The spice seller

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Pure concentration, firm hand, holding the breath, the spice seller was preparing for a day of sales. It was early morning and Marrakech was waking up. Most of the shops just opened up, such as the competitor in front. He was a bit late and at the beginning of purple pyramid when he caught my attention: he started yawning.

I could not resist and I started hiding myself at the end of his shop, just where the outdoor tent was finishing and I began to click.

Not much luck was granted to my secret plan. A women started screaming at me in Arabic and I started walking away like nothing happened. I did not turn, but I am sure I was staring at me too while I was doing my walk of shame.

Today, looking at this picture, I cannot avoid to think:

What if he sneezes!

El Rey de los Abanicos

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This is a lab of a designer of abanicos in Valencia. Each single one of the “fans” in his little atelier was unique and hand made and for the eyes it was amazing to look at him at work.

In this picture, the artist was talking  with a customer who was holding a picture and was asking the master to reproduce it. While the men were talking, I observed silently and I felt a sense of pride to live in a continent where this amazing traditions are still preserved.

Since I did not want to interrupt the inspiration section, I never had the chance to get to know the man’s name and his story. But, I guess he deserves to be called El Rey de los Abanicos.

The scallop shell

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Here, in the main square of Brussels (where there is the ATM), on the floor, there is a little golden symbol on the floor. People go get cash, queue, move, walk on it but do not notice its silent presence.

But she did notice it, she new that scallop shell was telling her the way. It was her call, reminding her the way to walk, and asking her to come back again.

The little golden scallop shell is the symbol of the Camino de Santiago.

Many myths will tell you why this is precisely the symbol of the camino, I am not en expert and this is not the topic today. But, just for your own information, many of this shells are spread around Europe and concentrate in the area near Santiago de Compostela where the camino ends. Basically, this shells aim at telling the way to people doing this pilgrimage.
While in the past it was done only by religious people, today it is done for different reasons but it has never lost is spirit and aura.

My friend, who’s boots are in the picture, is one of those who take the challenge to reach Santiago by foot.

Let alone the hardship of this challenges to do the camino (the distance, the heath in Spain, the cost, the few days of holidays we have per year, etc…), she walks a piece of it every year.

Her eyes shine when she talks about it.

This post is to remember that day, in Brussels, when she explained me what that shell was doing and what it meant to her. And to say, I am proud of you!

Beauty

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This picture wants to be a present for a special friend. A tribute to our moments together and a sign of love. It also wants also to be little provocation: I hope this picture makes you see how beautiful you are!

Few women can be proud to be very beautiful and also intelligent, you are one of the few lucky once. Enjoy it.

You!

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When I was in India, I soon felt in love with the mountains that separate India from China and Nepal. Among all the experiences I had in the country, all the best ones took place in the northern part.

After I came back from India, many people asked me: “How could you live there?” or “It must have been so dangerous?” or even “By looking at the newspapers, weren’t you afraid that something horrible could have happened to you?”.
Well. My answer is always been the same: “Go on Google Maps and check how big India is, maybe afterwards you will realise how many different environments and cultures coexist there”.

In India I felt safe, protected, loved and accepted.

I met people believing in 8 different religions, I saw people speaking different languages I never even heard of but, above all, I felt I was just another one. One of the factors that made me fall in love with India was its incredible curry of diversities where I was just another spice.

This picture represents You!

Your prejudices and your fears. But it also represents me. It represents all of us who are afraid of those around us such as colleagues, managers, customers, people on the bus, people looking different and even ourselves.
This picture is the portray of what You! can be.

Let me tell you why.

In one of my trips through the beautiful mountains of India, I had the privilege to travel with an amazing French girl and an Indian guy. We went from Kolkata till Gangtok in Sikkim. It was the years of the earthquake and we could not go hiking, so we took it easy and we decided to chill in the city.

During our wandering we met this little girl.

She was waiting for her dad in the car. The windows were down, the car was unlocked and she came out of the window seat and started doing the model. With her little finger she was pointing at us and enjoying being photographed. Her almond-shaped eyes were penetrating my camera and reaching my heart.

Now, let me ask you a question.

Would you feel safe to leave your car unlocked and a little girl free to interact with people on the street in the capital of your region? Maybe not. Maybe our home is where we are not safe anymore.

This picture is for me and for you. To remember that the beauty is where you will never expect to find it and it wants to be a memory of You! little girl that have the privilege of real freedom.

Thank you, little girl.