Bologna, Italy | architecture – food – street art & graffiti

Took my bicycle on the train and found a map, cruised around to locate various tourist attractions of the city and to see for myself what the man on the train was talking about, all the arcades – throughout the city is a labyrinths of arcades, allowing people to continuously walk beneath canopied sidewalks along a myriad of columned and arched underpasses.

This local man informed me of three culinary dishes that were created in Bologna:

  1. Lasagna
  2. Tortellini
  3. Tagliatelle – he said one must order this alla Bolognese (a red meat sauce)

I dined (for a change at a restaurant) eating Tortellini with porcini mushrooms and red wine, while talking the entire time with a Swiss couple sitting next to me, in German, French and English. They reminded me that a portion of Switzerland speaks Italian in addition to the German and French languages.

In the name of rampant consumerism and capitalism

in the name of rampant consumerism and capitalism

As usual, I took a substantial amount of photos (107) which compelled me to take them.

Drawn to street art and graffiti, there were a variety of techniques.

Yes, that’s Queen Elizabeth – masked – a la masquerade

Moving to Ferrara, Italy | bicycle oriented town

Well, the guy blew me off, or maybe it was because I was late (after smoking with some Pakistani guys who were describing how limited the rights of women are in their country > ( can’t go out alone, can’t drive, can’t bicycle around in sport clothes with their hair flowing, once married – must stay home serving their husbands…said a woman my age in Pakistan would be almost incapacitated with health issues )…and I got lost making my way to the meeting point. 

However, what I learned from this Italian guy, after approaching him days earlier standing near me straddling his bicycle at the pier at sunset in Trieste, Italy to say that I am also a bicycle rider and striking up conversation, is that he mentioned a small city near Bologna, called Ferrara, with a remarkable amount of bicycle riders. Ferrara to remember ~ sounds like the car Ferrari, but also like the German word for bicycle Farrhad.

I dreamed about it last night, because I really am over living in a hostel and the continuous ~ back of my mind and forefront ~ stress over what to do and where to go. So this town popped in my mind before laying down to sleep last night and I woke up quite early (for me) in anticipation of what to do as my hostel accommodation stretched thrice will end tomorrow, to arrange things. Trieste is lovely in the pedestrian only ‘downtown’ places. However, when I’ve headed into the non-pedestrian hilly areas of this town, I am revolted by the loud noise and exhaust smells of motorcycles and frankly  frightened by the high speeds of motorbikes and cars. I absolutely need to live in a place that puts a substantial amount of attention and effort towards bicycle transportation infrastructure and caring about pedestrian areas. 

Translation from text above “View the routes directly on the map or filter the selection by type of experience and bike. You can then save the itineraries among your favorite routes.”

So, to check out what he said moments ago, I google translated bicycling = andare in bicicletta, and when I plugged this in with the town name, i got this !!!!! https://www.romagnabike.com/dove/ferrara. I’m immediately looking for trains to there, leaving Sunday. I will miss the water here. Google earth doesn’t show water near Ferrara, however the videos reveal water. In fact, I guess bicycle paths stretching to the water. When I plugged a random point by the Adriatic Sea, Taglio Della Falce, google maps says by bike it’s just under 3 hours. It is also very near to the river Po  as well.

“Renamed the “City of bicycles” due to the massive presence of two-wheeled vehicles circulating in the streets of the historic center, Ferrara is an unmissable destination for cycling and gravel lovers. Here you can cycle around the walls that embrace the historic center, take the Destra Po cycle path that crosses the silent Ferrara countryside, visit the Rocca di Stellata or venture on the dirt roads of the Comacchio Valleys in the heart of the Po Delta Regional Park.”

“Ribattezzata la “Città delle biciclette“ per la massiccia presenza di mezzi a due ruote che circolano nelle vie del centro storico, Ferrara è una meta imperdibile per gli amanti del cicloturismo e del gravel. Qui potrai pedalare attorno alle mura che abbracciano il centro storico, imboccare la ciclabile del Destra Po che attraversa la silenziosa campagna ferrarese, visitare la Rocca di Stellata o avventurarti sugli sterrati delle Valli di Comacchio nel cuore del Parco regionale del Delta del Po.”

By the way, there appear to be a large number of Pakistani men in Trieste. Apparently this city accepts foreigners more than other Italian cities. The really funny thing, is that having no Italian fluid speaking capability, I discovered that the mutual language I shared with two Pakistani guys was German, because one had lived in Hamburg, and the other in Berlin and Munich > Germany a country which has welcomed immigrants. 

https://www.trenitalia.com/en/services/travelling_with_yourbike.html

“On all regional trains – even those not marked with the special symbol – passengers are permitted to travel with a fully closed folding bicycle (even if not in the special bag) free of charge, provided that the size does not exceed 110 x 80 x 45 cm and does not cause danger or inconvenience to other passengers.” 

