Want to be Halara?

Dear friends and readers,

I would like to invite you to be guest-writers in the Halara blog!

Be Halara!

Do you like to write about:
  1. Your trips and odysseys
  2. Experiences in other countries
  3. Culture of your country
  4. Nice places you have been, that are worth visiting
  5. Cool things you have done
  6. Tips about improving life

Contact me and let's join forces! ;)
You can leave a comment below or find me on Twitter.

How long is 5 Greek minutes?

It's a very good question, don't you think?

Well some friends of mine just invented a formula to calculate Greek time approximately!

GT = T*[1 - T/(HS*60)] + HT*dwf*ff

GT - Greek time[min]
T - Time as the rest of the world understands [min]
HS - Hours of sun [hours/day]
HT - Halara time needed for average Greek native [min/day]
dwf - day of the week corrective factor [0; 1]

All rights reserved (c) vikachuubeta

As an example, on a normal Friday in August after lunch/dinner, 5 Greek minutes would actually be...

GT = 5*[1-5/(12,08*60)] + 240*0,9*0,2
GT = 48,17 min

I'd say it's pretty accurate ;)

Driving on ice!

If you've been to Estonia, or the nearby Baltic countries, you might have heard a lot of times about it. Well a friend of mine has the luck to actually try driving on ice!

Check out the video Driving on Ice in Estonia from Joao Rei on Vimeo.

According to Joao, "you’re not allowed in if your car weighs more than 2 tons. Also, once you start driving, you can’t stop and you must keep a constant speed of between 10 and 25 km/h or you must drive above 45 km/h.[...] You’re supposed to drive without a seatbelt, so that, in case the car goes under water, you can get out quickly. But today’s cars start beeping if you remove the seatbelt, so you have to attach it behind your back."

I'd love to try it! Any others had similar experiences?

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Mirrors of rice

Rice terraces in Yuangyang, China

What has saved the rice terraces built by the Hani people in China’s Yuangyang County so far is their relative remoteness. They are located in Yunnan province in southwest China, a region not easily accessible and therefore not exploited for tourism but rich in natural beauty and untouched scenery. The spectacular rice terraces drop from almost the summits of the nearby, 2,500-m-tall Ailao Mountains to the bed of the Red River.

The rice farmers who built the terraces almost by hand more than 1,000 years ago had to know about ecology and land preservation long before those concepts had names. Otherwise, without the hard work of maintaining the terrace walls as well as the ancient irrigation system, the precious top soil would have washed down the hillsides into the rivers.

Even today, the Yuangyang rice terraces are a self-sustaining eco system, perfectly in sync with nature like it was a thousand years ago. Just like the Banaue rice terraces, the Yuangyang rice terraces are irrigated with spring water from the rainforest above. The water then evaporates from the rice terraces and forms clouds whose rain water is collected and trapped by the rainforest, from where it is used for the irrigation of the rice fields again.

Article and photo taken from "20 Incredible Pictures Of Rice Terraces From Above" by EnvironmentalGraffiti.com

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What is the Halara spirit?

Lately I'm getting this question by a lot of people, so I decided to answer them all here. I'm actually honoured to have the chance to answer this question on behalf of all Greeks. I will not pretend that my answer is the absolut truth - on the contrary, it's my own perception of the halara spirit that I will present.

For me, Halara is:
  1. to drink a coffee with friends in a cafeteria under the sun for 3 hours
  2. to arrive 10-15 mins late at a friends' meeting and no one complain
  3. to play tavli (backgammon) for 5 hours in a row with your best friend
  4. to drink hot chocolate and read a good book next to the fireplace in a cold winter night
  5. to walk slow along the beach side
  6. to swim under the rain
  7. to watch the sunrise on top of a mountain
  8. to watch the sunset in the sea
  9. to find that shaking Nescafe with cold water and icecubes is better that the hot one
  10. to drive in the traffic jam without getting angry while listening to music
  11. to ride a bike or go jogging with your MP3 player in the ears
  12. to go out for clubbing at midnight and come back at 7am
  13. to dance and sing with every chance you get
  14. to say goodmorning to everyone you meet with a smile
  15. to love someone for what they are and enjoy every moment with them
  16. to be on time with work deadlines but not stress about them
  17. to find a smarter way to do something
  18. to work with a laptop and wifi on a hammock under the shade of a tree
  19. to have time for your wife and kids every day
  20. to enjoy life in all aspects!

Now it's your turn: What is "halara" for you?