No Purpose – No Moldova

While my friends from Lviv where in Carpathian Mountains attending the European Rainbow gathering, I decided to visit Moldova for couple of days and then come back.. The border wasn’t too far, so early in the morning on August 20 I hit the road.. It was a bright sunny day.. One after another the drivers would take me closer to the Ukraine – Moldovan border through little towns and villages.. Once even an orthodox priest on an old and rusty Lada gave me a lift.. He was driving to a town about 50 km ahead.. There was another passenger in the car who turned to be a historian.. In the middle of the ride the priest and the historian began to argue on Holy Trinity.. Historian was denying the Trinity which the priest of course didn’t like at all.. The rest of the road they were screaming on each other.. The priest would turn his head to me from time to time hoping I will support him, which I did..
 

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Erhai Lake, Yunnan, China

Located in Dali Bai autonomous prefecture of Yunnan province, Erhai lake is one of the seven biggest fresh water lakes in China.. At an elevation of 1972 meters, the lake stretches for 42km from North to South.. Erhai is translated from Chinese as “Ear Sea” (洱 er – ear, 海 hai – sea).. The lake was named so because of its ear-like shape.. Erhai used to be a royal deer ranch for Nanzhao kingdom..
 

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Asuncion de Santa Maria Church

The Santa Maria Church in the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia in the province of Ilocos Sur in the north of Philippines is the most magnificently located of all the churches in Ilocandia.. Geographically, it is in the centre of Ilocos Sur.. It serves as the Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary.. Perched strategically on top of a hill, it provides a panoramic view from which one can enjoy the delightful site for miles whether looking at the China Sea or into the verdant paddy fields of the valley, the surrounding seven hills, the coastal plains of the town, and the Cordillera mountain ranges.. It is approached by three broad stairways – one from eastern side where lies a now abandoned cemetery with a quaint chapel, surrounding walls and arch entrance; another one from the southwest side at the back of the church leading to the Nueva Coveta road (now Burgos); and the main stairway with 83 steps from the northwest..
 

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The Jailbird and The Hungry Kitten

Hitchhiking in Siberia, I would often come across released jailbirds on the road. They usually have no money, so the only way for them to get back home is to hitchhike. They are not really dangerous for hitchhikers, I would say even the opposite. Once one released jailbird helped me to get a ride when I was stuck in the middle of nowhere in -30°C. I can’t explain this, but criminals have some kind of special respect for hitchhikers. Many times I would find myself in a car with some gangsters, who were eager to help me, or would offer me food and drinks.

This story took place in a cafe when I was on my way from Ulan-Ude to Irkutsk. We were given a lift by a Kamaz truck driver. It was around 4 PM when we stopped at the rest area and went in the roadside cafe to have dinner. There were not many customers. We ordered our dishes and tea, and I went to wash my hands. When I was washing my hands, a 40-45 years old man came in. He wore big black glasses and a fur hat. Upon seeing me, he said some words in Georgian. “Gamarjoba. Genatsvale.” “Psycho,” I thought of him. But later, seeing the tattoos on his hands I realized that he was not a psycho at all, but a jailbird, just released. Continue reading

Wat Rong Khun

Once upon a time, the Ministry of Culture of Thailand thought: “It is important to promote modern arts in our country.. And not just arts, but modern architecture.. Just look around.. All we have is traditional architecture of old buildings..” 

I’m not certain for the authenticity of their thoughts, but the outcome of these reflections was the white temple, Wat Rong Khun, located about 6 kilometers from the city of Chiang Rai in northern Thailand … This temple is a good example (if not the only one) of modern temple architecture, uncommon for Thailand..

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