Travel Destinations To and From the Mid Atlantic forum: Wanderings AKA Where have you been?

 
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Imagestormyla
Feb 3, 2010 1:00 AM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Please share the images and anecdotes of all of your travel experiences, near and far.

Photo: DaylilyDiva219

Thumbnail by stormyla

Imagestormyla
Feb 9, 2010 12:09 PM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Finland, now that was a fascinating country.
Imagestormyla
Feb 21, 2010 11:09 AM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Finland was the first place that I ever went to where it never got dark. It was so strange. People playing golf until Midnight and nightclubs just starting to get crowded at 2AM when we were headed back to our hotel.
ImageJan
Feb 22, 2010 7:29 AM CST
Name: Jan Jackson
south Jersey
Japan about 2 hours NW of Tokyo toward the western coast in a town called Ojiya. We visited my son and his wife there. They were there for 2 years. She taught English in Jr. High Schools and he taught in small classes or privately as well as working at a yochien ( a private pre-school run by a Buddhist temple)
I LOVED it there and would go back in a heartbeat. The second time I went I took 3 kids with me for a short homestay with a Japanese family. I also had 3 groups of kids from their town come to NJ.
The mountains were spectacular, the town quaint and crowded, the flatlands well planted, and the food outstanding.
When the 4 of us walked around we attracted lots of attention. My son is 6'5" and I'm just shy of 6'.
Imagestormyla
Feb 22, 2010 9:21 AM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
That sounds fabulous Jan. Anyone that I know who has ever spent extended time in Japan, especially those staying with Japanese people have really loved it. It really is a beautiful country. I've never seen the countryside, just a small part of Tokyo. I bet that you and your kids caused quite a stir!
ImageJan
Feb 22, 2010 3:00 PM CST
Name: Jan Jackson
south Jersey
My DIL speaks Japanese fluently and teaches it in Oregon. She has headed up many exchange programs for the town of Ojiya. The town is very globally minded and raises money to send many of their kids to the USA even if it is for just a week.

One family that we had dinner with was very interesting. The wife (pretty elderly) said that she would have never thought that she would have any Americans in her house because of WWII. She remembers bombing runs near the city where she lived.
Imagestormyla
Feb 22, 2010 9:29 PM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
What a wonderful experience, Jan. It's always nice to go somewhere with someone who speaks the language. It's really special when you can interact personally in a native's home. You really get a feel for the people that way. It must have been a lot of mixed emotions for both of you when your Host said that to you.
ImageJan
Feb 23, 2010 7:48 AM CST
Name: Jan Jackson
south Jersey
Definitely! Made us think, too, how we would feel in their shoes.
Imagestormyla
Feb 23, 2010 10:18 AM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
In Finland, we spent a good bit of time in Helsinki. We were there towards the end of July. This is the vacation season for the fins. Most of the offices and many business close for two months in the summer. There are lots of natives to interact with in all of the shops, restaurants and clubs.

When we would ask folks "when does it get dark", they would tell us, "In September". I loved all of the outdoor cafes. In the morning, around 9, my girlfriends and I would go out in search of a great cafe to have breakfast. Within 10 minutes we would have a group of male "visitors". The Fins would be just coming out of the night clubs Big Grin
ImageWild_Rose
Feb 23, 2010 9:36 PM CST
Name: Karen Allen
Fredericksburg, VA
I lived in the Azores for three years and Turkey for a year. If I ever get cancer or a serious lung problem, I have always planned to blame it on my year in Turkey... unbelieveable pollution! But I lived in the capitol city... Ankara.
Instead of running after perfection, why not simply walk in faith?
Imagestormyla
Feb 23, 2010 11:16 PM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Oh my goodness, Karen, I want to hear ALL about those experiences. I met two girls on a plane once from Turkey. It was back in the early 90's. They were so much like young girls in the US, I couldn't believe it. I had a great time on the plane with them.

PLEASE tell us about those exotic locals. I have always wanted to see the Azores. I know what you mean about pollution. The pollution in China is not to be believed. Drooling
Imagestormyla
Feb 25, 2010 7:37 AM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
When we were in Helsinki, the nightclubs were all playing Techno Pop. It was brand new and hadn't hit the states yet. It was so strange to see everybody jerking around dancing to it.The Electric Slide was the newest dance rage at home. We were all doing it in the nightclub in Helsinki. A lot of the Fins started doing it with us.

