“Kazan, one of the oldest Russian cities, celebrated its millennium in 2005. The ancient walls of Kazan recall many dramatic events, including the historic siege by Ivan the Terrible in the 16th century.
Modern Kazan is the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan and is home to 1.2 million residents. This timeless city is also a city of youth, home to 30 of Russia’s largest universities and more than 180,000 students. This “culture of youth” provides Kazan with a modern and progressive vibrancy, an energy that only young people can instil.
It is also a highly diverse city with more than 100 nationalities. This diversity, coupled with a young population, has created a unique sense of tolerance, understanding and youthful optimism.”
Soooo great to meet the world here at the World Cup in Russia. All this nations on that photo in just the first two days. What a wonderful gathering of cultures, people and all that stories behind them.
Looking forward for all that stories laying in front of us.
I know the siblings Paul (21) and Johanna (19) since… …ppfff…. ….I guess they were THAT tall… …I know, that’s a long time… …and the grew up… …and they grew up well and their parents Heike and Mustafa did an excellent job!!!
Besides they support the right football team, drink the right beer… …I can only say (and I’m sure that the rest of my people will support me) they are great fellows with the heart at the right spot.
We have plenty of images of you sticking out tongue, melon seed spitting and cross-eyed looking at the camera… …that it’s time now to show what became out of the nice kids… …very nice adults that know where theirs roots are in this town here deep in the west.
A little homage to you, your parents and our hometown of Bochum.
If I would tell you that I was in a village with a school, a supermarket, a petrol station, a mosque, a church, a city hall and many houses you would probably say… …so what?
But if I would tell you that this village is floating on a lake, you probably are the same surprised as I was, when I heart the first time of that floating village.
You’ll find the village of Chong Khneas on the very north end of the Tonle Sap lake in Cambodia. About 2.000 people life here and get their income from fishing. No traffic jams, no cars… …but everybody got its own vehicle to go from house to house.
…to be continued…
Mtskheta (or Mzcheta) was the ancient capital of the Eastern Georgian Kingdom from the Third Century BCE to Fifth Century CE. It was also the location where Christianity was proclaimed as the kingdom’s official religion and continues to function as the headquarters of the Georgian Orthodox Church.
Arguably the most well known cathedral in Georgia, Svetitskhoveli is also one of the biggest in the country. Harsh conditions throughout Georgia’s history couldn’t stop the 10-century old building from retaining its beauty. The temple is on another UNESCO World Heritage listing because of its glorious architecture.
Mr. Doung Van Ngo sits like every day at the end of his bench at the Central Post Office in Ho-Chi-Min-City / Vietnam.
Right next to Mr. Ngo a sign that says ‘Public Writer’. A dictionary, a pencil and his little writing pad.
The CPO is a notable building. Spacious, bustling, functional and wonderful to look at in its Art Deco style.
..and (which is not to forget) it donates a little cool, even without air-condition, on this hot day in the end of April.
So I go over to Mr. Ngo and we start to talk in a very warm way.
MARKUS: ” I’m Markus from Germany and I would like to bring an article about you on my photo blog. Mr. Ngo, could you be that kind and tell me in brief a little bit about yourself ?”
MR. NGO: “Of course… ….and with pleasure. I’m 88 years old and since I’m 17 I’m working for that post office here in Ho-Chi-Min-City. Every morning I come here with my bicycle… …which I park always on the outside of the building on a shady spot… …and there was no single day where I missed to go to work… …even during the war. I learned french and english language at school. Against some not truthfully rumors, that say I learned english from some american GIs… …I have to say that is not true, I learned english at school… …but there was an american pilot that teached me the right pronunciation of the ‘th’. By my profession as a translator in french and english language , I offer translation services to people who need my help.”
MARKUS: “And what is this service… …I mean, what do you translate for you clients?”
MR. NGO: “Everything that my clients want me to translate… …documents, forms, letters… …but in times of the internet people are able to translate texts more and more by themselves … …but there are still clients who ask for my service.”
MARKUS: ” You said letters… ..but that sounds very private…”
MR. NGO: ” …that is very privat in deed. There were many letters with very sad and tragic content… …but I translated also many love letters.”
MARKUS: ” Was there a letter which touched you in a way that you still remember?”
MR. NGO: ” I learned to forget contents right away. I take the confidentiality and the trust very seriously. I forget letters immediately.”
MARKUS: ” Mr. Ngo, it was very nice to talk to you. Thank you for that and I wish you further many nice days and success in your profession.”
MR. NGO: ” Thank you.”
Jim Kopf, writer, photographer, traveler and thinker.
Jim Kopf, creative, sensitive, seeking and expressive.
After our first encounter a few weeks ago, I thought a lot which words would describe the nature of Jim best… …and I think these match pretty well…
“Ich stand auf dem windigsten, höchsten aller Berge
Unter glorreichen Wolken in Silber und Grau
Ich schwamm durch Flüsse und Seen und seltsame Meere
Wie oft hob ich meinen Kopf um in den Tag zu schauen”
“I stood on the windiest, highest of all mountains
Under glorious clouds in silver and gray
I swam through rivers and lakes and strange seas
How many times did I lift my head to look into the day”
All the best for you, your life and your book.