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  #1  
Old January 14th, 2013, 06:53 AM
Tom dinning Tom dinning is offline
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Default A yellow star

The wind doesn't care what colour it flutters. There's no consciousness in the cloth that carries the yellow star. There is always a pole higher than the one on which our symbols hangs. A rope can pull tight from any direction. We can only climb as far as the ladder takes us.



_DSC3744 by tom.dinning, on Flickr
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  #2  
Old January 14th, 2013, 07:01 AM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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I see that you are back from Việt Nam to Singapore. Did you enjoy the trip with your wife?
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  #3  
Old January 14th, 2013, 08:15 AM
Tom dinning Tom dinning is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerome Marot View Post
I see that you are back from Việt Nam to Singapore. Did you enjoy the trip with your wife?
Bloody amazing, Jerome. I loved the experience in Viet Nam but I'm not in a hurry to go back. Somehow I don't think I could trust my very existence with people who are heavily into Fen Sui, have a strong communist ethic, love the smell of money and have a class distinction as wide as the known universe. In addition to that, their technology is a mix of Silicon Valley and The New Guinea Highlands. I think they went from mid-1800's and just wired over the top of it, a bit like you'd tie up a loose sack with string.
Mind you, the populus seem to be content enough, although I did ask about the politics as a matter of interest and there was a stone cold silence accompanied by a grimace and a nashing of teeth.

I think they need someone to show them a bit of organisation. As much as I complain about my public service telling me what to do, it does keep the traffic flowing and the power on - usually.

Singapore on the other hand is such a contrast. Its a well oiled machine. Precision is everywhere.
Maybe I've grown into a snob but I'm over slumming it. Give me a 5 star hotel and clean sheets anyday.

Cheers
Tom
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  #4  
Old January 14th, 2013, 10:06 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Default Yellow Star

I felt sickened once before when George Bush II declared a new "Crusade" after 911. Of course he had no idea of the meaning of the word to so many peoples who had that burnt and ravaged into their history.

This morning I overreacted again. It's visceral! I know there can be no connection and no bad intent.




Book cover: Yellow star

Reviews here





Yes it's all in English! Just words that different people digest differently! My library is what it is! "Yellow Star" brings back my childhood when I went to school under police escort in post-war London. Can't believe how reactive I am, but that's what memories do!

Asher
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Old January 14th, 2013, 11:41 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Of course, without the title, "Yellow Star", yellow stars are the delight of children's stories. The most famous and treasured children's song, at least in the English language, is perhaps Twinkle Twinkle Little Star!














Screen Shots from Super Simple Learnings version of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star listen and view here

A beautiful English lullaby written by Jane Taylor. First published in 1806


Thank goodness, our tiny children have to know only of those amazing and fabulous twinkling stars above and that's how it should be!

However, as adults, we can be better aware of how such symbols can evoke far different meanings, by virtue of regrettable recent history. Meanwhile, bookmark this link to the lyrics and 3 cute versions of the children's video. Your children, nephews, nieces and/or grandkids will be thrilled, I promise you!

Asher
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Last edited by Asher Kelman; January 14th, 2013 at 03:28 PM.
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  #6  
Old January 14th, 2013, 11:56 AM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom dinning View Post
....... There's no consciousness in the cloth that carries the yellow star.

Tom,

Was that arts-fartsy nonsense? I doubt that!


Folks,

Let me offer, that this statement might even be far more profound. Doubtless, Tom, may well, (as is his won't), deny any explanation I give, LOL! Still, I'd offer that this simple statement implies wise a man's recollection of recent tragic human history, that waves of information overload have covered.




_DSC3744 by tom.dinning, on Flickr


Now to the picture, tom, but just on it's own impact on me, totally devoid of the title's many possible connections evoked and recruited viscerally by this old chaps too full brain!

I find, as in all your recent pictures, an attempt at clarity. This is not just a snap as you might claim. Here the exploitation of the spider web pattern of the rigging is an effective unit of the composition. The idea of overlaying that with the flag is also a strong building step. It could have cut across in a number of useful directions, each with a different impact. I'd have preferred you had the patience and then the fortune to capture the flag unfurled lower and further in that direction, but parallel to the mast on the right, to see more of the star on the red b.g. Then, the slight distraction of the OOF or blurred proximal mast would be converted to a positive feature. No doubt, you have many more such good pictures, but didn't show them, but this one I've had a good experience from and it has also helped me by challenging what I think works.

Altogether, on this trip, Christine, being with you, has had a marvelous effect on your photography. Feed her well!

Asher
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  #7  
Old January 14th, 2013, 02:33 PM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
"Yellow Star" brings back my childhood when I went to school under police escort in post-war London. Can't believe how reactive I am, but that's what memories do!

