Category Archives: Caminando por ahí

Excuse me, where’s the toilet?

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(English below)

Encontrar el baño (el lavabo, el retrete, los servicios, los sanitarios, el wáter, el WC, el tocador, los aseos, the toilet, the restroom, the bathroom, les toilettes, le cabinet, o como se prefiera llamarle) es muy importante. Por eso en cada lugar público alguien tiene que la enorme responsabilidad de colocar señales para que los clientes encuentren este indispensable lugar. Y algunas veces, a los encargados de tan importante tarea se les ocurren muchas ideas y cuelgan carteles muy creativos que le sacan una sonrisa a los visitantes (a menos de que sean clientes despistados que nunca se fijan en los detalles curiosos de la vida). Cuando noté que este era un gran tema de investigación, las señales del WC se volvieron una obsesión y me empezaron a perseguir por todas partes. A veces iba a buscar el baño con cámara o móvil en mano, no porque me urgiera hacer pipí, o quisiera hacerme una selfie en el espejo, sino porque quería ver como habían representado estas universales imágenes: “Hombres” y “Mujeres”.

Ya se sabe que los artistas también somos obsesionados coleccionistas compulsivos. A mi de pequeña en casa me decían “la basurerita” porque cada vez que veía algo interesante en el suelo lo recogía para “mi colección”. Tenía colección de gomas, de llaveros, de tazas, de latas de refresco, de sobrecitos de azúcar, de calcomanías, de postales, de portavasos, y por supuesto de timbres (un clásico gracias que me permitió aprender sobre la existencia de muchos países lejanos). Un día tuve que tirarlo todo y fue muy triste. La gran ventaja de coleccionar fotos digitales es que no pesan ni se llenan de polvo. Realmente son muchas las ventajas de vivir en el siglo XXI.
En fin, aquí están algunas fotos de esta colección y si quieres ver más te invito a visitar el álbum “Collection of WC signs” en mi website.
Vale la pena decir que algunas veces las fotos son bastante malas (borrosas, oscuras) porque generalmente las hago muy rápido, con el móvil y en esos pequeños lugares “al fondo a la derecha” donde la luz es casi siempre escasa.
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ENGLISH
Finding the toilet (bathroom, restroom, WC, or any other convenient name) is crucial. For instance every public place has someone in charge of designing or choosing clear signs to indicate the customers the location of these important places. Sometimes the person in charge of this mission has great ideas and finds very creative signs that make the clients smile (unless the customers are the kind of boring people that never notice the sparks of life).
When I realized this was a great research subject, WC signs became an obsession and started to appear to me everywhere. Sometimes I had to go very fast to the toilet with my camera or mobile phone in the hand, not because I needed to pee urgently or I wanted to make a selfie on the mirror, but because I was very curious to see how they represented these universal images “Women” and “Men”.
It’s known that artists we are also obsessed and compulsive collectors. When I was a child in my family they use to called me “La basurerita” (Little garbage girl) because every time I saw something interesting on the floor I had to take it for “my collection”. At home I had an erasers collection, a key holder collection, a mug collection, a soda can collection, a sugar pack collection, a sticker collection, a postcard collection, and of course a stamp collection (a classical that helped me learn about the existence of far away countries). One day I had to throw away everything and it was very sad. The advantage of collecting digital photos is that they don’t take much place and they don’t accumulate dust. It’s really convenient to live in the 21st century.
Anyways, here are some photos of this collection (the best ones) and if you want to see more I invite you to visit the album: “Collection of WC signs” on my website.
Important to say that many of the pictures are bad (blurry or dark) because normally I take it very fast, with the mobile phone and in those little places “down the hall to your right” where light is never very good.
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My version of Shanghai

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I arrived two days ago in this giant city. I cannot describe it with words, I have to paint. Trying to translate into drawing so much new information in my brain. Processing. Experiencing a bit of vertigo in my 16th floor hotel room.
I feel like a needle in a haystack.
And it’s ok.
Thankful for being surprised, astonished, amazed, shocked, overwhelmed by the contrasts of our modern world.
Expressions of our time.
I try to think about the humans behind the construction of the millions of new buildings in this country. The humans behind the factories, the millions of Kilometers of Highways, airports, train tracks. I try to empathize with the minds believing in this idea of progress, designing the shape of the cities, the modern life. I imagine the architects and engineers as kids playing with Lego. Fascinated by the power of bringing into life their plans.
I think about all the human force needed to lift up the tall towers. Humans with their arms and legs, hands, feet, hearts, and dreams, ideas, motivation, long working days, extremely low salaries.
By default I could only be against this idea of progress and development. It’s difficult not to judge, to reject, to point at the other side of the modernity. To ask about the consequences, about the future.
I could get depressed very fast. I have to find another way.
I have to see life behind the concrete and the glass. Life is complex. Life is never only good or bad. Life is both construction and destruction. Is impossible to stop this eternal movement. Life is this mystery. We are an expression of this nonsense. There’s no logic, nothing to understand.
Life is this infinite kaleidoscope of possibilities. Overlapped layers of reality.
I’m perfectly fine with being critical of this craziness.  But, are we not all related to it?
Who can separate from this model and claim to be good, to be innocent.
Or Maybe I need to forgive myself as human. I somehow need to keep the hope. And think that I’m not that bad. Or yes. That in all of us there’s a bit of the predator. A bit of the slave. A bit of the oppressor. A bit of the poet. A bit of the business man.
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Internet gratis en el metro

Me encontré con este cibercentro en la estación de metro Lázaro Cárdenas de la Ciudad de México. Existen 22 cibercentros como este.

En una ciudad de más de 20 millones de habitantes no es sorprendente que haya cola para acceder a este servicio gratuito.

El metro de la ciudad de México transporta un promedio de 4.2 millones de usuarios diariamente. El costo del boleto es de 3 pesos (=0.17 Euros , =  0.22 USD)