My Favorite Number

6,469,693,230

Many of my posts are about travel. As we won’t be visiting new countries for a while, I have been playing around with more technical and computer related stuff. This time however it’s just to tell you something I find interesting. As I write now, this could be titled: My Favourite Number: 6.469.693.230 .

This number is the product of all the prime numbers less than 30.

Specifically, 2 x 3 x 5 x 7 x 11 x 13 x 17 x 19 x 23 x 29

I calculate this in my head. You can too. Here’s my secret recipe.

Ingredients:

1 Algebraic Formula:

(a – b) x (a + b) = a2 – b2

2 Squares: 182 = 324 and 262 = 676

Process:

Step 1. Multiply 2 by 5 = 10 and set aside.

Step 2. Multiply 7 by 11 by 13 and be surprised at the result of 1001. Set aside.

Step 3. Multiply 23 by 29 observing that 23 is (26 -3) and 29 is (26 + 3). (26-3) x (26+3) = 262 – 32 or 676 – 9 = 667. Multiply 3 x 667 and be surprised at the result of 2001. Set aside.

Step 4. Multiply the remaining two primes, 17 and 19, by observing that 17 is (18-1) and 19 is (18+1). (18-1) x (18+1) = 182 – 12 or 324 -1 = 323. Set aside.

Now the we start combining the different steps previously set aside.

First, combine Step 2 with Step 3. Multiply 1001 by 2001. The result is 2003001

Next, combine Step 4. Multiply 2003001 by 323 noting that 2 x 323 = 646, 3 x323 = 969. The result is 646969323.

Finally, combine in Step 1. Pop 646969323 in the oven for 10 minutes and out comes: 6,469,693,230.



When I have trouble getting back to sleep in the middle of the night, one solution is to do tables of squares. 1 x 1 = 1, 2 x 2 = 4, 3 x 3 = 9, 4 x 4 = 16. It turns out the table can be built with just addition.

Here’s the formula:

n2 + n + (n+1) = (n + 1)2

It means: the current square plus current number plus next number is the next number squared.

Example from above. 16 + 4 + 5 = 25 (that is 52). 25 + 5 + 6 = 36. And so on. I seldom made it beyond 23. Knowing the squares of 1 to 25 has the additional benefit of knowing the last two digits of every squared number in the universe. Gosh, I’m already sleepy.

Caught by Nostalgia

A lot of emails come through the various mailboxes I monitor. Today, one came through from Citybike Wien with a newsletter announcing their Advent Calendar. The charming graphic reminded me of wonderful days we spent in November 2015 wandering around Vienna. We were there for about a week and luckily had a chance to visit the Christmas market on the first weekend it was open.

“The snow flutters down quietly…” and other Christmas carols will soon be on the radio again, proclaiming:“Welcome to the pre-Christmas season! “.

I get this newsletter because I rented through their bike sharing program while we were there. In the past, I have thought about unsubscribing but it was cumbersome getting through their website. All is well. Instead I am going to register with the Citybike Uphill team so I can enjoy the rest of the Advent calendar graphics from Hannah at hana.rts.

Update. After some more fooling around on the Citybike website, I found out I already have an account. After choosing my handle of “Capo in B,” a simple click has registered me with the uphill team. It might be a little difficult for me to manage this challenge as we are still stuck in Malaysia. But it is diverting to see that I still have € 1 in my account.

I don’t have strong memories of holidays growing up in a small town of Windom, Minnesota. Looking back through our albums, a lot of memories come flooding in around the experiences with our daughter growing up in Minnesota, Frankfurt, and then some side trips to Ecuador and Vancouver and Tokyo and Kuala Lumpur. Here’s one photo that captures this feeling for me today.

Must be Istambul but maybe Constantinople

In case you are curious about Austrian Christmas Songs, the one quoted is here on youtube. Perhaps, I will return to this post if I am able to unlock any of the doors on the Advent Calendar. All the best to you wherever you are, whatever you celebrate, and more importantly enjoy all the memories of the seasons. Cheers.

Dad Jokes

The pillion rider asked me what I wanted for Father’s Day. How about some Dad jokes.

It is coming up on two years since we last played parents hanging out with our daughter and cooking her favorite foods. We are in Malaysia; she is in New Zealand. Our paths diverged at Nadi Airport, Fiji. Since she is not here to be embarrassed, I’ll publish ten bad jokes for everyone to groan.

