Archive for the ENGLISH Category

No twitting, only Mojitos ;-)

Posted in Good Food (is) for the Life Savourer, MESSAGES - HAFATRA with tags , , , , on July 15, 2008 by coolienne

15/07/2008: The first day ever I had a mojito on the Island. It was cold today in Tana. Hot chocolate should have been perfect. Still… Has been days he asked me to taste his mojito. Did it today and liked it very much. Mojito! It was walking down memory lane (again). The sun, the beach / the swimming pool, home parties, cool poss. Well, what else should one expect from a Cool Hyène ? Cool poss and mojito!.

I have the lime, the mint leaves (albeit sparse at this time of the year), the rhum (Malagasy white rum), Cristal (bring your own version of Cristal… Champagne ? why not ?) … and found a good barman to mix them.

My Mojito poss, miss ya!  See you where the sun is ;-)

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Trails, Pictures and Driver

Posted in Daily musings, MESSAGES - HAFATRA with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 5, 2008 by coolienne
Same time, two years ago

Same time, two years ago

It is inimaginable the time you may spend reminiscing while cleaning your driver. Not that it’s dirty (?), instead, I’d say it’s full of memories reminders. This picture, for instance is quite amazing. Took it two years ago end June while walking in my area. Knowing where those raozy gasy are located, some memories were unearthed upon lying my eyes on this picture. Two years ago, I used to walk daily on that peculiar dam. Once every day. Before I got enticed to another area to make it my temporary walking trail. Till getting fed up, then settling for another trail. And so on… Those were the days I had been learning how to use my then new digicam. The days I could walk as much as possible, or, at the best moment of the day ever. The days I learnt the Coolienne new life ropes. Those raozy are landmarks, are symbols, but only in my books. Only I would attach that specific importance to them as they are part of my memories of this area, those times in my life.

Now, about two yeas later, another new lifestyle is being adopted. Equally exciting, excellent outlooks. My life is not about still hols (hey! Jogany and Ikalakely!). It has cycles of newness, of highs, of downs (really, I try not to stay in there that long… but… alas, they are real). Now is a high time. A exhilarating one.

My personal story is very tied to those walking trails I happen to choose to trot. It’s about time I walk those old trails again although my life is taking a new path. It’s amazing how electronic, virtual files can give you highs or be those small stuffs which make you instantly halt your activity and smile thinking of that perfect day. Or burst reviewing those crazy party nights pics (for sure, one doesn’t want those series to go out). Or still be grateful remembering how wonderful people were over there, or how great it was up there. Or… or… or.

One advice (if I may say so!):

Walk your Trails, Take Pictures (or Notes) and Clean your Driver up!

You’d be surprised.

Et mon pif dans tout ça ?

Posted in 'bout da Coolienne, Bizarreries, Ca s'est passé un jour..., Mes posts favoris, Ohé les filles! with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 12, 2008 by coolienne

Un jour, la première fois que j’ai lu “Affliction caused by the tongue is worse than (that caused by) the strike of the blade of a sword.“, je me suis marré. La traduction pourrait être “L’affliction causée par la parole est pire que (celle causée par) le coup de la lame d’une épée. »

Maintenant, pourquoi ai-je ri cette première fois ? Il m’arrive même et encore de sourire en pensant à ce dicton d’un penseur musulman. Parce qu’après l’avoir lu, la seule chose à laquelle j’ai pensé est l’affliction causée à mon pauvre nez par les odeurs excessives. Et à mes expériences -malheureuses, ridicules, frustrantes- inhérentes à ces agressions. Rien à voir, je sais ! Je vous invite pourtant à lire la suite…

Depuis des années -des décennies, même- mon nez, probablement plus sensible que la moyenne, me fait vivre des cauchemars que, souvent, les gens qui se trouvent aux mêmes endroits que moi ignorent. Un parfum trop capiteux d’une dame qui ripaille deux tables plus loin et, me sentant envahie et agressée, je deviens un peu nauséeuse et de mauvaise humeur. Je reconnais ce parfum que j’abhorre entre mille: Poison de Dior. A la limite, je pourrais le supporter dans un hall de gare bien aéré. Ce jour-là, en plein dîner d’hiver, j’ai dû demander à ouvrir une grande fenêtre pour aérer notre coin. Mes collègues étaient compréhensifs. Dieu merci, je n’ai jamais eu la mauvaise expérience de partager mes espaces de travail avec une dame Poison.

