Poll

1 vote (5.88%)
1 vote (5.88%)
8 votes (47.05%)
5 votes (29.41%)
2 votes (11.76%)
No votes (0%)
1 vote (5.88%)
5 votes (29.41%)
1 vote (5.88%)
3 votes (17.64%)

17 members have voted

Doc
Doc
Joined: Feb 27, 2010
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August 7th, 2017 at 10:02:44 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

I could not detect one Dutch thing in Curacao, like a windmill or wooden shoes, anywhere.


Interesting choice of an example.... We have a curio cabinet in our condo, the contents of which include a number of trinkets my wife has picked up along our travels. The photos below show a pair of ceramic miniatures of wooden shoes. These are decorated with images of windmills and are marked as "Delfts Holland", though my wife marked that she picked them up in Curaçao in 2009. In the cabinet, they serve as a storage place for a single 10 cent coin (that's 0.10 florin), from our visit to Aruba on the same trip.

DeMango
DeMango
Joined: Feb 2, 2010
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August 7th, 2017 at 12:06:52 PM permalink
My uncle had an antique shop in Delft. Love that town. Six days older than dirt. Worth your while for a day trip.
PokerGrinder
PokerGrinder
Joined: Apr 30, 2015
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August 7th, 2017 at 12:22:38 PM permalink
Quote: Calder

You guys need scratch-off maps:

Amazon link


That looks cool, I might have to get one. When I sent this to my sister who travels a lot too she sent me back a picture of one she has on her wall. She bought it in Geneva.
You can shear a sheep a hundred times, but you can skin it only once. Amarillo Slim Preston
LostWages
LostWages
Joined: May 6, 2013
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August 7th, 2017 at 5:32:18 PM permalink
Quote: Wiz

LostWages, I'd be interested to hear about Saudi Arabia sometime.



My travel to Saudi Arabia has a few small memories. Certainly open gambling, liquor, and socializing with the opposite sex was as forbidden then as it is today.

Got to visit for a 2-night stay at a fine hotel (forget the name) near the airport at Riyadh in 1982 and enjoyed only one brief "window tour" - that was fine with me, with outdoor temp in excess of 110 in the shade! Memories: when I checked in my room, I always collect hotel stationery - this one had my name printed in gold foil (?) on the note pad (I wonder if that practice continues today). The parts of town we saw were impeccably clean, always lots of armed soldiers on patrol, women always in burka - note the differences in degrees of head covering below



Mostly, this is what I recall seeing:



The extreme opposite of the burka memory was strolling through the gold souk (market) - stall upon stall of gold in every type and shape you could imagine! Bargaining is part of the charm!




Should you consider travel, I would only do so with a friend familiar with the culture and the town.
Eat real food . . . and you won't need medicine (or a lot less!)
Wizard
Administrator
Wizard
Joined: Oct 14, 2009
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August 7th, 2017 at 5:40:55 PM permalink
Quote: Doc

The photos below show a pair of ceramic miniatures of wooden shoes...



Well, you proved me wrong there. I guess I just didn't seem any of them on my visit to Curacao.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
Wizard
Administrator
Wizard
Joined: Oct 14, 2009
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August 7th, 2017 at 5:48:40 PM permalink
Quote: LostWages

My travel to Saudi Arabia has a few small memories. Certainly open gambling, liquor, and socializing with the opposite sex was as forbidden then as it is today.



Thanks. I find countries that are not very open to tourism the most interesting, for some reason. It is sort of on my bucket list to sneak into Mecca.

I know a guy here who used to work for the Air Force base in Saudi Arabia. He echoes the same things about not having access to any of the "sinful" vices. He told a story that when he first got there some other soldiers were showing him around on one of his days off. He was evidently in a bad mood and said angrily "%$#@ M-------d." (I don't even dare spell out the name in an open forum). He then said his fellow soldiers suddenly flipped into warfare mode as they were very afraid for what would happen next. Fortunately, no locals heard him and nothing happened. However, he got a strict lecturing that he could have received the death penalty for that outburst.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
LuckyPhow
LuckyPhow
Joined: May 19, 2016
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August 8th, 2017 at 6:17:42 AM permalink
Quote: PokerGrinder

Gibraltar - Spain



Deleted.
LuckyPhow
LuckyPhow
Joined: May 19, 2016
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Thanks for this post from:
DeMango
August 8th, 2017 at 7:18:30 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard


Quote:

What purpose do the semi-circular canals serve? Were they for irrigation, transportation; or defense, like a moat?



Transportation mainly. The land is so flat there that it made sense to make canals instead of streets. I'm not sure why they did them in semi-circles, now that I think about it. I should have asked the guide of my canal tour. I assume it started with just one ring and they kept adding more as the population expanded.



Since no one has yet commented on this, I'll provide a lesson from my 1940 edition of Van Loon's Geography: The Story of the World. Hendrik Willem van Loon remains Holland's most famous geographer, and his is the only geography book ever to sell over 1 million copies. (His many other books are also fascinating reads, even today.)

Quote: Van Loon's Geography

The word "Netherlands", which is only used on very official occasions, means exactly what it implies, a combination of "low" localities situated from two to sixteen feet below the level of the sea. ... A great many of those canals are really drainage ditches, for one-quarter of the kingdom's territory is no land at all, in the usual sense of the word, but merely a piece of the bottom of the sea reclaimed from the fishes... .



He continues to describe how swampy lakes were turned into "polders," by building a dike around them. On the outside of the dike you dig a wide, deep canal that connects to the nearest river. You then construct windmills on top of the dikes with pumps (or small gasoline engines) to do the rest.

Quote: Van Loon's Geography

When all the water has been pumped out of the lake ... you dig a number of parallel ditches across your new "polder" and, provided you keep your pumping mills ... pumping all the time, these canals will take care of the necessary drainage.



Canals are all part of the national drainage system for a country built on land taken from the North Sea.
LostWages
LostWages
Joined: May 6, 2013
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August 8th, 2017 at 11:42:02 AM permalink
Quote: Wiz

Thanks. I find countries that are not very open to tourism the most interesting, for some reason. It is sort of on my bucket list to sneak into Mecca.



Wiz,

Since you mentioned your KTB (Kick The Bucket) list, perhaps you would consider starting a poll or discussion thread along the lines of What are your top 7 KTB items? I wouldn't mind starting it, but the thread will definitely get more reading appeal if it had your name on it. Also, you are more intimately familiar with your membership.

In the meantime, here's some food for thoughts to add to your "Mecca" search:

1. View Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations, Season 4, Episode 16.
"Danya Alhamrani was chosen to show off her hometown of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to Tony. They explore the cuisine, culture and heritage of Saudi Arabia that few Westerners have ever seen." Try Netflix, YouTube or The Travel Channel. If you have the time and attention, you can also search for blogs of travelers.

2. Consider reading "The KIngdom" by Robert Lacey. I recommend read vs watching the movie or listening to cassette tape. https://www.amazon.com/Robert-Lacey-Kingdom-Arabia-American/dp/B004T37Y4O/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_14_t_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=EFCJHGYT9GZK7PY7SQ83

3. If you do go, See if a friend can bring you to observe the annual Hajj (pilgrimage). You would look swell in an Ihram (plain, long white robe). Be sure to get validated visa for the Hajj! http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/hajj-2016-date-when-is-it-mecca-who-goes-is-it-safe-islam-muslims-stampede-2015-a7209676.html

Eat real food . . . and you won't need medicine (or a lot less!)
LuckyPhow
LuckyPhow
Joined: May 19, 2016
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August 8th, 2017 at 12:22:36 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

It is sort of on my bucket list to sneak into Mecca.



Wiz,

Pay attention to your buddy. Saudi's don't play around.

A friend of mine taught architecture at a Saudi university, along with several other "Western" nationals teaching various subjects. The non-Saudi's lived in their own, separate compound with zero opportunity to socialize with the (all male) student body outside class. Seems one of the British families had a still that fit into a closet, so they all had plenty of liquor. I don't recall him ever saying the Saudi's discovered it, but he did say this:

One day an American faculty member said or did something that somehow caused offense. Early that evening Saudi police served papers informing the family it had to depart the kingdom within the next 24 hours. Period. There was no explanation. My friend said the faculty member, his wife, and their children were on a plane the next afternoon. He and other American families had to pack up the family possessions and get them shipped to the family back in the United States.

Go ahead and try to sneak into Mecca. Especially during the hajj. You'll probably stand out like an elephant at a goat conference. Maybe they'll only cut off both your hands, because it's just your first offense. Listen to your buddy, OK?

Sheesh, why don't you consider doing something less dangerous. Go pet a lion or something.

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