  1. Here’s a new word just for today: Plagiarism. (I copied it)
  2. I find moon rocks are more delicious. They are a little meateor.
  3. I get suspicious of trees on sunny days. They seem a little shady.
  4. Bikes fall over because they are twoo tired.
  5. When Math Acorns grow up they exclaim, “Gee, Ah’m a tree.” (They probably have square roots.)
  6. I was an ugly child. When I was born, the doctor looked at me and slapped my mother.
  7. Time flies like a arrow, fruit flies like a banana.
  8. My yearly income is six figures. I’m not saying where the decimal point is.
  9. It’s apparent that this bad joke has become a dad joke.
  10. Do you speak Esperanto? “Yes, like a native.”

Remembering The Old Man

I have thought about my father, John Somerville Ruenitz, frequently as the the Covid-19 vaccines have been deployed over the last six months. He did not have a smallpox vaccination scar on his shoulder. He survived smallpox during basic training in the navy. It was the milder type, and his entire unit was quarantined for a month. The only places that I ever noticed the scars were around the knuckle joints of his hands.

My father would be 111 this month. He liked to boast his birthday on the 25th was the farthest day from Christmas. No chance of aunties giving him a gift for both birthday and the holiday. After graduating from William Mitchell Law School, he was a lawyer for over 40 years in Windom, Minnesota. For a while, his law office had the distinction of having the first phone number, #1. And I could go on and on with the stories and how they affected me throughout my life.

Here are a few facts. He was born in Los Angeles, but grew up in Springfield, Minnesota. Like everyone in my family born in Los Angeles, he was left handed. Those born in Windom were right handed. After high school, he enrolled in the University of Wisconsin Experimental College in Madison. The banner shows him with fellow members of the Theta Xi fraternity (He’s third from the right in the front row). Coincidentally, one of his classmates at the University was a member of the United Nations Smallpox Eradication Program in the 1960s.

Storefronts of Penang

Malaysia has re-implemented the Movement Control Order meaning we stay at home except for necessities of food and medicine. Rather than complain, we will consider it as being exiled for the Good of the Realm version two. This time we have been banished to the island of Penang off the coast of Malaysia in the Straits of Malacca. Within the city boundaries of Georgetown the authorities allow us time to exercise maintaining a two meter distance from the other inmates.

Georgetown and environs on the island offer many interesting sights for our exercise walks. There are Religious Temples for Hindu, Islam, Buddhist and Christian, colonial offices and mansions, street art on winding streets, open markets, seafront jetties, and interesting local cuisine available for take away.

One thing I grapple with is understanding how the needs of a modern city can work with the traditional neighborhoods and historical venues. One area where I see this working well is in the renovation of the shophouses in Georgetown. Some of these date back over a hundred years to the time of Sun Yat Sen (Father of modern China) residing in Penang. Most, however, were built in the 1950’s during the reconstruction after World War Two.

Here is a selection of photos that capture the old and the new. I particularly like the traditional buildings that are painted with modern color schemes. Another thing I like is the refurbishing of walkways using traditional patterns on a single long stretch without steps or ridges.

In my mind

What the eyes see, the mind perceives, remains just a smudge or a ripple of digitized pointillisme. A fisherman guides his boat on a tranquil morning-swept bay

Penang Strait
A fishing boat

Obviously I am not a fisherman in anyone’s imagination. Spotting two boats out this morning with my 8x handheld monocular, I could imagine the salt fish smell, the light lapping of water, the morning breeze promising midday heat. My photos taken through industrial glass capture nothing but a smudge

Journeys of a Young Traveler

Over the past month, I have enjoyed scrolling through photos of our journeys. This brings me back to the original idea of Misplaced Map Case, comprehending the memories of travel. One thought comes to mind is our conscious decision to provide our daughter with experiences more than things. Nothing so original about that idea, but here are a few photos that brought back fond memories of the results. Most of our photos include her but I only post a few of those here.

Monaco 1997

At 6 months old, we went to Malaysia to visit pillion rider’s family. After that we continued on to Europe for three weeks visiting London, Paris, San Sebastian and Valencia Spain, Lisbon, Montpelier France, and Monaco. Today, her memory of these experiences has completely faded. Here’s one showing the November weather a little milder on the Mediterranean.

