A day in Miami

Version Française

There must be at least a thousand different things to do in miami. It’s crazy that I know so little about this city and its surroundings even after I have lived there for about a year. Miami means the sun, the heat, the loud music in the cars, parties that last forever, the sea, pretty girls in bikini and spicy food. Damn, looks like Haiti!

I like everything about Miami. I can say that, because, as I said earlier, I know so little. But my God, this city awakens in you a joy of life that invades your heart as soon as you arrive at the airport. And then you try to live life quietly, despising this crazy happiness, but looking around you and the palms that happily rise in front of the colored houses make you forget all of your good resolutions.

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Believe me, I wanted to hate this city. For example, I would say that the whole area of Florida is not fun if you do not have a car. So if you are thinking of traveling to Miami, it would be wise to think first and foremost of an efficient transportation system. And by efficient, I mean a car, because going to South-beach by bus is not very convenient. But unfortunately, my list of bad adventures in Miami is not what brought you here, right? So without further delay, I will quickly share a small list of activities that you can do in Miami in a day. A list that I concocted just for your happiness.

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Have you ever read an article on Hello Crépuscule? So it’s clear that you know my passion for twilight! Though! Just by seeing the name of the blog, Y’a pas photo. So it makes more sense that for me, the ideal day should start with a magnificent sunrise. A sunrise, slow, magical, with all these magnificent colors that make you melt, this joyous understanding between the sun and the clouds, and you, little lucky person who have the chance to attend this show. But what is a sunrise if the horizon of the sea does not extend endlessly? And that’s why living in Miami is great, because you can find the sea everywhere. I will suggest a small beach named Oleta River State Park Beach. It opens around 5:30 am and offers all kinds of activities: canoeing, kayaking, or fishing. Prices may vary by activity but to have access to the beach you must pay about $ 6 USD. The setting is a bit far from the crowded beaches of south-beach. You will find yourself in a pleasant environment, wooded, where you can give free rein to your imagination. That being said, do not lose yourself too much, because after that sunrise in this park, you will have to find strength to bathe. Because the sea is clear and warm.

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Hello Crepuscule Miami

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What to do after a good swim? I asked myself the question. I wanted something original. And then a friend called me to invite me to go iceskating. I’ll stop you: I never skated in my life but the opportunity seemed too good not to jump, so I slipped. Well okay, my pun was a little nil. You should be used to it by now. All this to say that I found the idea brilliant and therefore I was ready for the adventure. The experience was just unique. We chose to go to Pines Ice Arena, about thirty minutes away from Miami. It was a bit crowded, but I think that must vary according to the season. I could summarize this adventure in a few words: the place was icy and I was wearing a little light dress. For nearly two hours I clung to the wall by fear of breaking a tooth, my heart pounding, watching some 8 year olds kids doing pirouettes on the track. And all this beautiful show for only $ 8 USD. I literally humiliated myself. So, I invite you to do the same.

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travel with Wendelle Miami JPG

ice skating hello Crepuscule miami

By the time you leave Pines Ice Arena, it will be the end of the day. At this point, you’ll either feel a pain all over your body if you’ve fallen while skating or you’ll be extremely hungry. In both cases, you will be leaving for a calmer activity and one also more touristic. So I have no choice but to offer you a walk on Bayside. How to describe? Bayside is pretty much the Miami you see in the movies. These are all the stereotypes you have, for having watched too many hip-hop videos. Does that remind you of something? Lots of Lights, long coconut trees stretching as far as the eye can see, shops, restaurants, boats, the sea. All this in a festive atmosphere. You will be able to take pictures that will allow you to boast in front of your friends. You can eat in the best restaurants, drink in the best bars, and you can visit the coolest arts centers. Basically you will have the opportunity to do any kind of tourist activities. And If what I listed is not your type of activities, you will content yourself with a long walk. You will watch the sunset. The city will slowly plunge into the shadow and in the blink of an eye, the world will stop. A magical moment that very few have the chance to live because at no moment, the pace of life decelerates. They will turn on the lights, and amazed, you’ll attend the birth of the night life.. And while you will post your photo on Instagram or Facebook to summarize your day, next to the usual comment “I’m in Miami B * tch”, do not forget to tag “#travelwithwendelle”. This way, I too can live your adventures.

