Happy Befana day!

The 6th of January is a holiday in Italy to symbolise the baptism of Jesus. It is also a celebration to mark the visit of the 3 wise men to Jesus.

In Italy, there is the story of the befana, a housekeeper who looks like a witch because of her broom. She was invited to travel with the 3 wise men, and declined but she changed her mind at the last minute. But by then, it was too late, and she couldn’t find them and in the end decided to gift all the other children instead – candies for the good ones and coal for the naughty. Which are stuffed into stockings like these :

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So if you’re in Italy at any time during this week, you’ll probably see a lot of these, or something similar, around.

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Last night, Cart and I were at Piazza Navona to see the decorations as well as the carnival there. Usually there will be loads of things to see there – people selling the Befana toys, giant dougnuts and game kiosks.

Unfortunately, only half of the piazza was filled and it didn’t feel as festive as usual. Perhaps it was because of the very cold weather that we are experiencing currently, but whatever it was, it made me feel kind of sad because when I first arrived in Rome about 8 years ago, the Befana was a big deal, even more so than Christmas.

There was a parade near San Pietro this morning, which would have been interesting to see – with over a thousand costumed figures.

rinaz.net Befana Italy, Rome, Viva la befana

I had all the intention to see it, but then changed my mind when the temperature dropped down to 1 degree when I woke up this morning. Brr … too cold to go out on the scooter by myself.

So here is a compromise, someone else’s video of last year’s Viva La Befana!

Ok, no need to go to the one next year. I’ve already seen it 😛

Let’s eat at Ops!

Ops! is a restaurant that serves a variety of delectable vegan food. The way it functions is that you choose what you want to eat, and have it weighed and that’ll be how much you pay.

Cart and I have been here for at least 3 times already and this time round, we were here with our friends, Mdm Huang, Eu Chai, Sindy and Dario.

In this videoblog, I learnt that it’s kind of hard trying to take footage when all you you want to do is eat and chat so much with your friends.

OPS! Cucina Mediterranea Vegetariana a Roma
Via Bergamo 56, Roma 00198

Unforgettable anomaly for Via Noir at Rome, Italy

It didn’t seem too long ago that we did the Via Lux anomaly and now Via Noir has arrived and it was held in Rome!

This anomaly is especially memorable to me because it was held in my adopted home, conducted at nightfall (hence the “Noir“) and I was the lone scooter team going around the circumference of the playing area.

Thank you to all the organisers for your sacrifices! Thank you to all agents who came to fight for Rome! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

 

Ole Ole Temasya Season 2 is out!

If you remember, in February this year, Cart and I went to Viareggio to help out for a television travel series which for this episode, features the colourful and amazing, papier mache float parade which is said to be the biggest in Europe, and probably in the world!

rinaz.net Carnevale in Viareggio, Italy

At long last, the episode for Ole Ole Temasya is out and is ready for viewing online. Yay! Are you ready for it? You could watch it online here at this link.

Ole Ole Temasya Season 2 Viareggio, Italy

It’s funny to see myself next to the hosts Mas and Seri – they are so gregarious and I’m so shy. But it was an experience that I’d never forget and I feel blessed to have gone through all what I had behind the scenes.

Thank you so much for the amazing journey, Dzul, Remi and Jules 🙂

 

Let’s go to Outdoor Festival!

Outdoor Festival is a kind of street art exhibition that’s held during the month of October for this year. Apparently it has been going on for 7 seasons. But if it weren’t for the feed in Instagram, I think I wouldn’t even know that it existed.

Even though, many of the exhibitions I didn’t understand, I enjoyed myself and had a fantastic time there and am looking forward to the next one 🙂

Sidenote : If you’re in Singapore, don’t forget to tune in this Thursday to Suria at 8.30pm to watch Ole Ole Temasya! Yup, the episode in Italy is finally out!

Trip to Cologne, Germany for the Via Lux Anomaly

Cart and I went to Cologne, Germany over the weekend for the Via Lux Anomaly. I had a very lovely time, and all of the locals that I’ve met there are so jawdroppingly friendly and helpful that it had left such an impression on me.

I do wish that we had more time to experience this amazing city in more depth. And I hope that we visit again!

Germany, here I come!

Cart and I are going to Cologne, Germany in about two weeks time for the Via Lux anomaly and we’re slowly getting ready for it – the plane tickets bought, our Airbnb apartment booked and I’m even thinking of making some stickers to give out.

rinaz.net Ordering Moo Stickers

Aren’t these cute? They are kind of expensive though at 46 euro for 156 pieces considering that they are quite small at 3.8 cm each. But if they turn out well, I might make more.

I’m looking forward to this trip. There are plenty of things to be seen – museums and architectures and I’ve read that there is even a chocolate museum there.

But you know what I’d really want to see? A trip to their supermarkets. Yes, it sounds a little anticlimactic but I’ve always been curious ever since I’ve watched a video documenting how the goods there are cheaper compared to the ones in Italy. So that’ll be something interesting to compare.

Plus I’d like to visit at least one vegan joint there. I was looking through happycow the other day, and there is this vegan burger place which (I think) isn’t too far away from our accomodation.

rinaz.net Ingress Anomaly Obsidian Vienna

I don’t speak German, this will be interesting experience

If I had more time, I’d love to see things at a slower pace. But after my experiences, I have to be pragmatic. That’s the biggest issue with doing an anomaly – you’re so busy trying to orient yourself in a new country, then you move all around the city by foot, your eyes are on the scanner for most of the day and you get so exhausted you just want to faint but when the next day comes, you’d have to rush to do the mission banner and then it’s time to fly back home.

rinaz.net Toon!

Something better than nothing! Maybe I can take this experience as a recce? And maybe one day I’ll even try to travel alone.

A trip to Ostia Antica

If you were ever in Rome, I’d recommend you to visit Ostia Antica. This heritage site used to be the remains of an ancient Roman harbour city. So it’s nice to roam around and imagine what life was like back then.

You’d probably seen Ostia Antica in postcards, with these distinctive stone footpath. Careful though, after many years and steps, these stones are now rather smooth and slippery.

A group of friends and I went to Ostia Antica last Sunday, and here is a video blog!

Taking moving footage on Nexus 6P is quite challenging as it tends to turn out shaky. Luckily Youtube has a stabilising function … my neck did really strange things towards the end of the video though!