Silent Sunday

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Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea

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I highly recommend animator Guy Delisle’s graphic memoir Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea. Deslisle, a French Canadian, had to go to North Korea for two months to supervise the animators his French employer contracted (for their ultra-cheap rates). As you might expect the landscape and city are dreary, dark at night save a lit up portrait of the Supreme Leader. He recounts his dull, ever-present translator and guide. The food is bland and the restaurants dirty. Foreigners are separated from the People. So Delisle’s only companionship is a go-between at work, and other foreigners at the hotel or in the NGO compound, which has parties on the weekend.

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It was interesting to read about the approved responses Capt. Sin, Delise’s handler would give to his queries about the country and to learn of the pervasive propaganda. One “high” point was a visit to the Museum of American Oppression, which was two stories of images (three photos and many paintings) of Americans doing atrocious things to the North Koreans. There are paintings of US soldiers forcing motor oil down the throats of children and other forms of torture including the use of the rack, which seem quite dubious even if you acknowledge that yes, unfortunately, and shamefully, sometimes American military has resorted to torture. Capt. Sin was very disappointed that Delise didn’t react as he’d expected to the museum trip.

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delisle_guy_pyongyangThere are plenty of anecdote’s of the usual the translator isn’t around when Delisle needs him so rather than wait for hours Delisle goes out on his own through the streets of Pyongyang in search of a gift for his godson. “What’s to buy in the DPRK?” you might ask. Delisle did return empty handed as he couldn’t even find a cheap kitsch. Poor North Korea, indeed. Delisle made me feel like a friend he was sharing his tales of North Korea with. I felt his treatment was fair and thorough. I sure wouldn’t want to stay in Pyongyang a minute past two months. If you do have to go, even for a weekend, Bring food. What they offer seems dreadful.

Based on this book, I’m planning to read his books on Shenzhen and Jerusalem. The later I’ve already ordered from the library.

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Silent Sunday

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silent sunday

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Books on Islam

Travel and reading go hand in hand in my book. If I go to a new country I try to supplement my experiences and perceptions with good books. I trust Farah to pick some of the best.

For Ramadan, Farah of A BookTube Book, shares her TBR books that center on Islam.

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WPC: All-Time Favorites

So WordPress is ending this fun, community-building, delightful challenge. They haven’t given a reason why, which is disappointing. I loved getting a new theme to inspire me and to get a chance to see how others had responded. I connected with other bloggers and I’ll sorely missed that.

I’m not surprised that many people are sad to see this challenge go. I am surprised that a company could end a service so abruptly. Why?

It makes sense if an individual’s life changes and they must end a weekly challenge, but WordPress is a viable, successful company. If they want to hire me to handle this, I’m game. It wouldn’t be pricey.

Perhaps an individual with loads of followers will fill the gap, but it’s a commitment. I’ll follow if someone does.

I’ll be in shock for quite a while. What a shame WP. You didn’t have to go this route.
How sad.

I hope that this is like the “New Coke” fiasco and that they do resume this challenge. Again, I’d be happy to freelance as their new WPC Creator.

1. Each week, WordPress will provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Wednesday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.

3. Follow The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements, and subscribe to our newsletter – we’ll highlight great posts. Add Media photos from each month’s most popular challenge.

Just a few wonderful posts:

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Posted in Art, Australia, Blogging Challenge, China, Europe, Experience, Nature, North America, photography, postaweek, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Silent Sunday

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silent sunday

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For International Museum Day

Some of my favorite museums

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The British Museum, London, England

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The Richard Driehaus Museum, Chicago, Illinois

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Suzhou Museum, Suzhou, China

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Wedgewood

Art Institute of Chicago

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Source: Party Lin, Flickr

Miho Museum, designed by I.M. Pei, Kyoto, Japan

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WPC: Liquid

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Five Dragons Pond, Jinan, China

1. Each week, WordPress will provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Wednesday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.

3. Follow The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements, and subscribe to our newsletter – we’ll highlight great posts. Add Media photos from each month’s most popular challenge.

Just a few wonderful posts:

Posted in China, Experience, Nature, postaweek, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WPC: My Place in the World

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In a market

Marketplaces, where the photography is great, are my kind of places.

1. Each week, WordPress will provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Wednesday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.

3. Follow The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements, and subscribe to our newsletter – we’ll highlight great posts. Add Media photos from each month’s most popular challenge.

Just a few wonderful posts:

 

Posted in Asia, Bargain, Blogging Challenge, China, Culture, Experience, Photograph, photography, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

WPC: Lines

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Thailand

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Lines of boys, Indonesian boarding school

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Java, Indonesia

1. Each week, WordPress will provide a theme for creative inspiration. You take photographs based on your interpretation of the theme, and post them on your blog (a new post!) anytime before the following Wednesday when the next photo theme will be announced.

2. To make it easy for others to check out your photos, title your blog post “Weekly Photo Challenge: (theme of the week)” and be sure to use the “postaday″ tag.

3. Follow The Daily Post so that you don’t miss out on weekly challenge announcements, and subscribe to our newsletter – we’ll highlight great posts. Add Media photos from each month’s most popular challenge.

Just a few wonderful posts:

Posted in Art, Blogging Challenge, Culture, Photograph, photography, postaweek, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment