Monday, August 30, 2010

Don't listen to what they say, go see!: Napoli

Most travellers, including me are asked to avoid Naples thanks to the (supposed) dangers of the Camorra. But believe me if you're careful enough and if you belive what Dean Martin says, you'll be fine!
''When you dance down the street with a cloud at your feet
You're in love
When you walk down in a dream but you know you're not
Dreaming signore
Scuzza me, but you see, back in old Napoli
That's amore." :)
So yes, in this city right beside the active Mount Vesuvius, you'll meet the Napoletanos who are the nicest and funniest people on earth (generally people get friendlier as you move towards Italy's sunny south) and Napoli is indeed a treat for your senses, the tiny streets are crammed with marvellous chaos, Vespas blare their horns with the same intensity as the locals' voices, you can't miss the laundry that hangs on clotheslines which connects all the grand decadent buildings. Pizza and Spaghetti were born HERE, so your taste buds should be prepared for magic! If you want to feel like royalty, you just visit the Teatro San Carlo and the Royal Palace of Naples (which is strangely always deserted!). I have to admit not everyone enjoys this hectic, grimy and crumbling city. Well that's because it's not made for everyone, only for those people who seek out the unusual, the alluring, the real will feel right at home here. I fell in love with Napoli. Immediately. Intensely.

The interiors of one of many magnificent churches!

In the sketchy quarters of Spaccanapoli, go in search of Gino Sorbillo, he is a magician with pizzas and trust me he can change your life! Above is my Margherita, just before I dovoured it in five minutes.

Great news!

OMG! I have just received news from the Inspection in France! and guess what? They want to renew my contract! Im thrilled beyond words. I was waiting for this an entire month!!! Apparently there is a post for English teacher for higher secondary students still vacant in a little town on the coast. It's nowhere close to Rouen (where I lived last year, in fact it's almost three hours away!) I mentioned I was geographically flexible but I did not expect to be boxed up and sent to a town whose population is 6000 only! But now that I think about it, I quite like the idea of a tiny town. I'm going to need time to digest that I might be the only English speaker in this town and there might not be as much ''entertainment'', I would expect to have to in France! I also have to sort out where I will live and when I can get the visa sorted out and actually get there! SO excited, I can't even type properly! 

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sunday ends with Bebinca

It's another Sunday and I have still not heard from the French school about my contract, so I decided instead of moping around, I decided to convince the dogs to come for a walk with me. The walk did me a lot of good. The dogs are real fun but they scare me a little bit. I think they sense I'm more of a cat person, but they don't mind accompanying me along my walks and protecting me from the other strays on the way. That's sweet on their part. 

My grandmother's house is on top of a lovely hill and the locality is full of lush green trees and my favourite road in the world is the really long one above. It looks like the trees parted in the middle to let you take a nice long walk and they're kind enough to let a little sunlight seep through :)

Then I noticed that the flowers from one of my birthday bouquets was dying, so I headed over to the local florist to buy some fresh carnations and pink roses.

I got back home and had a big slice of Bebinca/Bibik which is a tradition Goan dessert but I can eat it at any time of day. The process of preparing Bebinca is painstaking as it has many layers, which need to prepared one at a time and slowly. The main ingredients of this dessert are eggs, refined flour, coconut milk and butter. My aunt always says, if someone gifts you Bebinca, it means they really like you! I ate a twenty-two layered Bebinca piece today prepared by my uncle. Didn't I already say I have the best family ever?!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

My birthday with the Sea.

Otherwordly delights.

This tree was bewitching! The rains are so special in Goa, especially when the water gathers below the trees and the leaves will swoop to create monsoon magic!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Hungarian Religious monuments

Bridges of Budapest

Ten imposing bridges live on the Danube, of which eight are very famous, of which I could manage to see only three during my short stay. 

1. The Elizabeth Bridge (Erzsébet híd): is a fairly modern suspension bridge which was rebuilt after the original was bombed during the second world war. 

2. The Chain Bridge (Lánchíd): remains undoubtedly the most prominent bridge in Budapest. It was the first bridge constructed between the cities of Buda and Pest. There are majestic Lions sitting all along the edge of the bridge and you can't help but feel microscopic when you look at them. The bridge would have been my favourite but owing to the throngs of tourists hanging around, I didn't have enough time to take it all in! Although the lovely lamps and Lions still remain very animated in my mind's eye!

3. Liberty Bridge or Freedom Bridge (Szabadság híd): is my favourite bridge in Budapest, it quite a distance from the Chain Bridge, but nothing is more exciting than a long walk along the Danube. The Emperor Francis Joseph inaugurated the bridge which was originally named after him but the more symbolic name was chosen after the liberation of Hungary from the Germans. There are trams and cars constantly running across the bridge, so you need to be quick and cautious while snapping your photographs. Birds from Hungarian mythology have found their way onto the crest of the structure and this would explain why this bridge is so alluring. And oh, my most favourite part is the colour! The Bridge is green!

The prettiest green.