Saturday, August 14, 2010

The one with the clubbing...

So I went clubbing last week, not something that happens often these days but I still quite enjoy it.
The club itself was in a back alley, not very comforting, but the people waiting to go in didn't seem threatening at all, so I paid the cover and went in.

The washrooms were posh, they were even giving away samples for hair products. How cool is that? Too bad that I only bring a small purse when I go clubbing and I can't stuff it with samples! Anyways, that's not the point today...

One thing that did mesmerized me though was that when we were on the dancefloor, an African-american woman, stopped a caucasian man in his mid twenties just a step away from me and I overheard her introducing herself. Fair enough. I looked away for maybe 3 seconds and when they came back into my line of vision, lo and behold they were kissing each other!! That marked me. What could they have said to each other, other than each other's names during that 3 second gap? Hi, my name is *bleep*, let me put my tongue down your throat now?

Now, I encountered an article in today's newspaper that talks about the "grinding" in clubs. This I find is quite interesting, but unfortunately, the link isn't up because it's the w/end newspaper I guess and you would have to buy it! But in essence, it talked about how, being difficult to talk in clubs, guys would just walk up to a girl on the dancefloor and grind behind her. Some of the women didn't find that degrading at all, they were flattered that the guy chose them and the next thing you know, they were kissing. This is what it has come down to. Guys do not approach girls, sweet-talk them and buy them drinks. They see, they choose, they grind and get kissed. If they are rejected, 10 seconds wasted.

I feel like the world is going through a degradation that is unstoppable. In last century, it would have been unimaginable for a man to touch a lady in public, let alone when they are total strangers. Next time I go clubbing, I should be afraid to even look at any guy straight to his face lest he thinks it's an invitation to come grind behind me.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The dolphin argument

During my trip to Cuba, I had the opportunity to book a day on a catamaran which included lunch at a restaurant on Cayo Blanco and an interaction with dolphins.

Although I come from an island, I've only seen dolphins in the wild once, on a catamaran trip about 7 yrs ago. The dolphins were totally free, we were able to see them because the fishermen knew their usual whereabouts but it was entirely up to luck whether you'd actually see them or not. We were lucky that day, they came and swam alongside our catamaran for about 30 minutes.
My only other dolphin sightings were the occasional dolphin show in a marine park of some sort, never within arm's reach though.

So being told that we would have the chance to get our pictures taken with a dolphin was enough to get us all excited about the whole experience. The dolphin enclosure, which was a structure built in open sea, had a number of large pools that had platforms built-in for people to stand on and stairs leading down to them. The dolphin trainer, Abel, asked about 10 people to step on the platform at a time. We were allowed to touch the dolphin everywhere except for the eyes, the air orifice and the genitals. One of the three dolphins, whose name was Nemo, would follow Abel's instructions to swim slowly along the row of people on the platform and a second time to swim on its back, giving us the opportunity to feel the texture of its "skin" on its back and the underside as well. Then, we each got a "kiss" from Nemo before he showed us how to clap and wave goodbye. Then if you chose to, you could have your picture taken by a "professional" photographer and later buy the picture for 10 pesos.

In addition to all the above, I had 2 "intimate" moments with the dolphins. I was the first in the water with my group, so furthest from Abel when he started with instructions for us. One of the dolphins swam right towards me and I stood there, backing up a little with my arms apart and out of the water and Nemo came and poked my belly button. It was U N R E A L. It's funny the thrill I got out of it. I felt so special *sigh*.

Later on, while waiting patiently for everybody ahead of me to get their professional picture taken, I was slapping the water a little to see if one of the dolphins will respond and surely enough, I caught the attention of one of them. When he approached, I held out my open hand just under the surface of the water (I've seen Abel do it!) and it slowly swam to my hand and poked it before swimming away. I dreamed then of having a dolphin as best friend. :(
Nemo gave me a big, sloppy, tongue-out kiss for my "professional" picture. Yes, I totally felt like a princess.

One of my friends had something to say on my dolphin experience. When I posted the picture of the dolphin enclosure, she said that the dolphins should be released and said that I should watch "The Cove" if I don't agree. I have not watched the film, the Wikipedia page says enough. I know enough about myself to know that I would not be able to bear the movie. That said though, the other remarks that followed from my friend were like personal attacks, blaming me for slaughtering the poor mammals almost.

