Phnom Penh / Cambodia
“Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, was once known as the Pearl of Asia before the country spun into turmoil with the mass killings by the Khmer Rouge in the 1970s. Over the last few decades, Phnom Penh has grown into an economic center, sprawled with high rises, hotels, historical architecture, modern malls, and an incredible food culture.” (source: tripadvisor)
Tver / Russia
Thank you, Diana! Wow, that was magical! What a ride.. …and shine on you crazy diamond
Samarkand / Uzbekistan / Central Asia
..some street portraits of these kind and open people of Uzbekistan
Welcome to my town oh
Welcome to my country
So good to have you around oh
Welcome to my sound oh
Welcome to my family
To the darkness, the devil and things no man should find
Look Up, Can you see the message, the message that it spreads now,
Look Up, Can you see the light how it’s shining over our head now
Light might keep you in the distance
And the light can guide you and the light
Can show you what you’re missing right now”
Finding Taisija’s and Mamadi’s grave. Part 2
Samarkand / Uzbekistan
After we found the house of Alisher, the cousin who could help us to find the grave of Taisija and Mamadi, we got a warm welcome. Alisher was pretty surprised to see Victoria for the first time in thirty years. (hey, bro, would have you payed your phone bills, you would have known that a few days before, huh?)
He lives with his two (!!!) wifes and three kids in this typically self-supply household. Fruits and vegtables they grow in their garden.. ..and tabac of course. I know this from my mom in law. She spends most time of the the year at her dacha and grow all the groceries she (we) need. A happy and peaceful life. (btw, this peaceful life and all her love to me was put to the test when one day I stood with a bag of tomatoes from the supermarket in the door. But we clarified that.. ..I am refraining from then ....or do not tell her and just hide it).
There was a lot to tell. Sad stories, funny stories… …and a lot of memories from former times. Many members of that families died already and many new kids where born who meanwhile are already parents. Stories of lifes that took place in different places, in different cultures, with many disappointments and many opportunities.
And then we finish our journey to fulfill our wish and the request we have received, to put flowers on grandma Taisija’s and her husband Mamadi’s grave in Samarkand / Uzbekistan.
Finding Taisija’s and Mamadi’s grave.
Samarkand / Uzbekistan
After WW2 the sister of my wife’s grandma, Taisija, married the Tajik called Mamadi and they moved to Samarkand. Over there they started a good running business by trading flowers and after a few years they became a quite wealthy and respected family. Mamadi died in 1991. Taisija in 2000.
In May Victoria and me spent a wonderful time in Uzbekistan. My mother in law asked us to bring some flowers to their graves, if we have the chance to find it somewhere in Samarkand. So our seach began.
The only thing we knew was the street were they lived and that the cementary suppose to be near that street and that Taisija is the only Russian on that uzbek cementary… …meant a piece of cake to me. But it wasn’t. Indeed we found that place… ..but it was huge (#01). Ooops. ..or in other words, we were looking for the needle in a haystack. – ‘Ask, and you will be helped!‘ like this saying means.. ..and we asked. Our pretty good idea was to look for eldery people who may have known them and know where the grave is.
At the mortuary (!) we found a cock fight (..I would appreciate if you click here, but please come back to this story.. ..it’s good! Of course the cock fight story is also good.. ..but this story is more touching.. ..or human.. ..uuhh, you know what I mean..), but none who knew Taisija and Mamadi. But the gentlement on image #04 told us, that there is an other old russian woman living somewhere in this district… …’where?’… ..’somewhere uphill’..
Honestly, I must say that this helpfullness of these people was terrific and cordial… …as we will see later in our little story. So we asked around for this russian lady.. ..and we found a family (#07) that showed us where she is living. And we were lucky. She (#08, #09) although did not know where the grave was, but knew where a cousin lives, who could help us. Okay, I have to confess, we knew about this cousin. Even had his mobile number. Even called him (but the mobile was switched of, as we learned later, because he refused to pay his bills). But I didn’t mentioned him at the beginning of this story because my little storytelling-for-dummies-guide says that good to conceal some details to keep the story more thrilling.
