Social worker, counsellor, executive coach, psychic, medium and humanist. The wish, the urge to travel is in my genes, heart, soul, mind and spirit. I like to travel slowly to meet people and culture. I’m local and home where I am right now. Message
  • Day4

    Friday - it's the weekend!

    January 15 in Egypt ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    It's Friday and it's the weekend here so Kamal, Umna's husband, came out with us.
    We went to old Cairo and the markets.
    Very colorful markets with spices, fabrics, jewelry and more. Men praising their goods, loud music, all very busy. People enjoy their off day with a stroll through the old town and an outing into restaurants.

    Clothing-wise there is everything from whole covered women (burka) and man in their traditional galabeya to western clothing in jeans and t-shirts for both men and women.
    Also not all women cover their hair.

    Besides old Cairo we visited, a Derwish tempel (Sufi religion, a branch of the Islam) and two mosques. I love the outlay, the artwork, the lightening in the mosques. Stunning. The energy is very good, soothing. I find that in places where there have been prayers for many centuries the energy usually is very soothing and peaceful.

    I'm very fortunate because Kamal is a famous Egyptian director of photography and documentary films. You will notice the pictures are very good. Credit goes to Kamal!

    I bought a amethyst and had it made into a ring. The amethyst was six dollars, the silver and the making 45 dollars. I love the ring.
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  • Day3

    Cairo - 21'000'000 humans beings!

    January 14 in Egypt ⋅ ⛅ 13 °C

    Cairo is the second largest urban agglomeration in Africa (behind Lagos). The largest in the Arab world and the Middle East.
    The he sixth-largest in the world.. 21.3 Million inhabitant. WOW.

    When Umna picked me up at the airport I asked how long the commute would be. She said two hours. I thought she joked. She did not!

    Umna lives with her husband. The second of her daughters just got married and moved out. Children live with their parents until they marry, no matter the age or gender.

    When a man and a woman marry the who pays what is set.
    The parents of the bride pays for the engagement party, the parents of the groom pay for the wedding.
    If the bride to be does not have a engagement party, the cost for the wedding are split.
    The apartment/house is paid by the parents of the groom. Furniture, electrical appliances and everything else one needs down to the teaspoon are split.
    In Cairo, everything has with a wire (electrical appliances) is usually provided by the parents of the groom. In the countryside its the parents of the bride:-).

    In 1998 a genius business man with visions sold sand in the desert to interested parties. He decided to build homes in the desert. It was the first big gated community built in the desert. The plans existed only on paper, it was a dream, hence the name.
    It was a crazy idea back then. Umna and her family moved in in 2005. Coming and going they drove through the desert.
    It's very cold here. Although it's 10-15 degree, it feels like below zero. A cold which possesses your whole body down to the very last cell.

    I had a long day, so going to bed early.

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  • Day1

    When again is the flight?

    January 12 in Switzerland ⋅ ⛅ 0 °C

    I've been to Egypt and Cairo in 2006 and the experience was not at all pleasant. Telling this Umna, a cousin of my friend Nadja I met in Switzerland, she commanded that she must correct  this experience and invited me to come see her.
    We also had one of these immediate connections.

    I've been wanting to learn Arabic since I was 20 years old.

    1. Attempt in 1982 in Jerusalem. At the time the best University to learn Arabic. Could not go - my father who had to fund me did not think of this Idea as the brilliant Idea I thought it was.

    2. Attempt 2005 in Damascus. Had everything ready. VISA, school, Family stay - then the situation became difficult in Syria. Did let it go.

    3. Attempt will be October 2022

    So I'm going to see my new friend Umna and her family. Immerse in local culture and make plans for October.

    Who knows me, knows that on all my travels several mishaps happen - mostly me being clumsy, unaware, forgetful... Missing flights, showing up with ID instead of passport at the airport, loosing important stuff like passport, ending up in Hospital and more of it.

    I am also very bad at orientation - a friend of mine always wonders how I can travel the world with such a bad sense of orientation, even google maps can't help me... yeah, but I get to talk to a lot of people because asking direction and obviously also get into a lot of adventures because their direction is approximately or just wrong to save face.

    This time it almost happened before I even left. I thought of my travel date Wednesday the 13.1.2022. Knowing me I took a good look at my ticket... what???
    The 13. is on Thursday? Why???


    I'm very excited to go. Also, it has been 6 month I came back from my last travel. Torture for my soul and spirit.

    Talk soon!
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  • Day107

    Die letzten Tage

    June 27, 2021 in Dominican Republic ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    Was ich verpassen und was nicht.

    Meine Rückkehr nach Hause ist nah, 4 Tage sind übrig. Ein Moment zum Nachdenken, was ich vermissen werde und was nicht.

    Vermissen: Das Meer und das Schwimmen darin, jeden Tag frischen Fisch und Kokosnusswasser, Stand Up Paddling, das warme Wetter, Bachata tanzen, Cocktails, Sonnenuntergänge, Moto Concho, Adam der Hund meiner Nachbarn und eine wirklich, wirklich (!!) günstige Schneiderin.

