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  1. <?xml version='1.0' encoding='UTF-8'?><?xml-stylesheet href="http://www.blogger.com/styles/atom.css" type="text/css"?><feed xmlns='http://www.w3.org/2005/Atom' xmlns:openSearch='http://a9.com/-/spec/opensearchrss/1.0/' xmlns:blogger='http://schemas.google.com/blogger/2008' xmlns:georss='http://www.georss.org/georss' xmlns:gd="http://schemas.google.com/g/2005" xmlns:thr='http://purl.org/syndication/thread/1.0'><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3563950890480925834</id><updated>2024-03-13T11:59:44.267-07:00</updated><category term="roadside"/><category term="California"/><category term="autobiography"/><category term="omnitopia"/><category term="street art"/><category term="movies"/><category term="neon"/><category term="public sphere"/><category term="homemade video"/><category term="motels"/><category term="nostalgia"/><category term="dining"/><category term="television"/><category term="economy"/><category term="China"/><category term="mobile phones"/><category term="Route 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2012"/><category term="William Gibson"/><category term="Paris"/><category term="modern art"/><category term="theaters"/><category term="Disney"/><category term="difficult dialogues"/><category term="Europe 2016"/><category term="Starbucks"/><category term="kitsch"/><category term="texting"/><category term="The Simpsons"/><category term="newspapers"/><category term="environment"/><category term="surveillance"/><category term="Expo 2010"/><category term="North Korea"/><category term="video games"/><category term="academic market"/><category term="obituaries"/><category term="D5000"/><category term="Iran"/><category term="graphic design"/><category term="Highway 17"/><category term="matchbooks"/><category term="origami urbanism"/><category term="Europe 2014"/><category term="Salzburg 2012"/><category term="malls"/><category term="waffle house"/><category term="COMM 101"/><category term="Trump"/><category term="WWG"/><category term="atriums"/><category term="live blogs"/><category term="pseudo scripts"/><category term="searching for..."/><category term="twitter"/><category term="Finland"/><category term="Reed College"/><category term="health care"/><category term="light painting"/><category term="newsletter"/><category term="sandbox project"/><category term="tilt-shift"/><category term="gamification"/><category term="new urbanism"/><category term="philosophy"/><category term="Detroit"/><category term="Europe 2013"/><category term="Rota"/><category term="Taksim"/><category term="before and after"/><category term="googie"/><category term="shot-by-shot"/><category term="augmented reality"/><category term="dingbat"/><category term="essentials"/><category term="forensics"/><category term="guest posts"/><category term="methodology"/><category term="posters"/><category term="sports"/><category term="zombies"/><category term="2010 elections"/><category term="2012 elections"/><category term="Europe 2017"/><category term="Japan"/><category term="Mexico"/><category term="Prezi"/><category term="mediascaping"/><category term="2016 elections"/><category term="GME"/><category term="Montreal"/><category term="Salzburg"/><category term="car guys"/><category term="etymology"/><category term="overpasses"/><category term="2013 Solo Road Trip"/><category term="COMM 161"/><category term="El Vado"/><category term="Israel"/><category term="Slovenia"/><category term="great speeches"/><category term="stoicism"/><category term="2014 Solo Road Trip"/><category term="West Bank"/><category term="cinemagraphs"/><category term="nuke scare"/><category term="video blog-posts"/><category term="BP oil spill"/><category term="COMM 20"/><category term="Expo 2020"/><category term="corporate-personhood"/><category term="2012 Solo Road Trip"/><category term="BCBL"/><category term="COMM 250"/><category term="Europe 2018"/><category term="Vegas"/><category term="West Bank. guilty pleasures"/><title type='text'>Woodland Shoppers Paradise</title><subtitle type='html'>A mini-mall of media, critique, and commentary</subtitle><link rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#feed' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/'/><link rel='hub' href='http://pubsubhubbub.appspot.com/'/><link rel='next' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default?start-index=26&amp;max-results=25'/><author><name>highway163</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/09874578884935438341</uri><email>noreply@blogger.com</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='16' height='16' src='https://img1.blogblog.com/img/b16-rounded.gif'/></author><generator version='7.00' uri='http://www.blogger.com'>Blogger</generator><openSearch:totalResults>1504</openSearch:totalResults><openSearch:startIndex>1</openSearch:startIndex><openSearch:itemsPerPage>25</openSearch:itemsPerPage><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3563950890480925834.post-2591987692172390093</id><published>2020-11-06T13:20:00.000-08:00</published><updated>2020-11-06T13:20:25.436-08:00</updated><title type='text'>Only a Strong America</title><content type='html'>&lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-jO8n4d-EOng/X6W949rnz8I/AAAAAAAH-Zc/A097DVeIRK8Vszc54DebqyFBcvnfRLOugCLcBGAsYHQ/s1440/only-a-strong-america-small.png&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1440&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1019&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-jO8n4d-EOng/X6W949rnz8I/AAAAAAAH-Zc/A097DVeIRK8Vszc54DebqyFBcvnfRLOugCLcBGAsYHQ/w283-h400/only-a-strong-america-small.png&quot; width=&quot;283&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;p&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: #999999;&quot;&gt;Not sure if these notes will find their way into the ruins book, so I thought I&#39;d share &#39;em here.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;p&gt;It’s a humid late Saturday afternoon in 1953. A child pushes past the heavy double doors of a theater where her parents deposited her for a double feature. Dad will pick her up in about a half hour, so she’s got time to kill. She pauses by the cinema, one of those old Fox Theatres whose innards conjure up images of Egyptian kings and Greek water bearers, and gazes up at glass-framed posters that promise coming attractions. Mostly she prefers the serials -- thrilling strangeness like &lt;i&gt;Radar Men from the Moon&lt;/i&gt;, the chapter story that features &lt;i&gt;Commando Cody&lt;/i&gt;, and &lt;i&gt;Zombies of the Stratosphere&lt;/i&gt; -- but the posters don’t advertise those. She makes a mental note to see &lt;i&gt;War of the Worlds&lt;/i&gt;, which looks pretty scary. But she doesn’t want to dawdle. She’s on a mission. She spins one complete turn, just for the pleasure of feeling the wind play with her curls, and starts to skip along the sidewalk. Her destination is the newsstand at the corner. Dad has assured her that he’ll pick her up precisely at the turn of the hour.&amp;nbsp;&lt;/p&gt;&lt;div&gt;The newsstand is better than the library, as far as she can see. It’s such a jumble of tacky, glorious, engaging things, all the more with the thrum of cars and trucks pulsing nearby. And the man who runs the place on most days doesn’t mind if she flips through some of the pages, so long as she keeps her hands clean. It’s her stand, her favorite place, packed with wooden crates filled with soda bottles, cardboard boxes stuffed with candy bars, and a freezer stocked with cold drinks, and maybe some ice cream. But she’s not hungry or thirsty. She’s looking for something to read tonight after dinner. She has plenty of options. The racks are festooned with magazines, newspapers, and lurid paperbacks, most held tight by thin silver rods, and occasionally some fishing line. She heard once that the man behind the knotty wooden shelf sometimes sells paperbacks in brown wrappers to furtive buyers with strange proclivities, when the police officer can’t see. Once she thinks she saw one of those officers actually collecting one of those forbidden books. One day, she knows, she will convince the man to sell her one of those secret things. In the meantime she surveys the collection, rubbing her fingers over the ragged edges of a dime she saved from the show.&amp;nbsp;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;So many choices!&amp;nbsp;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;Television and movie stars tug at her attention, newspapers flap in the breeze. She wants a comic though. Her older brother always kids about her curiosity for romance titles, but in fact she prefers the science fiction and horror stuff. Monsters and ray guns and… There it is, the comic that she hid behind an almanac that never seems to sell. She stares and stares at the cover, the book she’s always been afraid to open. The image is horrifying but somehow beautiful too. It is a scene of devastation. A mushroom cloud glows red and orange and pink, with a burning yellow center. Flames roil and shoot over New York City. She recognizes the iconic structures being swept into ruin: the Chrysler Building and the Empire State Building, both cracking and shattering like, well, like nothing she’s ever seen before. Brick apartment blocks and gleaming glass towers crack and shatter under the sweeping torrents, the plumes of acrid smoke, the gust of hellish squall. Treasure! The comic announces that it was published in November, a few months ago. Every couple of weeks, she’d amble by and peer into its hiding place, hoping that someone else had not purchased the last copy. And here it is. And she’s got that dime. And she’s ready to buy.&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;&lt;div&gt;She makes her purchase, speaking in her best grown-up voice and looking the man directly in his eyes, and then sits at the nearby bench next to where the buses churn on their hourly paths. New York City is burning and the towers are tumbling into holocaust. All for a dime. It all looks so exciting, so horrifying, but it comes with a message too. All comics must have one it seems. And this one is typically blunt: “Only A Strong America Can Prevent Atomic War.”&lt;/div&gt;&lt;p&gt;&lt;/p&gt;</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/feeds/2591987692172390093/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=3563950890480925834&amp;postID=2591987692172390093' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/2591987692172390093'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/2591987692172390093'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/2020/11/only-strong-america.html' title='Only a Strong America'/><author><name>highway163</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/09874578884935438341</uri><email>noreply@blogger.com</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='16' height='16' src='https://img1.blogblog.com/img/b16-rounded.gif'/></author><media:thumbnail xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/" url="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-jO8n4d-EOng/X6W949rnz8I/AAAAAAAH-Zc/A097DVeIRK8Vszc54DebqyFBcvnfRLOugCLcBGAsYHQ/s72-w283-h400-c/only-a-strong-america-small.png" height="72" width="72"/><thr:total>0</thr:total></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3563950890480925834.post-9067349786847262619</id><published>2019-03-25T14:36:00.000-07:00</published><updated>2019-03-30T14:40:12.975-07:00</updated><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="dining"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="Japan"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="Starbucks"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="trip summaries"/><title type='text'>Tokyo [Part 2]</title><content type='html'>&lt;!--[if gte mso 9]&gt;&lt;xml&gt;
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  378. &lt;br /&gt;
  379. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  380. &lt;a href=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-bOEXJHcbkN0/XJ_ht2qZ0yI/AAAAAAAHbv8/Hsp2CJ4sPEkGmtMd543fJNDuP5g-ShxTACLcBGAs/s1600/Tokyo-45.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-bOEXJHcbkN0/XJ_ht2qZ0yI/AAAAAAAHbv8/Hsp2CJ4sPEkGmtMd543fJNDuP5g-ShxTACLcBGAs/s400/Tokyo-45.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  381. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif; font-size: 12pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/span&gt;
  382. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif; font-size: 12pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;Our last full day in Tokyo was
  383. probably the best time we spent in Japan. Jenny started the morning with a
  384. pilgrimage to the LDS temple, which she learned has been closed for renovation.
  385. But she still found time to enjoy the morning spirit at a quiet garden. When
  386. she returned, we charted a path to Ueno Park for some &lt;i&gt;hanami&lt;/i&gt; (cherry blossom appreciation).
  387. While the &lt;i&gt;sakura&lt;/i&gt; were blooming early this year, they had not yet reached their
  388. zenith. Even so, we loved the chance to walk around a lake filled with &lt;/span&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif; font-size: 12pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-size: 14px;&quot;&gt;paddle boats&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif; font-size: 12pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&amp;nbsp;and join the crowds drawn to trees bursting with white and pink petals
  389. that shimmied in the breeze.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  390. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  391. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif; font-size: 12pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  392. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  393. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-JOBN-S41CI8/XJ_gE7X6LFI/AAAAAAAHbvE/ZfZjkrVOzccQGitVd-8KhypbqusIi2g-wCLcBGAs/s1600/Tokyo-40.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;774&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;215&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-JOBN-S41CI8/XJ_gE7X6LFI/AAAAAAAHbvE/ZfZjkrVOzccQGitVd-8KhypbqusIi2g-wCLcBGAs/s400/Tokyo-40.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  394. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  395. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif; font-size: 12pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  396. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  397. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;Throughout the park, folks had laid
  398. out blue tarps to gather with friends for food and (plentiful) drink. After
  399. grabbing some regrettable street food, we found seats for a park performance
  400. with a monkey doing leaps and other tricks. [Yes, it was an impressive display.
  401. But I still felt guilty all the same.] A surprising highlight was the discovery
  402. of one of those ubiquitous gachapon dispensers that sold, of all things,
  403. &lt;i&gt;miniature gachapon dispensers&lt;/i&gt;. And only for 200 Yen each. I would have
  404. cheerfully paid twice as much, so I bought six of the danged things! Later on, we wandered the stalls and shops of&amp;nbsp;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-size: 14px;&quot;&gt;Ameyoko Shopping Street, snarfing up souvenirs&amp;nbsp;and finding the perfect brand of matcha tea&amp;nbsp;to bring home.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  405. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  406. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-size: 14px;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  407. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  408. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-JSqW1duPRqQ/XJ_gOLJ97MI/AAAAAAAHbvM/Y43suk4shfQtsKwoe57KEdgeVaONnncLACLcBGAs/s1600/Tokyo-58.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-JSqW1duPRqQ/XJ_gOLJ97MI/AAAAAAAHbvM/Y43suk4shfQtsKwoe57KEdgeVaONnncLACLcBGAs/s400/Tokyo-58.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  409. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  410. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-size: 14px;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  411. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  412. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif;&quot;&gt;That evening we had dinner at Ninja
  413. Akasaka, a place that is pricey, cheesy, and surprisingly good. So, what’s the
  414. concept? Turns out, your server is a ninja who guides you through a mysterious
  415. network of passageways, past darkened rooms, across broken bridges, and through
  416. secret portals. Then when your meal arrives, your ninja performs illusions and
  417. tells goofy jokes. I’d long looked forward to this evening, and was
  418. disappointed the night before when we went through the whole opening bit - only
  419. to be dropped off in the bar. Yeah, you really do need reservations for this
  420. place. So we paid for our drinks and opted out of the festivities, arranging a
  421. reservation for today (and triple-checking that we’d snagged one of those
  422. coveted private rooms). It was worth the wait.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  423. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  424. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  425. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  426. &lt;a href=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-B-Tyx8wipA4/XJ_gWgsxbYI/AAAAAAAHbvU/B0uaKqogk78rmKNMa6_VwVeNLCdiobhkQCLcBGAs/s1600/Tokyo-57.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-B-Tyx8wipA4/XJ_gWgsxbYI/AAAAAAAHbvU/B0uaKqogk78rmKNMa6_VwVeNLCdiobhkQCLcBGAs/s400/Tokyo-57.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  427. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  428. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  429. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  430. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif;&quot;&gt;To be sure, neither Jenny nor I would
  431. ever be confused for “foodies.” So I have little experience for comparison. But
  432. I’d say that this was the best meal we’ve ever had: shuriken star-blades
  433. grissini, white fish and tomato ceviche, turban shell bomb with garlic butter,
  434. stone-boiled soup, Wagyu beef, sushi with akadashi dark-miso soup, and plenty
  435. of palate cleansers and tasty desserts.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  436. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  437. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  438. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  439. &lt;a href=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-5m5w_bomDk4/XJ_g9BgueJI/AAAAAAAHbvk/9Z9dPHoxkEsz_i972yd5mlPqukBiWCm8QCLcBGAs/s1600/Tokyo-62.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1440&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1080&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-5m5w_bomDk4/XJ_g9BgueJI/AAAAAAAHbvk/9Z9dPHoxkEsz_i972yd5mlPqukBiWCm8QCLcBGAs/s400/Tokyo-62.jpg&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  440. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  441. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  442. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  443. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif;&quot;&gt;Afterward we seriously considered
  444. calling it a night, but Jenny was still up for adventure. So we returned to the
  445. subway for a visit to Starbucks Reserve Roastery. I know, I know… But, really,
  446. this is a remarkable place - and at four stories and 32,000-square-feet is the
  447. largest Starbucks on the planet. We showed up at around 9:30 p.m. and found a
  448. line stretching down the road. And the display on one fellow’s clipboard read
  449. 120 minutes. Nope! So we walked about along the river, savoring the sight of cherry
  450. blossoms illuminated by lights.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  451. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  452. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  453. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  454. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-VN28znXMWlM/XJ_hQtVmoNI/AAAAAAAHbvs/gNCjDG8jc8s19U5SP686ZTOiGKrZlpdKwCLcBGAs/s1600/Tokyo-63.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-VN28znXMWlM/XJ_hQtVmoNI/AAAAAAAHbvs/gNCjDG8jc8s19U5SP686ZTOiGKrZlpdKwCLcBGAs/s400/Tokyo-63.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  455. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  456. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  457. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  458. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif;&quot;&gt;Then I figured, let’s see just how
  459. bad the line really is. As it turns out, we only needed to wait about 20 minutes.
  460. Inside, we immersed ourselves in the kind of “coffee theater” we never
  461. experience in our local Starbucks: steampunk fixtures and open flame and
  462. personal tastings. Oh, and pour-over coffee and whiskey for me (and chocolate
  463. torte and water for Jenny). It was our last night in Japan. The next day we
  464. packed and took the Narita Express for the airport. Already I’m dreaming of our
  465. return to this remarkable country.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  466. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  467. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  468. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  469. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-g7abyZ2hGIM/XJ_hXLlIV1I/AAAAAAAHbvw/PJBhgjTP0u8cOmb0VGmhVTlKpdyaZARsQCLcBGAs/s1600/Tokyo-44.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-g7abyZ2hGIM/XJ_hXLlIV1I/AAAAAAAHbvw/PJBhgjTP0u8cOmb0VGmhVTlKpdyaZARsQCLcBGAs/s400/Tokyo-44.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  470. </content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/feeds/9067349786847262619/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=3563950890480925834&amp;postID=9067349786847262619' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/9067349786847262619'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/9067349786847262619'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/2019/03/tokyo-part-2.html' title='Tokyo [Part 2]'/><author><name>highway163</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/09874578884935438341</uri><email>noreply@blogger.com</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='16' height='16' src='https://img1.blogblog.com/img/b16-rounded.gif'/></author><media:thumbnail xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/" url="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-bOEXJHcbkN0/XJ_ht2qZ0yI/AAAAAAAHbv8/Hsp2CJ4sPEkGmtMd543fJNDuP5g-ShxTACLcBGAs/s72-c/Tokyo-45.jpg" height="72" width="72"/><thr:total>0</thr:total></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3563950890480925834.post-4084776559680234887</id><published>2019-03-23T16:45:00.000-07:00</published><updated>2019-03-29T22:43:36.518-07:00</updated><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="Japan"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="relics"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="trip summaries"/><title type='text'> Fukushima Dai-ichi </title><content type='html'>&lt;!--[if gte mso 9]&gt;&lt;xml&gt;
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  538.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;9&quot; QFormat=&quot;true&quot; Name=&quot;heading 4&quot;/&gt;
  539.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;9&quot; QFormat=&quot;true&quot; Name=&quot;heading 5&quot;/&gt;
  540.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;9&quot; QFormat=&quot;true&quot; Name=&quot;heading 6&quot;/&gt;
  541.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;9&quot; QFormat=&quot;true&quot; Name=&quot;heading 7&quot;/&gt;
  542.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;9&quot; QFormat=&quot;true&quot; Name=&quot;heading 8&quot;/&gt;
  543.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;9&quot; QFormat=&quot;true&quot; Name=&quot;heading 9&quot;/&gt;
  544.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;39&quot; Name=&quot;toc 1&quot;/&gt;
  545.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;39&quot; Name=&quot;toc 2&quot;/&gt;
  546.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;39&quot; Name=&quot;toc 3&quot;/&gt;
  547.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;39&quot; Name=&quot;toc 4&quot;/&gt;
  548.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;39&quot; Name=&quot;toc 5&quot;/&gt;
  549.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;39&quot; Name=&quot;toc 6&quot;/&gt;
  550.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;39&quot; Name=&quot;toc 7&quot;/&gt;
  551.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;39&quot; Name=&quot;toc 8&quot;/&gt;
  552.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;39&quot; Name=&quot;toc 9&quot;/&gt;
  553.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;35&quot; QFormat=&quot;true&quot; Name=&quot;caption&quot;/&gt;
  554.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;10&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  555.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; QFormat=&quot;true&quot; Name=&quot;Title&quot;/&gt;
  556.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;1&quot; Name=&quot;Default Paragraph Font&quot;/&gt;
  557.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;11&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  558.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; QFormat=&quot;true&quot; Name=&quot;Subtitle&quot;/&gt;
  559.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;22&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  560.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; QFormat=&quot;true&quot; Name=&quot;Strong&quot;/&gt;
  561.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;20&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  562.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; QFormat=&quot;true&quot; Name=&quot;Emphasis&quot;/&gt;
  563.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;59&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  564.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Table Grid&quot;/&gt;
  565.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Placeholder Text&quot;/&gt;
  566.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;1&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  567.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; QFormat=&quot;true&quot; Name=&quot;No Spacing&quot;/&gt;
  568.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;60&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  569.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Light Shading&quot;/&gt;
  570.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;61&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  571.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Light List&quot;/&gt;
  572.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;62&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  573.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Light Grid&quot;/&gt;
  574.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;63&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  575.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Shading 1&quot;/&gt;
  576.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;64&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  577.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Shading 2&quot;/&gt;
  578.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;65&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  579.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium List 1&quot;/&gt;
  580.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;66&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  581.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium List 2&quot;/&gt;
  582.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;67&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  583.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Grid 1&quot;/&gt;
  584.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;68&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  585.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Grid 2&quot;/&gt;
  586.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;69&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  587.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Grid 3&quot;/&gt;
  588.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;70&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  589.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Dark List&quot;/&gt;
  590.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;71&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  591.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Colorful Shading&quot;/&gt;
  592.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;72&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  593.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Colorful List&quot;/&gt;
  594.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;73&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  595.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Colorful Grid&quot;/&gt;
  596.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;60&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  597.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Light Shading Accent 1&quot;/&gt;
  598.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;61&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  599.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Light List Accent 1&quot;/&gt;
  600.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;62&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  601.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Light Grid Accent 1&quot;/&gt;
  602.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;63&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  603.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Shading 1 Accent 1&quot;/&gt;
  604.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;64&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  605.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Shading 2 Accent 1&quot;/&gt;
  606.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;65&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  607.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium List 1 Accent 1&quot;/&gt;
  608.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Revision&quot;/&gt;
  609.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;34&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  610.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; QFormat=&quot;true&quot; Name=&quot;List Paragraph&quot;/&gt;
  611.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;29&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  612.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; QFormat=&quot;true&quot; Name=&quot;Quote&quot;/&gt;
  613.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;30&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  614.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; QFormat=&quot;true&quot; Name=&quot;Intense Quote&quot;/&gt;
  615.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;66&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  616.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium List 2 Accent 1&quot;/&gt;
  617.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;67&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  618.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Grid 1 Accent 1&quot;/&gt;
  619.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;68&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  620.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Grid 2 Accent 1&quot;/&gt;
  621.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;69&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  622.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Grid 3 Accent 1&quot;/&gt;
  623.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;70&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  624.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Dark List Accent 1&quot;/&gt;
  625.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;71&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  626.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Colorful Shading Accent 1&quot;/&gt;
  627.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;72&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  628.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Colorful List Accent 1&quot;/&gt;
  629.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;73&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  630.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Colorful Grid Accent 1&quot;/&gt;
  631.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;60&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  632.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Light Shading Accent 2&quot;/&gt;
  633.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;61&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  634.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Light List Accent 2&quot;/&gt;
  635.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;62&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  636.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Light Grid Accent 2&quot;/&gt;
  637.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;63&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  638.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Shading 1 Accent 2&quot;/&gt;
  639.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;64&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  640.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Shading 2 Accent 2&quot;/&gt;
  641.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;65&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  642.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium List 1 Accent 2&quot;/&gt;
  643.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;66&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  644.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium List 2 Accent 2&quot;/&gt;
  645.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;67&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  646.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Grid 1 Accent 2&quot;/&gt;
  647.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;68&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  648.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Grid 2 Accent 2&quot;/&gt;
  649.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;69&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  650.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Grid 3 Accent 2&quot;/&gt;
  651.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;70&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  652.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Dark List Accent 2&quot;/&gt;
  653.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;71&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  654.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Colorful Shading Accent 2&quot;/&gt;
  655.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;72&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  656.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Colorful List Accent 2&quot;/&gt;
  657.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;73&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  658.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Colorful Grid Accent 2&quot;/&gt;
  659.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;60&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  660.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Light Shading Accent 3&quot;/&gt;
  661.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;61&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  662.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Light List Accent 3&quot;/&gt;
  663.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;62&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  664.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Light Grid Accent 3&quot;/&gt;
  665.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;63&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  666.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Shading 1 Accent 3&quot;/&gt;
  667.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;64&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  668.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Shading 2 Accent 3&quot;/&gt;
  669.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;65&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  670.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium List 1 Accent 3&quot;/&gt;
  671.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;66&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  672.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium List 2 Accent 3&quot;/&gt;
  673.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;67&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  674.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Grid 1 Accent 3&quot;/&gt;
  675.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;68&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  676.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Grid 2 Accent 3&quot;/&gt;
  677.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;69&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  678.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Grid 3 Accent 3&quot;/&gt;
  679.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;70&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  680.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Dark List Accent 3&quot;/&gt;
  681.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;71&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  682.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Colorful Shading Accent 3&quot;/&gt;
  683.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;72&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  684.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Colorful List Accent 3&quot;/&gt;
  685.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;73&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  686.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Colorful Grid Accent 3&quot;/&gt;
  687.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;60&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  688.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Light Shading Accent 4&quot;/&gt;
  689.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;61&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  690.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Light List Accent 4&quot;/&gt;
  691.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;62&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  692.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Light Grid Accent 4&quot;/&gt;
  693.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;63&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  694.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Shading 1 Accent 4&quot;/&gt;
  695.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;64&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  696.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Shading 2 Accent 4&quot;/&gt;
  697.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;65&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  698.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium List 1 Accent 4&quot;/&gt;
  699.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;66&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  700.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium List 2 Accent 4&quot;/&gt;
  701.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;67&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  702.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Grid 1 Accent 4&quot;/&gt;
  703.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;68&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  704.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Grid 2 Accent 4&quot;/&gt;
  705.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;69&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  706.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Grid 3 Accent 4&quot;/&gt;
  707.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;70&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  708.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Dark List Accent 4&quot;/&gt;
  709.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;71&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  710.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Colorful Shading Accent 4&quot;/&gt;
  711.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;72&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  712.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Colorful List Accent 4&quot;/&gt;
  713.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;73&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  714.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Colorful Grid Accent 4&quot;/&gt;
  715.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;60&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  716.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Light Shading Accent 5&quot;/&gt;
  717.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;61&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  718.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Light List Accent 5&quot;/&gt;
  719.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;62&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  720.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Light Grid Accent 5&quot;/&gt;
  721.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;63&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  722.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Shading 1 Accent 5&quot;/&gt;
  723.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;64&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  724.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Shading 2 Accent 5&quot;/&gt;
  725.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;65&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  726.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium List 1 Accent 5&quot;/&gt;
  727.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;66&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  728.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium List 2 Accent 5&quot;/&gt;
  729.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;67&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  730.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Grid 1 Accent 5&quot;/&gt;
  731.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;68&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  732.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Grid 2 Accent 5&quot;/&gt;
  733.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;69&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  734.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Grid 3 Accent 5&quot;/&gt;
  735.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;70&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  736.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Dark List Accent 5&quot;/&gt;
  737.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;71&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  738.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Colorful Shading Accent 5&quot;/&gt;
  739.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;72&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  740.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Colorful List Accent 5&quot;/&gt;
  741.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;73&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  742.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Colorful Grid Accent 5&quot;/&gt;
  743.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;60&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  744.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Light Shading Accent 6&quot;/&gt;
  745.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;61&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  746.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Light List Accent 6&quot;/&gt;
  747.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;62&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  748.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Light Grid Accent 6&quot;/&gt;
  749.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;63&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
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  848. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  849. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-802OO-bS-Vs/XJ6vrlGXx5I/AAAAAAAHbtk/Y2dUBblC2YoaQsHve_OIM-k7AABhrxLyQCLcBGAs/s1600/Fukushima-16.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-802OO-bS-Vs/XJ6vrlGXx5I/AAAAAAAHbtk/Y2dUBblC2YoaQsHve_OIM-k7AABhrxLyQCLcBGAs/s400/Fukushima-16.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  850. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;
  851. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;We awoke well before sunrise to catch
  852. the Shinkansen to Sendai and then board a slower regional train to Odaka. As usual,
  853. I insisted on taking a much earlier option, though we could have chosen an
  854. itinerary that would get us to our destination with three minutes to spare. In
  855. the U.S., it makes much more sense to presume some delay in mass transit. In
  856. Japan, though, I’m coming to understand that when they say the train will
  857. arrive at 11:57, they generally mean 11:57. Anyway, we arrived two hours early,
  858. which afforded a chance to find a nearby ramen house. And I mean &lt;/span&gt;&lt;i style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: arial, helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;house&lt;/i&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;. The
  859. owners ushered us into a back room with other folks who ceased their chatting and
  860. looked at us like we’d flown in from Mars. But once we joined them on the Tatami
  861. mats and gamely pointed at one of the written options on the low table, our
  862. neighbors went back to their conversations. A couple folks spotted us slurping
  863. our noodles with suitable joy and encouraged us to pronounce the food as “ichiban,”
  864. which it indeed proved to be.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  865. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  866. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  867. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  868. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-dtrD4J_lTJ0/XJ6tI__ISzI/AAAAAAAHbtU/vnxC2_zPYf8aJQgI1sBh6TQuWC55jLVVQCLcBGAs/s1600/Fukushima-9.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-dtrD4J_lTJ0/XJ6tI__ISzI/AAAAAAAHbtU/vnxC2_zPYf8aJQgI1sBh6TQuWC55jLVVQCLcBGAs/s400/Fukushima-9.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  869. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  870. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  871. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  872. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;At noon we joined a small group of
  873. fellow tourists (two from Argentina and one from Malaysia) gathered to visit
  874. the Red Zone. On this site in 2011, a magnitude-9 earthquake located on the
  875. Pacific side of Honshu generated a tsunami that partially engulfed the Fukushima Dai-ichi
  876. nuclear power plant, causing three of its six reactors to melt down. The
  877. tsunami killed about 16,000 people and forced an estimated 150,000 people from
  878. their homes. While plant workers struggled valiantly to manage the nuclear
  879. crisis, the worst since the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, the physical and
  880. psychological impacts of radiation exposure remain difficult to quantify. Today,
  881. the Fukushima region continues to suffer the social and economic impacts of population
  882. loss, even though background radiation has returned to relatively healthy
  883. limits. Some local boosters are hoping that tourism can play a positive role in
  884. regional revitalization.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  885. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  886. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  887. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  888. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-CZFntp9177o/XJ6sBEOWbkI/AAAAAAAHbsQ/uyf6PIjMQd0SRmKysxX-pus794-6-1gogCLcBGAs/s1600/Fukushima-3.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-CZFntp9177o/XJ6sBEOWbkI/AAAAAAAHbsQ/uyf6PIjMQd0SRmKysxX-pus794-6-1gogCLcBGAs/s400/Fukushima-3.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  889. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  890. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  891. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  892. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;Of course, a fair question arises:
