Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Letter to political prisoners

Letter to political prisoners

Dear Lieutenant General Yu Changxin
Dear Captain Hammoud Murshid Hassan Ahmad
Dear Mario Enrique Mayo Hernández

I am a Mexican student in UK and thanks to this I have had the opportunity to coexist, for the first time in my life, with people from other countries. It has been a marvellous experience to learn about other cultures through their people.

That is why in this end of the year, when different cultures take a moment to reflect, I want to send you my greetings, my respect and my best wishes to you.

(Spanish version here)

Monday, December 26, 2005

We were cavers once…and young (V)

Bonfire Weekend (November 2002)

It was as promised, a major party with caving extra fun. Do you feel thirsty, do you feel hungry, do you feel cold…don’t miss the Bonfire… and be sure that you are not so tired that you will miss the challenges. Just have a look in the gallery of the web site!

As you set out for...

I am reading the new book of P. Coelho, as you probably have noticed. There are many things to say around this. How is that the book got to my hands. Why it came to me in the right time. What is it making me think about?...But today I had de compulsion to write about…about the beginning of the book, or part of it. There is a quotation of the Konstantinos Kavafis poem Ithaca. The message from it is: The travel is the roads not the destinations.

Of course I knew about the poem long time ago. Of course I read it and I remembered it when started reading the book. But it has been until I am about to finish the book that something came to my mind…

…and then I understood.

My housemate gave me a cup of coffee and looking at the reflection of the light in the surface while I blow to cool it I remembered the movie Cold Mountain. I remembered the scene where Ada looks backwards into the water well to foresight the future. I remembered that this love story made an impression on me and I was sad about the end (I will not spoil it for those who haven’t seen the movie). This is not the only movie that I have seen recently which resembles the Odyssey. With many laughs I enjoyed the approach of Coen Bros. to this epic in Oh Brother Where Art Thou? I enjoyed the end of this last movie :)

I always have had a dislike of Romeo and Juliet’s story. I am childishly angry with Romeo killing himself…without checking if Juliet was really dead…I know! It’s easy to say “I would not do that!” when you are not playing the role.

But looking at the changing reflections in my cup of coffee, making a break to stop my reading of “El Zahir”, I understood. Love is the journey, not the destination.

By the way, I recommend the movies “In the mood for love” and “2046”, which I have happened to see recently as well.

Monday, December 19, 2005

siempre estamos en guerra

"– Realmente sus ojos son diferentes. Tienen miedo a la muerte, si –pero por encima del miedo a la muerte esta la idea del sacrificio. Sus vidas tienen un sentido, porque están dispuestos a ofrecerlas por una causa.
–¿Hablas de los soldados?
–Hablo de los soldados. Y hablo de algo que me resulta terrible aceptar, pero ante lo que no puedo fingir. La guerra es un rito. Un rito de sangre, pero un rito de amor.
–Has perdido el juicio.

“–Lo que me va a hacer danyo es una vida sin sentido. En la guerra, todo el mundo sabe que esta experimentando algo importante.
–¿Un momento histórico?
–No, eso no es suficiente para que arriesguen su vida. Experimentando… la verdadera esencia del hombre.
–La guerra.
—No, el amor.
—Te estas volviendo como ellos.
—Creo que si.
—Dile a tu agencia de noticias que ya basta.
—No puedo. Es como una droga. Si estoy en el campo de batalla, mi vida tiene un sentido. Paso días sin ducharme, me alimento de las raciones de los soldados, duermo tres horas cada noche, me despierto con ruido de disparos, se que en cualquier momento alguien puede lanzar una granada en el sitio en el que estamos, y eso me hace…vivir, ¿entiendes?. Vivir, amar cada minuto, cada segundo. No hay lugar para la tristeza, las dudas, para nada: solo siento un gran amor por la vida. ¿Me estas prestando atención?
—Es como si…una luz divina…estuviese allí, en medio de los combates, en medio de lo peor que hay. Tienes miedo antes y después, pero no en el momento en que disparan. Porque, en ese instante, ves al hombre al limite: capaz de los gestos mas heroicos y mas inhumanos...

