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Showing posts from September, 2009

Torrico -- Fiestas del Pueblo, Part II "The earplugs"

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Dear citizens of the world, My first post about the annual San Gil fiestas in Torrico was crying out for a second part. Many people asked how the fiestas were in 2009. For the most part, things were tranquil. There is always excess, but improvements have been made -- most noteably, I bought ear plugs. There was lots of music: flamenco to warm up, traditional Spanish songs for the older crowd that turn in at 2:00 am and popular dance music for younger ones. Techno started at about 6:00 am, but I was already sleeping -- thanks to my ear plugs! This years festivities were special for the family because there was a 50th wedding anniverssary. After a short ceremony in the village church we went off to have appetizers in the garage (much nicer than it sounds). There were kilos of Spanish ham, cold cuts, chorizo, chips, olives, cheese and local sweets: Roscos (small dense donuts) and Floretas (Large flakey flower shaped sweets, dripping in honey. This was to warm up the belly. At th

Squatting -- Chinese relaxation

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Man squatting outside the Big Goose Pagoda -- Xian, China Dear citizens of the world, This post is about one of those cultural tidbits. Countries are beginning to look similar with the same shops (Walmart), cafes (Starbucks), fast food joints (McDonalds). However, there are still many things that can differenciate cultures or even shock while traveling. My travel companion was astounded to see so many people squatting in China. Chinese people squat to rest, read a newspaper, talk on mobile phones, take pictures, and to use the WC but Westerners only associate squatting with bowl movements. Researching the topic I found another post on squatting with a link to a page with the benefits of squatting . A fellow United Statesian posted (a technical) " Seven reasons to squat ." I have to admit that I am not so good at squating (lack of practice); however, it is an important skill for travelers. Lack of knowledge can even lead to injury! My "squat story" happened o

Demon Dogs - Part II

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Dear citizens of the world, Yes, the Demon Dogs have attacked! and they are winning. The return to normal has been rude. Hours before my return, I came down with a serious sore throat. I have lost my voice in 24 hours; only able to communicate by blog. The sad part is, the kids won't even be back for a week! I don't have a good reason to be sick! I thought is was psychological at first (post-vacation syndrome), but my tongue has a yellow-green blanket and my throat is red and swollen. C'est la vie, The United Statesian PS This Demon Dog is actually a bird, but I am sure that you get the picture and we can stick with the lovely theme of Demon Dogs, without confusing things with Demon Birds which does not sound scary enough...