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The chronicles of a haitian girl in Argentina: What I learn from living in Buenos Aires

French Version 

Buenos Aires is far from what I was expecting. Not that I’m deceived. Far from that. I actually find myself being attracted by this unexpected side. As I said before, I’m taking you in every step of this journey, so you’re with me for the good and the bad. It’s kind of funny how I have a tendency to attract the bad. It would be a shame for me to complain about it. No. Instead, I enjoy every little piece of it. One day I’ll take the time to write an article about all the times that I had put myself in incredible, awkward and clumsy situations. But for Today I’m taking you with me in my discovery of the beautiful, yet unexpected Argentina.

I landed here a few days ago. It’s pretty soon to actually have a complete and concrete impression but I found myself learning a lot from these few days. So I thought I would share with you my experience and what Argentina has taught me so far.

On my way to buenos Aires, I had a conversation with one of the stewardess. I mean, yeah it’s not really accurate, but I was in one of those situations that I usually put myself into. So, at one point of the conversation, the lady asked me why, among all the countries where they speak Spanish I chose to go to Argentina while I knew it was known to be an unsafe place. Well, at that point I didn’t really have the choice: My ticket was already paid and I was 10 minutes away from getting in the airplane. I’m kidding. But what is important to me is what I answered to her. As I’m from a third world country, usually labeled as dangerous, I feel like I have no right to judge a country unless I’ve been there. So, at that time I was really confident about my trip. But after getting robbed by the taxi driver who took all the money that I had on me on my way from the airport to the hotel, I had to change my perception of everything. I’m not saying that Argentina is dangerous, but I’m saying being extra cautious has never killed anyone.

Argentina has taught me that I only need cash “efectivo as they call it here” in my life. In buenos Aires they don’t speak the language of credit/debit card. Money talk but only when they can touch it. So if you’re ever planning on making a trip to Argentina, you might as well take out all the money you’re going to need before heading to the country. And when you’re going out, you got to repeat the same thing. You don’t want to be in the same situation as me where I had to leave the restaurant where I was eating to go take out money at the nearest bank. It was either that or wash the dishes. Well the last part was a joke but you definitely don’t want to be in that type of situations.

In Argentina, I learned that being black is exotic. I’m a positive person so bare with me. I know that everybody don’t have the same reaction to the same situation, so if you’re particularly sensitive to people staring at you or willing to touch your hair, you might reconsider your trip. Walking down the streets of Buenos Aires, I found myself being the greatest attraction ever. When I say attraction, I mean the greatest wall of China type of attraction. And if some people might be racists, some others are just being curious. So it’s good to be open minded to what you will encounter and the people you will meet. And let’s be clear, I’m exotic but they are as well. Where else in the world would I meet a rock star in the metro who happens to perform with his band every Friday night in a bar? I also met my alter ego. I’m serious. He was an elder but happened to love politics and he travelled all around the world. The greatest meeting I have ever had in my life. I feel like, my favorite place in Buenos Aires, has to be the metro. I mean so many incredible things happened there. Last time I took it, I met the cutest little girl in the world. She was so amazed by my hair, and I didn’t have the courage to tell her that I was wearing faux locs.

Talking about metro. Argentina taught me that I could easily take the train/metro without the fear of being late because of a suspicious package or because of something else. Anybody who has lived in Paris knows what I’m talking about. I’m serious. The craziest things happens in this city. Last time I took the train to go to a meeting, I spent 2 hours on the train, because there was goats walking on the railway. Nobody ever believed me when I say that this happened in Paris.

Living in Argentina I learned that there was more than one way to eat potatoes. I’m not even being funny. The food there is incredible. I was actually expecting that part. You remember my Spanish teacher from my last article? Yeah, That same one who made me book a flight to this country. She was the one to talk to me about the food. And I’m happy to say that my mind is pleasantly blown.