I’ve booked the train, a hostel for the first two nights and contacted hosts for a room in longer-term housing.

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Trieste, Italy – Plan C  |  City by the sea bordering Slovenia and Croatia 

I purchased the 9 € German countrywide regional train ticket (which I found out about in Portugal), using it the last day it was available – August 31st. Traveling with a backpack on my back, another on my chest, pulling a bag on wheels (with another canvas bag balanced on it in which my sleeping bag was obscured) with my left hand and walking my bicycle with the right hand. I wound up having to make about 8 regional train exchanges (then another Euro train, and another Italian train), rushing and successfully getting to the next platform at each station (with the help of a German student (about to study about sharks in Rostock to inform people that they are not dangerous creatures) twice and another time by an Iranian women (living in Norway coming to visit her Iranian boyfriend in Munich) with literally no minutes to spare. I stood most of the day next to my bicycle and luggage, to the border of Austria – Kufstein – then opting to go further to Innsbruck. 

The print out of the German regional trains to Kufstein, then to Innsbruck

My bicycle loaded on top among 5 other bikes on this particular train
standing room only on the train packed with bikes

In Innsbruck, I had to wait till the next morning to book a train to Verona, where I bought a beer to go as the bar was closing, then met and hung out with 3 young Ukrainian guys, smart and fun. One a pro (or amateur) tennis player. Then slept outside in an inner courtyard (where we had hung out and I went back to after we parted) because it was a 2nd hinterhof. 

Austria
From train through Austria
Austria from train
Austria from train
Austria

Brenner Base tunnel is being built for the highway to go underground through Austria

There were a lot of communicative people during more standing room only on this Euro line, where a lawyer and priest informed me that most of these seats were reserved, which is why myself and a handful of others were standing. This was a pleasant ride with lots of conversations. The lawyer/priest informed me that a tunnel is being built for the highway, to transport trucks more efficiently and reduce pollution.

I booked the morning train to Verona, deciding to spend more € for the  European Rail train ~ and it turned out the regional trains were not operating, people were instead transported by bus, in which case I would have been stuck with a train ticket and no capability of bringing my bicycle.

I then arrived in Verona, deciding to stay there rather than zipping by, because of the mentioned architecture and roman amphitheater. Oh my gosh, I was just purchasing my second cappuccino here at this hostel in Trieste, Italy (several days after leaving Verona), when a young guy asks me, did you ever find a place to sleep that night in Verona? It took me a half a minute. Verona? Sleep? How, what? Oh yeah, this was the only person who was a witness, coming up the 4 flights of stairs to the entry way to a hostel that had very little presence and no pleasant ambience, with one man there, a rude guy who was almost ushering me out after showing him that indeed I had paid for the room via booking dot com, but it hadn’t registered on his end. This guy, Sergie (Irish guy with Spanish father) moments ago here in Trieste, is on a similar trajectory from Verona, passing through Trieste on his way to Slovenia. 

The first hostel ‘Safestay Lisbon’ was fantastic, and this hostel in Trieste, equally fantastic with a great location, 24/7 staff, luggage room, bar, events, courtyard, pleasant and helpful staff ‘Hotello Hostel’ in Trieste.

So I had to think a bit, to remember that night, where an elderly native Triestian woman whose path I crossed twice trying to get to this hostel (who helped me to get there asking a young guy and then using her bus pass and telling the driver where to let me off before stepping off the bus). All the other hostels were booked and this was the last option. After sitting outside in their grass to eat the first time in 24 hours, and considering camping in their tiny yard obscured, until my cover was blown by a woman and her dog talking to me and a pock-faced man leaning out the window saying in Italian i can’t sleep there ( my sleeping bag already unrolled), I walked back to the center, energized. 

I decided to walk the other way from fountains in the plaza before the train station. The wheels were weighted down from the luggage bulk. I was half way dragging it. Left the bicycle locked before the station among other bicycles. Decided against the first grassy park, too exposed (human predators). Asked, an old man who pointed and said, hotel that way. Certainly not one I could afford. Walked through a gated off area, then turned around when I saw a path, where surely more people would be coming from that area and see me and my luggage clearly. I was going to cross the street to a raised patch of grasses, and opted to walk through an archway to find a better place to cross the busy street. Turns out this was in fact part of the building of the luxurious hotel. 

I spotted a wild cat jumping up onto a wall and this strip of green beyond it. The cat is the one who showed me the safe and more obscured place to lay down my sleeping bag. I can’t believe that this young man Sergie from Ireland moments ago asked me where I slept that night in Verona. Crazy the path of travelers, sometimes intercepting one another at hostels. 