My friend's point was that dolphins should be free and not held in captivity. I agree to that, I don't think ALL of the dolphins in the world should be held in captivity. I however do not blame ALL marine parks or EVERYBODY who condone such activities that would bring them closer to dolphins in captivity. She pointed the finger at me because by going through with it, I was encouraging dolphin-hunting according to her. Okay, there's only a limited number of marine parks around the world, with only so much demand for dolphins. My argument for dolphins kept in captivity is that they bring awareness to the masses. After all, not everybody can afford to go see dolphins in their natural habitat. Someone who has seen a dolphin in a show is more likely to be interested in the fate of the mammals than someone who has been watching the Discovery channel.

Maybe I would have felt different if I witnessed a dolphin being ill-treated. The ones I have met though looked happy and playful enough. There was a 3-year old little boy from Quebec in our group and he cried his eyes out when his mom took him out of the water. Now tell me that this kid is not going to remember this day for the rest of his life and feel a special attachment for dolphins and you would be lying. Is this little guy going to grow up to become a dolphin-killer? Is he already a dolphin murderer because he wanted to touch an otherwise inaccessible animal? You tell me.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Cuba...the discovery of a communist country

I came back yesterday from a week-long trip to Varadero, Cuba.
C U B A, such a sweet sound to my sunburned ears right now.

Most people probably associate that country to Fidel Castro, the US embargo, beautiful white sand beaches and what not. Yes, like most people I've done my research before going there. However, the research was mainly to address my comfort level when I get there, not on the country itself. So funnily enough it is only today that I have read the wikipedia page on Cuba.

Last Tuesday, I was on a day trip to Havana, the capital of Cuba. During the 2 hour bus trip there, the tour guide gave us anecdotal details about Cubans alongside the historical details that made the country what it is today. One thing that hit me right away was the number of people waiting by the side of the road.  I soon realized they were waiting for a ride...not a specific ride, just any car that would pick them up.

Now, that fact in itself is puzzling to me who have never hitchhiked, the result of a sheltered childhood and the absence of a situation where I'd absolutely need to go somewhere without having the means. Now Cubans are not rich, so I would understand that the vast majority of the population would have to use public transportation. Coming from a "poor" island myself, I am aware of illegal cabs, especially in regions where the bus service is less than par. This was my original thought. These people by the roads are waiting for a car which would stop and take them wherever, for a minimal charge. But to my surprise, the tour guide was quick to correct me. The rides are free. Huh.

Ok, so if I was poor and had a car that is falling apart, why would I pick up people I do not know by the side of the road and drive them to where they need to go? Of course, out of the goodness of MY heart, but not everybody has a golden heart like mine. So here's another thought: the car does not belong to you. It belongs to the state and your position within the government entitles you to a car, but since everybody is working for the good of everybody else, you SHOULD stop and pick up people if you can! Errr...okay.

Yes, I was born and raised in a Capitalist country. The idea of not owning anything except the clothes on your back is MIND-BLOWING. Cubans are not allowed to sell their houses because they do not own their houses. They can agree to exchange houses and pay a tax to the government for it, but the government still owns their houses. When the tour guide told us about the house exchange, I thought of a conversation in my head that would go like this in between 2 Cubans:

Man1: Ola, I think my house is getting too small for the family and your kid is in high school in the countryside most of the week. What do you say we swap houses?
Man2: Ola. Hmm, true, I guess we only really need the room just for the week-end when he comes back, but we could all squeeze nicely into your house otherwise.
Man1: Is that a deal then, should we go pay the tax?
Man2: Okay, let me run it by the wife and give you a final answer tomorrow.
Man1: Awesome, let me know.

It's probably not the way it goes. The only way it could happen would probably be between relatives who would sacrifice themselves for the good of the people they love. Why else would they swap houses??

Have I read the wikipedia page beforehand, I would have had way more questions for the tour guide....That would teach me to barely skim the surface when "researching" my vacation destination!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Two-faced Bastards...

or another version of "the grass is greener on the other side"!

Last night I was at a "play" that featured a stage with a curtain made up of blinds in the middle and the audience split in 2, on either side of the curtain, facing the stage. The audience had the choice of the side they wanted to be on, without the knowledge of which side was going to be featuring what. It was suggested that if you came with someone, to split and each watch a side of the play. 

