Last year, end of September 2019, I cycled around my home region of Alsace (France) for a week. I started in Wissembourg, at the extreme north of the region, and cycled down to Basel in Switzerland. I cycled about 400km in total, on three different Eurovelo routes, I crossed two borders (Germany and Switzerland) and relaxed in three different spas along the way (because why not?) and, obviously, I experienced different weather conditions.
Backpacking for Dummies
Right after the lockdown -which ended up around June 2020 in France- the mailboxes of Mulhouse were filled with letters from Abd Al Malik, in partnership with the city concert hall La Filature. In this letter, the famous French singer/rapper/poet/writer who grew up in Strasbourg, was calling us to write back letters. Letters addressed to Mulhouse, our city, to tell her about our lockdown since the city had been the epicentre of the Covid-19 pandemic in France last February. Everybody here knows someone who has been infected, hospitalized, or someone who has died… Everybody here knows someone who was in the first line, care and health workers, cashiers, transportation workers.
Everybody here has known about fear.
This blog, my blog, is already 5 years old. I posted my first article on June 10th 2015 and it was about the Working Holiday Visa. 11 days later, I was landing at Tokyo Haneda Airport in the middle of the night. And followed one of the most unlikely nights of my life.
Here I was on the road. The adventure had just started.
Since we’re all being asked to stay home, I wanted to bring up that subject that had been kind of haunting me for a few years now. What’s home?
In English, there’s a distinction between “house” and “home”. The first one would be purely physical, four walls, a roof and everything that can be found inside, while the other would have a more sentimental value, it’ll be the family household, a place you feel at home, an anchor, a place for returns.
新年快樂! – Xīnnián kuàilè! – Happy New Year!
When I was living in Taiwan, Chinese New Year was held on February 15th 2018. The Year of the Rooster was flying away and let his place to the Year of the Dog. Chinese New Year is widely celebrated worldwide by the Chinese and Asian communities, mainly by the populations referring to the lunisolar calendar.
Even when I was living in my tiny studio apartment in Strasbourg with a mini oven, I was still following this vernacular tradition even though I had to spend my days off baking, batch after batch, so I could have my little cookies to eat with my tea during those long Alsatians winter evenings. I’m so attached to this tradition that I couldn’t help but bring it with me in both New-Zealand and Taiwan! As a matter of fact, I’m always travelling with cinnamon just in case I’d like to bake something tasty for my hosts or travel companions.