Embracing the full moon


… to love is like trying to embrace the full moon, often we fail, sometimes we succeed and on very rare occasions it is given to us …

As you like, legend or truth, Niko Pirosmani, Georgia’s most famous naïve painter who died penniless just before the Revolution, had sold his house to fill a square with roses for an actress he had fallen in love with from afar. A thousand roses, according to some even a million*, every single velvet petal soft and curved like a woman’s body, the most delicate thing to hold.

Niko meets the love of his life in a café, a France actress, dancer, café-chantant singer, to him she seems more beautiful and refined than anything before in his life, an angel descended on earth especially for him. Without any hesitation a felicitous Niko gives her his heart and fortune, even sells his house. Catching his fingers on rose thorns, filling the cups of the rose petals with his tears, there is no end to his love. But as suddenly as she appeared in his live she also vanishes, leaving Niko nothing but the memory of her large black eyes.

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Pad Thai with love

Visiting an unknown city is an adventure in itself. Discovering the city by foot a map in mind more than at hand and no fixed destination to go. Just enjoying the early morning or late afternoon sun on the temple roofs of Wat Pho or on the ever restless waters of the Chao Phraya, with a clear or even better hazy view at Wat Arun. Visit the extensive amulet trade on a very cramped market close to Tha Phra Chan. But it may rain as well, giving the whole city a new shine. Seeking shelter in the English bookstore close to the Democracy Monument where the friendly shop girl recommends me one of my best reads of this trip, the beautiful multicolored novel ‘Many Lives’ by Kukrit Pramoj. Be disappointed when the Rajdumnern Contemporary Art Center and The Queens Gallery are closed and then by chance discovering the ASEAN cultural center.

Seated on a plastic chair under a bleached parasol eating the best Pad Thai with love ever, for forty baht the old lady even serves a mug of tea and a toothless smile. Wandering by foot often is the best way to discover the everyday habits and customs of people; monks and merchants, prostitutes and policemen, servants and street vendors, beggars and beauties.

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Read the entire column (please scroll down for the English text)