Living in Paris for a time

“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”
– Ernest Hemingway

Living in Paris for a time and going to school to (re)learn French has been a point on my bucket list for near 15 years.

Now it is done. I have checked off this point on the list… And I have massively improved my French, made some friends for life and collected a bucket of new jokes and hashtags to take with me. #PourqouiMoi #PourqouiJapprendsFrancais #Pepe #Boulangerie #LhommeDeVache #LaPorteEstFermee #FrancaisEstUneLangueTresRiche

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The little things we don’t want to forget

“Paris is always a good idea.”
– Audrey Hepburn

I have always loved sunsets. It’s a calm time, when you can breathe easy knowing you made it through another 24 hours and reflect on what you have experienced this day. What made you laugh? What did you see that your mind focused on enough to store in your memory bank? Who were those seven kids who ran down the road ahead of you this evening, what’s their story? What smelled good, and how about that godawful smell from the “poubelles”?

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Eystein

“No one is actually dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away”
– Terry Pratchett

I hadn’t planned to go home to Norway before staying out for three years. It was a thing for me, not going home until I was done with my trip… That all changed when my ex sent me an e-mail telling me he was terminally ill.

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Germany :: Berlin

“Berlin is the testicle of the West. When I want the West to scream, I squeeze on Berlin.”
– Nikita Khrushchev

I had been in Germany a couple of times, but always smaller places like Mannheim, Heidelberg and others I can’t even remember… I had never been to Berlin so I decided now was the time… And the Berlin Wall was on my Bucket List.
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Doing everything “right” doesn’t guarantee you a long life

“Every step that you take, could be your biggest mistake.”
– Coldplay

We are conditioned from an early age to recognize what is “smart” to do. Pay attention in school, get good grades, figure out what “you would love to do”, take classes that put you on track to study these things, excel in these studies, get a job, get an apartment, find a partner (who’s run the exact same race) and make some new little people who can perpetuate the cycle.
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Vietnam :: The Cu Chi Tunnels

“We became so tuned up after a while that when the other person would flick an eyelid up or down, you really knew he was there, in the corner, not even hiding anymore. Just sitting and waiting. They were the ones you never killed. You just backed out and told them up above the tunnel was cold.”
– Tom Mangold, The Tunnels of Cu Chi

After being brought up on war movies by my older brother, (thanks, bro), I knew that even if I were to miss everything else in Vietnam, I would make sure to see the Cu Chi Tunnels.

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Cambodia :: Phnom Penh, Prison 21 & The Killing Fields

“I don’t consider myself a politician or a hero. I’m a messenger. If Cambodia is to survive, she needs many voices.”
-Dith Pran

Cambodia was one of my “first list items”. The first countries I knew I wanted to see when I started planning this trip. Angkor Wat had, like Petra, been on my bucket list for as long as I could remember. I decided to start out in Phnom Penh though, because the plane tickets there were cheaper than to Siem Reap. I’m practical at least half the time…

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Kuala Lumpur :: Batu Caves

“I love the fact that after being here, we are both going home to google exactly what it is we are looking at right now…”
– Fabi & I not doing the necessary research before going to the caves

If you’ve ever googled Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur or, if you are particular in your tastes, the philosopher-warrior god of Hinduism (Kartikeya/Murugan), then you’ve probably seen a photo of the humongous, golden statue outside the Batu Caves of Kuala Lumpur.

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