(car tout ne sent pas la rose…)

Parfois, de ces odeurs agressives, j’attrape même une migraine. Je me souviens de mes premiers mois à Tana, quand je suis revenue. Des migraines à chaque fois que je regagnais le centre (une fois par semaine) pour du shopping et des courses diverses. Il m’a fallu un an pour m’habituer à ce mix de pisse, d’odeur d’égouts et de fumées dégagées par les voitures.

Aussi, cette sensibilité affecte, non seulement, mon humeur mais aussi ma vie sociale, voire intime. Combien de fois ne rencontrais-je ces personnes gentilles, intéressantes, propres sur elles-mêmes avec lesquelles je commençais à discuter dans des cocktails, soirées, au bureau… pour finir complètement ignorées du fait que mon pif faisait des siennes ? Dès lors, je ne voyais qu’une bouche remuer, que des mains gesticuler. Le son était coupé. Seule la politesse m’empêchait de plaquer ma main sur mon visage et m’enfuir à toutes jambes. Des minutes à supporter une conversation à un cours normal, pas ennuyeuse ni soporifique… juste suivie avec un nez capricieux, qui me fait passer pour une personne superficielle. Qui se détale, la conversation même pas terminée.

Ou encore, je me souviens d’une soirée romantique, d’il y a quelques années, que j’ai dû écourter. En pénétrant la voiture de ce galant jeune homme que je fréquentais depuis des mois, je sentis cette odeur, que je savais connue mais à l’identité floue, tenace. C’était un bel après-midi de juillet. Un film au cinéma suivi d’un verre et un dîner étaient au programme. Dès les premiers instants dans cette voiture, je devenais très nerveuse, actionnant frénétiquement un bouton de commande pour abaisser, puis remonter la vitre. Me connaissant, mon ami me demandait si tout va bien. Je lui répondais que ça sentait mauvais, en inspectant les semelles de mes chaussures. On ne sait jamais avec ces promeneurs de chien ! Je n’ai rien vu de suspect sous mes semelles. L’origine de cette odeur était donc dans la voiture. Muet, mon ami s’est tu et s’était concentré sur la conduite.

Arrivés à destination, j’ai sauté de la voiture, soulagée. Nous nous dirigeâmes vers un guichet pour acheter nos tickets. Vite fait. Nos tickets en main, nous nous en allâmes rejoindre la salle qui diffusait notre film. Dans le couloir, cette odeur me frappa de nouveau en pleines narines. Soudain, je l’ai reconnue. Du linge mouillé, qu’on aurait repassé et plié sans le sécher. Je le lui ai dit et tout penaud, il m’a avoué que son pantalon a été repassé non séché. J’étais triste et très consciente de ce que je devais faire. Je ne me souviens plus du prétexte servi ce jour-là pour ne pas prendre ce verre. Le dîner aussi a été annulé. Car même cette odeur-là m’a rendue très nerveuse. Il l’a échappé belle, moi également. Il s’en est fallu de peu pour que tout ça ne tournât au vinaigre. J’aurais été odieuse avec lui. Je pense, avec lucidité, qu’une des raisons pour laquelle ça n’a jamais « décollé » avec lui, était que cet épisode était ancré à jamais dans mon subconscient. Aussi, de temps en temps, il avait cette odeur de peau que je n’aimais pas. Là, je pense qu’il s’agirait d’une malheureuse inadéquation. Indépendante de sa volonté, de la mienne, de celle de sa lavandière … et non des phéromones. Toujours est-il qu’il arrivait un moment où je me détachais d’un de mes meilleurs amis, beau, drôle, intelligent et avec lequel je passais des heures au téléphone. Parce que le côtoyer était devenu désagréable. Avec le recul, j’ai appris que je me protégeais pour ne pas être agressée. C’était un type gentil et sensible. Il ne m’aurait jamais agressée ni physiquement, ni verbalement. Mon nez était juste trop sélectif. Repenser à cette relation n’a jamais été facile. Des situations frustrantes, des malentendus, des larmes, des paroles incontrôlées dues à une situation de plus en plus pressante. Et cette impression de faire du mal en rejetant une personne n’a jamais arrêté de me tenailler…

