By João Lopes Marques (Eesti keel)
Madrid is just too hot. Almost 40 degrees outside. My mind behaves as a weird kaleidoscope. I miss water and some drops of humidity. I feel über-lazy. Either Pärnu or the Portuguese coast are now just two impossible mirages. That is why I suggest readers not to be ecological this time. Print this text — a bit longer than usual — and take it to the seaside. In order to maximize it, read one bullet per day:
I land in Yerevan in a beautiful morning. The blue sky is stainless and the two Ararats are completely, perfectly visible. They lay on the other side of the border — in Turkey — and some Armenian friends underline me they can't even touch their holy mountains. The border is closed. It is a painful paradox, no doubt. However, I try to shorten this 60 kilometers with my eyes. I zoom in and focus on the snow-cap, on this beautiful white spot on the Summit of taller Ararat. All my biblical knowledge (mediocre) pops up as my imagination unfolds.
No, I don't believe a ark full of animals could have ever reached such an altitude. I share it with my host. Anahit agrees: "We Armenians are the oldest nation in the world because we came in a spaceship." Interesting, I also like to speak about UFOs. I even try to point out the paranormal phenomena in the Bermuda Triangle, but she will be faster. She asks me where I come from. I reply "Tallinn". She laughs. "What is wrong with Tallinn?", I insist. She becomes mysterious for 24 hours. I feel insecure. Why do people in Yerevan joke every time I mention Tallinn?
"But why?", Alice asks me again. Took us another day to make it clear: in Anahit's guesthouse they thought I was a charlatan. They thought was coming from Talin, small town that lays some 75 kilometers Northwest of the capital Yerevan. The pronounciation is exactly the same: /tá-lí-ine/. Yes, some homework could have spared me from such a big mess. Next time I fly to the Caucasus I will check out if there isn't any Baku near the Peipsi Lake or a Tbilisi village in Saarema.
Sasha Baron Cohen is a master. In other words: he is becoming the über-master. Ali G and Borat were just too soft. Funny humorist versions for kids if compared to Brüno. This is serious: besides de-constructing the star-system and the ridiculous I-am-famous-because-I-am-famous thing, it's an anthem to gay libertarians. Baron Cohen is doing the biggest favour ever to all homosexuals around the world (those who have already watched the movie know how ridiculous are the homophobic clichés he portrays there).
Plus, after Brüno human dicks will become something as common as a vagina in Hollywood. Finally. In fact, the masculine pelvic area has been the latest taboo of post-modernity (even when properly shaved). In a very biblical way, Brüno, the ex-Borat, doesn't let stone after stone. Thus, be ready for the Dick Revolution, an updated version of sexual egalitarianism is on the way.
I can't wait to see the new decoration in Tallinn's Angel bar.
Carla Bruni must be proud. Extremely proud of his devoted husband. I bet she will compose a smooth song in English to her favourite Président de la Republique: last week, Monseiur Sarkozy not only visited her hometown (Torino), but he also forbade the burqa in all France. Carla and other women must give hands and sing kumbaya altogether. This is the triumph of civilization. No, I am not being too Eurocentric. In the last few days I have been comprehensively researching on the subject. I felt I needed to have a personal (if temporary) opinion on it.
After reading a dozen of moderate Muslims opinion-makers and intelectuals (mostly women) I concluded two things: a) the burqa is a recent political invention of the Islamic leaders and it was nearly nonexistent till 25 years ago; b) wherever it occurs, the human interaction is based on transparency: in order to open up our hearts and souls we need to know who is the other. Every voice deserves a face.
Finnish wives (Thursday)
Shit happens. Or as Mrs. and Mr. Sarkozy would say: "Helàs! Merde!" While googling I realize Estonia has been shaken by a major drama. Trauma: for the first time in one decade, they were defeated by Finland in the world wife carrying championship.
Congratulations to Toni Kähkönen and Suvi Korhonen, who finished up as this year's winners. Yet Estonians can argue some morality has to be restored for the sake of such an important international contest. How is it possible the organizers allow men to pair up with women other than their wives? Did the world wife carrying championship become and adulterous challenge?
Back in my Spanish exile. How weird things can seem when we are stuck in the desert: every time I turn on the TV, I am informed another guy was killed or severely injured buy a bull. A perfurated throat. A smashed testicle. A disrupted artery. This is the week of the Sanfermines, the most popular bull festival in the world. Besides writing inspired paragraphs on Estonia and the Estonians, Mr. Hemingway also enjoyed very much to pass by Pamplona.
But just the bulls, please: last week I commited my biggest mistake in months. We were in a birthday party out of Madrid (Pozuelo) when I decided to pick up the subject. "But Isabel, don't you think all these festivities are just too cruel?" She started screaming at me. Never question a good dogma. I was astonished, especially because the next day another boy was killed in the Sanfermines. The moment I am writing these lines, another four are entering the emergency room. Why? The Miuras are the wildest breed. Elegant. Robust. Spain is in shock with such a human sacrifice. It self-justifies bullfight, it is the evidence beasts are given an opportunity for revenge (in Portugal is not any better).
Nevertheless, I am not convinced. I tend to prefer Roman gladiators and Greek athletes. Maybe because I am a post-modern über-classicist. The old man at the cerveceria notices the confusion in my fragile brain. The torero prepares his sword, in the center of the bullring he staring at the animal. The bulls starts running. I close my eyes and my beer neighbour tries to rescue me from this mental swamp: "You are right! If a guy makes me horns in the street, either I can pretend I didn't see or a kill him. But I would never torture him!"
"To kill him?", I say mentally. Hmm... I guess the latter comment was also a bit (slightly) extreme... Another beer, please!