Preconception – Travelling Without It

Almost everything was ready for my trip in Iran. Except notifying my parents about it.
I waited till they came back from vacation, since I knew they would have stressed out about it.

In fact, they stressed out. But for one day.
Same happened with my sister. But for half day.
As soon as they researched about the country itself they got pretty calm.
There is such misconception about Iran, even between people with high education.
I figured that many people are still stuck in believing that  Ahmadinejad is still on power, that there is civil war going on or that foreigners can hardly come inside the country.

Many people asked me why I decided to travel solo (woman) in Iran, but mainly why I choose this destination. Well, the reason why I got there is the reason why I get the question itself: Iran is not a touristy place to go. I did not want to go follow somebody´s else path and I did not want to see touristy locations. I wanted to get in touch with the locals and kill the preconceptions. I wanted to come back to Denmark with some actual insights. And most of all: I wanted to see the real Iran before it will turn into a tourist mecca – because I believe this is what is going to happen in a couple of years.

Before leaving, people thought I was crazy. After my come back and storytelling they also thought I was crazy.  Story will be told in this blog in the following weeks when I will be able to edit my pictures.

For now:




Stealing Food Is Not A Crime in Italy

Stealing food in Italy is not a crime anymore.
But, but, there must be a reason for it.

I was on BBC news reading about how Italy is adopting a law to cut food waste, which is a very positive step forwards in terms of budget and food saving. However, then I got suggested to read this other article, mentioning that a court ruled that it is not a crime to steal food, if you are hungry.

The case happened as a old person decided to steal from a supermarket at he did not have money to pay for food.

For the judges, the “right to survival prevails over property” and “that in a civilised country not even the worst of men should starve”.

Fabrizio De André, the most famous left-wing Italian songwriter , back in 1973 , wrote one of my ever favourite songs. It is called ¨In my free hours¨, referring to the free hour that a convict has while in prison. It was 1973 an in the song he mention:

¨Ci hanno insegnato la meraviglia verso la gente che ruba il pane ora sappiamo che è un delitto il non rubare quando si ha fame¨

¨They taught us the wonder towards the people that steal bread, we now know that it is a crime not to steal when hungry¨

I remember listening to it while I was in high-school, which was pretty much over 8 years ago. I was  stroke by this line: it was so true and so powerful that it sticked to my mind for a long time.

It also remembered me of a story my dad told me. When he was young, maybe my age or a tiny bit younger, he entered a restaurant with a couple of friends. They ate a pasta dish and decided they would not pay.
It was a protest. Not that they did not have any money, but they wanted to prove that, one should not deny food to a person in need. Everybody should have the right to have food, if not able to provide for himself, and everyone should help. He got jailed and spend the night behind bars, the day after they got out. Eventually the local newspaper put them in the front page, but nothing happened till this new court ruling came out earlier this May.

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Heartland Festival Edition 1

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 22.51.20Heartland Festival took place for its very first time on the 10th and 11th June, at Egeskov Castle on Funen, Denmark. I was definitely super lucky to take part in it.

The festival introduces a new festival format that allows the audience to experiences music, food, art and enlightening talks in the unique surroundings of a castle. Egeskov Castle is the best-preserved renaissance water castle in northern Europe . It belongs to the Royal family, and Princess Mary has been visiting the Festival, mingling with participants . The Festival took mainly part in the gardens of the Castle, which hosted two main stages and art installations. Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 22.51.30

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Princess Mary strolling around the festival site

There are many ways that the reinassence style and theme, has
 been incorporated in the spirit of the festival. The most emblematic way has been on the food programme: the so called ¨Heartland Banquet¨ has been taking place in a scenic 
 settings of the garden to recall banquets under tents of the reinassence
 The Banquet has also been an occasion for performing art: food performance group ¨1TH has been melanging with waiters to create a peculiar atmosphere and food experience.

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The Michelin-star chef Per Hallundbæk from Falsled Kro together with
 Mark Lundgaard (Kong Hans Kælder) and Jesper Koch (Brdr. Koch),
 created a three course menu with dishes that reflects and emphasise local products of the Funen region. An example: asparagus with ghibrice sauce with local dried ham.

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The festival offered a line up of artists and speakers from around 
the world. The most awaited talk has been ¨On Instruments of Change¨ between musician Brian Eno and architect Bjærke Ingels (slide 13). Inside the Egeskov Castle, it has been possible to experience the new Brian Eno´s album: ¨The Ship¨. Festival goers have been lying in
the dark of one of the main rooms of the castle, listening to the new 
 studio album of the English musician and composer as if a sound 
 installation. Musicians performed on two stages: Lowland and Highland. 
The music programme saw both Scandinavian and International acts. Between the performers: Low ,Thomas Dybdhal , 
 Editors and Susanne Sanford. Note: it is the third time in a year I managed to assist to her concerts. That´s a record.Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 22.52.38

The general atmosphere has been pretty chilled and cosy, it is not those kind of festivals where people go to get smashed. Many family attended as there were some children activities in the programme. Ticket did not sell off, probably because it was still no vacation season and people could not get off work on Friday. Furthermore, it was still pretty cold and camping with that temperatures was not the best. But hopefully there will be a Heartland Festival nr. 2 next year and I hope I will be attending.Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 22.52.46

Hard Rock Baby

I own a million things. Literally.
I therefore decided to have a spring cleaning, although the season is a bit off.
Having a free afternoon while the weather is pretty bad makes you stay home, and realise that maybe it is time to throw out some old flyers and cards you kept, packed in a shoes box together with badges of previous convention you´ve been at.