My side of the stage started with 6 comedians sitting, facing the audience and a discussion among themselves about what it means to be a performer. One by one, they left their seat and went on the side to undress and get into their costume before going through the curtain to the other side of the stage and started to dance. We could catch what was going on on the other side when the blinds were moved, accidentally or on purpose

For the first part of the play, I had the distinct feeling that I was on the backstage side of the curtain and missing out on the dance on the other side. Therefore throughout the play, any glimpse of the other side was like a peek into a better performance and a guess of what the stage on the other side looked like! I would say my side was not bad, it was funny, we had a dance component, and the producer/choreographer was seated just behind me and HE was chuckling every now and then! Ah but the nagging feeling that the grass is greener on the other side....

After the performance, we gathered in the lobby with some people who have seen the play from the other side. Funnily enough, they also started by thinking they were seeing the backstage because for them the play started with 1 dancer warming up and barely hearing the discussion on the other side of the curtain. We then discussed the numerous times when we could hear distinct sounds but could not make out what was happening on the other side. It turned out that we had the more explanatory side of the curtain and they had the more obscure, more artistic side. Now depending on your personal taste, arguments can be made for either side. For sure though, a number of the audience walked out of there feeling they chose the wrong side to sit on....

Friday, June 11, 2010

Random chats

When I was a teen and the Internet was "new" to most people, there was IRC.
People my age, in my country, would spread through their peers which channel they were going to be on in the evening and sure enough, you would find the most popular kids on there (mind you, with ingenious nicknames). The excitement at the time was trying to figure out who is behind the nickname and to make friends in real life if we clicked on the net. Since I come from a relatively small country, that wouldn't be quite hard, most people were separated by 3 degrees at most. All conversations back then would start with the usual "a/s/l" (age/sex/location) question and go from there. That is how I discovered random chats.

This phase of my life didn't last very long, I quickly found it boring to be talking to people when you did not know what they looked like and hard to actually make friends with. The other day, I was watching NCIS and one of the characters in there was trying a "webcam chat roulette" site. Out of boredom, I googled it and signed up on the first website that came up in the search results.

Well now, apparently they are all pretty much the same...There's a button that allows you to jump to someone else if the one you are currently looking at does not please you. Both parties can "next" each other, so if you see a little shuffling going on, you KNOW you don't look good enough to be talked to...or rather, you have on too many clothes....Yes, unfortunately there is way too much nudity on that website. It seems to me that some people are just dying to expose themselves and these webcam-driven websites are just a field day for these exhibitionists!

This new experiment did not last long either for I do not take any kind of pleasure in looking at guys playing with themselves. I did however make a friend there. It also happened to be his first time on that website, which maybe explains why we were the only two fully clothed! We did exchange credentials to keep the conversation going and have learned to know each other through long w/end chats. Now is it creepy to meet people online? That's for another posting...soon hopefully!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Rainy Olympics

I'm finding Vancouver quite...wet.

The temperature is quite mild but the clouds wouldn't go away. So the winter olympics is set amid a rainy background. I wear boots every day, suede boots, but there's no snow to tread in.  Mind you, I do enjoy not wearing layers and layers of warm clothes, but come on, these are the WINTER Olympics!

I have been enjoying the behind-the-scenes while volunteering though.
This allowed me to get closer to the outdoor Olympic flame just outside of where I'm volunteering as a techie.
And I got to see the CTV studios up close as well! Now, I just want to see Canada win GOLD!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Mauritian at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics...

So I've been in Vancouver for almost 48 hrs now.

A few things to note:
- streets are narrower over here,
- people look gooooooood here (I always tend to find people outside of where I reside better looking!)
- it has been raining since I got here....

So it's a good thing I brought my umbrella.
Yesterday was quite a fun filled day. I picked up my dress rehearsal tickets and a bottle of wine and walked around downtown a bit. I ended up at Robson Square where I decided to wait in line to pick up competition tickets. After more than 1 hr wait, I got them tickets, yay!

I was talking in line with a very nice couple and I saw them again after having lunch in the mall. I was actually looking for a locker to put away my wine bottle, but guess what, for security reasons, they have removed all the lockers during the games! So when I saw them again, I offered to give the guy my bottle of wine and then had to explain that I can't hold on to it because I cannot bring any food or drinks with me to the dress rehearsal that night.

Next thing I know, the guy was directing me to a concierge of a nearby hotel where he used to work and I went there and the concierge guy accepted to store my bottle of wine, but not without asking some questions about how come I ended up at his desk.

That's one thing about these games....Vancouver is opening up to the world and I'm opening up to strangers apparently. Yes mom, I know I'm not supposed to talk to strangers but these are the winter olympic games!!!!!!!

Go Canada go!  (Only coz Mauritius doesn't send any athlete to the winter olympics!) :P