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dimanche 1 janvier 2012


What a lovely way to end the year 2011

It is a cold but not an unbearable day, I do miss the blue skies of the cold days of the Plains, but any day I prefer the hot and humid ambience with clouds rushing past the tropical blue skies of La Habana or Miami! But enjoy the best of what you have and where you have it. Today 31 Dec 2011 I am in Quiberon, a peninsular jutting into the bay, off the coast of the rugged coast of Brittany.
It is quiet and not the bruit of Baracoa where I continually spent New Years Eve until 2005.for a while at least.
An afternoon session of bien etre was organized. At the Thalassa in Quiberon. This is one of the oldest in France, built almost 50 years ago. It was opened in 1964 by Louison Bobet, who was a three times winner of Tour de France. He was son a local baker.

You enter and you know that is upscale. Everything is quiet and dispensed efficiently. You change into your swimming trunks and wrap yourself in their dressing gowns and go towards the thalasso area.
It is very well appointed with a part of it opening into the outside where the view of the sea and the beach is stunning indeed. The seawater is heated to an agreeable temperature and there are many stations where most of the body parts are massaged: head, neck, and back, front, legs and shoulders. The force is considerable and you change the stations every 10 minutes or so. The total session is about 40 minutes and then you can spend time at the onsen style outdoor Jacuzzi or the indoor strong water fall which is slightly more warmer and there is a well of cold water into which you can jump into if you are so inclined. A Hamam is also nearby.

The showers, toilettes and other amenities are spotlessly clean and well-dressed attendants mill about.
I was ushered into a waiting room where just a few others were waiting and was sipping on some herbal tea when my individual session of Hydrojet was announced.
A clean room with a marble bed elevated but it is not marble. It is a waterbed and you lie down face down first and then with face up, for about ten minutes each and then feel the power of water jets slowly working their way along your body contour. This was indeed relaxing, and I began to feel relaxed during this session.
There were many rooms, many different types of treatments going on, so entering a hallway and some maze like walkway I arrived at another station where Douche Sous Affusion awaited. Warm seawater touched the skin at various points with more than just tender caress, and it was repeated on both sides.
I wanted to sit down and relax for a few minutes by the poolside before the next session of Bain Hydromassant, which is like a Jacuzzi only it, gives you massage as well.  At the end of the session I was truly relaxed and I must say that the scientific massage system and the effect of seawater made me forget and I entered into a state of silent bliss.

As I got ready to leave, I was able to use the scales and to my surprise I noticed that I weighed one kg less. Excretion and osmosis, I wonder.

Anthropological Observations:
There is nothing “French” about this place apart from the sullen and non-verbal attendants and the savage yet beautiful coastline that one can see from the Thalasso. This could have been anywhere. But the effect they promised, relaxation and feeling good and weight loss were true.
It reminded me of the gangs of backpackers who travel to South East Asia wanting to immerse themselves in the local culture but only getting know certain well planned itineraries. So it is with the very rich, perhaps they choose that path of sequestration from society and culture, whereas sequestration is forced upon the back packer because of budgetary limitations.
It was truly geared for the wealthy and most of the people there were older and most of them alone, so it was a bit sad to see that on a festive day but I suppose to each his own.

By chance or choice I have been traveling since I was two and half years old and I have defined my own type of travel. I have never backpacked or stayed in tents. (I don't hate it, but it did not happen). I like to do in depth travel so that I visit a country over and over again during the course of years, getting to know the Politics, history and eating habits of the people. One thing I have noticed, I very seldom run into other tourists or visitors when I travel. Right now in Quiberon there may be other tourists or visitors I have no chance of even knowing whether they exist let alone meet them.
In Paris, occasionally a tourist stumbling around and when I offer to help, they spurn you as if you are after something, this has happened more than once to me, so that I generally stay away from the bumbling Burberry clad, white shoe battalion which invades Paris around April.

The skies were already dark with threatening clouds. The bay of Quiberon was lit up with the lights of the building along it.  Now it is the time to prepare for the dinner.
I must say I mentally compared the raucous preparations at this very moment, with pigs being speared and slowly roasted over spits in Baracoa and the gentle, soft preparations going on here in Quiberon. A pervasive smell of bread, chocolates and seafood hung to the air.
The dinner was not much more elaborate than the usual five course dinners the French middle class have. But the table is set festively. Candles and the obligatory bottle of champagne. Since I started visiting France five years ago, I have picked up some good French habits, one of which is Champagne.
Fresh bread spreads with aubergine and basil, oysters to begin, more seafood and by the fourth course I was already full but who cannot eat the cake from the second best chocolatier in France? So I ate only a small amount of Salmon and Leeks and a full complement of coquille san Jacques and a nice bite of the cake
A nice tea menthe and it was almost midnight.

Welcome to 2012. Happy Healthy Year to celebrate Chinese Vietnamese Buddhist Cambodian Burmese Kickapoo Nowruz Jewish New years.

What good thought to begin the New Gregorian Year 2012 with?  (We are in the midst of year 5727 in the Jewish calendar)

Rolling Thunder was an American Indian whose book I enjoyed and guided me in my early days of work with the American Indians.

“. Because if you believe in something, and believe in it long enough, it will come into being."
-- Rolling Thunder, CHEROKEE. It is explained thus:
We are created by the Great Mystery to accomplish through our mental pictures or visions. Our thoughts are three-dimensional: words, pictures and feelings. We create the vision by thinking the words and we create feeling for the vision by feeling enthusiasm, desire, commitment and other strong beliefs. Once we create the vision, we move toward and become like that which we think about. All visions are tested by our self-talk; for example, "This isn't going to happen, where is the money coming from anyway?" When this happens, we need to let go of the test and focus on belief in the vision.
As Raja Yoga philosophy would tell us, when negative thought enter, think exactly the opposite.

So I am determined that this year should be one full of Love and Affection for all those people I love in various parts of the world.
And I will fight hard against any negative thoughts that might come my way.