Success! I managed to get a taxi driver to take us to the wonderful part of the city where the pens, papers, highlighters, paints and sketchbooks stay before they are whisked away to their new homes.  Well, I did need a little bit of help from my pocket dictionary. Nonetheless, here we were.

Although I’m not here long-term, it can be a bit intense sometimes. I decided I needed a creative outlet, I’m no Van Gogh, but I do enjoy the odd painting session. And so, a trip to gather some artsy resources was in order. As we chose our shop from a street full of competing stores, a city of towering notebooks greeted us and I made my way to the more colourful artistic section, brushing past paints, pastels and pencils.  I chose a basket full of goodies to explore  on my days off; particularly pleasing was a set of Mickey Mouse oil pastels with wonderfully bright colours, and a familiar face!

A visit to a gallery within one of the city’s parks gave me an insight into local creativity. Many of the pieces represented the struggles that individuals, families and the nation have faced as they fled through the mountains.  But my preference has always been for the more abstract, of which there were fewer, but some beautiful, examples. I like to think that the creativity in looking beyond what is seen; to perceive new ideas, somehow contains more hope than representations of past experience. Or maybe I just like the bright colours!