  893. Why would anyone want to holiday in Fukushima? Some might find it ghoulish to visit
  894. a field of broken tombstones laid flat by a torrent of water, to pass by lots
  895. of demolished homes where only family shrines remain, to drive through empty
  896. villages whose abandoned shops once buzzed with commerce. Some surely would
  897. think it odd to mount a hill overlooking the panorama of the plant nestled near
  898. the water’s edge, now the site of mammoth decommissioning and cleanup efforts that
  899. will take decades and cost somewhere near 200 billion dollars. Tour organizers
  900. know all too well that many visitors come in hopes of reliving episodes of &lt;i&gt;Dark
  901. Tourist&lt;/i&gt;, or maybe even attempting illegal “urban exploration.” Yet they hope
  902. that they can resist that sort of “ruin porn,” seeking instead to send visitors
  903. back with stories of the region’s resilience.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  904. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  905. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  906. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  907. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-LJmJAbCzDf0/XJ6sKeUoQ8I/AAAAAAAHbsY/7S6caYo3cM4-L4qn54CeUujdf0arM7f8gCLcBGAs/s1600/Fukushima-2.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-LJmJAbCzDf0/XJ6sKeUoQ8I/AAAAAAAHbsY/7S6caYo3cM4-L4qn54CeUujdf0arM7f8gCLcBGAs/s400/Fukushima-2.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  908. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  909. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  910. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  911. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;Our guide was a prefectural manager
  912. named Shuzo Sasaki who arranged the permits for our small group to enter the
  913. exclusion zone. Driving down roads lined by weeds and debris, we passed empty
  914. fields and rice paddies now increasingly used as solar farms. We also saw vast
  915. collections of black bags filled with contaminated soil. How many bags? Current
  916. estimates total around 16 million. Occasionally we’d pass a digital readout of
  917. radiation levels. And everywhere are abandoned houses and vacant lots.&amp;nbsp;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  918. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  919. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  920. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  921. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-g-Su3MRkBww/XJ6sPpbtVxI/AAAAAAAHbsg/kuNOscNLuyEHRx9PQ2P7cemEAPxzepJNQCLcBGAs/s1600/Fukushima-1.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-g-Su3MRkBww/XJ6sPpbtVxI/AAAAAAAHbsg/kuNOscNLuyEHRx9PQ2P7cemEAPxzepJNQCLcBGAs/s400/Fukushima-1.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  922. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  923. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  924. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  925. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;At one
  926. point we stopped at the farm of Masami Yoshizawa, an activist who cannot sell
  927. his cows but has opted not to slaughter them. While over 5,000 cows were left
  928. to starve after the tsunami, Yoshizawa stayed behind to care for his. There is, of course, is no market for Fukushima milk, which leaves him struggling to survive. To dramatize
  929. his plight, Yoshizawa built a “Cow Godzilla,” a performance-art piece that he often
  930. drives to Japan’s parliament to raise awareness of the struggle that Fukushima&amp;nbsp;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif; font-size: 14px;&quot;&gt;fisherfolk,&amp;nbsp;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;farmers&lt;/span&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;, and ranchers still endure.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  931. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  932. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  933. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  934. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-CGG9tSb1Owc/XJ6sVfN7ApI/AAAAAAAHbso/Tg5oxqUBiBQQ53AIuRT0Gvm45nABvs7LgCLcBGAs/s1600/Fukushima-6.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-CGG9tSb1Owc/XJ6sVfN7ApI/AAAAAAAHbso/Tg5oxqUBiBQQ53AIuRT0Gvm45nABvs7LgCLcBGAs/s400/Fukushima-6.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  935. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  936. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  937. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  938. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;Advancing closer to Fukushima Dai-ichi,
  939. we cruise down National Route 6, stopping occasionally along the tour’s dismal
  940. stations. At Ukedo Elementary School we see the waterline etched below the
  941. roofs and imagine the destruction caused by deluges that roared up to ten
  942. kilometers inland. At Kumamachi Elementary School we peer into classrooms filled with scattered books and bags. At a
  943. fish nursery we survey the destruction wrought by the tsunami, and we photograph the sarcasm directed at Tokyo Electric Power Company: “TEPCO will last for
  944. 1,000 years.”&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  945. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  946. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  947. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  948. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-DNi8UUf-hN4/XJ6saeeGxuI/AAAAAAAHbss/YaNNGbj1jx4Lpy6ExyavfKyagJ5ZPUrRACLcBGAs/s1600/Fukushima-14.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1440&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1080&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-DNi8UUf-hN4/XJ6saeeGxuI/AAAAAAAHbss/YaNNGbj1jx4Lpy6ExyavfKyagJ5ZPUrRACLcBGAs/s400/Fukushima-14.jpg&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  949. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  950. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  951. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  952. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;And in towns like Ōkuma and Futaba, with
  953. their rows of empty houses and shattered-glass businesses, I flash back to &lt;i&gt;The
  954. Last Picture Show&lt;/i&gt; and imagine the haunting of ghosts. I think about those
  955. farmers and plant workers who managed to live but still left, and those school children who
  956. fled along forest paths to the tops of hills, barely escaping the waves that
  957. crashed below. From time to time we stop and shoot our typical photos, asking
  958. our banal questions. And then as afternoon falls, we begin our exit, checking
  959. out with masked police officers dressed in blue and white. Our final checkpoint
  960. involves us sticking out the soles of our feet for radiometer inspection.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  963. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  964. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-E9IUZEkLN-Y/XJ6sgrDkrvI/AAAAAAAHbs4/mDULa0gY0iwg_pJ_nznKlGz7AdoEHZukgCLcBGAs/s1600/Fukushima-4.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-E9IUZEkLN-Y/XJ6sgrDkrvI/AAAAAAAHbs4/mDULa0gY0iwg_pJ_nznKlGz7AdoEHZukgCLcBGAs/s400/Fukushima-4.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  966. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;o:p&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/o:p&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  967. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  968. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;As it turns out, we visited Japan
  969. during its cherry blossom season, a brief period when petals open and bloom,
  970. only to fall a week or so later. So during the tour, and afterward, I reflected
  971. on the concept of &lt;i&gt;mono-no-aware&lt;/i&gt;, sometimes translated as the sadness or “ahhness”
  972. of things. That evening, Jenny and I joined Karin Taira, owner of the Lantern
  973. House (where we stayed for the evening), and compared our thoughts on the
  974. concept. She agreed that one may certainly discern sadness from &lt;i&gt;mono-no-aware&lt;/i&gt;,
  975. but one also contemplates acceptance and even appreciation for the passing of
  976. things.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  978. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  979. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  980. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-PKcv8U58X8Y/XJ6s13HM49I/AAAAAAAHbtI/tp68g5Fg6UsvQ8JA9VcHKjB1ZzJhGmxtgCLcBGAs/s1600/Fukushima-21.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1094&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;303&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-PKcv8U58X8Y/XJ6s13HM49I/AAAAAAAHbtI/tp68g5Fg6UsvQ8JA9VcHKjB1ZzJhGmxtgCLcBGAs/s400/Fukushima-21.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  982. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  983. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  984. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif; font-size: 12pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;Related both to &lt;/span&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-size: 14px;&quot;&gt;Shinto&lt;/span&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&amp;nbsp;and Buddhist
  985. teachings, &lt;/span&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;i style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;mono-no-aware&lt;/i&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: &amp;quot;arial&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;helvetica&amp;quot; , sans-serif; font-size: 12pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt; reminds us that we ought not hold too fast to material
  986. things. Doing so only invites suffering. Instead we are wise to study the
  987. changing of things, the passing away of appearances. In such meditation, one
  988. comes closer to wisdom. I suspect it will be a long time, if ever, before I can
  989. claim any kind of understanding about Fukushima. Even writing these few
  990. paragraphs has been harder than I expected. But I start here, knowing I have a
  991. long way to go.&amp;nbsp;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  992. &lt;!--EndFragment--&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  993. &lt;br /&gt;
  994. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  995. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-7cUBPfezScY/XJ6s_o5ixfI/AAAAAAAHbtM/Ej6GD02LZqk8_Tw6y-itZJ1RIGab4RdJQCLcBGAs/s1600/Fukushima-7.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-7cUBPfezScY/XJ6s_o5ixfI/AAAAAAAHbtM/Ej6GD02LZqk8_Tw6y-itZJ1RIGab4RdJQCLcBGAs/s400/Fukushima-7.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  996. </content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/feeds/4084776559680234887/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=3563950890480925834&amp;postID=4084776559680234887' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/4084776559680234887'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/4084776559680234887'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/2019/03/fukushima-dai-ichi.html' title=' Fukushima Dai-ichi '/><author><name>highway163</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/09874578884935438341</uri><email>noreply@blogger.com</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='16' height='16' src='https://img1.blogblog.com/img/b16-rounded.gif'/></author><media:thumbnail xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/" url="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-802OO-bS-Vs/XJ6vrlGXx5I/AAAAAAAHbtk/Y2dUBblC2YoaQsHve_OIM-k7AABhrxLyQCLcBGAs/s72-c/Fukushima-16.jpg" height="72" width="72"/><thr:total>0</thr:total><georss:featurename>Japan, 〒979-1301 Fukushima, Futaba District, Okuma, 大字Ottozawa, 字 北原22</georss:featurename><georss:point>37.421336 141.02807830000006</georss:point><georss:box>34.147403 135.86450430000005 40.695268999999996 146.19165230000007</georss:box></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3563950890480925834.post-6098879213067371143</id><published>2019-03-22T23:44:00.000-07:00</published><updated>2019-03-27T07:37:03.815-07:00</updated><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="Japan"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="trip summaries"/><title type='text'>Tokyo [Part 1]</title><content type='html'>&lt;!--[if gte mso 9]&gt;&lt;xml&gt;
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  1375. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-l1NpOJ1ivrw/XJnLT69BEQI/AAAAAAAHbnU/hkCxmLOcG6YWYZxCcsFae57OmJhFIAiLgCLcBGAs/s1600/Tokyo-0.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-l1NpOJ1ivrw/XJnLT69BEQI/AAAAAAAHbnU/hkCxmLOcG6YWYZxCcsFae57OmJhFIAiLgCLcBGAs/s400/Tokyo-0.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  1377. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;We traveled from Kyoto to Tokyo via
  1378. the Shinkansen. All along the way I found myself wondering what Japanese
  1379. tourists must think when they travel to the U.S. and find our antiquated mass
  1380. transit system. The bullet train isn’t cheap, of course, and even regional
  1381. trains can be expensive in this country. But, barring thoroughly unforeseen
  1382. circumstances, you get where you want to go with near-split-second efficiency. So
  1383. after a pleasant ride we arrived in bustling, complicated Tokyo Station. Here I
  1384. must thank goodness for Google maps, which offers detailed explanations of
  1385. transit, down to the correct exit number. And given the mammoth size of many
  1386. urban train stations in this country, choosing the correct exit is no trifling
  1387. matter.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  1388. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  1389. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1390. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  1391. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-_R2-7stjnxM/XJnI7jx99bI/AAAAAAAHbmY/w5ttrXj1UVQefSjRU_4FviL7QYl0vORmwCLcBGAs/s1600/Tokyo-2.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1440&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1080&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-_R2-7stjnxM/XJnI7jx99bI/AAAAAAAHbmY/w5ttrXj1UVQefSjRU_4FviL7QYl0vORmwCLcBGAs/s400/Tokyo-2.jpg&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1392. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  1393. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: &amp;quot;inherit&amp;quot; , &amp;quot;serif&amp;quot;; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1394. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  1395. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;For this part of the trip we opted
  1396. for the Shinjuku district, an easy subway ride from the main station. An odd
  1397. highlight of our first evening was a visit to a Maid Café, which features young
  1398. women who perform pop songs while wearing frilly outfits. After paying a cover
  1399. charge, guests order overpriced drinks and woeful meals with the expectation
  1400. that the “maids” will flirt, chat, and play silly games. Jenny and I both found
  1401. the experience to be both unbearably cute but also somewhat disturbing. Having
  1402. no special insight on the fixation (among some, not all, folks in Japan) with
  1403. schoolgirls, a fetish that manifests itself in cafes like this - along with
  1404. anime, manga, and other media - I’ll defer from offering any further sweeping
  1405. judgment. Let’s just say that we didn’t need to stay for the entire allotted
  1406. time.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1407. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  1408. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1409. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  1410. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-qHfAcN20stM/XJnJDDjeaHI/AAAAAAAHbmg/qRThk6Vut8E0uHWT3uRlDJIF6hvlPtwiACLcBGAs/s1600/Tokyo-6.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1440&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-qHfAcN20stM/XJnJDDjeaHI/AAAAAAAHbmg/qRThk6Vut8E0uHWT3uRlDJIF6hvlPtwiACLcBGAs/s400/Tokyo-6.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1411. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  1412. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1413. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  1414. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;Thursday began with a trip to Puk
  1415. Pupa Theatre, a 90-year-old performance space dedicated to puppetry. The show
  1416. was geared for really young folks, with artists transforming their puppets into
  1417. a pair of goofy brothers who shared adventures with aliens, elephants, and
  1418. dinosaurs. The show was a delight for the entire audience, with the exception
  1419. of one little guy who wailed for his mom when things got a bit overly intense.
  1420. In the afternoon, we wandered among Shinjuku’s “love hotel hill,” a popular
  1421. spot for folks searching for privacy (and a little luxury) away from the thin
  1422. walls of their cramped quarters.&amp;nbsp;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1423. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  1424. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1425. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  1426. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-luWT5kPCPhs/XJnJOS_INfI/AAAAAAAHbmk/1giGP72fDPA0rLjvJNbAGU0Q6wRjphoJACLcBGAs/s1600/Tokyo-12.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-luWT5kPCPhs/XJnJOS_INfI/AAAAAAAHbmk/1giGP72fDPA0rLjvJNbAGU0Q6wRjphoJACLcBGAs/s400/Tokyo-12.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1427. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  1428. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1429. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  1430. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;That night we lined up for seats at Robot Restaurant.
  1431. How to describe this place? Well, the venue is designed to appeal to foreigners
  1432. searching for some quintessentially wacky mash-up of Japanese pop culture. So
  1433. you can count on an explosion of sword-flights, light-cycles, flame-belching
  1434. monsters, and laser-armed tanks (and snippets from Mama Mia for some reason).
  1435. Oh, and near constant pitches for drinks, snacks, and souvenirs. The show is
  1436. expensive, loud, and entirely bonkers. We loved it.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1437. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  1438. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1439. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  1440. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-QLqyNSdGQxQ/XJnJYUSmiTI/AAAAAAAHbmo/8u92g8hdb0Al9XsFsg20HSI0juxyPBmswCLcBGAs/s1600/Tokyo-32.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-QLqyNSdGQxQ/XJnJYUSmiTI/AAAAAAAHbmo/8u92g8hdb0Al9XsFsg20HSI0juxyPBmswCLcBGAs/s400/Tokyo-32.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1441. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  1442. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1443. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  1444. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;The next day we slept in before
  1445. catching the subway to Akihabara, a district famed for its towers filled with
  1446. floor after floor of electronics - but mostly appealing to tourists for its
  1447. overwhelmingly grand collection of trinkets, comics, figurines, trading cards,
  1448. and other collectables. Our favorite stop was a visit to Mandarake Complex,
  1449. known as perhaps the biggest anime shop on the planet. I wouldn’t have a clue,
  1450. but when I asked about whether they had any old copies of Kachō Kōsaku Shima,
  1451. it took only a few seconds for a dude to point me in the right direction. I’d
  1452. never heard of this character - a salaryman who moves up the ranks of a giant corporation
  1453. while playing by his own rules! But I’ve become hooked on the idea since seeing
  1454. him sold as a Gatchapon toy.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1455. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  1456. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1457. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  1458. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-IYwMWbzzgqU/XJnJlwrQCBI/AAAAAAAHbmw/ImTYFQWg0QgP0Myh9RrVzgW0Ubdxl5CrgCLcBGAs/s1600/Kyoto-25.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-IYwMWbzzgqU/XJnJlwrQCBI/AAAAAAAHbmw/ImTYFQWg0QgP0Myh9RrVzgW0Ubdxl5CrgCLcBGAs/s400/Kyoto-25.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1459. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  1460. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1461. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  1462. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;Hmm… how to describe Gachapon. Let’s
  1463. start with the name. “Pon” is a transliterated word for “toy capsule,” and “Gatcha”
  1464. is the sound the machine makes when you insert 100 Yen coins and turn the
  1465. crank. And what pops out? A plastic bubble filled with some variant of whatever
  1466. that machine sells: school girl figurines that sit on your coffee cup, little
  1467. boys with butts for faces, cats that resemble figures from Ukiyo-e paintings, plastic
  1468. heads that contain tiny parasites that drive their victims like cars… I could
  1469. go on and on. You can find row after row of Gachapon machines, and lots of
  1470. coin-changers, at arcades across the country. You plunk in your coins and hope
  1471. that you’ll get the toy you want - and not a duplicate of what you’ve already
  1472. got. But if you’re looking for the perfect Gachapon, make tracks for Akihabara.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1473. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  1474. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1475. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  1476. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-l3BW2eHHPKc/XJnJ1OGiv9I/AAAAAAAHbm4/zr2gDIz43bQu0YzlGEgCj0Tof5nIoMTFgCLcBGAs/s1600/Kyoto-78.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-l3BW2eHHPKc/XJnJ1OGiv9I/AAAAAAAHbm4/zr2gDIz43bQu0YzlGEgCj0Tof5nIoMTFgCLcBGAs/s400/Kyoto-78.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1477. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  1478. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  1480. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;So we went on a spree, turning those
  1481. cranks, and stuffing our bags with those toys, only occasionally to wonder: Did
  1482. we just spend fifty bucks on a bunch of cheap plastic junk? Yes. Yes, we did. For
  1483. Jenny, Gachapon are all about Jin &amp;amp; gudetama: a little boy with a little
  1484. egg-friend. For me, it was all about Kachō Kōsaku Shima. I really dig the idea
  1485. of a manga character based on the dreams of salarymen who yearn for corporate
  1486. adventures that exceed their droning days. I should add that Jenny and I are
  1487. also entranced by Kuniyoshi Cats - and merely hope that our real kitties don’t
  1488. knock them from the shelf. Soon enough our dogs were barking, so we headed back
  1489. to Shinjuku for some rest and ramen.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1490. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  1491. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1492. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  1493. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Mrre57V2eLs/XJnKM846WJI/AAAAAAAHbnE/PsTgJzRdNEYcIAzblLTubGn2F0nm_82OwCLcBGAs/s1600/Tokyo-31.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1440&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1080&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Mrre57V2eLs/XJnKM846WJI/AAAAAAAHbnE/PsTgJzRdNEYcIAzblLTubGn2F0nm_82OwCLcBGAs/s400/Tokyo-31.jpg&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1494. </content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/feeds/6098879213067371143/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=3563950890480925834&amp;postID=6098879213067371143' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/6098879213067371143'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/6098879213067371143'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/2019/03/tokyo-part-1.html' title='Tokyo [Part 1]'/><author><name>highway163</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/09874578884935438341</uri><email>noreply@blogger.com</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='16' height='16' src='https://img1.blogblog.com/img/b16-rounded.gif'/></author><media:thumbnail xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/" url="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-l1NpOJ1ivrw/XJnLT69BEQI/AAAAAAAHbnU/hkCxmLOcG6YWYZxCcsFae57OmJhFIAiLgCLcBGAs/s72-c/Tokyo-0.jpg" height="72" width="72"/><thr:total>0</thr:total></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3563950890480925834.post-6343324067575567402</id><published>2019-03-20T06:50:00.000-07:00</published><updated>2019-03-27T07:37:26.524-07:00</updated><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="Japan"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="trip summaries"/><title type='text'>Kyoto - Sunday through Wednesday</title><content type='html'>&lt;!--[if gte mso 9]&gt;&lt;xml&gt;
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  1570.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;39&quot; Name=&quot;toc 3&quot;/&gt;
  1571.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;39&quot; Name=&quot;toc 4&quot;/&gt;
  1572.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;39&quot; Name=&quot;toc 5&quot;/&gt;
  1573.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;39&quot; Name=&quot;toc 6&quot;/&gt;
  1574.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;39&quot; Name=&quot;toc 7&quot;/&gt;
  1575.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;39&quot; Name=&quot;toc 8&quot;/&gt;
  1576.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;39&quot; Name=&quot;toc 9&quot;/&gt;
  1577.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;35&quot; QFormat=&quot;true&quot; Name=&quot;caption&quot;/&gt;
  1578.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;10&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1579.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; QFormat=&quot;true&quot; Name=&quot;Title&quot;/&gt;
  1580.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;1&quot; Name=&quot;Default Paragraph Font&quot;/&gt;
  1581.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;11&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1582.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; QFormat=&quot;true&quot; Name=&quot;Subtitle&quot;/&gt;
  1583.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;22&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1584.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; QFormat=&quot;true&quot; Name=&quot;Strong&quot;/&gt;
  1585.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;20&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1586.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; QFormat=&quot;true&quot; Name=&quot;Emphasis&quot;/&gt;
  1587.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;59&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1588.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Table Grid&quot;/&gt;
  1589.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Placeholder Text&quot;/&gt;
  1590.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;1&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1591.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; QFormat=&quot;true&quot; Name=&quot;No Spacing&quot;/&gt;
  1592.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;60&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1593.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Light Shading&quot;/&gt;
  1594.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;61&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1595.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Light List&quot;/&gt;
  1596.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;62&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1597.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Light Grid&quot;/&gt;
  1598.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;63&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1599.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Shading 1&quot;/&gt;
  1600.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;64&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1601.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Shading 2&quot;/&gt;
  1602.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;65&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1603.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium List 1&quot;/&gt;
  1604.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;66&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1605.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium List 2&quot;/&gt;
  1606.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;67&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1607.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Grid 1&quot;/&gt;
  1608.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;68&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1609.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Grid 2&quot;/&gt;
  1610.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;69&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1611.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Grid 3&quot;/&gt;
  1612.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;70&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1613.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Dark List&quot;/&gt;
  1614.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;71&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1615.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Colorful Shading&quot;/&gt;
  1616.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;72&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1617.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Colorful List&quot;/&gt;
  1618.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;73&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1619.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Colorful Grid&quot;/&gt;
  1620.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;60&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1621.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Light Shading Accent 1&quot;/&gt;
  1622.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;61&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1623.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Light List Accent 1&quot;/&gt;
  1624.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;62&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1625.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Light Grid Accent 1&quot;/&gt;
  1626.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;63&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1627.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Shading 1 Accent 1&quot;/&gt;
  1628.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;64&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1629.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Shading 2 Accent 1&quot;/&gt;
  1630.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;65&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1631.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium List 1 Accent 1&quot;/&gt;
  1632.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Revision&quot;/&gt;
  1633.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;34&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1634.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; QFormat=&quot;true&quot; Name=&quot;List Paragraph&quot;/&gt;
  1635.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;29&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1636.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; QFormat=&quot;true&quot; Name=&quot;Quote&quot;/&gt;
  1637.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;30&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1638.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; QFormat=&quot;true&quot; Name=&quot;Intense Quote&quot;/&gt;
  1639.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;66&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1640.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium List 2 Accent 1&quot;/&gt;
  1641.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;67&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1642.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Grid 1 Accent 1&quot;/&gt;
  1643.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;68&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1644.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Grid 2 Accent 1&quot;/&gt;
  1645.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;69&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1646.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Grid 3 Accent 1&quot;/&gt;
  1647.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;70&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1648.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Dark List Accent 1&quot;/&gt;
  1649.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;71&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1650.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Colorful Shading Accent 1&quot;/&gt;
  1651.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;72&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1652.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Colorful List Accent 1&quot;/&gt;
  1653.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;73&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1654.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Colorful Grid Accent 1&quot;/&gt;
  1655.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;60&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1656.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Light Shading Accent 2&quot;/&gt;
  1657.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;61&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1658.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Light List Accent 2&quot;/&gt;
  1659.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;62&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1660.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Light Grid Accent 2&quot;/&gt;
  1661.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;63&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1662.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Shading 1 Accent 2&quot;/&gt;
  1663.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;64&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1664.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Shading 2 Accent 2&quot;/&gt;
  1665.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;65&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1666.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium List 1 Accent 2&quot;/&gt;
  1667.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;66&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1668.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium List 2 Accent 2&quot;/&gt;
  1669.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;67&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1670.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Grid 1 Accent 2&quot;/&gt;
  1671.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;68&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1672.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Grid 2 Accent 2&quot;/&gt;
  1673.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;69&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1674.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Grid 3 Accent 2&quot;/&gt;
  1675.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;70&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1676.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Dark List Accent 2&quot;/&gt;
  1677.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;71&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1678.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Colorful Shading Accent 2&quot;/&gt;
  1679.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;72&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1680.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Colorful List Accent 2&quot;/&gt;
  1681.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;73&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1682.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Colorful Grid Accent 2&quot;/&gt;
  1683.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;60&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1684.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Light Shading Accent 3&quot;/&gt;
  1685.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;61&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1686.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Light List Accent 3&quot;/&gt;
  1687.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;62&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1688.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Light Grid Accent 3&quot;/&gt;
  1689.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;63&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1690.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Shading 1 Accent 3&quot;/&gt;
  1691.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;64&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1692.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Shading 2 Accent 3&quot;/&gt;
  1693.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;65&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1694.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium List 1 Accent 3&quot;/&gt;
  1695.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;66&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1696.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium List 2 Accent 3&quot;/&gt;
  1697.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;67&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1698.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Grid 1 Accent 3&quot;/&gt;
  1699.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;68&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1700.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Grid 2 Accent 3&quot;/&gt;
  1701.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;69&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1702.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Grid 3 Accent 3&quot;/&gt;
  1703.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;70&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1704.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Dark List Accent 3&quot;/&gt;
  1705.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;71&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1706.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Colorful Shading Accent 3&quot;/&gt;
  1707.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;72&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1708.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Colorful List Accent 3&quot;/&gt;
  1709.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;73&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1710.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Colorful Grid Accent 3&quot;/&gt;
  1711.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;60&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1712.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Light Shading Accent 4&quot;/&gt;
  1713.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;61&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1714.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Light List Accent 4&quot;/&gt;
  1715.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;62&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1716.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Light Grid Accent 4&quot;/&gt;
  1717.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;63&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1718.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Shading 1 Accent 4&quot;/&gt;
  1719.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;64&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1720.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Shading 2 Accent 4&quot;/&gt;
  1721.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;65&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1722.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium List 1 Accent 4&quot;/&gt;
  1723.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;66&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1724.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium List 2 Accent 4&quot;/&gt;
  1725.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;67&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1726.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Grid 1 Accent 4&quot;/&gt;
  1727.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;68&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1728.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Grid 2 Accent 4&quot;/&gt;
  1729.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;69&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1730.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Grid 3 Accent 4&quot;/&gt;
  1731.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;70&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1732.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Dark List Accent 4&quot;/&gt;
  1733.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;71&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1734.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Colorful Shading Accent 4&quot;/&gt;
  1735.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;72&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1736.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Colorful List Accent 4&quot;/&gt;
  1737.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;73&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1738.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Colorful Grid Accent 4&quot;/&gt;
  1739.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;60&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1740.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Light Shading Accent 5&quot;/&gt;
  1741.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;61&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1742.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Light List Accent 5&quot;/&gt;
  1743.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;62&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1744.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Light Grid Accent 5&quot;/&gt;
  1745.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;63&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1746.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Shading 1 Accent 5&quot;/&gt;
  1747.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;64&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1748.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Shading 2 Accent 5&quot;/&gt;
  1749.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;65&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1750.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium List 1 Accent 5&quot;/&gt;
  1751.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;66&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1752.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium List 2 Accent 5&quot;/&gt;
  1753.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;67&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1754.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Grid 1 Accent 5&quot;/&gt;
  1755.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;68&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1756.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Grid 2 Accent 5&quot;/&gt;
  1757.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;69&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1758.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Grid 3 Accent 5&quot;/&gt;
  1759.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;70&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1760.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Dark List Accent 5&quot;/&gt;
  1761.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;71&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1762.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Colorful Shading Accent 5&quot;/&gt;
  1763.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;72&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1764.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Colorful List Accent 5&quot;/&gt;
  1765.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;73&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1766.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Colorful Grid Accent 5&quot;/&gt;
  1767.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;60&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1768.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Light Shading Accent 6&quot;/&gt;
  1769.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;61&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1770.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Light List Accent 6&quot;/&gt;
  1771.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;62&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1772.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Light Grid Accent 6&quot;/&gt;
  1773.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;63&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1774.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Shading 1 Accent 6&quot;/&gt;
  1775.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;64&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
  1776.   UnhideWhenUsed=&quot;false&quot; Name=&quot;Medium Shading 2 Accent 6&quot;/&gt;
  1777.  &lt;w:LsdException Locked=&quot;false&quot; Priority=&quot;65&quot; SemiHidden=&quot;false&quot;
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  1875. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ctr3R6qL22k/XJJGWBS75dI/AAAAAAAHatw/l5xQ07FTN2sDHuAggEbHLwfFxi6VtYX3gCLcBGAs/s1600/Kyoto-33.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1440&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1080&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ctr3R6qL22k/XJJGWBS75dI/AAAAAAAHatw/l5xQ07FTN2sDHuAggEbHLwfFxi6VtYX3gCLcBGAs/s400/Kyoto-33.jpg&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  1877. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;Sunday began with a visit to Tō-ji Temple,
  1878. famed for its five-story pagoda, which, according to Wikipedia, is the tallest
  1879. wooden tower in Japan. I recall the dark wood and dreamy hint of incense
  1880. wafting through the air. During our ambles we stopped by a pond, dipped our
  1881. fingers in the windswept water, and attracted the ravenous attention of fat
  1882. orange koi. Then we spotted a marker sitting atop a stone turtle. A couple of
  1883. nice ladies used gestures to demonstrate how we should touch parts of the
  1884. turtle associated with our bodies to enjoy the benefits of improved health. If
  1885. only I hadn’t forgotten to focus attention on my right knee, which sometimes
  1886. reminds me when I’ve been hiking too far.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1887. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  1888. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1889. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  1890. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-PVwK0hwh5iA/XJJDNBCkjOI/AAAAAAAHasc/AMY7st9bFlwN4bRzZD2vCfkblzHwwQAQQCLcBGAs/s1600/Kyoto-39.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-PVwK0hwh5iA/XJJDNBCkjOI/AAAAAAAHasc/AMY7st9bFlwN4bRzZD2vCfkblzHwwQAQQCLcBGAs/s400/Kyoto-39.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  1892. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  1894. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;Later that afternoon we wandered the
  1895. serene precincts of Koshoji Temple before ducking the rain drops on our way to
  1896. a nap back at the hotel. That night we discovered the wisdom of lodging near
  1897. Kyoto Station, surveying its wide assortment of restaurant options. We opted
  1898. for sushi, the kind served on assorted plates that ride a conveyer belt.
