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    Ectoplasme. [Challenge01] [French]

    Challenge01 : One picture + One week + One word (Ectoplasme) 

    Philipp Schleiden et l’équipage d’un fier deux-mâts avaient levé l’ancre 5 jours auparavant, ces derniers avaient dû quitter le port du Havre en toute hâte après que le Professeur Schleiden, car il était de notoriété publique de le nommer ainsi, avait reçu un télégramme des plus énigmatiques en provenance d’un certain Dr H.Harward qui répondait au titre de Director of the Transatlantic Observatory of Boston, Massachusetts.  Ce voyage, pour ce biologiste berlinois, était le premier à destination des côtes américaines. De « voyage » cette expédition n’en avait d’ailleurs que le nom, puisque cette croisière tenait en effet plus du périple que de la balade de santé. Tortueux, pénible, éreintant voilà les adjectifs les plus courants qu’il avait entendu quand il eut le malheur de s’informer de la nature de son trajet à venir auprès de quelques marins chevronnés. Seulement, cela faisait déjà près d’une semaine qu’ils avaient quitté la terre et le soleil de plomb au-dessus de leurs têtes sous lequel ils avaient laissé la France était toujours là, et le Professeur Schleiden commençait à se demander s’il ne s’était pas laissé prendre au jeu des marins, qu’on connaît pour n’être jamais avares de grands mots et grandes formules. La seule crainte qui l’habitait à présent était celle de n’importe quel homme ou femme un jour embarqué au milieu de l’océan, celle de s’apercevoir de l’immensité abyssale qui l’entoure, cet azur s’étendant de toute part à l’horizon, un tombeau aqueux où personne ne vous entend crier. Et pour la première fois depuis son départ il en vint à penser à son confortable appartement berlinois, à sa quiétude et sa sûreté.

    Il était près de minuit, le professeur essayait tant bien que mal de terminer son chapitre sur une de ses dernières trouvailles scientifiques « […] la découverte d’une partie non fluide entourant le cytoplasme d’une cellule dite l’ectoplasme »,  quand il ressentit une légère secousse qui vint renverser une partie de son encrier sur la planche qui lui servait de table dans son étroite cabine situé dans la proue du navire. Il pesta. Puis tomba. Cette fois-ci la secousse avait été beaucoup plus intense que la première. Il entend alors au-dessus de lui l’équipage hurler en français. Bien qu’il ne connaisse que peu la langue de Molière, il comprend au ton employé que quelque chose vient de se produire. Viendrait-on d’heurter un débris ? Une fois relevé, il décide de monter en hâte sur le pont. Un véritable capharnaüm, un tintamarre du diable, les hommes se précipitent de part en part du pont, soudain il en aperçoit un, armé d’une longue lance dont la pointe est munie de crochets, il reconnaît l’instrument instantanément : un harpon ; celui-ci lui paraît énorme, quel genre de poisson peut-on bien pêcher avec une telle arme. Il se surprend par sa naïveté « Mais bien sûr… ». Un geyser d’eau de plusieurs mètres apparaît à l’avant de la proue,  les hommes se précipitent. Rien. Plus rien. Le silence se fait. Les hommes observent à l’aide de leurs lampes à pétrole la surface noire de l’océan. La peur se lit sur leur visage. Philipp n’entend alors plus que sa respiration haletante, lui aussi à peur, pour être honnête il est terrifié. Le silence est alors rompu, un bruit assourdissant, roque, comme s’il venait tout droit des entrailles de la terre les entourent. Un homme d’équipage plaque Philipp au sol, le côté bâbord du navire se soulève en dehors de l’eau, entraînant les hommes dans la partie tribord du bateau. On a à peine le temps d’entendre le bruit du bois se fissurer que déjà le silence est revenu. On se relève tant bien que mal, sous le choc « Là !! A quatorze heures capitaine ! » Un robuste bonhomme s’empare du harpon des mains de l’un de ses hommes, ajuste son tir et décoche. Le temps est alors suspendu et se sont des cris de bonheurs, des hourras de toutes sortes qui s’élèvent du pont : « Quel tir Capitaine ! » « Admirable ! » « A mort ce monstre ! », le capitaine lui n’a pas encore pris part à l’euphorie ambiante, il a déjà réarmé son arme et tire une seconde fois. Il fait mouche. Encore. Cette fois-ci l’animal ne semble plus bouger. Philipp est encore lui sous le choc. Il observe la dépouille du mastodonte.  L’écume dégagée mélangée au sang de la bête donne une teinte rosâtre au géant des mers. Une baleine rose. Dans son dos, on porte le capitaine en héros, on chante à sa gloire jusqu’à ce qu’un matelot  accoure sur le pont en provenance de la cale. « Capitaine ! Capitaine ! On prend l’eau là-dessous ! » Les visages se referment et déjà tout le monde sait ce qu’il doit faire, les hommes se hâtent à la tâche, on tente de sauver le maximum de vivres, de colmater la brèche aussi rapidement qu’efficacement et après quelques heures le calme est revenu. Le professeur bien trop inexpérimenté est lui resté sur le pont, sa pipe au bec, il ressasse sans arrêt les dernières heures. Il revoit la dépouille de la baleine se perdre à l’horizon sous la teinte blanchâtre de la Lune, l’odeur du sang est encore là, le bruit émis par la bête au moment de mourir toujours en lui. Il décide de retourner à ses écrits, peut être le seul moyen pour lui à ce moment précis d’oublier. Mais quand il arrive dans sa cabine il constate que celle-ci est encore à moitié inondée, plusieurs de ses schémas, dessins, écrits flottent autour de lui. Un en revanche attire son attention, il est la raison de sa présence ici, un télégramme des plus énigmatiques en provenance d’un certain Dr H.Harward qui répond au titre de Director of the Transatlantic Observatory of Boston, Massachusetts.  