Obviously, I have not managed to throw out much. However, actually, I discovered something. I was so much going to throw this small key chain I did not like much, that I was sure it was made of plastic or wood. It was a small guitar I kept for almost a year, thinking: ¨I will eventually use it¨. The guitar fell down on the floor from my desk and I though: ¨For sure it broke down and I now have a reason to throw that out¨.
But touching it, I figured out it was made of rubber. And actually one could open.
I had just discovered a usb stick shaped as guitar.
I got that as a present at the opening of Hard Rock Café Copenhagen last year, together with a press kit, as I was photographing the event for Gaffa.
And I though: is here any chance that there would be something in this usb stick?
So I opened it up and voila, press pictures and a list of memorabilia of the Hard Rock Café in Copenhagen.

Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 22.39.11Before last year, I had never been inside a Hard Rock Café, for my hate of conventional places and chains. But I turned out to be pretty amazed by it.
I am a huge music fan and I did not know what Hard Rock Café were holding within them.
As press, we received a tour around the building and explanations of all memorabilia in the café. There is everything: from Black Sabbath to Shakira, from Foo Fighters to Amy Winehouse, till the classical Michael Jackson, Bob Dylan, John Lennon and Rolling Stones.

At the opening, one of the first ever waitresses of Hard Rock joined. She was a very funky 70 years old character, that keeps working in Hard Rock Café in London where she had worked all her life.
We´ve been served food and drinks and a further chance to google around, then a final goodie back with a HRC T-shirt, a mug, some bike seats cover ( the most useful thing on this earth if you live in Denmark) and eventually this key-chain that today it turned to be actually a usb stick. After a year, still impressing.Screen Shot 2016-08-01 at 22.38.58

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Pokémon Go Home

It looks like as if it was yesterday , when I opened a tiny plastic bag from where I extracted one of the most rare Pokémon cart of all the history of times.
I was as a manga convention, my first and last one. I had no clue on how to play the Pokémon card game, but we went together with our parents. We obviously lost at the first round.
Cause we were just watching the cartoons and playing with our GameBoys, but we had simply no clue what to do with our card, other then collect them.
Then after our epic failure, we went to one of the stoles that was selling gadgets and I decided to buy one of my first Pokémon Card pack. I think there were 7 in each pack.
And a violet card portraying Mewto appeared.
At that time, we are talking of the 1st generation of Pokémon. There were 151 and that was is.Mewtwo__10_102__Base_Set
That became A THING at school and everybody tried to exchange that card with me. After a long while, peer pressure got in the way – but I was also feeling quite bad for these kids wanting my card so much – that I decided to exchange it for 5 different cards. I totally lost, cause that card was seriously rare, but I could not care, as I pretty much I do now, regarding the Pokémon Go game.


I must say that I tried to download it. But I have an old phone and probably it does not support it that well. It took me forever to create the profile, and even more to re-open the app all the times. And all the times I was in front of a Pokémon, BUM, it cracked.
So, since I had not used, and I was at Beyoncé concert, I decided to delete the app so to get more space for the possible snaps and videos I could have done at the concert.
And this is my direct experience with Pokémon Go.

I wish everything could end here, though although I do not have it, it still exist in the life of all people around me, or most of them.
My closest colleague just managed to get a new phone from her insurance company after she got her own phone stolen. She got straight into Pokémon Go! . She came to work walking because she wanted to catch Pokémons instead of actually arriving on time at work, biking. We started talking about this over lunch and I was obviously supporting the thesis that it is a complete disconnection from reality.

It´s specific terminology is AR Game, aka Augmented Reality Game. That´s to say: there is more reality than what´s there. But, de facto, there is no more reality added other than the fact that something appears on your phone screen.
Furthermore, you totally de-touch from reality. Linda tried to defends herself saying that people goes out more the city, but in reality it just increase the number of people being in the streets an be totally careless of rules. People have illegally entered private properties or , dangerously, constructions sites. And they do not check  traffic lights or respect traffic rules while on their hunts. They stare at their screen, and most probably they are unaware of where they are located. They do not look up and notice the beautiful buildings or stare at people faces. They follow what their phone says. And I do not think this can be called Augmented Reality, but more Alternative Reality, an alternative to the one we are living, where the actual being being present are erased to be substituted with digitalised inhabitants.

And this is, to me, scary.

Me and Linda walked home together, but we were three, not two. Me, her and her phone, that probably, maybe could be counted as 1 piece. On our way we she got 3 Pokémons. We had to stop from walking, and from the outside ( I was also looking myself from the outside in this occasion), we looked like two absolute retarded people, stopping in the street, and maybe changing path, just to catch Pokémon that, anyway, she had already. So our conversation had to get interrupted a couple of times, or switched into the Pokémon topic.