  1899. Believe it or not, this was my first experience with the real thing (not
  1900. including “California Rolls” and the like). Yes, I stayed away from the really
  1901. complex stuff, but I developed an appreciation for fresh salmon and tuna.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  1903. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  1905. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-vpO2em6HX4c/XJJDYLjnJEI/AAAAAAAHaso/W3jZJnNaV_4M05ZWbCUd4uMq8eXgjcidwCLcBGAs/s1600/Kyoto-45.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1440&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1080&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-vpO2em6HX4c/XJJDYLjnJEI/AAAAAAAHaso/W3jZJnNaV_4M05ZWbCUd4uMq8eXgjcidwCLcBGAs/s400/Kyoto-45.jpg&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1906. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  1907. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  1909. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;The next day we awoke much earlier
  1910. than Jenny would prefer to catch the JR train to Arashiyama Bamboo Grove. What
  1911. a lovely way to start the morning. Before the crowds arrive, it’s possible to
  1912. have the wooden green tunnel almost entirely to yourself. Even the occasional
  1913. fellow traveler becomes a companion because, hey, they too journeyed here for
  1914. the quiet and peaceful feeling. Mist hangs over the hills that dot the horizon,
  1915. and it’s almost as if you’ve entered some “floating world” piece of art. Then
  1916. we saw the sign: monkeys! We had to check that out.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1917. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  1918. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1919. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  1920. &lt;a href=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-gbYsgFzGTq4/XJJDitLCGHI/AAAAAAAHasw/sPXtoWR2fIQjv4fsWTTAIH-ouCIn7zFoACLcBGAs/s1600/Kyoto-52-A.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-gbYsgFzGTq4/XJJDitLCGHI/AAAAAAAHasw/sPXtoWR2fIQjv4fsWTTAIH-ouCIn7zFoACLcBGAs/s400/Kyoto-52-A.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1921. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  1922. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  1924. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;So our next stop was the Kyoto Monkey
  1925. Park. Getting there requires a semi-arduous climb. But, wow, is the peak worth
  1926. the sweat. That’s when you find yourself among a society of macaques and learn
  1927. to take quite seriously their facial cues for fear or anger. This is, after
  1928. all, their mountain. We made friends after buying some bananas and unshelled
  1929. peanuts, observing only a little drama when larger primates would bully the
  1930. smaller ones out of their treats.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1931. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  1932. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1933. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  1934. &lt;a href=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-zQSQ6Nw6DAg/XJJD03pYUCI/AAAAAAAHas8/WmbMwz3dHWMZH0Y1ypvn4AUfixqrgCm2QCLcBGAs/s1600/Kyoto-54-B.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-zQSQ6Nw6DAg/XJJD03pYUCI/AAAAAAAHas8/WmbMwz3dHWMZH0Y1ypvn4AUfixqrgCm2QCLcBGAs/s400/Kyoto-54-B.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1935. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  1936. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1937. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  1938. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;After descending the mountain, we
  1939. returned to the riverside and rented a row boat, which - amid a growing crowd
  1940. of other watercraft - inspired me to wish that I learned a bit more about
  1941. station-keeping in the Navy. Thus it was all the more fun when a sailor would
  1942. nod and smile once I figured out how to avoid ramming into the bigger vessels. On
  1943. our way out of the touristy part of town, we stopped once more, this time to
  1944. pet the owls and Bengal cats at a café that charges by the half-hour. By this
  1945. time we were thoroughly tired. So it was back to the hotel for a nap, followed
  1946. by more sushi at our new favorite place.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1947. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  1948. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1949. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  1950. &lt;a href=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-X3ATFB6SAws/XJJD9L837nI/AAAAAAAHatA/duXfuBqXKf48Ygt-6XlFouAqSlPdAC-kACLcBGAs/s1600/Kyoto-62.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-X3ATFB6SAws/XJJD9L837nI/AAAAAAAHatA/duXfuBqXKf48Ygt-6XlFouAqSlPdAC-kACLcBGAs/s400/Kyoto-62.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1951. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  1952. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1953. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  1954. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;Tuesday began with an odd visit to a
  1955. truly surreal Starbucks near Yasaka Pagoda. Built in a Machiya, this place is
  1956. organized around small rooms where espresso hounds can sip and chat on tatami
  1957. mats. Even Jenny - who never drinks coffee and detests early mornings - agreed that
  1958. this was worth the stop. I can’t even imagine showing up after 9:30 a.m. or so,
  1959. though; the crowds get pretty intense. So anyone wanting to follow the
  1960. footsteps of our trip, take my advice: arrive as close to 8 a.m. as possible.
  1961. You’ll thank me. Thereafter we wandered the Gion District, hunted for
  1962. souvenirs, grabbed a couple seats in a cramped but perfectly tasty ramen place,
  1963. and then rested up for the night’s adventures: a hike through the 10,000 (or
  1964. so) Torii gates at the Fushimi Inari shrine.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1965. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  1966. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1967. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  1968. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oKRmgGdfPSY/XJJELUt3RMI/AAAAAAAHatE/aXjH8nPrCIY3eUzAzNgADq9Gphei1ALDgCLcBGAs/s1600/Kyoto-89.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oKRmgGdfPSY/XJJELUt3RMI/AAAAAAAHatE/aXjH8nPrCIY3eUzAzNgADq9Gphei1ALDgCLcBGAs/s400/Kyoto-89.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1969. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  1970. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1971. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  1972. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;Again, at a place like this, the goal
  1973. is to avoid the crowds. So we grabbed another JR train and arrived just before
  1974. twilight. At first the place was packed, but once we began to climb those
  1975. steps, the throngs mostly cleared out. After sunset we found ourselves gazing
  1976. over Kyoto’s glorious panorama, and I foolishly believed that the hard part of
  1977. the journey was over. Just a few more turns around the mountain, right? Not
  1978. even close. As the moon rose over the stone foxes, shrine alcoves, and glowing
  1979. red gates, we encountered the truly steep part of the climb. After two hours
  1980. (including a couple unexpected detours) we arrived at the summit. What a lovely
  1981. view! After some rest we began our descent, past closed shops and temple cats
  1982. searching for prey. A perfect evening.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1983. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  1984. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  1985. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  1986. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-nkaipuOvE14/XJJEUOQCErI/AAAAAAAHatM/Ao1vLIJsmy8vSc_-7PxUHaZ8Ev5pcYs0wCLcBGAs/s1600/Kyoto-92.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1440&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1080&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-nkaipuOvE14/XJJEUOQCErI/AAAAAAAHatM/Ao1vLIJsmy8vSc_-7PxUHaZ8Ev5pcYs0wCLcBGAs/s400/Kyoto-92.jpg&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  1990. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;Our last day in Kyoto called for a
  1991. quick pilgrimage to the gravesite of Lady Murasaki, author of the Tale of
  1992. Genji, which his considered to be the world’s first novel. Genji’s richness of
  1993. characterization and psychological insight, along with the depiction of courtly
  1994. life in Japan’s Heian-era, compelled at least a brief stop at this site.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  1998. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-h70CST1tJoY/XJJEdPRvpDI/AAAAAAAHatU/f9zjl7C_aloB3y0N-bpoxPxVp59SLYOnACLcBGAs/s1600/Kyoto-94.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-h70CST1tJoY/XJJEdPRvpDI/AAAAAAAHatU/f9zjl7C_aloB3y0N-bpoxPxVp59SLYOnACLcBGAs/s400/Kyoto-94.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  2002. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;But of course the morning was really
  2003. about a return to Menbakaichidai Fire Ramen! I half expected that the place
  2004. would still be closed for renovation, but we arrived to find the shop packed
  2005. with tourists (and a few locals) awaiting the theater of broth, noodles, oil,
  2006. and flame. At first they instructed us to wait, but when they recognized us as
  2007. the pitiful folks who showed up to closed doors five days ago, they ushered us
  2008. into seats and poured on the greetings. The meal was wonderful. And the
  2009. performance, anchored by detailed positioning of employees and training of
  2010. guests how to join the fun without getting burned, was a delightful way to wrap
  2011. up our visit to Kyoto. Soon, though, we had to head back, board the bullet
  2012. train, and make our way north to Tokyo (passing by Mount Fuji under blue skies).
  2013. Japan, we are exhausted, charmed, and increasingly broke. A wonderful trip so
  2014. far.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2015. &lt;br /&gt;
  2016. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2017. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-n8LFVoq8nps/XJJE3AMjJVI/AAAAAAAHatg/Fa1HhnjtAH0w8q0gzulBvndyATDSi5LXQCLcBGAs/s1600/Tokyo-0.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-n8LFVoq8nps/XJJE3AMjJVI/AAAAAAAHatg/Fa1HhnjtAH0w8q0gzulBvndyATDSi5LXQCLcBGAs/s400/Tokyo-0.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2018. </content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/feeds/6343324067575567402/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=3563950890480925834&amp;postID=6343324067575567402' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/6343324067575567402'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/6343324067575567402'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/2019/03/kyoto-sunday-through-wednesday.html' title='Kyoto - Sunday through Wednesday'/><author><name>highway163</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/09874578884935438341</uri><email>noreply@blogger.com</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='16' height='16' src='https://img1.blogblog.com/img/b16-rounded.gif'/></author><media:thumbnail xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/" url="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ctr3R6qL22k/XJJGWBS75dI/AAAAAAAHatw/l5xQ07FTN2sDHuAggEbHLwfFxi6VtYX3gCLcBGAs/s72-c/Kyoto-33.jpg" height="72" width="72"/><thr:total>0</thr:total></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3563950890480925834.post-1120170159442443443</id><published>2019-03-16T23:28:00.000-07:00</published><updated>2019-03-27T07:37:40.379-07:00</updated><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="Japan"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="trip summaries"/><title type='text'>Kyoto - First Day</title><content type='html'>&lt;!--[if gte mso 9]&gt;&lt;xml&gt;
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  2397. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-dpGxbBQfw1M/XJnLmDLZxPI/AAAAAAAHbnc/9250pWJHp8Yo5ub8wvAB3DXNzA6WFQUEwCLcBGAs/s1600/Kyoto-14.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-dpGxbBQfw1M/XJnLmDLZxPI/AAAAAAAHbnc/9250pWJHp8Yo5ub8wvAB3DXNzA6WFQUEwCLcBGAs/s400/Kyoto-14.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  2399. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;Our first full day in Kyoto began
  2400. with a trip to the city’s International Manga Museum where we gained a deeper appreciation
  2401. for this increasingly global art form - and found the perfect
  2402. souvenir for Vienna. My favorite part was when a performer named Danmaru began
  2403. racing through the museum, banging wooden blocks to gather children and bemused
  2404. adults to his room on the second floor. There we witnessed a presentation of
  2405. Kamishibai, a raucous storytelling experience enacted when a performer pulls
  2406. pictures from a box in rapid succession to tell jokes and stories. The
  2407. highlight was an episode from the “Golden Bat” picture show. The performance
  2408. evoked a 30s-era serial featuring death rays, an evil genius, and a damsel in
  2409. distress. Of course it concluded with a cliffhanger.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2410. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2411. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-wPP6qOn2WuE/XJnGK0bExmI/AAAAAAAHbl0/giZnKhfky942bH4ZJdkmKyQ0CrrGsFY1wCLcBGAs/s1600/Kyoto-22.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1081&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-wPP6qOn2WuE/XJnGK0bExmI/AAAAAAAHbl0/giZnKhfky942bH4ZJdkmKyQ0CrrGsFY1wCLcBGAs/s400/Kyoto-22.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  2413. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;Afterward we made our way to Ippudo for some ramen. I never really got into
  2414. this kind of food before, which is a shame. Where has this stuff been all my
  2415. life? The place is popular, so we waited a bit under threatening drizzle,
  2416. ordered outside, and joined a group sitting around a communal table. Ah, the
  2417. meal! Thin noodles, pork slices, bean sprouts, green scallions, spicy broth,
  2418. and all sorts of available add-ons (including egg for Jenny, naturally). Stuffed,
  2419. we returned to increasingly sunny weather and joined the jostling crowds to
  2420. wander the nearby shopping arcades. At one point I saw a couple dudes entering
  2421. an elevator leading to a manga bookstore. We joined them and cruised the aisles
  2422. for a while. But this manga was most definitely not for children. Again, I don’t
  2423. want to get into a foreigner’s judgmental mode - but… &lt;/span&gt;&lt;i style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;wow&lt;/i&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;. No souvenirs for
  2424. Vienna from this place! Later we found dozens of teenagers congregating in a
  2425. store that sells stickers. Not just ordinary generic images but original works
  2426. by really clever artists. A chipper clerk assured us that we were &lt;/span&gt;&lt;i style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;very lucky&lt;/i&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;,
  2427. that two stickers I liked had just gone on sale. And that’s how I bought about
  2428. 25 bucks worth of stickers. Japan’s really got my number.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2429. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  2430. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2431. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2432. &lt;a href=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-P9Bhw87jFSY/XJnGXRMU8TI/AAAAAAAHbl8/55QeQHOD6T0JPPZ1mjv6ePxoyOpRPIj8ACLcBGAs/s1600/Kyoto-28.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-P9Bhw87jFSY/XJnGXRMU8TI/AAAAAAAHbl8/55QeQHOD6T0JPPZ1mjv6ePxoyOpRPIj8ACLcBGAs/s400/Kyoto-28.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2433. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  2434. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2435. &lt;div class=&quot;MsoNormal&quot;&gt;
  2436. &lt;span style=&quot;color: #1c1e21; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif; font-size: 10.5pt;&quot;&gt;Following a brief sojourn back to our
  2437. hotel, Jenny and I returned to the Pontocho district with its narrow alleys
  2438. festooned with lanterns and happy crowds. We ducked into a Teppanyaki place
  2439. called Kyosikian and savored a feast: Wagyu, seared tuna, and fried rice. After
  2440. a chocolate torte for dessert, Jenny and I checked out L’Escamoteur, a bar
  2441. designed to evoke the mysteries of French magicians (the bathroom hides behind
  2442. a secret door, that kind of thing). I ordered an Old Fashioned, smoked under
  2443. glass, and later sampled a flaming absinthe drink called Death in Provence. Jenny opted for non-alcoholic concoctions, including something called a
  2444. Pink Bunny. The place is clearly popular with tourists, so we waited a bit to
  2445. snag chairs at the bar. We chatted with an older couple commencing a tour
  2446. around the world. It’s interesting to see places as an unfolding assemblage - but how amazing it would be to complete a full circumnavigation, following the sun and seasons. That’s the dream!&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2447. &lt;!--EndFragment--&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2448. &lt;br /&gt;
  2449. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2450. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xnVb__wJlng/XJnGgYGp-eI/AAAAAAAHbmE/eog2s5lR-fA_Ex4mH-acm6ajUPO-G4XZQCLcBGAs/s1600/Kyoto-31.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1440&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1061&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xnVb__wJlng/XJnGgYGp-eI/AAAAAAAHbmE/eog2s5lR-fA_Ex4mH-acm6ajUPO-G4XZQCLcBGAs/s400/Kyoto-31.jpg&quot; width=&quot;293&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2451. </content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/feeds/1120170159442443443/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=3563950890480925834&amp;postID=1120170159442443443' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/1120170159442443443'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/1120170159442443443'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/2019/03/kyoto-first-day.html' title='Kyoto - First Day'/><author><name>highway163</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/09874578884935438341</uri><email>noreply@blogger.com</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='16' height='16' src='https://img1.blogblog.com/img/b16-rounded.gif'/></author><media:thumbnail xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/" url="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-dpGxbBQfw1M/XJnLmDLZxPI/AAAAAAAHbnc/9250pWJHp8Yo5ub8wvAB3DXNzA6WFQUEwCLcBGAs/s72-c/Kyoto-14.jpg" height="72" width="72"/><thr:total>0</thr:total></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3563950890480925834.post-1205549528217752192</id><published>2019-03-14T16:23:00.002-07:00</published><updated>2019-03-27T07:38:20.521-07:00</updated><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="Japan"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="trip summaries"/><title type='text'>Top 10 interesting experiences in Japan (thus far!)</title><content type='html'>&lt;table align=&quot;center&quot; cellpadding=&quot;0&quot; cellspacing=&quot;0&quot; class=&quot;tr-caption-container&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;&lt;tbody&gt;
  2452. &lt;tr&gt;&lt;td style=&quot;text-align: center;&quot;&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-kk_VIti1u9M/XIrmwpHkphI/AAAAAAAHaB8/Gw_vmuOi67ownvuORNuyhQxUKY2H8UC7QCLcBGAs/s1600/Hiroshima-10.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-kk_VIti1u9M/XIrmwpHkphI/AAAAAAAHaB8/Gw_vmuOi67ownvuORNuyhQxUKY2H8UC7QCLcBGAs/s400/Hiroshima-10.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/td&gt;&lt;/tr&gt;
  2453. &lt;tr&gt;&lt;td class=&quot;tr-caption&quot; style=&quot;text-align: center;&quot;&gt;Genbaku Dome&lt;/td&gt;&lt;/tr&gt;
  2454. &lt;/tbody&gt;&lt;/table&gt;
  2455. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;&quot;&gt;We&#39;ve only been here for a few days, focusing on Hiroshima. This afternoon we&#39;re taking the Shinkansen to Kyoto. For now, a few TENtative reflections:&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2456. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;
  2457. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2458. &lt;/div&gt;
  2459. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;&quot;&gt;First and foremost, the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park is a quiet, thoughtful, beautiful collection of commemorations to the victims and survivors of the world&#39;s first use of atomic weaponry. We spent two days wandering about, studying exhibits and immersing ourselves in questions about how this site works rhetorically, aesthetically, and practically. I will have much more to say about this park in coming months. But for now I can simply confirm that this place is a must-visit for any traveler.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2460. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;
  2461. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;&quot;&gt;Courtesy, grace, and honor are so widely practiced here. Yes, there are layers of meaning that I cannot fathom (without much more time and reflection). And given my obvious appearance and performance as a Western tourist, I won&#39;t even attempt to consider the authenticity of what we&#39;ve experienced. For now it&#39;s enough to appreciate the generosity of strangers, the kindness of a bow, the earnest desire to avoid offense. Folks in the U.S. could learn a great deal from Japan.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2462. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;
  2463. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;&quot;&gt;Food is simply amazing. Yes, my first &quot;meal&quot; was some sort of savory, gooey, squishy thing on a stick purchased from one of the many, many, &lt;i&gt;many&lt;/i&gt; 7-11s in Japan [we arrived too late to find a restaurant]. Since then meals have been a delight: Mazemen, Udon, naturally, but also the best beef I ever had. Jenny and I found a comfy, cramped place where they serve Wagyu. Along with a couple of quietly chatting fellows and a c&lt;span style=&quot;text-align: center;&quot;&gt;heerful group of salarymen nearby, we were the only foreigners around. And they made us feel right at home with a simply sublime meal.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2464. &lt;br /&gt;
  2465. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2466. &lt;a href=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-eimIYU1HHF4/XIrku_iFBLI/AAAAAAAHaBw/CVdaZH_uQBkTkmiTP0eBjtADeHYJAlZ5QCLcBGAs/s1600/Hiroshima-42.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1440&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1080&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-eimIYU1HHF4/XIrku_iFBLI/AAAAAAAHaBw/CVdaZH_uQBkTkmiTP0eBjtADeHYJAlZ5QCLcBGAs/s400/Hiroshima-42.jpg&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2467. &lt;br /&gt;
  2468. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;&quot;&gt;Transportation is clean, safe, fast, and pleasant. My favorite part is the sense that most folks riding buses, metros and the like treat these mobilities as sites of refuge from the noise that permeates many other public places, speaking (if at all) as if in a library. Tickets for the bullet train are much more dear than I&#39;d prefer, but I&#39;m sure that ride is going to be a delight all the same.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2469. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;
  2470. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;&quot;&gt;Sharing unmarked sidewalks with bikers is a little scary but manageable. Here of all places, I&#39;d think that there&#39;d be a formal rule (walk on left, walk on right, whatever), but it seems less organized than that. Bikers seem happy to weave around pedestrians on either side. So far, no accidents, so I&#39;ll try to trust the system - and keep my eyes open.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2471. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;
  2472. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;&quot;&gt;Japanese toilets (as is well known) are awesome. No news there. Even so, despite having visited the country once before, I&#39;ve never actually availed myself of, shall we say, &lt;i&gt;all&lt;/i&gt; of the features (bidet, masking sound, scent-spritz, etc.). But now I&#39;m on board. We&#39;re getting one of these suckers for our home back in the States!&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2473. &lt;br /&gt;
  2474. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2475. &lt;a href=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-xuAcD_0krNM/XIrhKr1zrPI/AAAAAAAHaBA/3ijbDVPmv6o1C1O0dGmdNBA0wGdI53hHwCLcBGAs/s1600/sign.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;961&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;266&quot; src=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-xuAcD_0krNM/XIrhKr1zrPI/AAAAAAAHaBA/3ijbDVPmv6o1C1O0dGmdNBA0wGdI53hHwCLcBGAs/s400/sign.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2476. &lt;br /&gt;
  2477. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;&quot;&gt;Nonverbal gestures are a topic of personal (and professional) fascination. I&#39;ve learned to point to my nose rather than my chest when referring to myself. I&#39;ve seen (and received) a couple X-arm gestures, which indicate bad activity - like taking a picture where I shouldn&#39;t. And I understand that I should never give a &quot;thumbs down&quot; emblem around here. In Japan, doing so is considered obscene. [I&#39;m glad I read about that gesture before getting here!] So much more to learn...&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2478. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;
  2479. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;&quot;&gt;Pachinko is intimidating! Since seeing a cartoon version of the &quot;gaming device&quot; on an old &lt;i&gt;Simpsons&lt;/i&gt; episode, I&#39;ve always wanted to play. So we entered a crowded, smokey parlor. But the games! Such a cacophony of video clips, sound effects, and tumbling silver balls. Hard to figure out. I think I&#39;ll wait until we get to Tokyo where I can visit a parlor where they offer instructions.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2480. &lt;br /&gt;
  2481. &lt;table align=&quot;center&quot; cellpadding=&quot;0&quot; cellspacing=&quot;0&quot; class=&quot;tr-caption-container&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;&lt;tbody&gt;
  2482. &lt;tr&gt;&lt;td style=&quot;text-align: center;&quot;&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-kzNzYzUYCJ0/XIrgp0KBRyI/AAAAAAAHaA4/bknjmuB8JdUEhHLXIY7ipXbepHsN83jsgCLcBGAs/s1600/western.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1440&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1080&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-kzNzYzUYCJ0/XIrgp0KBRyI/AAAAAAAHaA4/bknjmuB8JdUEhHLXIY7ipXbepHsN83jsgCLcBGAs/s400/western.jpg&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/td&gt;&lt;/tr&gt;
  2483. &lt;tr&gt;&lt;td class=&quot;tr-caption&quot; style=&quot;text-align: center;&quot;&gt;I wonder how many homesick &lt;br /&gt;
  2484. Americans stumble into this place!&lt;/td&gt;&lt;/tr&gt;
  2485. &lt;/tbody&gt;&lt;/table&gt;
  2486. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;&quot;&gt;The corporate jingle they play in Edion (an electronics superstore of sorts). We came here to get SIM cards for our phones. The experience was... stressful, especially since literally not one person among dozens could help us. They seemed genuinely surprised to be selling the danged things, and absolutely perplexed that anyone would be confused by the set-up process. Folks hovered nearby, sort of wanting to help but embarrassed that they couldn&#39;t. Three cheers to Jenny for working the problem. The employees were more relieved than we when I assured them that we were happy (and leaving). Still, I can&#39;t get that bouncy jingle, sung by children, out of my mind. Duh-duh-duh-duh-duh-duh-duh-duh-EE-DEE-ON!&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2487. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;
  2488. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;&quot;&gt;Television is worth a follow-up post all its own. I know that commercials don&#39;t reflect the reality of any culture, yet I cannot help but study each spot for insights into how life works here. I won&#39;t fall into the ethnocentric trap of labels; my inchoate readings only reveal my own limitations. But there is something delightfully new (to me) about the expansive gestures, the sound effects, the costumed characters, and the other attributes to shows and commercials. And then there&#39;s kids entertainment... &lt;i&gt;Oh, to grow up in Japan!&lt;/i&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2489. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;
  2490. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;&quot;&gt;Anyway, that&#39;s enough for now. Next stop: Kyoto!&lt;/span&gt;</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/feeds/1205549528217752192/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=3563950890480925834&amp;postID=1205549528217752192' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/1205549528217752192'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/1205549528217752192'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/2019/03/10-interesting-experiences-in-japan.html' title='Top 10 interesting experiences in Japan (thus far!)'/><author><name>highway163</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/09874578884935438341</uri><email>noreply@blogger.com</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='16' height='16' src='https://img1.blogblog.com/img/b16-rounded.gif'/></author><media:thumbnail xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/" url="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-kk_VIti1u9M/XIrmwpHkphI/AAAAAAAHaB8/Gw_vmuOi67ownvuORNuyhQxUKY2H8UC7QCLcBGAs/s72-c/Hiroshima-10.jpg" height="72" width="72"/><thr:total>0</thr:total><georss:featurename>Hiroshima, Hiroshima Prefecture, Japan</georss:featurename><georss:point>34.3852029 132.45529269999997</georss:point><georss:box>33.966231900000004 131.80984569999998 34.8041739 133.10073969999996</georss:box></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3563950890480925834.post-292350893917607950</id><published>2018-06-29T02:39:00.001-07:00</published><updated>2018-08-19T15:13:31.847-07:00</updated><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="Europe 2018"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="guilty pleasures"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="homemade video"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="mobile phones"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="relics"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="trip summaries"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="writing about writing"/><title type='text'>A Rhetoric of Ruins: Darvaza Gas Crater</title><content type='html'>&lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2491. &lt;/div&gt;
