Anyone who knows me from school days knows that music was, is and always will be my life!! From going to as many live concerts as possible (Check out my review section) to religiously checking I had my trusty cassette player with me.
Growing up in London as black teenager, I was often judged for listening to pop music such as NSYNC, Backstreet Boys and Britney to name a few yet my room was plastered with HipHop and Dancehall legends. I was the embodiment of Eclectic and didn’t give a damn.
Developing into a woman I encountered and survived many a bad relationship and Britney was always one of the strongest glues that put me back together. There is seriously nothing like listening to ‘Stronger’ with a chilled glass on Hennessey and coke in both hands.
I even worked ridiculous overtime so me and 3 friends (Shout out to Jennifer, Krystal and Christy) could go and see her live, a frickin dream come true a thousand times over.
So when I heard Britney was doing the BMA’s 2016 I honestly wanted to sit down and take a minute to calm myself and remember the road is tough but I will make it.
We all remember Britney in 2007, hell I even referenced it when I was in my last semester of university trying to make word counts and find the right bibliography style. This young woman has come so far I feel like we were by her side the whole way.
This picture is somewhat freeing if not completely intriguing as we see a beauty of the modern world literally shave off the reigns of the media and celebrity norms.
If any woman, anywhere in the world can’t relate this this need to liberate and be one’s self then my dear, the wave will soon reach. I’m not condoning or praising Britney’s spontaneous balding sesh but as many people have yet to understand celebrities are people and sometimes they crash and burn just like us, but they too can shine again.
So this is for you Britney, thank you for showing us your crazy and getting back to the star you always were….
Just putting it out there because one day he’ll have to depart…
Sometimes I get lost, blinded through social media, lied to by money and greed, burnt by other people’s opinions n tripped up by society’s expectations. Well I declare that I, Aic3la, just want to be happy so if you’re not trying to encourage and support as i do to realness please leave the table….
So one of my first trips was down to the beautiful city of Cali!!
I decided to go on a city break to Cali in October as I had some days off work and wanted to dedicate time to the ‘Salsa’ capital of Colombia and maaaaan they weren’t lying!!
From it’s Afro Colombian roots on the pacific coast to it’s controversial medical tourism industry the city definitely has a lot of ‘salsa’, in all sense of the word. The Colombian department of Valle de Cauca has a diverse landscape and various cultural realms to uncover so if you can, explore explore explore!
With my travel homie Mr L, I arrived in Cali mid afternoon and we got a very reliable and quite safe bus from the airport to the Central bus station where taxis would be more reasonable.
After a beautiful trip through some of Valle de Cauca’s countryside singing along to some classic salsa *cue Edgar Joel – Hasta El Sol De Hoy*, we arrived at the terminal, got a taxi to our hostel.
A 4 days break at ‘El Viajero Hostel’ was just what the doctor ordered. Following the advice of my travel bud we didn’t book in advance as sometimes the charge a booking fee and to my relief they had space so we were escorted to our bunks and made ourselves at home. (P.S. I always book in advance, I had a mad moment and let him take control…… not for the faint hearted, better to be safe than sleeping in a park!)
Will now speed up the review and give you my highlights of this beautiful city:
- SALSAAAAAAAAAA!! – I fell in love with Salsa during my year abroad in Havana, Cuba so this was right up my street. El Viajero hostel supported this love and exceeded my expectations. Free Salsa classes everyday (kinda sweaty room but you know Latino steam and all that hahaha) and nightly outings to various Salsa spots around the city. GO GO GO!!
- La Menga – An area in North Cali, full of mainstream clubs where people end up stumbling to after the salsa slows down and the can spin no more. I went there twice for a reggaeton and dance refresh, it should be around 8 mill COP in a taxi at night from El Viajero.
- Cali Walking Tours – A small business set up by a young woman who had spent some time in London and wanted to take the concept back to Cali for tourists. A very nice 2 hour tour (By the way i’m not a great tourist and I managed it. For the freeness it was informative and interesting). At the time it there were 3 people voluntarily doing the tour at different times but I expect as the company grows so will the amount of tours and guides. Ask in your hotels for more information but think they meet on Tuesday and Thursday outside La Iglesia de La Merced if that helps…… (See slideshow for pics of the tour). Tip well and support the cause!!
- Down-town Cali – I didn’t get my camera as I am no damn papaya but it was pretty much the same as any other down-town area. A lot of shops and markets selling everything and more. An experience to say the least but some hidden lunch/almuerzo gems are to be discovered there too.
