Art Lessons From the Land of a Thousand Hills

What’s bizarre, peculiar and fantastic about East African art, is the way traditional motifs are intertwined with absolutely modernist approach, folkloric patterns are sewn into the fabric of surrealism and imagination of the artists, and many installation are created with the recycled materials. All this is even more surprising if you consider that almost none of the members of the art community ever attended a formal art school – simply because those are non-existent in Kigali.

1 Place to Visit Before You Die (or Reach Nirvana)

You will find one bazillion articles telling you about ‘X places to visit before you die’. I’ll tell you a secret: places do not matter. Obviously, one place can cause completely opposite feelings on your first, second and hundredth visit. I hated Manila for the first 10 visits. Still hating it. Berlin made me ‘meh’…

The Overlords of Istanbul

I have noticed long ago (thanks, WordPress Stats) that a disturbing amount of people gets referred to my blog by search engines (presumably Google). Well this would not be a disturbing thing if the keywords they were searching for weren’t ’Somali girls fucking’, ‘Burmese girl big ass’ or ‘where to find sex in Nairobi’. I was…

Istiklal Avenue: the Digestive Tract of Istanbul

Cheesy guidebooks will call Istiklal Caddesi and Taksim ‘the heart of Istanbul’s nightlife’. I would rather compare it to a digestive tract. The more you come to Istanbul, the more thoroughly you get fermented and digested by Taksim’s juicy smells of roasted chestnuts and boiled mussels – the ultimate star-rated delicacy for alcohol-induced and unable…

Into the Borderlands: Between Baklava and ISIS

’Suruç, Suruç, I went to Suruç the other day’, I told the couple that happened to pick me up on the way from Göbekli Tepe to Urfa. Göbekli Tepe is the newly discovered archeological site and possibly the oldest temple on our planet, dating back to an ancient Neolithic civilization of 9,000-10,000 BC. Suruç, on the other hand,…

Wanna see my bouncy castle?

^^ This pickup phrase is almost as cool as my own (which I, in turn, borrowed from Zaphod Beeblebrox himself, along with his underwear). Except, I might actually never find my spaceship, while Thomas definitely can show you his bouncy castle. Meet Thomas who calls himself the Bouncy Castle Ambassador. ‘My mission is to bring…

Exploring Hipstanbul: Karaköy shenanigans

I cannot think of a better way to spend a summer night in Istanbul than to have a walk in the badly-lit creepy alleyways of Karaköy. Once part of the Galata district, a semi-autonomous Genoese colony within Constantinople, Karaköy used to be an important port, place where all cool Byzatine kids hung out and played….

Istanbul – Feriköy: the bazaar of bizarre things

Who doesn’t like buying junk? Golden junk, silver junk, paper junk, aluminum junk, steel junk, wooden junk and all other sorts of things you buy to personalize your living space and show off, elegantly and subtly. Antiquity stores, vintage flea markets, stockpiles of old stuff – whatever you call these places. They are awesome. Well…