  2492. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2493. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-bv1odhLntwc/WzXmsJfI-II/AAAAAAADH4M/aZsXwwB0nmojMdYIjizifCSUHHyXjt1TACLcBGAs/s1600/Turkmenistan-day-3-3.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1440&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1080&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-bv1odhLntwc/WzXmsJfI-II/AAAAAAADH4M/aZsXwwB0nmojMdYIjizifCSUHHyXjt1TACLcBGAs/s400/Turkmenistan-day-3-3.jpg&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2494. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2495. &lt;/span&gt; &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;Beware the reveries of desert travelers. In the same way that some tourists who wander the crowded quarters and narrow alleys of Jerusalem’s Old City may confuse themselves with Christ dragging His cross down the Via Dolorosa, the traveler just back from the undulating sweep of sand dunes and juniper and sedge may be forgiven for boasting some deep and newfound understanding of things heretofore unknown when they stumble, perhaps mad from the heat, into civilization. After a recent trip into Central Asia’s Karakum Desert, I might have fallen prey to that same conceit. For it is here where I visited a place known previously to me only through strange and affecting photographs of a locale, termed a ruin, now transformed into a peculiar tourist site: Turkmenistan’s Darvaza Gas Crater.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2496. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2497. &lt;/span&gt; &lt;br /&gt;
  2498. &lt;div style=&quot;text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2499. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;~&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2500. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2501. &lt;/span&gt; &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;Before we visit the crater, let me tell you a little more about the process of getting to this place. Like virtually every visitor to Turkmenistan, I employed an agency that, among other conveniences, secured me the all-important Letter of Invitation. Given the nation’s role as the world’s fourth largest producer of natural gas, Turkmenistan makes enough money from its natural resources to sustain its political leadership without joining fellow Central Asian nations who have gone into the international hospitality business. One local expert assured me that his country admits barely 20,000 tourists a year. [Understandably, the State Committee on Tourism reports higher numbers.]&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2502. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2503. &lt;/span&gt; &lt;br /&gt;
  2504. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2505. &lt;a href=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Qp-t97CINVI/WzXlmrHaIKI/AAAAAAADH3o/ST82KXCfWbMHNJRQT-haEsa-Nwxn8bifACLcBGAs/s1600/Turkmenistan-Day-2-8.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-Qp-t97CINVI/WzXlmrHaIKI/AAAAAAADH3o/ST82KXCfWbMHNJRQT-haEsa-Nwxn8bifACLcBGAs/s400/Turkmenistan-Day-2-8.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2506. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2507. &lt;/span&gt; &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;One senses that the nation would just as soon avoid the hassle of too many strangers skipping across the borders with Afghanistan, Iran, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan, bringing a little hard currency but also the threat of cultural contagion. Turkmenistan appears to have concluded that tourists are simply not worth the hassle. As a result, I was obligated to secure the services of a state-approved guide to enter the country. Indeed, I recall few words uttered more sternly upon my arrival at an international airport than when the officer, after surveying my passport and stamping my newly affixed tourist visa, offered his no-nonsense admonition:&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2508. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2509. &lt;/span&gt; &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;“Welcome to Turkmenistan. Never travel without guide.”&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2510. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;
  2511. &lt;br /&gt;
  2512. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2513. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-TgCiVcCu15o/WzX2jMBZ6EI/AAAAAAADH6g/kt55A9SAksUhs3mj_5t9bBGaPf-qNOJHQCLcBGAs/s1600/Turkmenistan-Day-1-16.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;956&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;265&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-TgCiVcCu15o/WzX2jMBZ6EI/AAAAAAADH6g/kt55A9SAksUhs3mj_5t9bBGaPf-qNOJHQCLcBGAs/s400/Turkmenistan-Day-1-16.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2514. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;
  2515. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;Technically this rule does not apply to visitors who remain in the capital city of Ashgabat. And travelers who manage to score short-term transit-visas may also avoid this stricture altogether. But after nearly 24 hours of omnitopian flow produced by a structural and perceptual bubble of elevators, shuttles, pedways, buses, trains, and airplanes, departing from my previous abode in Finland to enter this marble and gold enclosure of Turkmenistan’s international airport, I was not inclined to quibble.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2516. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2517. &lt;/span&gt; &lt;br /&gt;
  2518. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2519. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-2Zp85lY7S-A/WzXl0GHvEKI/AAAAAAADH30/bzxEt-AQ7mkmmiryy_uJKOlTkmNPn4fsQCLcBGAs/s1600/Turkmenistan-Day-2-6.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-2Zp85lY7S-A/WzXl0GHvEKI/AAAAAAADH30/bzxEt-AQ7mkmmiryy_uJKOlTkmNPn4fsQCLcBGAs/s400/Turkmenistan-Day-2-6.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2520. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2521. &lt;/span&gt; &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;Exiting the airport, which is shaped like a falcon spreading its wings, I notice more and more the traditional clothing of local folks, particularly the long, colorful caftans and headgear worn by women – often sporting vibrant scarves that cover expansive skull caps to manifest an aristocratic bearing, while also providing insulation from the heat. Some younger women, recent brides, bite down on their scarves while in public, reflecting a pledge to stay silent until given permission by their in-laws. [One should add Turkmen women, stemming from a people whose traditions of pride and bravery recognize no barriers of gender, have no problem learning to speak through clenched teeth]. I also notice that men often wear colorful &lt;/span&gt;&lt;i style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;taqiyahs&lt;/i&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;, or sometimes &lt;/span&gt;&lt;i style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;telpeks&lt;/i&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt; (also known by outsiders, not without some derision, as “big furry hats”). And among many women and men in this country, gold-capped teeth are still viewed as a sign of wealth. [Saparmurat Niyazov, Turkmenistan’s first post-Soviet president, a dentist before he rose to power, condemned this practice as a threat to personal and national hygiene. Still, some traditions remain stubbornly hard to eradicate.]&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2522. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;
  2523. &lt;br /&gt;
  2524. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2525. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Voy7OhVjk40/WzXxUBkw6eI/AAAAAAADH5g/F8gqSAEetLg0e03YqzojHlN4RtCRcVIbQCLcBGAs/s1600/Turkmenistan-Day-1-10.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1440&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1080&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Voy7OhVjk40/WzXxUBkw6eI/AAAAAAADH5g/F8gqSAEetLg0e03YqzojHlN4RtCRcVIbQCLcBGAs/s400/Turkmenistan-Day-1-10.jpg&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2526. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;
  2527. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;One discerns in Turkmenistan an ever-present sense of formality and decorum. Like Ashgabat’s march of cookie-cutter apartments that arouse visions of Le Corbusier’s Radiant City, this place is a monument to order. Still, as it does everywhere, the surveillance state leaks with humanity. People here are friendly and easy-going –&amp;nbsp;although the overly enthusiastic smile of an earnest tourist may be met with bemusement, or even scorn. Again, this is a post-Soviet society, which means that unwarranted exuberance is often interpreted as foolishness, or deception. Even so, Turkmens are tolerant of strangers, a practical necessity given this nation’s historical position as a desert oasis. Thus, despite the rare appearance of dedicated taxis, most local folks hitch rides by standing alongside the road, hands stretched downward (though without the “patting the dog” maneuver practiced in other countries), awaiting a car driven by anyone looking to score a few Manats. A quick check of destination, a brief negotiation for price, and folks get where they want to go with minimum hassle.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2528. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;
  2529. &lt;br /&gt;
  2530. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2531. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-m8aF1LPZT2M/WzXzVH_QwiI/AAAAAAADH6E/VnEGNfffEfUeenjCct59Ab3tlCwfeIuDQCEwYBhgL/s1600/Turkmenistan-Day-1-13.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-m8aF1LPZT2M/WzXzVH_QwiI/AAAAAAADH6E/VnEGNfffEfUeenjCct59Ab3tlCwfeIuDQCEwYBhgL/s400/Turkmenistan-Day-1-13.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2532. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;
  2533. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;Perhaps it’s the blazing sun that explains why local folks prefer not to draw unnecessary heat in their public lives. By admittedly playful illustration, I would note that beards are discouraged in Turkmenistan. Given my own stylistic choices, I am happy to report that they are technically &lt;i&gt;allowed&lt;/i&gt;, though you can hardly expect to find any worn. President Niyazov condemned them as signs of religious excess against his secular state. Accordingly while most folks here adhere to the Sunni brand of Islam, and quite a few seek their own kind of solace in Russian Orthodoxy, one finds no condemnation for those who practice other faiths. This is, one should remember, the norm across most of the Islamic world; no one would confuse Turkmenistan with Saudi Arabia.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2534. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;
  2535. &lt;br /&gt;
  2536. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2537. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-P1LNGeB7-9g/WzXxNGOPPnI/AAAAAAADH5c/e078uSJmNI8rvtxFpnNaBcmEm8APY6cTQCLcBGAs/s1600/Turkmenistan-Day-1-1.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1054&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;292&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-P1LNGeB7-9g/WzXxNGOPPnI/AAAAAAADH5c/e078uSJmNI8rvtxFpnNaBcmEm8APY6cTQCLcBGAs/s400/Turkmenistan-Day-1-1.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2538. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;
  2539. &lt;br /&gt;
  2540. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2541. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-MzMgwT0LfhE/WzX3OyGlLhI/AAAAAAADH6w/G56wY3Y2TiMzT-oMIy8pGg8RcLnbzkmuACLcBGAs/s1600/Turkmenistan-Day-2-9.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1440&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-MzMgwT0LfhE/WzX3OyGlLhI/AAAAAAADH6w/G56wY3Y2TiMzT-oMIy8pGg8RcLnbzkmuACLcBGAs/s400/Turkmenistan-Day-2-9.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2542. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;
  2543. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;That being said, the government allows virtually nothing in the way of public dissent, political opposition, journalistic freedom, or disrespect toward its president. In fact Ashgabat is positively aglow with golden statues commemorating Niyazov, augmented by a growing number of portraits celebrating his successor, the current president, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow. Instead one finds a multitude of advertisements for the state brand, typically projected on large video displays. On these electronic murals, the president may be shown surrounded by children, cupping his hands upward in piety, or occasionally sitting astride his horse, a symbol of pride among a people famed for their equestrian skills. And, yes, travelers on Turkmenistan’s national airline will find his portrait gracing each cabin, receiving assurance for a safe flight under his watchful eye. In this omnipresent reminder of Niyazov’s legacy and Berdimuhamedow’s benevolence, one gradually leans inward and toward the disciplinary contours of docility, the ever-fine tendrils of reverence, that perpetuate the performance of control.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2544. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;
  2545. &lt;br /&gt;
  2546. &lt;table align=&quot;center&quot; cellpadding=&quot;0&quot; cellspacing=&quot;0&quot; class=&quot;tr-caption-container&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;&lt;tbody&gt;
  2547. &lt;tr&gt;&lt;td style=&quot;text-align: center;&quot;&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-eqez20hpp_o/WzX2ZsnJG1I/AAAAAAADH6c/tbLwD1dUJtEBjdd-59Zk1-ueD-1G5omRACLcBGAs/s1600/Turkmenistan-Day-1-17.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;956&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;265&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-eqez20hpp_o/WzX2ZsnJG1I/AAAAAAADH6c/tbLwD1dUJtEBjdd-59Zk1-ueD-1G5omRACLcBGAs/s400/Turkmenistan-Day-1-17.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/td&gt;&lt;/tr&gt;
  2548. &lt;tr&gt;&lt;td class=&quot;tr-caption&quot; style=&quot;text-align: center;&quot;&gt;Statue commemorating &lt;i&gt;Ruhnama&lt;/i&gt;, &lt;br /&gt;
  2549. Saparmurat Niyazov&#39;s book of spiritual guidance for the Turkmen people&lt;/td&gt;&lt;/tr&gt;
  2550. &lt;/tbody&gt;&lt;/table&gt;
  2551. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;
  2552. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;Beyond the airport, the nation’s surveillance structure expands ever more intricately along physical and digital pathways that connect cameras and other tools of observation nestled among lighting fixtures and inserted throughout other nodes of public life. I would also not be surprised if Turkmenistan has chosen to follow the authoritarian model advanced by China to employ facial recognition devices and algorithmic assessments to mark the movements of every person in the country’s larger cities – or at least hopes to do so in the near future. In the meantime, access to social media outlets like Facebook and Instagram is banned.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2553. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;
  2554. &lt;br /&gt;
  2555. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2556. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-zb8ZEOWfu7Q/WzXyBw_aqxI/AAAAAAADH5s/4ZHVwHSY9PAW58_Hlb4wzwgcVHU8Y-_jACLcBGAs/s1600/Turkmenistan-Day-1-11.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-zb8ZEOWfu7Q/WzXyBw_aqxI/AAAAAAADH5s/4ZHVwHSY9PAW58_Hlb4wzwgcVHU8Y-_jACLcBGAs/s400/Turkmenistan-Day-1-11.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2557. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;
  2558. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;As for more surreptitious forms of surveillance, I can offer no specific experience. I would merely presume that all tourists, some surely more than others, receive their portion of special attention by the nation’s security apparatus. Augmenting this diffused brand of panopticism, one grows familiar with the sight of baton-twirling cops in blue uniforms and high-peaked hats who stand on seemingly every major street corner, sometimes chatting amiably with each other but seldom abandoning their alert gaze. Mirroring the eight-pointed star, the ubiquitous mark of the nation woven into carpets, etched along walls, and even used to shape the Turkmenistan’s Wedding Palace, this government does not shirk from its desire to maintain an environment of pleasantly total jurisdiction. The eye of state sees in all directions.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2559. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2560. &lt;/span&gt; &lt;br /&gt;
  2561. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2562. &lt;/div&gt;
  2563. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2564. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Od1umes1Q1E/WzXwWHXX_zI/AAAAAAADH5I/B7A6kQxjCqEU9A-hSHcH6YPZJjBBUjevQCLcBGAs/s1600/Turkmenistan-Day-1-9.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;813&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;225&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Od1umes1Q1E/WzXwWHXX_zI/AAAAAAADH5I/B7A6kQxjCqEU9A-hSHcH6YPZJjBBUjevQCLcBGAs/s400/Turkmenistan-Day-1-9.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2565. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;
  2566. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;Nonetheless I did not come to Turkmenistan to study its surveillance practices. I simply took them for granted. Like the irksome blinking light found on smoke detectors in hotels around the world, this reality first vexed me before it became a less troubling feature of life. So with a healthy respect for my surveilled status, nodding politely at cops broiling in the heat, I toured the nation’s capital city – a Central Asian version of Las Vegas sprawling with gleaming programmatic architecture – as a cheerful tourist.&amp;nbsp;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2567. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;
  2568. &lt;br /&gt;
  2569. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2570. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-zcuP8hI7fKQ/WzX1e1-DukI/AAAAAAADH6Q/xxSYPb0V3PcoXVjRz5RaNO45VK3FCDGHwCLcBGAs/s1600/Turkmenistan-Day-1-15.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1440&quot; data-original-width=&quot;956&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-zcuP8hI7fKQ/WzX1e1-DukI/AAAAAAADH6Q/xxSYPb0V3PcoXVjRz5RaNO45VK3FCDGHwCLcBGAs/s400/Turkmenistan-Day-1-15.jpg&quot; width=&quot;265&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2571. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;
  2572. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;So, yes, in fact and in spirit, I would marvel at the city’s blocks of white apartment buildings that stretch in geometric repetition along the city’s monumental boulevards. Naturally I would delight at the sight of splashing fountains that dance with gaudy excess amid the desert that covers about 80 percent of the country. Led by Murad Arrykov, my guide and translator, I would also tour the ruins of the Old Nissa fortress and visit the Silk Road “Wandering City” of Merv near the city of Mary, a short domestic hop away. And I did come to love those ancient ruins, drawn to the universal desire to trace some passageway between the hyper-present and the distant past. Of course, my trip was centered on that crater in the desert.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2573. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;
  2574. &lt;br /&gt;
  2575. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2576. &lt;a href=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-tY4aK7lh3Jc/WzZQG0pC8kI/AAAAAAADH8c/FxFuodD87fwkDguuOkk-37MX8e_DutIzwCLcBGAs/s1600/Turkmenistan-Day-2-10.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1440&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-tY4aK7lh3Jc/WzZQG0pC8kI/AAAAAAADH8c/FxFuodD87fwkDguuOkk-37MX8e_DutIzwCLcBGAs/s400/Turkmenistan-Day-2-10.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2577. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;
  2578. &lt;br /&gt;
  2579. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2580. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-GRd19aqW0C8/WzXwjDA48SI/AAAAAAADH5M/uBPujUCWFvQdnu3IGA5nsIXJsAN4qQEPwCLcBGAs/s1600/Turkmenistan-Day-2-3.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;956&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;265&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-GRd19aqW0C8/WzXwjDA48SI/AAAAAAADH5M/uBPujUCWFvQdnu3IGA5nsIXJsAN4qQEPwCLcBGAs/s400/Turkmenistan-Day-2-3.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2581. &lt;br /&gt;
  2582. &lt;br /&gt;
  2583. &lt;div style=&quot;text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2584. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;~&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2585. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2586. &lt;/span&gt; &lt;br /&gt;
  2587. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2588. &lt;/div&gt;
  2589. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2590. &lt;a href=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-vEyILdmJ2yQ/WzXj6KuD4OI/AAAAAAADH2w/V4aS7nRLKr85bbCt_fx1w33ZmamQmySnQCEwYBhgL/s1600/Turkmenistan-day-4-1.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;956&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;265&quot; src=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-vEyILdmJ2yQ/WzXj6KuD4OI/AAAAAAADH2w/V4aS7nRLKr85bbCt_fx1w33ZmamQmySnQCEwYBhgL/s400/Turkmenistan-day-4-1.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2591. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2592. &lt;/span&gt; &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;Driving north of Turkmenistan’s capital city of Ashgabat on a day that burned hotter than 100 degrees Fahrenheit, I figured AC/DC’s &lt;i&gt;Highway to Hell&lt;/i&gt; was the right tune for the trip. The Aussies, after all, know something about deserts. The Red Center drive from Alice Springs to Uluru, the chance to barrel past hopping kangaroos and bounding wallabies remains one of the &lt;a href=&quot;http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/wooda/oz/index1.html&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;highlights of my life&lt;/a&gt;. But I trusted Murad who insisted that Little Richard’s &lt;i&gt;Long Tall Sally&lt;/i&gt;, that ode to promiscuity and purgatory, the slippery divide between coming and going, was the perfect choice for the moment when we pulled off the main drag, just before the Daşoguz checkpoint, to see the pit.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2593. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2594. &lt;/span&gt; &lt;br /&gt;
  2595. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2596. &lt;a href=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-wq_-Djm-t38/WzXk1_H1xfI/AAAAAAADH3Q/FQAmKOvZBCoSqfHDNw-epWaVT26-aDF4gCLcBGAs/s1600/Turkmenistan-day-3-1.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;956&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;265&quot; src=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-wq_-Djm-t38/WzXk1_H1xfI/AAAAAAADH3Q/FQAmKOvZBCoSqfHDNw-epWaVT26-aDF4gCLcBGAs/s400/Turkmenistan-day-3-1.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2597. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2598. &lt;/span&gt; &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;Hopping over the rocky, rutted pathway toward our destination, we cranked &lt;i&gt;Sally&lt;/i&gt; up loud enough to bang our heads, though our 4X4 made plenty of percussion on its own. Our driver, a taciturn dude whose eyes squinted sharply under the blazing blue sky, kept his focus on the road. No “да, да, да” of agreement here; if the driver dug the tune, I would never know. Nearing our destination, Murad pointed out details through the windshield, displaying his mastery of culture, history, archeology, flora, and fauna. Yet from time to time he too adopted the reserved pose of the driver. And I joined his silence. Just a few miles more, we would find what locals supposedly call the Door to Hell. And then, at that moment, Little Richard belted out a line from &lt;i&gt;Long Tall Sally&lt;/i&gt; that made perfect sense: “He has the blues but he has a lot of fun.” This, as much as anything, is the mantra for a place that gathers people to reside between pleasure and despair.&amp;nbsp;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2599. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2600. &lt;/span&gt; &lt;br /&gt;
  2601. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2602. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-HaYKtT45NBM/WzXnqzU1DPI/AAAAAAADH4c/Xa2ocWvd1zcfPxxV4NvyiqcAQMe1so3LACLcBGAs/s1600/Turkmenistan-Day-3-8.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1440&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1080&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-HaYKtT45NBM/WzXnqzU1DPI/AAAAAAADH4c/Xa2ocWvd1zcfPxxV4NvyiqcAQMe1so3LACLcBGAs/s400/Turkmenistan-Day-3-8.jpg&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2603. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2604. &lt;/span&gt; &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;We arrived in late afternoon, after making stops at two nearby craters produced by failed gas mining efforts. One was filled by water; the other was filled with mud. At these initial stops, my guide and driver waited long enough for me to walk their perimeters. Ambling around the second crater, which bubbled and smelled faintly of sulfur, I recall feeling a similar vibe to the process one endures to circle the labyrinth in a cathedral like Chartres. Whether surrounded by fellow travelers or, in this case, alone, I could still sense a long-needed stillness, a reverential silence. Later, tracing our route from crater to crater, though playing a bit with the order of elements, Murad would remind me of a conversation we had the previous day, while visiting Nissa, concerning the Zoroastrian triangle of earth, water, and fire. Despite my tendency to overstate my perceptions of these experiences, I can confirm the existence of a primal, elemental feeling in this place.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2605. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2606. &lt;/span&gt; &lt;br /&gt;
  2607. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2608. &lt;a href=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_wSL_aJbe_Q/WzXoinbIonI/AAAAAAADH4w/Qm8w7nOepGkNRN4xBGMEvsfh7zdTbwbVwCLcBGAs/s1600/Turkmenistan-Day-3-2a.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1440&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1080&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-_wSL_aJbe_Q/WzXoinbIonI/AAAAAAADH4w/Qm8w7nOepGkNRN4xBGMEvsfh7zdTbwbVwCLcBGAs/s400/Turkmenistan-Day-3-2a.jpg&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2609. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2610. &lt;/span&gt; &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;After three and a half hours of banging along rugged terrain, dusty villages, ragged camels, and the occasional highway roamer pointing a hand downward in hopes for a ride, we arrived at the gas crater. The pit, about 230 feet across and more than 60 feet deep, marks a site where 70s-era Soviet geologists hoped to mine natural gas. Despite their best efforts, though, a vapor pocket exploded, wrecking the drilling rig, and collapsing the land into a crater. The immediate economic and human costs were bad enough. Worse still was the potential for poisonous gasses to kill nearby villagers. In response, engineers would eventually decide to set the chasm on fire, hoping that this operation would burn off the dangerous fumes. The plan would supposedly need only a few weeks to work.&amp;nbsp;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2611. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2612. &lt;/span&gt; &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;Decades later, the fires still burn.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2613. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2614. &lt;/span&gt; &lt;br /&gt;
  2615. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2616. &lt;/div&gt;
  2617. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2618. &lt;a href=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-55eNY8RACFk/WzXoN_HkoTI/AAAAAAADH4k/fhxSM99IU4oSrZdEsOBhs18IV7G_5cSOwCLcBGAs/s1600/Turkmenistan-Day-3-10.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-55eNY8RACFk/WzXoN_HkoTI/AAAAAAADH4k/fhxSM99IU4oSrZdEsOBhs18IV7G_5cSOwCLcBGAs/s400/Turkmenistan-Day-3-10.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2619. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2620. &lt;/span&gt; &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;I must confess that the crater did not impress me at first. In afternoon light, the pit was lit by small flickering bursts of flame that trickled from blackened, flinty surface below. Standing inside the protective rail, I saw gentle waves of heat that rippled like sand dunes, interesting but hardly a spectacle. All at once, I was blown back by a furnace of heat as the wind shifted in my direction. I began to picture the horror that would overcome anyone who might plummet below, caught between life and death just long enough to anticipate a fate they could not hope to avoid. I admit it: I also anticipated how easy it would be to jump to my death, to suffer that horror. The feeling passed, but not the guilt of such dismal musing.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2621. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2622. &lt;/span&gt; &lt;br /&gt;
  2623. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2624. &lt;a href=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-rmY7KQXaAwo/WzXpBobKIWI/AAAAAAADH48/r4kUMddfYAgT6W5phxvkVOO_rmjhaLSLwCLcBGAs/s1600/Turkmenistan-Day-3-11.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1025&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;283&quot; src=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-rmY7KQXaAwo/WzXpBobKIWI/AAAAAAADH48/r4kUMddfYAgT6W5phxvkVOO_rmjhaLSLwCLcBGAs/s400/Turkmenistan-Day-3-11.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2625. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2626. &lt;/span&gt; &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;I then lowered my shorts and pissed into the crater.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2627. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2628. &lt;/span&gt; &lt;br /&gt;
  2629. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2630. &lt;/div&gt;
  2631. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2632. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Sl5b2spWSiA/WzXoVsu4VgI/AAAAAAADH4o/oJmS3wIWmOoKs678JiL3JWI3ObmOZszOQCLcBGAs/s1600/Turkmenistan-day-3-4.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;956&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;265&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Sl5b2spWSiA/WzXoVsu4VgI/AAAAAAADH4o/oJmS3wIWmOoKs678JiL3JWI3ObmOZszOQCLcBGAs/s400/Turkmenistan-day-3-4.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2633. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2634. &lt;/span&gt; &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;Since we had set up camp, I had all evening to practice Murad’s advice that I should return again and again to the pit. As the sky darkened and shadows lengthened, I began to notice that the black edges of the crater began to glow, subtly at first and then with an angrier hue. The flames did not change in any actual way, but they appeared to pop more fiercely from their torrents. Then I observed something that I had never seen before, except when studying the change of light through a camera viewfinder. As the spurts of conflagration broke through the surface, I could actually feel the irises of my eyes adjusting, producing a jerking response as vision compensated for rapid shifts from deep red to bright yellow and back again. And here, unlike the Chartres-memory summoned by the mud crater, I did indeed imagine a glimpse of hell – perhaps more closely akin to the &quot;Doomsday Machine&quot; that haunted the heroes, and one guilty survivor, of the eponymous &lt;/span&gt;&lt;i style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;Star Trek&lt;/i&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt; episode. Thinking about Commodore Decker piloting a stolen, doomed shuttle into the flaming center of a weapon “right out of hell,” I wondered more gravely what guilt would compel me to contemplate such a leap.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2635. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2636. &lt;/span&gt; &lt;br /&gt;