Monte Carlo_Nov 21-22, 1997

Iceland 2000 / 2002

With a 3 month contract in Germany that lasted almost five years, we crisscrossed the Atlantic a number of times. Twice we stopped in Iceland, once in winter, once in Summer.

Aruba 2006

In the summer of 2006, we needed a break and booked a trip to Aruba. On very short notice, it was easier to choose an all inclusive resort. On arriving with just two small bags, the receptionist queried, “Is that all you have?” 

“We just need swimming suits, right?” She agreed. We drove around the island one day. Another we rented bicycles. We splurged on a submarine ride for a unique experience.

Ecuador 2007

In 2007, I had a few extra days of vacation and decided crossing the equator would be a good experience. We traveled to Ecuador so we could do it on foot. We stayed in Quito and then at an Eco Resort in the mountains.

Wales 2009

We traveled around the world with her several times when she was quite young. In 2009, we decided to book Round-The-World Tickets to give her memories to remember. We started in Minneapolis and visited: London, Zurich, Kuala Lumpur, Phnom Penh, Tokyo, Honolulu, and finally back to Minneapolis. Besides side trips to Oxford, Stonehenge, Glastonbury, and the Southern Jurassic Coast, we headed up to Cardiff Wales.

Puerto Rico 2010

In 2010 we made a research trip investigating whether to relocate to Puerto Rico. I would be able to work remotely, but still be in the United States. Along with this, we checked out a couple of high schools. High priority on our list was the access to fresh roasted coffee. Here are beans collected at a co-operative ready for processing.

Some observations about traveling with children

  • We kept the focus on experiences and sights interesting for her age.
  • Priority was on activities more than seeing. Parks and playgrounds took priority over museums and buildings.
  • The pillion rider always had creative toys, books, and art materials whenever we went out. One flight of 13 hours (Kuala Lumpur to Frankfurt), she brought PlayDoh type clay. At three years old, she played with this until she slept, then played some more.
  • Adjusting schedules for meals and activities according to her internal clock.
  • We let her help out with packing, pulling luggage, carrying groceries. We let her choose a few things to pack in her bag, a few things to buy when we were out

Spring in Invercargill

After a month in Auckland, we headed to Invercargill. Its the city farthest south in New Zealand.  Outside of a few cities in southern South America, it is the closest city to Antarctica. Spring here can be harsh as we found out. New Zealand Airlines warned us in Auckland after check in that landing might not be possible due to an expected gale. We made it, but that night it was cold, whipping winds, and sheets of rain shaking the house. Then, a bright sunny morning was filled with spring flowers bursting with color. We found the flowers here are mighty hardy. In Japan, cherry blossoms fly with the first gusts.  Here, it took four gales before they started to fly. Spring in Invercargill is not your typical tourist destination but we never got soaked nor blown over. As always, its about planning with alternatives.

In the city, there is a nice bus service that gets around to most of the areas. We stayed two blocks from Queens Park so hardly used the bus.  We rented a car to explore outside of Invercargill.  This included Bluff, a port and village with ferry service to Stewart Island. We stopped in Riverton and Tuatapere on a drive west to Fjordland. To the east we visited the most southern point of the South Island at Slope Point, along with walking among petrified forest in Curio Bay.

I’m limiting the photos in this post to Queens Park and residential streets.

The first group of photos come from our daily walks in Queens Park.  We always found something new there. Mostly self explanatory.

 

 

The second group has street views from the Invercargill Chorus Cabinet Trail. Chorus is the local Wideband Internet provider. These are 22 outdoor communications cabinets that artists have decorated.  I tried to capture the local residential streets around each work.

 

Our Tuatara Story (the proud papa)

When Daughter was in 3rd or 4th grade, we went to a demonstration on reptiles at the local library.  The presenter started with the question, “What are the five orders of reptiles expecting: lizard, snake, turtle?” Daughter answered first: Tuatara. The presenter about fell off his chair. He explained in 30 years he had only received that answer three times. I suspect he didn’t expect it from that little girl in the second row. As you will see in the wikipedia entry, these reptiles are unique to their order and only found in New Zealand. So it was fitting that we could see several tuataras when we were in New Zealand together.