I am so curious to know what will happen in a couple of months, if people will keep running around like sheep or people will start getting bored. It is however creating a clear precedent and suggestion on how gaming and tech is influencing our life.

How to get deals on Instagram..and make my life easier

Today, one of my task at work has been: finding people on Instagram.
Now:  if it would have been a stalking-task it would have worked out pretty easily. You give me the name of the person, and I find out in less than two minutes.
In the world of media agency it does not work like that.
Advertisement agencies, and their creatives have an idea of what they are looking for but no idea on who the person is and if the prototype of that person actually exist in real life. SPOILER: usually it does not exist.
So you end up receiving criteria on selected person typology and you have to find them out.

Since it is advertisement agencies we are talking about, those people that satisfy creatives´criteria must have a big outreach on social media. Instagram, Youtube, and depending on whether it is widespread in your country: Twitter and Facebook.

This time I had to search for Instagrammers.


Such a bad shutter stock picture. How are you gonna use your computer if you have a plant and some sort of pavlova cake in front of it?! Anyway…

Let´s say my criteria is : finding a fan of a specific American football team with a lot of followers…
On Instagram I can only search for 1 hashtag at a time, 1 location or the actual team.

Teams have usually 100+ K followers. So if I start scrolling down their followers…It might take me a week.
I could eventually look for their official hashtags and hope their fan use them.
I could look for stadiums in which football teams play or are based.

But a picture does not make a person a supporter. Or at least: it could, if that picture was hash tagged or something was mentioned in the descriptions.

Scrolling around a lot of profiles today, I got through descriptions involving ¨Proud dad, Man of God, I love Jesus¨ and motivational quotes. NO. You are doing it wrong.
I mean, you are doing it right, if you want your profile to be a personal and for your family and friends. But I saw a lot of people interested in growing their impact on the platform and to those I would like to give suggestion – so I do not spend 5 hours of my life clicking thousands of profiles.

Rules – but you can call them ¨tricks¨:
1.  In your description you should write down:
– Your age
– Your profession
– The city you live in or where you are from.
– Your interests ( better than putting emojis about them)
– The things you most care about ( cats, fashion, F.C. Barcelona or cooking).

2. In your photos you should:
– Tag the location of the picture you took
-Use official hashtags if there is any ( for example: events hashtags)
-Use relevant hashtags

Many time in my work I had to turn out profiles of people that were pretty cool, but I could not simply find out where they were located.I do totally agree on privacy issue and that location tracking could partly undermine your private life. But in the name of common sense: you should never share details ( and nobody ask you for that) about your exact address, if you are taking pictures at home. Furthermore, general locations ( city or area) can be found.

In this way people will be able to like your pictures, follow you or even scout you for some advertisement or editorial purposes.
And that´s all.



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Tinder Vibes

After having lived in Denmark for almost 5 years, it came the time to visit Fyn Island.. twice. In one month. What is going on with me.

As the title might suggest, it looks like I traveled 200 km just for a quick encounter with a Viking, but no! That is not the case. And I actually haven´t even visited the viking museum. So absolutely no sign of even the slighter interaction with the male population.
But definitely a call for a third visit.
However, trilling vibes have been caused by something else: the magical apparition of a free VIP ticket for Tinderbox Festival. How can word as  ¨free¨ and ¨VIP¨ might be in the same sentence, it´s still a mystery, but I can guarantee that, that has not been a dream. It happened for real.

So I brought my camera with me and shots everything that caught my eye.

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If Tinderbox would be a person, it would be a match. I would still swipe right and give a chance for a first date. It´s like finding out that the guy you need to swipe is coming form Honolulu. What are the odds to meet a person from Honolulu? Or Samoa? That´s my lucky day, I feel curious, let´s give it a try. I would call this from now on, the Honolulu factor.
My Honolulu factor was definitely the fact that The National were playing, otherwise Tinderbox would have looked to me like a boring typical dude from Denmark.

Anyway, you will end up going on a date, have a bit of fun, not laugh at some of the jokes, find life trivia interesting and then look at your clock cause it is time for Cinderella to run into the pumpkin carriage. It was OK. But, hell, that was odd:

What were Ramstein fans doing in the electro area?

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Why were crowd safety volunteers dancing around instead of preventing mess to happen?

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Why can´t people chill out, and by this meaning: why can´t people just chill out instead of making themselves drunk?

Screen Shot 2016-07-28 at 18.07.34Screen Shot 2016-07-28 at 18.07.44And by the way, why nobody knew were the press area was?

Is there really people listening to metal sung in German?

This and other similar question might have flipped in your mind after the date and let you convince to: no, this is a no go. Maybe it will be nice to be friends.

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I probably stayed there less than what I should have done, since I took a train the same night, missing out on Friday and Saturday. But at least I had a grasp, me and Tinderbox can be friend, and maybe we will get a beer together next year.Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 23.53.43