In the vibrant metro of Paris, you hear her. Mumbled notes are suspended in the stairwell as you descend closer to the platform until finally, you perceive each note just as distinctly as you see her player who sways and squeezes in that same old dance.
In Sarajevo, she arrived at my table, anchored by the pluck of contrabass, and echoing the tears of the singer weeping Sevdalinka.*
Her sound has bombarded passengers on many rusted trams in Sofia. Clasped in an old man’s hand, he maneuvers her and teases her, summoning the old folk modes and beckoning for a coin or two. You’re saddened if the player alights before you reach the centre . It’s a shame for the show to end before your destination is reached. Needless to say, you step into the main boulevard with an extra buoyancy and the barista is as baffled by your jocund conversation as much as your quirky attempts to order an espresso in Bulgarian.
She’s followed me, all over the world. In my travels she weaves in and out and in a pitter patter of fingers on keys I’m transported immediately, on wings of sentiment, pathos and romance.
That old box of acoustic wonders squeezes, tugs and begs you to waltz like the Bohemians, tarantella like the Italians and tango like the Argentinians. Play on accordion, play on. Dance on my friends. Dance on.
*A traditional genre of music developed in Bosnia Herzegovina that is known for it’s slow, lilting melodies set to poetic text that is typically of a sombre, mournful or poetic nature and rendered with a passionate and emotive vocal tone.
Jimmy Nelson has travailed the globe, snapping images of remote tribal life. Here are his reindeer herders. Just one voyage to capture an archaic way of life. See his website: http://www.beforethey.com for scintillating imagery and cameos of a seemingly ethereal, mystical and utopian life.
Nelson has embarked on 13 journeys to date, roaming through Ethiopia, Indonesia & Papua, Kenya & Tanzania, Mongolia, Siberia, Nepal, China, Vanuatu, Argentina & Ecuador, Namibia and India in search of the tribal mystique that may soon be wiped off the map.
Jimmy Nelson ha viajado por todo el mundo para tomar fotos acerca de la vida en tribus remotas. Aquí podemos observar a los pastores de renos.
Solamente es un viaje para plasmar una forma arcaica de vivir. Visite su página de internet: http://www.beforethey.com para apreciar las imagenes asombrosas y camafeos de una forma de vivir que nos puede parecer etèrea, mística y utόpica.
Hasta la fecha; Nelson se ha embarcado en 13 travesias; atravesando por Ethiopia, Indonesia & Papua, Kenia y Tanzania, Mongolia, Siberia, Nepal, China, Vanuatu, Argentina & Ecuador, Namibia & India en busca de tribus misteriosas que muy pronto pueden desaparfecer del mapa.
Translation: Fabian Rodriguez
Ms Divageiger se complace en anunciar que ahora se encuentra disponible para los lectores hispanohablantes. El 2014 será más grande, mejor y multi-lingüístico.
Los artículos aparecerán ahora en su versión al español. Servirá como un recurso valioso para los hablantes y estudiantes del idioma Inglésό del Idioma Español que quieran aprender o pulir algunas expresiones idiomáticas.
MsDivageiger is delighted to announce we are opening up to Spanish readership. 2014 is bigger, better and multi-lingual!
Words will now also appear in dual Spanish translation. This will be a great resource for speakers of Spanish as well as any of our English readers who are wanting to learn some Spanish or brush up on idioms.
Stepping into the threshold of a bookstore is always the same. Regardless of whether the store lies on home turf or is in some lane way in Bulgaria stocked with literature stamped in Cyrillic, the experience is always the same.
In any given store, I will manage to locate an item of my fancy. Desirous of a slippery embossed hard cover, wooed by the inner parchment, I’ll be ensnared by the merchandise. Always.
Some bookstores give me rustic worn leather to sit myself. There I muse and flick, flick and muse, through pages.
