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Saturday, March 29, 2014

CHANGES

CHANGES IN AMERICAN CUSTOMS

There have been a lot of big changes just in my brief lifetime.  While many of them (the rise of the computer, gay acceptance, etc) are daily hammered into us, here are five which are less well publicized.


CARRYING THE BRIDE OVER THE THRESHOLD

While some have claimed it's "So the bitch can't escape" the actual answer seems a bit more complicated than that.
I mean, there are easier ways to make sure the bride can't run off...

In the olden days there were a lot of kidnappings and some how having the man's hands full of woman - instead of weapon - prevented it.  Doubtless if your bride was a midget, you'd have an easier time of things.  Yet another reason midgets are superior.
Plus, you'd have the whole 'Mad Max' thing going.

Evil spirits might enter the bride unless she was carried over the threshold.  That was a problem back then.  These days who wouldn't want a 'demon in the sack'?
Being out of your mind insane - or better still possessed - while having sex is probably a huge turn on for most men.

Carrying a woman over the threshold also highlighted her modesty - she didn't want to appear to keen to lose her virginity.  By her husband grabbing her and carrying her in, he was asserting his manly dominance and she was just the helpless party.   According to a study, seven out of ten people have had sex by the time they're nineteen years old.  It is unknown if the other three are lying.  Hence, your chances of carrying a virgin are pretty slim.  In this age of women still working to get liberated women may or may not have had as many or more sexual partners than the men.

Lugging your bride over the threshold also sought to escape the bad luck that would befall the wife were she to trip over the threshold while entering her new home.  Honestly, if her husband fell on her, her luck would probably be worse.

Especially if these two were trying to carry each other...

These days you might trip over one of her children from a previous hookup while entering the house.  Which brings us to -


BASTARD

The dictionary definition of a bastard is 'a person born of parents not married to each other'.

Back in the eleventh century (a couple years before even my time) the term 'bastard' had more severe connotations.  It was a big deal.  Even William the Conqueror was sometimes called William the Bastard.  Presumably when he couldn't hear it.
Free room and board for calling the king 'a bastard'?  Who wouldn't be excited about that?

In popular culture and usage, the word's primary definition has slowly changed to become a mild insult.

The reason is that in the USA there is one divorce every thirty six seconds, your chances of knowing or being a 'bastard' are pretty good.

"If the divorce rate is 50%, when two people say 'I do', one is lying." - Logan Horsford.

To get away from a lot of bastards, you might need to take a -


ROAD TRIP

Back in the 1980's, Americans would regularly take road trips.  European's apparently haven't had this custom since their early 1900's as gas prices seem to be double or triple the USA.

In the USA, you'd typically pile into a car with several friends and drive off to somewhere else on a fairly flimsy premise for anywhere from a couple hours to a whole day.  Heck, they even built special roads back in the 1950's which helped out with this.

For longer road trips, things like the iconic Route 66 became popular.

Soaring gas prices have ensured the last most people have heard of 'Road Trip' was the mediocre movie released in the year 2000.

Of course, you might not need to take a road trip for something special when you can just do some -


DRUGS

One of the earlier conversations I overheard a group of adults discussing was drugs.  They were discussing them in hushed, serious tones.  Apparently, one of the older boys had been caught with some...marijuana.

In the 1970's, many non-hippies believed that doing any sort of drugs would inevitably lead to snorting cocaine off a hookers ass
Love the internet.  You want a picture of someone sorting coke off a hookers' ass?  You got it.

Eventually, drugs would cause you to spin out of control and exhibit bizarre, anti-social behavior.
Like dressing in garb from the ninetieth century.

Back then, drugs were bad, but today have gained a lot of social acceptance.
But paling in comparison to drugs are all of the other -


DISTRACTIONS

Drugs aren't the only wildly addictive thing.

Statistics for texting and driving are pretty shocking.  Not enough for people to stop it - clearly causing several hundred dollars in damage to your (or your parents) car is preferable to any delay in seeing a message that won't really influence your life.
Screw my life and the lives of others.  I'm entitled to be able to do this!


While it's a great ad campaign, you're going to have to wait until a specific person runs over a kid.  Will that stop them from texting while driving or will they want to immediately text "Ran over kid LOL, FML."

Because anything is better than having a conversation with the person you are actually...with.  It's a new way to live 'in the moment'.  Not the moment you are actually in but one that obviously can't be delayed.  Look at the bright side - if you were actually with the person who was texting you, you would probably ignore them in favor of anyone else who sent you a text.

