Sunday Post: Culture

Culture is a big word. Very big in fact. What is culture anyways? Is culture a movie screening? A theater show? Is culture a combination of institutions? Of specific ways of human interactions?

In my personal opinion, culture is all of the above and much more. And this is where street photography comes in.

Street photography is a way of capturing moments on the street, most of it including people. It’s picking up on facets of human life and interaction in its original form. Ideally, (and this is only my opinion), the people who appear on the picture didn’t even notice that someone just took a picture of them. To me this is a great way to capture culture.

My contribution for this week is then also a street photograph I recently took in San Francisco. I like how every layer of the picture wants to go the opposite direction than the layer before. But see for yourself.


On weatherfrogs, snow in deserts and eggplants

Lil’ update bout Cali n all…

Panorama shot of San Francisco

Two weeks back I arrived safely at San Francisco International Airport, took the wrong train into the city for about three times, finally took the right train, arrived where I was supposed to arrive and then fell asleep. And since, a lot of stuff happened. I also slept a lot. But while I didn’t I was running through a colourful haze of experiences, emotions, evolutions and eggplants. Though I haven’t really eaten any eggplants yet. But I though of doing so a lot.

After some foggy and rainy days in San Francisco, I went down to LA with a couple of people to admire the artificiality in Hollywood and more rain in Venice. Yes, you heard me. Rain. The entire first week. Even in places where ‘it never rains’ according to biased weather frogs and most likely fox news (whom I generally associate with inaccurate information). For all I knew up until that point, California was a place where it ALWAYS rained. But then, finally, I was proved wrong. At wanting to take the bus back to Davis, my mysterious temporary home, people told me that the ride might be cancelled. Because it was snowing. In the Mojave Desert. SNOWING! IN THE DESERT!


But while ranting about the weather I won’t keep from you my dear reader, that I had a wonderful time so far. And at arriving in Davis the rain was compensated by a circular rainbow around the sun. I decided to take that as sign from the universe that an awesome time awaited me. And then I stepped out of the bus in Davis and noticed that this town smelled real good. I decided to also take this as a sign from the universe that an awesome time awaited me. So, for all I knew, an awesome time awaited me.

And indeed. So far, everything was pretty awesome… My couchsurfing host, the entire campus of UC Davis, that tree in the picture, the people I met, the bike I got, the place I found, the eggplants (which I still didn’t eat, but I’m planning to. Really!!!), the avocados (of which I ate a bunch), the burritos (which are roughly arm-sized so I could never even finish one) andย  this entire, incredibly relaxed and wonderful Californian lifestyle.

Right now, I’m back in San Francisco but planning to go back to Davis in the evening. Just let me tell you this…California is beautiful! Really, really beautiful. You folks in Amsterdam should come and visit me right now ๐Ÿ™‚

On leaving what you know…

I said, I would not be too nervous about leaving my home and going to the US. I did so before, I said. Yes, I said, I am looking forward to it. But nervous? No way.

Turns out I was wrong.

Today it hit me. I’m leaving. Leaving my day-to-day life, my friends, my city. Leaving a feeling of safety, of knowing where to go or what to do. And I’m about to enter the opposite.

As the crucial date is approaching, the date on which finally I will sit down in this plane that will bring me to California… As the moment to say goodbye is coming closer, I keep finding myself in deep episodic future thought, that kind of thinking that enables us to imagine what will be. It’s these moments…These moments I realize that in this case, episodic future thinking fails, that I just CANNOT know what expects me…it’s these moments that my nerves come creeping up on me. So the only option is to not expect. Because it’s a hopeless endeavour.

I thought that being in this situation twice before would be enough to approach it with some relaxation. But I was wrong.

You might be surprised. But I’m happy about this. Because this nervousness is not a bad feeling. It’s more of a really strong urge to step into the plane and find out about all that is unknown at this point. Because there might be uncertainty. But even more, there is curiosity.

It’s a bit like with this foggy Golden Gate Bridge here…I can’t see the other side. But I sure want to find out what’s there!

You may take this literally.

Taken by radzfoto