Two weeks ago I went home to my birthplace. One of the things I did, was walking to the mountain. Finally. High up there I breathed freely, watching the high mountains on the other side of our lake. It was beautiful. At the top I found an architectural wonder, where I could snuggle up between blankets and a good book. It was so quiet and peaceful, feeling the heartbeat of from the mountain. The sound of a rivulet, the heavy breathing as a climbed up to another top, the warm wind caressing the trees. But the loudest sound were born in the silence, where you can hear your thoughts and feel your emotions. That’s where you hear the steady heartbeat the most. It’s the sound of being alive.
This is my third day in Japan, and I have already seen and experienced so much! High buildings that tickle my aesthetic sense, people so different from Norwegians (they are so respectful of others, in a way that both amazes me and scares me. When are they allowed to just be themselves?) and tasting food I never thought would enter my digestive track. Today we first went to the imperial palace, and it was fascinating. Right next to the park where skyscrapers, and the contrast of old vs new appealed to me. It was very warm, though, so when we had wandered through it we almost called it a day and went home. But I found the guide-book and I was mystically drawn to an area of Tokyo called Odaiba. It took an hour to get there, and right there and then it seemed like an ordeal to find our way on the busy metro, but when I saw that museum of nature and science was in Odaiba too, me and my brother decided to got there.
I have rarely been so glad that I conquered skepticism before. The museum was amazing! From the start, when I read the introduction to the museum, I was energized. We could see a drawing on the floor that showed ways science can develop. I do not remember all the paths to enlightenment, but coincidences and integration through the exchange of information were two of them. It felt like somebody GOT me, and I knew this was the place to be. I was so touched that I almost started crying, filled with awe. Here was a place full of knowledge and desire to educate visitors.
I liked it that all the exhibits had a question at the end. “What would you do if you could help improve the climate?”. There were many challenges to think about. This was especially relevant when it came to the presentation of robots. On the one hand, the importance of robots and the technology that follows was highlighted, but it also encourages us to think about ethical issues on the other hand.
At four o’clock we sat down with others to see a real robot. I got goosebumps . It seemed as though I had the future right in front of me, that a curtain had been drawn that showed tomorrow in all its splendor. Perhaps that’s how it felt for those who sat in front of the television before the first moon landing? I realized how many opportunities we have. I realized how different it is to actually see the manifestation of something I have only read about before. Seeing robots that resemble people and talk like them was excruciatingly exciting. I was not the one who was fascinated and moved. I saw a little girl next to her mother who was “talking” with one real robot. First she cried, because it must have been uncomfortable to see something so alike a human being, that wasn`t quite like one. After a while, she became more curious, and calmed down when the mother continued as if everything was normal. I thought: These children, they are building our future. They have already taken the step into the future and might therefore accept it with open arms. I hope their enthusiasm also contains a dose of skepticism. Robots with consciousness are potentially dangerous. When I saw the robot who could kick a ball and jump on one leg, I imagined a fraction of a second, how scare it could be if they started to “think” for themselves and wanted nothing to do with the stupidity of our human race. Like everything else in life: one should hurry slowly. Most things can be used both for positive things and negative. This is a good example of nuclear power.
The world is a fascinating place, and every day we are getting closer to advancing into a world very different than how it is now. Education is the key to build a peaceful world, where we use technology for the benefit of humankind.
Here are some pictures of what I saw today:
It has become a Christmas tradition to write a blog post to say merry Christmas to my readers. This year it wrote far too late; Just ten minutes before the day is over.
How has your evening been? For some Christmas is a filled with love and joy, for some it means feeling lonely.
No matter what, today is another day. Christmas is just one of many days, and what matters most is that we try our best to make every moment count.
On Wednesday I am getting on a plane again. This time, my destination is Cuba. I am traveling with one of my best friends, and almost can`t wait. We will see three places: Havana, Vinales and Trinidad. A month ago we met a guy who was in Cuba last november. He gave us a lot of tips, so we have prepared well. None of us are good at planning ahead, as we love to explore and go where the wind takes us, so it was luck that we met him. Normally we book hotels right before we go, but he told us that in Cuba things are different. There are not many hotels, so you have to live at people`s houses. Finding a place proved to be difficult. We had to wait for confirmation when we sent a request, so finding a place in Vinales took us two weeks since we just could send one request per day. But now we have somewhere to stay for our ten days there, and we also have some plans: We want to go horseback riding, cycle, and visit a wonderful beach. This summer I just went to Italy for four days, and with a terrible summer in Norway, sun and relaxation is just what I need.
