio, bed, sitting area, kitchen, dining area and bathroom at the end of the loft. Every space separated with different styles and memories. It is like a museum about your life and experiences. I liked to sit in the kitchen area and to observe the ambience. The cousin and the handsome Portuguese who stayed in the same building on the first floor joined us.

We assembled at the main square and everyone joint us. The main streets were full of small wooden houses selling food and drinks. Different areas  played live music or just recorded music.  Perfect synchronization, a lot of people around there, different music, different ambience, but well-coordinated.

We went place to place, but I don’t know for what reason I stopped in the jazz area and sat around a table. We felt old, but suddenly the revolutionary team had an idea. We got a big Jagermaifter bottle.

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When we finished the bottle we moved to another place and we opened a champagne bottle to celebrate another birthday. She was German and she is wished to visit India in 2 years. I will be there. I told her.

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To finish the night we went to the nightclub, and people were leaving bit by bit. I was the last to return to the hotel with the Russian girl and the Italian. The night was over and almost the weekend too.

Neckarsulm & Bonn, 6th September 2015

Time to leave for Bonn! People was leaving early morning only those going to Bonn woke up later. We checked out at 11am and we went for breakfast to the family house of my business partner. You couldn’t imagine all delicatessen food that was on the table. And of course there was prosecco. The aunty asked me: Do you want prosecco Marisol? Yes, why not!

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We left for Bonn in 2 cars; I was with the parents and Grandma of my business partner. Wes stopped twice on the service area on the highroad. How amazing are the highways in Germany!

Bonn is beautiful; we went for a walk dropped the bag in the apartment. We stayed in an amazing apartment with a big window leading to a cute terrace. The terrace was half covered and half open to sky. When I sat down on the terrace I felt I was in a garden. Wooden floor and ceiling with a long wooden table, the railing was a tree trunk with greens plants and amazing views of the green forest, such was the terrace. We started our business with a barbecue with wine on the terrace and a hot chocolate in a cafeteria in the main square in the city. It was a cool night but it was a great moment with a tasty hot chocolate in hand and listening a classic concert from Vienna on a big screen in front of the council building.

Bonn, 7th September 2015

We worked all day just we stopped to have a good lunch in the city center and an amazing dinner. Of course, we had several coffees at different point of the city.

Cologne & Düsseldorf , 8th September 2015

I arrived at Cologne from Bonn by train; I bought a coffee and bread with salmon and cheese. Sitting on the steps leading at the cathedral. I felt lost and alone. There were a lot of people around me, but I was alone in that square with my thoughts. I walked around the river and I decided to continuous with my trip to Düsseldorf.

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I was waiting for the Düsseldorf train. I was trying to understand how people say that the trains are amazing in Germany. Trust me; I will rent a car on my next visit to Germany and visit Berlin. My sister says that Berlin is the ideal city for me. All right, now I ask myself why I had not planned to go to Berlin.

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Suddenly a guy asked me for help:

Korean guy: Can you help me? We are going at the airport and we are not sure if this is the right ticket.

I: Yes, it is. Do you know the time and the platform?

Korean guy: No, I don’t. We are looking for it, because it is not printed on the bill.

I: I know it. Come with me.You need to check it on the board, but be careful, there is

frequent change of platform, and there are fast and normal trains.   

Despite reading and reading we didn’t find it. They left for the information desk.

I was waiting on the platform number 1, and I was not sure if finally I was right. It was time to see my friend again. She was waiting for me, they were waiting for me.

I met her in Rome, one night of August of 2011 around Li castelo di Sant Angelo. She was visiting the city with a friend, and they spoke in Spanish. We were talking for a while and we said: We will see again wherever!

Do you know where we see again? You are not going to trust me, but it is true. I met her again in Mumbai after two years from Rome.

She is German and a night in an event from Internations, she met him. He is an Indian guy who is working 8 years in Germany already. I meet them in Mumbai, It was an emotive moment. We couldn’t  guess that moment in Rome that we will see again in Mumbai. A German and Spanish girls in India. One for love and another one for work.

They came to Mumbai to visit his family. We didn’t spend too time together, but again we said: We will see again wherever!

After one year they sent me an email: we are getting married in Mumbai! Yes, you are reading property.

Already in Düsseldorf I toke walk and I sat down to have a beer. When the waiter came he told me: Hola! What would you like? He spoke in Spanish and he guess I was Spanish. Well, people have always some doubt if I am Spanish or Italian. I am Mediterranean!