Pourquoi ceci me revient en tête maintenant ? Parce que hier, j’ai croisé un ancien amoureux, par hasard, alors que je me rendais au boulot. De son siège, il m’a vue avant que j’aie pu le voir. Je le sais, pendant un certain temps, je me sentis observée mais absorbée par une manœuvre à faire, je n’ai pas repéré d’où provenait ce regard. Quand j’ai regardé dans sa direction, cette personne qui me dévisageait avait un large sourire amusé sur ce visage. Inconsciemment et sans que je sache pourquoi, j’ai doucement tourné la tête. J’ignorais pourquoi. Ce n’est qu’après un certain temps que je me suis aperçu de l’identité de cette personne. Toujours beau et visiblement content de m’apercevoir.

Aïe ! Ca pourrait se compliquer vu que cette personne est la dernière que j’ai envie de revoir. En effet, il y a une vingtaine d’années, il était épris de moi. Sentiment qui ne trouvait pas écho chez moi… et pour cause. Oseriez-vous dire à un garçon qui -vous le savez- vous veut du bien que vous ne supporteriez pas d’être avec lui ? Aussi beau, gentil, intelligent, intéressant, propre qu’il soit ? Car, tenez-vous bien, les odeurs agressives, dans la plupart des cas et dans le sien, ne sont pas affaire d’hygiène. Plutôt de peau (ou de parfum trop envahissant, de linge mouillé…). J’ai côtoyé ces personnes pendant assez de temps pour m’en apercevoir. De là à conclure que c’est une affaire de phéromones… Qui sait ? En tout cas, je ne pourrais jamais lui expliquer pourquoi j’ai fui. Il était irréprochable. Que dire ? Qu’il avait une odeur que je ne supportais pas ? Si encore le manque d’hygiène en avait été responsable, j’aurais pu me faire comprendre par cette personne amie. Ce ne fut pas le cas. Enfin, avec le recul, je sais que beaucoup ne comprennent pas mon malaise. Seule ma mère et mes sœurs reconnaissent ce qui pourrait m’indisposer. Je tiens cette « entrevue » secrète pour ne pas avoir mon entourage me demander pour la énième fois, sur une histoire qui remonte à la fin des années 80, « Pourquoi vous n’étiez pas sorti ensemble ? ». Que dire? Personne ne sait pourquoi je n’étais jamais sortie avec ce type « adorable ». Pourquoi ternir la réputation d’autrui d’autant plus que j’aurais été peut-être la seule à avoir expérimenté cela ?

Aaah! Quand je vous dis que mon nez est capricieux… Je me souviens, et je suis toute hilare en vous racontant ceci, de cette odeur d’un autre ami. Assez forte, surtout que ce jour-là, il venait de passer deux heures sur un court de tennis, livrer bataille pour contrer les assauts de notre ami commun, celui-là même qui nous a présenté l’un à l’autre. Une odeur, de la sueur coulant sous le polo couvrant -sans succès- des poils épais et abondants. Une odeur après laquelle je courais. (Et là, je sais que je frôle le ridicule.) Je me revois jouer l’ombre de son ombre, avançant à grand pas derrière lui pour me tenir à son rythme et à bonne distance. Pour pouvoir inhaler…Aaaaaah ! Le shoot parfait ! Des jours entiers, j’en étais toute retournée. Moi qui, en temps normal, fuyait les tapis pectoraux ainsi que les poils -sensés être virils mais parfaits tue-l’amour, pour moi-. C’était incompréhensible… mais totalement en accord avec un nez schizo. Bizarrement, ce gars a une odeur sur lui, que je sais prononcée et presque permanente, mais que mon nez accepte totalement. Phéromones ou pas phéromones ? En tout cas, ce type, je l’adore. Comme un frère, un ami, un confident… C’est un très bon ami. Probablement la première personne que je contacterai, dès que je foule le sol du Continent. Rien de sexuel, pourtant.