I’ve learned that the Argentinians are proud. During my entire life, I’ve never seen that many flags hanging on people’s balcony. And this is coming from a girl who take pride in talking about her country. Here I don’t need people to talk to me about how proud they are, I just have to raise my eyes to the sky.

The chronicles of a Haitian girl in Argentina: The Preparation

French Version

My heart is jumping out of my chest by the idea of me leaving France. I know, I love this country and I’ve been living there for a while now. But I was in an extreme need of changing space. I wanted to see other places, and I’m so happy that in a few days I’ll be landing in Argentina.

One of the biggest reason of my happiness is the fact That I am taking you with me. In my previous articles about traveling, I only shared with you my experience. But in this one I decided to take you in every step of the trip.

Why Argentina?

To be honest Argentina wasn’t my first choice. In my quest of adventures, I’m always falling for the most exotic country, and my first choice for this trip was Brazil. But Since I’m planning on studying as well, I had to give up the idea of moving to Brazil as I don’t speak Portuguese and Since my second choice was Argentina, Here I am.

The main reason of me moving to Argentina? My Spanish teacher. My Argentinian Spanish Teacher who talked to me so much about Argentina that I had no choice than moving to this country. I’m serious. For the first time in my life I experienced what most of my interlocutors feel when I’m talking to them about Haiti. I’m still interested about learning more about the people, the language, the way of living, but my friend, my Spanish teacher is everything.

Preparation:

As a Haitian, I don’t need visa to travel to Argentina. However, since I’m going to stay there for more than 3 month I’ll need to apply for a visa when I get there. A few days ago, I sent an envelop to the Embassy of Argentina in France in which I put a stamp envelop, a copy of my passport and a copy of the admission letter from my university in Argentina. A few days later the Argentinian consulate in Paris sent me a paper in which they stipulate that I can travel to Argentina without a visa.

If your purpose of travel is different than mine, the process might be different .So I’m encouraging you to make more research on the website of the Argentinian embassy in the country where you are located.

Personal enrichment:

I’m expecting a few things from this trip. First of all, I’m looking forward to improve my Spanish. When I say improving I mean going from 5 to 9/10. Well it’s my right to reach for the stars. Lol. I wanna learn so much things from the local. Why They live the way they do, their history, the architecture, the traditions, the landscape.

I literally can’t wait for that trip. I’m not looking forward for the weather as I’m not really a winter person. But we’re here to experience right? So I’ll see you soon in Buenos Aires.

7 reasons to live in Taiwan

French Version 

I’m Haitian. You know, this little island in the Caribbean that I always end up putting in every conversation that I have. Yes, I’m from Haiti, and I’m pretty sure to have shared before my passion for my hometown. But I also love traveling. I love discovering new culture, new people, new family. I love making memories with people that I never thought I would meet one day in my life. Traveling has been a journey for me. It has opened my eyes about what is going on around me and made me realize so many things about the world and myself that it would actually take me a whole day to talk about. However, through my travels I ended up falling in love with another country. Another island that I consider right now as a second home. I can’t explain what is this thing that I have for islands. But whatever it is, I feel grateful that it actually took me to Taiwan. Yes Taiwan. This little island in the southeast of Mainland China that some people Call “Republic of China” or “Formosa”. You won’t probably understand the love between me in this country but since it is a big part of my world, “Wendelle’s world” let me introduce it to you by sharing 7 reasons why you should comeat least once to visit Taiwan:

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1. Taiwanese cuisine

When I came to Taiwan, I didn’t think that this would be a valuable reason for me to visit this country. I had a lot of stereotypes about the asian cuisine. Well You know: the fact that they eat dogs, or other kind of meats. I was also very excited by the fact that they eat a lot of seafoods and was actually expecting for my mind to be blown. But instead I got really disappointed. Most Taiwanese food was actually made out of pork. Which for me, was kinda disappointing. But, the experience with food evolved over the years. And I got to know myself better. Eating vegetarian food is as easy as eating any kind of other food. But on top of that it’s cheap. When I talk to my friends, they never want to believe me, but eating in taiwan is actually so cheap that you would save more by eating outside than cooking at home when you’re living alone.

