Andrew Watson is visiting me from Montreal and we went camping in Bulgaria, in the village of Jeleznitsa thanks to Delian and to Tzveti that was having a birthday. There was a great white Lada, old, with a great sound system. The guys who started the fire were BUSINESS! They make a pretty pile of sticks, put a bit of gas on a rag and BOOM, we had a huge fire all night. Which was good because it was cold. There was a giant stump and we mostly just burned that all night.


these days, aside from catching a bit of wifi in some parks, I am not so much online.
I bought a water pump at my friends grow shop though and have been spraying water, trying to make a good mist for rainbows.

very funny here.... they sell pipes and soil and grow tools in the same shop.

back to Skopje in a couple days.
Now managing the technical needs and assisting with the layout of the exhibition for Chain Reaction.

wearing glasses

Last night I remembered my friend Helsi telling me many times that I should wear my glasses in public in order to feel more comfortable and confident.

I wonder what the purpose is of making this post. Maybe even saying, remembering and describing these moments is only adding to the impact of them. And I guess its not very pleasant for others to read. But I'll post this anyways, maybe just to have a note of what is happening and to see what the result is of saying this publicly. I wrote a version of this story to my friend Roc this morning and then immediately felt badly for doing so as it would maybe just make him worry or be sad. This wasn't my plan, especially since it's not going to help the situation at all.

Last night I went to yoga and I was really tired during the whole class. Then I went to meet Andrew who is visiting me, because we only have one key for the house and he was waiting for me at a nearby fountain. When I got there, 10 minutes late, I didn't see him and I felt soso tired. I couldn't see well in the dark and when I thought about walking around the park to look for him on the benches, I was about to cry. I didn't want to be there at all or to look around at anyone. I just wanted to go in the house.

Without reason I just walked away and walked around for almost an hour. I knew I should walk back to the fountain and meet him, because he was kindly waiting but I just couldn't make myself do it, I could only walk. I didn't want to talk to anyone or see anyone on the street but at the same time I did want to tell someone how I felt. I wrote an SMS message to Toni in Skopje because I think he understand when I feel like that.

Finally I did go back to the fountain and he was there. I just said sorry I wasn't feeling well.

AGF said to me yesterday she is not sure how I manage, being alone all the time. I think I am too alone sometimes and I get lost in it.

My uncle read the blog from the last two days and made some comments:
- I should mention the city that I am writing from.
- I shouldn't write at 1am.
- I should keep me emotions in check.
- Because I haven't said much about the adventurous details of what I am doing and what I am working on, he says its not very revealing.
- I should talk more about being Canadian.
- My profile picture is too dark.
- I should not advertise myself as a hippy.
- He was looking here to find out what is "driving me" through Europe
- My cousins are wondering what I do for work.

I have been writing all the posts in the morning, but for the first ones I hadn't changed the timestamp to reflect the correct time in Sofia.

I will add the cities in the tags line and I am not sure yet how or if I will address the rest of the comments. I placed them here in order to keep them organized with the blog. Its e for me to see how people respond.

hippies read horoscopes?

Twice every week, Planet Waves writes a horoscope that my dear friend Renee receives and forwards on to me. I am undecided about how I feel about these things except that for the past year I look forward to these mails because they are always really on point with what is going on in my life. They are not too vague.

From what I understand he one I got today said that, in my attempts to realize myself, I should feel content these days with the simple act of being aware. I guess it meant that this is somehow leading towards solutions. It also spoke about this being a time when I should work towards removing the notion of victimhood from my life and that a first path to do that is through marks of awareness about this issue.

I can buy that. Seems like timely advice.

I am very aware that already, even in these two posts when I feel like I have revealed some things about my personal life... I have withheld A LOT. Partly this is due to some worry about mentioning other people and secondly about some worry that I could end up just complaining a lot or at least looking like a complainer if I mention unpleasant things. I'm not sure how I will deal with that in this blog. I will maybe ask some people close to me about how they feel about being mentioned. Its very hard to write about my daily life in a fairly open way and not mention others because they are a big part of me.

Here is am pasting in a small report of my recent incredible trip to Albania. All these details are true. I left out parts of the trip because I don't want to reveal some pristine locations for fear of other people touristing there and also some bits of the trip were left out because they were not so pleasant and involve really personal moment and stories. These things were already shared with the two people I traveled with, Edith and Luis so in regards to sharing, they have already been shared enough I guess.

This is a photo of Edith with a really nice car in Skopje. Its is NOT the car we drove with to Albania.


