Thanks for coming along!
Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller – Ibn Battuta
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I’ve always thought my passion for old doors was a little weird, an odd personality quirk best not discussed in polite company. I’ve gotten used to it over the years, and so have my friends. “Wait,” they say screeching to an exaggerated halt. “Geanie’s taking another picture of a door.”
I love doors. Unusual doors, battered doors, doors that look like they’ve been around since the beginning of time.
An open door is an invitation into someone’s home, their life, and their story. A closed door is the opposite, but I find them equally intriguing especially in an exotic place like Tangier.
We’d signed up for a last-minute day trip from Malaga Spain to Tangier Morocco. I hadn’t had time to do my research so didn’t know what to expect. I was in for a nice surprise.
I think the doors in Morocco say a lot about the people who live here. This is a very religious society and an ancient one. Some of the doors here are so old and creaky that you feel you’ve entered a horror movie as you step through their shadowy realms.
Take this door to the left – what would you think lurks behind these rusty metal bars?
And this one? The bright colors suggest a pleasant place. Maybe this is the home of a well to do businessman or woman – a rug importer perhaps, or a financier. I like to think this is the home of a well-educated couple with a happy jumble of boisterous tots.
Here’s another exotic entryway. The heavy, somewhat forbidding iron doors strike an odd contrast to their decorative surroundings. Though a little battered and in need of a paint job you can tell this was once a place of importance.
This door is interesting because of the knocker. Our friend Abi, (pictured in the first photo) explained that while most residential homes have a knocker, many have separate knockers for different inhabitants. There might be a heavy one like this for the man of the house and a lighter one for the wife. Some doors even have small knockers which are lower to the ground for a child’s use.
As you can see from the red sign by the door below, this is the Hotel Tangier. It’s is one of the swankier places to stay in this area, which is indicated by the beautiful door with surrounding mosaic tile.
This is the Tangier I’ll never forget, tunnel-like winding streets, so narrow that if you step too stridently through your own front door you might end up in your neighbor’s house. This is not a great door picture, but what I was actually going for was the wiring. Most of these homes do not have electricity. It costs a lot of money to have electrical wires brought to your home. People of lesser means take their baking to the bakery, their laundry to the laundress and read at night by the light of a gas lamp. Traveling always makes me count my blessings.
Anyway, it’s good to know there are other door lovers out there. Maybe I’m not so quirky after all. Thanks, Thursday Doors!
For more fun door posts see Norm 2.0 Thursday doors.
I am a voice in the wilderness, a lonely tree falling in the forest, a distant bell tolling in the wind – oh, sorry, I got a little carried away. What I meant to say is this: I am one of the few people I know who will admit to liking airplane food. There I said it.
Just look at that picture. What’s not to like? I wish the food that came out of my kitchen looked half as good. To be perfectly honest, since my kids are mostly gone, I rarely even cook anymore and if someone wants to hand me a plate of attractively presented, yummy, hot food, that’s usually O.K. by me.
But on our last plane excursion, there was a bit of a hitch.
My husband and I were traveling to Norway, and it was approximately Three A.M. my time – heaven only knows what time it was by the airplane clock, but it was dark and everyone else was asleep. Since I have yet to master the art of sleeping on a plane, I’d been sitting for hours, reading, knitting, and doing crossword puzzles until my eyeballs were fried. Out of the darkness loomed a stewardess who handed me a tray, presumably breakfast, and I mindlessly began to consume the pocket bread sandwich thing which was offered. As I slowly came to my senses, I turned to my husband who was looking at me.
“What is this?” he said, mid chew.
I consider what I’m swallowing. “I don’t know.” I scrabble through the litter on the floor and come up with the wrapper. “It says, Cheese Salad – shredded cheese mixed with mayonnaise and onions.”
We exchange a dubious look and threw away the remains of our sandwiches. Have you ever eaten something where the taste just won’t go away, no matter how much gum you chew? This was one of those times.
After disembarking and meeting up with our friends who were also on the flight, we began to compare notes.
“Did you eat that sandwich thing they brought us?” said my friend.
“Kind of,” I replied, ” It was gross.”
“I know, cheese salad. Eeeew.”
I still like airplane food but, wiser now, I carefully examine all offerings before eating. Cheese salad, it’s out there. Beware.
Do you love airplane food, or am I the only one?
I thought I’d change things up a bit today. The following was originally published on my other blog, The Library Lady Writes.
DISCLAIMER – Lest you get the wrong idea, I never have, nor do I intend in the future to write articles or blog posts that focus on the topic of . . . Urine. I was reluctant to do so in my very first Library Lady installment, but I think you’ll agree if you read on, that the following post simply HAD to be written.
I like my job, it’s what I call a, yes I can job, which means that most requests for my help can be answered with a hearty, “Yes I can”.
Can you check these books out for me?
Yes I can.
Can you find my lost CD?
Yes I can, (providing you actually turned it in).
I can also shelve your books, place holds for you, explain that nasty fine on your library account, and share my current list of favorite books.
Very rarely do I come across a situation that requires a negative answer.
Can I get a library card even though I’ve failed to bring in photo I.D. or a proof of address? Is one of those. Another slightly less common but equally important, ‘No’ question goes like this:
Can I urinate on my library items and return them through the automatic book drop in hopes that no one will notice my transgression?Now watch, here it comes – this is the library lady raising her voice –
ARE YOU KIDDING ME! IN THE ENTIRE SEVENTEEN YEARS THAT I’VE WORKED HERE I’VE NEVER EVEN HEARD OF SUCH A THING!