This was a 3 week Scandinavian countries trip. Later in the trip we were in Copenhagen in Denmark and went into a night club there. Small World, we met a few Europeans who'd also been at the night club in Helsinki. They were teaching the Electric Slide to the Danes.. Big Grin
ImageJan
Feb 25, 2010 6:45 PM CST
Name: Jan Jackson
south Jersey
Too funny, Stormy! It really is a small world.
Imagestormyla
Feb 25, 2010 8:36 PM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Jan, Did you see those sleeping tubes in Tokyo? They just blew my mind.

Another thing that was so interesting was the public restrooms. The Scandinavians are ingenious engineers. They are geniuses at designing beautiful functional spaces and objects. They are also very neat and everything is very sanitary and spotless.

They had some that were like Johnnie on the Spots. You had to put coins into them, as they were pay toilets. A Really Rolling on the floor laughing story. None of us knew that they had a remarkable feature. After you would use it, when you closed the door a fine sanitizing spray would come down into the cube from above and rinse the interior. Then an electric fan or vacumn would dry it. One of the husbands of the gals in our group was an overbearing pompass you know what. After my friend used the toilet, he came running up and asked her to hold the door open for him so that he didn't have to pay. (It cost about $.50). She held the door for him. As soon as the door closed the antibacterial shower started!! We heard all of this screaming and banging and cussing. Then the door opened and he came out all wet smelling like disinfectant. It was such poetic justice. Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing
ImageJan
Feb 26, 2010 9:44 AM CST
Name: Jan Jackson
south Jersey
That is TOOOOO funny, Stormy!

Nope, didn't see the sleeping tubes. We only passed through Tokyo. Ahhhh bathrooms. Well there were the traditional ones with a hole in the floor and you squatted. You always carrried a hankie with you cuz there were no paper towels after you washed your hands. I about split a zipper once. Then there were the 'American' toilets which I much preferred. LOL

I had trouble with my knees and all the kneeling and sitting on the floor.
Imagestormyla
Feb 26, 2010 9:58 AM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
They are the same in China too. NOT pleasant. Especially in the airports where they don't turn the lights on until 6 AM. Trying to use them in the dark was VERY challenging!!

The sleeping tubes in Japan were in the Narita airport. They looked like enclosed tanning beds. You put your $ in and got inside to take your nap or sleepover. Lots of Japanese people were using them.

I love to see the everyday things in foreign countries, like supermarkets. You can get a good feel for a culture by visiting their grocery stores and food markets. Big Grin
ImageJan
Feb 26, 2010 1:45 PM CST
Name: Jan Jackson
south Jersey
There was a large, new supermarket near my son's apt. Very nicely displayed. A small, round watermelon was $16.00. Gift giving is very important there, so there were many displays of pre-wrapped boxes of goodies that could be taken to your host. BTW have I said that I loved it there? Rolling my eyes.

We were at Narita, but were probably so busy trying to find our way that we missed seeing the 'tubes'.
Imagestormyla
Feb 26, 2010 2:01 PM CST
Name: Stormy
Valley Forge Pa
I Love MAM ~ So Happy Together
Yes, Jan. I've heard about the Japanese custom of gift giving. I had a funny cultural exchange with a Japanese businessman on the airplane. I'll tell you about it soon!
ImageJan
Feb 26, 2010 2:04 PM CST
Name: Jan Jackson
south Jersey
It is very much a male dominated society. I don't think they knew what to do with my DIL who's very fluent and was extremely hurt by some of the things people said because they didn't think she understood what they were saying.

Anxious to hear your story.
ImageHollyAnnS
Feb 26, 2010 7:48 PM CST
Name: Holly
South Central Pa
I have finally just gotten over here. I just love the stories. The three of you have done so much interesting traveling. Talk about those hole in the floor toilets I ran into one of those in Venice. Thumbs down
Most of our traveling has been in the US and a bit of the Caribbean. We did have a great trip to Austria for a week with a group of Hockey players. I just loved it there. We took a day trip down to Venice which was just wonderful. I would love to go to Greece and Ric wants to ride the rails in Europe.
Life is Great! Holly
Please visit me and learn more about My Life on the Water a Personal Journey Thread in the MidAtlanticMusings Cubit.
http://cubits.org/MidAtlanticMusings/thread/view/5752/

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