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!
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.
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 🙂
This is a very backdated post, but I didn’t know what to blog about today so finally I thought that I’d end my procrastination and share some pictures of my experience in a real life carnival.
As you know, in Italy, there is an event called Martedi Grasso which is kind of like a last chance for you to enjoy yourself before the start of 40 days of lent.
So you’d see a lots of children in costumes, throwing confetti around. There would also be a carnival, and I was fortunate enough to experience one in the town of Viareggio.
Which brings us to this post, the third day, Sunday. I woke up bright and early, excited to finally watch the carnival up close.
(Not sure if I should keep having bangs)
After having our breakfast, we went back to the cittadella, where the floats were created and stored, for a few last minute interviews – one of them, a Mr Luciano Tomeni with his creation called, “Naviga il mio profilo”.
I adore the name because it’s so witty as “naviga” means surf in Italian and the phrase “surf to my profile” works in this context.
From what I remember, the creator was inspired to create this float as he remembers a time when people had to physically go to places to see artworks and masterpieces. Nowadays though, everyone has become an armchair critic with social media.
After we were done with the interviews, it was nearly noon and we heard news of how there was going to be rain, and that there was a risk that the carnival might be cancelled. The skies was already quite cloudy and I felt a little bit of a drizzle. It’ll be so sad to travel all the way here without seeing the floats!
(Here are the hosts Mas and Seri)
Fortunately the organisers gave the green light and we headed to Viali a Mare, where at that point of time, the entire area was barricaded and there were so many people there, that the seats were starting to be fully occupied.
Aren’t all these floats amazing? I thought that the floats were as all as the hangars, but I realised that once out, the creators could affix more parts to make them even taller!
I love the colourful, festive and lively atmosphere. There were many people dancing around on the streets, on the floats, and cheers everywhere.
In front of each floats will be a group of performers dressed up with the same theme as the float. These dancers for example are dressed up in Italian 18th century outfit.
This group of performers were a little bit scary, with their bells and their whips. The men in the hoods came up to the audience even and smeared some coal on our faces.
All of floats has a back story – many of them politically themed.
But I think that something that I’ll never forget is how Zul, the producer managed to get us up, on top of this float! As you remember, we interviewed the creator the day before. Such a cheerful looking float!
I tried to take some shots from up there, but it wasn’t easy trying balance on a moving vehicle and to snap pictures at the same time. So I guess I just have to wait for the final video to be processed.
(Look at the teacher!)
(Trying to get a selfie but got photobombed by the producer)
(Second try, still another photobomb :P)
At length, we managed to get all the shots needed and I had a quick respite and joined Cart who was already sitting down at the grandstand, enjoying the view.
It was an amazing, wonderful, fun day – and such a feast for the eyes. I had such beautiful memories here and I was quite sad that I had to leave this place. I’d love to come back again.
If you’re ever in Italy during the ‘Martedi Grasso’ period, I highly recommend you to visit Viareggio. It might not be as grand as the one in Venice, but I think it’s getting there!
Definitely I’ll be looking forward to watch Ole Ole Temasya when it comes out in a couple of months 🙂
The NL-1331 van arrived in Rome yesterday for their first European tour. If you happen to be in the same area as one, you could get some free swag (normally a card with codes for your Ingress inventory) and you could also purchase the Van badge and kits if you wanted.
These are the swag we got
I would have liked the Van badge, unfortunately it was all sold out two days before the event. Oh well.
The event was held in Eur, near the ‘Square Colosseum’.
Cart and I reached there slightly earlier than the stipulated time but there were already so many people there – both the Resistance and the Enlightened.
I was nice to catch up with some friends, some of which I haven’t met for a long time, like Aldo and Smyx who both transferred out of Rome for work.
Eventually the van drove up. It was so easy to spot out – being all black with large white and silver decals around it. It was smaller than what I thought it would be though.
As I knew that there were going to be loads of people, I took a bit more effort to look nice as I expected that there would be a lot of photo taking.
And I had all the intention to take a lot of photos and selfies with friends – you know how some people take an effort to catch Pokemon? I wanted to try to catch as many agents as I could on my phone.
Unfortunately with a cross faction event, and with the density of the portals here, as soon as I opened my scanner, I was in ‘face deploy’ mode – putting in resonators when the portals are blue or shooting it when green. Boy, do I have a problem! :p
After everything has calmed down a little, was when I noticed that there was a new portal that didn’t exist before :
I’m not sure how long this portal will last but I don’t believe that it will be a permanent one. It took a bit of hacking but at length, I managed to get a key as a souvenir. But looking at the first picture made me glad that I did.
I am very amused.
Obstacle races has always interested me, but I never got about to it because they are extremely challenging and I never felt like I was ready for it. Also the fact that it costs so much to participate was a deterrent.
Nevertheless, when I found that the price for the Goruck was discounted for the Aegis Nova anomaly in Padua, I decided to grab the opportunity and sign up for it. I still didn’t know if I was strong enough for it but the requirements on the sign up page says ‘Moderate to Low’ on the website, so it should be fine … right?
DeusExMachina, who participated in the Urban Ops for Vienna kindly lent me his backpack and I felt blissfully unaware. It was only on the day itself when I started packing, I realised that my luggage was extremely heavy! What on earth did I got myself into? And I’d have to carry it for at least 4 hours!
Among the required things to carry for the Urban Ops challenge was :
- 9 kg of weights (I used my hand weights)
- 2 litres of water (I used 4 1/2 litre bottles)
Which will easily make my backpack over 10 kg. Oh my.
On Friday afternoon, we took a quick look at the Vegan Festival in Eur and had a delicious lunch there and then we took the train to Padua.
It took us about 4 hours to reach there. We managed to snag a promotion from Italo and paid only 50 euro for the both of us travelling first class.
