Quito is for me a bit like a city “in the stars”

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June 2005: Arrived in Glasgow, I wanted to see more of Scotland. I took a bus to Inverness where I met 2 french guys. We became friend enough to rent a min-van together and tour around North-end scotland. What a great adventure in two weeks we went through the north East, following the cliff until The isle of Skye, then down through fort William.

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I stayed there for almost two year between 2002 and 2003. I found a job in a French Cafe-shop (where strangely there was no French neither working nor running it) called «Aux Bachannelles» in the neighbourhood of Harajuku,which enabled me to meet people and where I could earn enough money to be able to afford a room, which I quickly found in Koenji, west of Sinjuku-ku. One of the most intriguing and disproportionate characteristic of Tokyo is its architecture, as shown in this photo taken near Mount Fuji,where we can see the unnatural shape of the town and where nothing seems in cohesion. Another peculiarity of Tokyo is its transports. At the coffee shop, I was the one ,amongst my the colleagues, who lived the closest from work, but still had a 25 min journey to commute. Most of my colleagues had to commute for more than an hour, and that was just to work in a coffee shop!

My life within this two years was very intense, I didn’t really travel much around Japan but did sure get a real go around. Party, Cultural events, people and great food, really Tokyo has all the right to claim been one of the most exiting town I went to.

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Little did I know that I was soon to become addicted to this place;no other city had touched me so intensively before. I had just visited China,Tibet,Nepal,went to Vanarasi,Darjeeling and Shikkim. I still remember clearly the moment I arrived there. I was at the end of February 2001. I arrived on a night train from Shikkim .In the morning,the station was full of people lying on the floor .It was quite a challenge to try and cross the station as it was so crowded. From there I had to take a bus to reach the town centre;what a bus journey! When I finally reached destination, the driver  informed me that it was there I had to get off. I therefore asked him to stop wherever and let me off: « No stopping there,you have to jump off the bus,petrol saving! Welcome to Kalkota! ».

This brutal introduction to the city really represents the extreme and harsh way of life in Calcutta where filth, pollution (the city is so polluted that cars are forbidden in central Calcutta,  walking rickshaws have now taken over),extreme heat,diseases, crowd are all in excess but where you also find the most beautiful smiles in the world and where Indians seem so happy to just be alive that this positivity is infectious .That is  where life takes its real meaning, as if they were saying « we are alive, let’s live this unique and beautiful blessing ».

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