''Chau Tran''
© CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)    ''Qing Lian''
© CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)

CHAU TRAN, born 1949 in southern Vietnam as a son of south-chinese parents from the province Canton, China.
chinese name Chen Ying Yi 陳英義, pseudonym QING LIAN 青濂.

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"A journey of a thousand li begins from beneath your feet" (Laotse)

Crete, Greece - Journey 2000

In Asia, where I lived until 1979, people know little about Greece. Some asian countries were allied with the USA and fought against the communists with them. One was in close contact with them, but most people in those asian countries even have only a superficial knowledge about the USA. By experience the people in asia know rather more about the earlier colonial rulers and war criminals, who abused the people as sexslaves, experimented on human beings in the name of medicine and massacred the defenseless resident population. Other nations were mostly aliens to the asians until today.
With my first journey to Greece I would like to get to know the people there.



 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, When we arrive and enter the hotel grounds, we hear a hum that sounds very familiar to me. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Then we see the cicada, one of my favourite species of insects, that I here see again after 35 years. In my youth I had a careless life in Saigon despite of wartimes in the background. During my studies of nature I made some pencil drawings of insects like for example cicadas, butterflies, etc. The Vietnam war became more fierce. In their desperation or to test new weapons, the USA deployed Agent Orange to have a better possibility to defeat the enemy (the front of the south vietnamese liberation-activists, called VC, steered by the communist North Vietnam). Since then not a single singing sound could be heared from the cicadas or the crickets, the favourite species of insect of my elder brother. And I could no longer experience the fabulous hours with the fireflies. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Today, after the first breakfast here in Crete, we leave the hotel and after about 30 minutes we are welcomed by this field of flowers under the gleaming sun. I haven't seen those flowers in Vietnam, the first time I saw them was in China 1996. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, In the villages in China and Vietnam the flowers and kinds of calabash are hanging from wooden racks, stand on the patio, in the garden or on top of the garden entrancegate. Here the grapes are hanging in front of a souvenir shop, that creates a village life feeling for the tourists. Thomas can have a souvenir picture in front of this beautiful store. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Not only grapes but also wine jugs are hanging in front of the store. There is no wine for drinking available, but the grapes are already there! - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Not "White roses from Athens" but yellow roses from Crete. In Asia roses were never paid particular attention to. For the chinese roses became interesting in the end of the 1950s, after the emerging of the chinese hit song "Mei gui, mei gui, wo ai ni/Rose, rose, I love you". In Vietnam some decades later the rose became the symbol of love, but the love to the mother. When you pin on an rose, it means: I keep my mother in mind. Many vietnamese mothers have sacrificed more for the families and sufffered more than the fathers did. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, The chinese name of this flower is "纸花 (zhi hua)" and the vietnamese name is "Hoa Giấy / Paperflower". Our family had a similar flowertree in red on the patio in front of our house at the river in the suburbs of Saigon. They bloom all year long in a glowing red colour.
After the communist North Vietnam had invaded South Vietnam in the year 1975 and declared Vietnam as unified, the new government sympathized with the Soviet-Union and refused to collaborate with reformed China. As a punishment for the ungrateful former war-ally against the US, China marched over the border of both countries, but drew back after a short time, just to warn Vietnam. ( During Vietnam-war there was a famine, but the Chinese tightened their belts anyway and supported the communist Vietnam by continously delivering food and wepaons).
We, as Chinese, lived in the former capitalistic South Vietnam. Although all capital was confiscated by the new regime, we were reeducated and . . . and . . . and anyway we were suspected to work as spies for the communist China. Many, many Chinese in South Vietnam and also in North Vietnam were arrested and one never again heard something from them.
Our family lived with this threat and a constant fear. My two elder and my two younger brothers fled from Vietnam in the year 1978. I didn't want to go with them, because I worried about my parents and the younger siblings. But now I had to make the most fatal decision of my whole life. My father said over and over again: "You have to go, one can perceive, that you are being observed. Don't tell your siblings about it." Certainly my siblings mustn't know about it. It was bad! I couldn't abandon them! . . . . . . . . .
Two days later on my way home I ferried across the river. When the ferry boat was in the middle of the river, the ferryman looked to the left, then to the right and then deep into my eyes. He repeated that one more time. I could sense how under his old and ragged shirt and trousers his blood was circulating through his skinny and trembling body. After 1975 everybody became thin and skinny, only the winners of the war gained more for life. The ferryman once more tried to look deep into my eyes, this time his view reached deep into my soul. Suddenly a thought crossed my mind like a light beam. Now I understood what he wanted to tell me silently: "Why are you still here . . . . . You should have gone earlier." I looked into his face and saw tears rolling from his eyes. Arriving at the riverbank I disembarked, but before I hid some money, that I still had in my pocket, under a wooden seat. With an expression on his face he thanked me and I left the ferryboat.
I knew that ferryman for decades since my childhood, before 1975 we always had something to talk about and often laughed. After 1975 he was like dumb and deaf, nobody got a single word from his mouth.
In may 1979 I started my escape. Later I often thought about, whether the ferryman still lived or which bad fate he had to suffer with. One thing I know for sure, he taught me to keep silent after 1975. He was then able to refuse answering questions from "certain people".
Our house was confiscated later, but is the paperflowertree still alive? - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)



