"For Europe, with Europe and in Europe" Mikebond's Profile
Many VT-people who read my pages or forum posts without knowing me think that I am British or American because my username evokes that of James Bond.
However, this is not true. I am Italian, Venetian and "Polesan" (Polésine is the land in the South of Veneto, between rivers Adige and Po, that coincide with the province of my hometown Rovigo).
My VT-username consists of two parts: Mike is the English version of the Italian name Michele, with one "l" (pronunciation: Mee-ke-le, the two e's like in "get"), while Bond is the beginning of my surname Bondesan (stress the "a"), which comes from Bondesana a tiny village lying near the Po delta some centuries ago.
Why I am the one I am
I am still quite young, but I think I have done many of those experiences that are said to "mark one's life". I was born with a verruca spread over the right side of my face, on my right shoulder and on my neck. Shouldn't that be enough, my right eye was half-close. Therefore, I have undergone 20 surgery operations so far (5 of which at my eye). Now the verruca has been almost completely removed, but the eye is still half-close and I see very little from it. However, I have no kind of illness.
(I have written this information, which you may consider as private, because it explains some parts of my good or bad personality and because it happens that we feel bad about our health and think "Why me?". Well, be sure that sufference is for everyone.)
What I do in my life
I attended the High School of Modern Languages for Interpreters and Translators of the University of Trieste from late 2002 to early. On March 12, 2010, I finally got my MA in Translation with the grade of 110/110 cum laude!
Nonetheless, almost two years later, I'm still job hunting... I could become a translator at the European Union, but I would rather like to be a literary translator, a journalist or a politician.
Praise to VirtualTourist
I subscribed to VirtualTourist in 2000, maybe because I was looking for some information. Then I totally forgot it.
I happened to visit the site again by chance in October 2004, I found out I had already signed up in the past, and I thought 'why not to start building some page?'.
However, I didn't think then that VT would become as important for me as it is now. I have found here the friendship and the warmness I had rarely had in my real life, thanks to some great people.
I will never be grateful enough to this community and to its "inhabitants". Thank you! Merci! Grazie! Gracias! Danke! Dziekuje! Dekuji! Spasibo! Salamat!...
The Friends List
Every now and then, some female VT members complain about being added to the Friends List of a male member without their consent.
What is the Friends List? It's a tool letting you know if your "friends" are online. "Just that?" will you say, disappointed. Yes, just that. Some people get angry for just that.
The recurring motif in these complaints is "This is not a dating site". OK. But adding someone to your list isn't like going to bed with them, is it?
Also, someone takes the word "Friends" too seriously. VTers you add to your Friends List are in many case not (yet) real friends of yours, but they could become such. There are cases of VT members who have known their soul mate in VT.
Personally, I easily add people to my Friends list and I like being added to other VTers' list (apart from newbies who have no content and 100 friends), so feel free to add me to yours and I will likely reciprocate unless you are a spammer or have no content at all in your pages.
If you travel to Italia, especially to the North, do not hesitate to inform me, so that we can meet up if you wish and I can show you a city I know or discover one I don't know with you.
Should you wish to visit Rovigo (a very underrated town among tourists), let me know: I would love to host you at my and my parents' place, but I doubt it would be possible now that my mum is ill. Anyway, I don't exclude it and I will be glad to show you my hometown.
If you are visiting Trieste, don't forget to drop me a line! I am unable to host anyone at my flat here (mainly because my landlady wouldn't like it!), but I'd be glad to go for a walk with you and visit something interesting in this city or in its surroundings.
Would you like me to come and see you?
I would love to meet you in your city or country, because I think there's nothing better than discovering a place and its culture with a local. Should I plan to come to where you live, I will certainly let you know.
What about travelling together?
I have never travelled on my own for tourism, yet. You may think I should have done it for years and you may be right. Anyway, after years of holidays with my parents and summer language stays abroad, I think the time has come for me to discover my continent.
However, the idea of travelling alone does not fascinate me. I would by far prefer travelling with someone interesting who likes discovering new places as I do. Maybe it could be you?
If you have in mind to visit some place in Europe (but this is not compulsory) and think we have a similar tourist style, do not hesitate to contact me!
How to contact me
Here are some other ways you can stay in touch with me:
- MSN Messenger or Windows Live Messenger: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Skype: michele.bondesan
- Google Talk (the chat of Gmail): email@example.com
- Facebook: Michele Bondesan
Feel free to add me if I already know you or introduce yourself if we have never talked to each other before. I may not accept your friendship request on Facebook if I don't know you!
I have never had a girlfriend (girls have always found me too serious and not handsome enough for them) but I do have been in love for some years now with the most beautiful lady in the world, who hasn't lost her charmed even after a thousand-year-long life. Her name is Europa and all my interests and ambitions turns around and depends on her.
