"A glance to spot beauty, more to see testicles!" Personal Page by Norali
One recent and exciting discovery taught me the importance of being actually connected to one's environment, surroundings sounds, smells, atmosphere one's soaking in.
It was early when my driver dropped me at a point in a neighbourhood village. He's going to drive my sis to work in the city as I was staying in the countryside where air is pure, views are not hindered by the urban smog.
Was not sure of where to go yet. The itchy feet just wanted to go. Head West for a looooong walk OR walk for some 45 minutes and climb a hill I for long promised to myself to climb. Opted for the second alternative.
Was excited anticipating my usual hilltripping, walking on & and towards, climbing a hill. Usual but not boring as I use to swift hills very often.
Started the walk in Isahafa. Here, an oxcart crossing my path, there two men chatting in a field, seemingly having a ciggie pause from their field works. Then, this schoolteacher hastening her walk to join her place of work in the forementioned village. Some kids waving at her and greeting her, she hurrying them. Grabbing the little hands of the youngest ones to accompany them.
Later on, past the village of Iavoambony, started enjoying the sceneries of the Merina countryside. Fields, ricefields, hills, plains. As a matter of fact, the hill I was going to climb was one of them. Not really a hill, rather a crest. Having reached its summit via the Eastern face in Nov., I was that day planning to repeat the climbing experience, via Western face.
Walked, walked, carefree, snapped some pictures but mostly was enjoying it to be there in the morning when the sun was not that bright yet. Just a little wind to whip our face, to wake you up if you were not awaken yet. Some birds whistling and frolicking on some shrub branches. Some morning mist on those leaves. The white flowers of the meadows. The ancient stone tombs. A village chap looking at me, without a word, just standing still and staring. My usual reaction to this is to equally stare at the one(s) who stare at me. As soon as they realize you too stare at them and if you hold it long, their eyes shy away and look away. Typical countryside folks. lol
At the Western foot of the hillcrest, in Ankazobe village, I paused to say to myself I was eventually going to make it... after the loooong 1.5 month break. Anticipation made the excitement even greater. Started climbing the red slope you see on my hp. Knew the views could be quite different than the ones I got climbing the Eastern face. Still saw the ricefields patchworks, still expected to snap à la Yann Arthus Bertrand from the top of a hill (I know, he uses to shoot from a copter). Eagerly awaited the great feeling of achievement, of pride once the summit reached.
***Wind... something one gets familiar with climbing hills.***
Along the climb, it was Euphoria. Couldn't climb quietly. Often looked back to see the landscape revealing itself bit by bit. I particularly like to see how the thatched roofed houses, a particular whole village and even the church become gradually smaller & smaller as the climb unfolds. In the process, the horizon seems also to expand, expand, expand. How great!
This may sound daft but once you'd become hooked on climbing, you'd relate to my feeling & crazes.
Also like it when somewhere in the nearby is a pinewood forest, great sound it makes. Almost like a cascade sound. [Note to self: isn't it time to return to Ambatondradama ?].
Sometimes, I hear the noises the iron wheels of a rare loaded oxcart make when climbing the slope. What are those iron wheels doing there ? Thought it was forbidden. Aaah! as I enquired later, it was forbidden in the villages which wanted to forbid, not everywhere. Still, couldn't those oxcart drivers think about how quicker they would have climbed if they had replaced the heavy ironwheels by second hand tyres ? Couldn't they think of how easier it would have been for their zébus ?
***The turquoise dragonfly... A rarety, worth the glance... I accidentally spotted it while having a stroll after the Blue Hour in my yard. It was about to rain and I was still outside. Had to hasten my pace. Still, as I was looking above to check whether the thin rain was pouring or not, I had this very pleasant and surprising sight... A turquoise dragonfly***
Someone once recommended the ipod for the walks. "Why ?" I asked. "To listen to music" he said. "I use to have my own music and I'm not bored with it" I replied. The surrounding sounds, there are more than the forementioned sounds. The surrounding sounds, but not only. There is also the music in my mind.
I even have my own video streammings. lol Just have to close my eyes to remember some diners with friends. The most dangerous in it is that I can do that while crossing the street, while walking. The most delicious is, of course, to remember when stuck in the metro or in some boring meeting. Then, I pull out the memories of some particular moments with a particular person. Could bring tears to my eyes, could make me smile, could be simply sultry. Sometimes, it's just too late when you realized you have this beaming smile on your face, not dedicated to any person in the tub at all... but someone noticed it.
Especially memories of Alec uses to make me smile. Memories of when he first walked, when he makes faces (ever told he is a very facetious young chap ?), when he makes those angry looks, when he's leaping around awaiting the time he's going to jump into the car. Many things in the daily life of the past year would just go unnoticed without my MLM...