I don’t even know the name of the luxury hotel that hosted my green strip, but was glad that it did. I woke up to a slight drizzle, that never became rain, must have been a passing cloud. Then in the morning, two women walking by as I was sitting up, one lifting her arm to admire her fancy new handbag, surely an expensive brand…I laughed at the juxtaposition.

my sleeping space on the property of a luxury hotel in Verona
A wild cat jumping into this space showed me the way

Energized with sleep, I felt compelled to walk with the luggage to the old town of Verona to see the highlights of the town, and managed to do it.

Verona Italy – Roman Coliseum, Juliet’s balcony of Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet

I have two video vignettes in which a very fatigued and blood-shot eyed Carol describes the voracious appetites of Italians for fashion. The street leading from the Roman amphitheater/ coliseum

Roman Coliseum

to the famous balcony of Juliet, in Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet,

Juliet’s Balcony
La Casa di Giulietta

is lined with classy, expensive boutiques.

Found a café to plug in my iPad, with fabulous pizza.

heart-shaped pizza
One-man show – chef and waiter
Chef showed me his particular ingredient to make the dough
This was the pizza restaurant’s bathroom – water hose instead of toilet paper

Then as I was arriving on the train to Trieste, an Italian woman sitting adjacent to me looked up on her phone the name and address of a hostel I had recognized from my search in Verona, but hadn’t yet booked. I walked there from the train station and there were VACANCIES. i purchased a cheap tiny padlock from the hostel (which the key didn’t open the 2nd time, and now have waited over the weekend after not being able to open it for a day and a half) to go buy a properly functioning padlock). Yes, more days wearing the same clothes…fine. There’s a more than adequately large  storage locker under my bed. I’ve instead been riding around the waterfront and downtown and attending the Maker’s Faire (science and technology interactive event), I went riding off in the fading dusk on my bicycle Friday evening, musicians everywhere, realizing how incredibly beautiful this city is, bordering Croatia and Slovenia.

Approaching Triest by train
Trieste, Italy bordering Slovenia and Croatia

Finally have accommodations. Bicycled across the waterfront to buy beer at LIDL packed with parked, rocking sail boats, and found a fantastic and humorous swing band about to start, decided to stay outside . This place was soon packed with locals, some great swing dancers on the dance floor where I stayed all night smiling, finding the town unbelievably beautiful. I believe I chose this town not only because it’s by water, but because the 19 years i lived in San Francisco, i ritually went to Café Trieste in the Italian district.

Trieste Italy- city by the sea bordering Slovenia and Croatia

The first day waking up at the hostel I met an Italian woman Francesca in my same room after waking up. She informed me about this Maker’s Faire (science and technology mainstream event), happening that day and the next. Open to the public and free. I went, feeling super excited and relieved. Very much on the same page, she informed me about many things (she has her own creative coop workspace in Firenze Florence).

She also informed me about Franco Basaglia, a leader in also a labor movement. There was going to be a manifestation/demonstration that day, Saturday September 3, by people in Trieste protesting the approaching abrupt closing of a factory producing engines for ships (I believe). 

I learned yesterday as I talked to more people (which I do regularly, approaching people and conversing with strangers, rather than walking around looking down at a phone), conversing with two Austrian couples where I had stopped to dance to a band the second night (1st person dancing alone before the stage which then became a crowded dance floor) after dancing with an Austrian man. I learned that Trieste had been a part of Austria, the Austrian Hungarian empire. One of the men mentioned the empire in which the sun never sets. I learned of the Hapsburg dynasty from the movie Dr. Zhivago.

The former Austria Hungarian Empire

I’ve been researching several new possibilities about extending a stay here in Trieste, Italy. I attended more hours of the Maker’s Faire, after spending hours writing and researching VISA related stuff, since a human being is not allowed to merely exist on the planet, but has to heed the demands of borders and national regions, something non-existent within the earth itself.   I learned of the School of music in Trieste – Tartini Conservatory of Music – talking to a guy in his booth, as I listened to the explanation of his design, took notes and learned of this school of specifically ELECTRONIC music. I have also spent years developing this craft, rather than having babies, with two different programs;  Propellerhead Reason making beats piggybacked onto Ableton Live. I spoke with one of the scientists in the ICTP (International center for Theoretical Physics) tent, to find out about who to contact for an informational interview. Could be the physicists need someone with creative and writing skills to communicate what they work on to the public. I may be able to finagle a way to extend a VISA by virtue of studying Italian and music, and working here. Always looking at options and alternatives – of which Berlin does not fade into the background – but remains a viable alternative ~ more is happening there. I like Europe, because there are places everywhere to hang out in public and sit, stand, dance, listen to music and basically watch and interact with people or watch sunsets….catering to quality of life and interaction, rather than insulated in their own cars and nose to the grindstone, with the sole emphasis of making more money to buy more things. The USA has exported that poison. However, I guess various cultures (particularly Italy) embrace style and fashion as a high priority and status symbol. I’m super turned off by it. And feel sad to see people of poorer countries try so hard to wear the cool shoes or sport the handbag, thinking that this is ‘making it’ and making them more desirable. I dance and interact with smiles and conversation, rather than material acquisition, as the main emphasis and focus in life.

