Way to Phnom Penh // Droga do Phnom Penh

No useless babbling here… What I meet on the way is dust, towns, villages … and lots of friendly people, encouraging me to cycle harder with their smiles. The capital city itself greets me with a big fire, traffic chaos (it seems the city sprang out so fast that there was no time to built traffic lights!) and with my friends from Battambang who host me here, too.

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Tutaj bez zbędnych opisów… Po drodze – kurz, miasta, miasteczka … i mnóstwo przyjaznych ludzi, uśmiechem zachęcających do wzmożonego wysiłku. A sama stolica wita mnie pożarem, chaosem komunikacyjnym (miasto nagle tak się rozrosło, że nie starczyło czasu na wybudowanie sygnalizacji świetlnej!) i … znajomymi z Battambang, którzy i w Phnom Penh mnie goszczą.

Kampot

I tag along a group of artists, who organize workshops for kids…

Inside tulou

One of Fujian’s highlights are the tulous – the impressive earth and wood clan buildings dating centuries ago. Here are some photos of that wonder… And right after that – a video bringing you the very unknown art of cork painting/carving practised in the capital city of Fujian – Fuzhou.

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Jedną z większych atrakcji prowincji Fujian stanowią tulou – ogromne budynki o konstrukcji ziemno-drewnianej, pobudowane przed stuleciami. Poniżej zamieszczam zdjęcia tych cudów architektury… A zaraz potem – filmik o niezbyt znanej sztuce rzeźbienia w korku, praktykowanej w stolicy prowincji – Fuzhou.

Thomas Moore

While traveling around Cameguin Island I bumped into Thomas, who introduced himself to me as the Leonardo da Vinci of the 21st century. And he definitely has some stories to tell. He was kind enough to share them on video and now all of you can listen to what he has to say. Check the videos below.

Zwiedzając Cameguin, trafiłem na Thomasa, który przedstawił mi się jako Leonardo da Vinci 21 wieku. Zapraszam do obejrzenia wywiadu, który z nim przeprowadziłem. Part 1: Part 2: Part 3: Part 4: Part 5: Part 6: Part 7:

As promised – a micro report from Shanghai Biennial. Short and to the point – check the photos to know more.

But before we kick it off with the Biennial – a short note about a nice vernissage I was lucky to experience. On November the 30th a grand opening (and closing – don’t ask me why, it’s the Museum’s bosses who made the decision) of Ailadi Cortelletti’s drawings took place. In case if you are wondering who Ailadi is – she is a very talented young Italian illustrator. The exhibition was a success, initial doubts that this could become a kind of “foreigners for foreigners” thing dissolved after the place was raided by crowds (200 people) of Chinese guys and gals – which proves that Shanghai’s youth are interested in cultural life (and that the propaganda strategy chosen by museum and by the curator – Paulina Salas Ruiz of Kankan media – http://kankanmedia.org ).

Ailadi showed her project consisting…

This is something you cannot miss if you are in the least bit interested in a(A)rt. The newly created Power Station of Art (that looks a little bit like oversized Tate Modern) has brought artists from all around the world, letting them use its huge spaces. What is the outcome? For me personally – painful legs after marching the whole day. But one day is definitely not enough to see it all. By the way: you should book your tickets online – that’s the theory but in real life you just give your best white face smile and enter with no fuss.

And what you get to see inside is a bit of gigantomania (Huang Yongping, “Thousand Hands Kuanyin”; a little too direct a reference to Duchamp), lots of installations marked with “Don’t touch” warning (those that have no such tag can be touched when the security guards are not looking; if you ask them whether…

A bus to the outskirts of Delhi, then a minibus with two European sadhu-clowns inside, with their forehead painted and Quechua sleeping backs in their hands… A short quarrel at the entrance to the airport building (I didn’t care to print out the ticket reservation, and it seems to be a problem here; furthermore, my final destination is London… – “On what grounds are you allowed into UK? Do you have the right visa?” – “European Union state citizens don’t need visas to enter UK, and Poland is a member state of EU” – “Please wait, we will check on that…”) and I’m on my way home.

I run through those thousands of kilometres again in my mind… Eight and a half months on the road, so many places, so many people met, so many experiences, so many images I can see before my eyes… There I climbed a glacier wearing sandals, there I bathed in a…

 

Before I get on the train to Agra, on the platform I meet lots of friendly people whom I educate a little about Poland and Europe, and who in exchange teach me something about India and (finally! I’m so ashamed…) some words in hindi.

On the train I meet a delightfully nice family who invite me to their place; unfortunately I have to refuse – I hate booking tickets in advance! The youngest fellow, Krishna, wants to join me in my trip back to Poland, where he is planning to eat chocolate all the time. I promise to meet the guys during the wedding of one of twenty year old brothers – he doesn’t know yet whom he would marry, but the date is already fixed…

I arrive in Agra in the middle of the night and begin my walk towards the most obligatory Indian tourist attraction, Taj Mahal that is. Taxi drivers can’t stop to…

My piece of junk reaches Margao only 4 hours late (on the way the coach staff try to get some extra money from me – luggage handling fee and … handling fee). From hear I head for Palolem beach, recommended by Jankiel, who is already there, waiting. Before I get on the right local bus, I go to the railway station in order to book a ticket to Agra. I’m only 131st on the waiting list. OK, there goes the berth…

And the Palolem beach itself… Well, if you looking for solitude, peace and quiet then you might be disappointed… But on the other hand, the parties that go on here are relatively quiet and not so frequent. And the beach, built up with colourful coco-houses (I lodge in one of them – 200 rupees for a room with a bathroom, just a little dirty) has its special charm…

Jankiel tries to convince me to be the only…

The train from Chennai to Mumbai (25 hours) is cramped but I’m lucky to have my berth for myself. Inside and outside mountains of rubbish are growing – the Hindus never use dustbins. The floor inside the train becomes filled with colours and nobody of the train staff ever cares to clean this mess up. This is sometimes done by “private enterprises” – unbelievably dirty boys who, on their knees, wipe the floor with a dirty rug and then stretch out their palm, waiting for some coins… There are so many beggars crossing the train, they get on at every station and walk all coaches in an endless procession. The old lady has hardly finished moaning about her misery when the singing blind boy walks in; the skinny bearded grandpa is still waving his palmless arm in my face when the legless guy limps holding onto his cane… And others are queuing – gypsies hitting the drums, a…

I take the advice of Kris and skip sightseeing Chennai (formerly known as Madras) and I get on the bus or even two that carry me to Mahabalipuram (Mamallapuram) – the kind drivers explain to me where to get off. I only notice the noisiness, chaos and crowdedness of Chennai, as well as a corpse in a plastic bag carried by two skinny guys, I can also smell the presence of the river – before I can even see it in her pitch-black elegance, my nostrils get struck with a vile stench…

The buses somehow manage not to fall to pieces before completing the 60 km in just above 2 hours. I am relieved to get out of the hot, sweaty interior and start an intense sightseeing in Mamllapuram – there is an immensity of temples, one more impressive than the other, with all the amazing sculptures… The most famous one is the Shore Temple, picturesquely thrown right…