Beautiful, Interesting and Ooo Shiny! Images From Various Places

Posts tagged “travel

Flying Soon? Don’t be THAT GUY!

Hello my fabulous readers! Today I wanted to share with you a bit about people I’ve traveled alongside. Or more accurately, people I hope I’m never stuck sharing a plane with! Instead of a photo-and-blog format this week, however, I thought a little interpretation was necessary. *evil grin* So here you go, folks – my take on airline madness!

Have you ever run into THAT GUY on a flight? What’s your story?

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Eating Mexican Food in Poland

Location: Poland
Camera info: Canon Rebel 350D • lens 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
ISO 800 • f 8 • 1/100 sec

Yum, doesn’t this picture make you hungry? Or are you just admiring the culinary artwork?

Our group was lucky (or brave) enough to have dinner at a Mexican restaurant when we were in Poland. We were sitting at a long table outside so we could enjoy the weather. It was quite the experience! Along with the decorated food, we had a few good laughs as well. Two of our guys ordered fajitas. Apparently, these are not very common in Poland, because they were served along with written instructions on how to prepare them! That wasn’t all. They also came with bibs! Our server, who knew a little English, explained this by telling us “Fajitas are dirty.” 🙂

Earlier in the trip, we started a running gag at every restaurant we went to. We picked one member of our group, Kelli, and told every restaurant, every day, that it was her birthday. We just wanted to see what would happen! 😉 At this restaurant, most of the servers were dressed in skimpy outfits resembling Spanish dancers from the “Wild Wild West” era. All of a sudden, we heard what sounded like gun shots. A man came running out of the building dressed in all black, with a face mask and cape, and firing a cap gun into the air. Scaring the waitresses, he ran over to Kelli and dropped a cake slice with a candle at her place. Then he took off running again, back into the restaurant. Once we overcame our shock, we laughed pretty hard at that one!

I guess this is what the Polish think Mexico (and likely Texas as well) is really like! LOL

How do your international friends see other cultures, even ours?


Speaking Without Words

Location: Mexico
Camera info: Canon Rebel 350D • lens 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
ISO 400 • f 13 • 1/400 sec

If a picture is worth 1000 words, I probably don’t have to explain what’s going on here. But just in case… I was at an orphanage in Mexico, playing with the kids. I had been given power to control the bubble solution stock (big yellow bottle). The kids had their own small bubble wands, and when they needed refills, they came to me. There was limited stock and I was trying to help them be conservative. This little boy was doing his best to convince me that he needed more anyway. However, I didn’t know any Spanish and he didn’t know any English, so we had no clue what each other was saying. Yet we still communicated all this without language.

Have you ever run into a situation like this, where someone you try to talk to doesn’t speak your language? Yep, it even occurs right here in the USA. So what do we do? Our basic tendency when we don’t feel understood is to speak louder or slower, hoping that if we enunciate better, people will understand us. But when someone doesn’t know your language at all, it just makes you look silly.

In my travels, I’ve learned that one old speaker’s addage still holds true internationally. “Communication is 20% what you say, and 80% how you say it.” People pay more attention to tone and body language than they do actual words, so learning to capitalize on that has allowed me to communicate with many people worldwide who don’t share a common language!

How about trying some clear body language? When I tried to ask an Indonesion kid the word for “rain”, I pointed to the ocean nearby (water), then to the sky (clouds), and made a motion like raindrops with my fingertips. He knew exactly what I wanted then, and gladly taught me that word as well as several others. Children in India often beg by putting their hands to their mouths, imitating eating, then put their hand out to you, hoping you will fill it. Facial expressions also are clear indicators, as long as you emphasize your feelings well. Smiles are known worldwide!

How could you indicate a question or statement using only body language and facial expressions? I’d love to hear your creative ideas!


FAILing With Style

Location: India
Camera Info: Canon Rebel 350D • lens 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6
ISO 1600 • f 20 • 1/80 sec

Ever want to try something crazy, just because you can? A friend of mine decided to have some fun while walking around a rural area of India. There was a random pole in the ground, and we still never knew what it was for. But looked like fun! The guy was quite an acrobat.

Ever want to try something crazy, and it goes terribly wrong? The rest of our group had looked away for a moment, when we heard my friend call for help.  Apparently, he had missed when trying to get off the pole.

I bet it made quite a fond memory, having a bunch of teens try to help him get a pole out of his pants. At least next time we had a group sing-along, we had an extra soprano!

So what has been your biggest FAIL when you were trying to look good?


Welcome to Poland!

Location: Poland
Camera info: Canon Rebel 350D • lens EF 70-200mm f/2.8L
ISO 200  f 2.8  1/1600 sec
(Note: This panoramic was created by digitally stitching 9 photos together)

Hey folks! I’m back from my last great adventure with more tales of shock & awe and of course, more photos! My travels took me to Poland to do a series of concerts in several cities, so we got to see a lot of the country. This week’s photo was taken in Warsaw, the capital city.

The Republic of Poland is the sixth largest country in Europe (about the size of New Mexico in the US), and has a population of about 38 million. It is a country rich in history, but the Polish people themselves are more known for their practical jokes (and yes, we had a few played on us!). It is a highly-educated place, with 90% of residents having at least completed a secondary education, and 17 have won Nobel Prizes. Yet, Poland has the highest unemployment level in the EU (12.6% in 2006).

Most Poles are Catholic (around 90%), and I enjoyed getting to see cathedrals everywhere and statues of saints and Pope John Paul II (the only Polish pope). The culture also seemed very focused on the arts. I guess this is why our group could start singing in the town square and we would fit right in. 🙂 We enjoyed their food, mostly based around pork, chicken, and vegetables. They also had great roads compared to most countries I’ve been in outside the West. Now the drivers, that’s another story. 😉

Do you enjoy short country overviews like this? I can cover some of the other countries on this blog as well. Let me know in the comments!