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    The forty-year-old American man we had met in the other establishment was now tied to a railing with a collar. We sipped our drinks as the man licked the barman’s dog that was eating from its bowl. ‘What are you guys looking a- Oh my God, what the fuck’ Serena’s jaw was about to pop out of her face when she discovered her tied-up fellow countryman on all fours. ‘What is h                         e doing th                               ere?’ ‘Well isn’                     t that obvious?’ Jacopo replied ‘                                    he’s licking a dog. Can’t a man lick a d                     

    ‘Blasted’ Richard ticks with the nail of his index finger on his reading lamp. With two flickers and a little pop, the lamp dies. A deep grunt escapes from Richard’s beard, accompanied by a thick cloud of smoke. The old man closes his book and takes the pipe out of his mouth, lifts himself from his antique chair and ties his bathrobe, concealing his proud chest that is covered by a soft layer of grey hairs. Richard sighs and leaves the room with strong strides, his book in one hand, pipe in the other. Though the light is out, the room is not entirely shrouded in darkness. Outside, billions of stars cast their ancient light into the room, faintly lighting up the room. The vague shadows the Milky Way manages to project onto the floor slowly move in the same direction, staying loyal to their creator as the house turns at precisely one round per hour around its own axis. The house doesn’t do so in order to create artificial gravity, the gravitational generator already has that covered, Richard just likes it that way. He likes to have a new view every time he lifts his eyes from his book. Not that he does so that often, he’s a very concentrated reader. He only stops to eat or to do some repairing on his space house, like changing a lightbulb. Other than that, he has a fairly quiet life. It hasn’t always been like this. Back in his days Richard used to be a smuggler. At first, he would smuggle nothing more than cheap foods and materials from the regions outside the Galactic Federation. He made a good living at that time, but the big money started to roll in after he had discovered Nutrans and its addictive impact on the many species of the Milky Way. It took about five earth years to build his transgalactic drug empire. In his heyday, he would have the entire Federation in the palm of his hand. Party-people, labourers, politicians, physicians, merchants, stock traders, all would pay big money for just one drop of Nutrans. But empires rise and fall and Richard too had to make way. Luckily for him, he already felt the decline of his power and managed to flee before the barbarians stood at his gates. With the relatively little amount of money, compared to the trillions he had made in his life, he managed to take on his flight, Richard was able to buy this house on earth. He found a guy that would make the mansion more space-friendly and dragged it all the way outside the Milky Way, where the Galactic Forces are unable to find him to this day. After about fifteen minutes, Richard walks back in, book and pipe in one hand, lightbulb in the other. He places his book on the little table next to his chair and lights up his pipe. Thick smoke fills the room, obscuring the twinkling lights of the galaxy outside. The lamp is fixed and Richard sits back in his chair. He grabs his book and strokes his long grey locks back on his head. og when he feels like it?