    Nicht vermissen: Die Luftfeuchtigkeit, den ständigen Lärm, die ständige laute Musik, die dominikanische Klinik, die Moskitos und das ständige Nachrufen von Männern.

    Aber ich freue mich sehr auf meine Familie und Freunde, eine Kultur, in der ich mich gut zurechtfinde und mein Zuhause und meinen Balkon!!!

    Besonders dankbar bin ich meiner wunderbaren, geliebten Tochter Federica, die sich um meine Post und Adminung kümmert, wenn ich für längere Zeit abwesend bin. Ich wüsste nicht, wie ich es sonst machen sollte!
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    Looking forward to seeing you back in CH, back and healthy. George [George]



  • Day107

    Last days....

    June 27, 2021 in Dominican Republic ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    What I’ll miss and what not!

    My return home is close, 4 days are left. A moment to reflect what I’ll miss and what not.

    Miss: Sea and the swimming in it, fresh fish and coconut water every day, stand up paddling, the warm weather, bachata dancing, cocktails, sunsets, moto concho, Adam my next door neighbor dog and a really, really inexpensive tailor.

    Miss not: Humidity, constant noise, constant loud music, Dominican clinic, mosquitos, constant verbal abuse by men.

    More things to miss then not to miss.

    But I’m looking very much forward to my family and friends, a culture I can easily navigate and my home and balcony!!

    I’m especially thankful to my precious, beloved daughter Federica who takes care of my mail and admin when I’m absent for long period of times. Would not know how to do otherwise!
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  • Day107

    Corrupted relationships

    June 27, 2021 in Dominican Republic ⋅ ⛅ 30 °C

    On my travels, I encounter various forms of poverty. I could write books.

    How poverty begins to develop in the smallest, most insignificant detail and ends in a spiral of social, health and educational poverty. Like for example here in the Dominican Republic. No free access to clean drinking water or money for school uniforms. Usually, social advancement is denied for generations. This is not a "poor" country, by the way. It has everything, it is "only" politically, economically, and socially corrupted.

    But that is not what I am concerned with today. I have been concerned for many years with how tourism in "poor" countries corrupt the relationship between "poor" and "rich".
    However, I only encounter it in tourist centers, not where there is hardly any tourism, such as in rural areas. And not with people who themselves "have enough." If they do not feel a subjective experienced lack.

    I speak here of Central America. In Africa I experience it again differently.

    I take as an example my former housekeeper Jilcia here in Las Terrenas. She was recommended to me by my former Spanish teacher here, a trustworthy person.

    She is smart, funny, helpful, and friendly. We always have lunch together. We have good conversations. I trust her. She does my shopping for me. I pay her above market price because I pass on to her what my health insurance pays for the first two weeks after leaving the hospital.

    I apparently pay her so well that she can finally save the money for a security deposit to move into a real cement house. She previously lived in a wood and corrugated iron shack. She keeps thanking me, too.

    I can already tell that she knows exactly how to deal with me to build trust.
    She has good people skills. She has experience with tourists.

    I think I ignore it because she is one of the few social contacts I still have after Claudia left.

    I ask her to bring me the receipts. She does from the supermarket. She says the small merchants don't issue them. Good. I can imagine.

    Until she doesn't buy for me anymore, because I notice that she always takes small amounts for herself. The first time I notice it is when I go to buy fish myself. Instead of paying 250 pesos for a pound of tuna, I pay 180. I also get a receipt.

    I am not surprised, but still disappointed. I understand her, the temptation is great. Still, it affects our relationship, I don't trust her anymore. The relationship cools down. She gives less effort with cleaning; we don't eat together anymore.

    When I talk to her about it and we have a discussion, she says at the end that I have enough money. Because of these small amounts. It is true, but it’s not the issue. It’s the trust. This is something she doesn’t understand.

    This is exactly what I experience again and again in tourist centers. The expectation of poorer people to the "rich" tourists giving money, without services in return.
    That you can cheat them and there is nothing wrong with it.

    This expectation always stands between "poor" and "rich", makes a carefree, friendly relationship impossible.
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  • Day107

    Korrumpierte soziale Beziehungen

    June 27, 2021 in Dominican Republic ⋅ ⛅ 29 °C

    Auf meinen Reisen begegne ich verschiedenen Formen von Armut. Ich glaube ich könnte Bücher schreiben.

    Wie sich Armut im aller kleinsten, im unbedeutenden Detail zu entwickeln beginnt und in einer Folgespirale in sozialer-, gesundheitlicher- und Bildungsarmut endet. Wie hier in der Dominikanischen Republik. Zum Beispiel kein gratis Zugang zu sauberem Trinkwasser oder Geld für die Schuluniform. Der soziale Aufstieg bleibt in der Regel auf Generationen hin verwehrt. Dies ist notabene keine „armes“ Land. Es hat alles, es ist „nur“ politisch, ökonomisch und gesellschaftlich korrumpiert.