But I’m a fickle mistress. I adhere to no genre or classification. Instead, I swan between photos of Chinese street food, philosophy, entrepreneurship or art. On a given day, I may be noting down a recipe to choux puffs, on another, puzzling over grammar exercises checking my score in the final pages religiously. Novels are flicked to the end. Jokes are laughed over too raucously for the other clientele with my companion. Sometimes, I go to the language section and just ogle. I just stand there and imagine under what circumstances I’d be possessed to study Hebrew. Or Urdu? Anyway, what do their orthographic scribbles look like? Before I know it, I’m skimming to the third chapter and have found a few novel Tagalog idioms.
Bookstores provide one with the chance to sift through a wealth of New Year’s resolutions. The thing is, they are not just open for one day of the year. Tonight, I’ll roam one. Maybe I’ll learn Urdu after all.
-Sorry, I thought you were awake as I saw you had seen my message on facebook at 8am….Oh, right. Yeah, me too. Actually I wake up at 8 and go to the toilet then have a coffee and cigarette, then back to sleep for a few hours. Yeah… It’s amazing that the coffee doesn’t keep me awake.
The platinum bobbed lady in her white linen flicks the pages of her Vogue. The tips of her smile lengthen and she winks elegantly at me.
The young guy on his phone continues
-Yeah, I’m just like so stressed about this t-shirt. Like, when can I get it from you? … I know, I was going to speak to her but she’s really bipolar sometimes, you know?
The bob jiggles as the elderly lady giggles, this time aloud.
-What a stressful and fascinating life he leads,
she muses to me.
I grin back, sheepishly observing the lines of her face – creases of life long vivacity, I suspect.
I slip my phone back into my bag and we start to chat. About Vogue, about travel, about Brighton and the leafy streets of Surrey Hills all the way to Flinders Street. Her sapphire eyes glint with wisdom and humor. Is it loneliness I see too?
Yesterday, I attended the latest offering from the National Gallery of Victoria- Melbourne Now. I entered a curtained exhibit coined “The Gallery of Air”. In a small space, assembled like a thrift shop, the artist, Patrick Pound, draws the the viewer into a semantic game. Contained behind the curtain are objects collated from NGV’s permanent collection that allude to the idea of air- a quirky print from Goya (nothing unusual for Goya) titled, “Blow”, a whoopee cushion, a barometer, a pipe; even the finest porcelain urns depicting winged celestial beings silhouetted in relief against duck-egg blue. This morning I was wondering, what would I assemble if I were to create my own “Gallery of Air”. I’d be at a loss to create it however, for I’d need to place this moment on the train in there and no curtained room can contain the dynamic exchange of heartfelt conversation, that flows un-stifled like a current, from an elderly lady, unhampered by the trappings of technology.
I have in my possession a little tin jar whose contents, once opened, storm the senses whilst weaving and dancing through my cuisine with the stamp of smoky feet. It burns the floor red and bites the tongue. This little tin receptacle contains pimentón dulce (sweet, spicy paprika) first sourced from a Spanish Vendor in Borough Markets London. I’d spotted it while meandering past the dry and fleshy jamones as they slid and fell into hefty mounds, trophies of the cheeky butchers that carved them in constant secession.
I’ve learnt that where your pimentón dulce hails from is important. In fact there are even Denominations of Origin for paprika the most esteemed being the southeastern Spanish coastal province of Murcia.
My little tin is old worldly labelled Bolero and boasts a dancing couple posturing with the whisper of ruffling crimson and petticoats. It sits beside me as I write. Admiring its label, I pick it up and with clumsy fingers, drop the tin with a clunk to the floor. Cursing my fate and tendency to drop and break whatever dainty article comes my way, I instead look to my lap and below and there it lies, like vermillion ochre, coating my seat and painting the floor like in ceremonious ritual. I can’t help but breathe deeper, inhaling through my nose as the air grows in dimension- sweet and smoky. I am reminded of paellas and the sizzle of chorizo that claims my husband’s breath after huevos rancheros. There allover the hard wood floor of our little art deco apartment here in Melbourne, lies the earth of Murcia, the ochre of Murcia.