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It was time to meet them again. Italy, India and now Germany. Congratulations! I said them when they opened the door of their house.

I had a great time eating, drinking and talking around the long table in the living room with an amazing window covering all façade.

I felt very happy to live moments like that, just I can say: Things happen for some reason.

The coffee is always ready in that house in the morning. This is one of the thing I love it. We had a hot coffee on the terrace looking at the sun. It was another amazing sunny morning in Germany. The bedrooms and the kitchen are surrounded of a cute balcony when you can enjoy sunny days, have a red wine or rom after work in theevening , also a barbecue at night.

After that relaxing moment I went at the supermarket to buy some wines and some sausages to bring to Mumbai. We had a lunch and I left running at the bus station to Frankfurt to take off again.

See you soon! We met one month later in Mumbai again to talk about the weeding coming next 27th and 28th of December. Another Christmas in Mumbai, an especial one.

The way from Düsseldorf to Frankfurt airport was normal without any issues. Time to back home in Mumbai!

 Muscat, 10th September 2015

I fell asleep in a chair at the costa coffee when I was waiting the flight to Mumbai. The mobile alarm woke up me with my thoughts, my feelings and with a pain in my knees.

It is incredible how many things can happen in a short time…

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Germany. In my notebook

After rummaging in the closet I was ready to take off. I packed and dressed in my black leather boots and with my black leather jacket. The taxi came to pick me up and dropped me at the airport. This time I flew with Oman airline.

Muscat, 3rd September 2015

I am sitting in Costa (“Italian about coffee”) at the Muscat airport. This time I am going to Germany. As usually I always spend a million hours checking the best flight alternatives yet at the last moment I always book a stupid flight.

I am always excited to travel. The hours that I have to wait for transfer until the next day to fly don’t bother me, when I check the itinerary. I have to wait 4 and half hours to fly to Frankfurt. I don’t know when and how I will arrive at my destination, Neckarsulm.

Though sleepy, but I have a decaf coffee because I want to sleep inflight. I guess it will be a long weekend.

I have a splitting headache and I have had the last ibuprofen pill yesterday.  I got Muscat’s ibuprofen. It is green and with gel!  The ibuprofen in Mumbai is fuchsia and your tongue retains the colour for a day.

My co-passenger is a German girl coming from Thailand. She is a chatterbox and not sleepy like me. We share experiences meantime we are watching movies.

21.15pm. I am sitting in a not amazing train going to Neckarsulm in Germany. I will arrive there at 11pm, I hope my business partner will be there waiting for me, if not I will go to the Hotel, at least I have the address.

My phone is not working for some ghostly reason. I received an sms from my business partner, but I couldn’t send one.

I asked a girl in the train if I could send an sms Through her phone. She obliged. This was the sms: I will arrive at the train station at 11pm in Neckarsulm. Marisol.

I was too tired and inert to give more information and the girl was alighting at the next station.I wouldn’t know if the sms reached.

Neckarsulm, 4th September 2015

We are sitting in a café in the main square in town. We are having breakfast inside on a cold day with 9 degrees. I am so happy to live this cold moment with a hot coffee and nice conversation.

Bonn, 7th September 2015

It was an amazing business day around Bonn with my business partner and the principal architect of the QDesign in Spain.

Cologne, 8th September 2015

I am waiting for the train to go to Düsseldorf. I am trying to understand how people say that the trains are amazing in Germany. Trust me; I will rent a car on my next visit to Germany and visit Berlin. My sister says that Berlin is the ideal city for me. All right, now I ask myself why I have not planned to go to Berlin.

Suddenly a guy asked me for help:

Korean guy: Can you help me? We are going at the airport and we are not sure if this is the right ticket.

I: Yes, it is. Do you know the time and the platform?

Korean guy: No, I don’t. We are looking for it, because it is not printed on the bill.

I: I know it. Come with me.You need to check it on the board, but be careful, there is

frequent change of platform, and there are fast and normal trains.   

Despite reading and reading we didn’t find it. They left for the information desk.

I am waiting on the platform number 1, and I am not sure if finally I am right.

Muscat, 10th September 2015

7am. (8.30am in Mumbai and 5am in Germany). The journey is almost over. I sit at the airport recalling this week and  feeling as it was long time ago and I am still traveling.