Our BnB happened to be a few minutes away from Piazza Capitaniato, where we picked up our supporter kits in the evening.
I happened to see the Stealth Ops participants doing their warm ups and met and said hello to Maurizio who was already perspiring after he’s finished with his warm up. I marvelled in the fact that he’d be doing 12 hours of challenges. I don’t know if I’d be able to do it myself.
Saturday morning, I started getting ready and here is the outfit of the day!
- Blue t shirt from Decathlon (5 euro)
- Blue buff found in Decathlon (5 euro)
- Sports bra from Only Play (10 euro)
- 3/4 sports pants from Only Play (10 euro)
- Resistance Cap by Doriscreations (Priceless)
- Aegis Nova bracelet (Which is my favourite design so far)
- Newton Fate Running shoes
I stuffed the backpack with the weights, the bottles of water, a piece of towel and some bananas to snack on. So heavy! I had to walk really slowly with the backpack on – I felt like an elephant. Seriously, what have I gotten myself into?
After having breakfast, my entourage and I walked over to the meetup point before the anomaly. There were so many people there and you’ll meet people from all across Italy and the world. Every anomaly always feels so festive and it was such a beautiful day.
Eventually, I said goodbye to Cart as he went off with his team and I started to search for mine … I headed towards Piazza Dei Signori and that’s where I met Marco (Errequadropi) and I found out that we were the only two Resistance players for Urban Ops. Oh my. But that’s okay.
There was Cadre Mickey whose role was sort of like a guide and judge of the competition. Our first task was to choose the leader for the team. Marco quickly arrowed me as the Team Leader and Roberto (HeartTremor) was TL for the Enlightenend.
Together we walked to our first location, Piazzale Porta San Giovanni with our backpacks. It wasn’t necessary for us to have our Ingress scanners open, but I wanted to do some unique visits along the way. Not easy while juggling all that weight behind you though!
When we reached our point, our first challenge was to choose someone to hold their backpack over their head while the rest of the team do lunges or elephant walks around him.
It was quite amusing to see the elephant walk but it looked easier than it was, especially with the weights, every step was precarious and I had to step hard to make sure that I didn’t topple over.
Both of our teams tried to last for as long as possible but we lost this challenge but according to Daniele who was holding up his backpack in the picture above, it was a very close match.
Then we walked to our second location – Via San Pio X. Here, the Team Leaders had to start a distance from their team. The cadre will say out a name of a glyph and Team Leaders will run to their team and write the glyph together on a piece of paper and then run back to the cadre. The first team which gets 5 glyphs correct will be the winner.
This challenge was interesting as some of the glyphs, I’ve never heard of before. I just winged whichever I could and hope for the best and you know what, Resistance won this challenge!
Cadre Mickey took me aside and gave me a code which contains pertinent information to help my faction during the anomaly. I quickly forwarded it to my dispatchers on Hangout and updated them on Zello.
After the challenge, we walked to Prato Della Valle. It was such a lovely day for a picnic here. There were loads of people sitting on the grass and just relaxing themselves. But I’m not sure if it was the heat or the fatigue from carrying all those weights but I was already starting to feel a little dizzy by this point.
For our third challenge, we had to take everything out of our backpacks and lay them on the ground next to it. All of us had to walk a distance away, and get ready in a line. When the cadre yells start, we run to our respective backpacks, put our things in and hold it over our head and yell Resistance or Enlightened.
I thought for sure we would lose this one as my zip didn’t close smoothly but to my surprise we both seemed to have finished first.
Another win for us! I breathlessly and quickly updated our dispatchers. We took a quick break and I lied down to ease my dizzy feeling.
For our final challenge, we walked to Piazza Eremitani. By this time, while I tried my best to catch up, I find myself constantly being the back of the pack. Each step was so heavy …
Nevertheless, it was such a beautiful park inside and felt so peaceful with all the flowers and greenery.
For our final challenge, while it sounds simple, trust me, it’s not. Everyone in the team will have to plank and the last man (or woman) standing will win for their faction.
I could only hold to the position for about 10 minutes. After that my arms were all wobbly and I could only crawl like a baby to move towards one of the agents who was showing me his scanner.
It was such a close match between Marco and Daniele. My goodness. They planked for close to 30 minutes. How on earth did they do that?
It seemed to go on forever. Unfortunately the Enlightened team couldn’t hold out longer possibly because he was tired from participating from the 12 hours Stealth Ops challenge earlier on. So we got this round and another code for us!
We headed back to Piazza dei Signori where each of us received our hard earned patches.
After a shower and a brief rest, back at the apartment (so nice to finally plunk away the backpack!) I headed back to join Cart and the rest of my faction members to celebrate our anomaly win. It was heartening to see so many people coming up to me curious about my experience and congratulating me.
Like Matteo and Gimmy from Stealth Ops and Matteo, Luisa and Aalyah my former team members from Vienna.
My shoulders hurt and my thighs were sore and my feet were complaining (doing the mission day on Sunday was a miserable day for me) but all in all, it has been a very interesting experience for me, and dare I say it, actually fun?
Thank you so much Roberto and the rest of the Enlightened members for being so friendly and a very sporting team and thank you Marco for being a wonderful team member and thank you Cadre Mickey!
The past six months has been amazing for me so far. With Ingress, I got to do a lot of things, I got to try at being a Team Radio in Milan, then a Team Leader in Vienna and now participated in a Goruck in Padova. Wow.
Now I GoRest.
P.s. For those of you thinking of participating for Goruck Urban Ops, while the fitness requirement is low – moderate, my advice to you is to train in some circuit training anyway. Carry a towel so that it will soften the barrier between your back and the weights and just enjoy the experience the best you can.