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Leaving Berlin to Italy – Trieste or a small town somewhere?

Rosenthaler Platz gegenüber von Sanct Oberholtz

I just went to the main train station to ask a few more questions and precisely figure out where to park the bicycle over night to find it upon arriving with my luggage on a bus, Turns out the train i had scheduled has a bomb threat and is canceled ( uh hum, glad I went there today) so the woman agent printed out a new starting point and time and new track. As if in a dream, part fatigue, slight edge of anxiousness, I went through the motions to see where i need to go, where the elevators are, preparing as much as possible so that it will flow in the morning. This is perhaps from the influence of my parents, or perhaps i am even more extreme about taking precautions. I scoped out where to leave my bicycle over night, near where I’ll get off the bus.

Postdamerplatz Berlin

I was able to meet with my friend whom I met and hung out with up until I departed from Berlin, 10 years ago. Great to catch up with Argentinian Mariano, doing well with his wife and daughter starting 1st grade. Still see things in a similar way and harmonious support. I am taking advantage of the last day of the 9 € regional train ticket, anywhere in Germany. Going this last day of Aug. 31st that it’s legit, to Austria by the border. Decided that I’d rather go there if I have to hang out with my stuff all night, than to sit in the Munich station. Then buying a regional ticket via Innsbruck to Verona. Still need to investigate a hostel, and where i might land. Gonna have to learn Italian, pretty quickly. 

Berlin is like a circus of activity. Soooooo many people in the streets everywhere, all night, presumably. Many tourists….blah, blah. The bicycle lane actually freaks me out. Super fast, super determined bike riders, along with those carrying toddlers in bike seats before them and in wagons. Love bike culture, but don’t love rushing, high speed,get over or get hit bicycling. Went to the freakin mac store where Hermann, 1 man show, is still operating very successfully. My bluetooth keyboard magically started working, in his store. He also informed me that one can buy an English keyboard in an Apple store. Good to know. Also got my bicycle very elegantly repaired with a Farrhad Doctor, Bike Doctor – Berlin (Fahrrad-Doktor – Berlin) Bicycle Doctor, literally situated blocks away. They found and exchanged the left gear fixture with one they had in stock that exactly matched the other. This also not a chain, but very small bike shop literally crammed with bicycles. You can’t enter beyond a rope. 

I was so happy to stroll through Mauer park on Sunday to see a street musician every 10 yards, the park full of people on a sunny afternoon and then coming upon the hundreds of people listening, singing along and dancing on the stage to the institution that Irish Gareth started bicycling with the speakers and hosting, MCing with comedic flair Bearpit Karaoke

Bearpit Karaoke
Garth from Ireland who has created this karaoke institution in Mauerpark Berlin, Germany

Now with my repaired bicycle (derailleur replaced from a bike at some guy’s house in Portugal) outside of Aveiro, repaired by not a bicycle shop but guy who is a machinist, creating shifting gears for automobiles. 

Sitting outside of ,Sankt Oberholtz, still owned by Ansgar and evolving and trickling into other areas.

Circus Hotel gegenüber from St. Oberholtz
Blue Heron in the middle of Berlin

I do love Berlin. And at the same time I’m sitting here looking up trains through Austria and Italy and finding that it’s easy to find the trains and schedules and all allow bicycles. 

And the trip continues.

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Economic Reality Worldwide

I rushed off to Portugal, after determining a year ago that it would be affordable, so that I could complete my book. My oldest sister warned me that Lisbon would not be affordable, and sent me links to more affordable towns in Portugal. I hadn’t realized when I departed that august is the least affordable month in Europe, anywhere, and that the availability of rooms / vacancies in hostels etc. shrinks to nothing. I have been separated from my luggage, most of the time, except the first fabulous days in Lisbon at a wonderful hostel. Then I slept outside for over a week. Then i chose a random town in Portugal near the ocean, and have only once, for several minutes there, had time to jump in the water. I have been too occupied looking for occupancies. I found an expensive hotel there in Aveiro, and slept 12 + hours. Then there were no more occupancies there, or in that town. Same thing when I returned to get my luggage, no rooms. 