Sinon, mon nez vient en rescousse aux ménagères qui essaient de savoir si tel ou tel plat est encore bon à être réchauffé et servi. Je goûte rarement. Je suis là pour humer. Lol
Mon nez adore l’odeur du pétrole (pas les fumées d’échappement), l’allumette qui vient de brûler, l’odeur d’un de mes ex, l’odeur de ses tempes, du fruit du jacquier.

Je vais peut-être relire Le parfum de Suskind. ;-) Merci à celle qui me l’a recommandé. J’apprécie ton humour. Et oserais-je le dire, tu as du nez !

Professionalism to nurture Fihavanana ? Here we are!

Posted in Society with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 10, 2008 by coolienne

Just learnt this morning about the death of a relative (an aunt of mine’s mother).

Meaning that, given our closeness, I’ll join the family bunch to present our condelences to my aunt’s family.

Equally meaning that I will surely attend the funeral mass and probably the burial.

Finally, meaning that it would be the third time in less than a week that I’m supposed to, at least, present condolences. I skipped the first condolences presentation (to another aunt’s family) to be able to honor my duty to another acquaintance’s family the day after. This third time, I’ll attend each part of the funerals but the final one: the burial.

Social duties are ingredient of Malagasy society as they are cement of our dearly cherished “fihavanana“. I’d define fihavanana as a quality obtained via the broadening of family ties network. It is maintained through practices as simple as schmoozing (when you drop a visit to close relatives or -rarer and rarer- the grand-aunt of your Dad…) to more formal moves. There are codes to observe for ceremonies such as wedding’s, funeral’s, condolences presentation, famadihana, greetings presentation for a birth, circumcision celebrations… I’d add that fihavanana is akin to friendship minus the formal aspect of some duties and the fact that one chooses one’s friends, not one’s relatives. [Btw, I think I’m not wrong assuming that Fihavanana is the biggest personal network for us, Malagasy folks. Am I ?]

Simply put, those duties are time and organization skills demanding, especially within this westernizing and more and more individualist society. When announced by tens- within a month-, those news which require your attending, your partaking, are eventually screened. It is where fihavanana can lend a hand. It allows a family to divide itself in two or three groups to attend, say, three ceremonies one given Saturday: the wedding ceremony of a cousin from Dad part, another one of a seasoned-bachelor-cum-uncle from Mum side and the funerals of this grand-aunt from so and so side. Fihavanana is both to be nurtured and a great element which allows a family to arrange social duties schedules. Who else would bother represent you and your family (as you’re supposed to attend both three ceremonies given the very Fihavanana that exists between you and each of those families) but your havana (close relatives such as Mom, Dad, siblings, grand-parents, uncles and aunts and their kids- the cousins) ?

Living in a westernized continent, I used to envy those fabulous wedding parties. Their tales (and the gossips!) could make up for the bulk of some mails and phone calls. Also, I used to feel mysef relieved from the burden of funerals attendings (and generally, those gestures related to sad news). Now living within my Ilienne society, I just try to be as organized and available as possible. They- condolences presentations, funerals, wedding and other ceremonies attendings- are amongst those social mechanisms we are used to and try to be involved in as much as possible. It’s plain duty- to support relatives in need and to celebrate with the happy ones-, which allows you, though, to connect with rarely and rarely seen relatives. Then, once in a while, I happen to be excited by the news of a favourite and close cousin’s wedding. Whoa ! A huge party expected (and sometimes planned) !

