Paradise on earth

The more islands we visit, the more we are in love with the Perhentian Islands in Malaysia.

Are you part of a distributed team?

Team activities, courses and guides for companies with virtual teams!

Vietnamese Art

Propaganda posters, paintings and sculptures.

Happy Wesak

Procesión budista en Malasia

On how Asia reminds me of my childhood

Flowers, construction, poorly paved roads,...

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Light Parade in Sioux Falls

A year and a half ago I posted some photos under the name Feliz Wesak explaining our experience in a parade in Melaka, Malaysia. Yesterday I had a very similar experience but this time in Sioux Falls.

Wesak was a religious parade, full of budas and budhist symbols. The lights parade in Sioux Falls had no budas but in stead it had:

* A couple of Religious related floats (Christian).

*Most of the floats where businesses, from a local furniture store to a hospital. Some adore Budha, others use parades to get closer to their comunity. Nothing wrong with that!

Local Radio Station

*Dances, here the cheerleaders make little human castles and in Melaka the chinese community was dancing with dragons make of paper and baloons:

*Pet associations with really funny dressed dogs:

*Local high school playing drums (similar to the ones in Melaka but not dressed as well)


*Political: The mayor and the governor

The mayor of Sioux Falls, SD

*Association asking for a public covered swimmingpool

*The hot air baloon association was the one that had the best idea, with the fire for the baloons they would make the air really warm!

*Something curious to me were the painted snow plows!

This is half of the front of a snow plow, cool uh?

*The public was devoted in both places, in Malaysia there was a lot of people that felt like that moment was sacred and they had put a lot of effort into that parade. In Sioux Falls people where devoted because it was freezing cold and they were there with their blankets, hats, gloves and chairs.

Devoted parade lovers
Thank you to the organizers of both parades!! I love parades!!

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Surprising illustrations by Scott McKowen for 1602

I am currently taking a course on Comic Books and Graphic Novels so I took advantage of the opportunity and I thought I would treat myself to some Neil Gaiman. The surprise of the book where the covers by Scott McKowen, an illustrator that I had seen in the New Yorker but not payed much attention to. Here's some of the covers and I totally recommend reading 1602, for Marvel fans and non-fans too. :-)

Monday, September 30, 2013


When you least expect it, life gives you a present. Today it was in the shape of ceramic pieces.
I went to see the author of the only pieces that decorate my life Yoko Kataoka and as guests she had a great couple. Tom and Kanoko were there after finishing an exhibition of Tom's pieces in the Akashi Gallery in Barcelona and as a present they brought 2 small and beautiful ceramic pieces.

Why did I like them so much?

  • Their faces where very abstract and because of that they were very powerful. You know when undefined sculpture is extremely touching? Exactly like that!
  • Expressive bodies. You couldn't see their facial expressions but their body was speaking so much!
  • Strokes: you could see the strokes that they are made of, not too much, not too little, just enough to help the sculpture more communicative.
  • Colour of the pieces. They had colour and then a black patina. Here you can find more information about his technique.
  • Posture: Tom tells us that they are admiring a fireworks show that took place in 2011 as a display of solidarity with the survivors of the earthquake and tsunami. You can read more about it in the gallery's page. But like in all art pieces, it is good to know what the artist was thinking but it is not the only way to read the piece. In this case the pieces talked to me about wondering, about stopping time, about slowing down, about enjoying, about being amazed,... so many things!
  • Size: I wouldn't mind to see them bigger but I can see how they might loose some effect if they are bigger. Maybe they will go Juan Muñoz's size and everybody will admire them!
Tomorrow if I think about them they will probably tell me more things, but this is all I got today! You can find more info in Tom's webpage.

Sorry about the photo, it doesn't show the power of the sculptures, if I find a better one I will post it! 

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Cradle to cradle design

McDonough and his team are doing some great work with urbanism, architecture and design. Worth watching!

Best quote of the video:
Imagine this design assignment: Design something that makes oxygen, sequesters carbon, fixes nitrogen, distills water, accrues solar energy as fuel, makes complex sugars and food, creates microclimates, changes colors with the season, and self replicates. Why don’t we knock that down and write on it?