Memories of quality time spent with some friends in Belgium have this ability to bring tears to my eyes and make me smile (usually in a reverse way). Guys! I miss you here !
Very rare, only memories of a parcticular ex could both make me smile, bring tears to my eyes and be simply sultry. My antidots to boredom is usually climbing or shopping or thinking of cash-yielding moves. When times are toughest, I use to just close my eyes and remember the "candlelight, soft music, soft skin, sweet embraces, kisses..." videos. Lately realized I just got him under my skin. Phew! it was years ago we splitted but memories are still vivid. The phone calls, the diners, the shouts (yes! we had our share of this), our cries, our laughters, his lips, inflexions in his voice, those hands. Not beautiful, not ugly, very unique.
I have been an official single for years but have never been worried to replace the guy. Instead, I managed to gain good, reliable male friends. Instead, I managed to learn a new language, a new sport, to develop new passions, to travel, to live out of the tv couch. Instead, I eventually proceeded to the biggest removal ever (to his great surprise... yess!).
Where was I ? All of that to say what ?
To say you don't need to bring ipod to enjoy the music. You and the nature are resourceful enough to provide ones of best music ever. Even the "candlelight, soft music, soft skin, sweet embraces, kisses..." videos have their own sounds.
You don't need to bring ipod to enjoy the music but you've got to get good eyes to spot the smallest of orchids.
And yes! this one was a really stunning discovery. Orchids I discovered for the first time along my steep route. At the first sight of some flowers that looked like orchids, I said those couldn't be orchids. I couldn't believe it could happen to me. Kept on strolling. Later on, I saw other plants blooming the same flower again... some in pink, other in white. Curiousity picked me and I went closer. Yes! there was the lip along with petals and sepals... this lip is proper to orchid. Yes there was the tiny spur. It was windy over there. At 9am, the sun became bright. I just remembered my Mum's explanations about how to quickly recognize an orchid. Aaah! yes! this "then" could happen to me. For some time, I walked to look for orchids, to dig at some orchid plants feet with eucalyptus rods I collected nearby. Was so excited I didn't see the time flying... I went home with a backpack loaded with 7-8 tiny plants belonging to 4 orchid species. I left there a plant on the brink of blooming. It was bigger than those I now possess, cherish, water, look after in my yard. I suspected this one might have larger, stronger roots an eucalyptus rod cannot dig. I might have killed this plant if I'd tried to pick it with the rod & couldn't retrieve the roots. Then, it would have been a real damage as it wouldn't have survived the transplanting nor survived in the wilds.
I don't have good eyes (wearing lenses) but since then, promise to myself to pay attention. It's the discovery of this cynorkis species which motivated me to be tied to my pc and write this album... and jet out again soon for another area... to spot more wild flowers. Who said for another sexy hunk ? At this time, cynorkis types give me full satisfaction. Read below. ;-)
Do you know (why) this orchid type is called cynorkis ? According to (Late) Alain Petitjean and his wife, Michèle, in "Beautiful orchids- Orchidées fascinantes du Sud-ouest de l'Océan Indien", this "Common name refers to the small roots nodules that appear to be testicles. From the Greek kynos (dog) and orchis (testicle)." I didn't see the testicles right away, it was only when managing to pull a plant off the soil that I saw the testicles.
This ex could still be given full credit (well, part of it, not full) in my making this album. It was him who taught me about connection, awareness to one's environment. Got me (and him) months to get me to not rush everything, run in every direction without any real purpose. To think, I was once dubbed "The runner" at one office I used to work for. Ran to reach the supermarket, to pull a product from the shelvings, in the stairs, to hang my coat at the racks...
He taught me to meditate, to think, to have some plans of the day, to settle priorities then gear up! He is not a guy to slouch on a couch, a very active type but with a purpose. Could remember it used to annoy me back then. Everything was so planned whilst I was very unruly when it comes to life at home. Office is another story but I used to let the steam off when home. He, in the contrary, is quite steady in the work sphere and at home.
Shyness used to make me run in every direction ("why tagging along, someone may bump into me and talk"), be stiff, be cold, be coldly efficient, be coldly intellectual, just mind my own business. He taught me to be both cool and efficient, to show interest in others, in my environment, in the real questions. In the food I use to indulge, in the music I use to listen to, in the fresher air I could even breath in my Woluwé park. In the group of muscles I tend to develop, in the effects of my actions on people I happen to encounter, in the environment I use to soak in.
Still remember this question of his, the conversation and its reach. "What would you do if you saw a wild flower along the road: pick it or leave it ?". To that, yours truly answered "Pardon ? where would you see wild flowers in Brussels? "... lol "You'd see if you paid attention... my question was about what would you do if... ".