  2637. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2638. &lt;iframe allowfullscreen=&quot;&quot; class=&quot;YOUTUBE-iframe-video&quot; data-thumbnail-src=&quot;https://i.ytimg.com/vi/ul-wsO7Avuc/0.jpg&quot; frameborder=&quot;0&quot; height=&quot;281&quot; src=&quot;https://www.youtube.com/embed/ul-wsO7Avuc?feature=player_embedded&quot; width=&quot;500&quot;&gt;&lt;/iframe&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2639. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2640. I had come a long way to see this place, to consider these questions, though I could hardly explain why. If Murad and our driver remained awed by the crater, they did not show it. They had completed this drive countless times, usually taking small caravans of tourists into the beautiful, brutal desert. They had learned to negotiate the jagged trail of broken stone with professional detachment. No doubt, they came to tolerate the standard questions posed in places like this, the typical fears and exaggerated responses. And surely, patiently, they waited for their doughy visitors to drift off to sleep in tents while guide and driver opted to rest under the stars (or sleep in the 4X4). This time, aside from some Japanese tourists who had come to rent yurts on the other side of the crater, we were alone. I figured this was as good a time as any to ask Murad his opinion:&amp;nbsp;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;Why do people come here?&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2641. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;
  2642. &lt;br /&gt;
  2643. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2644. &lt;a href=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-4e6Hd92LRh4/WzX39uS0VxI/AAAAAAADH64/O3m1_wtwIRM1K-2X_GH2SjttSubH2AepgCLcBGAs/s1600/Turkmenistan-Day-3-12.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1440&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1080&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-4e6Hd92LRh4/WzX39uS0VxI/AAAAAAADH64/O3m1_wtwIRM1K-2X_GH2SjttSubH2AepgCLcBGAs/s400/Turkmenistan-Day-3-12.jpg&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2645. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;
  2646. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;As his usual habit, Murad looked me directly in the eyes, forming words from a smile but with a no bullshit demeanor. His reply was poetic, and though memory does not serve to quote him directly, I was moved by his clarity of analysis. First, he said, the crater is unique. There is nothing quite like this place anywhere in the world – a sensible enough hypothesis. Then he paused, gazing solemnly as he chose his next words. At this point, the sun fully dipped below the horizon, setting forth a radiant band of blue and purple. The breeze had begun to pick up and a nearby hill had started to glow with reflected fire. It’s the flames, he concluded. That’s what attracts us all to places like this. And he makes a good point. Since the beginning of all civilization, people have been drawn around the campfire to share the safety of numbers, to tell stories.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2647. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2648. &lt;/span&gt; &lt;br /&gt;
  2649. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2650. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-yJcAHe7Vb0M/WzXjy1-17iI/AAAAAAADH2k/w8GFISd2WQcAynIAsjZS6LHFSoYu_W6gQCLcBGAs/s1600/Turkmenistan-day-3-7.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-yJcAHe7Vb0M/WzXjy1-17iI/AAAAAAADH2k/w8GFISd2WQcAynIAsjZS6LHFSoYu_W6gQCLcBGAs/s400/Turkmenistan-day-3-7.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2651. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2652. &lt;/span&gt; &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;Night had fallen and the cavern glowed in searing eruptions of red and orange, not quite belching but rather constantly streaming a hiss of natural gas set aflame. At first we sat on a carpet, offering some protection from the stony ground, an imaginary shield from jumping camel spiders and pinching scarab beetles. But then Murad stood up and took out a mobile phone and launched an astronomy application that employs augmented reality to layer digital constellations over the display. As soothing music rolled out of the device&#39;s speakers, he swung around in a wide arc to reveal a network of otherwise invisible lines. Aided by GPS, he could pick out stars and planets with precision that would have mystified the ancient travelers who relied upon celestial objects to chart their own paths across the unforgiving desert.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2653. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;
  2654. &lt;br /&gt;
  2655. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2656. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-phsTCI2rysA/WzX4bvd_PgI/AAAAAAADH7A/K5fpJlemHkc0xgPAaEaMuwkcMql5Zjx7wCLcBGAs/s1600/Turkmenistan-Day-3-13.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;956&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;212&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-phsTCI2rysA/WzX4bvd_PgI/AAAAAAADH7A/K5fpJlemHkc0xgPAaEaMuwkcMql5Zjx7wCLcBGAs/s320/Turkmenistan-Day-3-13.jpg&quot; width=&quot;320&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2657. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;
  2658. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;And then, fueled no doubt by a fulsome meal of chicken, lamb, tomatoes, and eggplant, and four cans of Turkmen Zip beer, Murad and I began reciting bits and pieces of Homer’s &lt;i&gt;Iliad&lt;/i&gt; to each other. Murad began by asking if I had seen &lt;i&gt;Troy&lt;/i&gt;, Wolfgang Petersen’s 2004 epic starring Brad Pitt as Achilles and Eric Bana as Hector. We both share an affinity for movies, so, despite the middling nature of the film, I could affirm I had indeed seen it. “I like Hector,” Murad stated. “He died, but he died as a man.” I had to agree. While the Trojans are cast as antagonists to those fractious seafaring heroes who would later be called “Greeks,” I hoped that I too could face my fate with the courage mustered by Hector.&amp;nbsp;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2659. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2660. &lt;/span&gt; &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;Gradually our conversation turned to Homer’s original tale, which features gods who meddle in the affairs of human beings. I recalled how the poets sang of the tricks that Athena played upon Hector, using her supernatural powers to give the Achilles an unfair advantage. Hector, in noble contrast, stood alone, knowing that he would be slain this day. But, Murad emphasized, the Trojan hero would perish as a man. In turns, we recalled how Achilles heaved his spear at Hector who, by now, could rely only on his sword. Impaled and near death, Hector begged the wrathful Achilles not to spare his life but rather to spare the indignity of his body being ravaged by dogs. At this moment, Murad and I exclaimed in unison, “But he wouldn’t do it!” Then and now, I share my guide’s respect for Hector, but that is not quite the point. Like the Trojans who heretofore had awaited the coming of the Greeks where “a thousand camp-fires gleamed upon the plain,” we too sought ways to reckon with forces and powers beyond our control. There together, drinking and talking, we could imagine ourselves like those heroes who gathered under the stars to share stories of men and gods, lit only by firelight.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2661. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2662. &lt;/span&gt; &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;Ours was a convivial party, even adding one more fellow for awhile, a young skinny fellow crossing nearby in search of his friends. Speaking not in Russian but in Turkmen, the guy apologized for his intrusion and asked us to share some water. We naturally shared a friendly portion and wished him well as returned to his path. Anyone who lives here knows the necessary ethic of such an act, and it felt good to share these moments. Yet ultimately I had come to the desert to stand a few moments alone. So I began to trudge up the hill that rose behind us for a God’s eye view of the crater. Under a nearly full moon, the valley was bathed in soft light. Still, I added an extra coat of protection with the beam of my phone’s lamp that rendered the ruts and rocks more navigable. I made my steps carefully, with the reverence one might imagine when climbing the stone steps of Teotihuacan toward the sun. At last I reached the summit and turned to face the panorama above and below.&amp;nbsp;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2663. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2664. &lt;/span&gt; &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;The small party of Japanese tourists were snapping pictures of the crater, posing with arms outstretched pointing toward the flame. Next to that yawning chasm of burning gas, buffeted by occasional gusts of wind that could char a person with frightening heat, they traced confident circles and laughed. This, I think, is something of that desert reverie that I mentioned earlier, that feeling that one comes to know in a place like this, and a giddy power to impose upon those forces that constrain us, that belittle us, that frighten us. I wonder if each of us who visit Turkmenistan’s Darvaza Gas Crater, and places like it, come to find a power to gaze into the abyss of our mortality and face it, perhaps even to inscribe upon it some markings of permanence. In this manner our stories, photographs, our etchings, our graffiti become totems of our power to confront the inevitability of ruin with a certainty that, no matter how ephemeral, bolsters our abilities to endure questions beyond answer.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2665. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2666. &lt;/span&gt; &lt;br /&gt;
  2667. &lt;div style=&quot;text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2668. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;~&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2669. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2670. &lt;/span&gt; &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;These are the sorts of stories I hope to tell in my book, tentatively titled &lt;i&gt;A Rhetoric of Ruins&lt;/i&gt;. I want to understand more thoroughly why people come to places like this – not to ancient structures suspended in a state of arrested decay such as those found in Angkor, Cambodia; Khajuraho, India; or the Acropolis in Greece, but rather to &lt;i&gt;modern&lt;/i&gt; ruins: a more contemporary constellation of places such as industrial accident-sites, Soviet-era showplace relics, abandoned Olympic stadiums, economic ghost towns, and the like – those abandoned and sometimes fascinatingly repurposed locales that call forth ambivalence, despair, or even the guilty pleasure associated with the term “ruin porn.&quot; I hope to read those remnants that provide a medium through which we may interpret, resist, and potentially transform our encounters with late-modernity. In future iterations of this essay, I will trace more rigorously the intellectual underpinnings of my project. But for now I conclude this note, a first tentative draft, with thanks to Murad and our various drivers during a five-day visit, and hopes that I will return to Turkmenistan one day, to better understand this country’s ambivalence about tourism, to study its bold and increasingly sophisticated surveillance mechanisms, and, of course, to savor once more the strange and guilty pleasures of the Darvaza Gas Crater.&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2671. &lt;span style=&quot;font-family: inherit;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2672. &lt;/span&gt; &lt;br /&gt;
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  2674. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Jp6ybId5ycA/WzXkMimG95I/AAAAAAADH28/Kc0DxeQzo5QEMvMKpEqrTUXaQ2vHuCumQCEwYBhgL/s1600/Turkmenistan-day-3-2.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;956&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;265&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Jp6ybId5ycA/WzXkMimG95I/AAAAAAADH28/Kc0DxeQzo5QEMvMKpEqrTUXaQ2vHuCumQCEwYBhgL/s400/Turkmenistan-day-3-2.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2675. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2676. &lt;/div&gt;
  2677. </content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/feeds/292350893917607950/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=3563950890480925834&amp;postID=292350893917607950' title='3 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/292350893917607950'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/292350893917607950'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/2018/06/a-rhetoric-of-ruins-darvaza-gas-crater_29.html' title='A Rhetoric of Ruins: Darvaza Gas Crater'/><author><name>highway163</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/09874578884935438341</uri><email>noreply@blogger.com</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='16' height='16' src='https://img1.blogblog.com/img/b16-rounded.gif'/></author><media:thumbnail xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/" url="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-bv1odhLntwc/WzXmsJfI-II/AAAAAAADH4M/aZsXwwB0nmojMdYIjizifCSUHHyXjt1TACLcBGAs/s72-c/Turkmenistan-day-3-3.jpg" height="72" width="72"/><thr:total>3</thr:total><georss:featurename>Darvaza, Turkmenistan</georss:featurename><georss:point>40.252603099999988 58.439700399999992</georss:point><georss:box>16.505772099999987 17.131106399999993 63.999434099999988 99.748294399999992</georss:box></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3563950890480925834.post-8782379728012949912</id><published>2018-03-13T08:12:00.001-07:00</published><updated>2018-03-13T08:19:55.967-07:00</updated><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="Mexico"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="street art"/><title type='text'>Mexico City Street Art (2018)</title><content type='html'>Some of my favorite examples of Mexico City street art - from a 2018 visit to the Colonia Roma and Colonia Doctores neighborhoods.&lt;br /&gt;
  2678. &lt;br /&gt;
  2679. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2680. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-zgyFSqdfOjk/Wqfp4yut14I/AAAAAAADFRQ/VyU-oK0ZZ-0chC_f_IEk-3oz7DzeQGn2ACLcBGAs/s1600/Mexico-3.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-zgyFSqdfOjk/Wqfp4yut14I/AAAAAAADFRQ/VyU-oK0ZZ-0chC_f_IEk-3oz7DzeQGn2ACLcBGAs/s400/Mexico-3.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2681. &lt;br /&gt;
  2682. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2683. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-2PTVRuGoP-E/Wqfp58CZusI/AAAAAAADFRY/j4AaTpf4XSYkUqzbekHz0wsYd-e2kbS1ACLcBGAs/s1600/Mexico-5.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-2PTVRuGoP-E/Wqfp58CZusI/AAAAAAADFRY/j4AaTpf4XSYkUqzbekHz0wsYd-e2kbS1ACLcBGAs/s400/Mexico-5.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2684. &lt;br /&gt;
  2685. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2686. &lt;a href=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-k84ggqer6mM/WqfqBjtlHGI/AAAAAAADFRo/cKf-h-ZsiwYZR-rz_TWxeuZK842y1G8gwCLcBGAs/s1600/Mexico-6.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1440&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-k84ggqer6mM/WqfqBjtlHGI/AAAAAAADFRo/cKf-h-ZsiwYZR-rz_TWxeuZK842y1G8gwCLcBGAs/s400/Mexico-6.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2687. &lt;br /&gt;
  2688. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2689. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-gFk9tlSolXw/Wqfp7stPEGI/AAAAAAADFRk/78c7US8waHMVIg2OFjG8DbjWbO6v_iHdgCLcBGAs/s1600/Mexico-9.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-gFk9tlSolXw/Wqfp7stPEGI/AAAAAAADFRk/78c7US8waHMVIg2OFjG8DbjWbO6v_iHdgCLcBGAs/s400/Mexico-9.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2690. &lt;br /&gt;
  2691. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2692. &lt;a href=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-uIQuLaezDHM/Wqfp0jFt0HI/AAAAAAADFQw/1jUr4vL9B7Qa1SwTng59HYAfy0UD45-FwCLcBGAs/s1600/Mexico-10.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-uIQuLaezDHM/Wqfp0jFt0HI/AAAAAAADFQw/1jUr4vL9B7Qa1SwTng59HYAfy0UD45-FwCLcBGAs/s400/Mexico-10.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2693. &lt;br /&gt;
  2694. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2695. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-03txHtN7bzQ/Wqfp0nhNAQI/AAAAAAADFQs/o4wjLb17dUkNa1J9bJP5ao9VTQTdbpecQCLcBGAs/s1600/Mexico-11.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-03txHtN7bzQ/Wqfp0nhNAQI/AAAAAAADFQs/o4wjLb17dUkNa1J9bJP5ao9VTQTdbpecQCLcBGAs/s400/Mexico-11.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2696. &lt;br /&gt;
  2697. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2698. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-SjEhSpcSfb8/Wqfp0uPyw1I/AAAAAAADFQ0/albFGeGgpNUjivOz1khoEtYVjVLffoQeQCLcBGAs/s1600/Mexico-12.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-SjEhSpcSfb8/Wqfp0uPyw1I/AAAAAAADFQ0/albFGeGgpNUjivOz1khoEtYVjVLffoQeQCLcBGAs/s400/Mexico-12.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2699. &lt;br /&gt;
  2700. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2701. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-0RQybpIZXWM/Wqfp11VlgkI/AAAAAAADFQ4/NPk8y2lSDGQrnseORySl1sELv7ZhwT83QCLcBGAs/s1600/Mexico-13.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1440&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1080&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-0RQybpIZXWM/Wqfp11VlgkI/AAAAAAADFQ4/NPk8y2lSDGQrnseORySl1sELv7ZhwT83QCLcBGAs/s400/Mexico-13.jpg&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2702. &lt;br /&gt;
  2703. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2704. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-rHLv1eEtL88/Wqfp2TLtWTI/AAAAAAADFQ8/Zvtp1elznFcyMjc0d3-tG0zFbyR1dICLwCLcBGAs/s1600/Mexico-14.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-rHLv1eEtL88/Wqfp2TLtWTI/AAAAAAADFQ8/Zvtp1elznFcyMjc0d3-tG0zFbyR1dICLwCLcBGAs/s400/Mexico-14.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2705. &lt;br /&gt;
  2706. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2707. &lt;a href=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-he8pCyawm40/Wqfp28A7GRI/AAAAAAADFRA/fhFu7x60zMYvsNa0CKHzIESY_Cww5CE3wCLcBGAs/s1600/Mexico-15.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-he8pCyawm40/Wqfp28A7GRI/AAAAAAADFRA/fhFu7x60zMYvsNa0CKHzIESY_Cww5CE3wCLcBGAs/s400/Mexico-15.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2708. &lt;br /&gt;
  2709. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2710. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-L2BFoSXLbvs/Wqfp3bh_dpI/AAAAAAADFRE/83VYELTuhFY9AbMKspcEOCCELSpjowTQgCLcBGAs/s1600/Mexico-16.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1440&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-L2BFoSXLbvs/Wqfp3bh_dpI/AAAAAAADFRE/83VYELTuhFY9AbMKspcEOCCELSpjowTQgCLcBGAs/s400/Mexico-16.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2711. &lt;br /&gt;
  2712. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2713. &lt;a href=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-DcWoHEfWSVY/Wqfp3-HcQmI/AAAAAAADFRI/uYPQVga9czgtOATqBRRiYTfzR21NRS_cQCLcBGAs/s1600/Mexico-17.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1440&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-DcWoHEfWSVY/Wqfp3-HcQmI/AAAAAAADFRI/uYPQVga9czgtOATqBRRiYTfzR21NRS_cQCLcBGAs/s400/Mexico-17.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2714. &lt;br /&gt;
  2715. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2716. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-pbJSGjw9Fa4/Wqfp4UjNdaI/AAAAAAADFRM/kn6vIn9CqnUHkBSPSj0SYTKKcoY17vlNACLcBGAs/s1600/Mexico-2.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1060&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;293&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-pbJSGjw9Fa4/Wqfp4UjNdaI/AAAAAAADFRM/kn6vIn9CqnUHkBSPSj0SYTKKcoY17vlNACLcBGAs/s400/Mexico-2.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2717. &lt;br /&gt;</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/feeds/8782379728012949912/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=3563950890480925834&amp;postID=8782379728012949912' title='1 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/8782379728012949912'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/8782379728012949912'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/2018/03/mexico-city-street-art-2018.html' title='Mexico City Street Art (2018)'/><author><name>highway163</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/09874578884935438341</uri><email>noreply@blogger.com</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='16' height='16' src='https://img1.blogblog.com/img/b16-rounded.gif'/></author><media:thumbnail xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/" url="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-zgyFSqdfOjk/Wqfp4yut14I/AAAAAAADFRQ/VyU-oK0ZZ-0chC_f_IEk-3oz7DzeQGn2ACLcBGAs/s72-c/Mexico-3.jpg" height="72" width="72"/><thr:total>1</thr:total><georss:featurename>Mexico City, CDMX, Mexico</georss:featurename><georss:point>19.4326077 -99.133207999999968</georss:point><georss:box>18.953317199999997 -99.778654999999972 19.9118982 -98.487760999999963</georss:box></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3563950890480925834.post-144528157382480007</id><published>2018-03-04T13:13:00.000-08:00</published><updated>2018-03-30T13:29:25.118-07:00</updated><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="Mexico"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="trip summaries"/><title type='text'>Mexico - 2018</title><content type='html'>&lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2718. &lt;a href=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-zMxs955HM40/Wr6bg2lsHQI/AAAAAAADFcw/AmiTJmIewqg_TdbpymaK3QhFvez6Rf00ACLcBGAs/s1600/Mexico-32.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-zMxs955HM40/Wr6bg2lsHQI/AAAAAAADFcw/AmiTJmIewqg_TdbpymaK3QhFvez6Rf00ACLcBGAs/s400/Mexico-32.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2719. &lt;br /&gt;
  2720. &lt;i&gt;Savoring happy memories of my recent return to Mexico, here are a few highlights that I posted on Facebook during the trip.&lt;/i&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2721. &lt;br /&gt;
  2722. &lt;b&gt;Sunday&lt;/b&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2723. &lt;br /&gt;
  2724. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2725. &lt;a href=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-FjC7ITrqNeM/Wr6buix-32I/AAAAAAADFc0/SPd2Wb-uIK0PBQ1XsOaa7q7zM1lpAZ_kgCLcBGAs/s1600/Mexico-33.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1440&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1080&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-FjC7ITrqNeM/Wr6buix-32I/AAAAAAADFc0/SPd2Wb-uIK0PBQ1XsOaa7q7zM1lpAZ_kgCLcBGAs/s400/Mexico-33.jpg&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2726. &lt;br /&gt;
  2727. So happy to be back in beautiful Queretaro - and &lt;i&gt;almost&lt;/i&gt; ready for the chance to deliver lectures at Tecnológico de Monterrey. Topics include &quot;Free Speech, Social Media, and the New Digital Commons,&quot; &quot;Building Confidence as a Public Speaker,&quot; and &quot;Presenting Technical Information to Nontechnical Audiences.” I&#39;m also gonna meet with their Writing Center staff and present talks at Irapuato and León campuses: 11 lectures in all. I’ve still got some prep-work to do, but I also want to walk into the gorgeous historical city center for a meal and maybe a couple mojitos. Playing tonight means that I need to get up super early tomorrow. But that’s a problem for &lt;i&gt;Future Andy&lt;/i&gt;.&lt;br /&gt;
  2728. &lt;br /&gt;
  2729. &lt;b&gt;Monday&lt;/b&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2730. &lt;br /&gt;
  2731. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2732. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-NpJ_zxuzP7w/Wr6b7Qd0LcI/AAAAAAADFc4/rPfw9v25CCoz7znDNjq2G8lHXLXZAmDRACLcBGAs/s1600/Mexico-37.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-NpJ_zxuzP7w/Wr6b7Qd0LcI/AAAAAAADFc4/rPfw9v25CCoz7znDNjq2G8lHXLXZAmDRACLcBGAs/s400/Mexico-37.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2733. &lt;br /&gt;
  2734. Just finished my morning lecture: “Presenting Technical Information to Nontechnical Audiences.” Believe it or not, this was a “new prep” for me. And I’m glad I did the work to pull this thing together. It was such a fun opportunity to explore effective slide design, evocative analogy construction, and the use of physical demonstration to teach. On that latter topic, I learned something too.&lt;br /&gt;
  2735. &lt;br /&gt;
  2736. Inspired by Roy Tennant’s example of the best way to explain internet packet switching, I organized a small group into a &quot;message&quot; composed of four student “packets” and challenged them to cross the room while avoiding students acting as data &quot;disruptions&quot; (illustrated by students waving their arms wildly). The goal: separate the message, avoid the disruptions, reform on the other side. And it would have worked too, if it weren’t for those crafty disrupters who stopped the message twice before I encouraged them to be less effective in creating noise! Still, the students got the idea: Sometimes a physical demonstration works better than a block of PowerPoint text to explain an abstract concept.&lt;br /&gt;
  2737. &lt;br /&gt;
  2738. We’ll see if they learned the lesson on Thursday when small groups deliver presentations on one of the following concepts: Confirmation bias, Homeostasis, Packet Switching, Natural Selection, Neuroplasticity, Photosynthesis, Wave-Particle Duality, Search Engine Optimization, Second law of Thermodynamics, or… Schrödinger’s Cat!&lt;br /&gt;
  2739. &lt;br /&gt;
  2740. &lt;b&gt;Tuesday&lt;/b&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2741. &lt;br /&gt;
  2742. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2743. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-5x6pgtC82vk/Wr6cCi51udI/AAAAAAADFdA/mdZfgVaNqfgdgENi0cuJoYYbMVf9vu9cACLcBGAs/s1600/Mexico-38.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;480&quot; data-original-width=&quot;640&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-5x6pgtC82vk/Wr6cCi51udI/AAAAAAADFdA/mdZfgVaNqfgdgENi0cuJoYYbMVf9vu9cACLcBGAs/s400/Mexico-38.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2744. &lt;br /&gt;
  2745. Just finished an hour-long coffee-conversation with faculty and staff members working to launch a campus writing center here at the Tec. Initially I was really nervous about this part of my visit since - while I worked closely with the SJSU Writing Center in my former capacity as Peer Mentor director - I&#39;m hardly an expert on that university resource these days. Happily, I was able to bone up on the details with the aid of our Center&#39;s outstanding documentation (and their excellent annual report). Best of all, several folks who attended a recent training that Deanna Leigh Fassett and I presented dropped by. They&#39;re still talking about that Dinner Party exercise!&lt;br /&gt;
  2746. &lt;br /&gt;
  2747. &lt;i&gt;Later that day…&lt;/i&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2748. &lt;i&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/i&gt;
  2749. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2750. &lt;a href=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-rJJgkLtpQRw/Wr6cNugN8wI/AAAAAAADFdE/0fv8wxBAyXA9Dz3XMOuq8ZDPlpE-1sZnACLcBGAs/s1600/Mexico-40.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-rJJgkLtpQRw/Wr6cNugN8wI/AAAAAAADFdE/0fv8wxBAyXA9Dz3XMOuq8ZDPlpE-1sZnACLcBGAs/s400/Mexico-40.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2751. &lt;i&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/i&gt;
  2752. Enjoying a warm, breezy afternoon between lectures. And, OMG, this place has a sheep pen right behind the library! I&#39;ve just now discovered my new favorite place to work.&lt;br /&gt;
  2753. &lt;br /&gt;
  2754. &lt;b&gt;Wednesday&lt;/b&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2755. &lt;br /&gt;
  2756. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2757. &lt;a href=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/--y7G0P7azKE/Wr6cWQ09J-I/AAAAAAADFdI/BvzVpiIK8-k0CNvTN5qZRHoCqUO6ts7wwCLcBGAs/s1600/Mexico-56.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/--y7G0P7azKE/Wr6cWQ09J-I/AAAAAAADFdI/BvzVpiIK8-k0CNvTN5qZRHoCqUO6ts7wwCLcBGAs/s400/Mexico-56.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2758. &lt;br /&gt;
  2759. Yes, I have seen Lucha Libre at last! Such a strange, bizarre, wonderful spectacle. The first bout featured young &quot;luchadors&quot; who literally work for coins tossed by the audience. Later on, more well-known wrestlers enter the ring - wowing the audience with flying jump kicks and other choreographed moves.&lt;br /&gt;
  2760. &lt;br /&gt;
  2761. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2762. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-4MjoolocyuU/Wr6cjvozF8I/AAAAAAADFdQ/-7iXJ1LTJisxo9dmx8warjd-tlNg1wZIQCLcBGAs/s1600/Mexico-54.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-4MjoolocyuU/Wr6cjvozF8I/AAAAAAADFdQ/-7iXJ1LTJisxo9dmx8warjd-tlNg1wZIQCLcBGAs/s400/Mexico-54.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2763. &lt;br /&gt;
  2764. Of course this isn&#39;t mere sport; it&#39;s drama. Bad guys (&quot;rudos&quot;) whack our heroes (&quot;técnicos&quot;) with strategically placed metal chairs, and even sometimes distract the referee to score illegal points! Worst of all, the ref might join in the action (helping the rudos, of course - the swine!). Don&#39;t worry. He&#39;ll eventually be punished for his corruption. All the while we wonder, will someone get their masked ripped off?&lt;br /&gt;
  2765. &lt;br /&gt;
  2766. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2767. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-bS733HN8qAM/Wr6cq883CHI/AAAAAAADFdU/F2mYUkpRa988-SZ316SY2fLPTjiElAvrgCLcBGAs/s1600/Mexico-47.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1440&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1080&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-bS733HN8qAM/Wr6cq883CHI/AAAAAAADFdU/F2mYUkpRa988-SZ316SY2fLPTjiElAvrgCLcBGAs/s400/Mexico-47.jpg&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2768. &lt;br /&gt;
  2769. The action invariably spills out into the first rows, with good guys and bad guys (one playing a &quot;werewolf&quot;) battling practically in spectator&#39;s laps. Better keep a good grip on your beer during these moments, lest it become a projectile! Between bouts, kids beg for autographs, which the performers (even the heels) kindly oblige.&lt;br /&gt;
  2770. &lt;br /&gt;
  2771. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2772. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-prBFe0T7Iis/Wr6cy6ofFsI/AAAAAAADFdc/h5-_0ypGEcQfLge-oMMe-TJ6K4lrcP6ywCLcBGAs/s1600/Mexico-45.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1153&quot; data-original-width=&quot;810&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-prBFe0T7Iis/Wr6cy6ofFsI/AAAAAAADFdc/h5-_0ypGEcQfLge-oMMe-TJ6K4lrcP6ywCLcBGAs/s400/Mexico-45.jpg&quot; width=&quot;280&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2773. &lt;br /&gt;
  2774. Throughout the 2 1/2-hour evening, the audience yells, cheers, boos, and celebrates when, inevitably, good triumphs over evil. Satisfied, we all then stumble into the night, ears ringing, blood pumping - ready for the next time Lucha Libre comes to town.&lt;br /&gt;
