Mar 21, 2012

Poetul din BMW

Astazi a fost o zi grea. Plecat la 8, intors la 22 si stat in priza non stop. 8 intalniri, alergat intre birouri, clienti, furnizori, creante, vanzari, asociatii, concurenti, licitatii, sedinte, prezentari. Bateria la telefon s-a terminat, apoi s-a terminat si Mophi-ul. Am facut cred vreo 100 km prin oras, majoritatea in mare viteza ca deh, avem bolid. Sa zic asa a fost o zi grea dar buna. Cu ceva succese importante, cu ceva promisiuni interesante, cu ceva dezvoltari spectaculoase si cu aceleasi provocari date de anul asta mizerabil de pe piata. Si uite asa, ora dupa ora, m-a apucat noaptea prin oras si la 10 seara ma vedeam cu tatal meu la scara blocului lui pentru 10 minute. Apoi in sfarsit spre casa.

Pe acest ultim drum al zilei, vreo 2 km, tot agitatie, am gasit altceva de facut, m-am apucat sa butonez radio-ul de la masina sa asez posturile. Deh, aceeasi agitatie, familiar sentiment, cred ca majoritatea dintre cei care ma cititi il cunoasteti. O stare de incapacitate de relaxare a creierului, o agitatie continua ce trebuie alimentata. Cu umblatul la telefon, cu butonatul la masina, cu facut ceva sa iti tina atentia si mintea agitata. Ce mai, sentimentul robotic al workerului corporatist-antreprenorial-bucurestean.

Pana cand, la un moment dat, am dat din intamplare pe Radio Romania Actualitati si am auzit o muzica romaneasca buna dupa care realizatoarea emisiunii spune: "Ziua Mondiala a Poeziei se apropie de sfarsit si la radioul nostru ..." Cati dintre roboti stiu ca astazi a fost Ziua Mondiala a Poeziei?

Si eu, robotul, care-si masura micile succese ale zilei si isi gasea satisfactia in puterea bolidului ... E clar, Eminescu nu a existat ... Noroc cu Kalimero din viata mea.

Good Karma

10 days ago, in my second day in Death Valley, among other wonders I had decided to go and see the only point in the valley where vegetation could be found, Darwin Falls. A small spring which created a small fall and gather around some nice green trees and small forms of vegetation. The Falls are on the opposite side of the valley son it was a long road. I was planning for a quick visit and then hit the road for a short visit to an overlook point and reach the Panamint Dunes for the sunset. Only that I was not sure where the dunes are and how do I reach them!

So, I crossed the valley and then I entered the off road path leading to the Falls. It was worst than I thought it will be as road quality. Far worst that the one to the Racetrack and Wisconsin tourists (from my previous post) had their revenge :) 15 minutes on that road lead me to a place in which there were some cars parked. I parked just under the sign announcing me that I need a 4x4 vehicle to carry on. Indeed the guide was saying that it will be some walking to do. I grabbed my 8 kg photo back pack and start walking on the 4x4 road.

It was a heavy climbing road, it was midday and 30 degrees and no clouds in the sky. Road was OK and I start moaning about over cautious Americans, not allowing my SUV to go there and obliging everyone to walk.  I was eager to meet someone coming down from the Falls and ask about how long I was still supposed to walk. And I kept climbing, and climbing. It is this thing about me that, if I am motivated by taking pictures in a nice natural frame, I can forget my lack of shape and walk and wander for hours and long kilometers. In 2 days in the valley I did more than 30 km on foot! But this time it was a boring mountain road with not interesting landscape and no vegetation. Moreover I started wandering where are the touristic signs for such a landmark. An nobody was coming down. I had climbed for more than 90 minutes, finished all the water and reached very high level.

By the time I reached this old mine facility I was sure I missed the road. I had climbed 6 km, I lost 2 hours I was tired, without water and no soul was around. I had to go back the 6 km. For a planned to the second 2 days holiday like I had this was close to a disaster. Later in the day I could see from a higher ground the road I have climbed. Just follow the entire white line and you will understand how far I walked.

But then, miracle, 2 trucks showed out of nowhere. They were going down. I was, obviously, on the wrong path. I should have crossed the parking place and take the wash coming down from the mountain. He was so kind to give me a ride. "Hop on in the back please". And he went all way down with me jumping around in the back of the track but happy for the lift. In 15 minutes we were back down to the parking place.