We were Edith, Luis and Kyd.
We rented a small red Chevrolet car in Skopje
We drove from Skopje to Ohrid the first day and found a room in Gorna Porta to sleep at Liliana's house.
We met up with Lea and Liubo there and they gave us some tips and direction since they had just come from Albania. They said the roads were dangerous, a passing car had torn off one of their side mirrors.
We left the next day and drove into Albania, no troubles at the border. We just had to pay 3euros and get some insurance certificate papers.
We stopped for lunch and ate tashkebap on a balcony overlooking a river.
After lunch some guys spoke to us and didn't want us to leave. We left.
They got in their black Audi and chased us along the highway for a while. Scary.
Almost every car on the road is a Benz, BWM, Audi, Volkswagen or large new SUV.
There are no old cars.
People drove crazily but not as wildly as we had expected. The roads all the way to Vlore were through the mountains but were in good conditions.
We followed Lea and Liubo's directions and went near Narte.
We won't tell you the exact places and all the details, so don't ask. We found areas untouched by tourism.
We collected our trash in the car, waiting to find a trash can, there were none.
We found a highway on the beach and followed it until the end. We only got stuch in the sand once for a moment.
Late at night we found a small village and a place to eat. The fish was amazing. There was a nice girl who spoke a little bit of english. We got completely ripped off by her mother.
We were warned that if we continued up the road to find a place to camp that some police guards would chase us away. The lady who ripped us off said we should stay in her hotel. We left and continued up the road.
We weree not sure exactly what way to go and we went up a small hill. At the tpo was a radar tower and some men came out to see who we were.
We smiled and they smiled. They did not speak english or french. In mixed Albanian and Italian they asked where we were from. We answered and said bye bye and went back down the road.
We found another road and then some destroyed buildings, we camped on a cliff overlooking the sea.
At 8am two boys came and woke us up. It was the same guys from the night before.
They were very friendly and didn't speak much because between us all, Italian was the most common language, and none of us actually speak Italian.
They left after an hour and then we climbed down to find some rocks by the sea.
A while later one of the guys came to find us and has a sweet while puppy with him.
We stayed with us all day, barely speaking and guided us around the coast to many nice rocks and beaches. There were almost no other people. He taught Edith and Kyd not to be afraid to touch the seaweed with our feet.
We went to a larger beach that was full of people and ate some fresh fish.
We found out the guy's name was Gentian, he was 23 and worked for the police guarding the Radar tower. He worked on 24 hour shifts, alternating with the other guy, Tony,
We were going to leave to drive further south but decided to stay there since there was a greek festival in the area and we had already found some amazing private beaches.
At night we met the other guy, Tony and went to a greek festival at a nearby Monastery. There were families and traditional music and great bbqs.
This area of Albania is Catholic.
We slept in the guesthouse at the radar tower. It belongs to the military and inside were some army uniforms and Albanian and NATO flags.
The next day Gentian left and Tony arrived.
He brought us to some new rocks and beaches and back to the fish restaurant on the big beach and we met Gentian.
Although we didn't have a common language, we spoke a mix of spanish, italian and sign language and managed to have full conversations.
We gave the guys some CDs of music and they gave us some Albanian music.
We drove Gentian and a guy names Elvis back to another small town and then we continued back towards Macedonia.
We stopped at a gas station, which we found to be abandoned. The only one there was a super huge and friendly dog.
We stopped in Elbasan and ate tashkebap at a small cafe with some old men. This area must be muslim, nobody was drinking alcohol and no women were visible.
We continued on to Ohrid. The road at night was pretty wild, all cars were Benz' and drivers passed in dangerous ways.
When we arrive in Ohrid we found a granny holding a sign offering rooms. She brought us back up to Gorna Porta to an old house above the antique theatre with a view over the city and the lake.
In the morning we woke up to a small girl and the granny, Milka, offering us breakfast.
We had a coffee, swam in the lake and drove back to Skopje.
The rental car man said everything was fine.

nouveau blog, un peu pour Danny

Alors, je fais ça pour Danny et les autres qui demandent sans cesse que je note ma vie a quelque part en ligne. Plus tôt cette année je pensais que j'allais faire ca sur le blog de elektra mais finalement c'etait un peu trop publique. Je pense que j'ai jamais fais ca à date parsque j'ecris tout ce que je fais et pense a des amis en chat alors un blog c'est du retappage. On verras bien combien de temps cela va durer. ET si vous pensez vraiment que je vais faire tout ca en français... haha, vous seraient deçus.
Alors, pour Danny, lui maybe en post-crise de la trentaine, moi maybe en pré-crise... mais vraiment je crois quèon est dans un stage pas mal pareil.