Would you like some examples? Here they are:
1) I want to visit every state she consists of, none excluded.
2) I would like to learn, at least at a basic level, all the official languages spoken on her territory.
3) I hope all the countries that form her will become members of the European Union one day, including Türkiye, Sakartvelo, Hayastan, Azärbaycan and Mother Rossija. That's one of her biggest hopes, too.
By the way, we would be grateful to you if you signed this petition to push the EU to start pre-accession negotiations with Ukraina.
4) I would like to work for the European Union in Bruxelles or Strasbourg, to live in Luxembourg and to marry a European woman whose mother language is not Italian, so that they can have tri- or quadrilingual children.
Do you already think that I am a totally crazy person? I hope not. I just consider myself as "uncommon".
Other hobbies and interests
My hobbies, which are often connected to Europe, include:
1) languages. I already know a lot of them, though not always at a good level: Italian, Venetian, French, English, German, Spanish, Polish, Romanian, Slovenian, Czech, very little modern Greek, Finnish and some phrases in Russian. I'd like to improve all these languages and to learn more.
2) politics. I am a member of the Italian people's party.
3) books. When I have some time, i.e. rarely during university time, I like reading books. Among my favourite writers I can mention Agatha Christie, Paulo Coelho (his first books), Emily Dickinson, Oriana Fallaci, Jostein Gaarder, Giacomo Leopardi, Giovanni Pascoli, Oscar Wilde and others. I have created an album about the books I am reading and have read.
4) collections. I collects stamps, coins, banknotes, train and museum tickets and many more. Of course, that's mainly European stuff. If you collect some of those things, in particular stamps tell him, maybe you can exchange them;
5) trains, metros and other means of public transport. I haven't got nor would I like to have a car. I like travelling by train and, unlike many railfans, I love TGV and other high-speed trains (although commuter trains are as important. When I go to Trieste, I always take regional trains);
6) geography. Apart from languages, geography has always been my favourite subject at school. I know many political facts about most world countries, especially their capital cities and flags. I also collect European flags, which I buy from time to time from a website.
During these years I have spent on VT, I have often noticed that most VTers tend to write tips about the same big cities, while other cities and towns, sometimes very rich in things to do and see, may have very few tips or none at all.
So, I have created this album and invited my VT friends to suggest locations they feel to be underrated or badly covered. Beside some sceptic comments, I have received several enthousiastic answers, including Giampiero's. He said he would like to put a kind of VT seal on this idea and to spread it through a page that will be created soon (I guess it will come with the revamped site).
Meanwhile, feel free to read the album and send me more locations to add to it! Any feedback is welcome.
Kisses on the cheeks
I'm interested to learn about the different practices of this custom in all of Europe, but also all over the world. So, I'd be glad to get any message about the practice of cheek-kissing in your country (or in any country you have visited) and the way you practise it yourself. Please, read my album to learn more about this.
New and updated pages
Rovigo (Veneto, Italia - my hometown) UPDATED
Santa Maria Maddalena (Italia)
Cîteaux (France) COMPLETE
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Rovigo (my hometown)
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Hidden treasures of Europe
Cerisy-la-Forêt ("Cerisy wood")
Abbaye de Cîteaux
VT pages wishlist
Since I have realized (and maybe so did you) that many European towns or cities do not have a decent VT travel guide, even when they would be worth visiting, I created an album to host a list of pages you would like to read or think we need.
Check it out and feel free to write any suggestions about uncovered places. I will add them to the list, then maybe someone will read them and build some new, interesting pages. Any feedback will be appreciated!
For your information, I have grown up in a Roman Catholic family and I am an observant believer. My faith has considerably increased since my mum was first found a cancer in 2005.
I do respect you if you practise another religion or if you are an atheist, provided that you also respect me.
One of the reasons why I like travelling in Europe is the cultural heritage that Christianity has left to mankind across the centuries.
Today, Christianity is not the official religion of many European countries (apart from some Nordic and Orthodox states) and people are free to profess any other religion, or to decide they don't believe in any god; however, it has played an important role in shaping Europe's history, culture and values.
Without the Christian culture, there would be in Europe no churches, no ancient books transcripted for posterity, no art from the Middle Ages... well, Europe would be much different from what it is today. This is a fact, not a praise, and doesn't mean that other cultures weren't - and aren't - important.
My favourite places to visit in a town or city, besides museums, are churches. Not necessarily for their religious meaning, but mainly for the great art works they keep and for the sense of peace they convey. Just think of San Pietro basilica (which I still haven't visited, shame on me!), Notre-Dame de Paris, Stephensdom in Wien and many more.
