{Proximity 11} I tawt I taw a twigull

And I saw a puppy drooling over one plump pigeon.

I saw colorful fruit stalls with many sort of fresh fruits and one ball of brilliant red and green italian chili (or pepper?).

I saw enticing warm trattoria, ostaria and pizzeria with sweet-tongued host and trip advisor sticker on their windows.

I saw swarms of oriental-looking tourists.

I saw band of young guys drinking and chatting throwing their trash down to the canal.

I saw vermillion lobster over spaghetti.

I saw white sheets outside the beautiful rusty windows with green shutters – or should I say venetian blind? Not really – and pots of red flowers.

That’s what I saw in my first day in venezia.

{Proximity 12} where you didn’t get to taste any puttanesca or oglio olio but managed to scoop enough vongole for the day

Duomo di milano.
the piazza was closed for the coming art installation – said the flyers. But the church was open so we got in for a peep. Beautiful.

Milan fashion week.
Once again, accidentally, ndro, mel and I were drown in concoction of fashionista, journalists and tourists in front of Liu.Jo outlet. Thanks to my minimum kepo-ism and my size, I didn’t get to see what the crowd was so excited about. It was kate moss. Sliding out of a mercedes. “Una modella inglesa” I overheard someone explained to someone else behind me. Nice.

Gelato. E pizza. E pasta.
My travel companions started to despise pizza and pasta. But I, I haven’t even started. Me want more pasta. Me want pizza. Me want formaggio. munch, twirl, slurp.

{Proximity 13} Eleanor put your boots on

Or should eleanor loose the boots?

Italian stares at you openly.
Been warned about it.
But still we feel weird being stared like that. More over, they stared at one particular part of my legs: my borrowed burgundy-red dr martens. Mel said “why your boots really attracts their attention ya”

What the…..
Milanese are very fashionable
I wonder is dr martens a sin here? Or is it a total alien to them? How come they don’t know you, doc? The other option is it looks sooo cool on me. Yeah…nya nya nya Maybe they way I mix-match my clothes is totally repulsive for them.

Anyway.. Cuek aja laaa

{Proximity 15} when I am re-convinced that rice is most suitable for asian dishes.

That was ndro’s lunch.
I had only one taste of paella – it was my first meal in barcelona – during the whole visit to spain and that was more than enough. I like nasi goreng duk duk better.

Before lunch, we feasted on the vintage festivities – though some part do sell made in china stuff and not so vintagey – of El Rastro flea market. One part of it is very similar to Pasar Bering Harjo in Jogjakarta or Jalan Surabaya in Jakarta haha… Really enjoyed it, the sun and stamping people did make me dizzy though. Lucky we arrive quite early when not so many people roamed the stalls.

{Proximity 18}

Packed schedule indeed.
Montjuic to visit the castel, joan miro foundation and MNAC, which is very cool. The museum, not the castel. Then off we went to camp nou.

The very cool thing about camp nou I think is not the stadium but the way they display things in the museum. Modern technology. Smart displays. Cool.

-pic: MNAC in montjuic, didn’t have the time to see all the collection.

{Proximity 19} finally Art Nouveau after too many Gothic

Here we hear church bell as much as we hear adzan back in our home country. To my senses, paris, avignon and barcelona are fascinating. They look both preserve in time and modern at the same time, with their own classic (or gothic, or baroq or whatever) buildings and churches. But they do applied very modern technology unlike Jakarta where I’ve been living, where skyscrappers dotting the cityscape but everything is still manually operated

After visiting several infamous gothic churches and building during our journey , Casa Battlo by Gaudi was such a refreshment! Genious. We are convinced that he was abducted by alien so that he came up with such design, haha.
I was most fascinated by the ventilation system, and the gill-like window system.

{Proximity 20} when the vibe of the city far exceeded our expectation

The national day of Catalonia.
We were clueless about it until the lady at the tourist information booth told us that that day is a holiday.

What an experience.
And the massive demonstration, we didn’t know about it either.
Quite an adrenaline booster swimming in and out the crowd to get into our destinations. We filmed it, deny even stayed out late following the crowd and documenting them.

Quite a holiday we had.
Not to mention the delicious churros we accidentally found. The hot cocoa was extraordinary too.

{Proximity 21} au revoir Avignon ola Barcelona

Took the morning train to Barcelona.
Merged into the completely different color palette, different buzzing sound. The more summery feeling.

