Families with young and sick child are house evicted, Santo Domingo

Protesting

There is chronic problem of homelessness and poverty in Santo Domingo and all Dominican Republic. The Institutions, Governments and Churches don’t have any working plan or support for homelessness, neither for disabled people.
In this story that I have witnessed today, there are few families potentially becoming homeless.

 

Wednesday, 9 march 2016

SANTO DOMINGO — Several families in the street protesting because they were evicted out of home situated in Calle Isabel la catolica 112,  from the magnate owner, Jose Hernando, which owns also a luxury hotel,” Hodelpa Caribe Colonial”, downtown the capital of the Dominican Republic (‘Zona Clolonial’).

Families with children, even one baby, which is sick, as they say; were sittings at the side-entrance of the Hotel,
stating to have been ‘kicked out’  the day before in a brutal way, claiming that it was not ethical —there are pictures on the net from yesterday, showing all the furniture in the street, burned up—.

I went in the hotel asking to talk with the owner to ask more informations, but he was not there.
I have emailed the hotel waiting for an answer.

Here the video

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Baltic’s States, I meet a blood drinker around Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania

ESTONIA

One of the difficult things for me, to do on the road, is to take picture and enjoy what you are photographing at the same time. Is not easy to catch the beauty of what you are watching, often by photographing all the time, you even lose connection with the reality and the enjoyment of the moment. That’s why sometimes I just leave the camera on my bicycle and I record everything without even pointing at it! (not always with the best results….)

Blood drinking girl in Pärn‍u

On my way south, from Finland to the bottom of Estonia, I was searching for a place to sleep, suddenly I met someone…

We met in the middle of the night without knowing each other, in a dark street in the countryside.
I was lost and she offered me her place to sleep (without even seeing my face).
I liked her style, her way of behaving and her apparent foolery, she was really extravagant.
While we cycled to her place, she was telling me that she was a monster and enjoyed killing people. Drinking their blood.
I was slightly scared, but tired enough from the trip to follow her without resistance.

We arrived,
her room had many dark-style decorations on the walls.

It was the house of her grandparents, with her alcohol addicted grandfather, always drunk, screaming all the time, and her extremely sweet grandmother, gentle and kind, suffering all the time.

Even being afraid that someone is a dangerous person, if you like that person and you think it’s someone worth to get to know, you should go for it.  Everybody is a potentially dangerous person, and remember that even if someone is ‘bad’, he may change as well. Better to be now, with someone that looks like a dangerous person, or maybe not perfect, than to get to know someone thinking he is totally safe  (which does not exist actually) , that will eventually change in the future in someone dangerous while the first person may get better.
Not even death always related with ugliness: the dying of leafs on a maple tree are delightful to see for example.


LATVIA

RIGA

The most people has a quite archaic and conservative opinion about sex and man-woman relationship. If you like to be in company of women you are seen as a dirty, stupid, unwelcome.
The first impression is that western Europeans can be just good to get scammed and ripped off.

There is a huge Russian influence here, even if people told me: “Lithuanians are more Russian-style than us…”.
Anyhow, I don’t see here a big wish for change from the past.

If a man is not prone to expose himself for his ideas, or his ideals have no value at all or he, as person, has no value at all.

Luca x2, the paradoxical coincidence

Passing by a hostel in the center of Riga, asking some information’s, I notice a person that I have seen somewhere before.

I ask:

“Hallo, did I see you anywhere before?”

“yes, maybe” – he says with a strong french accent,

“ah, that’s funny, where were you the past weeks?” – I reply,

“in Tallinn,”

“me too! we should have met there then, did you hitchhiked to here?”

“no, I came with the bicycle”

“me too! what a coincidence!”

“what is your route?”

“I am coming from Scandinavia”

“me too! that’s more than a coincidence… ! where are you going?” – I say, almost not believing it!

“south, direction middle-east,”

“me too!” – I even start to worry about too many coincidences! – “since when did you start?”

“many months”

“me too, seen that we have so much things in common, we should introduce each other! What’s your name?”

“Luca” – he says

“me too!!” I reply

This is funny, weird and does not even look like to be possible, but it is. And you have seen it on video!

 

I love Gulliver’s travels because whenever he was traveling,  in the each new place he arrived, the people could not understand or properly interpret experiences he had in the previous places. This happen in real life as well, who hasn’t traveled into a country, is not really able to understand certain things about that culture.


 

LITHUANIA

What if we would say to an anthropologist: “are you sure the culture you talk about is not just a scientific stereotype?” – I don’t think it is, but would be interesting to hear the answer.

