Camera Talk: Madagascar

Posted by on 1:16 pm in Camera Talk, Madagascar, Spotlight | 2 comments

Madagascar is a photographer’s paradise. Its creatures and colors are so otherworldly, even an experienced photographer might have a difficult time capturing it all with a click of their extra powerful and super sensitive apparatus. As an armature photographer, it pained me to visit such a magical place and be held back time after time by the impotence of my pathetic photographic equipment and my own lack of experience as a photographer. Beauty was all around, but I failed, at first, to capture it with my little point-n’-shoot,...

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Baobab Alley

Posted by on 11:33 am in Africa, ITKT Blogs, Madagascar | 0 comments

Madagascar’s Baobab Alley is probably the most recognizable place in the whole country. Sadly, local children have been spoiled by tourists. The children have figured out a long time ago westerners want to take their picture but the kids are no longer interested to see their own image on the digital screen. Well, at least they are not faking it. “Photo?” they come and ask as I photograph the baobabs. I take their picture, show it to them and they keep on walking. Instead they grab me by both hands, on each side, and walk...

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Taxi-Brousse Spécial

Posted by on 3:58 pm in Africa, ITKT Blogs, Madagascar | 0 comments

Ah, the taxi-brousse, the punishment I must endure for being able to see Madagascar’s marvels on nobody’s but my own schedule and trying to absorb, though not suffocate in, the local culture all at the same time. I kid myself, of course, I am bound, if not imprisoned, by the schedule of the taxi-brousse. My time here is not infinite and I must move on when it obliges to peel its over-packed self off the bus terminal’s sticky asphalt and waddle for days to my next destination. But then, there is the taxi-brousse spécial – a...

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Paying in Madagascar

Posted by on 1:31 pm in Africa, ITKT Blogs, Madagascar | 0 comments

Madagascar is probably what most third-world countries used to be like before the millionth sunburned tourist demonstrated the locals what fat cash-cows first world travelers can be, thus ruining it for the rest of us who just want to see the world the way it is (or rather was). I’m fortunate enough to be here while the inhabitants of the big island are still innocent and unaware to the various milking options of the cash cow. I could wish with all my heart it wasn’t so, but there is no doubt in my mind the African preferred...

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Sex and the Big Island, Madagascar

Posted by on 5:52 pm in Africa, ITKT Blogs, Madagascar | 0 comments

Though Madagascar’s tropical forests and highlands belong to its lemurs and other natural treasures, the coasts are full of other primates: French men with the gorgeous Malagasy girls draped on them. The local bars belong to them as well, the restaurants too. It was pretty much impossible to dance in a club without gagging over a senior citizen groping a young girl inches away. One might look at it all as at a yet another devastating way in which the white man pollutes virgin international waters, but at second glance, if one manages to...

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Aye-Aye, Madagascar

Posted by on 4:05 pm in Africa, ITKT Blogs, Madagascar | 0 comments

If Dracula ever had a pet lemur it would have been the aye-aye. Nocturnal, with long teeth and long bony fingers- its most prominent feature, this is one lemur one would be least likely to want to cuddle. The creature is notoriously hard to see, to the point that some biologists questioned its existence. It is said aye-aye got its name when the Malagasies first saw the captured animal and not having seen one ever before cried “Aye-aye!” in awe. But I know different. If you stood hours on hours in the middle of the night under a...

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Vazah in Madagascar

Posted by on 11:16 am in Africa, ITKT Blogs, Madagascar | 0 comments

If you’ve got money you’ll travel Madagascar by plane getting a bird’s eye view of the rectangular patches of rice fields in all possible shades of green. If you wish to see what’s in between the protected areas and beaches that you most likely came here for, you’ll hire a jeep and maybe even ask your driver to slow down as you pass through a village, to take a quick picture of a local woman – her face painted with a special white, yellow, or orange cream to better the skin. But nothing will bring you closer to...

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The Chameleon in Action, Madagascar

Posted by on 9:54 am in Africa, ITKT Blogs, Madagascar | 0 comments

Everybody comes to Madagascar for the lemurs. Cute and fluffy, they give acrobatic performances most mornings, unless it rains, and even include in their newborn that cling tightly across their middle like little furry corsets. I, too, look up and click away afraid to miss a moment of the gymnastic cuteness, but secretly I only count the seconds till the buggers leave and give the stage to the chameleons. Now, there’s a colorful true actor in character and costume. One that evokes emotion with only a mere sway of a hand – his face...

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The Cartoon Country, Madagascar

Posted by on 9:51 am in Africa, ITKT Blogs, Madagascar | 0 comments

Having arrived to Antanarivo late at night, I figured it was useless to go find a place to spend the night only to get up at the break of dawn to pile up into a dusty taxi-brousse and drive endlessly to our first destination. Instead, I’ve decided to sleep in the airport terminal, but not before getting online and finding out my credit card had been charged for a flight to India I never took. “Hello, American Express? I have a fraudulent charge on my card… Yes, cancel it… I am in Madagascar… Madagascar…...

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Ah, Madagascar

Posted by on 9:46 am in Adventure, Africa, ITKT Blogs, Madagascar | 1 comment

Ah, Madagascar. When I mention places I visit, I am often met with question marks or that sucking sound accompanied by a tense wrinkled spot between the eyebrows. But Madagascar always gets an “Ah.” An “Ah” and a dazed dreamy smile only the purest of fantasies get. People think Madagascar is magic, and in many ways it is. In the right spot, it’s a colorful heaven –- dancing lemurs with big curious eyes jumping high in the branches, and skulking chameleons catching due drops on the swirls of their tails at night....

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Dream Dream Dream

Posted by on 8:58 am in Africa, ITKT Blogs, Madagascar | 0 comments

I dream of bringing my future children to Madagascar. Who knows, maybe they’ll go against the grain and actually think their parents are cool if the family trip will make them feel like they are on some hallucinogenic drug. Hell, maybe that’ll even keep them away from real drugs! Madagascar is perfect for kids. No deadly poisonous reptiles or insects and whole forests of stuffed toys for the girls and colorful creepy crawlies for the boys. You truly need a child’s energy to see all there is to see in Madagascar. I wander how...

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All Under One Roof, Madagascar

Posted by on 6:24 pm in Africa, ITKT Blogs, Madagascar | 0 comments

Don’t ask me how so many different creatures coexist harmoniously under the same treetops – I don’t know, but they are all here. All the stench of the taxi-brousse stations, the mystery ingredients of the Chinese soups I’ve become accustomed to here, and the bone breaking roads, it’s all worth it when you are surrounded by trees covered by giant rose-bush-like thorns, inhabited by skull-faced long-legged spiders and beady-eyed bats with their young. Just by my campsite I found a Madagascan hog-nosed snake finishing off...

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