As a guy born in Poland, I approach every communist or overtly leftist invention with caution. However, this would not apply to the International Women's Day. 8 March was always a nice excuse to give our mothers, sisters or female teachers one more bunch of flowers. Let's celebrate the shining beauty of women in all parts of the world.
1. LAOS. This lovely lady sold beautiful floral arrangements at the market in Pakse. I asked her if she wished to be photo taken. She quickly took red lipstick out of her handbag and made herself up a little. Elderly women sitting around choked with laughter and joked about us and the coming wedding.
2. MADAGASCAR. La Madame sat in from of her house in Ambatolampy, a little town not far from Antananarivo. She was half French and half Malgache. When I mentioned I had flown to Madagascar from Poland, she exclaimed: "Poland! That's the second France!" I love these historical sentiments elderly people express so fondly but why don't they call France the second Poland?...
3. EL SALVADOR. Christopher Columbus Market in Santa Ana is full of fruit, vegetables, small eateries and beautiful people. This girl came from the USA where she studied to spend Easter with her mother. She was kind enough to show me around and smile to the camera.
4. VANUATU. This is Madeleine. To meet her, fly first to Auckland, New Zealand and then Port Vila in the Republic of Vanuatu. A six-seater turboprop will take you from there to the island of Malekula lost in the Pacific. You will most likely see Madeleine walking along the dirt road to the church on a Sunday morning. Her wonderful smile is worth all the hours spent in planes.
5. HONDURAS. It was a boring Sunday morning on the island of Tigre. Going to the church appeared to be the most interesting thing to do. A couple of nicely dressed women sat on a bench in front of it. They were kind enough to take part in the modelling session before the reading from the Acts of the Apostles commenced.
6. THE NETHERLANDS. Meet my aunt, Iwonka, the coolest woman in the universe. Last time (pictured here) she was seen in Frisia having Dutch pancakes dipped in brandy (her own recipe), and then in a gay club in Berlin (acting as my chaperone). Usually however, she enjoys Nordic walking or babysits her four grandchildren in Poland.
7. INDIA. The pace of life in the small town of Lakhpath close to the border with Pakistan is very slow. Men and women sit in front of their households and watch the world go by. I was quite an oddity there. They were curious and entertained by a blonde backpacker and soon we organized an ad hoc photo session. They were happy to have their pictures sent via WhatsApp.
8. RUSSIA. This young woman sells delicious patés filled with onions, quark and potatoes at a small food market in the Solovetsky Islands. The islands are situated in the White Sea where you can get by a long distance train from St. Petersburg, then by bus and by boat. Summer with daylight round the clock is magic there. The Solovetsky Islands (or Solovki) are famous for the Russian Orthodox monastery, pristine forests, lakes and endless hiking opportunities.
9. NICARAGUA. Only one thing tastes better than lemon sorbet on a hot sunny afternoon in León: lemon sorbet served with the smile of the young and beautiful owner of the ice-cream parlour. Recent studies prove that smiling activates optimal number of facial muscles and the attitude that make learning Spanish and other languages a breeze.
10. SPAIN. Throughout the history of humanity, no woman has been portrayed more often than Virgin Mary. This unasssuming painted and gilded statue represents her timeless beauty, femininity and motherhood. It was crafted 700 years ago in Siena, Italy by an anonimous artist. Today, we can admire it in the Museo Nacional Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid.
Click here to see more of my "Photo World Mix".