 

Calming Down in the Smokey Mountains

After Santo Domingo, we flew non-stop straight up to Atlanta, Georgia to visit my brother, Peter, and his wife Elizabeth. Then, we spent a couple of weeks driving up to Richmond, Kentucky to see my friend David from college, then south to recharge in the mountains of Appalachia. We found a place near Waynesville, North Carolina in the Pisgah National Forest. This was near to Canton and Asheville.

Way too many photos of green, blue, and smokey mountains.

Impressions:

We rented a car.  There really is no other way to get around the United States.  Even though the steering wheel was on the left side and gear shift on the right, it turned out to be really easy to take care of all the stuff we needed to do.

We broke up the long trips into two days with lots of breaks.  In one section we stopped in Franklin, North Carolina and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. Franklin was a quaint small town with local arts and a specialty bakery. Pigeon Forge was bustling with bright and loud American entertainment venues including Dolly Parton’s Dollywood, restaurant chains, and theme parks.  So many contrasts between these two, yet we found both very interesting with stuff we needed.

It has been about six years since seeing Peter and Elizabeth. I think, the last time Dave and I met up was in 1993. He wrote a song for my parents 50th wedding anniversary.  He’s still the character he was when we hitchhiked up and down North Dakota and Minnesota over 50 years ago.

Trivia: Canton, NC was probably named after steel manufacturing city of Canton, Ohio. Canton, Ohio likely was named after Canton, China now Guangzhou near Hong Kong.

 

 

A zig and a zag to the Dominican Republic

The first time I remember looking up the Dominican Republic was when my friend from Duluth, Minnesota traveled from Uruguay to Santo Domingo. Later, I discovered a high school friend went there in the Peace Corps and stayed on.

Having bounced around the Caribbean in several other trips, this time we had to find a way to get to Santo Domingo.  In the end, we flew with a special upgrade on Copa Airlines from Port of Spain via Panama City, Panama. It was a long day but the connections went smoothly.

Here is a variety of photos I snapped mostly around the Zona Colonial (old city).

Impressions.

Hot, Caliente, Fiery, Combustible, Fuego, Sweltering, Infierno, Hellish, Thunderstorm

On the other hand, it was great to meet up with my high school classmate and share impressions of the the world and of Windom, Minnesota. Thanks, Mike. And thanks to our wives who had to put up with the old guys reminiscing into the night.

Wild Coasts, The northern edge of South America

We spent over three weeks traveling through the Guyanas (in colonial days called French Guyana, Dutch Guyana, British Guyana).  Today, they are Guyane, a department of France, Suriname, and Guyana. This is the unique linguistic enclave of South America where one hears French, Dutch (Netherlands), English, and Creole. I also heard Sranan Tongo, which I came across in a Sociology course long ago at the University of Minnesota.  In those days it was described as Taki-Taki, a derivation of English Talky Talky unless it was more formal, then Dipi-Taki (Deep Talk) was used.

Travel was a little tricky.  There is only one flight a week from Belem, Brazil to Cayenne the capital of French Guyana. There are no flights from Cayenne to Parimaribo capital of Suriname.  We booked a share taxi for 4:00 AM to Saint Laurent de Moroni, the river port across from Suriname.  A share motorized long boat called a Pirogue took us over the river.  There another share taxi took us to the door of our host’s apartment. Three others made the trip with us all the way from Cayenne. Along with getting in and out and watching our bags, we went to French immigration to get our exit stamp at the ferryboat port in Saint Laurent and stopped in Albina, Suriname to show our visitor card and passport.  The visitor card we obtained for 35 Euros from the Suriname consulate in Cayenne.  This gave us one of the few chances to show our Yellow Fever certificates. We flew from Paramaribo to Georgetown in Guyana.  The Suriname airport was built many years ago 40 km from the city on solid land away from the marshy savannas.  Similarly, the International airport in Georgetown is an hour drive to the city.

This sampling of photos shows coasts and colonial houses typical of the region.

Cayenne, Guyane Française (French Guyana)

Side trip to Kourou, Guyane Française

We rented a car for one day to drive down and tour the Space Port. It is a huge complex.