I wouldn’t finish this part without talking about how easy it is to find food. Food is available all day and all night long. You can directly go to the night markets or to a stand where you can find fruits, or bubble tea which I love, especially in the summer.

2. Taiwanese people

Taiwanese people are adorable. I had the chance to meet a few people there and even though they don’t speak english they will always find a reason to come to you and talk to you. Well to be honest, it can be a little bit annoying. Specially when you’re in a hurry. People will take pictures of you without asking or stare at you for days. I might say that it’s pretty easy to find some racist people over there as well. But hey! Who am I to judge? I’m just going to point out the good part which is when you find some taiwanese who like you, you make a friend for life. One of the best stories that I have, happened when I first moved there. I was living in an old apartment. There was an elder woman who was living in the first floor. One day while I was coming home, I found her waiting for me in front of the elevator. She didn’t speak a word of english and I didn’t understand mandarin. But it happened that she liked me. She gave me a basket of fruits. And ever since then she would wait for me everyday to give me fruits. I never knew why she liked me but until now I can never forget about her.

3. The culture

A lot of foreigners think China equals Taiwan. But Taiwan has its own story, and its own history. It’s a history of self identity and self love. I won’t minimize the influence of Mainland China. I’m just saying that with time, Taiwan has become a unique mixture of the heritage of Mainland China, of Japan, of the aboriginals, with its territory and a more open minded attitude. Taiwan can definitely take your need of exoticism to another level.

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4. The landscapes

Taiwan has a variety of landscapes. It has beautiful beaches, where you can scuba dive. It has beautiful mountain where you can go hiking, and on top of that you can find snow in some places. I have to admit that the last part is a little bit harder to find, but it’s still there. Taiwan is just a little bit of the Caribbean, a little bit of Europe in Asia. I’ll let your imagination do the rest.

5. The Taroko Gorge

Well I could say any of the amazing sites that you could visit in Taiwan. I could talk about the “green island”, The “Sun Moon Lake”, etc. But I just happen to have a particular love for the Taroko gorge. The mountains, the river, the immense beauty of the nature that can make you feel so lonely but yet so peaceful. I just love it and it is definitely one of the places to visit in Taiwan.

6. Taipei

I love Taipei. I think this city has a good vibe. To have lived there for like 3 years, I can say that this place is somehow mysterious. There are plenty of things to do: visit the Taipei 101, go to the night markets, and go to the hot spring. The night life is awesome (I’m saying that because I know a lot of young travelers were waiting on that part). The transportation is easy and very convenient even for those who don’t speak Chinese. It’s CLEAN! I needed to put an emphasis on that part. Taipei is just special in its own way.

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7. And everything else

Life in Taiwan isn’t expensive. Unless you want to rent an apartment in Taipei. But otherwise it’s affordable. It’s a perfect place to learn mandarin and to make friends. I met Some of the most incredible persons in my life while in Taipei. It’s a melting pot where being a foreigner is enough to bring people closer no matter where you’re from. Also, if you’re into spirituality, as in most of the places in Asia, being in Taiwan can help you be more conscious about the world you live in. The medical system is pretty cool, even if you don’t speak mandarin.

But the last not least is the 7eleven and the Family-mart. They are just what you need to see Taiwan as the perfect place.

1o Fun facts about Haiti

A few days ago I read an article about Haiti! It was pretty interesting since it actually gave to whoever was reading it 10 fun facts about Haiti that this person probably didn’t know. So I decided to make an English version of it so I can make all these informations available for everybody! I’m pretty sure there is so much more that I can publish about Haiti that you didn’t know but you’ll eventually have to wait until my next post. But now you can enjoy 10 facts about Haiti. Let me know which one you already knew and don’t be shy to give me more ideas that you think I could share.

1.Haiti is the most mountainous island in the Caribbean,

2. The turtle island was inhabited only by pirates during the 17th century .

3. L’île-à-vache “the cow island” was named after an invasion Of Wild cow after the colons left the island.

4.The Haitian area is larger than the state of Vermont.