Deny left his kamera bag on the train when he’s busy helping us with our luggage, but we were able to get it back on time fortunately. The officer guided us to cross the platform so we can find the bag before the train take of to figueres.

Spent that first day in Barcelona absorbing the vibe of la rambla (o boy so many people) and re filling our stomach. I saw more of my friends’ happy faces (happy tummies to be precise) here, cause finally they were satisfied with the food, while the food in france were to bland for them.

O and I learned how to order espresso machiatto here, they call it cortado. Enough spanish to keep me alive I think :p

{Proximity 22} the day I managed to finish 2 scoops of ice cream in no time

Pont d’avignon.
Taken from the balcony towards the palace’s garden, where melani dropped her lens cap into the garden below. After talking to the customer service with no solution, she just dropped the case.

The unfinished bridge itself doesn’t really talk. Wouldn’t even notice it as one historical relic if I didn’t heard about it before. Well the stroll alongside rhone was quite nice though. Lavender. Bees.wind. Birdie’s drops.

{Proximity 23} the first time I couldn’t get lost no matter how hard I tried

Ville D’avignon. Where the hotter southern wind awaited.

We boarded the train south in the hope of being drown in lavender field or getting lost in some unknown vineyard, which, neither were accomplished.
We decided to take leisure stroll around the city and get lost in its many alleyways, while regaining our strength for the next buzzing cities.

I like avignon. The people are much friendlier than parisian and it smells good – of lavender – despite the fact that the pet population is greater than the people. (Just kidding)

{Proximity 25} from versailles to vouge

Half day roamed the palaces of kings and queen – the chateau, grand trianon, petit trianon, marie antoinette estate – marvelous palaces, again..wished the crowd wasn’t so crazy.

My friend almost got his wallet snatched (again). You really must be careful especially when you walk alone. Lucky him the wallet was intact.

He managed to empty it though, later on in the evening. In the various boutiques in rue st. Honore, where, flock of fashionable parisian swarmed the street. Turned out there’s Vogue Paris Fashion Night Out that very eve. So..free canapees and champagne for us.

Ended up in Opera Garnier, clicked our dusk away with our various camera, enjoying the after hour ambience of paris.

{Proximity 27} when the pickpocket couldn’t find my pocket

Champs-Élysées. 04.09.12

Been warned about the famous finger-smiths of paris. We are said to be a likely target because we are asian and smalls and totally tourist-like.

When we walk to the most prestigious street on paris, champs-elysees, a women brushed my right arm and kept walking very close to me. tried to fish my wallet out of my bag she was!. No madam! My bag was so packed I found it difficult even for me to fish out my wallet haha!

She walked on and did the same thing to my friend, who fortunately realized it and step away from her.

Well..where the glamorous things are, the dimmest things will also be. The world seems always find a way to recover its balance.

Unlike me, who lost my balance (and my breath!) while ascending the spiral endless flight of stone stairs in the windowless stone stairwell of Arch de Triomphe that eve. Bloody suffocating enclosure. It was not the numerous steps, but the absence of window and landing that made me feel a lil bit panicky and a lot claustrophobic. The view from up there did the justice but the gallery inside the arc gave us nothing memorable.

{Proximity 28} so I learned to share my crumbs with the birdie

Louvre on the second day!

Scanned the collection (almost covered 2 wings with frantic pace), awed by some of the paintings (not monalisa though), by the vastness of the place, some of us awed by colorful Laduree macaron.

But what we really enjoy was munching on our baguette in the courtyard, absorbing the sight of the glass pyramid, having our tropical skin got whipped by frenchie wind, and sharing food with our feathered friends.

And I learn to eat where they shit haha

and the bird won’t sing

the end has begun. once again.
the conclusion of a circle (which, essentially has no tail).
closing up while actually making born of some(other)thing.
(can we really call it the end, then?)
anyway they say it is the time to reflect. isn’t it?
since contemplating is not my cup of tea,
let’s just skim through my note/sketch-book
which i have filled out during two thousand and eleven

(will post it gradually, and not in sequential order)

| 2 0 1 1 . pen . orient

long black haired ghost
dark forest
sliding windows
eerie mansion
ex-prospective client
weird conversation
creepy living room
natalia’s desk
faceless account executive

{what I could remember from the images that appear in my dreams these couple of nights that got me woken up so tired despite my long hours of sleeps}

|jakarta.11.07.27. i miss dreamless sleep