It is incredible how many things can happen in a short time… 

Coming soon…

Neckarsulm

Cambodia&Thailand. Bangkok.Business&Food

Bangkok 13th July 2015.

Today was a business day. After 3 tries I got the sim card and I already have internet on my phone. When I arrived at the Art Café at the Bangkok Art and Cultural Centre where the meeting was scheduled, it was closed. Today is Monday! What happens to almost all Art Galleries on the world?  They are closed on Monday!  None one of us thought of that.

I was early like always, I like to be in time, because you don’t know what can happen on the way. I prefer to wait (not too long) than make people wait for me. It was very hot and I was dressed like a business woman, and for sure with stilettos. Think fast! I took a look around me and there was an Ibis Hotel two buildings ahead. I went into the café, sat there and called up my colleague. Our business partner stays in Dubai, and they are in talks for some projects, meantime we are trying to tap the market in Myanmar through Thailand.

We went to another cool café for the meeting, while waiting for the architect we had a delicious cold coffee with chocolate and cinnamon. We were in the meeting for 3 hours talking, talking and talking….  When the meeting ended and they left, we decided to have some food as well as we had no lunch. It was 5pm and I was so hungry.

We moved to another restaurant and after read the menu we ordered mini Burgers as he is an American. I am not a burger person, but I have to say that even after living in India for 3 years when I have the opportunity to have a 100% beef burger, I am burger girl and moreso if there are Specials.  Burger with vegetable for star, burger with bacon for main meal and for dessert burger with strawberry. Yummy!

It was getting dark when I left for home and I was thinking of going for a swim.  When I arrived home my brother-in-law and his Korean colleague were there. The Korean and I went to swim.  The pool at night is so good, all dark with a few lights around the area and inside the pool.  We swam in silence for a while and then we talked about Korea and Spain. He had been to Spain several times and on one of his business trips he visited my parents place with my bother-in –law and my sister to have a Paella. I ordered a set of Korean chopsticks for him on my next trip to Bangkok. He said that one set for me and one for my niece. There are also chopsticks for kids; they have some notches to support the fingers correctly. I wanted to tell him to bring me a set for kids also.  Korean chopsticks are made of steel.

I am so relaxed, I had some fruit and I went bed. Good night!

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It was getting dark went I leave to home and thinking to go to swim. When arrived home my brother-in-low and his Korean colleague were there and the Korean guy and I went to swim. The pool at night is so good, all dark with a few lights around the area and in site of the pool, without noise, in silent. We were summing for a while and then we were talking about Korea and Spain. He have been to Spain several times and one of his business trip we when to my parents place with my bother-in –law and my sister to have a Paella. I ordered to him a set of Korean chopsticks for my next trip to Bangkok. He told me that one set for me and one for my niece. Also there are chopsticks for kids; they have some holes to put the fingers correct. I wanted to tell him to bring me a set for kit to me also. The Korean chopsticks are made with steel.

I am so relaxed, I had some fruits and I went bed. Good night!

Bangkok 15th of July of 2015.

Today is my brother-in-law’s birthday; we went with a group of his friends for dinner in an Italian restaurant. Spanish, Korean and Argentinean people. It was so good! Happy birthday to you!

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This morning I lunched at a Japanese restaurant with a Spanish couple. Meat, meat and more meat! Awesome!

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I am going to sleep like a well fed baby.

Yesterday I worked for a while and then I went for a swim and a tan at the pool. Lunch was at the food court of a mall close to home, when I had the second Pat Thai of the trip, and later I had a Coffee Mocha at Starbucks with two of my sister’s friends and I had Jamon Iberico for dinner.

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Bangkok, 17th of July of 2015.

Good morning! I am in the swimming pool area at 9.30am having my second breakfast and enjoying my time. I went to bed early last night. I had snack-dinner at a Spanish friend’s house. We took away food from “ la esquina” restaurant. I had the 3rd Pat Thai of the trip.

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I am not sure if I’m going out tonight as its Friday, I am in off mode. No think, I’ll just relax! I take it easy!

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After a hard working morning I got a massage and I went to have lunch (Spanish time) at my Lebanese friend’s house and more coffee. I don’t know what has happened on this trip but I am feeling drowsy. Oh yeah! I know it, I am so relaxed!

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I came home after a girl’s afternoon, my brother-in-low and the Korean guy are leaving for a business dinner I could join them later, but I have decided to have a 4th Pad Thai on this trip from the street and go bed early. Do you know Durian fruit? And moon cake? You should try it!!!