From then, came out one of interesting conversations about life, its a dynamic balance, opportunities, one's needs. One of those many long phone calls I used to fear for them making me feel out of his wavelength. Only after some time in our relationship, I felt comfy having more intellectual talks with him. Strangely, those long talks are things I miss now... with him and other friends left in Belgium. Flowers met along the road I didn't pick.
Years later, I realize he was right. And here I am perusing on something I learnt from a far-flung type I hardly meet nowadays, five year younger than me. An album is not enough to tell about the things learnt from one such person in your life. My only piece of advice is to never let such a wonderful person out of your life. Even now, during those expensive phone calls, I feel some sadness in our voices. Calls use to be short, not enough room to have conversations as we used to. One day... when I'm back in Belgium or he's back here, I'll talk to him again and I will pay attention to everything. I won't miss anything!
***Good example of something I would have missed if keeping on rushing: the orange baby butterflies in the grass at sunset.***
Be grateful to have eyes, ears, skin, tongue and nose.
Be attentive to your surroundings, the atmosphere, the air, the people around you...
Sometimes, we do want to do more than to see. That usually involves action. Like hanging precariously on a cliff to snap a picture of a butterfly. Like reading books while planning our travels. Like bending to touch a tennis court surface before actually practising scales. [You don't do that ? I did ! felt I needed to touch the clay, to feel the material before getting to hit the balls. Then, it was to learn to hit forehand, backhand, smash, volley...]...
The purpose of digging an orchid plant to bring it home was not to see the testicles. Yet, it required a good observation of the roots, not only the obvious beauty of the tiny flowers, to learn about the plant itself, its type, its need, the care to provide it with.
Looking at my babies with testicles are now one of my first things to do in the morning. To see how they grew, whether they need water, whether they need to be moved elsewhere less windy, whether... whether... For sure, I have grewn interest in it after my discovery, because it was me who discovered them that day.
Self-centered me? Be it. I saw beautiful tiny flowers and picked them.
I am now growing interest in it. However tiny those flowers are, however of small value cynorkis is on the orchid market. Let them buy their vanda, their phaelenopsis. As ar as I'm concerned, I am growing passionate about it.
It: Cynorkis family, the orchid with dog testicles !
At last! My bet is that they might have been the ones which drove you guys here...
More Personal Pages (5)
Top Travel Pages
Share your travels with the world!Join Now!
Badges & Stats
- 1,215 Reviews
- 2,266 Photos
- 4 Countries
- 35 Cities
- See All Stats
- See All Badges (11)
- Uploaded a Photo to "Pan-Belgian meeting"
- Norali and Tinarami are now friends.
- Commented on Helga67's profile page
- Posted in Miscellaneous Forum "Re: Crochet bag... for bag ladies"
updated their Profile Page "BLUE SKY THINKING"
- Wrote a Review Foza Orana: 2009 crisis emblem in Madagascar Favorites
- updated a Belgium Travel Page ""Belgium by cows". Translation: Norali"
Top 10 Pages
- Top 5 Page for this destination Brussels Intro, 146 reviews, 210 photos, 5 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Madagascar Intro, 109 reviews, 212 photos, 5 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Antananarivo Intro, 71 reviews, 121 photos, 4 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Antwerp Intro, 75 reviews, 113 photos, 5 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Belgium Intro, 71 reviews, 86 photos, 2 travelogues
- Ambohimanga Intro, 35 reviews, 121 photos, 4 travelogues
- Paris Intro, 67 reviews, 58 photos
- Malaza Intro, 43 reviews, 82 photos, 2 travelogues
- Faritanin' Antananarivo Intro, 28 reviews, 94 photos, 5 travelogues
- Top 5 Page for this destination Gent Intro, 45 reviews, 75 photos, 4 travelogues
- Paris Hotels
- 22459 Reviews - 54964 Photos
- Dubai Hotels
- 2699 Reviews - 7919 Photos
- London Hotels
- 23314 Reviews - 48908 Photos
- New York City Hotels
- 15642 Reviews - 31276 Photos
- Manila Hotels
- 2025 Reviews - 4971 Photos
- Playa del Carmen Hotels
- 780 Reviews - 1749 Photos
- Orlando Hotels
- 3092 Reviews - 5855 Photos
- Cancún Hotels
- 1933 Reviews - 3724 Photos
- Punta Cana Hotels
- 422 Reviews - 1020 Photos
- Baguio Hotels
- 328 Reviews - 894 Photos
- Rome Hotels
- 12023 Reviews - 26760 Photos
- Goa Hotels
- 2058 Reviews - 3874 Photos
- Istanbul Hotels
- 7828 Reviews - 20233 Photos
- Bangkok Hotels
- 10315 Reviews - 22905 Photos
- Las Vegas Hotels
- 8419 Reviews - 17290 Photos