Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Reports of Sexual Assault Increasing in India: Warning Issued

Another Woman Who Should Have Known She Was in the Wrong Place? She’s in her hotel room – near the Taj Mahal . . . is this another case of being in the wrong place in India? You’re not safe in your own hotel room? The manager of the hotel comes to your room to wake you for a wake-up call???

20 March 2013

Tourist balcony jump: Hotel manager and guard in court

A hotel manager and guard accused of sexually harassing a British tourist who jumped from a hotel balcony to escape have appeared in court in Agra.

A lawyer acting for hotel manager Sachin Chauhan said his client denied the charge and he had been trying to wake the woman up because she had asked for an early morning call.

The 31-year-old British woman was injured after jumping on Tuesday.

The Briton has been giving her statement at the court.

Initial reports suggested the woman told police she asked for a wake-up call at 04:00 local time and was offered a massage by the hotel owner when he knocked on her door.

She said the man would not leave so she locked the door and jumped from her balcony to the level below, injuring her leg, before fleeing the hotel.

On Tuesday, a spokesman for the British High Commission in India said UK consular officials in Delhi had spoken to the woman and local police.

The Foreign Office recently updated its advice for women visiting India, saying they should use caution and avoid travelling alone on public transport, or in taxis or auto-rickshaws, especially at night.

It added that reported cases of sexual assault against women and young girls were increasing and recent sexual attacks against female visitors in tourist areas and cities showed that foreign women were also at risk.

Police arrested six people following an alleged gang rape of a Swiss tourist in Madhya Pradesh state last week.

The woman was attacked with her husband as they camped in woodland near a village in Datia district.

The arrests came as India’s politicians prepared to debate a new law against rape, following the outcry over the fatal assault on a female Delhi student last year.

March 20, 2013 Posted by | Crime, Cross Cultural, Cultural, ExPat Life, India, Living Conditions, Travel | Leave a comment

Mobile Museum of Art

We were so efficient at the Mobile Botanical Garden that we had plenty of time to hit the nearby Mobile Museum of Art. Actually, we loved the whole park area; there is the Botanical Garden, the Museum of Art, also walking paths, a huge water . . . something, it might be a river or a large lake with a dam in it, I don’t know what it is, but it is a large amount of water. There are athletic fields and even some offices, not large office buildings but some smaller outlying kinds of state or county offices. It’s a nice park, it has a nice feeling, a lot going on.

It doesn’t hurt that it is one of the prettiest days of the year, not hot, not humid, and no mosquitos!

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I love it that not all the art is inside the building. There is statuary outside, along the walking path, and this huge made-from-found-objects butterfly at the entrance. It is wonderful. As you enter the museum, looking through miles of glass out through trees at the water, you immediately think “what a place for an event!” thinking wedding, reception, small chamber group performance, etc. Truly beautiful spaces; I would show you but they have a really strict policy about photographing inside the building, so I didn’t.

They have some surprising pieces, surprisingly good for a small museum. They have some very odd pieces, par for the course in a small museum. They have an amazing art glass collection, beautifully displayed in a room with gorgeous natural light that allows each piece to shine. They had an exquisite visiting exhibit based on a Vietnamese classic, with intricate, ethereal pieces.

Too much to take in on one visit! I think our favorite piece in the exhibit were some gorgeous silvery angel wings on a wall near the gallery entrance on the top floor. When you get closer to the exhibit, you see it really, REALLY is silvery – it is silver spoons! The bowls of the spoons form the outer part of the feathers, hundreds of spoons, and the base of the spoon the lower part. It is whimsical and surprising, and made me whoop a little (trying to be respectful in a museum πŸ™‚ ) with delight. We are eager to go back and to take our little grandson, as he gains in ability to focus his attention πŸ™‚

map

Driving Directions From I-65
From I-65, take the Springhill Avenue Exit (Exit 5) and head west on Springhill Avenue. Go approximately 1 1/2 miles and turn left on John D. New Street (traffic signal). Take an immediate right onto Museum Drive. The Museum is the first building on the right.

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March 20, 2013 Posted by | Adventure, Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Building, Community, Cultural, Customer Service, Education, Exercise, Living Conditions, Road Trips | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Celebrating 4200

It’s a small celebration πŸ™‚ We need to be celebrating ALL life’s triumphs, don’t we?