That’s life in nowadays Malagasy society. More and more of those social duties which go along with more demanding professional and private lives !

Sad ? No! Just modern and screaming for more professionnalism (“flexibility, availability and organizational skills” is the least you could replace this big big world by). And I’d especially like it when, as we have grown up, my cousins and I could solely represent the whole family to others, leaving the elderly alone. But first, we have to convince our zoky (the eldest male of our family’s third generation- us, all cousins) to learn the speech delivering art (fitenenana) as he would then become our official spokeperson… but that’s another story. What can I say ? Roaming the world is not a Fihavanana-friendly activity. lol

Walking Down Memory Lane

Posted in Daily musings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 5, 2008 by coolienne

Rêverie...

Written May 24, let to pause for some time and served fresh from the oven to you, Ladies & Gents!

“Well, must be ageing! Not that it’s bad. Just surprising. Like the first white hair, the first wrinkle, those first things that happen to you… out of the blue. Anyway, some days ago, while indulging in my usual bookstalls raid, I saw those piles of women magazines. Picked one, browsed and dumped it. Picked one, browsed, dumped. Did that many times. I was looking for a French woman magazine that was different from the ones I’m used to. No name in particular, just one that would be different. Just knew it wouldn’t be French Elle, nor US Elle (both are my fave). No Cosmo (aargh!), no Vogue. Last time I did that, I pulled off the piles a Vanity Fair (interesting reads, sometimes), a In Style (no reads, just fashion pics). Both I appreciated but which we don’t have in constant offer over here.

This time, I was searching for a while when I realized which magazine I was precisely longing for. I was craving for that old format French Glamour. No! not the current format that resembles French Cosmo a lot, minus this constant obsession over sex-related topics. The early 90s French Glamour was about edgy topics: arts, artists, rappers, actors, photographers, super-models…errr.. no Campbell, Crawford, Turlington were not artists but fascinating enough beauties. Was about extravagganza: Baron Munchausen, then Vivienne Westwood (she may have stayed the same, I had discovered her then and there). It was cool photography: black and white, brightened turquoise waters and purple flowers, fuschia veils, yellow jumpers, lime green shorts… Then, “l’agenda”, the interviews, sketches by Delhomme (?). It was like a younger, trendier Vogue. They may have same fashion shoots but topics were different (Would Vogue talk about vintage dildos ?). Ooh! And then there was this heartthrob male model, Albert Délègue. Late Délègue was almost in every women magazine. Shooting series starring him- once with Estelle, this French celeb (then model)- used to be successes. Albert Délègue, so 90s! (to see pics of him, click on Planche n°1, then Planche n°2. The last pics set is Planche n°3). I was browsing the shelves, remembering this Glamour Magazine. Of course, I didn’t find any copy of it…

Yesterday, while randomly browsing TV channels, I came across a “Hollywood stories” program. Not a favourite program of mine, except for, once in a while, the story of one or another favourite celeb of mine. Name Sharon Stone, Halle Berry, Uma Thurman, Matthew Mc Connaughey, Clooney, Ralph Fiennes…This time, it was on Beverly Hills 90210, the series. I remember that during many years in the 90s, I used to follow it religiously, up to addiction point. Now, this program! They talked about casting, production, shootings, story, race quota (BH 90210, at its debut, used to be a all-white program, not exactly loyal to RL California high schools), youth issues…

Things they said in there, I’m pretty sure to have heard/read about them then. At a time, one striking aspect they talked about was about actors’ age. They were 20+ actors pretending to be high school students. Then, suddenly, I remembered that, when BH 90210 was all the rage, my posse and I- we all loved this series- were in that same age range too. The first year it was aired, I was well past high school. We were freshmen in a B-school. Still remember those 5pm rushes in the metro station, to catch the earliest wagon, to be home at 5.30. Then, entering my apartment, grabbing the remote control to turn the TV on. Then only, getting rid of those layers whilst catching glimpses. Commercials breaks ? They were designed to allow me to go to the loo. Lol Else, I’d wait for the next one for that specific purpose. Everything was done in warp speed not to miss any minute of the show. A real trip down memory lane, this program was.