I found a remote hostel, an oasis in the dry Portuguese terrain, riding by swaths of formerly burned forests. Wonderful place, meeting enlightened people…and then I left, determined to live in a metropolis, as I mentioned, Plan B Berlin. However, Berlin is extremely expensive, little occupancy, huge competition….and the bunch of IT guys I met the first evening at a meetup, directly informed me of this…talking about how much they pay for a room (who can afford them and those who have pushed up the prices)…and that it can take 6 months to find a place because renters are protected by laws so that they simply rarely leave. I landed at a place after sleeping outside under a soviet military tank monument for shelter, and after sleeping 13 + hours, the stress I’ve had suddenly has made itself apparent in my body. 

This German guy’s coiffure I met at the U-Bahn pretty much says it all

I have an appt to see a place tonight, am absolutely grateful to have shelter yet now have more decisions to make about where to escape to, like a refugee, not of the climate, but of economic challenges. I just reached a wall emotionally, after discovering several possible places have slipped away, or are blatant scams. 

I will now go out into the town to use the resources of this city; replace batteries, get my bicycle fixed (bus driver jammed it into a space and the gears snapped). all along the way, I’ve had little successes, a derailleur that fell off, fixed by Portuguese men, the one key (the most essential one) for the bicycle lock suddenly appearing, after my key chain disappeared. And several people in town whom I can meet to say hello and catch up, (some who still have lived here, others who are returning in this exact week, to collect their things after having moved away a year ago). Several people have moved out of Berlin. 

Ukraine manifestation en Berlin, Allemagne le 24 Aout
August 24th Ukrainian demonstration ending at the Brandenburg Tor in Berlin, Germany

I more than likely must figure out a small town to live in where I can utilize a portable Glocal Me WiFi device with a local network, in an affordable town, either in Germany or northern Italy. Hadn’t realized that August in Europe is the least affordable with the least available spaces. I have hit a wall. I’m sure going out to do some errands and think as I’m riding, will help. 

Problems – one by one – resolved with right Intention

So, my arrival in Berlin, after the Russian man saw that FIXBus in Paris wasn’t acknowledging the Iberiabusline receipt for my Flixbus bicycle ticket which the annoyed Fixbus line Portuguese man had me pay, despite my repeated pleas that it was indeed a Flixbus line.This man approached me and told me the story of his Russian wife not being allowed to enter GB (and that he drove around with her for a wonderful 12 days and then drove across the border to allow her to enter England. He paid for a later bus from Paris to Hamburg, Hamburg to Berlin each with the bicycle sorted. It was not a FIXbus line.This assured me the ride to Berlin and allowed me to stay several more hours in Paris. I made my way to the other side of this woodsy park on a Sunday afternoon, dragging a heavy bag. I found a café restaurant open with a group of several families, from Cypress Greece I discoved. I ordered a cappuccino then rather than a breakfast, a pizza. It was huge, I ate all of it. I liked all the staff, my waiter and the (cat de la maison) of the house, who came to lounge on the chairs after the families left. They had WiFi, and one plug to recharge. The cat which appeared was not after  crumbs, he/she receives ample food. He merely wanted to lounge in the late afternoon on the empty chairs. 

Terrace Berry 102 Rue De Berry 75192 Paris
Terrace Berry Paris – Chat de Maison – Cat of the house

Sufficed with food, I headed to the bus, then had to sample the 2nd song that these local

https://share.icloud.com/photos/0343-Qkfc-UmDJH07_iEYzzQA weight lifter guys outside the underground bus station in the park, were playing French rap, as multiple guys choreographed their exercises, weights, swinging on bars rigorously, showing off 6 pack stomachs. Prior to this, after walking back and forth across the entire underground station, inquiring to numerous people about the missing keys, a lost and found, receiving only negative nods, that doesn’t exist, I spotted the black plastic top of what looked like my kryptonite bike lock key, which suddenly appeared after the 7th time looking at the same parking lot spots. What? No way? I hastily walked towards it, picked it up {broken at the top} and went to my bicycle. It slid into the lock! The most important item of the missing key chain. Unbelievable. Blessed!

I made it to Berlin via Hamburg. Upon arriving, I had to sit a bit, collect myself. Asked a group of police how to ride to Hackeshir Markt. The chief among them pointed to where I’d find Kaiserdamm, the main road past the Siegelseule towards the Fernsehturm and the Brandenburg Gait. I intended to make it to Montbijou park, where I read about a meetup that day, thinking I’d ask the group attending the BYO food, jam session, about housing. As I passed these tanks where years earlier I’d taken a phot of a 9 year old n the crowd before the Love Parade, sitting right in front of this displayed tank’s firing trunk and thought to myself, if it rains, I will sleep under the tank, high above the ground, protected from moisture, insects and hidden from people.