 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, In Asia this hibiscus is very rare, only the lantern hibiscus with the long stamen like hanging lanterns is popular. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, The watermelons on the field are very poor, the soil is dry. Is that the reason for the very very high price of the melons or is it just because the supermarket is on the way to the tourist beach? - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, A house like in a fairytale. . . . . . . . . . . . . . - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, . . . . . . . and here too a fairytalehouse . . . . . . . . - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, "In todays modern times children wish to have an iPhone instead of a fairytalebook. Parents are powerless against that. Will there be fairytales in the future?" "Yes, of course! There will always be opposites in our world. Like in the Tao-philosophy from Laotse, the originator of the Yin-Yang-principle. One will love modern technology, the other one will not like it. That is why fairytales will never disappear." The Tao-philosophy has invented Qigong, Tai-Chi-Chuen, the nutritional principles to avoid sickness and providing a long life and acupuncture. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, The blue colour from heaven and the sea, the white colour from the clouds, the green from the mountains and the brown from the soil. It can always become pretty with a little bit of creativity. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, A small street with many little restaurants and a supermarket at the end, where we provide us with some water. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, The calabashs are hanging from the wooden racks across the street. A little bit of villageromance. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, The palace of Knossos is the main destination of our journey. Here in front of one of the entrances. A crowd, but we have to wait only for 30 minutes, I had to stand for more than two hours at the entrancegate to Neuschwanstein castle. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, One can see almost only reconstructed ruins! - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Have the colours at the walls and columns been of similar type earlier? - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Have the greeks been smaller than today or are the palace roofs just really not that high? - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Did the wall paintings really look that way 4000 years ago? - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, One of the mural paintings on a reconstructed wall. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, In comparison one can see the size of the wallpainting. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, The tomb of the double axes! - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, The throne!!! - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, No paintings can be seen on the columns and ceilings. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, In earlier times they were already able to burn such large jugs. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, New construction with old material. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, The throneroom! The entrance on the left side. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, In the hall the plastered throne can be seen. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Beautiful frescos. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Opposite of the throne some steps lead down to a sacred cleaning basin. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Once again the throne and the beautiful frescos. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, A reconstruction attempt on how back then the palace must have looked like. On how many percent is that real? - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, The whole palace, as you see it today, consists of reconstructed ruins. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, A calabash is hanging in the entrance . . . . . . . . . - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, . . . . . . . . . of the café-restaurant. Here we are having a rest. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, The colour and shape of these flowers is like lilacs and wisterias. How is this flowertree called? - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Not a single man can be seen here apart from us! A place to relax and the peace of mind returns . . . . . . . . but I feel wanderlust, when I see the ships . . . . . . - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, . . . . . One nice day,it wasn't so hot and the silent sea mirrored the silver tears of the sun. The blue mountains shimmered like a silk veil of the most beautiful woman in the imperial palace in China . . . . . . . . . . . . In my mind's eye the ships suddenly hoist anchor and the jolly seamen travel to a new harbour, where many people are waiting for them. There they will be hugged when arriving, they kiss, dance, sing, drink eat and love day and night until the ships hoist anchor again and the seamen travel to another harbour . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . At home the beloved, women and children of the seamen are waiting. They are standing at the window, in the door, on the balcony and watch in the direction of the ocean. They go to the harbour nearly every day, watch the horizon and hope, that the ships will return, but with their beloved, men and fathers, who have hopefully not found a new home to stay there. . . . . . After all back then the seamen stayed with them in a new harbour too. . . . . . . . As I have seen in a documentary, nowadays life for the workers on a cruise ship is quite different! - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Back in our hotelroom, a balcony with seaview, or as the german travelagency calls it "The balcony faces the ocean" Whether you can see the ocean or not is another question. As I say often, the german language is very complicated! But we were lucky! A little bit of the sea can be seen, as the photo proves. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, After about an hour walk, we arrive at a silent beach. The sea is turquoise-blue and forms a unity with heaven. The birds fly free and the people deal with their daily beach routine in an unhurried speed . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, . . . . . . . . . . . At that moment a sunbed close to the water calls us: "Do you want to come to me? We can spend some beautiful hours together! I would like to tell you from the sea" . . . . . . . . . . With this kind reception we walk to that sunbed of course. He embraces our belongings and we make ourselves comfortable to enjoy the sunny hours under the parasol. The sunbed tells that he made a lot of contacts and experience with men and the weather of the four seasons. Men are bad, because they are cold-blooded, arrogant, intrusive, furtive, snobbish, but some are warmhearted, cooperative and kind. . . . . . - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, . . . . . . .After a short breathing time he carries on with a gentle tone: "In yesterdays night the sea came and embraced me! It was very sad, furious and angry at the same time. The sea told me, that men don't show any respect for him, they have polluted and besmirched it. His children, the sea dwellers can not breathe anymore and even worse are caught in large numbers with the help of modern technology and then thrown away somewhen, because they could not be sold. The he tells us, that dolphins and whales are good friends of him! Dolphins were massacred in large numbers (Link 1, Link 2) and the whales were haunted and killed (Link 3, Link 4)". "Why?" "For scientific research . . . . . what a lie." The sunbed continues to tell: "Somewhen the sea will not tolerate men anymore and answer wih a punishment . . . . . . . . " - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, . . . . . . . . . . Suddenly a light blinds my face, I open my eyes slowly and see everything blurred for a moment. Thomas: "You were sleeping for nearly one hour!" It was only a dream! I tell him from the dream. Thomas: "That is almost real" . . . . . . . . Reality can be like in a dream or a dream is the representation of reality! - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, An interesting plant. After blossom no fruit or vegetable grows, but a balloon with air, nearly the size of a tennisball. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, This plant is very exotic to me! - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, What's the name of this plant? - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, The bud of a kind of pumpkin. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, The pumpkin, symbol for wealth. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Here in Crete the bananatree is at home too. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, This time we discover a nice café close to our hotel . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, . . . . . . . On the terrace of a villa are the seats with much green around them, and a blue and a red macaw too. Back then I painted a blue macaw in a chinese painting, although my favourite parrot is the cockatoo. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Simple, but somehow . . . . . . . beautiful. The flower pots are relevant too! - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, The house is not finished in reality. On our transfer from the airport to the hotel, the tour guide told us, that greeks don't have to pay taxes for their private homes as long as they are not built completely. In some streets the upper floors of all houses look like ruins, maybe they will never be completed. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, This flower has the chinese name "Ling Xiao Hua". - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, This hibiscus is very beautiful too! Nature is so multifaceted! - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, How nice that the owner has spent many thoughts about the colours of the flowers and the face of the house! Here too the flowers are very relevant. That distracts from the messy power cables on the wall of the house! - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, We are at a place of the coast, where we can see ferries and cruise liners! Every squaremeter is used for the tourist business! . . . . . . . - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, . . . . . . . of course it is also used for daily hygiene and body cleaning. You can see that at the washing, pegged out on the awning of the restaurant (right side of the photo). - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, In this restaurant close to the water with the relaxing sound of the sea we would have been able to savor the food, if it only wasn't so . . . . . lala! Sure! The place and the seat is important, you cannot have all at the same time in life! Besides, tourists usually visit only once! - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, The lighthouse of Rethymno and the inner harbour. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, In this fish restaurant the guests preferred lobster. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Next to the Musicafe is a fish restaurant, the octopuses are still alive! - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, They gave their very best for the decoration of the ceiling, maybe for the food too! - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, I just wanted to leave, as Thomas said: "It is blurred, one more time" . . . . . . . . . - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, . . . . . . . . then I have two souvenirs of the lighthouse of Rethymno. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, It is nice to walk through a silent alley and we always discover something new. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, The grapes are hanging here midst the pedestrian zone. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Here too grapes are dangling over the way. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, These houses here can tell a lot about themselves! - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, This well preserved well is a case for monument conservation, apart from that there are mainly only reconstructed ruins to be seen in Greece. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, The face of this house may perhaps have an exciting story! - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, In such a house there may be living nice people. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, In one of these houses one can rent a room. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Walking through this alley is a permanent change of light and shadow and of different plants. It is a beautiful experience. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, At the end of the narrow aisle . . . . an areaway. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Such an alley remembers me to Venice, where those narrow streets are far away from the touristzone. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, "Mei Ren Jiao / Beauty banana" is the name of this flower in chinese. It can be seen all over south-asia in different colours. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Here we see the bud of a species of pumpkin. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, This bud is just blossoming. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, A kind of "Hoa Giấy / paperflower". - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, We originally planned to do a daytrip to Santorin this day. Now we are sitting here in a fish restaurant and enjoy lunch. Four days ago we were in a nearly empty pastry shop, we said hello to the staff in english. After she heard us talk in german she replied in that language: "Ah, you are from Germany. . . . . . ." After a short conversation we learn she had greek ancestors but was raised in Germany. Eight years ago she spent a holiday in Crete and met here present-day husband, a pastry chef. They fell in love at first sight. In the following year she came to Crete again and both decided to stay together. After the wedding they both opened the pastry-shop and now have a six year old daughter. They ask how we like Crete and we answer: "A very beutiful island. Originally we wanted to go to Santorin, but now we are here. Maybe next time". "A daytrip is enough to see Santorin. There is not much to see. The best way to see the island is from a boat. Besides the island has a problem with wate disposal. Piles of rubbish are laying around the city."
On our way back, close to the hotel, we want to buy ferrytickets to Santorin a travel agency. The travel agent: "One day is not enough to see Santorin. There is a crowd of daytourists and cruise-passengers during the day. Short before sunset you can gasp of relief, then they are gone. Furthermore you should not miss the sunset in Santorin, wonderful. Coincidentally I have here some supercool offers for some nights on the island. Snap at the chance." The way the man is talking to us and his behaving is like someone who tries to bait tourists into a sales event. I do not have a good feeling with that conversation. I nudge Thomas and say that we consider his offer and leave the travel agency. The man stands up and shouts behind us:"I would like to invite you to cup of coffee, stay just for a moment longer." "No, thanks!". Santorin, Santorin, some day we will travel to Santorin because of its blue white houses, the sky, the clouds and the sea, but it has to be well planned. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)