“…Pero he visto que en la guerra, por mas paradojico que sea, la gente es feliz. El mundo, para ellos, tiene un sentido. Como he dicho antes, el poder total, o el sacrificio por una causa, de un significado a sus vidas. Son capaces de amar sin limite, porque ya no tienen nada que perder. Un soldado herido de muerte nunca pide al equipo medico: ‘¡Por favor, salvenme!’ Generalmente sus ultimas palabras son: ‘Diganles a mi hijo y a mi mujer que los quiero” ¡En el momento de desesperación hablan de amor!
—O sea, en tu opinión, el ser humano solo encuentra sentido a la vida cuando esta en una guerra.
—Pero siempre estamos en guerra. Estamos siempre en lucha con la muerte y sabemos que al final va a ganar la muerte. En los conflictos armados eso es mas visible, pero en la vida diaria sucede lo mismo. No podemos darnos el lujo de ser infelices todo el tiempo.”

El zahir. Paulo Coelho

perderse para encontrarse con uno mismo

"Nos acercabamos al museo del Louvre, pero el se detuvo, se apoyo en el muro del rio y nos quedamos viendo los barcos que pasaban, con faros que herian nuestros ojos.
" – Mira lo que hacen –dije,...– Ven solo lo que alcanza la luz. Cuando vuelvan a casa, diran que conocen Paris. Manyana veran la Mona Lisa y diran que visitaron el Louvre. No conocen Paris ni han ido al Louvre –todo lo que han hecho es pasear en barco y ver un cuadro, un unico cuadro. ?Cual es la diferencia entre ver una pelicula pornografica y hacer el amor? La misma diferencia que hay entre ver una ciudad e intentar saber lo que sucede en ella, ir a los bares, meterse en calles que no estan en las guias turisticas, perderse para encontrarse con uno mismo."

El zahir. Paulo Coelho

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

...until it is lost.

Relationships can be a mess...but thanks to that one has the opportunity to learn a thing or two to improve them.

I read this girl regretting that her boyfriend never have given her a birthday present...

Her entry inspired me the following comment:

It's certainly f...ing sad that one cannot be our partner’s priority…but I learned that when I broke up with mine. I used to say that my work had more priority than her because it will provide us with a future. And now we don’t have a future together. That’s why it comes to my mind the following: Tell him that you understand the difficulties on thinking about presents and giving importance to some moments in the life of a relationship. Then tell him that you read about this guy (me) who overcomes those difficulties thinking: “How life can be if my partner dies tomorrow? Would I regret not having done something with her? Would I have liked to give her something or tell her something?
The idea is that one does not appreciate what we have until we have lost it.  

Saturday, December 10, 2005

We were cavers once...and young (VI)

Derbyshire…sorry New Yorkshire Weekend (November 2002)

For several reasons the attraction of York caves gained the next caving weekend in the calendar.

What is worst than a crowded cave?...A crowded cave with ropes. And that’s the nature of SRT in a cave. You may have all the fun and excitement that being suspended in a dark high empty space have (and we had all that!) but ask to E how cold (not cool!) could be to wait (wet of course) for your turn in the rope.
Besides that, now you can say that caving-SRT is cool! And it could be the best way to know about yourself. As my leader in M says, what better improvement to your self esteem than to realize that you are able to climb (prusiking) 300m of rope. With the practice of SRT in a cave you will be able to know how crazy you could be (that what your parents are telling you every time they know about your weekends) and if you avoid killing yourself you will also learn where your limits could be. Oh! And you also will learn the difference between a cave and the stairs in the Union Building.

Thinking in all those teachings that SRT-caving has I decided to miss that pub night, take a shower and go to sleep early. (Do I say sleep?) With all the adrenaline in my body it was difficult to sleep and I felt in deep meditations. Meditations that pretty soon were mixed with the sounds of the jungle.

Personally I never have slept in a jungle but some people say that, depending of the kind of jungle, you can hear the rain, the wind, the leaves falling, the insects jumping and singing, and the movements of the night hunters. Well, Yorkshire is cold and the water in the pipes of the heater does strange sounds, along with the movements of drunk people jumping in the bunk beds, hunting for a bed, for a sleeping bag ( or for food?).

And there all we were, all together in the concert of the windy snoring, the rainy sounds of our stomachs and noses! I learned then that if you want to be a (sleeping) rock in the jungle, you need a lot of ales/beers/ciders beforehand. I paid the price of going to sleep early. Including that L hunted me…a bed. Poor girl, she was drunk and cold so I had to surrender and give her the bed.

Next day in Lancaster shire I saw in a cave the most beautiful white stalactites I have never saw. To my eyes, they had the figure of a ballet dancer with her partner. That was thanks to L’s and P’s curiosity that along with the energetic guidance of E-H (he is like a gnome in a cave, disappearing in front of you, to then appear behind, above or below you with extraordinaire and contagious energy) made that caving Sunday a great one.