Not only that the family that showed us the house of the russian lady, was a really big help to us .. … they even offered us (without being ask) to give us a lift to that place. Wow. Like I said, I love the people over there and I decided if ever an Uzbek will ask my in Germany about his cousins place.. ..sure… ..I will give him a lift. Promised!
So, we finaly got to that place where we will get help… …and we knocked the door…
to be continued
“For millions of years flowers have been producing thorns. For millions of years sheep have been eating them all the same. And it’s not serious, trying to understand why flowers go to such trouble to produce thorns that are good for nothing? It’s not important, the war between the sheep and the flowers? It’s no more serious and more important than the numbers that fat red gentleman is adding up? Suppose I happen to know a unique flower, one that exists nowhere in the world except on my planet, one that a little sheep can wipe out in a single bite one morning, just like that, without even realizing what he’d doing – that isn’t important? If someone loves a flower of which just one example exists among all the millions and millions of stars, that’s enough to make him happy when he looks at the stars. He tells himself ‘My flower’s up there somewhere…’ But if the sheep eats the flower, then for him it’s as if, suddenly, all the stars went out. And that isn’t important?”
Natasha, psychoanalyst, practices in Tver and Moscow/Russia, was always fascinated by portraits where features of a person captured on photos.
…and so we tried… ..no concept, no rules… …we just let go… …and danced…
Natasha, thank you for that dance. 🙂
Valeriya… …at the window… …just one wonderful square meter to play with light…
“And I’ve missed your ginger hair
And the way you like to dress
Won’t you come on over
Stop making a fool out of me
Why don’t you come on over Valerie?”
That day I met Kate (Katya) the first time. She never did a photo session before. Our idea was to copy a drawing of my painter-friend Alekseij.
After the work was done she wanted more. “I love to see me on photos” …wow. – I’ve rarely met anyone who looked at their own photos with such natural joy. That was contagious .. ..and so we continued the next hours. What a day.
Katya, thank you for all that joy. I’m looking forward to realize all the plans and ideas we had.
Катя, спасибо тебе за всю эту радость. Я с нетерпением жду реализации всех планов и идей, которые у нас были.
🙂 …of course they did not stare at me… …but I kindly asked if I could take a portrait of them…. …and they mostly agreed. I didn’t know these people in person… …but I know Aleksei Jogolev (#05) and this event was the opening of the exhibition of his paintings in Tver/Russia. Excellent paintings… …and excellent people.
Lena Fomina, actress in Tver/Russia
What would you do if you got the chance to do a photo shoot with an actress? Would you make up a story? Reenact scenes?
Or would you dare to tell the most exciting and intimate story? – So we did!
THIS IS THE LENA STORY.
Lena, thank you so much for your smiles and your sadness, for the play and the truth, for the distance and the nearness… …and of course for just beeing Lena.
Лена, большое спасибо за твои улыбки и твою грусть, за игру и правду, за расстояние и близость … … и, конечно, за то, что ты просто была Леной.
Please see Andreas Lena story at JETAMELE
…it all started with a river.
A river called Elbe, where a single photo of that river made its way downstream to become a wonderful blog… …feeded by inspiration, longing and the desire to communicate in an unknown language… …feeded by the influx of many other tributaries… it grew to ‘Every Day My Life’.. JEden TAg MEin LEben.. ..JETAMELE…
Andrea, I adore your work, especially you portrait series. It gives me inspiration, new perspectives and the comforting belief that there is someone out there, who sees more and deeper than what our eyes just perceive.
That is a precious gift.
Thank you for sharing that.
Wenn ihr im Raum Hamburg wohnt und individuelle, natürliche Porträts von euch oder euren Lieben haben möchtet, fragt Andrea. Die kann das!
please see Andreas homepage