This explains why most of my travel tips deal with churches and the art you can find inside them. I hope you will enjoy them even if you are not a believer, which is not a sine qua non condition to like churches and Christian art!
I enjoy receiving postcards so, if you would like to send me one, ask me my address. I will send you one from Italia or from my travel destinations.
Please, write the DATE on your postcard!
I have already got postcards from:
a2lopes - António: Lisboa (Portugal)
aah_stone - Andrew: Sussex (UK); Antwerpen/Anvers (Belgique/België); Moskva (Rossija); Sevastopol (Ukraïna)
Astene - Arianne: Bali, Jakarta (Indonesia); Singapore (via Indonesia);
Aurorae - Jelena: Beograd (Srbija); Egypt; Gjirokastra (Sqiperia - Albania); Thessaloníkis (Elláda - Greece); Ada Bojana (Crna Gora - Montenegro)
bijo69 - Birgit: Berlin (Deutschland - Germany); Perth (Australia); Melaka (Malaysia)
CeciliaL - Cecilia: Dublin (Ireland)
Childish - Liliya: Rila monastery, Historic Bulgaria, Bulgarian old towns and villages, Sofia (Bălgarija); Jerusalem (Israel); Wien (Österreich - Austria); Ohrid (Makedonija); Malta; Beograd (Srbija)
CliffClaven - Cliff: Komárno (Slovensko - Slovakia via Luxembourg); Isle of Man (UK); Taejon (North Korea - via Japan); Kríti (Crete Island, Elláda via Luxembourg); Nederland via Luxembourg; Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia); Dumfries (Scotland); Luxembourg airport; Beograd (Srbija - Serbia)
cold_dead_bunny: Kyiv (Ukraïna)
Cristian_Uluru - Cristian: Bergen (Norge/Noreg - Norway); Normandie (France); Praha (Česká republika - Czechia); Neuschwanstein (Deutschland); Bled (Slovenija); Bruxelles-Brussel (Belgique-België-Belgien); Luxembourg (Luxembourg); Città del Vaticano (Vatican City); Stockholm (Sverige - Sweden)
Delia_Madalina - Delia: Muzeul Satului in Bucuresti, Palaces of Bucuresti (România)
engeluna - Josianne: North Carolina (USA)
freddie18: Niagara Falls (Canada)
freya_heaven - Nicola: Devon, The Lizard, Wales and London (United Kingdom); Istanbul (Türkiye - Turkey)
gordonilla - Gordon: Reykjavik (Island - Iceland); Lisboa (Portugal); Bruxelles (Belgique-België-Belgien); Helsinki (Suomi-Finland); North Carolina (USA); San Marino; Barnard Castle (UK); Madrid (España - Spain)
Italiana07 - Renata: Côte Bleue (France)
JLBG - Jean-Louis: Ulcinj (Crna Gora - Montenegro)
Karlie85 - Karlie: Edmonton (Alberta, Canada); Banff (Canada)
margaretvn - Margaret: Nederland; York (England, United Kingdom)
micajo - Joanie: Malta; Tunisia
nixca316 - Lara: four postcards from Manila (Pilipinas - Philippines)
ozalp - Özlem: Istanbul (Türkiye - Turkey)
pattypoo - Patricia: Caerphilly (Wales, United Kingdom)
pinat - Pinar: Ankara (Türkiye - Turkey)
Raimix - Raimundas: Vilnius (Lietuva - Lithuania)
schnaider - Schnaider: Curitiba, Cataratas do Iguaçu (Brasil)
spanishguy - Antonio: Sevilla (España - Spain)
stanjimenez - Dennis: Saudi Arabia (2x)
starship: Sitka in Alaska (2x), Arizona, Atlantic City, New York, Scottsdale (USA)
STEFZAMM - Stephanie: Spirola Bay (Malta)
uglyscot - Shane: Khartoum (Sudan)
zlatiq - Zlatka: Mesa Verde (USA)
VT-meeting: on 17th December 2008, I received a postard of Karlsruhe sent from Rotterdam, signed by many VTers. I can't understand all the names or usernames, anyway some of them are tini58de, Bernd_L, margaretvn, HORSCHECK, Maurizioago, Gammy1968, Igraine. If you don't see your name here, tell me. I wonder if the card was brought from Karlsruhe, then signed and sent from Rotterdam or written at the Karlsruhe Euromeeting and sent from Rotterdam some months later... Who can help?
Please, tell me if I have forgotten to add your name or a postcard you have sent to me.
If you like sending and receiving postcards, you should register to Postcrossing. Thanks to Karlie85 for letting me know about it!
You can see more photos from my journeys at my Flickr page. There you can see also some postcards I have got from the VT members mentioned above.
I also have an account at PicasaWeb (by Google), but I don't use it as much as Flickr.
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