Monday, August 26, 2013

How much do you know about salt water fish?

We know that it is good for us to eat fish but how much do we know about the fish we eat?  

During my stay in Palamós (Spain) I have been able to go twice to Espai del Peix, a museum where the information panels are not on the walls but on tables that are also used as eating tables where you can sit down and enjoy some of their yummy show-cookings. As a fisherman's town, Palamós wants to preserve their most precious treasure: fish.

Their main goal is to educate about fish. Espai del Peix (Fish place) focuses in teaching people about the types of fish that are not very well known and that are as good as the rest, they teach us how to cook them, their characteristics, their substitutes and some other fun facts.

Some of my friends try to eat only the vegetables that are in season, because they taste better and to save the environment little by little with responsible actions. A lot of times, what is good for the environment, it is also good for our pocket and good for our health, so here's a list of the different fishes that you can find in the mediterranean sea by month. If you buy fresh fish when they are in season, you will do good to the ecosystem, save money and you will have a varied diet:

Mediterranean Sea
Remember you can also buy them when they are in season, freeze them and enjoy them throught the year!

If you find calendars of the Atlantic, Pacific and other seas I will gladly post them.

Bon appétit!

For the ones that speak catalan, here's a list of the recipes.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Kid soldiers

Today I came across this photo taken in Somalia. What do I see in it?
  • Curiosity
  • Need to be recognized/liked
  • Adult showing his reality to a kid.
  • No fear of guns.
  • The reality a lof a lot of children that are used for different military groups all around the globe. Take a look at the list of countries in this wikipedia entry, you will be surprised.
  • An apperantly innocent photo taken in a country where 200.000 kids have carried arms or have been recruited in the country's militias against their will during the last 12 years.
  • Need to stop making devices to kill other humans.
  • Images by J. Gettleman. Here's a story of the image
  • A fact that leads to other images, this time not so happy looking:
Kids carrying guns for a US ally

What do you see?

Monday, July 01, 2013

Humour and Airlines: Thank you for paying attention to our safety presentation

In school it was clear, the teacher that caught our attention the most was the one that was unpredictable, passionate and funny. Today for the first time I listed to 2 different safety presentations in airplanes:

Delta Airlines, Domestic flight

The plane was small and had no screens so the flight attendant made all the explanation and added some things like this:
  • "In case of emergency, first stop screaming, then pull the mask..."
  • "During this really long flight to..." (flight is about 30 min)
  • When demonstrating how to use the seat belt he did it in slow motion
  • "If you have any complains or commentaries you are welcome to contact us via our webpage and you can also keep them to yourself"
  • After we landed: "be careful when opening the compartments and get out of here!"

Delta Airlines, International flight

A little bit more low key, but still great because it catches people's attention, here's a version of the video they showed:

Thanks Delta Airlines for making the experience a little bit more relaxing!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Great US History Crash Course: Natives and Spaniards

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Do we exercise freedom?

According to Wikipedia, free will is the ability of agents to make choices unconstrained by certain factors. Factors of historical concern have included metaphysical constraints (for example, logical, nomological, or theological determinism), physical constraints (for example, chains or imprisonment), social constraints (for example, threat of punishment or censure, or structural constraints), and mental constraints (for example, compulsions or phobias, neurological disorders, or genetic predispositions).

We can say in general terms that our societies have freedom of action, freedom to do things and freedom of will, freedom to like things, freedom to have phobias, freedom to be whatever we want to be and feel what we want. But how many of us exercise this freedom completely? How many of us take time to think who we are/what we do/the repercusion of our actions and ask ourselves if we like what we see? If we don't do this last step where we can analize what we are and change what we don't like, are we really exercising freedom?

by Genis Carreras
Some will say "yes, you choose not to do something, that is exercising your freedom", I agree but how many of us make this decision in a conscious way? And how many just go with the flow and complain about our lifes and victimize ourselves?