Je le copie totalement dans cette initiative, rien d'originale ici. Déja je le trouve un ami avec une bonne téte sur les epaules alors si il croit qu'un blog portant un vrai nom est la bonne chose a faire... ben... j'ai déjà raté mon coup... mais je fais l'effort au moins... on verras ce que ça donne.

you can see Danny's blog here :

His first post, save a few details since he has a couple years on me, could have been written by me I guess, as our daily experiences in the past months have been similar. Maybe that is why we met, in Montreal, tired, working on the PD convention. Maybe you think now that this blog is going to be about Danny, well it isn't, just the inspiration to start it has come from him... or maybe I am just trying to show him up by also using his attempt at a cathartic technique of blogging to help myself.

Last year I also suffered some kind of professional burnout, that resulted in my physical body becoming very weak. With the help of my naturopathic doctor, my family and lots of herbs and lentils I averted taking any kind of anti-depressants. I started doing yoga many times and week and I still continue that now, in whatever city and whatever language is surrounding me. Finally, when I was back in some kind of standing-up shape, I received the support of the Canada Council for the Arts to create a small machine that makes rainbows, making it possible for me to have a bit more time to work on a personal project and on strengthening myself.

Since that time I have been in Europe. I feel a lot better, as in, I am no longer lying in bed but I still feel very anxious. I am still afraid of engaging myself to work with any art centers. I guess I feel kind of traumatised by my past experiences in this field, all chaotic, some positive and some negative. I have recently been working with some collectives and groups of people that i trust very strongly and making professional choices based on the "safe" and enjoyable qualities of the jobs rather than on the salary. I hope to continue doing this always, but I am also aware of the reality that in order to survive, I might be wise to start thinking about a different line of where where at least the most standard salaries are a bit higher. This has also led me through many months of reflection about what I like to do for work, what bits of my job are interesting and natural for me.

The people that have been around me in the last few years have most likely found me to be extremely independent, sometimes cold or closed or choppy with my emotions. In some moments I have simply been too stressed with professional things to even really be social or emotional with others. I think I have not stopped to share my daily emotions. In professional settings I rather want to appologise, in the same way a past mentor recently appologised to me, as I may have acted too stressed, scattered, demanding and even inhuman... Now part of my fear of returning to work in cultural industry is that for whatever variety of reasons, the limited conditions often lead everyone into these situations of chaos and many people get abused. I don't accept to work in this way anymore. The desire to work for 'the spirit of culture and the value of the projects' should not be instilled on anyone as a way to get them to work for small compensation. I continue to expect the very most of myself and of others but this now goes hand in hand with some more human values.

I think all this explosiveness was coming for years. Many years. Those who know me have surely noticed that i am often moving far away and on my own. I am not sure how I have managed to keep their attention or why they stay in contact with me because I regularly distance myself in order to deal with myself, thoughts and problems on my own. I have to thanks everyone who does stay in touch with me because it is what allows me to remember myself. Somehow through my work projects and even my won projects, I had forgotten about myself, my body and my place and I guess that is why I got so sick. I had kind of become a robot, or maybe a computer.

When I was sick I was forced to stop everything and so my time became my own again. It seems maybe ironic to say that my time was not my own before as I have always been working on projects where I have a huge amount of creative and time managing freedom. It was not that someone else or a job had taken me over but somehow I had put the control of this into a professional space myself and had in fact lost control of myself. Maybe other people noticed this before I did, maybe not. I wasn't able to catch on until I was quite sick because somehow I was still effective in my work. I remarked that this human wasn't able to see the problems with herself until she was very broken. Maybe its normal behaviour, to not want to face a problem, but I hope I have learned my lesson and won't do that again.

One thing I became aware of because my my friend Danny is that other people do not necessarily see how I feel. When he came to visit me for a calm month in Macedonia, it was a surprise to me that my calm friend, who has taught me a lot about calming down and always seems so professionally and emotionally together was actually not feeling well either. Somehow, even though he kept saying he felt like a huge disaster, he still managed to take care of me and help me a lot, and maybe I have done that for others. So I know that these things are internal, others can help a bit, but most of it is far inside and invisible. I will explore what i can express here, maybe it won't even be much. On that point I have to super thank a few people, some of which I didn't even know well at the time for noticing I was not feeling ok.

In this blog I will try to write a bit about things I have learned about myself, new things I will discover and surely I will insert some random information. I will write a bit about my travels. Its not likely going to be a full revelation and I am not sure if I am writing for you or for me. I think it is mostly for others to read.

In order not to make this into an obligation or stressful assignment, I will not worry about perfection, not stress about typos and not make any claims to write daily or even regularly. I will however try to keep you updated.

I hope for your contributions.