He showed me the way. Take that road and in 10 minutes you will be there, but hey, be happy you did a very good exercise by climbing there. It's good for your health. It was no irony in his voice. I thank him for the ride and because he was so nice I told him this was my payback for helping the Wisconsin tourists one day before.

"You have good karma" he told me. And ran away. Indeed, I had a very good karma during those days and maybe always in my life. 10 minutes later, I was shooting Darwin Falls. Missed the Panamint Dunes and drove back home.

And then again, my karma has brought me to the other dunes exactly when the sun was setting upon them. I added another 3 km to my walking distance in that day but it has worth every step.

May your karma be good my friends!

Mar 11, 2012

Nascar make-up artist (for) rocks

Death Valley 2012

Somebody told me that Vegas will be full this weekend because it will be a Nascar race. And indeed, my short visit to Walmart confirmed it. What was the most promoted product (btw, a brilliant piece of punctual sales initiative)? No, not beer. It was cooler boxes! All kind, big small, colorful, lady bags! foam boxes. I bought a small cooler backpack. Obviously not because Nascar, I could not care less, cause I was going to see my own racetrack.

Racetrack Playa is one amazing place in Death Valley California. It's a place where big rocks are sliding leaving racetrack marks behind them. Nobody actually have seen one moving, but they are! If curious see here and how and why is it happening. For my photographic eye this was supposed to be a bliss. And so it was, as picture above confirms it. However, I was not totally lucky to see the full of it because of the weather. The flatbed sand was too dry and marks were little visible. I have spend a couple of hours wandering across the white plain, found many rocks but very few tracks behind them. Or some visible tracks without any rock!

Then I remembered that photography does not always means snapshot, in some cases means art direction. So I simply took one rock and put it at the end of a visible track. I had my pictures and then left it there for the tourists wandering around.

On the way back I had picked up some poor Wisconsin tourists which had the unhappy idea to rent a Wrangler from a local guy, in order to face the "rough" road I was flying on with my Dodge Durango (an SUV). The Wrangler lost it's electrical system in the middle of nowhere. So I picked them up and drove them to the car dealer. On the way back I asked them if they liked the Racetrack Playa. They said yes, too bad there were not too many visible tracks with rocks. 

I guess the guys I have left on the racetrack should have a different opinion.

Mar 9, 2012

Bulgarian Full Moon

Do you remember my little story about the Ms. Croatian taxi driver? We'll you just can top the stories of Vegas taxi drivers. Taxi drives are short here in between hotels or convention centers but taxi drivers are so bored, or maybe just trying to slip under your skin for further business, especially if you are traveling as single man ;), that they are looking to make conversation with you.

So, first was Mansour, a Lebanese which call himself Bill here. Funny guy, as any lebanese he had visited Bucharest and has friends there. He ofered me to show around some hot places, "although I saw you are a married man, I am sorry". He also told me he's in great trouble at night when all the fauna is mounting his cab half drunk and half naked. "And how do you stand?", "Well, every time I see this in my cab I call my wife and say: Nadia dear, take a shower, I am coming home". He has 4 kids and a happy family, as he mentioned to me earlier. And a happy wife I guess.

Then it was a white beard old man looking like a priest, some cheerful black American natives, an Englishman looking like a teacher, bored and superior, a black lady weighting 200 kilos ...

But today I had a guy who won a visa waiver 4 years ago and settled to Vegas to celebrate his luck. The guy is so happy here and from all the taxi drivers I could have met, his a Bulgarian (my "adoptive" country if only for the single year I worked with the RD people there) taxi driver, living in American Southwest, in Vegas, in love with photography. You know how I love this place and how many efforts I make to keep coming and shoot here. Well, the guy was in paradise. My photo paradise. 

He dropped me to the outlets. When I left it was a dark night and so was the taxi driver. He drove silently as we would see the biggest full moon ever raising above The Strip. довиждане my friends.

Mar 7, 2012

Leaving Las Vegas

It would be too simple to say that I am jet lagging and did not catch more than 2 hours of sleep in the last 36 hours (even though, to my real shame, I felt asleep at Le Reve by Cirque du Soleil)

It would be too simple to say that Puparo mood did not showed up, nor my gambling luck.