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Bangkok, 18th  July  2015.

Happy Birthday my sister! My last day in Bangkok I wanted to do something different. So I went to another pool, and after that I got ready to leave  Bangkok, but  before that on the way to the airport my brother-in-law and I  stopped at Zen, a Japanese restaurant, that my sister loves. Why not?

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I am ready to take off. This week in Bangkok went off the way I wanted: Business, eating and a relaxing week.

Thanks family!!!! Mumbai here we come again!!!

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Cambodia&Thailand. From Pursat to Bangkok by bus.

Pursat, 12th July 2015.

I am sitting on the bus waiting to go. My friends picked me up from the school and dropped me at the bus stop. We changed the ticket, because we found a direct bus leaving at the same time. I hug my friends and I said thank you.

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I am closer to the border! We stopped to have lunch, at 11am of course! (Cambodian lunch time could be at 11am or 12pm, not later). The bus was heading directly to the border before the bus broke down. We stopped at a bus stop. I was flapping my eyelids all the time. I didn’t see the time I decided to get down pick up a bottle of water and get in again. After waiting a while, another bus came, the driver said something and all people got down, me too. We changed bus. It was full and people were using the blue chairs and sitting on the corridor. I got a seat!

We had already passed battambang shouldn’t be too long to reach the bolder.

Spanish girl: We have changed the bus….don’t ask?

Australian guy: IoI. I told you.Did the bus break dwon?

Spanish girl: Maybe…who knows I don’t ask.hahaha

Australian guy: I have had the same experience on that bus. It is the worst. But at least you go directly to the border.

I didn’t tell him that when we changed the bus I didn’t get my ticket back, so if something happens we will see how I will explain that I am going to the border and I have already paid

The bus started to go fast; meantime they put on the TV with karaoke music. I couldn’t sleep!

Spanish girl: I sent him my location

Australian guy: You are now going fast. It’s getting there.

Spanish girl: Let’s say 1 hour.

And 1 hour later I sent my location again.

Spanish girl: and now…

Australian guy: My God. That is the slowest I have seen yet.

Spanish girl: hahahahahahahahaha

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I am in Thailand! I am waiting for the bus to leave. There is a bus leaving at 3.30pm, but going to Mo Chit, but I booked the ticket to Ekamai, so I have to wait one more hour. The first thing that I did was to buy a sim card, but not lucky. They have finished all kind of cards! Secondly, I went at ATM to take money, and my cards were not working. My mother went to the bank in Spain and they told her that everything is ok. No way, I went to change some rupees, also not lucky. They told me that they don’t exchange bills with writing on it. All bills in India have some writing. I am too tired to argue, so I have decided to be patient and wait.

At 3.30 they call me to say that the bus was leaving. But my bus is at 4.30pm! They told me get in! I did it. After 10 minutes the bus stopped, they took me and dropped me in a minivan. Welcome to Thailand! I was here, I have forgotten the Thai style changing buses and linking however. They do good job!

I am sitting in the minivan with two leather seat for me. Lucky me! I am going to try to sleep; there are at least 4 hour ahead to reach Ekamai station.

We have stopped at the pump station close to the airport; I guess we will be at the end of this trip in 30 minutes or a bit more. I couldn’t sleep the minivan was very fast and we were bumping on the trip, I have a heavy headache, just I want to jump into bed.

9pm. I am eating my first Pad Thai of the trip. I am at the restaurant “la esquina” . We don’t know what it is called, but my bother-in-law has been coming here since 10 years. He’ named it “ la esquina”, because it is at the corner. (The corner in English). I came here for first time 5 years ago.

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Tonight I am here alone, and of course there is a story behind it. I arrived at the reception desk of the tower where my sister, bother-in-law and my beautiful niece live and I ask for the key, that my brother-in-law left for me there. The thing is that he couldn’t make a new key and the Korean guy has one and the other one is for me, so he has no key. The girl with broken English told me, no key, and gave me a pass card. My phone was not working, so I couldn’t check if I had some message.

To get inside this condominium is not easy. There are 6 towers and these are the steps that you have to climb to reach my family home:

1st. Say Sawadika with smile to the people at the reception desk.

2nd. Pass the pass card to open the first glass sliding big door.

3rd. Pass the pass card to take the lift.

4th. Stop on the 3rd floor, where there are the 2 swimming pools, gym, restaurant, playground, basket and the sitting area.