That childhood experience gives you the perfect right to react as you do, whereas Mr Bush had no experience of a "crusade". That is an essential difference.

Let me try to change your feelings about stars:


Andromeda galaxy (M31), 13 images stacked with photoshop, Sony A900, Sony Carl Zeiss 135mm f/1.8Z lens, ISO 800, 30s exposure x 13, EQ-1 cheap equatorial mount.
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  #8  
Old January 14th, 2013, 03:20 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Jerome,

Andromeda Galaxy, that pretty humbling! Just a dot 2.5 million light years away, that, according to some estimates, holds 1 trillion stars! I'm impressed with your setup. Are you able to track it or that's not needed at this distance given your shooting rate?

There might well be children looking back up in their skies and wondering about our own home planets neighborhood, The Milky Way, at this very moment, pondering whether or not we might exist.

Asher
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Old January 14th, 2013, 10:45 PM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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The setup is actually very basic. Sure, there is an equatorial mount, but it is a very cheap one and I could only take 30s exposures due to the imperfect tracking. This is taken in an area in France with relatively little light pollution, which helps of course. But I was surprised by the results myself.

When you have a very dark night and a fast lens, just try to point your camera at the sky on a tripod and pose for 15 or 30s (less with higher iso). You will be surprised by the results. We take them for granted, but modern cameras are almost magic.

Below is what I got with a single 30s exposure and a 35mm f/1.4 lens. Point and shoot.

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  #10  
Old February 3rd, 2013, 08:34 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom dinning View Post
Bloody amazing, Jerome. I loved the experience in Viet Nam but I'm not in a hurry to go back. Somehow I don't think I could trust my very existence with people who are heavily into Fen Sui, have a strong communist ethic, love the smell of money and have a class distinction as wide as the known universe. In addition to that, their technology is a mix of Silicon Valley and The New Guinea Highlands. I think they went from mid-1800's and just wired over the top of it, a bit like you'd tie up a loose sack with string.
Mind you, the populus seem to be content enough, although I did ask about the politics as a matter of interest and there was a stone cold silence accompanied by a grimace and a nashing of teeth.

I think they need someone to show them a bit of organisation. As much as I complain about my public service telling me what to do, it does keep the traffic flowing and the power on - usually.

Singapore on the other hand is such a contrast. Its a well oiled machine. Precision is everywhere.
Maybe I've grown into a snob but I'm over slumming it. Give me a 5 star hotel and clean sheets anyday.

Cheers
Tom
Singapore to me represents an I.C.U in a tertiary care center. I guess Tom that' s how you like it.
Five star hotels and the like..stay where you are. The good life is for you in your hometown.

Me, I Would not even transit in that place, if I could avoid it.

I guess your stay was too short to notice it; but there is more class distinction in S'pore than anywhere
Else I have been. Or you are too much into the British way of life to think about it. As normal as the
British Raj.
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Old February 4th, 2013, 04:18 AM
Tom dinning Tom dinning is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fahim mohammed View Post
Singapore to me represents an I.C.U in a tertiary care center. I guess Tom that' s how you like it.
Five star hotels and the like..stay where you are. The good life is for you in your hometown.

Me, I Would not even transit in that place, if I could avoid it.

I guess your stay was too short to notice it; but there is more class distinction in S'pore than anywhere
Else I have been. Or you are too much into the British way of life to think about it. As normal as the
British Raj.
If I didn't know you better, Fahim, I would think you just insulted me. On second thought, I do know you enough and you have.
Guessing for me, stay where you are, too much in the British way of life, as normal as the British Raj.
Al this in one brief comment! I'd hate to hear what you have to say if you got your wind up.
I like Singapore. So what? I like Saigon as well. So what? I know class distinction exists. Even in my home town. So what?we travel for our own reasons. Tell me the virtues of your travels.
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Old February 4th, 2013, 05:01 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Your diatribe on the country of Vietnam is no less insulting Tom.

The virtues of my travel are very simple. I enjoy travel. I do not go to find faults with a nation or their
People. It is their problem. Certainly not mine nor yours as a guest in their country.
It is a privilege you were allowed to visit that country. Not your right. Not my right.

You like S'pore..good. Your money, your choice, your likes and dislikes.
I would prefer not to visit S'pore, if I can help it. My money and my choice.
As I would not want to visit a few other countries.

The British Raj was and is a historical fact. Their colonies then and now are a fact. For good or for worse, is an entirely different subject for discussion.

