Thursday, June 25, 2009

PARIS. Off with their heads.

Jewish Museum, Berlin, #2

Once again. The Jewish museum in Berlin was incredible.

I realized that I did not have much understanding of Jewish history, philosophy or culture. I had been lucky to discover a whole lot of other cultures through friends at school and uni, but for some reason was never really introduced by a Jewish friend into their fascinating culture and religion.

The visit to the museum was like making a new friend. The quotes from Jewish philosophers were amazing. The importance placed on "The greatest good", being learning, was excellent.

Here is a 13th century painting of a teacher and his student:

Scary Post: Holocaust Tower, Jewish Museum, Berlin

The Jewish museum in Berlin was amazing. I will shortly write another post about it.

Basically I had a couple of short hours there and decided, on the whole, not go to the WWII or Holocaust part of the museum. I felt that in some small way, I had already been exposed to that story. In my coming post I will write about the wonderful sections of the museum on Jewish history, philosophy and culture that I discovered.

However, on the map/plan of the museum there was one prominent bit that stuck out. It was called the Holocaust Tower. I don´t want to give it away for anyone that goes there after me, but basically:

On entering the space I unconsciously said "Oh my god..." out loud.

Then, without even thinking, I just took out my camara and started pictures with my hand extended, at any angle, without any intention, without any planning or any posed gestures. My reactions to the space came out in some shots, and in fact the positions of people around me were also shocking:

It was an overwhelming experiment.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Berlin. 2009.

The remnants of the Berlin wall in the year 2009 gave me an experience to remember.
I wanted to take a photo of this section of the wall that I had by luck stumbled across.

I approached a bystander who was having his cigarette. It was a quiet street on a Friday afternoon. I asked him to take a photo of me, apologizing bashfully for interrupting his cigarette, which he didn´t seem too keen to neglect, and joking with him that it would be "a fun artistic photo", and I assured him he´d enjoy himself.

I pulled out my camara only to find that it didn´t have any battery left.
My aquaintance then had the idea to kindly take the photos from his camara which he happened to have on him, and then email them to me.

My aquaintance´s name was Mahdi, and he is from Iran. I told him my name was Maddy. We were standing taking photos of a site that calls for world peace.

Madhi kindly sent me the photos. He surpassed the idea that the photos would be merely artistic. They were astonishing.

In his email, at the end, Madhi sends me a quote:

"Consider the momentous event in architecture when the wall parted and the column became.", Louis Kahn

I hope for the parting of all walls and all barriers to tolerance, peace, plurality and understanding.
I hope for Madhi, and for his country. This week more than ever.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I missed my flight

They didn´t let me on the plane. I arrived a good 20 minutes beforehand and despite the fact that the plane was still physically there and it would have only taken them 5 minutes to escort me to get on, they didnt let me.

The Air Berlin rep was SO unhelpful. I have gone through this before and the reality is there is always a way to help a passenger get on the airplane... but she was just hard. And right. I did arrive late. But come on. Late by 10 minutes!!

The worst part is that she said I could go on an upcoming flight via Dusseldorf but that would cost 350 euros. and then another couple turned up who had missed the flight and she gave them the dusseldorf flight free, because their original booking had a small mistake on it. uuuf!!

So after checking trains flights and everything and saying to this chic "So, Air Berlin has absolutely nothing to offer in order to help?", "You realize, as we are speaking the passengers and air crew are doing absolutely nothing on the flight but flicking through the magazines and adjusting their seatbelts, and I could just get on that plane".

So I am taking an Easyjet plane at 1:30pm for 150 euros..... I may offer to personally pay that I think...see what my boss says..

Its not actually a big thing as the meetings today are kind of non- essential, tomorrow is the big day, and in fact my counterparts will not make a big thing of it in Berlin as I am not the only NGO person who is coming and they told me to meet up with them today whenever I could, kind of...i hope...

Anyway. I was really pissed off and really started to debate with the lady from AirBelin. I hope someone gives her swine flu.

But now a really cool Algerian waiter in the cafe here made me laugh. I took out 100Euros by mistake to pay for a coffee and he said "you are rich". I said "No, I am poor, I earn mexican pesos and I just had to pay for a flight for no reason". And he said "well you may not be rich but you are obviously a very important person". haha. He could see I was upset. And then we started to talk about Mexico City´s football stadium and algerian language.

so that was that. joder.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Melting Pot

A man in a shop in geneva yesterday almost fell over with laughter when I told him that I was an Australia living in Mexico and here in Geneva for work. He just thought it was hilarious. Internationality, man.