Iktami Devaux writes amazing stuff

When I met my friend Iktami Devaux for the first time in El Bolsón, Argentina, I immediately fell in love with him (no, I am not gay, and he was already a beardy old man in his mid fifties). With his openness, witty outlook, spirituality (yet firmly grounded in reason) and liveliness he was talking directly to my inner self. With his body slowly degrading, like a failing machine grinding to a halt, he saw his sickness (a rare form of arthritis) as his master, pushing him to take his plans with life to another level. And plans he has. To keep his sanity he has to keep writing down his thoughts, in the form of reflections, as well as full blown books.

After having read the first collection of his short stories -“Through the wilderness of love”- I also became a fan of his work. His writings were so much in line with the path I had set out for myself, being in a relationship with my fellow beings and nature, I could not get around it. But in the six years thereafter, I was distracted by my own life and work, and we found ourselves sharing thoughts only once a year sometimes.

Until he translated “El arte de no hacer nada” into “The art of doing nothing”, which I had the pleasure of reading in 2011. It immediately sparked the fire that lay dormant within me, and I asked for more. I also decided I would make him a website to sell his books. Until then he had only been selling them at the fair of El Bolsón.

Well, that work is now finally done, and I am proud to present to you his website, which is fully bilingual:

iktami.com

Because I truly believe his writings should reach as wide an audience as possible, I asked him if I could distribute “The art of doing nothing” as a PDF for free. And so he agreed! I quickly converted his rich text document to a pdf, so here’s the link to it on dropbox:

The art of doing nothing – free PDF version.

Please read it and tell him what you think (you can comment on his website). He loves to communicate and communicates love 🙂
(And if you really like it, you can make a donation on this website.)

Barcelona policía es corrupta

Maybe not all, but certainly a lot of them.  This is my story of arriving in Barcelona on our recumbents.

After driving down the Gran Via towards the Plaza Catalunya, I had to wait for a red traffic light. I was checking Google maps on my iPhone and turned the screen off when the light turned green. I rode on my recumbent, behind another car, through the green light. That’s when I got stopped by a police officer. He wanted to give me fine for using a mobile phone while riding my bike. Which I obviously didn’t, so I got frustrated. I asked the man to produce this law that stated I couldn’t ride my bike with my phone in my hand. He kept stating this was the law and that I had to find out myself. If I wouldn’t pay the fine of 50,- they would take my bike. I decided not to fight this castle and asked where I could find a money machine. In the mean time a fellow officer arrived from across the street, noting me being upset, and telling me he saw me going through a red light and calling on the phone while riding! Two lies! Right there, next to his colleague, he pressed two extra charges based on lies. I got really frustrated about that and ranted to him about him lying two times in one sentence and that he must be corrupt. I also wrote down his badge number and asked for a police station to get proper help. I was then pressed again to get the money, or they would take my bike (I was later told by the top police people that any police officer can do as he pleases and that it is wise for me to stay low. Only afterwards can you complain about decisions made and hope to get rectification.)
So I went and got exactly 50,- out of the machine, since Corine and I have a split pot for everything, and I didn’t need more. But when I came back to hand over the money they said I also got an extra fine for going throught the red light! Another 50,- was charged, so I had to go back to the cash machine! I asked them if it would end at 100,- when I would return, because I did not trust them at all. But while walking to the cash machine I decided to walk to that police station to get help instead. I was later called by Corine that she had arrived at the scene (she had to get the keys for our appartement while I was in this situation), and that a tow truck had arrived and was uploading my bicycle. In the meantime I did my story at the police station, and was told that there was nothing they could do (ofcourse), even though the procedure was all wrong (which was all admitted to by the top police men):

  • It was wrong to charge me 50,- initially, and later add charges;
  • They also took all my luggage on the bicycle, which they were not allowed to do;
  • My passport was not given back, even though I am not allowed to walk the streets without it.

Then the two-faced chief officer that was in charge of the brigade that confiscated my bike came in to bring back my luggage and passport. They were all sorry about the failures, but didn’t help either. I was told to pay 164,- at their storage facility to get my bicycle back. Pfff….

My logical deduction of all this:

If a colleague is handing out a ticket, and a fellow officer is trying to help him (or f*ck with me some more), by bringing in false charges, and all this is done under the assumption that the ticket writing officer is actually agreeing with that (and thus also corrupt), then I assume it is in the nature of these police officers to bring in false charges more often, and that this is done in all of their team. They might of course be just “the two” corrupt ones, but I doubt that.
Also, the two-faced chief in charge of these cops, must also be aware of all this (Corine was contacted on the street by a guy who said this happened to him recently, having to pay for fake charges, and showed her the fine). Not only this chief officer had such false eyes, but also the guy he was with (and the lying officer too, doh!). I immediately felt as if this had been going on for a while, but nobody is there to put a stop to it. Corine wants to write an article and take it to the papers here. It probable wont move any of these rocks a bit, but hey, we’re in it for justice’ sake.

Hell, lets put in an extra link to all this translated to Spanish, just for Google’s sake: this page translated in Spanish

Me so nerdy…

Obeying my right hand connected hemisphere, which is my left one, actually…I have to tell you about this goody:

My Archos 605 Wifi 80 GB PiMP. See this product page for all its possibilities.