Vilnius

If you just go in the street and shout: “Giedre” you will get at least the half of the girls turning their head. This is the most common name for girls.

Food

Lithuanians really love to add sauces to any kind of food, especially ketchup!
Pizza with ketchup, mayonnaise or tartar sauce is quite common.
Coffee and tea are not filtered, which means that you are mostly eating, not drinking it.

Vegetarians and vegans in Vilnius

When I asked to a waiter in a restaurant for a vegan meal, she gave me this explanation:

“Vegetarian here means that you are allowed to eat fish, Vegan means that you don’t eat fish or meat, but you do eat milk and eggs.”

I was surprised, but actually I have to admit that in Lithuania people is still much more forward than in more southern countries about fair and healthy food, for sure Latvians and Belorussians are not better…

Police

A group of three persons was behaving a bit annoying around the main train station during night time, once I called police they came really fast, they were helpful and did a good job, I even got a translator.

With Police the truth is sometimes the least credible.

The danger of who generalize is to end up fighting against his companions.

Cycling

There are public bicycles and some bicycle paths, still the system is not perfect and in many streets it’s really hard to cycle because the path may be marked as “cycling lane”, but , it has in some areas paving stones that makes it almost impossible to cycle.  The crossings points need to be improved too.

Street Theater, Street Performances

Lithuanians have a sense of creativity, art and modernism, I was quite surprised to notice that.
There are many enjoyable street performances in Lithuania, regardless the cold climate (of course mostly in the summer), if you happen to pass in Vilnius in August you may enjoy some carfree days with Art, Sports and performances open to all.

Theater VS Real Life

Theater and reality overlap in my life, it merges until the point I don’t play theater anymore but I play my life, making the world as scene. This makes my technical acting skills decrease, but my social and life skills improve.

Technology

Regardless some other fields where there is room for improvement,  in Lithuania, you have great internet infrastructure: the best European fibreoptic internet penetration (usage) and both home and mobile internet really fast and affordable.

Technology VS Nature

How to know when tech is going against nature?
Well, one easy attitude would be to use technology to better understand and follow nature’s rules.

CouchSurfing Corporate. CS Censorship and going for-profit. C$ = CashSurfing

CS Profile

Goodbye CouchSurfing,

Welcome C$, Cash$urfing

C$ Corporation exploited the work of volunteers without keeping the given word (CS goes Corporate & uses ads)

CouchSurfing was builded up by volunteers, people full of energy, willing to help a non-profit organization. Thanks to those volunteers (me included) CS became really popular.

The founder (Casey Fenton), which always made clear that CS would never be a corporatesold it  and it’s now officially a for profit corporation where the members are business material.
When CS was a non-profit, I was volunteering a lot, spending my time, energy and money. I was doing it for a non-profit community. If I knew it would have been a corporate I would not have done it.
In 2012 CS staff even said: “We will never advertise on Couchsurfing. Ever.” – Now advertising is one of the main income tool for C$.


Censorship and manipulation

The discussions that are not welcome to cs executives get deleted. Or they get hidden by moving them in the bottom of the list.

Facebook VS CouchSurfing

Actually it looks like that Facebook is doing the exact opposite of CouchSurfing, they started as an Enterprise but they are more and more becoming beneficial for communities and social causes.

Many profiles have been suddenly removed without notification or explanation

Plenty of members on C$ got their profile deleted without even knowing why.
Good part of those persons happen to be, “by coincidence”, experienced couchsurfers which were previously volunteers and expressed their disappointment for the turn to “for-profit” of C$.

Deleting a profile is a bit like killing the person, shouting him “digitally” down.

Asking to the customer support of C$ why a profile is removed, they answer:

“Your profile has been removed due to a Terms of Use violation. You can review our Terms here: http://about.couchsurfing.com/terms-of-use/
Unfortunately, that is all the information we can provide due to privacy reasons.”

The neutral reference I wrote for Casey Fenton (C$ founder & seller) has never been published on CouchSurfing

“I briefly crossed my path with Casey when he was in The Netherlands .
Of course I am totally thankful to Casey for founding CouchSurfing, he started something that we are all benefiting from.
I am also admiring him for doing things like using the same fork several time to avoid make dirty other cutlery.
I am a bit less thankful for his decision to sell CouchSurfing and make it a for-profit company,  previously Casey always highlighted that CS is no-profit and always will be (it was also stated that CS would never get advertising on the website).

When CS was a non-profit, I was volunteering a lot, spending a lot of time, energy and money. I was doing it for a non-profit community, for everybody. If I knew it would have been a corporate I would not have done it.