I am not talking about succeding, just asking ourselves how we can be better, trying to change what we want to modify and therefore exercising the ultimate freedom of will, even if we fail on the attemp. Also about beeing responsable for what we do and who we are, but I guess that is another topic :-)

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Where is the chocolate?

Yesterday I wanted to make one of my favourite desserts ever: toasted bread, olive oil, salt and chocolate on top. I went to the store I was expecting to find a huge variety of chocolates, but to my surprise there were only 3 kinds of chocolate bars!
  • Lindt 70% 
  • Hersheys
  • Symphony bar

Should I complain? 

No, they had 1 variety of dark chocolate and 1 variety of milk chocolate and a thing they can no longer call chocolate but that it resembles the taste aka Hershey. So there was enough to make everybody happy. No reason to complain.

Loosing the essence

What made me sad was to see that the rest of the products that occupied a space of around 3mx2m where products with chocolate in them like goji berries coated with dark chocolate, chocolate bars, chocolate cups, chocolate balls, rice in chocolate and other chocolate variations, but as far as pure chocolate they only had 3 that took probably 1% of the shelf space.

It made me sad because I thought that we are forgetting the essence of things and because probably nobody buys chocolate bars anymore, we prefer the products that make the mix for us and sell us the total experience instead of letting us combine the chocolate with other things and letting us imagine/play with one of the most delicious things that exist.

Here's the recipie for Bread with chocolate and Olive oil, :-D

Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Yoko en la Akashi Gallery (Barcelona)

La Yoko ens convida a la seva propera exposició "Els Habitants del Bosc" que tindrà lloc @ Akashi Gallery (c/Rosselló 197, Barcelona T93.125.08.77) i que romandrà oberta del 21 del maig fins el 9 de juny.
Akashi Gallery és un espai molt bonic i cómode d'estil japonés on, entre altres coses podeu gaudir de té japones de qualitat. És un lloc ideal per estar tranquil al cor de la ciutat.
El dimarts 21 de maig serà l'inauguració:
a les 19h Inauguració de l'exposició i lectura de poesia de Kenji Miyazawa (gratuït) 
a les 21h Sopar Menú del Bosc, a carrec de Toshie Nagashima
Cuina Macrobiotica apta per a vegetarians, la meva amiga japonesa prepararà el sopar amb collita del seu hort ecològic, sentireu l'aire net del bosc per dins. Places limitades, cal fer reserva prèvia (20 euros per persona).
Hi ha +info actualitzada amb més detalls @ la web oficial:


Yoko nos invita a su próxima exposición "Los Habitantes del Bosque" que tendrá lugar @ Akashi Gallery (c/ Rosselló 197, Barcelona T93.125.08.77) y que estarà abierta a partir del 21 de mayo y hasta el 9 de junio.

Akashi Gallery es un espacio muy bonito y cómodo de estilo japonés donde, entre otras cosas podreis disfrutar de té japones de primera calidad. Es un lugar ideal para estar tranquilo en el corazón de la ciudad.
El martes 21 de mayo van a hacer la inauguración:
a las 19h Inauguración de la exposición y lectura de poesía de Kenji Miyazawa (gratuito)
a las 21h Cena Menú del Bosque, a cargo de Toshie Nagashima
Cocina macrobiótica apta para vegetarianos, mi amiga japonesa preparará la cena con cosecha de su huerto ecológico, podreis sentir el aire limpio del bosque por dentro. Plazas limitadas, se necesita reserva previa (20 euros por persona).
Hay + info actualizada con más detalles @ la web oficial:
For information in English, please visit Yoko's blog:

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


I have seen a lot of non-profits in Asia driving around their Hummers or other big SUVs while the people they are trying to help don't even have water to drink so I don't think that non-profit workers should get paid as well as executives but I get the point on whatt Dan Pallota says. It is good to break paradigms, I hope you enjoy his lecture.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Managing Virtual Teams

I am happy to announce a new Ricaris project: Managing Virtual Teams

At Ricaris we are taking the experience that we have adquired working with multicultural online teams and we offer it to the companies that need it.


Do you know of a company that can improve in...