5th. Go to the right tower and pass the pass card to take the lift.

6th . 15th floor.

I was thinking that the door will be open, but I was not lucky. The Wi-Fi was working and as well recognized my phone. Standing in front of the door checking all whatsapps and sending messages: I am alive and safe at home!. No whatsapps from my brother-in-low, so I have decided to take my bag and go for the first Pad Thai and a gig Chang beer.

When I passed by the reception desk I asked for the key again, and I pushed the girl to check it better. She told me there is nothing, but I push her again! And there we went! Thank God! So I took the key, and I went upstairs to drop my stuff and leave again for my Pad Thai.

Having a Chang beer with and delicious Pad Thai. Love my life!

Cambodia&Thailand. Tortilla de patata

On the river, 11th  July  2015.

7am. Good morning! I am already awake I am sitting around the heavy wooden table, waiting for the coffee and writing in my notebook in company of 2 monkeys. Everybody is still in the bedrooms. Here around 5.30am there is light and I like to get up early and moreso if I am sleeping alone. I will wait for all to have a breakfast; meantime I am having a 3×1 powder coffee.  Ah! With the same glass that I had beer last night! I mean the same kind of glass.

Last night after dinner we played cards. I don’t remember the name, because I have never paid attention to learn to play it. I don’t like to play cards, but I love the conversations when you are playing and see how people get angry if they don’t win. The Argentinian girl was the wife of the winner! The German guy won the most card’s hands.

The Argentinian girl and I were talking about living in a house on the river, as you have to take a boat to come and go whatever and wherever. She told me, that she couldn’t, but I told her: imagine this river in Switzerland: transparent water around green grass and snowy mountains. Oh yeah!

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We went to bed around 1am. The bed was hard but enough to rest a while. I couldn’t imagine how many kind of flying insects are there in the world before this night. They fluttered around us and on us. Ad of course we can’t forget my friends, the mosquitoes.

Good morning! The Japanese girl got up! I love people who get up early; I am not a sleep person. Good morning!!! The Argentine girl got up also. We will wait for the guys to order the breakfast. Meantime we will talk!

We have ordered the breakfast already! Three of us rice and two of us noodle. My first breakfast in a week! I can’t wait more for it!

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After breakfast we had a boat ride along the river. We have decided to take a boat and row ourselves. It is cheaper and fun, especially if there are two amazing guys who want to row.

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Once back in Pursat, my Australian friend and I went to work on the porch and now I came to have lunch before finishing the work. I was lost around the village, but I found the place that I wanted.

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The structure of the porch is ready. Unfortunately the straw roof will be arriving tomorrow when I leave for Bangkok.

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After finishing the work we went for a Tuk Tuk Class. I wanted to do it, but if my friend kept forgetting it, better for me, but he was telling me every day you have to take a Tuk Tuk class, I just smiled. And the last day I drove a Tuk Tuk. I was nervous and sweating profusely!!!

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After the class we had a very cool beer and now it is time to take a shower and have the last dinner in Pursat until next time.

In bed on my last night in Pursat. I have packed already. The bus to Battambang leaves at 7.30am, I will stop there to take another one to the border, then another one to Bangkok at Ekkamai station, when I will take the Sky train to Sian, then to Chong Nonsi, then a bus and I will walk for 5 minutes and I will be at home. (trust me that it is easy than stopping  at  Mo Chit bus station).My brother –in-law just told me that he has a meeting on Sunday evening as well His boss has arrived in Bangkok, so he can’t pick me up at Ekkamai station.

We went to SC to cook a “tortilla de papata” (Spanish omelet: potatoes, onion and eggs). There was another girl from Spain there and she offered to help me. To make “tortilla de papata” seems easy, but it is not. I am not the best at making it; the best person in the world is my father. If you want to try it, just go to my place in Spain, I am sure that my father will open the door for you and he will make one or two…or three!!!

The Japanese girl helped us to cut the onion and potatoes and she was following us. Oil and salt too…. The German guy helped us to turn the omelet, also seems easy, but it is not.

It was not the best far away, but we made it and ate it. Dinner at 11.30pm, Spanish time!

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I had it very fast, because the school closed the doors and the Japanese girl and I jumped over the gate to get out where my Australian friend was waiting for us in the Tuk Tuk. Before I said bye to German and Argentine friends Angkor beers for them and Cambodian beer for me. This happens if you are not going to Siem Reap to visit Angkor.

