New Year 2013, celebrating with 24 travel memories and pictures

It is that time, the one to look back and try to make a brief sum of the experiences of the year past. It does not feel like it but today is precisely one year I left for travelling around the world.

Considering to spend an hour reminiscing one single event, today I will comply a 24 memories’ list for this first day of the year. This is a random list, absolutely incomplete, but something to look at, at least for me for years to come.

During this year of travelling I did:

1)   Visit 13 States and 4 Continents

2)   Get my first freelancer job as photographer

3)   Meet countless amount of wonderful people

074)   Attend 2 Gay Pride Parades

                      5)   Watch a Marathon passing12

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6)   Sleep a total of 12 days without accommodation

  7)   Work in a farm

8)   Work in a zooBinturong

Hornbill29)   Photoshoot my first calendar (Wild Life)

                      10)  Risk arrest and deportation twice                                        (one of which an ongoing issue)

11)  get Padi Open Water and SSI Advance OW licenses

                                                              12)  Drive a tuktuk

13)  See a typhoon and a IMG_20120706_090108house on fire

14)  Pet, feed and fall in love with a tiger 121111_Kampot_0540

15)  Bathed in a body of water in nearly every LakeBathplace I visited

16)  Get sick 4 times

1717)  Attend 2 ceremonies of Royal relevance

18)  Spend a grand total of 12800€

IMG_20120624_220324         19)  Behave shamelessly one time too many and still counting

20)  See the sunrise birth and death in: a desert, a tropical island, Angkor Wat,Angkor2 Tokyo, a lake at 9000ft, at -28ºC in the Finnish countryside and many more other places

The day the cubs were born He was feeling a bit left alone

21) See 5 calves and 2 lion cubs being born

22)  Have a smoothy with an old school real Super Model and her family

23)  Cook deep fried courgette’s flowers, a speciality from Tuscany, in Japan

24)  Went out at sea for a traditional fishing night in Cambodia120711_Fishermans_0386

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Washington DC the memorial city

My time in Washington DC has been one of the best ever, I was visiting a very good friend of mine and I found great new friends and people. At first my impression of the city has been one of a huge memorial site. All the buildings, stations, statues, parks and fountains appear to be a memorial to some war or some military corps and so on. The fact that the very same day I went out to discover the city was Memorial Parade day enhanced the sense of celebratory architecture of the city.

Summer in Washington DC is hot, so plan to visit Washington DC accordingly if you don’t want to experience a subtropical temperature with humid sticky weather at times drizzly yet still hot. I have never sweat like that.

Back to the parade, we waited the passage of the parade about middle way and it was quite a long wait, I mean between two carriages or music bands there were long period of nothingness that took away the parade momentum in my opinion. Yet, the show was there, the army troops in uniform marching orderly, the bands with colours, standards and ensigns. I could not but sympathize  with how hot they surely felt and admire their determination.

My favourite part was the historical divisions but I caught only a couple of those. However, one interesting thing was to observe how Americans manage to get the show bizz even in a Memorial parade. The old generals waving sitting on the bumper of vintage looking cars, the “sponsored” heroes usually surrounded by flashy and fringy clouds of metallic red white and blue and the hovering eagles, the music stars, yes you read me well the American Idol winners or something like that were there too, I think they were suppose to be somehow related to the army in some way but I found them to be quite out of contest and I think they felt it too.

All in all it has been a nice experience but I would not plan a visit to Washington just for the parade that we left before the end because of the heat and scorching sun. I discovered instead a plethora of museums, galleries and artistic events that constellate the city scene and this is a very valid reason for visiting DC. The Smithsonian institutes even presented me with the chance to see a full exhibition on Japanese prints of mount Fuji by Hokusai among which shine one of my favourite art pieces ever: The Wave. It is truly mesmerizing in its simplicity.

I strongly suggest to include Washington DC in your itinerary if you are a museum traveller, from painting to ancient pottery, sculpture gardens and portraits passing by space related technology and the biggest collection of aircrafts I never thought possible to find in a single building, Washington surely has something for you.

I am looking forward to hear your stories and views about Washington DC.

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Drag Queens are taking over the sport field

Cheerio,

Following leads to get kick started on one of my project I stumble upon the Drag Kick ball match in Washington DC as part of the gay pride week events. SDB and I both thought that such an event ought to be interesting and fun, I mean  how often do you see Drag Queens doing sport? To be fair I didn’t even know what kick ball was until I arrived at the field. For who is wondering, kick ball from what I gathered is a sort of baseball played with a football and no bats. The event was a hit with the local judging from the amount of public in and out the fences. A Drag Queen team is great fun to watch, the warming up looks like a cabaret show with jazz hands and all the trimmings. It is all about swaying and stretching as if you do it while dancing in a disco club with a kaleidoscopic motion of glitter, feathers and unconventional sporty outfits. One of the ladies even went as far as wearing high heels prompting the organizer to state that any liability for injuries were totally up to the players. The game was quite fast paced, the weather unpredictable as usual in Washington went from sunny to drizzly but the overall show was quite amusing. On base two the lady was bitch slapping the air dancing her way through the game, whereas on the next base the queen was giving attitude in retribution. The most glamorous of the pitchers won her round and headed back to the team corner swagging in a way worthy of Victoria Beckham. The running between bases was at time hilarious with uncoordinated and choreographed  chase enriched by screeching reminiscent of mid-century ladies playing sport for the first time in their life. The public was cheering and laughing and few lucky ones won gym subscription and a ticket to the Madonna concert; the guy who won it didn’t get very popular by admitting publicly that he was not a big fun of Madge.

The only thing that let me down a bit was the lack of commenting during the match, I would have loved to hear some real dry Drag Queenish humour commenting the event.

All in all it was a great afternoon and fully worth it the low price of the ticket. I could not but think at last year when I did attend the Bear Race in Helsinki in which bearded Drag Queens race each other in various running styles. I am adding some exclusive pictures never seen before just for you. If you will ever have the chance to attend a Drag Queen sport event I cannot but suggest you to go because even if you don’t like to watch sport like me, you are going to be in for an amusing treat.

Oh yes, I nearly forgot, the Drag Queen team was the winner of the match, go DQs go and next year please bring it on with a Cheer-Queen-leader group!