    Photo by @iamspiderone (Instagram)

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    Journey to the East: 1. Finding my routine

    It’s raining outside. It has been raining on and off since we got here, which makes us feel as if we’ve never really left Belgium. When we first arrived, it was scorching. Sunrays of thirty-something degrees Celsius drilling through our jetlagged skins. It was a pleasant surprise to find an air-conditioning mounted on our hotel room walls. Ironically, some of us ended up having a cold a few days later when the first raindrops fell from the skies. What is a surprise is that only a handful of foreign students, of which I am one, have not suffered under the sudden change in diet. I suspect the lack of camping or music festival experience is the root cause for those who have suffered the odd nausea last week. I must admit that I almost had it coming myself, either because of the ‘instant Karma’ after calling my friend a wimp, because he had to stay in due to his weaker stomach, either because I ignored the simple fact that one shouldn’t eat cold meat on a stick at 9 pm in a Chinese supermarket. Don’t get me wrong, the food here is absolutely delicious, but not for the faintstomached.

    But food is not the only thing Chinese that needs getting used to. Language and culture, the capital reasons of our coming here, are to this day still quite a hassle. For the past three years we’ve had Chinese language and culture in school. It seems, however, that learning about the ways of a people in the protected environment of a classroom is one thing and actually moving to the country itself and communicating with those same people is another. Firstly, the language is not entirely the same, or so it feels. I think all of us have fairly good grades for our Chinese classes and we all speak a good amount of Mandarin Chinese, or Putonghua as it is usually called here. Sadly, we are only able to understand and speak textbook Chinese. I was very surprised the moment I asked a waiter for a certain dish and got a waterfall of meaningless sounds as a reply. We were all very much in despair the first few weeks, even more so because we had to converse with these dialect wielding people on a daily basis, as we had to visit virtually every bureaucratic institution in the city of Xi’an before we could finally submit our residence permit request form after two tedious weeks.

    When we were assigned to our classes, we feared the worst. To our great relief our ears were once more caressed by the soft music of our teachers’ standard Mandarin Chinese.

    I think I have finally found a daily rhythm that suits me at the Northwest University in Xi’an. I taking a shower at the same time, even the strongest Chinese water heater seems to falter. Afterwards, I go to the student restaurant and order something I could only describe as a deep-fried sausage sandwich. After a huge cup of coffee – I do suspect that a small percentage of coffee beans is included in the brown mixture – in the local supermarket on campus, I head for class.  After class, I have lunch and after lunch I usually take a long-anticipated nap – a nap usually takes about thirty minutes, not two hours, because that’s a daytime sleep. The afternoon is usually a bit vague. I either study the entire afternoon and have supper in the evening, or I run about the city, entangled in the web that is Chinese bureaucracy. After supper, I watch Chinese state television, which unintentionally has about the comedic value of Blackadder, but equals in historical accuracy. Then again Chinese people coming to Europe would feel the same way about our documentaries.

    And so my first proper article about my life in China has come to an end. Let me know in the comments below which cultural topics you would like me to address in the following articles. I must stress the word cultural, because I’m not interested in politics. The sole purpose of my exchange in China is to learn about its language and culture.

    再见

  • Xi'an, China

    I study at Northwest University in Xi'an, China, where this picture was taking. If you're up for the cultural experience of a lifetime, Xi'an really is the place to be.