2019-07-03 16.03.09.jpg
Launch pad in preparation for the Ariane Rocket Launch that occurred two days later

Paramaribo, Suriname

Georgetown, Guyana

Impressions

There are many national forests and parks that we could have visited that are still quite natural and rustic.  Mostly, they must be visited on tours or using a personal vehicle.  These are not popular enough to have regular bus service that allow independent travelers to visit.  There were a lot of flashbacks to my early days traveling around southern South America in the 1970s. This trip was a mixture of unique experiences that keep alive the memories of the so-called “colonial backwaters.”

 

How to be a Carioca (step one)

In 1992, Priscilla Ann Goslin published the book How to be a Carioca. We found a discount copy (the cover was printed upside down) when we lived in Brazil during 1994.  Oddly, her biography states she was born near Sand Lake, Minnesota. I’m not sure what that means. Maybe it is a personal joke in her family, or maybe it is a means of keeping anonymity as there are a lot of Sand Lakes. To me, born near Lake Winnibigoshish sounds better.

What one learns from this book is that the Carioca (resident of Rio de Janeiro Brazil) is the original “happy-go-lucky” spirit, where “no” is not an option, “on time” is a concept of Einstein physics, and the letter “s” is pronounced with inflexion.

So the first step to being a Carioca is to go to Rio de Janeiro.  We were there for ten days hitting lots of iconic tourist venues around the Copacabana Beach, Sugar Loaf (Pão de Açucar) and the Corcovado (Christ the Redeemer).  We also met up with our friend Jose Antonio who we had not seen for 25 years.  He took us around to some really interesting spots like the National Library, coffee at the Colombo, unique restaurants. It is his knowledge of so many fascinating stories that made our trip unique and let his Carioca character shine.

Here are a few photos we snapped along the way.

We spent one morning looking at street art in the renovated port area.  Some are just amazing.

2019-06-16 11.35.04
One of the largest murals in the world for the Brazil Olympics

2019-06-16 11.49.20
French Patronage Exhibition

In one typical Carioca outing, JA spontaneously encouraged three others we met in a parking lot to continue up to Pedra Bonita. This twenty minute hike turned out to be a pretty arduous hour climb for me.  We walked down in the night and were trying to figure out how to get back to civilization when a car pulled up and asked us where we wanted to go.  We were six, so five in the back, and one in front (wife crammed on my lap). The driver knew all the best spots to see Rio at night.  It all worked out, even listening to traditional samba, and nothing was planned. In his way, JA knew it would all work out.  Amazing. And the hike? I would do it twice more. New friends, old friends, hang gliders, hidden views, thanks to everyone who made this possible.

Step 2. Go find a Carioca and go with the flow.

 

Sao Paulo: Highrises and Street Art

We stayed one week in Sao Paulo, Brazil having a base near the Anhangabau, a central point which allowed us to walk to many familiar places like Liberdade, Se, Luz, Republica. This was the first time staying right in the heart of Sao Paulo.

We were able to meet up with an ex colleague from my time in International Support.  It had been almost 25 years.

We enjoyed searching out interesting vistas.  Here are some examples. One note on Beco do Batman, a couple of small streets dedicated to street art.  Around the football world cup, the residents / artists got fed up with the noise, vandalism from too many tourists that they repainted the walls grey.

Santa Cruz de la Sierra

We are in Brazil now but here are three shots from Santa Cruz, Bolivia to tidy up our last stop.  We were happy to relax in Santa Cruz with warmer weather.  The city square is nice with lots of locals sitting around chatting, playing chess, eating salteñas. It is a commercial / industrial city which does not boast many unique tourist venues, but holds the title of fastest growing city in the world.  For us, it was a time to relax and catch up on reading and planning.

The Cultural Center just off the main square exhibited three artists using distinctly different medias.  I liked this one by the Bolivian artist, Magenta Murillo. It is nice that they used a violet (not quite magenta) background for her paintings.

2019-05-29 18.32

A bit north east of the main square there is the Museo Historico Militar Heroes Del Chaco (A military museum about the Heroes of the Chaco).  This documents the Bolivian view of the Chaco War of 1932-1935. We listened to a Corporal giving a tour to a high school class. In 1973, I spent two weeks with my friend Alexander and his family in Mariscal  Estigarribia, Paraguay. Ever since seeing the actual territory (a green hell of desert cactus and bramble) I have been interested this history. The honest assessments by this Corporal added a lot to my understanding.  His dramatic descriptions of the soldier’s experience provided entertaining and realistic perspectives. The sad part is that like all wars, mankind has not learned any lessons.