Plenty of people showed up for this event, which I finally located, after listening to a horn and drum Ukrainian orchestra band. Half the guys were in IT, half were of Indian descent. Everyone of the people told me how difficult and challenging housing in Berlin had become. And expensive, because of you guys in the IT business I pointed out with amusement.

Very much later, after 2am, I rode towards this tank, first eating my remaining food, sitting illegally at the outside tables of a hotel roped off, sitting befor the Brandenburg tor, where 4 young girls with long hair giggled taking selfies, then 4 young guys approached the same space.I chose one then the other tank, sort of hid my bicycle. Obviously not hidden enough. I slept slightly under the tank, a Russian monument to its military weaponry. I was woken up from a profoundly deep sleep 4.5 hours after laying down in my sleeping bag under the tank by a Police Officer saying loudly “Guten Morgen”! I slept on the concrete block displaying the historical Russian army tank, my first night in Berlin. There were no inexpensive hostels. I got up, out of my sleeping bag, put on my sneakers and jumped down to stuff it into its case. The police officer had walked away, but was still in view. I deliberately chose to not walk away, but right by him, up these stairs, I said “es ist nass” – it is wet, pointing to the grass – I was 5 feet up on a block of concrete, very dry. He answered, not grumpy, nor angry, perhaps slightly amused, “Es hat geregnet”. It rained.

I was going to go to the other side of the Tiergarten park, then changed my mind, and went back towards Mitte, wanting to find this bakery I remembered with great bread. Didn’t find it, but did find a spot to eat breakfast, then another place with WiFi and a girl standing up to leave the one table adjacent to an electrical receptacle. I had 2% battery left. 

The key had been found. Two days before when I felt a foreboding, bicycling the several miles over the mountain to a train station, where just as I was reaching he peak of the hill, suddenly my bike chain dangled. There were hardly any cars. One elder man sitting in a tripuck, headed in the opposite direction. He said there were houses ahead. I walked, coasted, then spotted 5 or 6 Portuguese men hanging outside a garage with several motorcycles and cars. I pointed to my bicycle. The one guy made it clear that he was   not a bicycle mechanic, but shied me he car gear mechanics he built. Yet, he looked at my bicycle, disappeared into his garage, came back with a screw, then another, which was the right size. In the mean time, two of the guys took off in the car, and he explained to wait until they came back. One of the younger guys pulled out his phone with google translate, and we exchanged some sentences. There would be a number of trains from Estarreja to Aveiro. I had time. My Flixbus was the next morning at 7am. Then the two guys returned in the car and handed the guy a rusty derailleur from one of their old bicycles. The mechanic took it apart, attached this also to my bike, adjusted the front part of it over the middle chain, and ai was now able to pedal – still only a third of the gears available since the first bus from Lisbon to Aveiro had snapped the shifter as he shoved it into the bus (after at first refusing to allow me on at all). When I thankfully went to my purse to pull out a 10€ note, the guy vigorously shook his head, no, no, he would not accept payment. This caused me to tear up, already sleep,deprived.

When I finally figured out where to catch the FLIXBUS, I went there to park my bicycle, prior to approaching the hotel where ai had left my luggage in a separate town weeks earlier, and then vanished. When I finally walked into the hotel, I was super surprised and relieved to be greeted by the smiling face of the young hotel desk guy who initially allowed me to clandestinely leave my baggage there, giving me three tags. He had me point out which was mine, because they were going to be bombarded with luggage. He told me that if I’d waited several more days, they might have called the police to declare left luggage and a missing person. He was very friendly, and told me the story of his life, his period of homelessness, then he ushered me outside, where he could openly tell me the story of how he got there. That he used to sell drugs. I said, what marijuana? He said no, all kinds. Then one day he returned to his apt which had been torn apart, in shambles, with the threat to pay 10,000€ or he and his mother would be killed. They gave him two days. His mother left to stay with another relative. He left within two hours with just the clothes he had on and 50€? He showed me a video of the music group he was in, of himself with short dreads, he had been the lead singer. He showed me the picture of another guy in the video who was in the band, who was the person who turned on him. He told me of his travels, escape, living on the streets, dropping his identity, that many of his friends still don’t know of his whereabouts. That eventually he turned his life around. That he was blessed when he arrived to this town, found the job, and an apt right away. Blessed by God for having the right intention. He left me with this uplifting story. My luggage had been safe. He accepted the 10€ note for having taken care of my luggage. Showed me the music video. Talked of being in a really good place in his life. Talked of his curiosity, of people he has met through this job.

