I went swimming earlier today, and although I was energized there and then, now I’m dead wood. Tomorrow will be a hectic day too, since work will be busy and then I have to go right to the city center for an memory event I’ve arranged together with the library in Bergen. The memory expert is a well-known man who almost won the Norwegian talent-show, and I am lucky enough to know him. I love arranging events, but I get tired, too.
My boyfriend and his twins are traveling to Canada on Tuesday, and although I will miss them, it will also give me some peace and quiet. We have bought a new apartment and are in the middle of selling his, so some of the time I should be relaxing will be used for preparing the place for a photo-shoot. In addition to that I have planned another event, for children. A friend can paint faces, and if the weather is good on Saturday, we will be in the park and make little children happy.
On Friday I am meeting some friends for drinks, and Saturday I have to go to another party. That one will hopefully be fun, since it’s arranged by a doctor I work with. She is so nice and I have a little girl crush on her. There will be lots of people there I don’t know, but usually that is exciting and energizing. Next week I will really try to relax, by reading, making songs and puzzling. I hope my batteries will be filled to the maximum when the week ends, because this autumn will be a challenge. The mother of my boyfriends twins has moved, so we will have them full-time. They are super-cute, but also a handful when they get angry from some slight. But I think that the stability we will provide in our new home, will calm them. Hopefully.
Life is stressful sometimes, so I must remember to draw my breath and go with the flow. Only then can I handle the challenges coming up.
I was in Budapest for five days. I attended a Hungarian wedding, and felt a bit isolated at first. Around me people were laughing, chatting in a language totally foreign to me. But then I met a British, wonderful man that managed to shift my perspective. That doesn’t happen everyday, especially not when you’re lost in translation, feeling like a bleep on the canvas of the universe.
We met after the wedding and he made my head spin. Being challenged in what you believe is unsettling, and for a moment there it felt like I was falling into a black hole. We talked about the universe giving you what you need, and also about space-time. The concept was somewhat familiar to me, but my head starts aching when I’m thinking about the mystery out there. I told him about particles being at two different spots at the same time, and he told a story about just that, but with humans: He was together with two friends, where one of them sat in the bed opposite him and the other friend. Suddenly this friend was in the bathroom at the other end, and they had not seen him walk over there. The friend who suddenly was at another space, did not understand he suddenly was there, too. I didn’t believe this story, so I will need verification from his friends, but it made me think about how little I know about this world. I recently read an article about consciousness where the author proposes a solution to the unfathomable mystery of our minds and souls. He compared ‘a common consciousness’ with dissociative identity disorder, where many personalities exists in the same body. He said that this might just answer the question related to how every human beings consciousness is completely unique: If consciousness exists all around us, even in other materials like plants, and it still can be unique for every creature, dissociative identity disorder might provide some answer to what scientists have struggled with for centuries.
Other than these discussions, I found a really good friend.
Am including some pictures from Budapest, a truly beautiful city.
On Friday I’m going back to Budapest to attend an wedding. I haven’t seen Zoltán for ages, so this will definitively be an emotional reunion. I will be at the wedding a whole day, and on the site we can swim, play table-tennis or use a canoe. I will sleep in a tent before I go back to Budapest on Sunday. I look forward to meeting new people and celebrating true love. I am excited about being in Budapest again too. Last time I only had two days there, and now I will have two more before I go back home. Any recommendations about where I should go?
I am adding some picture from last time I was there.
In two weeks we will be in Croatia. I can’t wait, but unfortunately have to. Not only that, these two weeks will be very busy, since I have much work to do. Due to a change in the group of patients I will work with, I have to say goodbye to many of my trauma patients (but not all, luckily), and that means overtime.
But, it will be worth it. I can process the loss of not seeing many of my lovely patients while lying on a beach in split, and look forward to all the wonderful people I will see in my office come August.
I have been in Japan for almost two weeks, and already wish I could back again. It is a land of beauty, serenity and traditions. I wanted to go here already as a child. I watched manga-cartoons, fell in love with geishas, samurais and the esthetic houses, and found my favorite author there. The people here look really beautiful, and they are so diverse. The wear anything they fancy, which is liberating. I`ve seen close-knit families playing with their children, and experienced their kindness. There is so much more I could write, but a pictures says more than a thousand words, so here are some of the pics I`ve taken so far.
I promised one of my readers that I would include pictures from my country. I will publish a post later with pictures of Bergen where I live now, but I want to give a taste of my wonderful county now with this tasty appetizer. Are you wondering where you should travel next? Well, maybe you will consider Norway. And if you need a guide, I would be happy to show you the best places to go.
If you are interested you can also visit my Pinterest site for more inspiration
I have travelled a lot, and many of the places I’ve visited I also forgot easily. Cuba was different. I travelled with my friend Solhild, who has travelled even more than me, and she said the same thing. We still both feel that we have to try to take it all in, after two weeks since we went there. While there, I told my friend that had to read more about Cuba, because I realized how much I did not know about the country. Never before have I felt unsafe while traveling, never before have I felt so ill-prepared and confused. Never before have I felt poverty so close, and the understood better how lucky I am. It was all the small differences added up that made me realize how it must be to live a place where you get by on so little: The Cubans with their rationing cards, the lack of milk in the few cafeterias we found (especially in Havana) because it is so expensive. The lack of wifi, making it hard to contact loved ones. The man who tried to rob my friend in what we thought was the most tranquil places in Cuba we visited (Vinales) and how almost no one talked English. The children in the street who played until 9 or 10 in the evening (because they did not go to school?). The masses of hungry dogs and cats. So now I have read more, and am truly surprised at just how much I didn’t know and wish I knew before I came to the country.
