When Traveling Is No Longer Enough

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It always happens with cereal: I buy one brand, and I eat that same brand for breakfast every morning, for weeks and weeks, until I get tired of it. Frosties, Frosties, Frosties. Special K, Special K, Special K. Rice Krispies, Rice Krispies, Rice Krispies. And so on, and so on. I discover a new song and I listen to it over, and over, and over… until I check my iTunes and discover that I've listened to Copenhagen by Vetusta Morla 226 times and, therefore, I shouldn’t be very surprised that Read more [...]

Illegal immigrant: such an ugly term…

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-Ma’am! Ma’am! You are forgetting your plastic bag with vomit! The sentence is so, so strange, that I end up swallowing it with a shot of empathy for someone else’s misfortune and, instead, all that remains is silence - all that is heard in this (at least for me) unprecedented scene. Because silence is all that you can hear, as if from the bus seat I would be watching a silent movie. The poor girl, no doubt, has had arguably the worst journey of her life: with a month-old baby in her Read more [...]

From a distance, he looked just like him…

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Until that moment, he had been only words. Only words without a face. That doesn’t mean there is something totally wrong about it. That’s why literature is literature: everyone can imagine the characters as they want and, although the writer describes him with periods and moles, wrinkles and commas, on the reader's mind that character will always have different faces, depending on whoever reads the lines who cherish him. The problem is when the writer has not even clear how that character Read more [...]

And that’s how Myanmar tickled me

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Do you remember the first time someone tickled you? I don’t (although I do remember myself crawling and, despite the ever-widening chasm of time, the memory of that child still knows how to skip it and keep crawling up my memory). Anyway, tickling had to have been one of the most important discoveries of our lives: to explore how to laugh through our senses. From that moment, those who were around you must have noticed it too and they continued turning the handle of the same nonsense for hours, Read more [...]

No. I am not Charlie

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Boldly, I get off the plane and get on the bus with my head uncovered. Something I normally do since I can remember, except on those impossibly wet days that are so typical in the humid tropics where I come from, when only a hat can set some authority in front of such a hairy rebellion. But today, today is different. Today my uncovered head means defiance. Irreverence. Insurrection. Or at least, I think so. Today is different because I am at Riyadh’s airport. The story that brings me here Read more [...]