There was “Some days ago”, there was “Yesterday”. Of course, there must be “Today”.

This morning, I was standing next the CD box (hear! I am talking about CDs, not mp3 files) when I decided to have a closer look. Opened it. Retrieved old CDs we used to listen to. Malagasy singers and hip 90s bands (had their heydays then). Most I didn’t want to listen to but these guys… they rock! R.E.M rocks.

The moment I started listening to # 1song in “Automatic for the people” till moment I finished with last song in the “Losing my religion” album, Out of Time… it was about singing along the arias, whistling, dancing (“Shiny Happy People”, my 3-yo nephew likes dancing on this song). It was about reminiscing as well. Some bad days, other happy days. My past was unearthed, a past my parents didn’t know every detail of. RE.M songs make you think. Stipe’s almost plaintive voice has this ability to lead you somewhere you have to reflect, to cry, to dream (check that link! I’m not a reference as for Michael Stipe trivia & bio).

Btw, weren’t one or two REM songs aired in BH 90210 ?

Who needed boyfriends when friends, studies, museums, Beverly Hills 90210, R.E.M, French edition of Glamour… used to be the landmarks of one’s young adulthood ? Not me!”

So fresh!

Posted in Daily musings, Remember those first times ? with tags , , , on May 30, 2008 by coolienne

Brought a smile on my face!

A new thing a day

That it would excite me: I doubted

That it would be interesting: I expected

That it would make me happy: It surprised me

That it would be weird: presumed …

First time ever I sat the other side of the table… to interview applicants and have a chance to listen to their pitches. Funny. Obscure. Hilarating. Boring. Enthusiast. Nervous. Serene. Verbose. Almost mute…. Varied

Am feeling so fresh!

That “A new thing a day” could bring smile on my face has been a long forgotten truth. Worth being unearthed.

Like those days I managed to come up with some necklace designs (on the picture is my version of a GI plaque ~ with mother of pearl and silver);

Coolienne version of the GI plaque

Like that other day I managed to isolate this poppy flower and focus, focus, focus and shoot… just before that strong wind blew again;

Oh! that day Mister Ex. called me “Mon amour“. Precious. Rare;

Or … those many many days … (Can you tell me about those days a small experience brought smile on your face ? Let’s just hope they are many a day and experience !)

Stay cool, Stay fresh!

PS: and yes! I did play nice. Just a few questions. Big laughters (applicants can be funny, sometimes)

Now I remember…

Posted in Daily musings with tags , , , , , , , , , on May 18, 2008 by coolienne

Tana Traffic

On Thursday, whilst heading home for noon lunch, I had a car accident. Nothing serious, a mad Buxi driver bumped into the rear of our pick-up. We were 5 in our cars, including my 3 yo nephew. No injured, no bloodshed.

The circumstances that led to the accident made us all angry. Mind you, it was past noon. We were hungry, hurrying up to be home and here was Mr. Stupido-on-testosterone bumping into our vehicle. The Buxi driver was disputing his place with another Buxi, it was reported to me. And that made him slam on the accelerator whilst we were already on stop. Bam! Big noise and a telluric shock!

It made us all angry. All except our little one. He was shouting with excitement and joy. He could be heard all over the place, outside the car. He was literally roaring, yelling, lauging when I asked him to calm down. Quite awkawardly, I told him to calm down because people were, I said, watching him. Contrary to the expected result, he made more noise, asked where the folks were. lol… For some time, having him calming down was a business for my sis and I (his super aunties).

After some time, when our driver managed to fill this declaration file (for insurance cy), we had some relief (his Grand-dad bought him fruit juice, we were tranquil for some time). While waiting in the car, my sis and I suddenly remembered how us, as kids, used to welcome such occurings… Car accidents, other people squabblings, all of that used to be watched with… excitement!

No! A silent breakdown won’t do! We needed noise, shocks, buoyant persons, hootings…

Aaah! Now I remember..