 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Sound of nature! - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


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2000, Free . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


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2000, . . . . . . . . . . . . and happy? - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, As long as we are not having far away excursions, we have our teatime in our favourite café. Everytime we watch the both macaws and when we stand right before the cage, the birds climb up the grid and shriek to us, as if they want to say : "Get me out of here! . . . . Get me out!" Then the birds realize, that we cannot help them and they become silent. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Everytime when the birds scream and we can not help them I feel so sorry to hear that. . . . . . . . . . . - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


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2000, I go back to seat at our table and say to Thomas: "The cages in the zoo are already small for those birds, but here . . . . . . . . . bad!". . . . . . . . . . - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, . . . . . . . . "They are so innocent!" says L., a young woman in her early twenties. In their vacation she accompanies her mother, who is in a wheelchair. We already met them at our last teatime. Mother: "There are also innocent people, who are death row inmates and waiting for their execution." "How come. Where is that?" I ask. Mother: "Yeah, in the US." L.: "Law students have proven the innocence of a death-convicted prisoner by an up-to-date DNA-test, but the trial wouldn't be repeated. Only 0,0001 % were acquitted but only by the help of very good lawyers, many supporters and protest marches." Mother: "Where can you find justice on earth? By a medical error my surgery went wrong and now I have to live in a wheelchair." L: "We fought for a compensation,but we didn't see one cent until now!" One of the macaws shouts loud again and we interrupt our conversation . . . . . . . . - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, It is acceptably hot today. We order one more drink and chat for a while until the sun says goodbye. L. may not be pretty, but she seems to be very clever. Due to her mothers problem she now studies law and is in her second semester. I keep my fingers crossed for her and wish her a lot of success in her future job!- Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Today we are in Agios Nikolaus and visit the famous Agia Triada-Church, the orthodox church of the holy trinity. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, There are three angels above the entrance gate. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, An inner harbour for the fisherboat of Agios Nikolaus. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Around the harbour there are numerous restaurants and shops. At that time no tourists can be seen, apart from us. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Stairs down to the riverbank. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Clear water, colorful fisherboat. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Here in Crete fish are caught in the traditional way. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, A view to Thomas, Thomas like it here very much! . . . . . . . . . - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, . . . . . . . . .This cat too. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, On the other side of the water I see a chapel. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, In the water, . . . . . . . . . . a field of light. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, We decided to have lunch in this harbour. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, "A feast for the eyes". This saying refers to the scenery, not to the food. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Not far away from the harbour everthing at the coast is paved over for streets, hotels, restaurants and shops. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Good, that you can have the fresh maritime air for free. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, The lonely sunshade. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Maybe it is happy, that it is not on the beach with the masses! - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, It's time for tea. . . . . . . . . . . - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, . . . . . . . . . . . and coffee. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, It is not hot anymore, the water is wavy from the wind, the small boats rock, the children focus on their activities. . . . . . . . . . . . - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, . . . . . . . . . and we, the grownups can feel how nice a careless childhood can be. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Thomas was in San Francisco once, me twice, the steep road here looks similar to many streets over there. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Everywhere you can see flowers and plants , here sunflowers next to the house entrance. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Afternoon break. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, A yellow-orange hibiscus-plant. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, The Cretes have their own colourconcept, which matches the climate here. Like the old wooden houses in Key West/USA at times of Hemingway. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, It is close to perfect for me, it can hardly become more beautiful! This restaurant. Besides, blue is one of my favourite colours, the colour of hope. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, On the left side of the restaurant, a large pomegranate tree, which provides shade. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, At the wall: species of cactus and grapes. I am nearly wordless! - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Today we end up in a market street. Prices here are more convenient as somewhere else, where the tourists are. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, You can accomplish even two daily requirements at once! - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, A big fish has just been cut up. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, I am in the mood for cooking, when I see this, but here I don't have the possibilities to do so. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, On this market we see a cobbler shop. Curiously we peek into it. The old cobbler shop appeals to us. The old cobbler talks to us, but we don't understand. Then he points with his finger into the shop and suddenly we knew what he meant. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, The younger cobbler in the shop, probably the son, doesn't understand a single word in english or german. I tried to speak in three different chinese languages and in vietnamese to him, he understands that I am just kidding and laughs. Actually I planned to discard my old shoes after the holiday in Crete. By show of hands he recommends to resole them and to reinforce the seam at another spot. I agree. After a one hour walk in my flip-flops we are back and the shoes are ready. The price is as agreed, not expensive! - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Here in Heraklion we see a church. It is the cathedral of the archdiocese Crete of the holy Minas. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, A monument of the bishop . . . . . . - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, In the cathedral one can see gorgeous mural paintings on the ceiling. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Who is represented here, St. Peter? - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Many religions, regardless whether in Europe or Asia, like to show how rich and powerful they are. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Crete's capital Heraklion (also called Iraklion) where we visit the archaeological museum. Here we see pots of clay with painted motives of birds and fishes. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, From this piece of jewelry you can see that honey is one of Greece's main food products and that they are often in contact with bees. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Some of my favourite animals. Here as a mural painting. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, The famous Bull-Leaping Fresco. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Three ladies in blue, reconstructed from just a few fragments. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Reconstruction of the throne room! How much of the depicted was real? - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, The head of a bull. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, A vase made from mountain crystal. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, From the terrain of the museum we can see the city from above. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Of course we are taking part in the greek cultural evening. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, The guests too were invited to dance. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Thomas wasn't very hungry at the evening meal, now he recovers his appetite. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, When I tell them in Asia, that men in Scotland and Greece are wearing short skirts, they will burst into laughter. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, An acrobatic act, the dancer is standing on a bottle and a glass. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, "He Huan / Happy together" is the chinese name of this flower. Another happy day starts for us. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Today we come to the fishing-harbour of Ierapetra. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, The fisherboat in Crete often have blithesome colours. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, A church with airy belltowers. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, We decide to have lunch in this small restaurant. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, The female owner is waitress and chef at the same time. She seems to be very thoughtful! Isn't the business running well? Her problems are written in her face. The restaurant is empty and she alone has to do everything. Who knows, maybe she has another problem? In vietnam you say: "You always have worries, but not anymore, when you lie below ground." - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, The colours of this restaurant look a little bit like the colours of my website. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Ready to eat! Affordable and not bad. The chef took care in cooking. After meal we do some sightseeing and then travel back to our hotel and to our favourite café. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, While having breakfast on the patio of the hotel the sun welcomes us to a good day. I have the feeling that something unexpected beautiful will happen. We go aboard a bus and have a round trip. We alight at some place and after a 15-minute walk I see something from afar, that I didn't expect here . . . . . . . . . . . . . - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, . . . . . . . . . . "Gi Guan Hua / cocks crown blossom" in english plumed cockscomb (Celosia argentea cristata). The communists of North Vietnam attacked South Vietnam and declared Vietnam as unified in 1975. I haven't seen this flower since then. Besides flowers were a luxury article at that time and were only planted for the political upper class, for presentations of the party and to honour "heroes". In Europe, USA, Australia and China I haven't seen this flower too since 1979. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, In China and Vietnam you don't see "Gi Guan Hua / cocks crown blossom" on the family altar, the temple or with festive events. It can also rarely be seen in the cities. I see "Gi Guan Hua / cocks crown blossom" usually in a village, mostly in in the front garden of the houses. . . . . . . . . . - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, . . . . . . . . . It is seldom painted by artists. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, There is "Gi Guan Hua / cocks crown blossom" in different colours and shapes. I prefer the red coloured ones. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, In my opinion the flower looks like a "lady in a velvet gown"- Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, A portrait with the "lady in a velvet gown". - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, First thing I see here in Crete is the cicada and now secondly the "lady in a velvet gown". A lucky surprise for me. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, On nearly every café and restaurant you can see hanging calabashs. Is this vegetable a symbol for good . . . . . . business? - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, This rose calls my attention with its bright smile! - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, And this azalea enjoys the sun and the fresh breeze from the sea . . . . . . . . . . - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, . . . . . . . . . . so do these yellow flowers. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, We stood up late today, after breakfast we arrived at this deserted coast. It is noon. We see a landscape far and wide, consisting of heaven and sea only. We sit on a bench and enjoy what nature presents us again and again. When I look at it, the endless sea with its colour wakes the hope inside of me. In that moment I have the hope that after the last militant decades war may end some day. That young people do not have to leave their homes and be sent to other countries for war. Because, if they returned alive some day, their own life and that of their families would be destroyed by the dramatic war. One can hope everything, but in this case it lies in the hands of politics. - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, Tomorrow we fly back to Germany, today is our last day in Greece. At yesterdays evening meal, L. and her mother came to our table to say good-bye. We made an appointment with them in our favourite café once more. Two other persons a couple in the mid-thirties, who knew L. and her mother, were also invited. We exchanged our experiences during our travels, then todays world politics, the environment, etc... L. says that if possible she would go to the US after her law studies. Together with the law-students there, she wants to help innocent people, death row inmates. . . . . . . . . It was a long evening!
The sounds of the sea are not very relaxing today, but they sound like sighing and moaning! Maybe, because we have to say good-bye or because we heard in the news that another oil-tanker had an accident and its oil drained into the sea. That influenced our mood in a negative way! - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)



 


   © CHAU TRAN (QING LIAN)   
2000, One more time we go to watch the cicada and say good-bye before we fly back to Germany tomorrow . . . . . . . . . . . One thing I know: "When the cicada cannot be heared, when the fireflies cannot be seen, when the bees are ill, then our world has lost its beauty." - Chau Tran (Qing Lian)


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