Cambodia&Bangkok. Building

On the river, 10th July 2015.

I am sitting at the long wooden table in a homestay on the river. My Australian friend, his girlfriend and the German and Argentine couple and I came to Srok Kroko at sunset.

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Today I woke up happier; it is Friday and for some reason although you are on holiday you’re motivated by a weekend.

The first plan was to build the porch, but we went to the school to build a hand washing place. We came back to the place that we never found last Monday, but this time after getting ready with all the materials and tools we followed to the Director along the way. He was riding his motorbike and we were jumping in the Tuk Tuk. Roads in Cambodia are bumpy.

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The Englishman left us there and he came back to SC. We said: See you there for lunch. And we started to work.

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He worked and I supervised. Always I say 99%, when people ask me about being sure and perfection. Life is not 100% perfect, but could be 99%.

Australian guy: Also you can work as well you are an Engineer.

Spanish girl: I am a Building Engineer. I am not designing, I am not building. I supervise!

Australian guy: to supervise you have to know what we are doing.

Spanish girl: Sure! You are doing an amazing job. You are an Engineer and you have designed it. I have faith in you.

The funniest thing was when we finished the work and I went to find some water, meantime he put the washbasin inside the school. He laughed and we left for lunch. It was 2pm and we hadn’t eaten yet. I had two glasses of water with some coffee powder, I was fed as well. Was I?

We were bumping up and down on the way back. We were lighter without all the wooden stuff but always you can find someone who can take a nap anywhere.

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We had lunch and I went to BBC to say bye bye to my children and get ready for the escape from the city.

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On the way to the river in a sharing taxi. We booked the full taxi for ourselves, we were five people plus the driver, but we could be more if you don’t book all seats. How many? Who knows! I was talking with the Argentinian girl about common contacts in Dublin. It was unbelievable to learn that we do have common friends. My friend from Castellon who lives in Dublin and married an Indonesian girl last year in Bali. I attended the wedding in Bali! On the 13th of April 2014. (I will write about this trip in another post. You can’t miss it!).

The flouting season in Cambodia is in September, but there are rains already. We walk on the dry riverbed until arrival at the ticket window to buy our passage along the river to find a place to stay.

The boat was not too stable but it was fun to think that if you fall in the river nobody is going to rescue you, better you don’t move. I didn’t sit still and stood up taking photos of the sunset. I love sunsets!

Now we are sitting around the table awaiting the dinner. We have ordered meat barbecue and rice, meantime we were guzzling beers. Cambodian style beers! Jul mouy! It means cheers. Cambodian people like to clink glasses. In fact there people who just drink when someone say Jul ouy or cheers, this is more often when they are with foreigners. I don’t like to drink a glass of beer, wine or champagne without clinking the glass. People just do it on the first one, but if there are people following me I do it with every new glass, and of course always looking into each other eyes

Cambodia&Thailand. Tuk Tuk Teather.

Pursat 9th July 2015.

Thursday night, I am here!!!! Two days without writing in my notebook.

Yesterday 8th of July was another day in Pursat. I was teaching in BBC and 1 hour in SC. The students of SC wrote on the blackboard my name in Kymer.

It was freedom with the bike and in the first break on the morning I went to investigate the surrounding area.

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I came back at the School, this time I was teaching a class on the terrace area.

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Ring, ring, ring! The bell rang and we were free!!! Time to run away and play!!!

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I took my bike and I went to SC school, when after the class I had lunch with the guys there. The German guy and his Argentine wife were sharing photos from the Karaoke night and we were exchanging stories in Nasi Kitchen (Nasi is the maid who cooks the lunch every day in SC. If you want to have lunch there, just write your name on the black board and pay). Nasi cooks amazing French fries.  The German and Argentine couple met in Dublin. I was in Dublin in 2012, they were also there, but we have never met before Pursat.

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At 3pm I’m back to my school and a whatsapp from my Australian friend on the screen of my phone.

Australian guy:  I will come to pick you up at 4.Maybe later, this bus goes on forever

Spanish girl: Buses go on forever in Cambodia. You are lucky!!! At least there is a bus going.

Australian guy: IoI. It will take 5 hours to do 180kms.

Spanish girl: Lucky you!!! Could be more

I was sitting in a new class as student when the door opened. Thank God my friend! He came in and we play a game.  The Hangman. The class was over at 6pm and we were free!

