Weekly Photo Challenge: Dreamy


Sitting from a terrace, looking out to the Himalayas is the most dreamy scenario I can possible imagine:

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Langtang from Namobudhha

Especially when the valley below is hidden by clouds that look like an etheral lake:

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A completely dream-like vision.  This cat obviously thought so too!

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For more dreamers see: Weekly Photo Challenge: Dreamy

Weekly Photo Challenge: Signs


I was excited to see this week’s Photo Challenge theme on Signs.  I’ve always had a thing about signs and what they have to say about different cultures. I actually have a section on my blog devoted to them. They offer little insights and clues into a culture’s priorities, buying preferences, or sense of humor.  Sometimes all three. I love noticing what they have to say about where I live, or at least the questions they raise.  Often they leave me stumped too.

Take today for example:  Stuck in a small developing world airport, I was delayed for hours, waiting around inside a concrete box with no internet connection, a dead battery, nowhere to charge, and no book…   People watching ran its course.  I studied the bad paint job.  I kept looking at the broken clock.  I peered regularly out the window hoping to see our plane land.  After a while it was just me and the signs staring back at one another.  Here are the two that graced the airport’s walls today:

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The Greenply company manufactures commercial plywood. Quite why they would have a public stance on bad language is a bit of a mystery? In fact, what they are trying to say is a bit of a mystery too. After hours of uncomfortable staring at an otherwise blank wall, I’m still not clear on the point?  Suggestions welcome!

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My other choice was this one. How to even begin?! Thinly veiled sexual innuendo, blatant false advertising (where is the “serving suggestion” label)…since when do Nepalis eat Thai noodles?… very odd indeed!

Greek August Nights


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I love sitting at night and look out to sea from our home. On a hot August night its hard to imagine why we don’t do it every night of the year.

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This night we were waiting for the harvest moon to rise and it took a few glasses of wine to accompany the wait..

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…and finally it rose and shone so brightly that it casts moonshadows in our garden. Beautiful!

For more stories of the night see: http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/nighttime/

Sounds Right: Griniazee


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Daily Prompt: This is clearly subjective, but some words really sound like the thing they describe (personal favorites: puffin; bulbous; fidgeting). Do you have an example of such a word (or, alternatively, of a word that sounds like the exact opposite of what it refers to)? What do you think creates this effect?

Griniazee (γκρινιάζei) Greek word meaning to moan, complain, gripe, whine

In the supermarket, little Dimitri wants to buy something his mom won’t give him. He has a melt down right there and then.  He’s frustrated mom makes an angled chopping motion with her hand, and steps back looking at him incredulously.  She stamps her foot back, and yells, “Mi Grinaizee, Dimitri!” (Don’t whine, Dimitri).

“Den Grinaizo!” (I’m not whining…), he complains back, sounding more whiny then ever.

How can a word which starts with “grin” sound so whiny? Yet it does. At least to me.  I think its the way its delivered with a long frustrated “yaaa zeee”.  So moany!

A Word A Week Photo Challenge – Transport


As this blog (and its owner) continues to take a much needed hiatus from all things Nepali, I thought I’d focus on Greek transportation for this week’s challenge.  In particular the local ferry, which is a much needed lifeline between our island and the mainland, carrying produce, meat and dairy in refrigerated trucks as well as building supplies, gasoline– – you name it — to the local economy.

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And so 6-8 times a day, its a game of “everybody off, everybody on” as the ferry disembarks and reloads on each side.  Full trucks come onto the island, and empty trucks leave. Then there’s the motorbikes, three-wheelers, miscellaneous freight and pedestrians that travel back and forth too. I tried to capture a little of the chaos on the dock:

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The motorcycles are made to wait for the trucks to unload….

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….but once they’re on, its a free-for-all as the bikes and pedestrians head up the ramp.

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…then on comes the next load.

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Of course, it would be so much more civilized if they didn’t let drivers park on the dock. I couldn’t take this picture until they had let me embark. By then all the trucks had left, so it doesn’t look so chaotic. A few minutes before it was a madhouse of badly maneuvering trucks, parked cars, and jostling motorbikes.

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And then for the umpteenth time, the ramp goes up and the ferry heads back across. Suddenly everything is calm and picturesque again. (Almost) like all the chaos never happened.

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Sometimes it feels like this guy has the best job in the world.