Sunday, July 27, 2014

Gozo Beaches and Comino 7-14

I really enjoy coming to Malta as an adult. I learn and come to understand more about our culture. The way people act, talk, live. Like when you visit someone's house and they offer u a drink, you have to say "yes". You can say "no" forever and you will end up with a drink still. It doesn't have to be booze, but you have to have something.

And the same goes with food.  People come by to the house with food, bread, fruits, tomatoes; a whole bag of them. "Eat, eat" my aunt yells. She is not really yelling, but that is what it sounds like. People speak very loud with a lot of energy and passion. That is why I did not want to speak Maltese, b/c I was too American sounding and I was embarrassed. Mom is loud and so am I.
The women are always running around the house. They can;t sit still. Cleaning, cooking, feeding, they are on the go. I am the same way. I can chill to have dinner and watch a movie, but I have a hard time sitting around relaxing.

When people speak they repeat. They say "ok" so many times to each other, but the Maltese ok, which is ewija. Or "I am leaving I am leaving" and then they still talk and are not leaving, I am surprised how much I am understanding. I have not been here in 5 years and before that was 10 years. I regret not learning the language even though most of my family speaks English, it would have been nice to know.

I can't really speak it though. My brain has a hard time trying to translate and pronounce; listening is much easier. The language is interesting and difficult with so many phrases that are symbolic and don't have a translation in English. I get the idea, but I can't translate exactly the words in English.  Sometimes if you do a literal translation it makes no sense.

It's been intense here, so many people so  much talking. It takes at least 30 mins to an hours to sat good bye. And so much food (I am mean it is ridiclous how much food we are offered); I ask, "who is getting married". It's all great, but coming from a small family in NYC, it's hard to adjust to this place even though we use to come here every summer all summer as kids.

I have been having a terrible time sleeping. No matter what time I go to bed, I only sleep 5 hours. It's been like this since I left Alaska. I walk up after 2-3 hours of sleeping. And I hear so many voices in Maltese b/c at night we get together as a huge group. My brain is trying to process it all. Then 2 hours later I sleep for another hour or so.Chickens are usually up by 7:30 so that's my alarm now.

Day 1: Pix of boat trip to Comino Island with Aussie fam.

Day 2: Pix album of a few beautiful beaches.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Walking Berlin 7-14

Bikes rule the roads and sidewalks here. When walking be sure not to be on their path and always look before turning and crossing. And pedestrians seem to really obey the lights when crossing the streets.

Women have sleeve tats, party on is the theme everywhere and then trash the parks. Lots of huge boats on the river blasting tencho music in midday packed with drinkers. I like it when you go to the supermarket to buy a beer and they ask if you want it opened. Berlin is one huge beer garden :) 
Rather than recycling, many people leave the bottles on the grounds so others will pick it up to take it in for cash. It pains me to see fellow human beings be so careless, disrespectful and unappreciative of the living being, "Earth" that allows us to live.

After WWII Turkish immigrated to Berlin. More Turkish shops that German. Kind of ironic that they now dominate an area that was once all about the white race. The clothing here for Germans seem to be 80s still and colorful, women wearing nice dresses and sandals during the day; but at least there's no hipsters.

Berlin airport is confusing, lot of small shops mixed with the airlines. You find your airline, drop off your bag, go to the gate and immediately there is a security check. So each gate has their own security point makeing it way more efficient time wise.

Click here for Berlin pix and here for here for Baltic sea trip pix.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Bear Viewing Katmai NP 6-14

Using facebook for quick updates and pix and winding down from blogging. Will use this for bigger trips since everyday seems to be an adventure in AK and it's hard to keep up with it all.

Last weekend I got to go bear viewing in Katmai National Park. They actually had a visiting center and cabins to rent. There' were bridges, and platforms to walk about a mile to get to the bears that were catching fish by the stream.

Salmon just came in so it's not busy yet. But we got a few good shots. And a mama and her cub stuck around by our platform. Apparently mama's need to watch out for their cubs as male bears could attack and eat them if they wish. She had 3 cubs and it's not common for all of them to make it. Its also hard for her to fish while there's so many others out there.

I could not believe they also allow people to fly fish in the river by the bears. That is crazy....Anyway, here are some shots. A few are really awesome and it was a clear day for 1.5 hrs trip out there which was great to see the beautiful mountains! click here