  2775. &lt;br /&gt;
  2776. &lt;i&gt;There is much more to remember from this past visit and, of course, I hope to return soon!&lt;/i&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2777. &lt;br /&gt;
  2778. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2779. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-TrlI5258_2M/Wr6dGwkOZcI/AAAAAAADFdg/juo_yohWXAcf_B3OBPQJlAG3xyaMKaZTwCLcBGAs/s1600/Mexico-62.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;757&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1136&quot; height=&quot;266&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-TrlI5258_2M/Wr6dGwkOZcI/AAAAAAADFdg/juo_yohWXAcf_B3OBPQJlAG3xyaMKaZTwCLcBGAs/s400/Mexico-62.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2780. </content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/feeds/144528157382480007/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=3563950890480925834&amp;postID=144528157382480007' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/144528157382480007'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/144528157382480007'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/2018/03/mexico-2018.html' title='Mexico - 2018'/><author><name>highway163</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/09874578884935438341</uri><email>noreply@blogger.com</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='16' height='16' src='https://img1.blogblog.com/img/b16-rounded.gif'/></author><media:thumbnail xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/" url="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-zMxs955HM40/Wr6bg2lsHQI/AAAAAAADFcw/AmiTJmIewqg_TdbpymaK3QhFvez6Rf00ACLcBGAs/s72-c/Mexico-32.jpg" height="72" width="72"/><thr:total>0</thr:total><georss:featurename>Santiago de Querétaro, Qro., Mexico</georss:featurename><georss:point>20.5887932 -100.38988810000001</georss:point><georss:box>20.3509987 -100.7126116 20.8265877 -100.06716460000001</georss:box></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3563950890480925834.post-7926503975611497979</id><published>2017-12-24T10:37:00.002-08:00</published><updated>2017-12-24T10:40:06.663-08:00</updated><title type='text'>2017 Holiday Newsletter</title><content type='html'>&lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2781. &lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1325&quot; data-original-width=&quot;918&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-oZ7aL6GPeto/Wj_xagfaOAI/AAAAAAADC6c/nmJHF8oLR0wA1obkFLkvaINUCsleBQnNACLcBGAs/s400/holiday-2017.png&quot; width=&quot;276&quot; /&gt;&lt;span id=&quot;goog_84870123&quot;&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/wooda/2017-Newsletter.pdf&quot;&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;span id=&quot;goog_84870124&quot;&gt;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2782. Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy holiday season - and looking forward to a joyous 2018! In the meantime, feel free to check out the &lt;a href=&quot;http://www.sjsu.edu/faculty/wooda/2017-Newsletter.pdf&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;Wood family holiday newsletter&lt;/a&gt;.</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/feeds/7926503975611497979/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=3563950890480925834&amp;postID=7926503975611497979' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/7926503975611497979'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/7926503975611497979'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/2017/12/2017-holiday-newsletter.html' title='2017 Holiday Newsletter'/><author><name>highway163</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/09874578884935438341</uri><email>noreply@blogger.com</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='16' height='16' src='https://img1.blogblog.com/img/b16-rounded.gif'/></author><media:thumbnail xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/" url="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-oZ7aL6GPeto/Wj_xagfaOAI/AAAAAAADC6c/nmJHF8oLR0wA1obkFLkvaINUCsleBQnNACLcBGAs/s72-c/holiday-2017.png" height="72" width="72"/><thr:total>0</thr:total></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3563950890480925834.post-5906752998222510616</id><published>2017-11-20T14:21:00.000-08:00</published><updated>2017-12-29T14:31:00.968-08:00</updated><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="Detroit"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="street art"/><title type='text'>Detroit Street Art (2017): Part 2</title><content type='html'>Here are some more examples of Detroit street art found during our November 2017 visit.&lt;br /&gt;
  2783. &lt;br /&gt;
  2784. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2785. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-PKsICTZUJbM/Wka-VM1zptI/AAAAAAADDPU/C2v85DJuxJomII3L5DAxDDFNfD5wEpt2wCEwYBhgL/s1600/Detroit-5.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1440&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-PKsICTZUJbM/Wka-VM1zptI/AAAAAAADDPU/C2v85DJuxJomII3L5DAxDDFNfD5wEpt2wCEwYBhgL/s400/Detroit-5.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2786. &lt;br /&gt;
  2787. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2788. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-KU_HdWScIHs/WkbAMOw_jPI/AAAAAAADDQM/UPCjZNOuUts5fjJe_fnrrgeOO398MzFCQCLcBGAs/s1600/Detroit-22.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;956&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;265&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-KU_HdWScIHs/WkbAMOw_jPI/AAAAAAADDQM/UPCjZNOuUts5fjJe_fnrrgeOO398MzFCQCLcBGAs/s400/Detroit-22.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  2790. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  2792. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-KGeyNRyeEDI/WkbAaae6nAI/AAAAAAADDQc/qlToNaRV2H0lvCPv8thXBIhzGmnWwzy3gCLcBGAs/s1600/Detroit-25.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1440&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-KGeyNRyeEDI/WkbAaae6nAI/AAAAAAADDQc/qlToNaRV2H0lvCPv8thXBIhzGmnWwzy3gCLcBGAs/s400/Detroit-25.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2793. &lt;br /&gt;
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  2795. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-OnFSqafs51k/WkbAZjh86LI/AAAAAAADDQU/tzspBcRPcUo9Q0VQbFUlfqkMK2JysVvEQCLcBGAs/s1600/Detroit-26.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;956&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;265&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-OnFSqafs51k/WkbAZjh86LI/AAAAAAADDQU/tzspBcRPcUo9Q0VQbFUlfqkMK2JysVvEQCLcBGAs/s400/Detroit-26.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2796. &lt;br /&gt;
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  2798. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-4MtZjGvJU_I/WkbAZtvnTVI/AAAAAAADDQY/59AmsrOE19cW29DEwn6zI180qLTkRwz5QCLcBGAs/s1600/Detroit-27.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-4MtZjGvJU_I/WkbAZtvnTVI/AAAAAAADDQY/59AmsrOE19cW29DEwn6zI180qLTkRwz5QCLcBGAs/s400/Detroit-27.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  2800. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  2802. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-xIwpv6Ekv58/WkbAgPiLMjI/AAAAAAADDQo/T8wgrKv61YEvPy-QzSIrm8m67KBZAyasgCLcBGAs/s1600/Detroit-30.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;956&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;265&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-xIwpv6Ekv58/WkbAgPiLMjI/AAAAAAADDQo/T8wgrKv61YEvPy-QzSIrm8m67KBZAyasgCLcBGAs/s400/Detroit-30.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2803. &lt;br /&gt;
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  2805. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-hSqPW7hMtzU/WkbAfl8CIyI/AAAAAAADDQk/SP993xGH0fAN4xwf49DXlgOK_u6tkzfOACLcBGAs/s1600/Detroit-28.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;956&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;265&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-hSqPW7hMtzU/WkbAfl8CIyI/AAAAAAADDQk/SP993xGH0fAN4xwf49DXlgOK_u6tkzfOACLcBGAs/s400/Detroit-28.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2806. &lt;br /&gt;
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  2808. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-sXNGWqdL8Yg/WkbAe_axS3I/AAAAAAADDQg/4841fD1y5NwzyPrZOZls1hryE1-5xnftQCLcBGAs/s1600/Detroit-29.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;956&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;265&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-sXNGWqdL8Yg/WkbAe_axS3I/AAAAAAADDQg/4841fD1y5NwzyPrZOZls1hryE1-5xnftQCLcBGAs/s400/Detroit-29.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  2810. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  2812. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-VH8tgXuVq-I/WkbAvwWQdHI/AAAAAAADDQw/KmYCgKtvX0YcxISfPsJi4lfYS8Tay8v1ACLcBGAs/s1600/Detroit-33.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-VH8tgXuVq-I/WkbAvwWQdHI/AAAAAAADDQw/KmYCgKtvX0YcxISfPsJi4lfYS8Tay8v1ACLcBGAs/s400/Detroit-33.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  2814. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  2816. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-LA7jnZe2ha8/WkbA3Rj3p3I/AAAAAAADDQ0/Z03SFOZUCecfKRnMPwxPpuI-IHaRH0nMACLcBGAs/s1600/Detroit-40.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;956&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;265&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-LA7jnZe2ha8/WkbA3Rj3p3I/AAAAAAADDQ0/Z03SFOZUCecfKRnMPwxPpuI-IHaRH0nMACLcBGAs/s400/Detroit-40.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  2818. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  2820. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-KR0SGUqH4T0/WkbAMhl6TgI/AAAAAAADDQQ/1IKjXFZ76mgyo9xKtD1WModY7AQ7V1mXACLcBGAs/s1600/Detroit-23.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1440&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-KR0SGUqH4T0/WkbAMhl6TgI/AAAAAAADDQQ/1IKjXFZ76mgyo9xKtD1WModY7AQ7V1mXACLcBGAs/s400/Detroit-23.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2821. &lt;br /&gt;</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/feeds/5906752998222510616/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=3563950890480925834&amp;postID=5906752998222510616' title='1 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/5906752998222510616'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/5906752998222510616'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/2017/11/detroit-street-art-2017-part-2.html' title='Detroit Street Art (2017): Part 2'/><author><name>highway163</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/09874578884935438341</uri><email>noreply@blogger.com</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='16' height='16' src='https://img1.blogblog.com/img/b16-rounded.gif'/></author><media:thumbnail xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/" url="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-PKsICTZUJbM/Wka-VM1zptI/AAAAAAADDPU/C2v85DJuxJomII3L5DAxDDFNfD5wEpt2wCEwYBhgL/s72-c/Detroit-5.jpg" height="72" width="72"/><thr:total>1</thr:total><georss:featurename>Detroit, MI, USA</georss:featurename><georss:point>42.331427 -83.0457538</georss:point><georss:box>42.143674499999996 -83.3684773 42.5191795 -82.7230303</georss:box></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3563950890480925834.post-1774910096769495316</id><published>2017-11-19T14:11:00.000-08:00</published><updated>2017-12-29T14:19:39.736-08:00</updated><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="Detroit"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="street art"/><title type='text'>Detroit Street Art (2017): Part 1</title><content type='html'>Here are some favorite examples of Detroit street art found during our November 2017 visit.&lt;br /&gt;
  2822. &lt;br /&gt;
  2823. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2824. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qxlJtB1FJ7I/Wka-cNj0fgI/AAAAAAADDPY/FZgx36PyZwQ4ET63jz-Z0fgmI6b9Pxq-QCLcBGAs/s1600/Detroit-10.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qxlJtB1FJ7I/Wka-cNj0fgI/AAAAAAADDPY/FZgx36PyZwQ4ET63jz-Z0fgmI6b9Pxq-QCLcBGAs/s400/Detroit-10.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  2826. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  2828. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-6jRF39wERk8/Wka-1Bl_AOI/AAAAAAADDPo/hVZUc4TpN14o9a4fPyAq01o2w6LqMw3QQCLcBGAs/s1600/Detroit-15.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-6jRF39wERk8/Wka-1Bl_AOI/AAAAAAADDPo/hVZUc4TpN14o9a4fPyAq01o2w6LqMw3QQCLcBGAs/s400/Detroit-15.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2829. &lt;br /&gt;
  2830. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2831. &lt;a href=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-V1SI0JNfAIg/Wka-lb5D5MI/AAAAAAADDPc/HDkRfmLkZDAK3UelEq_VHzaLl00qJ0p3gCLcBGAs/s1600/Detroit-8.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;970&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;268&quot; src=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-V1SI0JNfAIg/Wka-lb5D5MI/AAAAAAADDPc/HDkRfmLkZDAK3UelEq_VHzaLl00qJ0p3gCLcBGAs/s400/Detroit-8.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2832. &lt;br /&gt;
  2833. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2834. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-kKnooJl4GSg/Wka-l0tZlFI/AAAAAAADDPg/UBwwj6_jDs0zdyTlj4FtG6ODmWkrlxnyACLcBGAs/s1600/Detroit-9.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1440&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-kKnooJl4GSg/Wka-l0tZlFI/AAAAAAADDPg/UBwwj6_jDs0zdyTlj4FtG6ODmWkrlxnyACLcBGAs/s400/Detroit-9.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  2838. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-IMs3aAa6qeM/Wka-1fcs7wI/AAAAAAADDPw/Zm7NAXEIkRsDYmrYeHibUGsav5hZzsFdgCLcBGAs/s1600/Detroit-14.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-IMs3aAa6qeM/Wka-1fcs7wI/AAAAAAADDPw/Zm7NAXEIkRsDYmrYeHibUGsav5hZzsFdgCLcBGAs/s400/Detroit-14.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2839. &lt;br /&gt;
  2840. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2841. &lt;a href=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-MtQw203cUmo/Wka-1SoJwwI/AAAAAAADDPs/QaL5a7axUR4DW-uVZBdudjFSwgmrQINzwCLcBGAs/s1600/Detroit-16.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-MtQw203cUmo/Wka-1SoJwwI/AAAAAAADDPs/QaL5a7axUR4DW-uVZBdudjFSwgmrQINzwCLcBGAs/s400/Detroit-16.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2842. &lt;br /&gt;
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  2844. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-7A1aQOQ09GE/Wka-5q7LulI/AAAAAAADDP0/cCzKRWADelwtmaMd7W-CUAT7ssH6Ua58ACLcBGAs/s1600/Detroit-17.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-7A1aQOQ09GE/Wka-5q7LulI/AAAAAAADDP0/cCzKRWADelwtmaMd7W-CUAT7ssH6Ua58ACLcBGAs/s400/Detroit-17.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2845. &lt;br /&gt;
  2846. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2847. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-io0CuWNuYLU/Wka-68YoP0I/AAAAAAADDP4/SBVeVh8ReFUn39_4XN8yT1nWgW8roQ9uACLcBGAs/s1600/Detroit-19.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-io0CuWNuYLU/Wka-68YoP0I/AAAAAAADDP4/SBVeVh8ReFUn39_4XN8yT1nWgW8roQ9uACLcBGAs/s400/Detroit-19.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2848. &lt;br /&gt;
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  2850. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-IFYU_8CXViE/Wka-8WnGZ3I/AAAAAAADDQA/6bH-jejqPugYNyMRQ9BJ3smEAYgiYMTGwCLcBGAs/s1600/Detroit-20.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-IFYU_8CXViE/Wka-8WnGZ3I/AAAAAAADDQA/6bH-jejqPugYNyMRQ9BJ3smEAYgiYMTGwCLcBGAs/s400/Detroit-20.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  2852. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2853. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2854. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oXEwn-Z5aYw/Wka-612O4GI/AAAAAAADDP8/pH477fOwCswtYTRjeOkpaLsNUgMXPQpuQCLcBGAs/s1600/Detroit-18.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-oXEwn-Z5aYw/Wka-612O4GI/AAAAAAADDP8/pH477fOwCswtYTRjeOkpaLsNUgMXPQpuQCLcBGAs/s400/Detroit-18.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2855. </content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/feeds/1774910096769495316/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=3563950890480925834&amp;postID=1774910096769495316' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/1774910096769495316'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/1774910096769495316'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/2017/11/detroit-street-art-2017-part-1.html' title='Detroit Street Art (2017): Part 1'/><author><name>highway163</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/09874578884935438341</uri><email>noreply@blogger.com</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='16' height='16' src='https://img1.blogblog.com/img/b16-rounded.gif'/></author><media:thumbnail xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/" url="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-qxlJtB1FJ7I/Wka-cNj0fgI/AAAAAAADDPY/FZgx36PyZwQ4ET63jz-Z0fgmI6b9Pxq-QCLcBGAs/s72-c/Detroit-10.jpg" height="72" width="72"/><thr:total>0</thr:total><georss:featurename>Detroit, MI, USA</georss:featurename><georss:point>42.331427 -83.0457538</georss:point><georss:box>42.143674499999996 -83.3684773 42.5191795 -82.7230303</georss:box></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3563950890480925834.post-1324063037155457403</id><published>2017-07-24T17:38:00.000-07:00</published><updated>2017-12-29T11:09:12.960-08:00</updated><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="Europe 2017"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="Israel"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="trip summaries"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="West Bank"/><title type='text'>Summer Travels - 2017</title><content type='html'>&lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2856. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-AASMB1QXcfQ/WkWsNaREcYI/AAAAAAADDI4/DICtrsrK2hwWxO8hnREVrIiTzHDvVKodwCLcBGAs/s1600/Slovenia-150.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-AASMB1QXcfQ/WkWsNaREcYI/AAAAAAADDI4/DICtrsrK2hwWxO8hnREVrIiTzHDvVKodwCLcBGAs/s400/Slovenia-150.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2857. &lt;br /&gt;
  2858. Here&#39;s a collection of photos and stories from our 2017 travels through Finland, Israel, the West Bank, and Slovenia&lt;br /&gt;
  2859. &lt;br /&gt;
  2860. • &lt;a href=&quot;http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/2017/06/europe-2017-finland.html&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;Finland&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2861. &lt;br /&gt;
  2862. • &lt;a href=&quot;http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/2017/06/europe-2017-jerusalem.html&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;Jerusalem&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2863. &lt;br /&gt;
  2864. • &lt;a href=&quot;http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/2017/06/europe-2017-jerusalem-additional-pix.html&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;Jerusalem (additional pix)&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2865. &lt;br /&gt;
  2866. • &lt;a href=&quot;http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/2017/06/europe-2017-jerusalem-street-art.html&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;Jerusalem Street Art&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2867. &lt;br /&gt;
  2868. • &lt;a href=&quot;http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/2017/06/europe-2017-west-bank.html&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;West Bank&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2869. &lt;br /&gt;
  2870. • &lt;a href=&quot;http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/2017/06/europe-2017-walled-off-hotel.html&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;Walled Off Hotel&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2871. &lt;br /&gt;
  2872. • &lt;a href=&quot;http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/2017/06/europe-2017-bethlehem-street-art.html&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;Bethlehem Street Art&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2873. &lt;br /&gt;
  2874. • &lt;a href=&quot;http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/2017/07/summer-travels-2017-welcome-to-slovenia.html&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;Welcome to Slovenia!&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2875. &lt;br /&gt;
  2876. • &lt;a href=&quot;http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/2017/07/summer-travels-2017-ljubljana-street-art.html&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;Ljubljana Street Art&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2877. &lt;br /&gt;
  2878. • &lt;a href=&quot;http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/2017/07/summer-travels-2017-slovenia-road-trip.html&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;Slovenia Road Trip (Part 1)&lt;/a&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  2879. &lt;br /&gt;
  2880. • &lt;a href=&quot;http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/2017/07/summer-travels-2017-slovenia-road-trip_17.html&quot; target=&quot;_blank&quot;&gt;Slovenia Road Trip (Part 2)&lt;/a&gt;</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/feeds/1324063037155457403/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=3563950890480925834&amp;postID=1324063037155457403' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/1324063037155457403'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/1324063037155457403'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/2017/07/europe-israelwest-bank-2017.html' title='Summer Travels - 2017'/><author><name>highway163</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/09874578884935438341</uri><email>noreply@blogger.com</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='16' height='16' src='https://img1.blogblog.com/img/b16-rounded.gif'/></author><media:thumbnail xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/" url="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-AASMB1QXcfQ/WkWsNaREcYI/AAAAAAADDI4/DICtrsrK2hwWxO8hnREVrIiTzHDvVKodwCLcBGAs/s72-c/Slovenia-150.jpg" height="72" width="72"/><thr:total>0</thr:total></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3563950890480925834.post-7833265638885298601</id><published>2017-07-17T10:47:00.000-07:00</published><updated>2017-12-29T10:57:41.057-08:00</updated><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="Europe 2017"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="Slovenia"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="trip summaries"/><title type='text'>Summer Travels - 2017: Slovenia Road Trip (Part 2)</title><content type='html'>&lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2881. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-rE-HwlGBtLo/WkaOLYQH96I/AAAAAAADDKg/RMKjRYWX7oUyyIc9EYZ893v0V5gE1dlvQCLcBGAs/s1600/Slovenia-122.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-rE-HwlGBtLo/WkaOLYQH96I/AAAAAAADDKg/RMKjRYWX7oUyyIc9EYZ893v0V5gE1dlvQCLcBGAs/s400/Slovenia-122.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2882. &lt;br /&gt;
  2883. Such a nice Slovenia weekend! After touring Škocjan Caves and nearby Piran on Friday, I awoke Saturday for a quick drive to Hrastovlje’s Holy Trinity Church, a 15th century (some say 12th century) Romanesque holy place surrounded by stone fortifications that once protected against Turkish invasion.&lt;br /&gt;
  2884. &lt;br /&gt;
  2885. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2886. &lt;a href=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-5IXzaMTrTp8/WkaOU6zXJwI/AAAAAAADDKk/MVPMwUgGYEAv3XsrbAP7QqkTkNnVKSTJACLcBGAs/s1600/Slovenia-124.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-5IXzaMTrTp8/WkaOU6zXJwI/AAAAAAADDKk/MVPMwUgGYEAv3XsrbAP7QqkTkNnVKSTJACLcBGAs/s400/Slovenia-124.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2887. &lt;br /&gt;
  2888. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2889. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-S6UE7PqJKJY/WkaOkQN5KUI/AAAAAAADDKo/DRxB1DUC6QgWPgoLTAJQSyikBRzHZ8MCgCLcBGAs/s1600/Slovenia-128.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-S6UE7PqJKJY/WkaOkQN5KUI/AAAAAAADDKo/DRxB1DUC6QgWPgoLTAJQSyikBRzHZ8MCgCLcBGAs/s400/Slovenia-128.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  2893. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-rBOViXrcPic/WkaOr9hVluI/AAAAAAADDKw/uY130DxG69ozNJyBkD_QqluESpgvH29uQCLcBGAs/s1600/Slovenia-127.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-rBOViXrcPic/WkaOr9hVluI/AAAAAAADDKw/uY130DxG69ozNJyBkD_QqluESpgvH29uQCLcBGAs/s400/Slovenia-127.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  2895. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2896. Outside is a bleak, forbidden place. Inside, though, Johannes de Castua’s frescos, most notably the &quot;Danse Macabre,” practically glow with color. Amazingly they had been covered with plaster and only rediscovered in 1949. The dance is a reminder that no one, beggar or king, escapes death. We are fated to face our mortality, and not one or a thousand and one pieces of gold will save us.&lt;br /&gt;
  2897. &lt;br /&gt;
  2898. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2899. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Zmx0L_yYj7c/WkaO3az7iqI/AAAAAAADDK0/apuSLiHf_XgBL0tt_Mx4HvhlQM7ssD8HgCLcBGAs/s1600/Slovenia-134.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Zmx0L_yYj7c/WkaO3az7iqI/AAAAAAADDK0/apuSLiHf_XgBL0tt_Mx4HvhlQM7ssD8HgCLcBGAs/s400/Slovenia-134.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2900. &lt;br /&gt;
  2901. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2902. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-sQwCXVSrIjw/WkaPi0bzgLI/AAAAAAADDLM/zJ_kBw4sPXUuKpSceIuCBiuaV3zepkRCACLcBGAs/s1600/Slovenia-147.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-sQwCXVSrIjw/WkaPi0bzgLI/AAAAAAADDLM/zJ_kBw4sPXUuKpSceIuCBiuaV3zepkRCACLcBGAs/s400/Slovenia-147.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  2905. &lt;br /&gt;
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  2907. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-KeOeKFPKvYw/WkaPDIrPDWI/AAAAAAADDK8/IqQ9wBxqsXQ_gl1WtmvhBzO88uXMA-sIwCLcBGAs/s1600/Slovenia-131.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;810&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-KeOeKFPKvYw/WkaPDIrPDWI/AAAAAAADDK8/IqQ9wBxqsXQ_gl1WtmvhBzO88uXMA-sIwCLcBGAs/s400/Slovenia-131.jpg&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2908. &lt;br /&gt;
  2909. On that happy note, I drove north in search of the emerald waters of Triglav National Park, hiking to visit Slap Kozjak waterfall and take a swim before staying the night in Bovec, a charming alpine village. My apartment was far enough from the central part of town that I needed to walk a narrow footpath alongside flocks of sheep grazing on viridescent grass. At night, I joined the crowd for a concert of accordion players and folk-dancers.&lt;br /&gt;
  2910. &lt;br /&gt;
  2911. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2912. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Y7LJrUJ7bgw/WkaPTKHkpQI/AAAAAAADDLI/-K7JRd1clQ4uFzmSlz_25ZpCrCTt_CDwwCLcBGAs/s1600/Slovenia-136.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;810&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-Y7LJrUJ7bgw/WkaPTKHkpQI/AAAAAAADDLI/-K7JRd1clQ4uFzmSlz_25ZpCrCTt_CDwwCLcBGAs/s400/Slovenia-136.jpg&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  2916. The next morning I tackled the 50 hairpin turns of Vršič Pass. Twisting the narrow path alongside bikers and the occasional tour bus, the summit and descent was easily the scariest drive I ever made. A highlight was the chance to visit the wooden Russian Orthodox chapel built to commemorate the WWI POWs who died in their efforts to construct the road.&lt;br /&gt;
  2917. &lt;br /&gt;
  2918. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2919. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-KOSDkVSRgfY/WkaPrnI6wCI/AAAAAAADDLQ/dXOEqqzR2YkXUADFH-cX8cp7x8-Xvon-ACLcBGAs/s1600/Slovenia-143.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-KOSDkVSRgfY/WkaPrnI6wCI/AAAAAAADDLQ/dXOEqqzR2YkXUADFH-cX8cp7x8-Xvon-ACLcBGAs/s400/Slovenia-143.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2920. </content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/feeds/7833265638885298601/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=3563950890480925834&amp;postID=7833265638885298601' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/7833265638885298601'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/7833265638885298601'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/2017/07/summer-travels-2017-slovenia-road-trip_17.html' title='Summer Travels - 2017: Slovenia Road Trip (Part 2)'/><author><name>highway163</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/09874578884935438341</uri><email>noreply@blogger.com</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='16' height='16' src='https://img1.blogblog.com/img/b16-rounded.gif'/></author><media:thumbnail xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/" url="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-rE-HwlGBtLo/WkaOLYQH96I/AAAAAAADDKg/RMKjRYWX7oUyyIc9EYZ893v0V5gE1dlvQCLcBGAs/s72-c/Slovenia-122.jpg" height="72" width="72"/><thr:total>0</thr:total><georss:featurename>Slovenia</georss:featurename><georss:point>46.151241 14.995462999999972</georss:point><georss:box>44.7431695 12.413675999999972 47.5593125 17.577249999999971</georss:box></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3563950890480925834.post-828455094974135294</id><published>2017-07-14T22:30:00.000-07:00</published><updated>2017-12-29T10:45:33.078-08:00</updated><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="Europe 2017"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="Slovenia"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="trip summaries"/><title type='text'>Summer Travels - 2017: Slovenia Road Trip (Part 1)</title><content type='html'>&lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2921. &lt;a href=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-sEJwS1fa4rg/WkaMHuOfKZI/AAAAAAADDKA/yTtRSj9864wuYHL1iuEdegs6ELY7lB-AQCLcBGAs/s1600/Slovenia-112.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-sEJwS1fa4rg/WkaMHuOfKZI/AAAAAAADDKA/yTtRSj9864wuYHL1iuEdegs6ELY7lB-AQCLcBGAs/s400/Slovenia-112.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2922. &lt;br /&gt;
  2923. One of those wonderful days… Woke up to rippling grey skies and buckets of rain but grabbed a rental car anyway, and I’m glad I did. By mid-afternoon, I’d joined a tour of Škocjan Caves, quickly made awestruck by the towering caverns and the twisting walkways lit up in orange - and more than a little sweaty by the hike up and out of the gorge.&lt;br /&gt;
  2924. &lt;br /&gt;
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  2926. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-XNNAEJNWeqw/WkaMTxqB_aI/AAAAAAADDKE/wygHuIpvW2sI8XwnI36zVG-SamnhM3kMACLcBGAs/s1600/Slovenia-120.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-XNNAEJNWeqw/WkaMTxqB_aI/AAAAAAADDKE/wygHuIpvW2sI8XwnI36zVG-SamnhM3kMACLcBGAs/s400/Slovenia-120.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  2929. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-zNP8y9OlgIg/WkaMvp-gzRI/AAAAAAADDKQ/1_l6D2A4hjo89jnQDpnxWOQXGoKVkc2WACLcBGAs/s1600/Slovenia-116.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;810&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-zNP8y9OlgIg/WkaMvp-gzRI/AAAAAAADDKQ/1_l6D2A4hjo89jnQDpnxWOQXGoKVkc2WACLcBGAs/s400/Slovenia-116.jpg&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  2932. I then made my way a bit further south to Piran on the Adriatic, climbing to St. George&#39;s Parish Church and then ordering up pizza by the beach under a blazing blue sky. Ahh, Piran: a slice of Venice in Slovenia (without the Venetian tourist prices). I must say, the highlight of the day was the chance to dip my feet into a tank of Garra Rufa (aka “doctor fish”) who ravished my feet of dead skin, tickling me for about a half hour and leaving me afterward wishing I didn’t have to put my socks and shoes back on.&lt;br /&gt;