Does anyone else consider it  boorish behavior when people ignore you to yammer on their cells or text?  This is especially tragic since many people haven't seemed to figure out that cell phones enable speaking to a person who is at a distance.  Hence, you don't need to yell.
They are taking away time we have together.  Time we will never have again.  Then again, with people like that, perhaps it is not a bad thing.

With all of the electronic devices yammering for our attention, multitasking has become a popular enough buzz word that even spell check recognizes it.

Despite corporations banging on about how they want people who can do it and people believing they can, studies have shown this to be a myth.  Hence, when you think you are paying attention to someone talking to you in a restaurant but 'just checking something real quick' you are lying to yourself and being rude to the person you're with.  Or you are trying to signal them that spending time with anyone anywhere else would be preferable to hanging out with them.




PRICES (ODESSA, UKRAINE)

Carton (10 packs) of cigarettes, approximately $15  (for US readers, that's a buy 1-3 packs and get the rest free)

Glasses:  These vary widely between $15 and $100, including everything.  Eye exams are free.

Dental:  Getting a teeth cleaning is a bit pricey but everything else is cheaper here.  People regularly travel to Ukraine for 'dental tourism'.  Cleaning with free X-ray, approximately $50.

Beer:  1 liter, approximately $1.50.

Hot dog, very small building on the street, grab and go, about $2.

Note that imported goods are much more expensive, especially when the local currency plummets in value as it is now (29/3/14).



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PICTURES

{{2011}} London, GB | Rail N Sail | Amsterdam, Netherlands | Prague, Czech Republic | Budapest, Hungary | Sarajevo, Bosnia | Romania | Chisinau, Moldova | Ukraine: Odessa - Sevastopol | Crossed Black Sea by ship | Georgia: Batumi - Tbilisi - Telavi - Sighnaghi - Chabukiani | Turkey: Kars - Lost City of Ani - Goreme - Istanbul | Jordan: Amman - Wadi Rum | Israel | Egypt: Neweiba - Luxor - Karnak - Cairo | Thailand: Bangkok - Pattaya - Chaing Mai - Chaing Rei | Laos: Luang Prabang - Pakse | Cambodia: Phnom Penh | Vietnam: Vung Tau - Saigon aka Ho Chi Minh City

{{2012}} Cambodia: Kampot - Sihanoukville - Siem Reap - Angkor Wat | Thailand: Bangkok | India: Rishikesh - Ajmer - Pushkar - Bundi - Udaipur - Jodhpur - Jasalmer - Bikaner - Jaipur - Agra - Varanasi | Nepal: Kathmandu - Chitwan - Pokhara - Bhaktapur - (Rafting) - Dharan | India: Darjeeling - Calcutta Panaji | Thailand: Bangkok - again - Krabi Town | Malaysia, Malaka | Indonesia: Dumas - Bukittinggi - Kuta - Ubud - 'Full Throttle' - Gili Islands - Senggigi | Cambodia: Siem Reap | Thailand: Trat | Turkey: Istanbul | Georgia: Tbilisi

{{2013}} Latvia: Riga | Germany: Berlin | Spain: Malaga - Grenada | Morocco: Marrakech - Essauira - Casablanca - Chefchawen - Fes | Germany: Frankfurt | Logan's Home Invasion USA: Virginia - Michigan - Indiana - Illinois - Illinois - Colorado | Guatemala: Antigua - San Pedro | Honduras: Copan Ruinas - Utila | Nicaragua: Granada | Colombia: Cartagena | Ecuador: Otavalo - Quito - Banos - Samari (a spa outside of Banos) - Puyo - Mera

{{2014}} Peru: Lima - Nasca - Cusco | Dominican Republic | Ukraine: Odessa | Bulgaria: Varna - Plovdiv | Macedonia: Skopje - Bitola - Ohrid - Struga | Albania: Berat - Sarande | Greece: Athens | Italy: Naples - Pompeii - Salerno | Tunisia: Hammamet 1

{{2015}} Hammamet 2 | South Africa: Johnnesburg | Thailand: Hua Hin - Hat Yai | Malaysia: Georgetown | Thailand: Krabi Town | Indonesia:
Sabang Island | Bulgaria: Plovdiv | Romania: Ploiesti - Targu Mures | Poland: Warsaw | Czech Republic: Prague | Germany: Munich | Netherlands: Groningen | England: Slough | Thailand: Ayutthaya - Khon Kaen - Vang Vieng | Cambodia: Siem Reap

{{2016}} Thailand: Kanchanaburi - Chumphon | Malaysia: Ipoh - Kuala Lumpur - Kuching - Miri | Ukraine: Kiev | Romania: Targu Mures - Barsov | Morocco: Tetouan

{{2017}} Portugal: Faro | USA: Virginia - Michigan - Illinois - Colorado | England: Slough - Lancaster

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