5. Haiti has 14 airports.

6. From the 15th to the 19th century, France, Spain and England were fighting over the control of the island of Hispaniola.

7. Haiti is the only black nation in the world whose independence is the direct result of a slave revolt

8.The independence of Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela would not have been possible without the military and financial support of Haiti.

9.The flag of Venezuela was created in the port of Jacmel, which is a little city in the south east of Haiti.

10. During 105 years, Haiti was responsible for producing 40% of sugar consumed on the planet.

Chronicles of a haitian girl in Paris

French Version

I wander in the cold streets of Paris. It’s raining! I Look at my watch: It’s 6:30. The weather is refreshing. I’m discovering everything about this city. Paris is new to me. A whole lot of shops line up next to each other. I barely know their names. I’m willing to know more. I’m on my “Dora The explorer” mood. A church appears at a crossroads. It looks lordly and its view fills me with a feeling of spirituality. I stop on my walk and I take a quick picture. My phone gets wet immediately.

I look at the sky and I let the icy raindrops fall all over me. I’m feeling like a movie character. I compare myself to a fearless heroine seeking for adventures. I close my eyes and I imagine my own fairytale: The love of my life will suddenly appear. He will protect me from the raindrops. He will tell me with his french accent:

– Mademoiselle, je vous offre un café? (1)

This is the storyline that we usually see in novels. I will smile. I will take a candid peek at him and I will answer:

– Avec plaisir! (2)

He will tell me every little details about this city. Paris have welcomed me since the past few months and I barely know this city. He will teach me everything that I need to know. We will have some long and smart talks. I will try my best to show that I can express myself with wit. Because I’ll want him to think that I am smart. He will tell me poems in the language of Molière. I will inspire him the most beautiful verses… I feel the stream of the raindrops over my hands. I come back to reality. Paris is the city of Love. But my fairytale will not have a happy ending.

I try to follow the pace of the passengers. Parisian are always in a hurry. They gradually outstrip me. I slow down my pace. I am a Caribbean girl. I like to take my time.

I discover Paris at dusk. There is no twilight, but the city is all lit up. People are dressed in black and the walls are gray. Paris seems sad. It is animated, yet seems frozen. I am an island girl, I can not help but notice the lack of color on the houses even when I know that each one of these houses shouts a story.

Cafes and bars are as numerous as fashion stores. At every corner, at every avenue, they line up one after the other. All filled. I am looking for a quiet place to retire.

My lack of style and elegance can remind everybody that I’m new in this city. I am neither a Parisian, much less a fashionista. I know, because my boots up in my lap and my scarf hides half of my face. I am a Caribbean girl, I’m afraid of the cold. The other girls outstrip me, each one more elegant than other one. I mentally add to my to-do list ” go shopping”.

My hair is falling over my face. What was supposed to be a big marvellous Fro at the beginning of the day, is now a life less tuft.

A rose seller approaches me and asks:

– Une fleur pour la demoiselle? (3)

I desperately look for some money. But in my pocket, I only have tickets for the metro.

The seller smiles at me and says:

– C’est gratuit, pour la demoiselle. (4)

Paris! Why does you have to be so beautiful?

I’m listening to “sober” from Childish Gambino. Because all those who know me, know that Wendy lives to the rhythm of music. And my music tonight is this song that I can describe only with two words: Melancholic, perfect.

I continue my walk alone with myself. I hum the lyrics of the song: “Now That it’s over, I’ll Never Be sober” …

And then my eyes fill with tears. They are hot. They stream down my face and mix with rain drops. Memories flood into my head. I close my eyes. My mood must be as volatile as the weather. I switch from “heroine looking for love” to this indecisive, melancholic, lost girl.

I take my phone out of my pocket. It is 20:00. I count my steps. No matter where they take me, I am fearless. Paris promises to be enchanting.

(1)_Miss, Can I offer you a drink?

(2)_With pleasure!

(3)_Does the lady want a rose?

(4)_It’s free for the Lady!