If anybody here has been to Cuba before, feel free to recommend more things to do.
Right now I’m sitting in the sunshine. It’s Sunday and I still have the whole day ahead of me. I got up early after 9 hours of sleep and felt ready for the day. I made a cup of tea, had breakfast and put on an audiobook. This one is not a book where I’ll learn something, it’s a simple, but funny story. It’s good to not do something not serious for a change, as I have organized and worked a lot the past weeks. No I have time to relax, and know I need it. Summer has finally started, after many weeks with rain. I still have some weeks left before my holiday, but time flies so I’m already in holiday-mood. For now, it’s just lovely to feel the sun warming my skin.
Does it ever make sense to judge a book by its cover — literally or metaphorically? Tell us about a time you did, and whether that was a good decision or not.
Most people have experienced this, and I`m glad. Without these aha-moments our world would not expand, and our motivation for learning would be less. For me, moments like these, give me the chance to explore my views of the world, and adjust them. Still, we know how hard it can be.
I want to share two stories with you. They have also been incorporated to my clincal work, as I sometimes tell people small stories from my own life, to relate to what they say. I will call them the “tea bag” and “the surprising shoe”.
The tea bag
I started drinking tea when I was 19 years old. When I was young, I said “NO!” with a stern voice if somebody asked if I liked it, based on the earl grey school tea students sold for a good cause. I do not exactly remember when I thought I could try again, but it must have been in the period when I decided to explore more of the culinary world.
Some tea-cups later i drank tea with one of my Friends. Our cups were half empty when I exclaimed: Its so annoying that the tea bag always touch my nose when I drink tea! My friend looked and me and told me: You can just take it out! I looked her dumbfounded as an ‘ahaaa’ feeling hit me. I had never thought about doing that, as I was inside my experience with tea drinking was still undeveloped. It made me realize how easy we think inside boxed and need others to get out of them.
The surprising shoe
In my Office there are lots of shoes in different colors. I Guess many Girls will recognize this lifestyle. When I was in Asia, I bought many of them, but especially one pair of shoes was not walking beside me. I am talking about a green pair. I think it actually was my first green pair, since I rarely explore greenness when I buy something. But I liked those shoes, and put them on immidiately. That day we were going from Cambodia to Vietnam, and had a pitstop in the Mountains. It was beautiful, and we decided to walk up the Mountains to get a proper view of the country. With the green shoes I walked, and it went well. I came up, without much effort, and I even managed to get Down safely. But when I was almost there, my shoes literally fell apart. I Guess they had not glued it properly in Place. I was stressed as I had no other shoes in my immidiate area, and was hopeful when I saw there was a little market Place. I went into it, but I knew I had little time before Our bus left. I asked many, but no shoes could be seen. Then a woman, who didn`t speak English at all, approached me! I could buy her shoes. I asked how much it cost, and she mentioned a sum. Desperate I gave the Money to her, and got myself a New pair of shoes that looked like they had seen better days. I thought they would be okay for now. When I got into the bus, and told the others the price, they explained that I had used a shocking amount of Money. Since my Math skills are very bad, I didn`t realize that I just had given the woman what must be a months salary. A bit dissapoined, but I thought about the Bright sides: She probably needed it more than me. What I didn`t realize, was that I actually had bought the best shoes I ever had tried. Even if they are quite ugly, they are so Nice to walk With. I have used them a lot of times, and they are actually better than my best sports shoes. Who would have guessed? Today I am still surprised at the quality of them: It felt like I was completely wrong about something, and I actually love that feeling. It means I still have something to learn, and that I shouldn`t judge something before I know more about it.
These two stories are examples of being surprised and finding something New where you don`t expect it. Great feeling, isn`t it?
I have been on islands. To be more specific, I have travelled to Scotland and isle of coll. This is a calm and relaxed island. We stayed in a little cottage, and met some really friendly isle-dwellers. Everyone said hi no matter if they didn’t know us. They loved to chat, about everything from the weather to the fact that Scotland is still not an independent country. They smiled and looked like they had all the time in the world. Not something you see in cities around the world. I also went cycling through a flat and beautiful landscape. I could also read as much as I wanted, and wasn’t disturbed by the constant internet frenzy that normally haunt every second of my life. It was a pleasant bubble where I slept and felt well. In other words, I do recommend this little island if you need a break.
I have included some pictures. Hope you enjoy them