So the bicycle was fixed in Portugal enough for me to ride it presently. The bus ride to Berlin resurrected by the Russian observer of the Fixbus corruption and the bicycle lock key found. And a German girl ( she and her boyfriend also had bicycles) informed the driver as he was about to leave without me , that there was still someone inside after the 10 minute break, where I brushed my teeth and almost missed the bus as he started pulling away. I call it FIXBUS, because only a few USB ports and electrical receptacles worked. The WiFimdidnt work at all. The drivers were far from customer service oriented. Another French/Portuguese woman teacher and her mother were horrified with their experience on an earlier FLIXBUS, when they had been left behind though returning to the bus in the allotted time and had to take a taxi and train, to catch up with their bus.

Now in Berlin, I’m in this café using the internet to explore northern Italy, which the Thai French speaking wine dealer woman at the remote hostel who consistently travels throughout Europe, told me that northern Italy, north of Verona, is the best place to live in Europe. Best quality of life, best educated people, most efficient transportation due to the influence of bordering Austria, and where many people ride bicycles. Then I saw today a message from one of he sons of my pastor in a palmyra, Pennsylvania home town who lives in Berlin, saying that he sent me a message when he saw that I was in Berlin,which I’m about to look at. 

Mass Delusion amidst Mass Disinformation and Fear-Based Distraction

Today, three of us had a very provocative conversation here at this hostel in the middle of nowhere ‘Now Here’ in Portugal; a Portuguese guy, an Argentinian IT worker I’ve come to know in the last week and myself. We talked about how the media uses fear to manipulate people, how Pharma companies have lied about and manipulated the entire world towards feeling fear and guilt about vaccines (along with truths about Covid-19) and how one very inexpensive and effective cure Ivermectin has been quickly denounced and silenced. We talked about cell phone addictions and ultra materialism….and that many of the political satirists, from George Carlin years ago foreseeing how the government and media are puppets to multinationals who are actually the elite in control. 

The Portuguese guy says that it’s almost the same as an authoritarian dictatorship, except that a tyrannical ruler has a face you can point to and blame, whereas this convoluted machine of money and power driving people to busily occupy themselves with just trying to survive with high costs and who are complacently consuming social media (addictively and incessantly) wind up not really questioning or even being consciously aware of the degree to which they are being controlled.

The NY Times has had one after another super frightening article in the last days, yesterday about Philadelphia being rife with guns and shootings, more than NYC or LA. And today an article about a MASSIVE PERFECT STORM that will at any time hit California. Not earthquakes, droughts or fires, but a brewing mega storm with water building from Hawaii, to the extent of the Mississippi river in the sky…and that when it hits the mountains of CA, it will bring biblical rains. This was in today’s paper. So though it may very well be true, the media does its job to keep people at a high pitch of fear and dread, because this is an excellent vehicle to control people.

The one guy was saying that George Carlin was so right on…and yet few people are aware enough to even question or seek to know. He and I have seen families, sitting with each parent looking down at their phone while their toddlers are acting out, simply seeking to get attention from a parent who sits there entranced, absent and unavailable to properly give the child attention.

I just made a list of (some) of the political satirists from whom I’ve been enlightened about issues, plus another Brit I hadn’t yet heard of till today, Ricky Gervais. If you haven’t listened to Russel Brand, Bill Maher, Trevor Noah, John Oliver, Jon Stewart, George Carlin, Bill Hicks, Hasan Minhaj… I suggest that you do.

They discuss truths in depth, which mainstream media averts talking about. And the three wealthiest men in the world – Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk and Richard Branson – who each coordinated their rocket launches with their massive carbon footprint, have the complete audacity to ignore the global warming occurring that is causing the massive droughts, floods, mass extinction, as if they are above it all and act with impunity with absolutely no regard for what is occurring on the earth – rather than using their money and power to instigate massive action to begin to heal the world, they are guilty for soaring mass delusion. 

What can we do about it? It seems not much. Except that the more that people become aware that our financial system is perpetuating our demise – 

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=0G6obeUKWmw&t=k166s – the more that the massive population  – and the industries profiting from misinformation and disinformation – and government officials who are millionaire pawns pocketing their gifts and continuing as if we aren’t in the middle of a disaster of magnanimous proportions – can hold them accountable. But as long as people are sleep walking and bent over looking down at their phones rather than looking up and speaking personally with one another, nothing will change. 

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Humanity, on a piece of rock spiraling through space | Lisbon, Portugal

Humanity, on a piece of rock spiraling through space, wow! On day 9, when I arrived to a green space on the property of a university, I decided to sleep there, my sleeping bag tucked into a canvas bag to be more discrete about being ‘homeless’. The grounds had all these cats, really funny. Upon waking and standing up, decided to head up the hill, turned a corner to see that I was in front of the Prime Minister’s home, glanced across the street to see several cameras perched on the sidewalk. The Prime Minister was inside discussing the environment with another diplomat, and the journalists were waiting for him to appear.

