Here we are, on the road in Abu Dhabi

Greetings! I'm on stop over in Abu Dhabi on my way to Mumbai. The personal entertainment console in the plane made me forget about how far I was traveling (beautiful Crazy Heart), but the change of culture was everywhere from the second I stepped off.

Tall white-robed men checking passports at immigration, people visibly from all corners of Asia everywhere, large families with lots of children, a foot-washing station leading past the washrooms towards a full prayer room. Bollywood music is playing behind me and I am alone in my euro garb amongst it all. I am smiling from ear to ear.

abudhabi

Toronto, you have given me so much and I am profoundly thankful for the friends, for you, whom I have met there and hope to stay in contact with. Four years ago I came back a jaded "European" from a gratuitous eye-opening experience in Spain, and I leave with the firmest of regards for the strong community identities, the spontaneity, the haphazardness and both dusty and leafy green urbanity of the North-American and Canadian city. I am glad to have dropped and left strong roots there and will forever regard myself a citizen of Kensington, Bloor & Ossington, Christie Pits...

Allow me to leave you with some quotes from Magnum photographer Constantine Manos who we went to see Wednesday night as part of the Contact Photography festival. I will include some of my favorite quotes from last year with David Alan Harvey in a future post.

"Any fool can take a picture but why don't you try and play the violin" so practice!
"When you cut off the heads, the bodies become symbolic"
"If you bring me some bad pictures, I can help you."
"America is a salad that hasn't been tossed"
"Leave the answers and solutions to the viewer"
"I don't arrange things, that's the way I am, that's the way I'll be"
"Having a passion is one of the most wonderful things a human being can have" [...] even "a passion for hybrid raccoons"