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fireworks

OK, that’s it. I told you it was a small celebration πŸ™‚

March 19, 2013 Posted by | Blogging | 4 Comments

Native Cafe at Pensacola Beach

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Just when we think we know all the restaurants in town, Urban Spoon comes up with a Pensacola restaurant we didn’t even know existed. It’s getting a big buzz, too, listed as one of the most talked about restaurants in Pensacola. Hoping it is too early for the Spring Break crowd, we head for the Native Cafe after early church. OOps!Too late! And it’s not the spring breakers, at least I don’t think so, these look like locals.

We wait for maybe thirty minutes on one of the sweetest Sundays of the year, not too hot, not too cold, a tiny bit breezy – perfect beach day, and we don’t mind at all sitting outside, waiting for a table or booth.

Once we’re in, we can see why people like it. It’s not so original as Andy’s Flour Power in Panama City Beach, but they have original art on the walls, a funky decor, and a LOT of customers.

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We see a lot of huge breakfasts being delivered. The Crab Cake Benedict seems to be a big hit, all the platters look huge. People are digging right in and look happy. Service is quick and efficient.

AdventureMan has been dying for some Biscuits and Gravy. His favorite place for biscuits and gravy, Adonna’s, in downtown Pensacola on Palafox, no longer serves biscuits and gravy. He says these are pretty good!

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The little Alaska girl who lives inside me wanted crab cakes, but not all the bread and sauce that comes with the Crab Cake Benedict, so I asked, and was able to order the appetizer Crab Cakes, which was perfect. It came with Remoulade Sauce – yummm.

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LOL, you can see, as usual, I forgot to take a photo before I started eating. There were three complete crab cakes; just be glad I remembered when I did!

The food was good, but we probably won’t go back until October or so, when the tourist season dies down. The Native Cafe has been FOUND! Too many people, too long a waiting line. We have the luxury of being able to go when no one else is around except those of us who live here. (You can live here thirty or forty years and you are still not a local; local is people who grew up and went to school in Pensacola πŸ™‚ )

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March 19, 2013 Posted by | Adventure, Community, Cooking, Cultural, Customer Service, Eating Out, Food, Pensacola, Restaurant, Weather | , , | Leave a comment

Mobile Botanical Garden Plant Sale: Plantasia

AdventureMan and I had one of the sweetest days of the year – nice cool sunny morning, heading into a warm afternoon as we got up early to head over to the Mobile Botanical Gardens Annual Plant Sale.

They do a GREAT job. Starting with publicity, ads in the Pensacola News Journal and information sent out to all the regional gardening clubs and extension centers raising the level of awareness and creating a buzz. Everyone wants to go.

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You get there, and parking is well organized and handy to the sales area. Signage is great – ENTER HERE! EXIT ONLY! PERRENIALS! ROSES! SHADE PLANTS! TREES! And great signs telling you how each plant is color coded and you know immediately what the price is:

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Lots and lots of healthy looking plants. We knew what we wanted and found it quickly, except for the ones that were already sold out. Check-out was friendly – and fast. There was an exit strategy; people with large purchases could leave plants, drive into a pick up zone and have them loaded up. It was an amazingly efficient and well-run operation. Perfect weather, great selection of healthy plants, well-organized and efficient – it doesn’t get much better.

Well done, Mobile.

March 19, 2013 Posted by | Arts & Handicrafts, Beauty, Community, Cultural, Customer Service, Entertainment, Events, ExPat Life, Fund Raising, Gardens, Living Conditions, Marketing, Road Trips, Weather | , , | Leave a comment

It’s Your Fault if You Assume You Are Safe: Indian Officials

Horrifying. Disgusting. At the very least, if you are an official and tourists are gang raped in your area, keep your mouth shut. If you must say something, tell the visitors how sorry you are this happened to them. Never, never, never suggest that they should have ASKED if they were safe, NEVER blame the victim for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. You just look really, really ignorant.

These crimes will keep happening as long as there is such a preference for male children that there are not enough mates for the males once they mature. They will keep happening as long as men are not taught, as children, that women are to be equally respected.