- El Viajero Hostel – Reasonably priced considering they have a private pool and bar. Some sites say they have hot showers, now these ‘hot’ showers are solar powered so best believe you better be in your towel, shower puff in hand when that water heats up cz I tell ya a cold shower in a cool climate is no fun!! Otherwise good fun with breakfast included!
- Climate – Cali is a generally hot city but beware of the random cold spells that can pass by. I went in early October and it was only hot in the day. Come night time if you weren’t a bit drunk, you were layered up in most of your clothes to get some sleep.
I know there is so much more to see in Valle de Cauca and this is only a snippet of it’s beauty. I have made a promise to myself to see more the places I go to and not just be a sexy sloth!!
Here are the momentos of my time in Cali, Colombia 😀
p.s. Shout out to my homies Monika and David!! Can’t believe we all didn’t take photos together!!
Heathrow beware…… This could be a potential reality for you to check in for me!
I swear I have been at these things all week and I don’t whether I have case anxiety or I just can’t be asked to get done…… My previous track record in terms of packing has been far from minimal to say the least but this time I want at least pack logically (i.e. 1 pair of heels and 1 pair of trainers MAYBE! instead of day heels, club/dinner heels and my infamous ‘show-off trainers’ and my neglected gym runners).
Not to mention the art of rolling your clothes around your toiletries and making sure you won’t need them BEFORE you leave!!
Also everyone always forgets extra bags! I mean weekend bags, little black bags, work bags and etc, I know I’m a bit of flashpacker if that but jeez these things r important and bring comfort away from home.
When I say toiletries I’m putting my fro maintenance jewels in that category, I managed to braid back the beast so can deal with it at a later date….. (queue future Super Sayan Battle)
Either way, whatever happens……
IT’S OFFICIALLY THREE DAYS UNTIL TAKE OFF!!!!!!
The line-up for UFC 174 boasted all the potential of a typical UFC event that built up a variety of emotions leading up the night itself. (Sorry it’s a bit late!)
Ryan Jimmo vs Ovince Saint Preux
The opening Light-heavy bout of the night started off with a good few exchanges, displaying the range of skills invloved in MMA however OSP quickly began to dominated the fight with his Karate skills. A series of head punches soon gave OSP the 2nd round but just as the final seconds began to tick the match was stopped as Jimmo announced he had broken his arm in a takedown. OSP is the winner through verbal tapout by T.K.O
Andrei Arlovski vs Bredan Schaub
The return of the legend Andrei Arlovski overshadowed this match against Brendan Schaub who was determined to overthrow the old school fighter. Considering the heavyweight Arlovski hasn’t been inside the Octoagon sin 2008 as the rounds went on he slowly got back into his stride. Many could say that the energy of the fight was long and drawn out as a lot of people expect TKO’s in heavyweight battles. Even though there were various takedowns and hammer fist combos, this match lasted till the end and went to decisions who gave Arlovski the fight.
Rafael Feijao vs Ryan Bader
Feijao came out ready to take this fight to the ground with some good jabs and takedowns but once set in his stride, Ryan Bader came back and turned up the pressure. In his true unpredictable style, Bader continued to dominated the fight with clear takedown that resulted in some intense ribs jabs. Feijao tried to recover from the blows but in the end Bader’s attacks led him to win the match by decision.
Rory Macdonald vs Tyron Woodley
The Co-Main event certainly had a lot of pressure behind it as these two welterweight fighters had a lot to prove. From the get-go, there was obvious change to Woodley’s style who is normally very aggressive. Rory Macdonald managed to gain control of the Octagon early on and even though he faced some brutal blows, nothing was able to put him off target. Some beautiful takedowns and exchanges led to the judges giving Macdonald the fight.
Ali Bagautinov vs Demetrious Johnson
The Flyweight division is one of the best weight classes to watch in terms of skills, as fighters aren’t held down by masses of muscle, speed, tactics and athleticism are all on their side. The current champion Johnson has a unique style though he had his work cut out for him in this match against 11 fight winning streak Bagautinov. From the 1st round we saw the adrenaline rise as both fighters gave all they had in order to be the champ. By the 3rd round we saw Bagautinov start to slow down with his offence whereas Johnson maintained his fast footwork and sharp jabs. By the end of the 5th round it was clear to see the difference in stamina between the fighters as Johnson landed his blows on target, not enough strength for a knock-out yet getting the job done. Demetrious Johnson remains the UFC Flyweight champion.
Overall I feel that UFC 174 lacked some of the show-stopping, breath taking moments that usually shine through in main events but it was good to see technique play a bigger role in fights instead of always going for T.K.O’s.