The Fratellis – Whistle for the choir 

 

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It was from an unsophisticated thought that I ended up having the adventure of my life, while discovering my new way of traveling, or at least the best way of experiencing Australia.

 

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Camping has never been my thing, probably due to the level of overindulgence in which I was raised. Nonetheless I’ve always had adventure imprinted in my soul. Although I’ve loved road trips since I first started driving, I’ve always been attached to my home comfort. My previous few camping experience can either be described as drunken and forgettable; or sober, painful, and unforgettable. 

 

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After deciding to take some time off work and travel over an extended holiday weekend, my partner and I had the idea of hiring a campervan. Surprisingly or not, that’s a common business down under, as we found several companies which offered the same service. Sold by the website layout, we decided to go with Britz. The vehicle options are endless depending on the number of people you are traveling, desire for luxury, and budget. Whether you plan on hitting sealed roads or the outback, they have the right car for you. 

 

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We decided on the “Elite” Model which accommodates two people, which is fully equipped, and has a toilet with a shower, microwave, air conditioner, cd player. Our kitchen had everything your home kitchen has, at the same time the bed was comfortable enough to make you want to go to sleep. The vehicle had panoramic windows all around, which gave us cinematographic walls, changing according to our location. 

 

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Without having a destination in mind, we hit the road towards the sunset, aiming for the Great Ocean Road. Driving on one of the most beautiful roads in the world, without time or a place to be, was a delightful feeling. Sometimes we were tourists stopping at scenic lookouts, other times we were adventurers who would park the car in the middle of nowhere and hike towards the unknown. We would buy fresh seafood in the small fishing villages, and keep it in our refrigerator until we would accidentally find the perfect place to stop, and cook our meal at the flawless spot. Unintentionally, we found the perfect spot to sleep every night, always away from the city lights. As a result of that, we were blissed out with the incidental lighting every sunset and sunrise. 

 

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After driving through the entire great ocean road; after seeing the massive waves hitting the shore. After spotting koalas, kangaroos, emus, cows, precious birds, and sometimes a few human beings, we decided to drive inland heading up to the Grampians National Park.  Two days of hiking in the cleanest air, under the tropical rain in the rainforest, we decided to go back to the coast and interact with others like us.

 

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As we got close to Apollo Bay, our car suddenly broke down, leaving us along a road without mobile coverage. After panicking and running in circles for a while, we  were rescued by two danish surfers, and with the help of some amazingly well intentioned locals, we got in touch with the road assistance. For a minute we thought our adventure was over, however Britz sent us a tow truck which drove us to a motel in Geelong. The next morning we woke up ready to ride the train back home when the company tells us we have another vehicle on its way and we’ll have an extra day to compensate for what we’ve lost. Following the script of ‘The Adventures of Priscilla, the Queen of the Desert‘, we were back on our Great Ocean Road. 

 

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As we were close to Torquay, we decided to go check out the Rip Curl Surf Championship, the aussie edition of the WCT, which took place in Bells Beach. After surfing half a day at one of the best breaks we’ve surfed, we were ready to settle for the night. At the last moment, we had a couple of good friends joining us. After looking for a good place to spend the night, we ended up on top of a coal mine just off the Great Ocean Road. It was beautiful, mind-blowing and surreal when the sun went down and the absolutely full moon rose. We fell asleep as the night fell, waking up early in the morning on the next day for one of the best surf sessions ever. We surfed at the same spot some local surfers had recommended. It’s called 13th beach, located about 20 minutes east of Torquay. As the morning goes by, as the swell increases, we notice photographers and videographers coming to that remote beach. Soon enough we started seeing some surfers flying over those waves, they were some of the best surfers in the world, like Dane Reynolds, riding and sharing the same waves with us. 

 

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At the end of that memorable day we came home, wishing we could have stayed on the road for a bit longer. The campervan experience was not only approved, but strongly recommended to the ones that like an adventure but can’t let go of cleanliness and some level of comfort. For now we can only look at the pictures and happily remember the extraordinary experience, while planning our next adventure: New Zealand, on the road.

 

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make you clap to this

March 16, 2008

Check out Justice‘s new video-clip: D.V.N.O. 

 

After the incredible production of D.A.N.C.E. the french duo, from the record label Ed Banger, scores again with this simple, vintage and powerful video. Produced by Because. Directed by Machine Molle, So Me, and Yorgo Tloupas; with post-production by Machine Molle.  

Los hermanos – Garota de Ipanema  

 

After exporting bossa-nova, samba, soccer, caipirinha, beauty, and carnaval, Brazil sets a new trend that quickly spread around the world. I’m talking about the classic everyday rubbery flip-flops, found in an infinite variety of colours and styles. 

 

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The comfortable, stylish, and practical sandals, which often seem to have impossible pronunciation by foreign speakers, have a very interesting story. The original design was inspired by the japanese flip-flop sandals “Zori” , created in the sixties using rubber,  which increased its durability, comfort, while decreased the price. In 1970, the brazilian comedian Chico Anysio, was starred in a publicity campaign, nicknaming Havaianas as “The Genuine ones”, while distinguishing them from the cheap imitations produced after the sandals. 