My Australian friend and I took the bikes and we went for a snack.

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We had delicious noodles and some spicy fried vegetables with Angkor beer.  Angkor beer has a promotion, when you open the beer you can get one for free. I got many!

Australian guy:  I was thinking of taking you to Phnom Penh. I had a meeting and then the Indian guy and some guys more went out. It was a fun night.

Spanish girl: why didn’t you take me?

Australian guy: Because, you told me 3 weeks ago that you don’t want to visit the city, you don’t want to see traffic.

Spanish girl:  Well, this was 3 weeks ago. I didn’t want to go alone and spend a day there, but if the plan is to sit in the bus with you and the Indian guy, spend a day there and come back….why not?

Australian guy: you told me no.

Spanish girl: You have not asked again.

After the snack we stopped at the bar (just there is a bar in the village)and  had one more beer, then we went to say hello to his girlfriend and we left to have dinner with the Englishman.

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Cambodians don’t eat too spicy, they love pepper with lemon with Barbecue meat, and also I love it.

Today was an amazing day. I woke up like every day at 6.45am, took a shower, opening the door, made coffee and started the day very slow. There is a very old porch in the playground, and we decided to fix it.

A Cambodian guy and I went to buy the material.  Building day!

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We took a lunch break. I was fully covered with black dust, but no time for shower. I went to wash my hands and face and I went for lunch and the market to buy watermelon. Today was the day that I was waiting for since my Australian friend told me that He bought a Tuk Tuk and installed a TV. He told me that 3 month earlier and I told him: I want to see and drive it!!!! If you want something just dream, maybe you can make it a reality.

Happy day! http://tuktuktheatre.org/

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I went back to the school to teach one class and left for a movie.

We were ready for the movie. Australian, Japanese, German and Spanish people on the way to the village. Time to play and watch a movie!

The Japanese girl and I were very hungry we had only soup for lunch, so we got an Ice-cream.

When we arrived at the village we started playing with the kids and then watched a movie and ate watermelon together.

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The rain came on time! We were leaving when it started to rain very heavily .The way back to Pursat was crazy. We dropped the German guy at SC and we went to the Australian-Japanese place.

My Australian friend cooked a really taste pasta. He was cooking and I was around him talking about Spanish, Australian and Italian food. He was cooking with olive oil from Australia. It was good! I tried a spoonful of olive oil ( a coffee spoon) directly from the bottle. How I love to do it!!! How I love olive oil on the bread and a little bit of salt. Yummy!

We boil the spaghettis with water and a dash of olive oil, cut onion and green pepper and fried them. Meantime we cut salami and dry tomatoes that we add later to the pan with the onion and green pepper.  A bit of salt and pepper.

He went to drop the spaghettis into the water I told him: Don’t do it! I was thinking that he wanted to cut the spaghettis. This is the thing that I can’t admit. If you don’t like spaghettis, cook penne or whatever.  He looked at me and said: I won’t do it, but see you face is amazing. When was ready we put a bit more olive oil on the top. I have to say that he worked and I supervised. Meantime the Japanese girl was working for a while and we had dinner together. We ate the spaghettis with chopsticks! Now I can understand the differences between Japanese, Korean and China chopsticks.  It is not the same, make no mistake!!!

Before I jumped into bed I took a shower at the end of an amazing long day and I saw my friend waiting for me.

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This spider is Margarita you know the song  “Margarita se llama mi amor una chica boom boom” (My love is called Daisy, a girl Boom Boom). The first day when I came to this bedroom and I saw the spider family I was afraid, if they bit me I would have a reaction. A month ago one bit me. Now I know that if you put Turmeric powder the reaction goes, but these are huge and I have no idea what kind of spiders they are. So I decided to speak with them and be very clear, if they don’t bit me I will not kill them, that I will be here just for a week and we can share the bedroom and bathroom. I will not disturb them and they will not disturb me. It worked!

In bed I  decided not to  go to Siem Reap.I have a meeting on Monday that I could move or leave to Siem Reap Saturday afternoon stay a night and visit the temples in the morning at  sunrise, most people in Pursat told  me go, go and go. I am not going I have my reasons and I am really comfortable with what I was doing. I will visit Angkor another time

My brother -in-law just told me that he will pick me up at the bus station in Bangkok. There is a Korean guy living this month there with him until he finds an apartment. Meantime my sister is in Spain with my niece waiting to deliver the new baby.