It is just so sweeet! Plugin architectures rule! Too bad it is proprietary tho, so no free open source plugins 🙁 I had to buy 2 plugins so far: Opera for viewing the web, and one that let’sme play apple-codec encoded moviez (nice for watching your favorite vodcasts). What’s also too bad is that they make you pay for all the old options: TV out needs a docking station or travel thingy; No standard USB charging (you need a special charger cable); bla bla etc…

I have it with me here in NZ and it serves me so well! Not only did I bring a lot of movies, documentaries, ebooks and audiobooks (which I still prefer to hear on my iPod) on it, but also heaps of my digitalized comics. I did, however, have to write me up some scripts to convert them from CBR to HTML, but it was so worth it! I find it hard to switch to a normal book most of the times, but hey…why would I?

Btw, if anybody is interested in my scripts, I’d be happy to share them.

I’ve decided

..that for this journey, I will be the techie, and Corine the journalist. She does it so well 🙂
I am the one doing all the hard work on the background tho, saving and processing our life’s data :p
So I won’t be translating any of her posts (just yet). But to accomodate the ones that don’t read Dutch, I have a link that show’s her blog in English. Don’t bother me for any spelling mistakes, for the translation is done by Google.

So here’s Corine’s blog in English. It might take a while to get translated, so plz have patience…

Did you notice that I have uploaded more picz?

FYI

I just fooked up and spent 5 hours on this techie sjite gps bullsh*t…drama!
Here it is tho: Google Earth Route
(Too big too be shown in Google Maps, sry…)
Oh yeah, did you see that I topped my record…did 91.587 km p/h. WOOHOO!!

Update: I wasn’t looking right. Forgot to filter out the car rides. So I only did 82 km p/h 😐

I also put up some picz again. Checkum out here, or see them on Google maps here.

Btw Vinnie, nice to hear from you dude! Lets get together when I get back!

Reach out!

Okay okay, my bad! Tech junkie that I am was absorbed in the laying out of our Google route. That’s done now, so go ahead and check the link in the previous post if you haven’t done so.

Before I get on with my travel storiez, let me give you our NZ phone numbers:

Maurice: +64 211 689 620
Corine: +64 211 691 398

You can use teledump(.nl) as a carrier service and call us for 0,25 euro cents. First call 0900 1518, and then enter our phone number (without the ‘+’) when the voice asks for it.

Allrighty then, lets get on with it! But first let me tell yo that Corine has decided to put up a Dutch blog at corinecorine.waarbenjij.nu. I will lean on her and translate what she’s been saying in the next post. With my own extras ofcourse 😉

But I am hungry now and must go looking for lunch somewhere. What a pain :p

Resurface

Haaaaaaai thir! Finally found a place with true broadband internet….pfff. And it even lets me do all the things I want 🙂 I got kicked out of the last joint, for complaining about my $2 being spent on rebooting and wiping the comp. Anyway, I got many picz uploading right now, so feel free to check them out here. Also, check out our route so far in Google Maps here (or click here to view in Google Earth). I’ve been going as fast as 69.304 km p/h according to my geologger 🙂 That was one scary downhill I remember.

In the mean time, let me tell you what we went thru in a nutshell.

First of all, some NZ Airways guy or girl forgot to take Corine’s bike bag off the plane. Stuff like that happens all the time to us, so no biggie there. We just cycled thru Auckland a bit to get some gear and fix up our bikes. The flight from Shanghai to NZ was just too rough on the bike(boxes). The baggage ppl throwing them in the plane secretly tried to fix up Co’s rear light, without noticing that parts were missing :p. I did, however :]

Aaargh! been in the shop for 3 hours, and they’re kicking me out 🙁

But what about these rules?

It turns out that helmets are mandatory for cycling in New Zealand. Getting fined will cost you $55,-. Not much for coolness, if you think about it. I could not find out how many fines a day the police are allowed to hand out, however. So we decided to get helmets. But we won’t follow those unwritten rules about wearing stupid ugly cycling helmets, no way!

looking fine Corinelooking hot Maurice

What about these?

If our kitten could come along she’d surely love to have one too.

Under construction?

Btw, did I mention that I am working on this freshly installed/manipulated/upgraded/enhanced WordPress blog of mine? I am in love with her, and that means touching and feeling the lot of it. Don’t bug me about it, I just have to do this. She not only gives me butterflies, but also these delicious plugins that I have to devour. Wow, I can do so much now that I know her. It’s an empowering feeling. I take her as she is, but I have the feeling she will grow on me.

Yes Corine, you are fantastically wonderful too 🙂 But now I have to test drive this plugin that will geo tag my posts when we travel :p

Lets take her for a spin, honey.

Yes! Me and Corine are going to travel New Zealand per bicycle. We found out that we both liked the idea to do a cycling holiday somewhere on the planet, yoohoo! And not just on ordinary bicycles. No, we will be getting our own recumbents. And I have found just the perfect specimen with the comfiest saddle around! Try this link if your interested. Just what I need to get me going through those thousands of miles. It seems that NZ is a good place to learn to ride it too. Being kinda flat ‘n all. I was already at the store yesterday, so I know what I want. But Corine still has to find a model that suits her as well, so we will be test driving some models this weekend. But after all the investigating I have done, I think she will turn to the Nazca as well 🙂