And I’m missing to talk about the training sessions, the Tuesday’s Pub with its ghost, the travel-gypsy-dance-music that S, P and I enjoy. But at last all take you to the same. Wherever you are, we, cavers, are the best of the best. Posted by Picasa

Friday, December 09, 2005

?La vida en el primer mundo?

Profesor Boltvinik,
Soy estudiante de doctorado en la Universidad de Bristol, Reino Unido y por ello lei con mucho gusto su entrega "La vida en el primer mundo" en el periodico La Jornada.

Comparto la buena impresion que Bristol le ha dejado. Creo que en los que hemos vivido en la ciudad de Mexico esto es mas acentuado. Bristol no tiene el caracter de megalopolis como el DF o Londres y sin embargo tiene todas las ventajas de una ciudad. A los locales les parece que Bristol tiene muchos problemas pero (aunque los tiene) yo siempre volteo la moneda y les digo que no han visto nada todavia.

Pero hay algo que no entiendo de su articulo y me llama la atencion considerando que usted es un experto y estudioso de la pobreza. Dejeme ver si entiendo su punto de vista.
Desde el presupuesto de una economia global que hace desvanecer fronteras, usted considera una solucion. Esta es que la pobreza economica en nuestros paises y la "pobreza de ayuda" de otros paises se complementan y la necesidad de los ultimos es una respuesta para la necesidad de los primeros.

Pero entonces lo primero que me viene a la mente es aquel argumento comun de: "La pobreza de un pais se resuelve cambiando al pais no mediante la migracion de su poblacion" Se me ocurre un ejemplo: La hambruna en Irlanda hizo que en el pasado se diera una gran inmigracion. Estados Unidos se beneficio de ella. Despues, con ayuda de la Union Europea, Irlanda se ha convertido en un pais desarrollado.

?Pero que tan posible es esto en nuestros tiempos? Desde hace muchos anyos hemos tenido emigracion de compatriotas hacia Estados Unidos, ?propone usted ahora una emigracion a Europa? Que hay que decir que eso ha ocurrido y esta ocurriendo, pero principalmente a otro nivel, el de la fuga de cerebros, ?no?

Usted dice "Si las restricciones migratorias se eliminasen, ganarian los britanicos, que podrian pagar por la ayuda que necesitan agudamente..." Pero no veo claro como es que usted llega a esta conclusion.

Permitame que le cuente lo que yo veo. Tal vez usted oyo hablar del barrio de St.Pauls aqui en Bristol, es el barrio de inmigrantes. Yo vivo en el barrio de al lado, Montpellier. Lo que yo veo es que precisamente hay una gran cantidad de personas de paises de Africa, de Jaimaca, de Europa del este que han emigrado, que estan emigrando y que quieren emigrar al Reino Unido. O sea que si el gobierno britanico relajara sus restricciones migratorias gente no les va a faltar.

Es cierto que aqui requieren mano de obra, como usted dice, en las areas de salud, servicios y atencion a la poblacion. Pero yo no veo aqui un problema migratorio, sino un problema interno de la sociedad.

En fin, solo queria hacerle llegar estos comentarios y le mando los mejores saludos desde esta preciosa ciudad de Bristol!

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

We were cavers once...and young (II)

First night in the Pub (October 2002)

Language problems have been something unavoidable but as soon as I realized that some people know more foreign languages than they admit and practice I felt more comfortable. Especially when I received a message in Spanish from T (Oh! Captain, my Captain…have you seen the “Dead Poets Society” movie?) inviting me to a pictorial presentation of the club at Micawbers Pub. The pictures, the music, the ales were superb so I didn’t understand why some people left the pub after the show. There I learned that the loss of freshers can be like the loss of hair. It could happen very soon in your life.

Friday, December 02, 2005

We were cavers once...and young (I)

Impressions (October 2002)

I am a fresher and I am from Mexico. Caving? One year ago I just had been in warm, relative dry, vertical caves in Mexico. I had enjoyed the adrenaline flowing in my body when I was suspended in long pitches. Maybe those memories made my heart beat when I saw the stand of the University of Bristol Speleological Society (UBSS) in the FRESH fair.

Where are we going today....? Find your place using this interactive map

  • Muttart Conservatory
  • International Airport
  • Princess Theatre
  • Garneau Theatre
  • Citadel
  • Whyte Ave.

Search the blogsphere (results below)

Search Results