I guess what is really going on is that Vegas is loosing relevance to me and, despite all the glamour and room upgrades I purchased amazingly cheap, this city, Sin City, is not talking to me anymore. 

Of course, they do great conferences in this US city and landscapes and deserts around are calling me constantly, so I might be returning again here someday. But for now, 12 hours after I arrived here, is like I feel I have left Vegas already

Mar 2, 2012

Que reste-t-il, de nos amours?

Casis, 2004

Surprise! Ça serait mon premier poste en français. Même si ce n’est pas que seulement grâce au spectacle d’aujourd’hui soir. Et quel spectacle ! Paris, mon amour, chez le Théâtre National D’ Opérette. J’en suis sur que nos clients et collaborateurs ont été aussi enchantes que Runa, Cami et moi. Mais, au delà de toutes les chansons, danses and moments magiques, j’ai eu une révélation. Que la langue française a joué un rôle essentiale dans ma vie.

Et voilà, pourquoi maintenant, je vais essayer honorer cet rôle. Pour tous mes lecteurs, meilleurs a s’exprimer en français que moi, je vous demande pitié. Ça fait plus de 10 ans depuis quand j’ai n'ai pas écrit un texte en français. J’ai lu pourtant. Quoi ? Peut être les Fleurs du Mal ? Peut être mes collections de douze ans, mois après mois de la revue Géo ? Chasseur d’ Images, Photo ? Je l’ai parle pourtant, le français ? A Disneyland avec mes enfants deux fois, à Paris plusieurs fois, a l’inoubliable Provence ?

Alors, pourquoi mon amour pour cette langue, qu'est ce qu’il fait aussi important ? Et comment fait-il que j’oublie tous ça jusqu'à maintenant ? Peut être parce que :

Dans la deuxième classe j’ai tombe amoureux de la langue française et de la professeure de française aussi ?  Parce que mon père, lui le parlait très bien, et ma mère, amoureuse de Dumas ? Parce que je me souviens aussi bien la chambre en fond chez ma grande mère ou je passais les chaudes vacances d’été en lire les écrivains historique et d’aventure français ?

Ou peut être parce que c’était la langue j’ai parlait quand je suis allé pour la premier fois en étranger après Décembre 1989 (mille neuf cent quatre vingt dix-neuf :)) avec mon oncle en Allemagne et Belgique ? Où peut être parce que je savais le parler aussi bien que j’ai été capable de convaincre la commission Tempus de me donner une bourse en Grenoble même si il n’existait pas dans le programme ?

La langue française : Mon premier service dans la publicité, Mr. Radu Florescu, American cosmopolite, marié avec une française, très fier, m’a teste en français ! Et j’avais été employée avec Loredana  à Saatchi & Saatchi en 1997. Deux persones parmi 200 CV’s. Ma bourse de 6 mois en Frances avec milliers des souvenirs et aventures je n’ose pas à raconter ici. L’incontournable goût du vin de Bandol parfumé a lavande! Les menus au restaurants écrits en minimum 15 mots chacune. Les plus mauvais Nouvel An que j’ai passe seul en voiture autour Trocadéro en cherchant une place pour la voiture pendent que Runa et Cami ont essayer de voir les feu d’artifice au dessus de Tour Effel. Il n’est jamais venu! L’inoubliable présentation nous avons fait, en français, pour le pitch Carrefour chez Zenith Media. Le leçons je fais dans la 5-eme classe avec ma grande fille Runa? Le Rêve avec Cirque du Soleil je vais voir in Vegas in quelques jours? Céline Dion, avec sa chanson J’ai compris tous le mots, coup de foudre en France ? La même Céline Dion live en Vegas avec Cami, quelle voix !?!

Tout est lie a la française. Même sur cet blog, le premier poste s’appel Les Egout de Paris !?! Mais, au dessous des tous les souvenirs, il existe un suprême raison pour lequel je serai toujours amoureux de français. Parce que, in 1997 après un grande chute dans ma vie professionnelle, le simple fait que je le parlerai, m’a apporté un job chez Mesagerie Micul Paris. Et dans ma courte carrière la bas, j’ai connu Camelia, mon épouse. Ma vie a changé depuis et nous sommes arrivé, quinze ans plus tard, ici, aujourd’hui.

Alors, que reste-t-il des nos amours ? Encore d’amour !