Touched a nerve, did we Tom?
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Old February 4th, 2013, 05:56 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fahim mohammed View Post

The British Raj was and is a historical fact. Their colonies then and now are a fact. For good or for worse, is an entirely different subject for discussion.

Touched a nerve, did we Tom?
Fahim,

That's so ironic that you'd imagine that Tom, a working class fellow, would have the slightest affinity, respect or let alone adoration for class stratifications of the British Raj!

He travels with his tinted glasses and you with yours. We're all like that. Just the way it is! But as far a criticism, I wouldn't just say on a visit to the asbestos laden ship breaking yards of Bangladesh, "Thank you Bangladeshi government for the privilege of visiting your country. I will not be disgusted at the site of barefoot kids working with their hands to dismember freighters that other shipyards can't touch." That idea is foreign to me. Folk can have different customs, standards of living, religion, and other societal values, but we can't just go to be preciously amused and entertained, as if no sin there is any of our business.

Similarly, when I'm in Israel, I have lots of questions about roads and disparate services in Arab villages! I do not care who's offended. On a cruise, I can't stand the fact that they dump oil just of pristine beaches in the Bahamas and I report them! I guess I am not an appreciative guest! I'm just lucky I was never thrown overboard!

Of course, when traveling we all will show respect for the local folk and it's a privilege that they welcome and tolerate us, but we cannot just go to Bangkok and be delighted in the ancient culture and modern restaurants but utterly silent on the abuse and exploitation of children for the porn vacation industry from the USA, Australia and Europe!

So, no for me, I cannot accept "just respecting everything and everyone" I come across and declaring, "Vive la difference!" just retire to my 5-Star hotel to be pampered by locals as if I'm some landed aristocrat!

Asher
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  #14  
Old February 4th, 2013, 06:05 PM
Tom dinning Tom dinning is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fahim mohammed View Post
Your diatribe on the country of Vietnam is no less insulting Tom.

The virtues of my travel are very simple. I enjoy travel. I do not go to find faults with a nation or their
People. It is their problem. Certainly not mine nor yours as a guest in their country.
It is a privilege you were allowed to visit that country. Not your right. Not my right.

You like S'pore..good. Your money, your choice, your likes and dislikes.
I would prefer not to visit S'pore, if I can help it. My money and my choice.
As I would not want to visit a few other countries.

The British Raj was and is a historical fact. Their colonies then and now are a fact. For good or for worse, is an entirely different subject for discussion.

Touched a nerve, did we Tom?
Touched a ****ing nerve alright!
I do believe Jerome was asking me. So which tree did you fall from?
And you do seem to talk in dead ends. If you don't like the way a discussion is going, don't bring it up.
I don't think Vietnam is going to invade Darwin 'cause I cast my opinion to Jerome, just as Singapore won't miss you if you dont get off the plane.
Why is it I get so pissed off when I come to this place?
I think I'll go and slam my fingers in the kitchen drawer for some light relief.
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Old February 4th, 2013, 06:10 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Originally Posted by Tom dinning View Post
Touched a ****ing nerve alright!
I do believe Jerome was asking me. So which tree did you fall from?
And you do seem to talk in dead ends. If you don't like the way a discussion is going, don't bring it up.
I don't think Vietnam is going to invade Darwin 'cause I cast my opinion to Jerome, just as Singapore won't miss you if you dont get off the plane.
Why is it I get so pissed off when I come to this place?
I think I'll go and slam my fingers in the kitchen drawer for some light relief.
Tom,

Did you really mean Jerome?

Asher
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Old February 4th, 2013, 11:46 PM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Originally Posted by Tom dinning View Post
Touched a ****ing nerve alright!
I do believe Jerome was asking me. So which tree did you fall from?
And you do seem to talk in dead ends. If you don't like the way a discussion is going, don't bring it up.
I don't think Vietnam is going to invade Darwin 'cause I cast my opinion to Jerome, just as Singapore won't miss you if you dont get off the plane.
Why is it I get so pissed off when I come to this place?
I think I'll go and slam my fingers in the kitchen drawer for some light relief.
You would get pissed off Tom anywhere you are challenged. Not only here.
Of course S'pore won't miss me. They have you. What more could they possibly pine for?

If I don't like the way way a discussion is going, I shall definitely put my pov to the fore.
I sometimes shall agree, sometimes disagree and sometimes just ignore. My choice.

Slamming fingers in the kitchen drawers on purpose is not an indication of wisdom; gained by virtue of age or thru the school of worldly experience.

I am really enjoying my day. Have a great one Tom.
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Old February 5th, 2013, 05:19 AM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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Tom,

Did you really mean Jerome?