    Aber darum geht es mir heute nicht. Mich beschäftigt seit vielen Jahren wie Tourismus in „armen“ Ländern die Beziehungen korrumpiert zwischen „arm“ und „reich“.
    Es begegnet mir allerdings nur in Touristenzentren, nicht wo es kaum Tourismus gibt wie zum Beispiel in ländlichen Regionen. Und nicht mit Menschen
    welche selbst „genug haben.“ Wenn sie keinen subjektiven erlebten Mangel empfinden.

    Ich spreche hier von Zentralamerika. In Afrika erlebe ich es nochmal anders.

    Ich nehme als Beispiel meine ehemalige Haushälterin Jilcia hier in Las Terrenas. Sie wurde mir von meinem ehemaligen Spanischlehrer hier empfohlen. Eine absolut vertrauenswürdige Person.

    Sie ist klug, witzig, hilfsbereit und freundlich. Wir essen immer zusammen am Mittag. Wir haben gute Gespräche. Ich vertraue ihr. Sie kauft für mich ein. Ich bezahle sie über dem Marktpreis, weil ich ihr das weitergebe, was meine Krankenkasse bezahlt für die ersten zwei Wochen nach Spitalaustritt.

    Ich bezahle sie offensichtlich so gut, dass sie endlich das Geld für eine Kaution sparen kann, um in ein richtiges Zementhaus zu ziehen. Sie wohnte vorher in einer Holz- und Wellblech Baracke. Sie bedankt sich auch immer wieder.

    Ich merke schon, dass sie genau weiss mit mir umzugehen, um Vertrauen zu schaffen.
    Sie hat gute Menschenkenntnisse. Sie hat Erfahrung mit Touristen.

    Ich glaube ich ignoriere es, weil sie einer der wenigen sozialen Kontakte ist, welche ich noch habe nach dem Claudia gegangen ist.

    Ich bitte sie mir die Quittungen zu bringen. Das tut sie aus dem Supermarkt. Sie sagt die kleinen Händler stellen keine aus. Gut, kann ich mir vorstellen.

    Bis sie nicht mehr für mich einkauft, weil ich merke, dass sie immer kleine Beträge für sich abzwackt. Als erstes merke ich es als ich mal selbst Fisch kaufen gehe. Statt 250 Pesos für das Pfund Thunfisch bezahle ich 180. Ich bekomme auch eine Quittung.

    Ich bin nicht überrascht, aber trotzdem enttäuscht. Ich verstehe sie, die Versuchung ist gross. Trotzdem beeinträchtigt es unsere Beziehung, ich vertraue ihr nicht mehr. Die Beziehung kühlt an. Sie gibt sich keine Mühe mehr beim putzen, wir essen nicht mehr zusammen.

    Als ich sie darauf anspreche und wir eine Diskussion haben meint sie am Schluss, ich habe doch genug Geld. Wegen diesen kleinen Beträgen. Das stimmt wohl ist aber nicht der Punkt. Vertrauen ist der Punkt. Was sie wiederum nicht versteht.

    Das ist genau was ich in Touristenzentren immer wieder erleben. Die Erwartung von ärmeren Menschen an die „reichen“ Touristen, dass sie Geld abgeben, auch ohne Gegenleistung. Dass man sie betrügen kann und das doch nichts Schlimmes dabei ist. Hier, in Cuba, Mexico, Guatemala, etc.

    Diese Erwartungshaltung steht immer zwischen „arm“ und „reich“, macht eine unbeschwerte und vertrauensvolle Beziehung unmöglich. Schade.
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  • Day89


    June 9, 2021 in Dominican Republic ⋅ ⛅ 27 °C

    It rains and rains and rains. Not always and all the time but just tropical. Sometimes heavy, sometimes light and then again not.

    When it rains, life practically stands still. This morning the cleaning lady called and said she couldn't come - it was raining, she would get wet. But right now it's not raining.....?

    Yesterday the bachata lesson did not take place- the teacher said he was getting wet on the motoconcho. As he wroteit wasn’t raining ….?

    There is great fear of getting wet and catching a cold.... and yes: umbrellas are sold here...?

    I started StandUp Paddling a week ago - unfortunately only two times. I don't go because I have to take care of my lungs - there is a wind.
    Otherwise, surely that's no reason not to go?
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  • Day89

    Regen - das Leben steht still

    June 9, 2021 in Dominican Republic ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    Es regnet und regnet und regnet. Nicht immer und die ganze eit sondern halt tropisch. Mal heftig, mal leicht und dann wieder nicht.

    Wenn es regnet steht das Leben praktisch still. Heute früh hat die Putzfrau angerufen sie könne nicht kommen - es regne, sie werde nass. Also jetzt gerade regnet es nicht.....?

    Gestern fiel die Bachata Stunde - der Lehrer meinte er werde nass auf dem Motoconcho. Als er schrieb regnet es gerade nicht....

    Es besteht grosse Angst nass zu werden und sich zu erkälten.... und ja: Regenschirme werden hier verkauft...?

    Ich habe vor einer Woche mit StandUp Paddling begonnen - leider nur zwei mal. Ich gehe nicht weil ich auf meine Lunge aufpassen muss - es geht ein Wind.
    Ansonsten ist das doch kein Grund nicht zu gehen?
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