2019-05-30 17.08

Finally, the Cruceños consider their city the center of South America.  We found the park but it is under construction . Here is the photo taken over the barriers showing the distances to the other South American capitals.

2019-05-30 16.23

 

Hot and cold, High and Low

From Lima we made an isosceles triangle trip, North to Iquitos, South to Cusco, with a side trip to Machu Picchu, then back to Lima. Peru is clearly a country of colors and contrasts.  The photos show some that we discovered.

Iquitos

At the junction of the Itaya, Nanay, and Amazon rivers, it is only reachable by boat or by air.

Cusco

The capitol of the Inca empire.  Its altitude of 3400 m (11200 ft) makes Cusco one of the top ten highest major cities in the world.  On my first visit many years ago, it was written Cuzco. Quechua versions of Qusqu are still used. Discoveries in the last ten years about the Killke culture made our walk to Saksaywaman ruins a worthwhile effort.

Machu Picchu and Aguas Calientes

The restored ruins exhibit the skill of the artisans 600 hears ago. It’s called a Citadel but really functioned more as an Inca Lord’s estate. Machu Picchu was promoted as the lost city of the Incas.  Academics now believe Vilcabamba was the last sanctuary of the Inca emperors.  Aguas Calientes, the city at the base of Machu Picchu, was our base for exploring for three days.

 

Recorrido de Argentina (no translation)

I’m getting way behind in posting.  This post documents our two week adventure around Argentina.  On March 4, we took a bus from Santiago Chile to Mendoza, Argentina crossing over the Andes mountains passing Mount Aconcagua.

From Mendoza we flew to Buenos Aires and stayed in the center for a few days. We enjoyed the different architecture on our walks.  I made the pilgrimage to the Boca Juniors Stadium.

 

We flew to Ushuaia, the city furthest south, or should I say, closest to the South Pole.  This took us beyond the straits of Magellan to Tierra del Fuego. For the beginning of Autumn, March 21, the weather favored us with amazing views everywhere we walked.

We returned to Buenos Aires for a stay near Recoleta.

Then, back to Santiago for a day before flying on to Lima.

Today’s trivia: Why does the Boca Juniors Stadium look like an Ikea Store?

Santiago, Chile – New Memories

Two main reasons for me to write this blog are first to record thoughts on travel and second to understand the context of the experiences I’ve had. The recording has been pretty satisfying.  The understanding of my experiences is still maturing.  I felt this especially on returning to Chile after 45 years. So much history, so many stories.

It was interesting to see the International Women’s Day demonstrations. Getting around Santiago was easy using metro subway, buses, and walking, and we wandered around neighborhoods both near and far. Nothing reminded me of my journeys so many years ago. What I am left with are amazing visions of street art, open air sculptures, monuments, and a garden in the foothills.

We spent several hours wandering around the murals of the San Miguel neighborhood Museo a Cielo Abierto or Open Air Mural Museum . I loved every mural both official and unofficial art works. I uploaded many so click on the ones you like.

A few more inspirations from the streets.

There was also time to reflect on my younger days and an earlier September 11 in 1973.

Artifacts 3: Ballpoint Pen

A few days ago, Daughter went through her bag to get me a pen. Here’s what she found. On the right by the world map it says, “A World of Thanks.”

Dubra and Associates was John Dubra and six friends (including I) who formed a software consulting company around 1994. Here is the pen detail.

With a little exercise and cleaning the point, the little pen wrote again. Even though I probably know how this pen came to be with us in Melbourne, the journey still amazes me.

On the subject, I found a saved scan of one of my early business cards.  The tag line was: “Over 100 years of combined computer networking experience .”

DubraCard

feuerbachstr. 16 june 2001
I was Mr. Bow Tie in those days

 

 

 

Singapore Lights

After Kuala Lumpur, we spent 24 hours in Singapore. The contrasts with my first visit in 1981 (Gosh, almost 40 years ago) are stunning.  We stayed in the Geylang district which prides itself in retaining and refurbishing many of the old style shophouses.  The Nanyang Old Coffee captures some of the nostalgia (Nanyang meaning South Sea is the Chinese name for Singapore). The grungy apartments converted into hostels of Bencoolen street are long gone along with the night markets selling bootleg cassettes of “Donny and Marie’s Greatest Hits.”