In couchsurfing there is also quite much censorship going on in the background.

Be Welcome and Warm Showers, are real no-profit and more transparent communities.
https://www.couchsurfing.com/users/1/references?experience=neutral

 

Facebook vs Couchsurfing

Now it looks like that Facebook is becoming more and more ‘open’ style, while couchsurfing does the opposite.


When I still believed in CouchSurfing, I was promoting it with all my energies

– Trying to make CS Censorship-free – I failed;
– Spread the word and making CS popular – thanks to many volunteers, it worked out!;

and I was also willing to improve other segments:

– Getting categorized the inbox for couch request : “no”; “yes”, “maybe” section;
– Order events by date/popularity;

Getting the features:
– Geolocation couchsurfers on profile;
– Friendship types (good friend, acquaintance, etc);


Alternatives to CouchSurfing

  • WarmShowers – Cyclist Oriented (many information’s and feature for Bicycle Travelers)
  • BeWelcome – Open, non profit hospitality community
  • TrustRoots – Hitchhikers Hospitality Community
  • Rainbow Gathering – More than an hospitality community, a worldwide family

 Volunteering Work/Accommodation exchange (20hrs of work/week = food + accomodation):

  • WorkAway – The most well organized and structured website for work/accommodation
  • HelpEx – Many volunteering opportunities, just the site interface is not too cleaned up
  • Wwoofing – Organic Farm Volunteering, the first travel work/accommodation exchange community

 Renting an affordable place:

  • Airbnb.com – Rent from locals, biggest online community (mostly for few days, but often you can negotiate longer stays and prices and get great deals!)
  • Roomorama.com – Similar to Airbnb, but smaller community, site with less features
  • EasyRoommate.com – House sharing and renting ads (mostly for few months at least)
  • HostelBookers.com – Cheapest Hostels Worldwide
  • HostelWorld.com – Biggest Hostel website

You are welcome to comment and give your opinion!

Sex tourism or Rape? Couchsurfing horror story in Vilnius, Lithuania. A negative reference about sexsurfing that hides many things…

The aggressor

Twenty minutes of terror in Vilnius, the calm capital of Lithuania.
This man invites you to dinner and while being polite…

One of those two is the suspected
One of the two men is the accused of the crime, the face of the suspected is partially covered.

This is the feedback Giedre, a couchsurfing member, wrote for the guy in the above picture:

Giedre Birzyte Reference - Couchsurfing - Luca Gentile
“GIRLS, BE CAREFUL! I am putting negative reference, so you would go and check the neutral references, before you decide to stay, host or meet him. I’ve met him shortly, he invited me for a dinner to his place. 20 minutes was enough to understand that it is better to RUN fast from this guy. Pure intuition and no evidence, but I am glad I did not stay for evidence.”

Here he is cooking, preparing the trap
The guy is in the middle

We don’t have evidence yet, but thanks to intuition, our alert friend Giedre, could get away fast from him, lucky. Cause potentially, he could have done really horrific things…
Reports like this are quite useful for our community, we get informations and we know whom to isolate, or eventually report to Police.
Let’s hope many people will be so smart, alert and investigative like Giedre to report as much as possible those cases.

In the middle the suspected guy, while eating with other couchsurfer
In the middle the suspected guy, while eating with other couchsurfers –  Host Erwin Rossen – Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Or not?

How many are our own mental fantasies and how many of those are matching the reality?

How many of those we thought were serial killer did really kill?
Do we watch maybe too many horror movies?

We are so scared and warned about strangers, but do we know that many crimes are happening within the family circles?
Do we know that it’s more likely that our best friend or partner is going to do something bad, than a stranger?

In the USA people continuously kill each other by mistake, they have all easy reach to weapons and simply because they are ‘scared’ they fire instinctively… maybe on their neighbour

Here he fakes to be asleep before attacking the polish victims - CS Host Patrik  - Belgium
Here he maybe fakes to be asleep before attacking the victims, three polish CSers – CS Host Patrik – Belgium

I don’t think that not knowing someone is a reason why this person is potential serial killer.
There is bad people, but is not because we don’t know them that they are bad.