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    Journey to the East: Introduction

    Six hours of Chinese per week. Reading, writing, speaking and aural comprehension. Six hours per week, three years long. Textbooks, PowerPoint presentations, assignments, documentaries.

    We came prepared. So we thought.

    “Bye mum, bye dad, bye lil’ bro, see you all in a year or so” Check-in, customs, waiting, boarding, take-off.

    “Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. We are about to land in Helsinki.”

    Landing, eating, more waiting. “Finland’s tax-free is expensive as fuck man.”

    “Are you sure this is our gate?” Around us, about forty Chinese people staring at their phones, unable to hide their boredom.

    “Oh yeah, this is our gate.”

    Queuing, boarding, more queuing.

    “Oh cool, we get food here!”

    “Would you like the pasta or the rice dish, sir?”

    “Pasta please”

    “Here you go, sir”

    “Wow, this is rubbish”

    Reading a book, watching a film, reading a book, watching a film, reading a book, watching a film. “I wonder how cold it is outside. Wow minus 57 degrees Celsius, that’s really cold” Reading a book, watching a film, watching a book, reading a film.

    “Oh good, we’re here. Good thing they’re coming to pick us up. Everything has been taken care for, we don’t have to worry about a thing. We’ll just get to the student dorm and get our rooms and unpack and fall asleep and have a nice and quiet da- oh wait”

    “What do you mean you don’t speak English? So how much is it? We have to ask who? We have to go where? Could you say that again, but slower? That’s just as fast as before. Is that even Chinese? Who’s mister Li? He was here just now? Then why did he leave? What do you need my passport for? Excuse me, could someone please come and fix my lamp? Just come with me, I’ll show you how it’s broken. Why can’t I have WiFi? I need to tell my parents I’m still alive. So where do I have to go again? Can’t I do that tomorrow, I just arrived, I’m jet lagged. You want me to do this now? Speak slower please. Wait, where are you going? Okay that does it, I’m going to bed.”

    I can’t sleep.

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    My trip to Bali – July 2017

    Let me give you an insight into my adventures in Bali. I’ll give you all the information about how I booked my flights, hotels, trips and so. I will also review these bookings and share whether or not I recommend them.  So that basically everyone with an internet connection can arrange an AWESOME trip to Bali, without the need of an expensive travel agency.

    How about the hotel?

    We were a group of five people and rented a (pretty big) villa penthouse in The Hamsa Resort. On the picture above you can see the view you have on our private pool, from our private terrace…

    We paid about 30 euros per person per night. That is breakfast and all taxes included. My overall opinion is that we got an enormous amount of value for money regarding our housing.

    Underneath you can see some pics from activities we did there.

    We went for dolphin spotting in a traditional fishing boat at 6 AM in the morning…

    We also hiked to the highest waterfall of the island,

    and saw lots of locals.

    How did we organise the trips?

    All we basically did was go to the awesome staff and ask them. They arranged all our transport, sent local with us who as our guide, and told us at what time we needed to be ready to go.

    This was so easy and once again great value for money.

    Do you want more information about the other hotels and trips I did?

    Leave a comment saying ‘We want more!’

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    How to travel the world with 50 euros!

    Christopher Schacht

    “I lived between drug dealers and murderers.” That’s what Christopher Schacht said when he came back home after his world trip.

    His plan seemed to fail: traveling the world with only 50 euros. Yet Christopher Schacht (23) managed to succeed. He travelled in 1511 days more than 100.000 kilometers and traveled 45 countries!


    He financed his adventure by keeping a low budget (backpacking, staying with locals) and working on location. Christopher said that if he is able to travel the world with 50 euros, everyone can travel the world!

    Would this be something for you?  Comment below!

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    Scribblog OneK Community

    Hello there

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    Let’s get to it

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    • First of all, we share 100% of the advertising revenues of the first THOUSAND blogs on our platform. So the faster you start writing – the faster you will earn cold cash – and the faster you become part of the Scribblog OneK Community.
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