  2933. &lt;br /&gt;
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  2935. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WVEt4i0zBbQ/WkaMfT2K6oI/AAAAAAADDKI/O8JUF-3n3c8AaIK5xyI6kI1FQCu9JkbXwCEwYBhgL/s1600/Slovenia-111.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1440&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WVEt4i0zBbQ/WkaMfT2K6oI/AAAAAAADDKI/O8JUF-3n3c8AaIK5xyI6kI1FQCu9JkbXwCEwYBhgL/s400/Slovenia-111.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  2939. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-78KEL2uugZc/WkaNHcGUYzI/AAAAAAADDKU/hI3A_j2lC6kRVdpuAx6IJPV4HA2LY5iMgCLcBGAs/s1600/Slovenia-117.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1440&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-78KEL2uugZc/WkaNHcGUYzI/AAAAAAADDKU/hI3A_j2lC6kRVdpuAx6IJPV4HA2LY5iMgCLcBGAs/s400/Slovenia-117.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  2942. Now I’m at my abode for the night, Guest House Pod Slavnikom, sort of a roadhouse well away from the beach traffic, with its own bar serving up plenty of Laško to celebrate a delightful day on the road. Now the clouds are returning, purple, pink, and bulging with rain. Such a lovely breeze.</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/feeds/828455094974135294/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=3563950890480925834&amp;postID=828455094974135294' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/828455094974135294'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/828455094974135294'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/2017/07/summer-travels-2017-slovenia-road-trip.html' title='Summer Travels - 2017: Slovenia Road Trip (Part 1)'/><author><name>highway163</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/09874578884935438341</uri><email>noreply@blogger.com</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='16' height='16' src='https://img1.blogblog.com/img/b16-rounded.gif'/></author><media:thumbnail xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/" url="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-sEJwS1fa4rg/WkaMHuOfKZI/AAAAAAADDKA/yTtRSj9864wuYHL1iuEdegs6ELY7lB-AQCLcBGAs/s72-c/Slovenia-112.jpg" height="72" width="72"/><thr:total>0</thr:total><georss:featurename>Slovenia</georss:featurename><georss:point>46.151241 14.995462999999972</georss:point><georss:box>44.7431695 12.413675999999972 47.5593125 17.577249999999971</georss:box></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3563950890480925834.post-1771299206470675746</id><published>2017-07-05T11:00:00.000-07:00</published><updated>2017-12-29T11:08:16.913-08:00</updated><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="Europe 2017"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="Slovenia"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="street art"/><title type='text'>Summer Travels - 2017: Ljubljana Street Art</title><content type='html'>Here are some of my favorite examples of&amp;nbsp;Ljubljana Street Art.&lt;br /&gt;
  2943. &lt;br /&gt;
  2944. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2945. &lt;a href=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-vlfItYr81XM/WkaRqVl-PnI/AAAAAAADDLg/rAAOU7Z-zmIfgaZq-3MukPQCtES6WYMBwCLcBGAs/s1600/Slovenia-9.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-vlfItYr81XM/WkaRqVl-PnI/AAAAAAADDLg/rAAOU7Z-zmIfgaZq-3MukPQCtES6WYMBwCLcBGAs/s400/Slovenia-9.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  2949. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-uR45Wr_nEOw/WkaR0wlEB5I/AAAAAAADDLk/E3U_WLuswuk4wjsVXDt98U4jXchpVNyCQCLcBGAs/s1600/Slovenia-11.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-uR45Wr_nEOw/WkaR0wlEB5I/AAAAAAADDLk/E3U_WLuswuk4wjsVXDt98U4jXchpVNyCQCLcBGAs/s400/Slovenia-11.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  2952. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-637qPtc69RQ/WkaR99l18lI/AAAAAAADDLo/2wxBwTJy2wIcDTclJmHBe-5_78AfbetEgCLcBGAs/s1600/Slovenia-15.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-637qPtc69RQ/WkaR99l18lI/AAAAAAADDLo/2wxBwTJy2wIcDTclJmHBe-5_78AfbetEgCLcBGAs/s400/Slovenia-15.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  2960. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ukoFLAR-wyM/WkaSg07Fa5I/AAAAAAADDL4/frk6uJBQwGwDhII-nqYypCKvAWlVQkT6ACLcBGAs/s1600/Slovenia-53.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;810&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-ukoFLAR-wyM/WkaSg07Fa5I/AAAAAAADDL4/frk6uJBQwGwDhII-nqYypCKvAWlVQkT6ACLcBGAs/s400/Slovenia-53.jpg&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  2964. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-VB4z9M7VPv8/WkaSLKHLMjI/AAAAAAADDLw/8nqkm_ebjyoVZdxLAX_AJwIzwCGzIVowgCLcBGAs/s1600/Slovenia-25.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;810&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-VB4z9M7VPv8/WkaSLKHLMjI/AAAAAAADDLw/8nqkm_ebjyoVZdxLAX_AJwIzwCGzIVowgCLcBGAs/s400/Slovenia-25.jpg&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2965. </content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/feeds/1771299206470675746/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=3563950890480925834&amp;postID=1771299206470675746' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/1771299206470675746'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/1771299206470675746'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/2017/07/summer-travels-2017-ljubljana-street-art.html' title='Summer Travels - 2017: Ljubljana Street Art'/><author><name>highway163</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/09874578884935438341</uri><email>noreply@blogger.com</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='16' height='16' src='https://img1.blogblog.com/img/b16-rounded.gif'/></author><media:thumbnail xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/" url="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-vlfItYr81XM/WkaRqVl-PnI/AAAAAAADDLg/rAAOU7Z-zmIfgaZq-3MukPQCtES6WYMBwCLcBGAs/s72-c/Slovenia-9.jpg" height="72" width="72"/><thr:total>0</thr:total><georss:featurename>Ljubljana, Slovenia</georss:featurename><georss:point>46.0569465 14.505751499999974</georss:point><georss:box>45.8806735 14.183027999999974 46.233219500000004 14.828474999999974</georss:box></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3563950890480925834.post-6126756862623744699</id><published>2017-07-04T10:23:00.000-07:00</published><updated>2017-12-29T11:10:07.080-08:00</updated><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="Europe 2017"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="Slovenia"/><title type='text'>Summer Travels - 2017: Welcome to Slovenia!</title><content type='html'>&lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2966. &lt;/div&gt;
  2967. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  2968. &lt;a href=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-JBm81JDchFI/WkaJ-sv1lvI/AAAAAAADDJs/1LH4BNzPMokmB9M2-sIVFWLiJHctOz6BQCLcBGAs/s1600/Slovenia-94.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-JBm81JDchFI/WkaJ-sv1lvI/AAAAAAADDJs/1LH4BNzPMokmB9M2-sIVFWLiJHctOz6BQCLcBGAs/s400/Slovenia-94.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  2969. &lt;br /&gt;
  2970. I love it when a city starts to knit itself together. Thanks to Dennis Jaehne (and Jenny!), I’m getting my head around the bus system and developing a set of landmarks to guide my paths. The building that looks like an “escalator to nowhere” is always a handy waypoint, and I’m finally coming to understand the importance of Plato’s as a central jumping off point. It’s funny when someone routinely refers to a landmark, and you know it’s important, but you can’t latch onto it until you need it. Now I see what Dennis meant!&lt;br /&gt;
  2971. &lt;br /&gt;
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  2973. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-1xTyd1l7MfI/WkaI70D_eGI/AAAAAAADDJQ/NHPzm3cnpJUsr9kOfROn5Gy1sowZYwjqACLcBGAs/s1600/Slovenia-85.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1440&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-1xTyd1l7MfI/WkaI70D_eGI/AAAAAAADDJQ/NHPzm3cnpJUsr9kOfROn5Gy1sowZYwjqACLcBGAs/s400/Slovenia-85.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  2981. &lt;a href=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-qGxWw-jb0GA/WkaKToeDjVI/AAAAAAADDJ0/P9hq9Lz0i9MG1Fk_58CVfQaO_NpTlVhcgCLcBGAs/s1600/Slovenia-109.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-qGxWw-jb0GA/WkaKToeDjVI/AAAAAAADDJ0/P9hq9Lz0i9MG1Fk_58CVfQaO_NpTlVhcgCLcBGAs/s400/Slovenia-109.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  2984. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-J6lFprWadxw/WkaKOHO_mOI/AAAAAAADDJw/W8oZm134XokN_mwLEsu7LglkQmMJFlOUgCLcBGAs/s1600/Slovenia-107.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1440&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-J6lFprWadxw/WkaKOHO_mOI/AAAAAAADDJw/W8oZm134XokN_mwLEsu7LglkQmMJFlOUgCLcBGAs/s400/Slovenia-107.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  2987. That’s pretty much a theme here, gratitude for his advice that I add Slovenia to my repertoire of experiences. Ljubljana is perfectly lovely: a safe, laid-back river-town with promenades perfect for al fresco dining, a bicycler’s paradise, and a city quite friendly for visitors who only speak English. Oh, and the prices for food, drink, and trinkets are amazingly reasonable. What&#39;s more, as a bus and train hub, Ljubljana allows easy access to some other gorgeous places, near and far.&lt;br /&gt;
  2988. &lt;br /&gt;
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  2990. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-sM-jVAGRNLs/WkaJtfqPghI/AAAAAAADDJo/n-za5weV3RsqIHMVLl95mQjGqZwH6TMNgCEwYBhgL/s1600/Slovenia-34.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-sM-jVAGRNLs/WkaJtfqPghI/AAAAAAADDJo/n-za5weV3RsqIHMVLl95mQjGqZwH6TMNgCEwYBhgL/s400/Slovenia-34.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  2993. </content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/feeds/6126756862623744699/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=3563950890480925834&amp;postID=6126756862623744699' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/6126756862623744699'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/6126756862623744699'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/2017/07/summer-travels-2017-welcome-to-slovenia.html' title='Summer Travels - 2017: Welcome to Slovenia!'/><author><name>highway163</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/09874578884935438341</uri><email>noreply@blogger.com</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='16' height='16' src='https://img1.blogblog.com/img/b16-rounded.gif'/></author><media:thumbnail xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/" url="https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-JBm81JDchFI/WkaJ-sv1lvI/AAAAAAADDJs/1LH4BNzPMokmB9M2-sIVFWLiJHctOz6BQCLcBGAs/s72-c/Slovenia-94.jpg" height="72" width="72"/><thr:total>0</thr:total><georss:featurename>Ljubljana, Slovenia</georss:featurename><georss:point>46.0569465 14.505751499999974</georss:point><georss:box>45.8806735 14.183027999999974 46.233219500000004 14.828474999999974</georss:box></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3563950890480925834.post-4714027354022822552</id><published>2017-06-30T16:47:00.000-07:00</published><updated>2017-12-28T17:55:20.974-08:00</updated><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="street art"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="West Bank"/><title type='text'>Summer Travels - 2017: Bethlehem Street Art</title><content type='html'>Here are some of my favorite examples of street art that we photographed during our 2017 visit to&amp;nbsp;Bethlehem.&lt;br /&gt;
  2994. &lt;br /&gt;
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  2996. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-QGI2bRRb0YU/WkWRZ0WTx9I/AAAAAAADDF8/FsjYb3cAxPMXg1cGuNgRMOIAEewMc-fdACLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-110.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;810&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-QGI2bRRb0YU/WkWRZ0WTx9I/AAAAAAADDF8/FsjYb3cAxPMXg1cGuNgRMOIAEewMc-fdACLcBGAs/s400/Israel-110.jpg&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  3000. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-JnMdXo_F9Fk/WkWR2XAO3lI/AAAAAAADDGE/Q7jov14fGRUayCg6K8Kj6TwQ6T3_RFLfgCLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-101.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1440&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-JnMdXo_F9Fk/WkWR2XAO3lI/AAAAAAADDGE/Q7jov14fGRUayCg6K8Kj6TwQ6T3_RFLfgCLcBGAs/s400/Israel-101.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  3004. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-5EQcY9Dq6xM/WkWR_zxzL7I/AAAAAAADDGM/K4LYn1bz4oEhm0a3joWub1MAqA9eX66cgCLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-109.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-5EQcY9Dq6xM/WkWR_zxzL7I/AAAAAAADDGM/K4LYn1bz4oEhm0a3joWub1MAqA9eX66cgCLcBGAs/s400/Israel-109.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  3008. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-7QkxTV96smI/WkWSIzLQgcI/AAAAAAADDGQ/jnI83Crnt7MC4kPdBeFFAkYNjZHVSSkPgCLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-125.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-7QkxTV96smI/WkWSIzLQgcI/AAAAAAADDGQ/jnI83Crnt7MC4kPdBeFFAkYNjZHVSSkPgCLcBGAs/s400/Israel-125.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  3012. &lt;a href=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-GspBaQJi4nQ/WkWSPLhEVPI/AAAAAAADDGU/nz9gE4vboxsSZXnrxMIJvuJ_4HePn_GTACLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-128.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;810&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-GspBaQJi4nQ/WkWSPLhEVPI/AAAAAAADDGU/nz9gE4vboxsSZXnrxMIJvuJ_4HePn_GTACLcBGAs/s400/Israel-128.jpg&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  3015. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-UGATCfWhsww/WkWSW70u3iI/AAAAAAADDGY/Ne-ygPS4dvwPiBYpqecEIWz-9lmoYGM7ACLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-137.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-UGATCfWhsww/WkWSW70u3iI/AAAAAAADDGY/Ne-ygPS4dvwPiBYpqecEIWz-9lmoYGM7ACLcBGAs/s400/Israel-137.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  3025. &lt;tr&gt;&lt;td style=&quot;text-align: center;&quot;&gt;&lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-r9y_i9_UaKE/WkWZj-4Q6TI/AAAAAAADDHo/EnJ4XWw4WdU2qNRZHn3aItdZ7gypiFjFwCLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-127-d.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1200&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1600&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-r9y_i9_UaKE/WkWZj-4Q6TI/AAAAAAADDHo/EnJ4XWw4WdU2qNRZHn3aItdZ7gypiFjFwCLcBGAs/s400/Israel-127-d.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/td&gt;&lt;/tr&gt;
  3026. &lt;tr&gt;&lt;td class=&quot;tr-caption&quot; style=&quot;text-align: center;&quot;&gt;Photo by Jenny Wood&lt;/td&gt;&lt;/tr&gt;
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  3031. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-qHXugJX_6sI/WkWRiDPFLOI/AAAAAAADDGA/xjX8v8Dbrg0vvc6UEUCiU8AmjB8WWzNNwCLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-124.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-qHXugJX_6sI/WkWRiDPFLOI/AAAAAAADDGA/xjX8v8Dbrg0vvc6UEUCiU8AmjB8WWzNNwCLcBGAs/s400/Israel-124.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  3032. &lt;br /&gt;</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/feeds/4714027354022822552/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=3563950890480925834&amp;postID=4714027354022822552' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/4714027354022822552'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/4714027354022822552'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/2017/06/europe-2017-bethlehem-street-art.html' title='Summer Travels - 2017: Bethlehem Street Art'/><author><name>highway163</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/09874578884935438341</uri><email>noreply@blogger.com</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='16' height='16' src='https://img1.blogblog.com/img/b16-rounded.gif'/></author><media:thumbnail xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/" url="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-QGI2bRRb0YU/WkWRZ0WTx9I/AAAAAAADDF8/FsjYb3cAxPMXg1cGuNgRMOIAEewMc-fdACLcBGAs/s72-c/Israel-110.jpg" height="72" width="72"/><thr:total>0</thr:total><georss:featurename>West Bank</georss:featurename><georss:point>31.9465703 35.302722600000038</georss:point><georss:box>30.2221078 32.72093560000004 33.6710328 37.884509600000037</georss:box></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3563950890480925834.post-4531603468413147208</id><published>2017-06-29T17:15:00.000-07:00</published><updated>2017-12-28T17:55:32.998-08:00</updated><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="West Bank"/><title type='text'>Summer Travels - 2017: Walled Off Hotel</title><content type='html'>A few more pix from Banksy&#39;s Walled Off Hotel (June, 2018)&lt;br /&gt;
  3033. &lt;br /&gt;
  3034. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  3035. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-8cnH-FBoVO8/WkWX1YW20fI/AAAAAAADDG0/ffu50HScF9E4G8pNYkVsDWz0vJxgO65dgCLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-98.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;810&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-8cnH-FBoVO8/WkWX1YW20fI/AAAAAAADDG0/ffu50HScF9E4G8pNYkVsDWz0vJxgO65dgCLcBGAs/s400/Israel-98.jpg&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  3039. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-_mmCH72H6oQ/WkWYHS_NkDI/AAAAAAADDG8/tjez-cgZV7wBPvKB9sAB8QZrHcOD02YTACLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-113.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;810&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-_mmCH72H6oQ/WkWYHS_NkDI/AAAAAAADDG8/tjez-cgZV7wBPvKB9sAB8QZrHcOD02YTACLcBGAs/s400/Israel-113.jpg&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  3043. &lt;a href=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-YMPr36Xc2ZI/WkWYe39fVoI/AAAAAAADDHM/9WsgSxwp9Y0YuFuWxVAuGVlnVzQnxR0TgCLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-126.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;810&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-YMPr36Xc2ZI/WkWYe39fVoI/AAAAAAADDHM/9WsgSxwp9Y0YuFuWxVAuGVlnVzQnxR0TgCLcBGAs/s400/Israel-126.jpg&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  3047. &lt;a href=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-bT7nKb-4RBg/WkWY54iJXZI/AAAAAAADDHU/SQjnVrq34fkPYZrN193w_WiS3gdT2stUACLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-143.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;810&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-bT7nKb-4RBg/WkWY54iJXZI/AAAAAAADDHU/SQjnVrq34fkPYZrN193w_WiS3gdT2stUACLcBGAs/s400/Israel-143.jpg&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  3051. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-LLRBNyFSVjs/WkWY_k188JI/AAAAAAADDHc/a3IEsCrb3vwEiNEzHudEstaqOFRJr8k8wCLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-144.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;828&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-LLRBNyFSVjs/WkWY_k188JI/AAAAAAADDHc/a3IEsCrb3vwEiNEzHudEstaqOFRJr8k8wCLcBGAs/s400/Israel-144.jpg&quot; width=&quot;306&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  3055. &lt;a href=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-idTbhmyj6zQ/WkWYzMXsZ2I/AAAAAAADDHQ/Ccb_wDOPdE8PBvp7zmpmR8KkKV8lyFcSACLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-142.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-idTbhmyj6zQ/WkWYzMXsZ2I/AAAAAAADDHQ/Ccb_wDOPdE8PBvp7zmpmR8KkKV8lyFcSACLcBGAs/s400/Israel-142.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  3059. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Mnw-mBk439Q/WkWX--bT4II/AAAAAAADDG4/jo_ZYtYqrZ0PzedY5kUmnerdL8GHhf9-ACLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-108.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Mnw-mBk439Q/WkWX--bT4II/AAAAAAADDG4/jo_ZYtYqrZ0PzedY5kUmnerdL8GHhf9-ACLcBGAs/s400/Israel-108.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  3063. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-lsdGVtDF10E/WkWYXB5evOI/AAAAAAADDHE/Rorr9YUzyEYrLtMtHCyBqgX96qF35L3UgCLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-123.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-lsdGVtDF10E/WkWYXB5evOI/AAAAAAADDHE/Rorr9YUzyEYrLtMtHCyBqgX96qF35L3UgCLcBGAs/s400/Israel-123.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  3066. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-eS0_CyELCy8/WkWYPpedQ_I/AAAAAAADDHA/KXKWL8SGEa06HEhF8QGr2QbPVw_eQZQOgCLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-121.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-eS0_CyELCy8/WkWYPpedQ_I/AAAAAAADDHA/KXKWL8SGEa06HEhF8QGr2QbPVw_eQZQOgCLcBGAs/s400/Israel-121.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  3067. </content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/feeds/4531603468413147208/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=3563950890480925834&amp;postID=4531603468413147208' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/4531603468413147208'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/4531603468413147208'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/2017/06/europe-2017-walled-off-hotel.html' title='Summer Travels - 2017: Walled Off Hotel'/><author><name>highway163</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/09874578884935438341</uri><email>noreply@blogger.com</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='16' height='16' src='https://img1.blogblog.com/img/b16-rounded.gif'/></author><media:thumbnail xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/" url="https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-8cnH-FBoVO8/WkWX1YW20fI/AAAAAAADDG0/ffu50HScF9E4G8pNYkVsDWz0vJxgO65dgCLcBGAs/s72-c/Israel-98.jpg" height="72" width="72"/><thr:total>0</thr:total><georss:featurename>West Bank</georss:featurename><georss:point>31.9465703 35.302722600000038</georss:point><georss:box>30.2221078 32.72093560000004 33.6710328 37.884509600000037</georss:box></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3563950890480925834.post-1289815185605584323</id><published>2017-06-29T16:28:00.000-07:00</published><updated>2017-12-28T17:55:49.132-08:00</updated><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="street art"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="West Bank. guilty pleasures"/><title type='text'>Summer Travels - 2017: West Bank</title><content type='html'>&lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  3068. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-74m-G_W22zE/Was_GPSFb8I/AAAAAAAC8Sw/3EYRJvEdEFQuMsgcC3nu08r6sYpmm5sNACLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-127-a.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1440&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-74m-G_W22zE/Was_GPSFb8I/AAAAAAAC8Sw/3EYRJvEdEFQuMsgcC3nu08r6sYpmm5sNACLcBGAs/s400/Israel-127-a.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  3069. &lt;i&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/i&gt;
  3070. &lt;i&gt;While visiting Bethlehem this past June, I posted a couple Facebook notes that I’d like to keep [slightly revised] here…&lt;/i&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  3071. &lt;br /&gt;
  3072. It’s gonna be a while to process this part of the trip: staying at both an embarrassingly upscale room one evening and in the much more low-rent &quot;barracks&quot; of the Banksy-affiliated Walled Off Hotel whose rooms justly boast the &quot;worst view in the world&quot; (a section of the 8-meter security/occupation barrier built after the Second Intifada); hearing a decidedly pro-Palestinian argument against the Two-State Solution by an Israeli Jew who could not cross over into Bethlehem with us; and, of course, meeting this fellow in a refugee camp from the 1948 Arab–Israeli War who, despite his threatening pose, was obviously just having some fun with us clueless tourists.&lt;br /&gt;
  3073. &lt;br /&gt;
  3074. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  3075. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-aFHJ2wu1lhA/Was_WRs_z7I/AAAAAAAC8S0/4I4EUjXorjgFM9DSCVvZjMbr2v0xigCWwCLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-107.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-aFHJ2wu1lhA/Was_WRs_z7I/AAAAAAAC8S0/4I4EUjXorjgFM9DSCVvZjMbr2v0xigCWwCLcBGAs/s400/Israel-107.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  3077. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  3079. &lt;a href=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-uCfb_UnyLxI/Was_gH8phPI/AAAAAAAC8S4/b6kYg2GH7ps3To-8zRR7g39WJ3-z1xBwgCLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-114.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-uCfb_UnyLxI/Was_gH8phPI/AAAAAAAC8S4/b6kYg2GH7ps3To-8zRR7g39WJ3-z1xBwgCLcBGAs/s400/Israel-114.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  3080. &lt;br /&gt;
  3081. [&lt;i&gt;Written on our departure&lt;/i&gt;] The word “surreal” begins to lose its meaning here. I’m writing this in an air conditioned bus, arranged to seat 17. Jenny and I are the only ones here. We paid dearly for this privilege in hopes of a smooth transfer out of the West Bank, but no amount of Shekels could safeguard us from the nearly hourlong wait at the guard-post separating Bethlehem from the Jerusalem suburbs. Hawkers walk up and down the line of wheezing cars offering bottled water and other sundries. We inch our way toward the border in fits and starts, annoyed at the sight of young dudes pushing their cars into the line from a side street. These small annoyances, each its own survivable frustration, add up.&lt;br /&gt;
  3082. &lt;br /&gt;
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  3084. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Wrsa4RzWCI0/Was_qw1S3NI/AAAAAAAC8S8/dmLG9vOrtMsJNaWAe-vxdS676L0FCPNewCLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-138.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-Wrsa4RzWCI0/Was_qw1S3NI/AAAAAAAC8S8/dmLG9vOrtMsJNaWAe-vxdS676L0FCPNewCLcBGAs/s400/Israel-138.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  3085. &lt;br /&gt;
  3086. Protected by our U.S. passports, Jenny and I know better than to complain. First, one hour is hardly that long, and eventually we will leave. Many of the people who live here, treated as potential criminals because of their names or family connections; cut off from family, jobs, hospitals, and religious sites just a few kilometers away; tired, hot, and frustrated; many of them have little hope for escape. In front of us, cars are inspected by soldiers in their late teens. Trunks are opened, passengers are sometimes called to exit their vehicles. But when we pull up to the checkpoint, the driver flashes his pass and one of the troops gives us a cursory look through the windows; we scoot right through.&lt;br /&gt;
  3087. &lt;br /&gt;
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  3089. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-JeQEVUS-5A0/WatASVarBbI/AAAAAAAC8TE/OXft5TZAUTodbiEhiVI1x4mRgfJQcsJNQCLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-150.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;810&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-JeQEVUS-5A0/WatASVarBbI/AAAAAAAC8TE/OXft5TZAUTodbiEhiVI1x4mRgfJQcsJNQCLcBGAs/s400/Israel-150.jpg&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  3090. &lt;br /&gt;
  3091. Behind us, the eight-meter walls and guard towers recede into the background. Even so, the disciplinary apparatus designed to protect Israeli citizens, augmented by walled roads, tunnels, and heavily armed soldiers (and a few civilians), does not disappear; it just merges into a different sort of concrete reality. I am reminded of something that Mike Davis wrote: “Ramparts and battlements, reflective glass and elevated pedways, are tropes in an architectural language warning off the underclass Other. Although architectural critics are usually blind to this militarized syntax, urban pariah groups… read the signs immediately.”&lt;br /&gt;
  3092. &lt;br /&gt;
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  3094. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-FqGh8UmckrU/WatAnTmZ8hI/AAAAAAAC8TI/5a7SlryzlyYvTriP58bZc11OcxIL928cQCLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-105.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;810&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-FqGh8UmckrU/WatAnTmZ8hI/AAAAAAAC8TI/5a7SlryzlyYvTriP58bZc11OcxIL928cQCLcBGAs/s400/Israel-105.jpg&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  3095. &lt;br /&gt;
  3096. Earlier today, another strange moment packed with tourist guilt: eating the tastiest shawarma I&#39;ve ever had - in the Aida refugee camp. This morning, we visited without guides, and felt safe and welcome. In fact many children seemed delighted to practice their English (and, of course, guide us to shops run by family members). Walking the streets, photographing murals and stencil art, we were joined by a thin Palestinian dude who invited us into a shop packed with local folks waiting for their orders of sizzling meat (chicken, I suppose), drenched with hummus, cucumber, yogurt, chili sauce, and grilled onions.&lt;br /&gt;
  3097. &lt;br /&gt;
  3098. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  3099. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1ZFEPOrljeA/WatAy-VLfXI/AAAAAAAC8TM/XjflJap5YR0ln-VIBtjylDvSKq_McwIpwCLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-119.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-1ZFEPOrljeA/WatAy-VLfXI/AAAAAAAC8TM/XjflJap5YR0ln-VIBtjylDvSKq_McwIpwCLcBGAs/s400/Israel-119.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  3100. &lt;br /&gt;
  3101. We waited our turn in the stifling heat, grinning at folks who smiled at us, thanking them for their greetings, “Welcome!&quot; and grateful to buy bottled water for Jenny and cold cans of apple soda for me. There are no tables in this joint, so we say our goodbyes and head back out into the heat in search of a stoop or stairs where we can eat. Before long we find our perch, near murals dedicated to people lost to the violence that sometimes sweeps this camp. Only later do I learn that some of the same artwork we came to photograph was shrouded by tear gas and pepper spray earlier this year.&lt;br /&gt;
  3102. &lt;br /&gt;
  3103. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  3104. &lt;a href=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-StJL_QtKsBc/WatA-w_VnzI/AAAAAAAC8TQ/HDS39B5wbo0VtodlB1Ry79kSScOX-iSoACLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-137.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-StJL_QtKsBc/WatA-w_VnzI/AAAAAAAC8TQ/HDS39B5wbo0VtodlB1Ry79kSScOX-iSoACLcBGAs/s400/Israel-137.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  3105. &lt;br /&gt;
  3106. Having not planned my attire with any precision, I am wearing the most obnoxious tourist garb, topped with a cheesy panama hat to block out some of the sun. I am nakedly, obviously, a fortunate interloper. But local folks are happy to see some currency flowing their way, so long as we don’t wave our privilege too odiously. As I have found in all my travels, a genuine smile and a constant inner refrain that I am traveling by or through someone’s &lt;i&gt;home&lt;/i&gt;, melts many (but hardly all) barriers.&lt;br /&gt;
  3107. &lt;br /&gt;