  • Good vibes and communication in general
  • Trainings and manuals
  • Goal setting and motivation
If you do, send me their contact information at anna (at) and we will be happy to help!

What does Managing Virtual Teams offer?

  • Fee activities to do with teams.
  • Virtual Events 
  • One-to-one consulting for companies that have virtual teams 
  • Practical courses about organization of virtual teams:
    • Motivation
    • Team work
    • Sustainable teams
    • Communication
    • Empowerment
    • Autonomy
    • Leadership. 
    • Results, quality and process improvement.
    • Health and Team Well-being.
With Managing Virtual Teams we want to expand our good practice to the rest of the companies that have virtual workers.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Fracking and To the Wonder

Have you seen To the Wonder by Terrence Malick? If you haven’t and you want to see it, please consider not reading this post. If you started it but left the movie theatre, like 5 out of the 8 people that shared the screening with me, you may continue.

Being concerned with the fracking technique that some companies are planning to do around my hometown, I immediately recognized Ben Affleck’s job in the movie.

What is fracking?

I first learn about it when a friend of mine that worked doing fracking for a gas company told me about the effects that he saw it had in the communities where they use this technique. Here's a graphic for you:

Wikipedia gives this definition:
Hydraulic fracturing is the propagation of fractures in a rock layer by a pressurized fluid. Some hydraulic fractures form naturally—certain veinsor dikes are examples—and can create conduits along which gas and petroleum from source rocks may migrate to reservoir rocksInduced hydraulic fracturing or hydrofracturing, commonly known as fracingfraccing, or fracking, is a technique used to release petroleum, natural gas (including shale gastight gas, and coal seam gas), or other substances for extraction.[1] This type of fracturing creates fractures from awellbore drilled into reservoir rock formations.
The first use of hydraulic fracturing was in 1947. However, it was only in 1998 that modern fracturing technology, referred to as horizontal slickwater fracturing, made possible the economical extraction of shale gas; this new technology was first used in the Barnett Shale in Texas.[1][2][3] The energy from the injection of a highly pressurized hydraulic fracturing fluid creates new channels in the rock, which can increase the extraction rates and ultimate recovery of hydrocarbons.
Proponents of hydraulic fracturing point to the economic benefits from vast amounts of formerly inaccessible hydrocarbons the process can extract.[4] Opponents point to potential environmental impacts, including contamination of ground water, risks to air quality, the migration of gases and hydraulic fracturing chemicals to the surface, surface contamination from spills and flowback and the health effects of these.[5] For these reasons hydraulic fracturing has come under scrutiny internationally, with some countries suspending or banning it.
Informació sobre fracking en català

Today El País has an article explaining that amount of gas that can be found in Spain is similar to the one that you find in ND. Our population is 67 times bigger than the one in ND. They have been affected and silenced, how is fracking going to affect a population of 47 millions spanish citizens?  Terrifing.Here's a documentary that illustrates some of the things my friend that used to work fracking told me about:

How is fracking portrait in the movie?

Almost nothing is portrait in the movie, so fracking isn’t either. We hardly know anything about the characters, we don’t see their faces a lot of times, we don’t hear them speak, we don’t know what they are thinking and when we do hear them, they say some very abstract things. Fracking is also vastly sketched during the almost 2 hours of the film.

In the movie we see people that are very confused about what is going on. We see poor, uneducated people not really knowing what to say when asked about the consequences of fracking in their everyday life. We see a community that doesn’t even know what is going on. We see a number of times the main character going to the rivers taking samples of the water, taking samples of hair and soil. The main character’s job is to take samples, we know he is a nature lover but when he interviews his fellow citizens his face doesn’t move, he doesn’t even look at them in the eyes, his life is so much under Olga Kurylenko’s skirts that he is not even taking care of an important situation like that.

We should thank Terrence Malick for incorporating the fracking problem in the movie and hopefully raising some awareness.

Is the movie only a long perfume commercial?

