24 March 2012
23 March 2012
I'm staying at The Booklovers B & B this coming weekend.
Looks comfy and restful.
I have a bit of an agenda while down there ... galleries, museums, favourite cafes, ... but if it's rainy or I feel tired, I don't HAVE to do any of it. I can just sit in a cushioned window seat and read.
That's how I take care of myself.... get outta town, away from my desk. I'm not taking my laptop. I'd stretch to carrying an iPad, but maybe it's just as well I don't have one yet.
I'll take my Kindle!
I wonder if an eReader will be acceptable in such a bookish place as Booklovers?
- Posted on the go
13 March 2012
Having lived in other countries and cultures for many years now, I do not take the advantages of my birthplace for granted. I had a safe society, ample food, excellent medical and educational facilities, family and friends nearby. We went camping, had pets, and could move about freely.
Having worked with refugees these past years, I have met people for whom that was not true, none of it. They were not perpetrators of violence, had not started unrest or rebelled against legitimate government. They were just of the wrong clan, tribe, sect or colour. The strike against them was not of their choosing, but a fact of their birth.
None of choose where we are born.
None of us choose our first language or the stories we're told and learn to live within. Those things are given to us. Yet those are often the things by which people judge us.
I have many times been derided because I live in Auckland. Those outside of NZ will not understand that prejudice. I have been relegated to lesser positions because I am a woman. I have been judged because I am American. I have been maligned because I am a Christian.
Some of these categories are of my choosing: some are not. None of them are reasons for assigning greater or lesser dignity or respect to my personhood.
The prejudice against Mexicans, Asians, islanders or villages is just ignorant arrogance at its ugliest.
It labels humans as 'other' and is based on a factor outside of the individual's control: the place of their birth.
We're all in this together. Ethnicity, gender, etc, are subcategories of humanity.
When you watch a small child die because they were born too far from the medicine they needed, and you realise that child is the same age as your nephew, it all becomes simple and clear. We're humans, on an uneven playing field, and we've got to work together or it's all just too hard.
Jowa stood with a sour expression and ... "We're not going to die for someone else's fight. I fight for Tibet. I fight for Tibetans."
Gendun's eyes settled on Jowa. "It is only the chance of birth that made you Tibetan in this life," he said in a tentative tone, as if puzzled by the purba's words. "You may be Chinese in your next. You may have been Kazakh in your previous." Eliot Pattison, in Water Touching Stone
- Posted on the go
12 March 2012
I'm just sitting here by Lake Wakatipu watching travelers & tourists.
People are funny. It's
fun to watch them. It's not fun to think of what they might think as they watch me.
Some things to consider....
Some of these ladies have flash handbags that match their outfits. Gotta wonder: how many purses did they bring?
I've taken to packing flat bags that will fit into flat pockets on my suitcase or in the lid.... so when I'm flying or on buses I don't have ANOTHER semi-useless piece to contend with.
Using zippered pouches for my necessary stuff, I can reconfigure the volume of what I want to carry depending on the activity, climate, mode of travel, etc.
Sometimes a small nicebackpack is helpful- keeps hands free when juggling other pieces. Sometimes a shoulder bag... or a pull bag on wheels... but then when I want to go out in the evening I can pull out the flat bag, fill it as appropriate and I'm on my way!
Rarely are bulky leather purses the ideal travel bags, yet they count as 1 carry-on when boarding a plane.
Then there's shoes.
Depending on the purpose of the trip, shoes could take out a huge amount of space in our precious luggage allotment!
Where I am this week, hiking boots are useful. At other times of year it would be ski boots! Then there are the destinations that require snorkeling fins, mud boots or...
Each of us will prioritise according to our own value system and purpose for travel.
We'll compromise, or not, choosing fashion, comfort or the right gear for our activities...
People watching just requires a top up of my tea cup now and then so I can justify occupying this table by the boardwalk.
- Posted on the go