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  3109. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-kShyyPhNhSk/Was_9qYVCWI/AAAAAAAC8TA/hl7K8zTEQ5wVMG7SkatVb6MepkwZhObngCLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-115.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-kShyyPhNhSk/Was_9qYVCWI/AAAAAAAC8TA/hl7K8zTEQ5wVMG7SkatVb6MepkwZhObngCLcBGAs/s400/Israel-115.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  3110. </content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/feeds/1289815185605584323/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=3563950890480925834&amp;postID=1289815185605584323' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/1289815185605584323'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/1289815185605584323'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/2017/06/europe-2017-west-bank.html' title='Summer Travels - 2017: West Bank'/><author><name>highway163</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/09874578884935438341</uri><email>noreply@blogger.com</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='16' height='16' src='https://img1.blogblog.com/img/b16-rounded.gif'/></author><media:thumbnail xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/" url="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-74m-G_W22zE/Was_GPSFb8I/AAAAAAAC8Sw/3EYRJvEdEFQuMsgcC3nu08r6sYpmm5sNACLcBGAs/s72-c/Israel-127-a.jpg" height="72" width="72"/><thr:total>0</thr:total><georss:featurename>Bethlehem</georss:featurename><georss:point>31.7053821 35.202442499999961</georss:point><georss:box>5.4433816000000022 -6.1061515000000384 57.9673826 76.51103649999996</georss:box></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3563950890480925834.post-4327784208149212545</id><published>2017-06-26T16:39:00.000-07:00</published><updated>2017-12-28T17:56:11.946-08:00</updated><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="Israel"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="street art"/><title type='text'>Summer Travels - 2017: Jerusalem Street Art</title><content type='html'>Here are some of my favorite examples of Jerusalem street art (photographed in Summer 2017)&lt;br /&gt;
  3111. &lt;br /&gt;
  3112. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  3113. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xBF6iBCBzkw/WkWPVV6gT_I/AAAAAAADDFU/r5iXnJTmVnUE0WlST_JBrvoH0CKbd0uKwCLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-60.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;810&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xBF6iBCBzkw/WkWPVV6gT_I/AAAAAAADDFU/r5iXnJTmVnUE0WlST_JBrvoH0CKbd0uKwCLcBGAs/s400/Israel-60.jpg&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  3117. &lt;a href=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-hzgjr4iZrXA/WkWPbPlFxtI/AAAAAAADDFY/XB77eZQrujcivjOs1lWMQLOjHGupRarwQCLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-64.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;810&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-hzgjr4iZrXA/WkWPbPlFxtI/AAAAAAADDFY/XB77eZQrujcivjOs1lWMQLOjHGupRarwQCLcBGAs/s400/Israel-64.jpg&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  3121. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-z8wvoOx3upg/WkWPiNMF9AI/AAAAAAADDFc/ut30rvxfOMQwpkwkDLht_uTcNrT1zyOGgCLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-66.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;810&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-z8wvoOx3upg/WkWPiNMF9AI/AAAAAAADDFc/ut30rvxfOMQwpkwkDLht_uTcNrT1zyOGgCLcBGAs/s400/Israel-66.jpg&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  3122. &lt;br /&gt;
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  3124. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-e7mM0z-xiFs/WkWPrN7EGhI/AAAAAAADDFs/QCQpWz2BsN0OHJHNaiuvATLuiTjs3U-2QCLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-71.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-e7mM0z-xiFs/WkWPrN7EGhI/AAAAAAADDFs/QCQpWz2BsN0OHJHNaiuvATLuiTjs3U-2QCLcBGAs/s400/Israel-71.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  3127. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-q2o910AO_l8/WkWPq3pzLfI/AAAAAAADDFo/Xg0fhb3Yt3gA-yxlwF4GIi_vgr5Urhq5ACLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-72.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;810&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-q2o910AO_l8/WkWPq3pzLfI/AAAAAAADDFo/Xg0fhb3Yt3gA-yxlwF4GIi_vgr5Urhq5ACLcBGAs/s400/Israel-72.jpg&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  3128. &lt;br /&gt;
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  3130. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-nnawmumYnh8/WkWPq5QtVBI/AAAAAAADDFk/rjSSEVK8CIErsU7PIhw6RaWuLs6XyIKtgCLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-73.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;647&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-nnawmumYnh8/WkWPq5QtVBI/AAAAAAADDFk/rjSSEVK8CIErsU7PIhw6RaWuLs6XyIKtgCLcBGAs/s400/Israel-73.jpg&quot; width=&quot;237&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  3131. &lt;br /&gt;
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  3133. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-O852QTbCGhY/WkWPrj99N5I/AAAAAAADDFw/6wc0wfwOc7onNPe6R5TcDWKoJIKr2k3vQCLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-74.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;810&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-O852QTbCGhY/WkWPrj99N5I/AAAAAAADDFw/6wc0wfwOc7onNPe6R5TcDWKoJIKr2k3vQCLcBGAs/s400/Israel-74.jpg&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  3134. </content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/feeds/4327784208149212545/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=3563950890480925834&amp;postID=4327784208149212545' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/4327784208149212545'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/4327784208149212545'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/2017/06/europe-2017-jerusalem-street-art.html' title='Summer Travels - 2017: Jerusalem Street Art'/><author><name>highway163</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/09874578884935438341</uri><email>noreply@blogger.com</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='16' height='16' src='https://img1.blogblog.com/img/b16-rounded.gif'/></author><media:thumbnail xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/" url="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-xBF6iBCBzkw/WkWPVV6gT_I/AAAAAAADDFU/r5iXnJTmVnUE0WlST_JBrvoH0CKbd0uKwCLcBGAs/s72-c/Israel-60.jpg" height="72" width="72"/><thr:total>0</thr:total><georss:featurename>Jerusalem, Israel</georss:featurename><georss:point>31.768319 35.213709999999992</georss:point><georss:box>31.552388 34.89098649999999 31.984250000000003 35.536433499999994</georss:box></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3563950890480925834.post-5871596483006809372</id><published>2017-06-25T17:27:00.000-07:00</published><updated>2017-12-28T17:56:25.870-08:00</updated><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="Israel"/><title type='text'>Summer Travels - 2017: Jerusalem (additional pix)</title><content type='html'>Here are some more pix from beautiful, fascinating, overwhelming&amp;nbsp;Jerusalem!&lt;br /&gt;
  3135. &lt;br /&gt;
  3136. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  3137. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-BJbLegTaw_o/WkWaPh3ojKI/AAAAAAADDHw/E455xcUK7l4GE7jYfZuIt40x92eK-EhiwCLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-3.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-BJbLegTaw_o/WkWaPh3ojKI/AAAAAAADDHw/E455xcUK7l4GE7jYfZuIt40x92eK-EhiwCLcBGAs/s400/Israel-3.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  3141. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-12clm5lU1s0/WkWaubr85HI/AAAAAAADDH4/EJHpLgW3jTwtzUoeXnu8MwWmXxIcVPWawCLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-37.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-12clm5lU1s0/WkWaubr85HI/AAAAAAADDH4/EJHpLgW3jTwtzUoeXnu8MwWmXxIcVPWawCLcBGAs/s400/Israel-37.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  3145. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-0NbxAyDaQsE/WkWbz3LlXNI/AAAAAAADDIY/aAzkOxAjldQ8AyjXqsf480C4Li7nnoB-QCLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-36.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-0NbxAyDaQsE/WkWbz3LlXNI/AAAAAAADDIY/aAzkOxAjldQ8AyjXqsf480C4Li7nnoB-QCLcBGAs/s400/Israel-36.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  3149. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-D0HC3iWknwI/WkWaeptzZwI/AAAAAAADDH0/ZC78ZzHP6Kc4gp5wQLXwL2Ei09hVU_D2wCLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-45.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-D0HC3iWknwI/WkWaeptzZwI/AAAAAAADDH0/ZC78ZzHP6Kc4gp5wQLXwL2Ei09hVU_D2wCLcBGAs/s400/Israel-45.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  3153. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-SdUzEams4c4/WkWa6AYMbFI/AAAAAAADDIE/XCTbAKyHCbUTfyJQw1H61ORLeWRLnTBdACLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-46.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-SdUzEams4c4/WkWa6AYMbFI/AAAAAAADDIE/XCTbAKyHCbUTfyJQw1H61ORLeWRLnTBdACLcBGAs/s400/Israel-46.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  3157. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-I0bOBygWPzg/WkWbB7MiKvI/AAAAAAADDII/T8JFD2yHaK40lUYQI83R1BJqLf984eyFwCLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-51.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-I0bOBygWPzg/WkWbB7MiKvI/AAAAAAADDII/T8JFD2yHaK40lUYQI83R1BJqLf984eyFwCLcBGAs/s400/Israel-51.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  3158. &lt;br /&gt;
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  3160. &lt;a href=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-8se1lF_Y79o/WkWbWwNP5zI/AAAAAAADDIM/mLB-1gR8cLEoA06GOvcqzsVXtJiGW5BggCLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-94.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-8se1lF_Y79o/WkWbWwNP5zI/AAAAAAADDIM/mLB-1gR8cLEoA06GOvcqzsVXtJiGW5BggCLcBGAs/s400/Israel-94.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  3164. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-j7dOsaOJwkE/WkWcXtLWY4I/AAAAAAADDIo/mh4aGXCSFaEdE_BLemp1a83mXmNNh4kKgCLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-8.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;810&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-j7dOsaOJwkE/WkWcXtLWY4I/AAAAAAADDIo/mh4aGXCSFaEdE_BLemp1a83mXmNNh4kKgCLcBGAs/s400/Israel-8.jpg&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  3167. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  3168. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-9BES1z896Y0/WkWcCf57pGI/AAAAAAADDIc/hPQj3w52jPIi9_N6kUEwe78jtnq4HmidACLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-21.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;810&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-9BES1z896Y0/WkWcCf57pGI/AAAAAAADDIc/hPQj3w52jPIi9_N6kUEwe78jtnq4HmidACLcBGAs/s400/Israel-21.jpg&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  3169. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  3170. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  3171. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  3172. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ojko8oixTWU/WkWbrky6qEI/AAAAAAADDIQ/lk0qrY60kiwpyK-4qjkN6IKH6rODsJTTACLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-38.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;810&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-ojko8oixTWU/WkWbrky6qEI/AAAAAAADDIQ/lk0qrY60kiwpyK-4qjkN6IKH6rODsJTTACLcBGAs/s400/Israel-38.jpg&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  3173. &lt;br /&gt;
  3174. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  3175. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-6ly3xqHtMx0/WkWcMgmN4fI/AAAAAAADDIg/AdvhMMBKQcAxKqkuUG3IcXAnzNSmhuMiwCLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-31.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-6ly3xqHtMx0/WkWcMgmN4fI/AAAAAAADDIg/AdvhMMBKQcAxKqkuUG3IcXAnzNSmhuMiwCLcBGAs/s400/Israel-31.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  3176. &lt;br /&gt;</content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/feeds/5871596483006809372/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=3563950890480925834&amp;postID=5871596483006809372' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/5871596483006809372'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/5871596483006809372'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/2017/06/europe-2017-jerusalem-additional-pix.html' title='Summer Travels - 2017: Jerusalem (additional pix)'/><author><name>highway163</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/09874578884935438341</uri><email>noreply@blogger.com</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='16' height='16' src='https://img1.blogblog.com/img/b16-rounded.gif'/></author><media:thumbnail xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/" url="https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-BJbLegTaw_o/WkWaPh3ojKI/AAAAAAADDHw/E455xcUK7l4GE7jYfZuIt40x92eK-EhiwCLcBGAs/s72-c/Israel-3.jpg" height="72" width="72"/><thr:total>0</thr:total><georss:featurename>Jerusalem, Israel</georss:featurename><georss:point>31.768319 35.213709999999992</georss:point><georss:box>31.552388 34.89098649999999 31.984250000000003 35.536433499999994</georss:box></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3563950890480925834.post-3543050057936432759</id><published>2017-06-25T07:15:00.000-07:00</published><updated>2017-12-28T17:56:39.634-08:00</updated><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="Israel"/><title type='text'>Summer Travels - 2017: Jerusalem</title><content type='html'>&lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  3177. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8BwFnIqWEvw/Wc0Efb0Tz8I/AAAAAAAC9E4/4dyekdxp1TA1oem16mH9WLJNYfeEpCSRgCLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-9.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1440&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8BwFnIqWEvw/Wc0Efb0Tz8I/AAAAAAAC9E4/4dyekdxp1TA1oem16mH9WLJNYfeEpCSRgCLcBGAs/s400/Israel-9.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  3178. &lt;i&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/i&gt;
  3179. &lt;i&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/i&gt;
  3180. &lt;i&gt;While visiting Jerusalem this past June, I posted a Facebook note that I’d like to keep [slightly revised] here…&lt;/i&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  3181. &lt;br /&gt;
  3182. Now I know why some folks go a little mad in Jerusalem, wrapping themselves up in the hotel bedsheets and proclaiming themselves to be prophets. This intersection of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam is a pulsing hive of sound, movement, and tempers kept in check by a largely mutual desire to keep cool under the scorching sun.&lt;br /&gt;
  3183. &lt;br /&gt;
  3184. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  3185. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-U9YQisaSIj0/Wc0E3o4ANdI/AAAAAAAC9E8/1m87GZQjMA4xMpKeuTSzBNwj2n-Gpg1wACLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-25.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-U9YQisaSIj0/Wc0E3o4ANdI/AAAAAAAC9E8/1m87GZQjMA4xMpKeuTSzBNwj2n-Gpg1wACLcBGAs/s400/Israel-25.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  3186. &lt;br /&gt;
  3187. Souk pathways snake underground, connecting the old city via ancient tesseracts. Young Arab kids sport high and tight fauxhawks (many waiting outside subterranean barbershops to get their cuts done right). One dude lifts up a tight shirt to reveal chiseled abs; another scrapes a piece of bent metal against the wall, sneering as he passes. Israeli cops occupy strategic intersections, keeping a wary eye and wishing for shade.&lt;br /&gt;
  3188. &lt;br /&gt;
  3189. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  3190. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-N5dNl6cJYuQ/Wc0FFB7Tg5I/AAAAAAAC9FA/9KBZky_WqdoofdNaHGOoaQ3jkGI_lQC1wCLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-62.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-N5dNl6cJYuQ/Wc0FFB7Tg5I/AAAAAAAC9FA/9KBZky_WqdoofdNaHGOoaQ3jkGI_lQC1wCLcBGAs/s400/Israel-62.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  3191. &lt;br /&gt;
  3192. Odors of saffron and ground pepper waft on static currents, occasionally blown away by unexpected cool breezes. We search for cheap cups of mint infused lemonade, learning the hard way that our initial price of 15 Shekels for a small amount is way overpriced. We pass by satiric t-shirts (“Jew Jitsu,” “Pika Jew,” “Guns and Moses,” and one that depicts a Google search for Israel: &quot;Did you mean Palestine?&quot; Little by little we’re finding our way through the old city.&lt;br /&gt;
  3193. &lt;br /&gt;
  3194. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  3195. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-p65_RV3cz1A/Wc0FTc88Y7I/AAAAAAAC9FE/Xz-gT7iP1nwKftB2awqSzCPvs5HAqtSpACLcBGAs/s1600/Israel-55.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1440&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-p65_RV3cz1A/Wc0FTc88Y7I/AAAAAAAC9FE/Xz-gT7iP1nwKftB2awqSzCPvs5HAqtSpACLcBGAs/s400/Israel-55.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  3196. </content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/feeds/3543050057936432759/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=3563950890480925834&amp;postID=3543050057936432759' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/3543050057936432759'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/3543050057936432759'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/2017/06/europe-2017-jerusalem.html' title='Summer Travels - 2017: Jerusalem'/><author><name>highway163</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/09874578884935438341</uri><email>noreply@blogger.com</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='16' height='16' src='https://img1.blogblog.com/img/b16-rounded.gif'/></author><media:thumbnail xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/" url="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8BwFnIqWEvw/Wc0Efb0Tz8I/AAAAAAAC9E4/4dyekdxp1TA1oem16mH9WLJNYfeEpCSRgCLcBGAs/s72-c/Israel-9.jpg" height="72" width="72"/><thr:total>0</thr:total><georss:featurename>Jerusalem, Israel</georss:featurename><georss:point>31.768319 35.213709999999992</georss:point><georss:box>31.552388 34.89098649999999 31.984250000000003 35.536433499999994</georss:box></entry><entry><id>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3563950890480925834.post-6797126361068757816</id><published>2017-06-22T16:21:00.000-07:00</published><updated>2017-12-28T17:53:41.871-08:00</updated><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="Europe 2017"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="Finland"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="roadside"/><category scheme="http://www.blogger.com/atom/ns#" term="trip summaries"/><title type='text'>Summer Travels - 2017: Finland</title><content type='html'>&lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  3197. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-IFHStN-71oU/WkWLIoe8XSI/AAAAAAADDEE/ih94Hav91Fs0JX5elaSL7vRkns7Jan9XgCLcBGAs/s1600/Finland-29.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;873&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-IFHStN-71oU/WkWLIoe8XSI/AAAAAAADDEE/ih94Hav91Fs0JX5elaSL7vRkns7Jan9XgCLcBGAs/s400/Finland-29.jpg&quot; width=&quot;322&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  3198. &lt;i&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/i&gt;
  3199. &lt;i&gt;While teaching in Jyväskylä, I posted a few Facebook notes that I’d like to keep [slightly revised] here…&lt;/i&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  3200. &lt;br /&gt;
  3201. Just got back from Finnish Summer Eve at Varjola, a lovely forested place by a lake where we enjoyed sausages, chatted for hours, and savored the Finnish tradition of broiling in a smoke-scented sauna before leaping into the ice-cold lake - repeating back and forth, back and forth.&lt;br /&gt;
  3202. &lt;br /&gt;
  3203. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  3204. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-W_iCDXubBck/WkWLPKUwC6I/AAAAAAADDEI/N_aMN5NhmnYYRzO0biyR6jwFwQL-0TQ5ACLcBGAs/s1600/Finland-26.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-W_iCDXubBck/WkWLPKUwC6I/AAAAAAADDEI/N_aMN5NhmnYYRzO0biyR6jwFwQL-0TQ5ACLcBGAs/s400/Finland-26.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  3205. &lt;br /&gt;
  3206. Many thanks to Risto Korkia-Aho for bringing me a huge sprig of birch branches for exfoliation and adding a charming scent to the moist furnace of the sauna. Special thanks also to Chuck Stevens for sharing a memorable cigar and conversation with me! Coming back, an extra treat: being serenaded by our Argentine students’ seemingly endless (but undoubtedly charming) repertoire of chants and songs.&lt;br /&gt;
  3207. &lt;br /&gt;
  3208. &lt;b&gt;First Weekend&lt;/b&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  3209. &lt;br /&gt;
  3210. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  3211. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-TNx4CGkfFEI/WkWLd25zCbI/AAAAAAADDEM/LSAxWp9TiWw9EfgkXEhgSUl9a6xG7fxogCLcBGAs/s1600/Finland-48.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-TNx4CGkfFEI/WkWLd25zCbI/AAAAAAADDEM/LSAxWp9TiWw9EfgkXEhgSUl9a6xG7fxogCLcBGAs/s400/Finland-48.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  3212. &lt;br /&gt;
  3213. After reviewing the great recommendations offered by my pals here in Finland, I decided to rent a car and head east toward Punkaharju and Savonlinna: lots of winding birch tree-lined roads, red farmhouses, and tranquil lakes.&lt;br /&gt;
  3214. &lt;br /&gt;
  3215. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  3216. &lt;a href=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-5Pfh9FGDG34/WkWLnVtokQI/AAAAAAADDEQ/HvWF6XSCal80c4EqszsAzBmUz6bpQuF4wCLcBGAs/s1600/Finland-33.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://3.bp.blogspot.com/-5Pfh9FGDG34/WkWLnVtokQI/AAAAAAADDEQ/HvWF6XSCal80c4EqszsAzBmUz6bpQuF4wCLcBGAs/s400/Finland-33.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  3217. &lt;br /&gt;
  3218. At night I stayed at a former primary school turned into an apartment complex. It seems that the village didn&#39;t have enough kids to support the school. But the apartments are quite lovely. It&#39;s especially nice that I had an entire wing to myself - and a sauna they let me use for free. How nice to feel the cool evening air coming through an open window.&lt;br /&gt;
  3219. &lt;br /&gt;
  3220. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  3221. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_BiVS3E_1F8/WkWLwkFq7UI/AAAAAAADDEY/9nWd61na6vcGRkDIHUzhzlEz4Y5M5sZdACLcBGAs/s1600/Finland-49.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1206&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;335&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-_BiVS3E_1F8/WkWLwkFq7UI/AAAAAAADDEY/9nWd61na6vcGRkDIHUzhzlEz4Y5M5sZdACLcBGAs/s400/Finland-49.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  3222. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  3223. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  3224. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  3225. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-uSTr2g8ebnc/WkWMfHEfJfI/AAAAAAADDEk/eUb2GDoUOMMCjaA1XAqTY0KNK9SlHAjkwCLcBGAs/s1600/Finland-58.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-uSTr2g8ebnc/WkWMfHEfJfI/AAAAAAADDEk/eUb2GDoUOMMCjaA1XAqTY0KNK9SlHAjkwCLcBGAs/s400/Finland-58.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  3226. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  3227. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  3228. The next day was easily one of the nicest driving days I can recall. I savored lovely roads bisecting clean blue lakes, fields of yellow flowers, and plenty of time to reflect on how lucky I feel to enjoy this beautiful country. A special treat was the chance to rediscover my love of stick-shift driving, particularly around those winding roads.&lt;br /&gt;
  3229. &lt;span style=&quot;text-align: center;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;
  3230. &lt;br /&gt;
  3231. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  3232. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-bEhs1-Lo48U/WkWMXKkpuxI/AAAAAAADDEg/APo_MVH9tuIn05mn-FL9jI_0JB9L-61FgCLcBGAs/s1600/Finland-54.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;795&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-bEhs1-Lo48U/WkWMXKkpuxI/AAAAAAADDEg/APo_MVH9tuIn05mn-FL9jI_0JB9L-61FgCLcBGAs/s400/Finland-54.jpg&quot; width=&quot;293&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  3233. &lt;span style=&quot;text-align: center;&quot;&gt;&lt;br /&gt;&lt;/span&gt;
  3234. &lt;span style=&quot;text-align: center;&quot;&gt;Later on, I visited Kuopio market square and enjoyed cruising the curvy roads past red cabins and butter flowers and sparkling lakes.&amp;nbsp;&lt;/span&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  3235. &lt;br /&gt;
  3236. &lt;b&gt;Second Weekend&lt;/b&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  3237. &lt;br /&gt;
  3238. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  3239. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-lP83kWWYoEg/WkWMtifw4vI/AAAAAAADDEo/hNXMTmJ2rUw7VbqENu649nSHDFBDgdilQCLcBGAs/s1600/Finland-67.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-lP83kWWYoEg/WkWMtifw4vI/AAAAAAADDEo/hNXMTmJ2rUw7VbqENu649nSHDFBDgdilQCLcBGAs/s400/Finland-67.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  3240. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  3241. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  3242. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  3243. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8Z2IVEiosNw/WkWM3UDO2cI/AAAAAAADDEs/v7W_JCmLjjYX_KZnBC4uEZPMMozdppxlgCLcBGAs/s1600/Finland-70.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-8Z2IVEiosNw/WkWM3UDO2cI/AAAAAAADDEs/v7W_JCmLjjYX_KZnBC4uEZPMMozdppxlgCLcBGAs/s400/Finland-70.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  3244. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  3245. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  3246. There was something about the light last night, a sharpness and clarity that lasted just a few minutes, a brevity that summoned rare contemplation. The shadows stretched long and the sky seemed to pulsate. The lakes dappled with silver when clouds passed overhead. Pink streaks glowed across the horizon. As I drove toward the midnight sunset, a truck filled with cow manure raced by, dripping hot splotches onto the road; a kid hopped with delight in the passenger seat. Constellations of mosquitos danced in patches while fellows worked their combines in the fields. I went to bed in the gloaming that lasted another hour. Today I am drawn southwest and the tiny towns that dot the coast. I have no idea where I’ll sleep tonight.&lt;br /&gt;
  3247. &lt;br /&gt;
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  3249. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-VJnFThy7Hz0/WkWNAid8Z9I/AAAAAAADDE0/kUrTDKRtkwkAVTm-LFUNzJOS-uQS45_nQCLcBGAs/s1600/Finland-69.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;810&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-VJnFThy7Hz0/WkWNAid8Z9I/AAAAAAADDE0/kUrTDKRtkwkAVTm-LFUNzJOS-uQS45_nQCLcBGAs/s400/Finland-69.jpg&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  3250. &lt;br /&gt;
  3251. &lt;b&gt;One Last Trip&lt;/b&gt;&lt;br /&gt;
  3252. &lt;br /&gt;
  3253. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  3254. &lt;a href=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-pFgbf4kQffg/WkWNVRBVIyI/AAAAAAADDE8/XmfbHY3CYngmlYwQd4xbffaxq48EJ3XXACLcBGAs/s1600/Finland-86.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-pFgbf4kQffg/WkWNVRBVIyI/AAAAAAADDE8/XmfbHY3CYngmlYwQd4xbffaxq48EJ3XXACLcBGAs/s400/Finland-86.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
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  3256. &lt;br /&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  3257. Woke up to the happy sound of Finnish kids playing in the rain. Proctored final exams, said goodbye to my classes, and celebrated JAMK summer school graduation. Then hit the road for a few hours of solo driving, After racing north with Midnight Oil as my copilot, I&#39;m home for the night! The rain broke hours ago, and the sun is slowly setting amid a wash of silver and purple clouds. I&#39;m sleepy but delighted. Tomorrow I&#39;m heading for Tornio to photograph an orthodox church that&#39;s remarkable for its tiny size. Then it&#39;s further north to Rovaniemi, a city that - for the life of me - I still can&#39;t seem to pronounce properly. On the lookout for moose, reindeer, and Santa.&lt;br /&gt;
  3258. &lt;br /&gt;
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  3260. &lt;a href=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-b4YlYdyi48M/WkWNb0OSQiI/AAAAAAADDFA/zaC46fblG20cqQEQv_zxLt_lpRFDCg1-gCLcBGAs/s1600/Finland-87.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;810&quot; height=&quot;400&quot; src=&quot;https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-b4YlYdyi48M/WkWNb0OSQiI/AAAAAAADDFA/zaC46fblG20cqQEQv_zxLt_lpRFDCg1-gCLcBGAs/s400/Finland-87.jpg&quot; width=&quot;300&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  3261. &lt;br /&gt;
  3262. After visiting Rovaniemi: So, I&#39;ve got the whole house to myself, but not the whole country. Turns out the nearest sauna is part of the house but accessible only through an external door. So I tossed on my &quot;action pants&quot; (don&#39;t ask) and a t-shirt and made my way to wood-paneled steamy oblivion, pouring water onto rocks to send paroxysms of steam into my lungs. About a half-hour later, wrapping up with a chilly shower, I said to myself, &quot;Hey, I&#39;m alone in Finland, surrounded by dandelion-covered fields and verdant forests. I don&#39;t need clothes to walk back!&quot; So I started to open the door when my better judgment reminded me, &quot;Wear a towel. Just in case.&quot; I&#39;m glad I did because no more than ten steps later, I heard Pekka&#39;s cheery voice: &quot;Was sauna good?&quot; Well, let&#39;s put it this way. The sauna was almost a little &lt;i&gt;too&lt;/i&gt; good, actually! Tomorrow begins the next leg of the journey, joining Jenny in Tel Aviv. I&#39;ll reflect more on this experience later but, suffice to say, I love this Finland and will be thrilled to return one day!&lt;br /&gt;
  3263. &lt;br /&gt;
  3264. &lt;div class=&quot;separator&quot; style=&quot;clear: both; text-align: center;&quot;&gt;
  3265. &lt;a href=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-B3N_R_Mki18/WkWNjkW8w-I/AAAAAAADDFI/rX1vzntI3owiRfFqwXP7fth937SdTUBbQCLcBGAs/s1600/Finland-97.jpg&quot; imageanchor=&quot;1&quot; style=&quot;margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;&quot;&gt;&lt;img border=&quot;0&quot; data-original-height=&quot;1080&quot; data-original-width=&quot;1440&quot; height=&quot;300&quot; src=&quot;https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-B3N_R_Mki18/WkWNjkW8w-I/AAAAAAADDFI/rX1vzntI3owiRfFqwXP7fth937SdTUBbQCLcBGAs/s400/Finland-97.jpg&quot; width=&quot;400&quot; /&gt;&lt;/a&gt;&lt;/div&gt;
  3266. </content><link rel='replies' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/feeds/6797126361068757816/comments/default' title='Post Comments'/><link rel='replies' type='text/html' href='http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=3563950890480925834&amp;postID=6797126361068757816' title='0 Comments'/><link rel='edit' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/6797126361068757816'/><link rel='self' type='application/atom+xml' href='http://www.blogger.com/feeds/3563950890480925834/posts/default/6797126361068757816'/><link rel='alternate' type='text/html' href='http://woodlandshoppersparadise.blogspot.com/2017/06/europe-2017-finland.html' title='Summer Travels - 2017: Finland'/><author><name>highway163</name><uri>http://www.blogger.com/profile/09874578884935438341</uri><email>noreply@blogger.com</email><gd:image rel='http://schemas.google.com/g/2005#thumbnail' width='16' height='16' src='https://img1.blogblog.com/img/b16-rounded.gif'/></author><media:thumbnail xmlns:media="http://search.yahoo.com/mrss/" url="https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-IFHStN-71oU/WkWLIoe8XSI/AAAAAAADDEE/ih94Hav91Fs0JX5elaSL7vRkns7Jan9XgCLcBGAs/s72-c/Finland-29.jpg" height="72" width="72"/><thr:total>0</thr:total><georss:featurename>Finland</georss:featurename><georss:point>61.924109999999992 25.748151099999973</georss:point><georss:box>47.674139499999995 -15.560442900000027 76.174080499999988 67.056745099999972</georss:box></entry></feed>
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