I don’t think so, it is so abstract that it moved a lot of things inside of me, more than movies with an actual script. Revising Truffaut’s interviews with Hitchcock I found this piece that might illustrate why he did a movie like that:

Le theme ne m’interesse pas, le jeu des acteurs ne m’intérrese pas, (...) ce qui m’importe, ce sont les morceaux de films et la photographie, la bande sonore et tous les moyens techniques qui font que le public se met à hurler. Je trouve que c’est terriblement satisfaisant de parvenir à communiquer une émotion de masse grâce à l’art cinématographique. Ce à quoi nous sommes certainement parvenus avec Psychose. Le public n’était pas touché par un message, ni par un exploit ni par le fait qu’il goütait le roman. C’était le cinéma seul qui donnait aux gens de l’émotion.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Basketball and nationalism

By definition I don't like any form of nationalism because it touches that one place where I don't like to be touch, maybe that is why I liked these 2 documentaries so much. Both of them talk about similar issues: friendship, nationalism and basketball.

The other dream team: Lithuania's independency explained through their basketball history. Beautiful documentary with some really surprising stories.Buy it or try to find it, here's the trailer (with huge spoilers):

Once brothers: A little bit more dramatic but still good and still interesting.Here's the full documentary:

I really recommend you to watch both of them and have some kleenex ready, there will be tears of joy and sorrow!
Pubilles and hippie looking giants

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Next adventure: Spain

Did you know you can cross Spain on a motorbike and not take any highways?
Do you want to go from the Pyrenées to the Mediterranian sea on a bicycle?
Do you want to know the best places to eat in Barcelona?
Do you want to walk the Camino de Santiago in a special way?
My friend Maria is a very well travelled person that provides tailored itineraries for people who don’t want to be tourists but want to be travellers.

Off the beaten path

Eventhough Spain is one of the main tourist destinations in the world, you would be surprised how much it still has to offer and how many places still remain 100% tourist free. Maria is a specialist, she will help you find the special places, the most hip places, the most chilled or the trully autentic ones.

Active journeys 

For all you outdoor junkies, if you are looking for an epic trip, you should get in touch with her. There are so many things to do in Spain! Trekking the GR11 on the Pyrenées, kitesurfing in Tarifa, learning how to surf in Cadiz or riding serious waves in Donosti and of course, hiking up some sleepy volcanoes in my hometown! You could spend months exploring the nature of Spain, and remember, in some areas, it doesn’t really get cold, so you can visit all year round!

A whole in the wall

Barcelona is packed with tourist but the rest of Spain is waiting for people to visit. If you are looking for the authentic Spain, jump on a train, bus or rent a car, stop in a little town get a coffe at the town bar with all the old man playing cards, stay at a luxurious Paradero Nacional and in the morning go to the farmer’s market. Maria will plan the perfect trip for you.
If you are into the cultural stuff, she will prepare the perfect route for you. If you are into music, get ready to enjoy Spain’s best. And if you jus twant to chill, well, Spain is in the south of Europe after all! (did I just say that?)

Who's that girl?

She is a girl with really good taste. She is a city girl with a love for the outdoors so she is the perfect mix to advice about both worlds. Maria has travelled around the world so she understands what different cultures and different people are looking for when they go on holidays. Get ready to eat well if you contact her!

How does it work?

Basically you contact her and decide if you want:
  • 7 day consultation: while you plan your dream trip to Spain, she helps you. During 7 days your will get her advice, including where to go, what to see and consultation of overall flow.
  • Premium Travel Plan: where she plans your trip to Spain so you can visit Spain on a tailored itinerary just for you.
Contact via

Follow her on Facebook Spain at your pace and Twitter @spainatyourpace

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Batuan Art

Gusti Putu Sana
I never made it to Bali, but in the flight back from Asia I found this extremely interesting art form: Batuan Art. Here's some reasons why I like Batuan Art:
  • It is a little bit like "Where's Wally?" so it is really fun to look at.
  • It reminds me of El Bosco in the sense that people in these painings do weird things to my eurocentric eyes.
Sakenan temple and the sea from I. Dewa Nyoman Purwa

Ida Bagus Dupem - Traditional Bali

  • Because Bali has been receiving western influence for a long time (think of Gauguin) and it seems that like in most cultures the painings evolved depending on what the rich mentors liked, in this case, European mentors. That mix of bali culture + mentor + wanting to be liked made some really funny art.
I Wayan Bendi paints "Diana Spencer"
  • Primitive look: but a totally fake primitive look. Really funny and sympa!

