Maand: juli 2015

Flora of the Seychelles at degrees below zero (Celsius)

In the academic bookshop in Helsinki, there is a helsinki_1coffee shop on the first floor (second if you are American).

I was having a coffee, after a walk through the white city. After some time I looked up from the book I was reading, and I read some titles of books on the counter next to where I was sitting.

The section for Biological Sciences was neighbouring the coffee corner.081382267x

I read funny titles: “Diseases of the Swine” , “Flora of Mauritius and The Seychelles46194-2

Outside it is freezing 15 degrees.

Lonely Island classic albums: Stranded

What album will you bring on your Robinson Crusoe adventure?greil-marcus-628x400

Greil Marcus let American rock writers chose their album and justify their choice in Stranded.

I can continue reading this type of literature forever. Or create a blog on it. Or a podcast. Or maybe there is one, but I don’t know about it. And I am too lazy to check it out.

The book describes a beautiful image of the 60s and 70s and of course specifically the rock scene at the time when vinyl was still mainstream. Some of the bands have become pretty obscure. The Ronettes, ok I still remember them and may kids may have heard a song from them once. But Little John Willie, Hugh Smith, … WTF, as they would say. I can’t even recall having heard of them. And I was into music, in my time (reading ferociously on the topic: Oor, Rolling Stone, NME, what had you).foto

The first one leaving a note, I will send the book for free (item condition: read).


Dec 2015: started a list.

Joburg at 6000 euros, The God of Small Things

Changing the ticket to flight through Johannesburg to Amsterdam was horribly expensive: 6000 euros (single economy ticket).

I went for it. If all’s well the customer is paying.

The ride to JFK was very stressful. We underestimated the travel time to JFK during rush hour. So I rushed out of the car into the checkin, just to find out the flight to Johannesburg is cancelled. A large row of malinformed people waiting.

A small boyish girl eventually informed me.

 Then I discovered that the travel agency had made an error changing my original return flight to Amsterdam to go through Joburg. I was not booked on the original flight. And therefore could not get a ticket for the alternative flight via Atlanta they offer.

In the very noisy departure hall I called my travel agency. They could do nothing else than arrange the Marriott close to JFK while making arrangements for me.

In the Yellow Cab we passed a movie scene: a bunch of people around a fire in an oil drum.

Contact with the agency in the hotel room. They arranged an alternative flight for the next day.

Checked out at about twelve and back to the airport with the Yellow Cab.
 At JFK, the driver gave me a blank receipt. He grinned: ‘Now you expense a million dollars’, put my suitcase on the pavement and jumped back in the car.

At the Delta desk the price for the new ticket had gone up from 2900 the agency promised, to 4200 euros. I did get a very helpful lady from Delta, and a ticket in return. That totaled up the total flying cost for this trip at 6000 euros.

In the bookshop I bought The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy.

The flight was less difficult than expected, but I also slept less than expected. On the other hand, I watched three movies: Bewitched (crap), Batman Begins and Caché. Caché with the most beautiful woman on earth: Juliette Binoche. I finished The God of Small Things too. Wonderful, though in my mind I associate it with the dreamy state of half-consciousness I was in while reading the book.

I checked in at the unavoidable Sandton Sun and Towers hotel. Villamoura, the restaurant in the hotel is an absolute must. Their calamari is exquisite. I collapsed after that.

You Kill It, We Grill It – everything I like about Seligman

I was searching for Martin Seligman, after watching his TED talk, but seligman-signhit this site  from Seligman, Arizona.

I wanted to go there immediately. Fantastic, these all American images on that site.

I imagine sitting on the porch of one of these houses, in a rocking chair. All according to the cliches. Cowboys shouting in the saloon next door.

Mind Body and Spirit conference 2009©Brendan Read
Martin Seligman

Horses loosely attached to the fench rail.

Sporadically cars drive by, suspending large clouds of dust.6221405478_8ac7539d0e_b

At least four reasons to stop at Seligman on your Route 66 road trip:

  • The Roadkill Café – “You Kill It, We Grill It!”
  • Historic Route 66 General Store
  • Route 66 Motel – “All of our rooms are newly remodeled,including new mattresses to ensure maximum  sleep comfort”
  • The site’s visit counter is at 4951 last time I visited (July 2015).

Everything I said. Well, that’s all.