The creepy guy is eating while other couchsurfers are scared of him
The creepy guy is eating while other couchsurfers are scared of him, ready to run away. Or maybe the one standing could be his crime partner –  Couchsurfers Andrea Taurino and Rafael Oliveira – Helsinki, Finland

You wanted maybe now the continue of the story? – actually the start, cause we don’t have a start yet.
Righ!  I will write it, also because the guy who got the feedback is me (yes, I am a monster and I didn’t even realize it)

Here the horror story continues…

Here a potential victim is drinking some unknown drinks
Here a potential victim is drinking some unknown substances with closed eyes

“I am putting negative reference, so you would go and check the neutral references… I’ve met him shortly, he invited me for a dinner to his place, 20 minutes… it’s better to run…pure intuition and no evidence” – Giedre says (the victim)
What kind of reference is that? An invite to see other references? It’s better to run? run instead of…? walking? cycling? Intuition of what? Why she went to my place if I have such alarming neutral feedbacks? – I say (the monster).

This is a proof of the offender intention to arm, his expression is enough to condemn him.
This is a proof of the offender intention to harm, his expression is enough to condemn him. The victim is not aware of it, still smiling – CS Meeting in The Netherlands.

Twenty minutes of horror:

Giedre was supposed to host me, she accepted my couch-request but finally I got a good offer on Airbnb where I could have my own apartment in Vilnius (soviet union style) for a superlow price.
I invited her to have some food at my place to be thankful to her.
It took me efforts to make the food (I wanted to cook something good) and make the place look nice.

First ten minutes:

I noticed that Giedre was already behaving odd talking about the neighborhood where I had the apartment (which is the Naujininkai district in Vilnius) saying it was a place where criminals live, doing a bit Columbo style.
As she arrived, her inspection started to my apartment, almost like mr Holmes, she asked me detailed informations such as where I had this place from, if I moved the furniture myself, etc… she even looked inside personal closets and I told her: “I don’t even know what you will find in those closets cause this is not my place and I have not opened those closets myself to respect the privacy of my host” – then she stopped doing inspector gadget and started eating.

Second ten minutes:

Except her ‘high level curious behavior’, everything seemed to be back to normality once we started to eat.
I didn’t feel really offended by her previous behaviour cause I have met any kind of persons in my trips (even though someone else may get offended, especially from the inspection in the personal closets).
She was seating in front of me, about two meters far from me, on another couch, the table was in the middle of us, she was always asking quite odd and personal questions but less Clouseau style this time.
I had some bad experiences in Riga not long ago, I was starting to talk about it to her, saying: “in Riga some criminal girls tried to drug me in order to rob me…” – when Giedre stood up, said: “I want to go” – and left.

This all happened in no more than half-hour in total, no longer. Absolutely nothing more than this happened.

I felt really down, I could not understand why she did it, I got almost depression for a couple of days (especially after reading her comment) thinking something is wrong with me.

Classic pose of a perverted half naked serial killer, pretending to cook, before attacking the victim
Classic pose of a perverted half naked curly hairy serial killer, pretending to cook, searching some knifes, before attacking the CouchSurfing victim

After some facebook discussion with many people about this event I guess that one of those applies:
– Giedre is psychologically not stable;
– She feels some kind of feminist empathy for the criminal girls of Riga;
– She is totally disrespectful and has random hate for men;
– Giedre is a friend of someone who left me a neutral reference;
– No other men have ever been so polite with her and she was shocked;
(it’s also possible that more than one of those applies)

Here the host prepares the trap, it's to against the host Thea, from Oslo.
Here the guy prepares the trap, it’s for  the CS host Thea Rostbakken, from Oslo, Norway.

In her mind being too polite is not normal and for her is equal to be creepy?

I wanted to write to Giedre, but from the moment I am like a monster to her eyes (by reading her reference) I prefer not to contact her. I also think she should be the one who has to write first, anyway I am open to friendly discussion (but without food this time). Maybe would be good also for her (for sure cheaper than a psycholog).

I will leave a negative feedback to her cause I feel quite uncomfortable with what she did and what she wrote.
I don’t find it fair: I was really polite, kind and respectful to her, I spent efforts to make the place look nice and for the food.
She accused me ‘in general’ just for no reason, just for her mental fantasies. I really would like to know what was going on in her mind and what girls should be careful of?

An attempt to poison a whole group of CSers, in Hungary, during CS  Couchsurfing Diamond Moon tour 2013 - http://www.evezzvelem.hu/ajanlasok_eng.php
An attempt to poison a whole group of CSers, in Hungary. Note the offender habit to be almost naked before the crime – during CS Couchsurfing Diamond Moon tour 2013 –
http://www.evezzvelem.hu/ajanlasok_eng.php

OK Giedre, you don’t know it cause you runned away after 20 min, but I tell you a secret about me, something few people know, something maybe I should feel ashamed of, something not just to make public in a post, something that may condemn people to death penalty in certain regimes, a fact that may not allow me to go back to my italian family, the evidence that you didn’t wait to discover:

I am a feminist too!
And I will help you to warn all the GIRLS about the danger that they may have with such a creepy man as I am. But I will be more specific then you.