Ida Bagus Rai paints "Beached Whale"
 Here's a fantastic guide to Batuan Art.

Friday, March 01, 2013

Cut the bullshit and disobey

People in Luxembourg say “I don’t like being here but I have to” because they want the money. My friend that works at a bank says “I don’t like stealing from people, but I have to” because she needs her salary. My friend who is an auditor says “I don’t want to be in this industry, but I have to” because he doesn’t know better. And some soldiers say “I don’t want to be in a war, but I have to” because they told them to follow orders. 

You know what? The only people that have to do something are the people with no other option like kid soldiers or really poor people. I also understand doing something taht you don't want to do for a short period of time while you find an alternative, but for years, no... sorry, I don't buy into that. All these people have a choice and they are just choosing the most comfortable option for them. So I thell you, stop the bullshit, do yourself a favor, believe in yourself and find an alternative. Be responsible for your actions, I will do my best to help you.

Here’s some people, some anonymous, some famous that understood the importance of their actions:

Monday, February 25, 2013

Am I in Luxembourg or in Mordor?

Image by James0309

Luxembourg is beautiful and like most of the attractive places it has a really dark side. In Luxembourg the dark side is open and it shines in front of everybody. People are aware of it and do nothing to change it, they love it.
Coming from South East Asia, stopping in Spain and now being in Luxembourg I feel like Frodo who goes from the nice and happy Shire to Mordor. 

Some words to describe my Luxembourg experience:

Greed: People here say “I don’t like to live in Luxembourg, but I have to”. They have to because they want money no matter what. They are here because they want to be rich. They are here because they don’t want to drive a Peugeot, they want to be like most of the people, Audi, BMW, Mercedes, Porsche. They come here because they smell the money and they want some of it. That would be fine if it wasn’t that they take it to another level: Greed. And we all know what happens when greed comes into place. 

No morality and no respect for the other: Apparently everything is fine. Nobody smiles but they all seem to be fine with each other. The reality is that in Luxembourg the work relations are similar to what they are in developing countries. People working 14 hour work days and getting paid for 8h. Bosses calling employees at 11pm at home. Bosses calling telling their workers to start jobs that know will take them 4 hours at 9pm. Really strict hierarchy. No respect for female workers in the shape of nasty commentaries about their body and how they would put them under the table. The list is endless. Not all the companies are like this but at least the ones in the financial sector are.
No fun: at 8pm there is nobody on the streets, only people walking back from work with really sad faces.
Aggressivity: I have seen the same number of accidents after 10 days in Luxembourg than after 1 year in South East Asia. Cars here drive fast and dangerously. The Luxembourgian takes the frustrations from their work to their car.

Positive things about Luxembourg:

They understand my French: My favourite thing is that I can speak French and people actually understand me! People in Luxembourg speak a number of languages and they are so used to accents  (40% of the population is not from Luxembourg) that they understand my French!!!

Sculptures: walking around the city is like being in a museum, Calder, Henry Moore, Richard Serra, Fernand Léger, you name them!  

1 friend: There are always flowers around if you look for them, and we have made a friend that I hope I will see again very soon!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Voice, a show I love!

Reality shows tend to be very cruel to people, since Simon Fuller and his American Idol, these shows have been humiliating singers, cooks, parents,,, even animals! Now we have a show that is 100% positive: The Voice this is why I love the show:
  • There are no judges, there are coaches. 
  • The coaches help the want-to-be-singers to get better.
  • The singers have a saying when they get to choose a coach.
  • You see how people improve.
  • The coaches are professional, respectful people.
  • There are no insults.
  • No yelling.
  • No bad moods.
  • No humiliation.
It is a 100% positive, constructive and human. I love it!