North Korea is, for most intents and purposes, a dystopia. However, sometimes people escape, usually into China. If China finds them, they are sent back. If they are sent back, they can be tortured, imprisoned and executed. Nonetheless, that is a risk people take. The documentary Danny from North Korea is one such story. It manages to give the big picture of North Korea while telling a very personal and gut wrenching story. I just attended a screening Friday with LiNK, and it was stunning. We also watched Bridge to North Korea, a quick look at the economic impact of expatriates on North Korea. To book a screening, go here.
Monday, September 30, 2013
Saturday, September 28, 2013
Hagios Demetrios is named for Demetrius of Thessaloniki, a martyr and a saint. At the time of my visit, the church was actually host to some venerated relics. The practice of visiting relics is foreign to me, as are icons. Before my trip to Greece, I had next to no interaction with Greek Orthodoxy, and my knowledge of Greek history covered only ancient philosophy and theology (The Greeks taught us how to think even though their gods were completely insane).
Saturday, September 21, 2013
No pictures or rants today, just a basic, helpful travel tip: Mango. Rosetta Stone is famous for being a really effective way to learn, but it's also pretty expensive. Mango is not quite as good, and probably won't take you as far into a language, but it is FREE. To get at this awesomeness, you'll need a library that has Mango (lots of them do) and, subsequently, a library card. This is actually a tool to locate libraries with Mango. The library staff can probably explain how it works at their library. I went to my library's website and typed "mango" into the search box. I know. I am brilliant. Mango offers tons of languages including modern, ancient and Koine Greek, modern and Biblical Hebrew, Spanish, Arabic and Haitian Creole. I really appreciated having the option to study Greek before I got to Greece. I was only there for about a week, and a number of people spoke English, but everyone seemed to really appreciate that I tried to learn some before I got there. I also think it helped me get a bit of a feel for the accent. Their language is very important to them.
Friday, September 20, 2013
The White Tower was a prison and scene of mass executions under the Ottomans, but, when the Greeks took it back, they washed it with white paint as a symbol of cleansing. It's now a symbol of the city and a museum. I guess anything can be redeemed.
Thursday, September 19, 2013
Tuesday, September 10, 2013
To start, I should mention that I do drink, but I try not to get drunk. I have nothing but respect for people who choose not to drink at all. Rock on. For myself, I like whisky, but I, at the request of numerous alcohol ads, try to drink responsibly.
The Scotch Whisky Experience is a great experience if you are into whisky, as you may surmise from the title. The tickets range from about £12.75 for a tour and a taste to £52.00 for a three course meal and a dram.