I will now pause to catch my breath and give you a chance to recover from my outburst.
Cool and unusual Libraries from around the world – Published on Listverse
Think libraries are boring?
Well, think again. Today’s libraries are a delightful combination of old school and high tech. Of course, libraries will always have great books waiting to be plucked from the shelves, but at many locations, you can also find free Internet, downloadable media, 3-D printing, and more.
Unfortunately, there are some parts of the world with no libraries at all. These people have little access to books, and you can forget about high-tech add-ons. So, what to do if you’re a bibliophile who lives in Burundi or on the plains of Mongolia?
Continue reading here Listverse.com to find out.
It was September 2018. My husband and I were looking forward to a dream trip to Spain but we almost missed our flight. Here’s why:
We’d decided to be cool and trendy and book an Uber for the drive to the airport. This was a new experience for us, as we’d previously relied on kids, or friends and neighbors for transport, but this time we had to leave at 5:00 A.M. and hated to bother anyone.
“Uber’s a great idea.” said our kids. “Here – we’ll help you set it up.”
After a group effort, (John and I require help with this kind of thing) we were able to download the app and even schedule an early morning ride. We felt very high-tech.
Fast forward to the day before our departure. My husband was chatting with our good friend and across-the-street neighbor, Paul. When he found out we were paying someone to take us to the airport, he said, “You should have asked me. I’d take you.”
“No no,” my husband assured him. “It’s all set up. We’re good.”
The next morning we sat outside waiting for our ride. It was cold and dark and very lonely. 5:00 A.M. came and went with no sight of an Uber. Concerned, John double-checked the reservation and to our horror, we discovered our ride was scheduled for 5 P.M.!
I live in Oregon, Oregon’s my home. I love the trees the hills,
the places I have roamed . . . Song by Black Hawk County
I’ve never stopped missing Oregon. My husband and I who hail from Portland, have just returned from our annual pilgrimage there to visit friends and family. John and I are both from NE Portland and love to spend time revisiting our former haunts. It’s always fun to wander the halls of the old schools – Madison Hgh, Clackamas, and Jason Lee Elementary – which played such a huge part in our lives at the time but now seem tiny and insignificant. Old neighborhoods are familiar yet different, not to mention the weirdness of driving past childhood homes now occupied by strangers.
I was sitting in a cave. It was dark and quiet except for the murmur of lake water lapping against the shore. Limestone stalactites dripped from the ceiling in fantastic shapes, and a slight breeze stirred the humid air. So far this had been a travel experience I wouldn’t soon forget . . .
Published on My Itchy Travel Feet. For the rest of this Library Lady article click here.
Hey all, I’ve recently added a new category to my blog – it’s called Travel Blunders. Here I share some of the embarrassing and ridiculous things that have happened to me (and my husband) on our travels. Hopefully, reading about our faux pas, will prevent you from doing the same kinds of things. Here’s the first installment:
Faceplant in Finland
Helsinki Finland was a place I’d always wanted to visit. One of my co-workers grew up there and we loved to hear stories about her childhood in this fairy tale place. When my husband and I finally had a chance to visit, we went armed with her best travel tips. Take the ferry to Suomenlinna, visit the Rock Church, and sample the pear ice cream in Market Square. One thing she failed to say was, “Watch your feet”.
Continue Reading –
What brings people of different cultures together? How does a roomful of strangers from countries as diverse as India, England, Ghana, Spain, and the US form a bond? Would your first guess be women dancing? Not mine, but let me tell you why it’s true.
I recently had the opportunity to go on an international cruise and was fascinated by the variety of dress, language, and culture on board. I’ve always been a people person, but while I love making new friends, I’m a little hesitant to reach out when the cultural differences are so strong. Thanks to the language barrier, conversation isn’t always an option and you never know how this person with completely different life experiences might react to your overtures of friendship. So I continued to enjoy the diversity from afar.
Have you ever been to a Human Library? Here you can check out Living Books, and on Saturday I did just that. The Salt Lake County Library System gathered a variety of people, i.e., books who were willing to share their life experiences and brought them together with readers who wanted to hear their stories.
A Muslim Raised in Apartheid A Non-Tiger Mom
I chatted with a retired soldier who had been involved in every American conflict since Viet Nam. One man, a Muslim, told of being raised in apartheid South Africa, and another who was known as the Tom Brokaw of Iraq, recalled fleeing for his life after speaking up one too many times. I talked with a woman about the terror and the joy of escaping a life of polygamy, then discussed educational theory with a non-tiger Mom. There was an urban farmer, a polio survivor who climbed mountains, as well an author, a songwriter an artist, a member of the LGBTQ community and many more.
Musician LGBTQ Community
The Living Books festival originated in Denmark in 1993. The city had experienced a strong societal shift due to a large number of immigrants, and the new and old members of the population were not getting along. The first Human Library was aimed at giving people a chance to sit down together as neighbors. It was an opportunity to break down barriers and prejudice, and it serves the same purpose today.
“This event gave people a chance to talk with someone they wouldn’t ordinarily meet,” said the Imam of the Salt Lake Islamic society. “When you bring people from opposite ends of the social and political spectrum together in a non-judgmental setting, a lot good can come of it.”
“We’ll do this again next year,” said Liesl Seborg, coordinator of the event. “Hopefully everyone will come back and bring their friends.” And that’s what it’s all about – friends. The people who attended today have some new friends to show for it, and judging by all the animated conversations and smiling faces, the event was a great success.
DON’T JUDGE A BOOK BY ITS COVER