Moving to Stand Still

I found a new home office in Ljubljana yesterday (!) which means I’ll be online sparingly over the next week as I move in, unpack and get situated. I’ve been back in Slovenia for three weeks now but am still feeling a little off-kilter after several months on the road — kind of like a stranger in a familiar place. Setting up a place to call home should help restore some of that missing balance. Cheers!

Nadezhda Tolokonnikova on Why She’s Going on a Hunger Strike

In an open letter released two days ago, Pussy Riot’s Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, who has served her first of a two-year sentence at Penal Colony No. 14 in the Russian state of Mordovia, explains why she’s decided to go on a hunger strike.

The prison wardens refuse to hear me. But I will not back down from my demands. I will not remain silent, watching in resignation as my fellow prisoners collapse under slave-like conditions. I demand that human rights be observed at the prison. I demand that the law be obeyed in this Mordovian camp. I demand we be treated like human beings, not slaves.

In August 2012 Tolokonnikova, 23, and fellow band member Maria Alyokhina, were convicted of hooliganism motivated by religious hatred for singing a protest song titled Virgin Mary, Redeem us of Putin, in Moscow’s Cathedral of Christ the Saviour and sentenced to two years imprisonment. Anesty International has declared her a prisoner of conscience.

She goes on to claim and describe 16 and 17-hour workdays for which she was paid about 67 euro cents per month, the prison’s brutal and degrading conditions, and physical and psychological abuse.

My first impression of Mordovia was the words uttered by the prison’s deputy warden, Lieutenant Colonel Kupriyanov, who actually runs PC-14. “You should know that when it comes to politics, I am a Stalinist.”

This letter, published today in the journal n+1, is an extensively revised version of the letter published in The Guardian on Wednesday. Check it out. It’s riveting reading.

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Gone Sailin’

13 June – I’m off to Panama this morning on The Independence, an 84-foot sailboat that will be home for the next five days. We’re heading to the port at Carti via the San Blas Islands where we’re to spend two-and-half or three days, something I’m most definitely looking forward to. I’ll be back online on Tuesday or Wednesday. – In the meantime, please be nice to one another. :)

Delicious, with a big pinch of salt

There is a filet of sole in there somewhere.

Jake’s Sunday post challenge suggestion this week is delicious. That was easy to find because it was one of the few pics in my flickr stream tagged with the word.

I thoroughly enjoyed this last March at a restaurant in Istanbul – sole baked in salt. Succulent, perfectly cooked, with just the right hint of saltiness. Delicious! This was the first time I tried it, but it’s not a process unique to Turkey. I’ve seen it on menus in Spain, Italy, France and Greece. Jake: Anything similar in or around Manila?

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Unstoppable (pic du jour)

This was snapped during a visit to Portland’s Occupy offices just a few days before last Christmas. I just noticed that it’s been sitting here in my dashboard, unpublished, since the first week of January. I’ll take locating it as a sign to inaugurate a daily photo post, oh-so-cleverly entitled, pic de jour. Just because I’m feeling unstoppable.

Hope you’re enjoying your weekend!

A Dog at the Market

You can now cross Boiled Dog in a Nanning Market off your list of things to see before you die.

I’ve posted this pic a couple times before but it’s the first one to come to mind when Ailsa at Where’s My Backpack asked visitors to share some market pics in her latest challenge.

More about that October 2010 market visit –along with a dog and cat consumption in China update– is here. It was also the Gadling Photo of the Day for 18-Oct-2010.

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First Winner in Piran Café’s Monthly Giveaway Announced!

And that winner in the inaugural monthly drawing, open to Piran Café newsletter subscribers only, is…

Ward Luthi!

Congratulations to Ward who will, as advertised, get to select a destination travel guide of his choice: Lonely Planet, Rough Guide, Frommer’s, Fodor’s, Let’s Go, or anything else he can point me to.

By the way, other projects have delayed publication of this month’s newsletter, but I couldn’t let that get in the way of this first monthly drawing. Nor will anything delay next month’s drawing, set for Monday 4 June.

So if you’re not a subscriber to the Piran Café Monthly, there’s no better time than NOW to subscribe and be automatically entered. June prize info to be announced shortly. It’s gonna be another good one, too. Promise!

Eastern Europe Envy

I just came across this interesting piece –Six Enviable Traits From Eastern Europe– in Big Think by Francis Tapon who spent the past three years traveling in 25 Eastern European countries. Just six?  ;)

Two stand out:

1. There’s one characteristic that all Eastern Europeans share, from Finland to Macedonia, from Slovenia to Ukraine—it’s toughness. Eastern Europeans are a gritty, intense, and supernaturally sturdy people. Communism, wars, and winters have sculpted their tradition of getting by with little. They may whine and complain, but they’ll endure any hardship and overcome any challenge with a stoic and grim determination.


3. Eastern European cities have outstanding pedestrian zones.

He also describes Slovenians as workaholics. Like the ego-trippin’ dude at top whose boots are certainly the envy of everyone he crosses paths with. He’s working over-time today –on a holiday no less– moonlighting as the subject for today’s LJ Pic of the Day.

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