Tell us about your NON-Western living experience
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11-11-2011, 03:52 PM
RE: Tell us about your NON-Western living experience
(08-11-2011 06:29 AM)Zatamon Wrote:  Maybe I will tell you later how my brother had escaped from Hungary to Yugoslavia and just walked across the border to Italy. No mine-fields, razor-wire fences and guard-towers like we had on the Austrian border.

Please ? Smile
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11-11-2011, 04:42 PM
 
RE: Tell us about your NON-Western living experience
(11-11-2011 03:52 PM)morondog Wrote:  Please ? Smile

My brother fell in love with a western tourist, spending a lot of time in Hungary. One thing led to another and they got married in Hungary. The bride’s parents were old, could not travel, so they invited my brother to visit them instead.

His application for a passport to the west was turned down repeatedly (very few people were allowed to travel to the west).

He came up with a brilliant scheme to get out, regardless.

We were allowed to travel freely to Romania and Bulgaria, but not to Yugoslavia. However, traveling to those three countries required only a one-page travel permit, with the names of the three countries printed on the top, with Yugoslavia usually crossed out by ink, because it was known to be easy to get over the border to Italy where you could apply to political asylum.

My brother got the permit to Romania and experimented with assorted chemicals to remove the ink line crossing out Yugoslavia. He cut the line up to millimeter-long slivers to make it last. When he used them up (without any success), he applied again to go to Bulgaria. Same story, he kept at it, until he found a cocktail that removed the ink without a trace.

He applied once more, almost a year later, to travel to Bulgaria. When he got there, he booked a flight back to Hungary, with a stopover in Zagreb in Yugoslavia. If he had not had the ink removed, he could not have left the airport, however, in the toilet of the plane, he removed the ink crossing with the chemical he had with him and, when landed in Yugoslavia, he walked out of the airport to meet his wife waiting for him.

They headed for the Italian border and, while his wife drove across the border, he walked a few miles around the border crossing and they met on the other side.

This is just one example of ingenious ways of escaping from slavery. I know of half a dozen others, some of them a lot more hair raising than this one.
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11-11-2011, 04:51 PM
RE: Tell us about your NON-Western living experience
THAT was totally brilliant! Smile So glad I asked Smile Smile Smile
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11-11-2011, 05:35 PM
 
RE: Tell us about your NON-Western living experience
Another story involves the boyfriend of one of my students. The boy (18) was a soldier, on border-patrol duty on the Austrian border. The guards were doubled up, one on top of the tower, the other at the bottom, armed wit their Kalashnikovs, guarding each other as much as guarding the border against defectors (nobody wanted to break in).

It was winter, the steel rungs of the ladder leading up to the top of the tower very slippery and they had to change position every hour.

The boyfriend, on top of the tower, called down to the other one at the base: “Hey, it is such a pain having to climb up and down, carrying the bloody guns, why don’t I leave mine up here and you leave yours down there and we just keep trading places, leaving the guns where they are.

The other soldier thought this was a clever idea and agreed.

Next time they traded places, the boyfriend picked up the machine gun at the bottom and started walking toward the Austrian side.

The other soldier, on the top, started yelling: “Stop you fool, don’t you know that I have to shoot you?”

The boyfriend looked back one last time and asked: “Yes, I know, but don’t you need the firing pin?”
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12-11-2011, 02:11 AM
RE: Tell us about your NON-Western living experience
Excellent stories. You know, you could gather them up, fill them a bit with some details and write it like a small novel, story or something. Maybe publish them in some newspaper like, every week one story... I think people would find this interesting, plus the stories are true, so it makes it really interesting.

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12-11-2011, 03:21 AM
RE: Tell us about your NON-Western living experience
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Anti-c..._color.gif

I was browsing around this morning - found this Smile This exact propaganda picture was reproduced in my first year senior school history textbook as a diagram for understanding communism... it's actually pretty straightforward and true anyway Tongue
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12-11-2011, 10:06 PM
 
RE: Tell us about your NON-Western living experience
Thanks, morondog!

Great pic -- funny in a horrible kind of way and, unfortunately, too true! Sad
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12-11-2011, 10:12 PM
RE: Tell us about your NON-Western living experience
This qualifies, kinda...

[Image: th_2011-11-12_210329.png]

(pic ended up being 1.2 mb as I save to png)

Spent two weeks in Rota, Spain. Man, did I wanna go to Cadiz; one of the oldest cities on the planet, and I could see it over there... only this fucking country (America) may or may not have "misplaced" a nuke in the bay. Wasn't safe to be American, across the bay at that time. So if there's some non-westerners wanna hate on America, I can understand. My government is way too big for it's britches, I'm sayin'

But that was bad, though. I remember driving up the highway, and there's this walled city straight outta D&D... and I never been "ignorant American" type. I can remember the ambiance, the people; and my empathy such that the "language barrier" wouldn't have been much more than a coupla weeks immersion woulda cured. I'm "non-western" in the sense that western civilization has merit, not exclusivity, as far as civilization is concerned. I mean, fiesta - that's civilized. Wink

(besides, this used to be traveler's tales, no? Wink )

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12-11-2011, 10:22 PM
 
RE: Tell us about your NON-Western living experience
(12-11-2011 10:12 PM)houseofcantor Wrote:  (besides, this used to be traveler's tales, no? Wink )

You are right, Cantor, the original title of the thread was changed, at my request, to better reflect the intended purpose of the thread.

The OP states up front:

Quote:This thread could be used for anecdotes, stories, experiences (nice or otherwise) of anyone who lived for a long enough time at other lands, other countries, to really get to know the place.

Maybe another thread could be started where people could describe their favourite traveling stories?

I might do it tomorrow when I am not so sleepy but anyone is welcome to beat me to it. Smile
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12-11-2011, 10:43 PM
RE: Tell us about your NON-Western living experience
I lived in the South East Asian Region, specifically Singapore and Malaysia. Well, the two countries I lived in are the more stable regions in the world, so I'll share regarding the education system in both countries. I'm still young and inexperienced after all Sad

Malaysia is where I spent 2/3 of my life there, and Singapore, 1/3 of my life. The education system in Malaysia is rigid, with more of memorisation and constant practice. Grades are of utmost importance too, for one-off examinations determine which class you will be streamed into. My life revolved around doing work, and more work, to get all the As, and I liked it.

Singapore is where I spent my secondary school years, and a different world indeed from Malaysia. Each region differs from one another greatly, along with the ever-changing environment and culture. It was a great leap for I have to catch up, and now I'm competing with the top students in Malaysia in my class. I learnt about the horrors of society in my years, and how cruel people can be to achieve their goals. The education system was different, with more holistic education and self-initiated learning, but still confined to a syllabus. One-off examinations are still present, and even more important, for if we fail this exam (The A Levels), we have only our primary school examination report to rely on, due to the Integrated Programme system which allows bypassing of the O Levels.

At this point I realised I have nothing to talk about, for I spent most of my life holed up in my room, studying or sometimes gaming. My living experience is equatable to my days in school, and nothing more for now. I'll end here and get ready for the second week of hel- I mean A Levels.

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