Here are some photos of the lights on our walk.

Answers from previous post:

The cars are driving on the right side on this road.  Malaysia follows UK standard of driving on the left side. At this location, the connection between one way streets and the  building construction resulted in the reversed lanes.

Singapore memories:

On my first journey around the world, Singapore was my third stop on the continent of Asia after Korea and Hong Kong.  All other stops were on islands: Japan, Taiwan, Philippines, Borneo.

The stories by Catherine Lim in her book, O Singapore! (1989) provided an introduction and an understanding to Singapore.

The Singapore Dollar used to be on par with the Malaysian Ringgit (1 SGD = 3.031 MYR), now it is on par with the Australian Dollar (1 SGD – 1.003 AUD).

In the last 50 years, Singapore’s area has increased by almost 25% due to land reclamation.

The Accidental Vegan

An inspiration for this post comes from noneuclideansofa blog. I enjoy his observations on life and living.

An inspiration for the vegan traveler is the Cook the Beans blog: Ubud on a Scooter and Punkin Soup are recent posts.

I should probably create an entire blog about my journey and transformation into a Vegan.  Devra Gartenstein already wrote a recipe book called Accidental Vegan. It is hard to know where to start, what to tell, and how to avoid boring my audience.

Growing up in a small town in Minnesota in the 1950’s and 60’s, pizza and McDonald’s were exotic foods.  Here are some memories and influences.

  • My mother teaching me how to eat with chop sticks when I was 12 years old.
  • My introduction to tacos and Tabasco sauce at a Foreign Exchange Student conference.
  • Katherine Gustafson and all the friends from around the world who met at her house on Saturday evenings.  Many interesting foods.
  • Frances Moore’s Diet for a Small Planet that taught how to get complete proteins from grains and legumes.
  • Living a year without meat.
  • Traveling the world and discovering oysters, raw fish, uncooked steak tartare, and cannibal toast made with uncooked pork.
  • Finding more vegetarian and natural food restaurants in America. I’m thinking of the Mud Pie on Lyndale and Seward Cafe on Franklin.
  • Discovering Asian vegetarian cuisines in Japan, Malaysia, along with India.
  • Discovering I am allergic to eggs; later finding that I’m less sensitive to duck eggs (The difference between jungle fowl and waterfowl).
  • Reducing meat and cheese in the diet to control gout.

In Turkey this July and August, my joints began really hurting, first pelvis, then shoulder, then toes, then wrist.  In Ankara, the good doctor diagnosed rheumatoid arthritis. Her prescription: Some vitamins and no more meat, chicken, fish, or milk products.  Not even fat free yogurt. Eggs were OK, but with my allergies: I’m a Vegan.

Ethically, I’m happy with the result.  Physically, all the pain is gone, only an occasional tightness in the shoulder.

In the past 6 months, it was easier to find Vegan options in tourist areas: Siem Reap Cambodia, Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai in Thailand, Amman Jordan, Cairo Egypt, and Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. Myanmar/Burma, Mongolia, Turkey, and Tunisia were hard. Many Vegetarian options have eggs or cheese. I’m flexible when necessary.

Here are some particularly delicious meals:

 

Answers from previous post:

  1. For leeches, a little salt makes them fall right off.  A mixture of liquid soap or detergent and salt rubbed on the shoes makes a good prevention.
  2. For first aid, Wife always carries bandages, neosporin ointment, airline wetwipe packets, a Swiss Army card with scissors, tweezers, toothpick, file.
  3. We did not enter the Buddhist Sri Dalada Maligawa Temple, Temple of the Sacred Tooth Relic. We walked around the outside looking for hiking trails and viewed it from a distant hill.

Some Vege trivia:

  1. Who is my favorite Vegetarian Playwright?
  2. Who is my favorite Vegetarian Political Activist?
  3. Who is my favorite Vegetarian Saxophonist?
  4. Who is my favorite Vegetarian Beatle?
  5. Who is my abhorred Vegetarian Fascist?