Here is some information taken from Wikipedia
Starting from the mid-1980s, Cuba experienced a crisis referred to as the “Special Period”. When the Soviet Union, the country’s primary source of trade, was dissolved in late 1991, a major supporter of Cuba’s economy was lost, leaving it essentially paralyzed because of the economy’s narrow basis, focused on just a few products with just a few buyers. National oil supplies, which were mostly imported, were severely reduced. Over 80% of Cuba’s trade was lost and living conditions declined. A “Special Period in Peacetime” was declared, which included cutbacks on transport and electricity and even food rationing. In response, the United States tightened up its trade embargo, hoping it would lead to Castro’s downfall. But the government tapped into a pre-revolutionary source of income and opened the country to tourism, entering into several joint ventures with foreign companies for hotel, agricultural and industrial projects. As a result, the use of U.S. dollars was legalized in 1994, with special stores being opened which only sold in dollars. There were two separate economies, dollar-economy and the peso-economy, creating a social split in the island because those in the dollar-economy made much more money (as in the tourist-industry).
A Canadian Medical Association Journal paper states that “The famine in Cuba during the Special Period was caused by political and economic factors similar to the ones that caused a famine in North Korea in the mid-1990s. Both countries were run by authoritarian regimes that denied ordinary people the food to which they were entitled when the public food distribution collapsed; priority was given to the elite classes and the military.” The government did not accept American donations of food, medicines and money until 1993, forcing many Cubans to eat anything they could find. In the Havana zoo, the peacocks, the buffalo and even the rhea were reported to have disappeared during this period. Even domestic cats were reportedly eaten.
Extreme food shortages and electrical blackouts led to a brief period of unrest, including numerous anti-government protests and widespread increases in urban crime. In response, the Cuban Communist Party formed hundreds of “rapid-action brigades” to confront protesters. The Communist Party’s daily publication, Granma, stated that “delinquents and anti-social elements who try to create disorder and an atmosphere of mistrust and impunity in our society will receive a crushing reply from the people”.
In July 1994, 41 Cubans drowned attempting to flee the country aboard a tugboat; the Cuban government was later accused of sinking the vessel deliberately.
Thousands of Cubans protested in Havana during the Maleconazo uprising on 5 August 1994. However, the regime’s security forces swiftly dispersed them. A paper published in the Journal of Democracy states this was the closest that the Cuban opposition could come to asserting itself decisively.
Continued isolation and regional engagement
Although contacts between Cubans and foreign visitors were made legal in 1997, extensive censorship has isolated it from the rest of the world. In 1997, a group led by Vladimiro Roca, a decorated veteran of the Angolan war and the son of the founder of the Cuban Communist Party, sent a petition, entitled La Patria es de Todos (“the homeland belongs to all”) to the Cuban general assembly, requesting democratic and human rights reforms. As a result, Roca and his three associates were sentenced to imprisonment, from which they were eventually released. In 2001, a group of Cuban activists collected thousands of signatures for the Varela Project, a petition requesting a referendum on the island’s political process, which was openly supported by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter during his 2002 visit to Cuba. The petition gathered sufficient signatures to be considered by the Cuban government, but was rejected on an alleged technicality. Instead, a plebiscite was held in which it was formally proclaimed that Castro’s brand of socialism would be perpetual.
In 2003, Castro cracked down on independent journalists and other dissidents in an episode which became known as the “Black Spring”. The government imprisoned 75 dissident thinkers, including 29 journalists, librarians, human rights activists, and democracy activists, on the basis that they were acting as agents of the United States by accepting aid from the U.S. government.
Though it was largely diplomatically isolated from the West at this time, Cuba nonetheless cultivated regional allies. After the rise to power of Hugo Chávez in Venezuela in 1999, Cuba and Venezuela formed an increasingly close relationship based on their shared leftist ideologies, trade links and mutual opposition to U.S. influence in Latin America. Additionally, Cuba continued its post-revolution practice of dispatching doctors to assist poorer countries in Africa and Latin America, with over 30,000 health workers deployed overseas by 2007.
End of Fidel Castro’s presidency Edit
In the autumn of 2008, Cuba was struck by three separate hurricanes, in the most destructive hurricane season in the country’s history; over 200,000 were left homeless, and over US$5 billion of property damage was caused.
As of 2015, Cuba remains one of the few officially socialist states in the world. Though it remains diplomatically isolated and afflicted by economic inefficiency, major currency reforms were begun in the 2010s, and efforts to free up domestic private enterprise are now underway. Living standards in the country have improved significantly since the turmoil of the Special Period, with GDP per capita in terms of purchasing power parity rising from less than US$2,000 in 1999 to nearly $10,000 in 2010. Tourism has furthermore become a significant source of prosperity for Cuba.