Asher
I think Tom is referring to message #2 in this thread when I asked whether he enjoyed Việt Nam.
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Old February 5th, 2013, 07:23 AM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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You would get pissed off Tom anywhere you are challenged. Not only here.
Of course S'pore won't miss me. They have you. What more could they possibly pine for?

If I don't like the way way a discussion is going, I shall definitely put my pov to the fore.
I sometimes shall agree, sometimes disagree and sometimes just ignore. My choice.

Slamming fingers in the kitchen drawers on purpose is not an indication of wisdom; gained by virtue of age or thru the school of worldly experience.

I am really enjoying my day. Have a great one Tom.
I am sorry to step in, but this goes too far. You are not "challenging" Tom. "Challenging" means to confront opinions, without a preconception as who is right and who is wrong. What you are doing here is not challenging but indeed insulting people. For years you have posted the same story in which nobody but you is a real traveler and everyone else just enjoys being a tourist in plush hotels and ignores all about the local population. How do you expect Tom or anyone else to feel "challenged" when the only thing you have for them is contempt?
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Old February 5th, 2013, 02:24 PM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Jerome, what is going too far?

Here is what Tom wrote..


"Somehow I don't think I could trust my very existence with people who are heavily into Fen Sui, have a strong communist ethic, love the smell of money and have a class distinction as wide as the known universe. In addition to that, their technology is a mix of Silicon Valley and The New Guinea Highlands. I think they went from mid-1800's and just wired over the top of it, a bit like you'd tie up a loose sack with string.
........

Singapore on the other hand is such a contrast. Its a well oiled machine.....
......Give me a 5 star hotel and clean sheets anyday.

Cheers
Tom "

As if Vietnam does not have any appropriate hotels or one cannot get clean sheets there.

' challenging ' a viewpoint is questioning its validity. You say I have written for years about the same thing...because, the act of physically traveling, makes a person a traveler; in my opinion.
And I travel the way I travel. Nothing more to it.

Say you visited a place and did not like it. Nothing wrong or right about it. You spent your money and
Visited a place. With the experience you had in that place, you would not like to visit it again. Perfectly fine. Your choice.

But when you ( by you I mean anyone ) starts talking about their political system, their ' smell of money ' etc. that invites a counter argument. How about mentioning that Vietnam is today where it is after being bombed like nowhere else. How about their people having being subjected to misery for years and years of warfare. And then to have come to where they are today is a great achievement.

Is it not worthy for someone else to point out. What's insulting about it?

I believe that if one has to put forward a negative viewpoint, one should be prepared to hear the other side. Unless one wants to completely ignore the other side of it; as was done here.

And as to which hotels Tom likes..he says so himself.

I am not going ' too far ' as you imply. You seem to feel that I insult someone just because I do not like a place they might prefer. That I have contempt for others just because I imply that we carry our history with us..a little of it maybe, our biases and our expectations.

When I want to visit a place, I generally read about it as much as I can. That Vietnam has a ' communist ' system of government should have come as no surprise to an informed person such as Tom.


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Old February 5th, 2013, 02:50 PM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
Fahim,

That's so ironic that you'd imagine that Tom, a working class fellow, would have the slightest affinity, respect or let alone adoration for class stratifications of the British Raj!

He travels with his tinted glasses and you with yours. We're all like that. Just the way it is! But as far a criticism, I wouldn't just say on a visit to the asbestos laden ship breaking yards of Bangladesh, "Thank you Bangladeshi government for the privilege of visiting your country. I will not be disgusted at the site of barefoot kids working with their hands to dismember freighters that other shipyards can't touch." That idea is foreign to me. Folk can have different customs, standards of living, religion, and other societal values, but we can't just go to be preciously amused and entertained, as if no sin there is any of our business.

Similarly, when I'm in Israel, I have lots of questions about roads and disparate services in Arab villages! I do not care who's offended. On a cruise, I can't stand the fact that they dump oil just of pristine beaches in the Bahamas and I report them! I guess I am not an appreciative guest! I'm just lucky I was never thrown overboard!

Of course, when traveling we all will show respect for the local folk and it's a privilege that they welcome and tolerate us, but we cannot just go to Bangkok and be delighted in the ancient culture and modern restaurants but utterly silent on the abuse and exploitation of children for the porn vacation industry from the USA, Australia and Europe!

So, no for me, I cannot accept "just respecting everything and everyone" I come across and declaring, "Vive la difference!" just retire to my 5-Star hotel to be pampered by locals as if I'm some landed aristocrat!

Asher
Asher.

I do not know about Tom's background. I only can comment on what I read of and from his writings.