Actually, it was about “decentralization process“, said Prime Minister António Costa at the signing ceremony of the agreement between the Government and the National Association of Portuguese Municipalities for the decentralization of competences in the areas of Education and Health, at the headquarters of the ANMP, in Coimbra.”

I left, then saw two blond-haired students towing their luggage, they told me of a hostel…then after investigating the gay man who owned the hostel on the ground floor of this building pointed me to a place to eat upon my inquiry, which he recommended.

It was a lovely environment, lovely food and ambience. Very well dressed, genteel clientele. Here in the café I interacted with a toddler and her parents, and later starting chatting with the mother. Turns out she and I have a very similar perspective and I really appreciated her opening up. She reminds me very much in attitude and spirit of the French woman I met in Montpellier, seriously.

 

kids across the street going on a field trip

When I left the café, in the heat i reached the park finally where I had intended to sleep the night before (which I never found) – fortunately – because it would have been closed > gates close at 7pm. Fascinating place, I walk in to see and hear chickens, then learn from reading the signs that it had last been a convent, and from an elderly local woman, that once it had lots of dogs in the dog kennels. Seems that the convent wished to make it a sanctuary for animals. I was amused to see the chickens walking around and clucking. They calmly tolerated the cats walking around. I had heard the peacocks with their strange almost human sounding screams, and in the dusty walks among parched vegetation, I then happened upon this mini oasis of water, with ducks and species of birds I didn’t recognize. I bothered to keep pulling out my ipad to take photos, decided to walk up these stairs, and there they were, the peacocks. https://www.lisbonportugaltourism.com/guide/tapada-das-necessidades.html “pink palace standing on a hilltop facing the river was completed just five years before the Great Earthquake of 1755, and was the only royal residence that remained standing in the disaster. Over the years, it was also used as a convent and as a hospice, which explains the cross that tops the portico. Today, it’s home to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and is not open to the public.”

Parque de necessidades
https://www.lisbonportugaltourism.com/guide/tapada-das-necessidades.html

what a treat!

I left as it was closing and decided to leave there and dutifully head back to Starbucks for internet to search for housing. I walked by and into a little terrace with music. I didn’t want to take pictures as a voyeur  although I really wanted to. A speaker sat in the dust. Three girls no older than 7 danced in front of a fountain, sort of doing a dance routine that was much more mature and provocative. I turned to see two women. They were in silk type long dresses, had dark skin, both had home-bleached blond hair, and appeared to have gotten married (the 2 women). They posed showing their tattoos on their ankles from the slits in their dresses. An obese woman in a flashy colored top sat facing the little girls, adjusting her false eyelashes that were falling off. I think these were Roma, gypsies.

Dj’d hang out by Santos Metro station Lisbon

Then bicycled along a path by the water, and then suddenly discovered an impromptu bar, dj’d with beats, very Berlin style with the mannequin. It was at a metro stop, right on the track platform. They sell beer and pizza. There was a massage table, some people sitting around smoking joints. Met an Italian guy who actually identified and recognized my X patch, asking if that was “extinction rebellion”? I was pleasantly surprised that he knew. 

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Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz welcomes donations for her writing, photography, illustrations, eBook and music composition. The PayPal donation button functions in Safari and Firefox, however is broken in Chrome.
Have been using this bicycle a great deal, even though Lisbon is very hilly

Urban Street Art, Graffiti & Design Lisbon, Portugal July 2022

The images speak for themselves July 2022 Lisboa

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Carol Keiter aka nomadbeatz welcomes donations for her writing, photography, illustrations, eBook and music composition. The PayPal donation button functions in Safari and Firefox, however is broken in Chrome.

Zero carbon output Bicycling |  Only 1 Earth | World Environment Day

Today is World Environment Day.

So, now once in a while, while riding or stopped at an intersection with a lot of cars, I throw up my arm with full display of the zero sign.

Either like this.

Or like this.

Why?

Because

Because as I ride a bicycle and routinely look at road kill and feel the heat of engines and have to time my inhales to not breath fumes.

I say Zero!

I really am such a brat, as in expressing exactly what I feel.

The lyrics are not yet completed yet, but here it is so far; guess the idea evolved when I glanced at gas prices at a gas station.

Zero money

Zero gasoline

Zero carbon output

Zero fossil fuel use

Zero smell of exhaust 

Zero sound ….. just quiet

Zero pressure of time (can only go so fast) 

Zero body fat 

What’s more than Zero are the places I go in nature with only wildlife around and the muscle made in the process of locomotion and the joy i feel in riding.

What’s less than Zero is the heat and foul air I have to breathe when I go by an idling car or a vehicle flying by, and the chance of being hit by a car if I’m not fully anticipating people not paying attention (a third looking down at their cell phones while driving).

We have only one planet Earth

Only 1 Earth
Only 1 Earth
Only One