 

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For three decades the flip-flops were only produced in two colours: black, and faded blue; both having the white colour on top. Back then you could purchase them at any supermarket for a couple bucks. They were a classic “must have” item  for everyone in the middle and lower classes. I remember we would reverse its soles, so It would look all black, or blue, as a tentative of turning it into a distinct product. Looking to prevail over a crisis caused by its sales and profit decline; in 1994, the company launches a single colour sandal: Havaianas Top. Using a good marketing campaign, the company successfully reaches the upper classes. Two years later, a new campaign rejuvenates the brand, while rates havaianas as an elegant and unique product.  

 

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At this point the sandals have reached a massive part of the brazilian market; however, the big event that puts the company’s name out there, was the french edition of the world cup, in 1998. In consequence of that, global top celebrities started being photographed wearing the product in their daily lives, as well runway fashion shows and catalogues. These days havaianas are exported to the most remote places in the world. It’s on everyone’s minds and feet. The sandals are commonly found in everyone’s wardrobe, independently of nationality, social class, or style. Havaianas is a good example of an ordinary product hyped into a must have fashion icon, having the same value around the globe. The pictures used for this post were taken on the streets of Melbourne, on a hot saturday afternoon.

 

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I wake up a little after six. 

I drink my coffee, while I photograph the sunrise from my window. 

I run to the gym. I work out. I run back home. 

Within thirty minutes I’ve showered. I’ve eaten breakfast. I’ve gotten dressed and ready for the day.

I check my email. 

I walk to work; music pleases my ears. 

I see traffic, I walk. I see squeezed people inside the trams, I keep walking. 

I get to work on time. I have a good time. 

In thirty minutes I eat lunch. 

I then, hurry to school. 

I listen and speak. I write and read. It’s almost six, I have to leave. 

I’m on the streets, I’m one in millions. 

We walk, we run, we line up, we have fun. 

Patiently, we wait. We all have a place to be. 

Together, we face traffic. Together, we become the traffic. 

We breath. We inhale polluted air. We exhale stress. We no longer care. 

We absorb information. We live in the city. We are the city. We are the chaos.

 

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It’s been eight years since I left my family’s house, and along these years my family has been the friends I’ve chosen along the way. My parents and sibling will never be replaced in my heart. They are in the place they’ve always been, waiting for me to go back, and share my tears and happiness; things I’ve noticed and learned around this world. My friends are everywhere I’ve been, and everywhere I go I leave a piece of me with them, but always bringing something from them with me. Sometimes you need to feel lonely to realize how important friends are in your life. 

 

Sometimes I see a group of friends having dinner together and I wish they were my friends, or that I could be with my loved ones at that same table, sharing laughs and joy. I remember when I first moved to California. The first friend I made took me to a really special place, It was a humble family-owned restaurant. There were only a few little tables, but there was this special one, in a separate room. That table was only used for groups of six or more. I remember every time I went there, I would stare at that table and wish that one day I would have enough friends in that city, so we could sit there, and share that magical feeling I always saw expressed on other people’s face. I slowly started making friends, one by one, and when I had finally made a handful of them, enough to sit at that special table, I took them there to have that always dreamt dinner. However, they were all there to say good bye.

 

I’ve seen that scene many times in life, and I’ve always wondered if all the adventure and knowledge is worth the pain of missing friends and family. Sometimes I wish I was less adventurous, being able to settle in one place. It’s so painful leaving friends behind. It feels like your heart is being broken in pieces, and distributed between those who stay. Every time I move somewhere new, It always takes me a while to be ready to meet new people. It’s a mixed feeling of wanting to have someone to hang out, but wanting that person to know you like a friend would. I often find really hard to cross the first stages of a friendship. I find It hard to let people know me, part of this is due to the fear of the unknown, but It is also an unconscious fear of becoming good friends, and soon having to say good bye. I guess this is the meaning of life, my life. Making friends, traveling, exploring, loving, missing, learning, teaching, and the most important, keeping the love received from your good friends in your heart, wherever you go.

 

The picture used for this post was taken my best-friend Mauricio Medeiros. It’s been over two years the world hasn’t put us in the same place at the same time. Mauricio is a living legend of the brazilian design living in London. He’s working towards his master’s degree. He’s one of those friends that keep me moving, and make me smile when I see something that makes me think of him. Always followed by the thought: “God, I wish you were here…”

 

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It starts on wednesday, 5 March, the 18th edition of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival. It will be eleven days of shorts, feature, documentaries, and panels, where hundreds of films will be played over 90 sessions. The festival, which is the largest queer film festival in Australia, and one of the oldest queer film festivals in the world, will be de approaching human rights, discussing immigration issues, HIV education, as well as current expansion in the legislation relating to queer rights in Australia. 

 

The festival will show a variety of films from all over the world, approaching homosexuality in several different ways. The opening night will be held at the Astor Theatre, in St Kilda. However, most of the films will be screened at the ACMI (Australian Centre for the Moving Image), located in the Federation Square, on Flinders Street, in Melbourne. No matter what your visions are, or what you would like to know more about the subject, I guarantee that you will find something to please your eyes and mind during the festival. The tickets are being sold on-line at the festival’s website, but hurry, because just like any other cultural event in Melbourne, tickets are selling quickly!

 

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2008 Program                                     2008 Planner                          

lo-res PDF, 7MB                                  hi-res PDF, 200k (A4)                  

  

(all the images used in this post are copyrighted, and belong to the Melbourne Queer Film Festival)