Let’s shout out the hidden truth of me, my dark side:

The attacker behaving like a friendly pizza man, before his dark plans. CS host "Martina Piantina", Spain,
The attacker behaving like a friendly pizza man, before his dark plans (look at the knifes, why there? why in the kitchen? – Also on the nose there is some white powder, he was maybe  camouflaging cocaine for flour, typical technique) CS host “Martina Piantina”, Spain,

GIRLS , PAY ATTENTION TO ME!
I MAY INVITE YOU FOR DINNER, I MAY USE ITALIAN MANNERS: I MAY COOK HEALTHY ITALIAN FOOD FOR YOU, MAKE MY PLACE COZY, CLEAN AND, EVEN, I MAY BE GENTLE, FUNNY, RELAXED, FOOD ACROBATIC, POLITE AND RESPECTFUL TO YOU, AS GUEST AS WOMAN AND AS HUMAN BEING. GIRLS BE AWARE OF THIS.
Why not warning boys too? I do invite men as well at my place.
– Please Girls and Boys, Men and Women, Ladies and Gentlemen, if you don’t like the above mentioned behaviors don’t come to my place for dinner or, instead of running away, just tell me that you have important business to do and leave after five minutes, it’s more polite. At least in some cultures –

He even developed some skills in pizza flying, just to confuse the ideas of the eaters...
He has even developed some skills in pizza flying, just to confuse the ideas of the victims…

I avoid feeling too much offended or thinking of others as bad, but words are stones, and thanks to persons like Giedre, in the inquisition time (or maybe still in some countries), people was burned up FOR REAL just because of ‘PURE INTUITION’.

While the pizza flies he is thinking about his next victim - CS Guest Alessandro Colombi from Milan.
While the pizza flies he is thinking about his next victim – CS Guest Alessandro Colombi from Milan.

Here the final evidence of the crime, uncovered, a video of the maniac assaulter (me) with his CS host Margaret & Pati, in Helsinki, Finland:

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PS. In case Giedre may have felt some compassion and closeness to the criminal girls of Riga which I was talking about. To fully inform the readers, I post the story of the criminal Riga Bar-Girls Scam I was saying to Gidre just before her exodus:
https://travelthetheater.wordpress.com/2014/11/18/riga-european-capital-of-the-scam-culture-2014/?preview_id=293

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The countryside northen of Riga (Latvia) so charming but so tough

Cycling to the capital of Latvia, I had some tough time but it made me end up in a wonderful place…

 

Bicycle on the beach
Vidzemes akmeņainā jūrmala

 

 

I never thought that I in the northern coast of Riga (about 70 km from the city) there would be such beautiful landscapes, amazing, fascinating views that drained up the battery of my camera.
Actually I regret to have made so much pictures, because I spent the most of my time looking at the camera instead of looking at the reality.

 

Vidzemes akmeņainā jūrmala
Rocks on the Latvian north-east beach

 

The enjoyment of the sight made the time passing fast, suddenly it was dark and I was still 70 KM from my destination (Riga), I thought “ok, I will spend the night in a hostel here…”; actually I didn’t had into account that there are no hostels in those villages, not eve motel, there were two camping but they were close.
After few kilometers I find a guest house, I call the owner and he asks me: “how many you are” – I say – “I am alone…” I don’t finish the sentence that the guy reply: ” we are closed.”
I start to think to pass the night in the forest, but it is about to rain and for the day after there is the same weather forecast: rain.

 

20141014_171433

 

I go to a supermarket to ask if they know any place where I can go and to buy some food. The food is extremely expensive and of bad quality, I ask the woman if I can eat inside the supermarket cause I am cold outside (I cycled for 10 hours and I wanted some warmth), the woman says: “no”.

 

20141014_180123

 

I find a last camping on google maps, I call and a really kind woman, speaking perfectly english (better than me at least), says: “just come to a green gate”.
Of course I don’t find the gate, but after a couple of calls we find each other and I am so surprised of how friendly and kind this person is.
She tells me that they are close, but she wants to help me and she can offer me an appartment, for free! – I was actually shocked from her kindness and good heart.
I enter the place and is just amazing, beautiful wooden floor, wooden doors and all modern with all comfort!

 

20141014_223533
Is from here that I am writing, in this moment…

 

20141014_223415

 

I want to link this place cause such kind acts are not common:
https://plus.google.com/109814064533338343955/about?hl=en