Nobody accepts you, at least not me, " just respecting everything and everyone " and declaring " vive la difference! ". But if you say something negative, I expect you to be at least appreciative of the positive side. And be prepared to be challenged on the viewpoints you put forward.

And no, neither can I accept you equating the clean up operations of years of continuous bombings wrought on a nation as equivalent to the cleanup operation industry set up because of the Exxon disaster. Both have had serious consequences. One of them cost hundreds of thousands of human lives.
You seem so dismissive of that fact. And so does Tom.

Let's not get into the argument of Israel. You talk about the condition or lack of ' roads ' in the occupied territories! . Thank you for your concern.

I like London, love to visit it often. Someone else does not. So what? That's not insulting me. Just stating a preference.

I hate the British weather in general. But there is, for me, nothing better than a British summer.
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Old February 5th, 2013, 05:30 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Originally Posted by fahim mohammed View Post
Asher.

I do not know about Tom's background. I only can comment on what I read of and from his writings.
Reread his writings then, Again and again he stress his working man's background and his dismissal of snobbery.


Quote:
Originally Posted by fahim mohammed View Post
And no, neither can I accept you equating the clean up operations of years of continuous bombings wrought on a nation as equivalent to the cleanup operation industry set up because of the Exxon disaster. Both have had serious consequences. One of them cost hundreds of thousands of human lives. You seem so dismissive of that fact. And so does Tom.
Did I ever equate that or even suggest that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by fahim mohammed View Post
Let's not get into the argument of Israel. You talk about the condition or lack of ' roads ' in the occupied territories! . Thank you for your concern.
I know you have a lot of concern and care for them. I too. but of the villages in the "territories" I know little.

Actually, the few villages in the West Bank I drove through happened to be all very well off with homes like in southern California. So that tells me nothing of the lives of the majority of the people. I never have been to where most of the Palestinians live or even to Hebron or Ramallah. However, the few Arab villages I've seen in Israel made me ashamed for the relative neglect of roads. But then, I saw that too in poorer areas of Haifa too and worse in East Los Angeles, although comparisons do not right wrongs, no way!.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fahim mohammed View Post
I like London, love to visit it often.
Me too!

Quote:
Originally Posted by fahim mohammed View Post
I hate the British weather in general. But there is, for me, nothing better than a British summer.
Fahim,

Come to California. Here one can surf, ski, horsehide and just stroll around on the same day!

Asher
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  #22  
Old February 5th, 2013, 07:02 PM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Asher.

Thank you for a sanely worded response.
Tom, is really a nice guy and I do not want to make him the subject of this or any other discussion.

Some people see the negatives; from their perspective of course. Others might see it in a different way.
There is nothing wrong in pointing out such matters.

Some say the glass is half full, while others can rightly say it is half empty. No one needs to get insulted by such statements.

When I was much younger, I went with Ayesha and the kids to California. I said then and I maintain now, it is one beautiful place to visit. It is just that it is too far for me to travel ( maybe I should stop using that word..), or transport myself to California.

I want to emphasize again that I would never knowingly want to insult a person as a person. I shall and will continue to offer my opinions and put forth my point of view. That sometimes might not be reasonable and I am willing to be corrected. But many times I shall stand my ground. It is not to show contempt for others or insult them ; but to offer an alternate ( and my ) point of view.

Laos is growing at a very fast pace. However, it has still a long way to go. The country is beautiful, the people simple, humble and extremely courteous. I have found it difficult to communicate in English outside the tourist frequented places.

But that is changing. I am afraid that with the material progress Laos might loose a lot of its charm. But
Progress for its people takes precedence over foreign sightseers.
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Old February 5th, 2013, 08:53 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Thanks for your thoughtful and sober reply, Fahim. It's harder to remain sober if you don't drink, so I commend you!

Here, for my own personal views. As for Israel, it's a land of contrasts and compromises and an ongoing experiment. We who wore the Jewish star and were at the contributing at forefront of desegregation, here in the USA, cannot just paper over inequalities under our own control. So as tourists, we must be alert and not merely consumers and photographers.

When I travel, I do so with joy to meet the people. but am aware that silly arrogance is not just owned by the British Raj or any other nation. We're all just visitors and should strive to be "nice to the other folk in the tour bus". Once when I was on the road to Kano, in Northern Nigeria, I came across a road sign, "No dogs, goats or Christians within Kano after 6pm!" Now there are thousands of Christian Ibos in the north, so that was really weird and discomforting. By now, no doubt those signs are gone. But it does show that no one has a monopoly on disrespect.

We, however, have to be more aware of each other's cultures and treasure their children's future as our own and that's the way to be respectful. If one travels without pain, one is either deaf and blind or too self-involved.

Asher
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