Swiss Gang Rape Victim, Husband Partially To Blame For Attack, Indian Officials Suggest
The Huffington Post | By Cavan Sieczkowski

Posted: 03/18/2013 12:13 pm EDT

Officials in India suggested that a Swiss tourist and her husband are partially to blame for an alleged attack and gang rape in a remote wooded area in Madhya Pradesh last week. They said the couple did not inquire about the safety of the region.

On Friday, a Swiss woman and her husband pitched a tent in a forest in Madhya Pradesh while on a three-month cycling excursion, according to the Associated Press. Around 9:30 p.m. a group of men attacked the couple, beat up the husband, tied him to a tree, gang raped the wife and robbed the pair, police said.

During a press conference on Sunday, police spokesperson Avnesh Kumar Budholiya suggested the tourists are partially to blame for the assault because they chose to travel that area without speaking to local police, the Independent reports.

β€œNo one stops there,” Budholiya said. β€œWhy did they choose that place? They were in the wrong place at the wrong time. They would have passed a police station on the way to the area they camped. They should have stopped and asked about places to sleep.”

Another official also appeared to place blame on the victim and her husband.

“The rape of the Swiss national is unfortunate but foreign travelers should inform the police about their movement so they can be provided with adequate protection,” said Umashankar Gupta, the Home Minister of Madhya Pradesh, according to The Times. “They often don’t follow the state’s rules.”

Madhya Pradesh reportedly has one of the highest rates of crimes against women in the country, a fact the Swiss tourists were unaware of, according to the Times of India.

“They apparently lost track and took a wrong turn and decided to halt for the night by the side of a village brook little realizing that the district with 85:100 men to women ratio is not the safest place for women,” a senior official from the region told the newspaper.

Six men have been arrested in connection with the most recent reported gang rape, CNN reports. The victim, who was hospitalized after the attack, claims four of the men raped her. The other two reportedly robbed her and her husband. All six appeared in court Monday.

The most recent attack comes just three months after a 23-year-old woman was gang raped and beaten on a public bus by five men in New Delhi. The defense lawyer for three of the accused placed some of the blame on the now-deceased victim, saying a “respected lady” does not get raped.

Blaming a female victim of a sex crime is common in India because of a woman’s role in society, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.

“This is the mentality which most Indian men are suffering from unfortunately,” Ranjana Kumari, director for the New Delhi-based Centre for Social Research, told the newspaper. “That is the mindset that has been perpetrating this crime because they justify it indirectly, you asked for it so it is your responsibility.”

March 18, 2013 Posted by | Bureaucracy, Community, Crime, Cross Cultural, Cultural, ExPat Life, India, Law and Order, Leadership, Living Conditions, Mating Behavior, Women's Issues | 1 Comment

Spring Break Hits the Gulf Coast

This last week has to have been the sweetest week of the year; running into all my friends at Home Depot, the cool mornings and the warm afternoons, it all makes you feel energetic, and you tackle all those projects you’ve been mentally lining up.

For me, it was painting the front door. I think it used to be red. It faces west, and the strength of the setting sun over the years faded it to a rosy rose. It needed to go back to shimmering red, but that takes patience, and more than one coat, and it takes a special day, cool enough, warm enough, and entirely without humidity. To paint a door, you have to have it open, and then it has to dry open, and when you are painting a door red red, you have to paint it more than once, even painting over rosy red.

Done. And time for a field trip to the Botanical Gardens Sales in Mobile, with AdventureMan, now in another career as Master GardenerMan.

It’s all good this weather, this time of year – until you get on any road leading to the beach, especially on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday.

Saturday, coming back from Mobile, there was a sudden jamming up as the cars went down into the tunnel running under the tip of the bay. As we are waiting to get through, we hear these banshee screams and yells, and my first thought, after years of living in the Middle East is “oh! it’s a wedding!”

No. No, I was wrong. It is no one’s wedding, but it does seem to be a major mating ritual, as colleges close for a week or so for Spring break and the students head for the beaches. These students were hanging out the windows of their cars – sitting on the window sills – waving bottles and screeching.

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Animal spirits. I hope they packed their sun protection, and all kinds of other protections.

March 18, 2013 Posted by | Florida, Home Improvements, Living Conditions, Mating Behavior, Pensacola, Road Trips, Social Issues, Weather | Leave a comment

Scam from Marina Parma

Urgent Reply.

Greetings to you and your family, I am the manager of bill and exchange in THE
BANK, I have a business of 5.5 Million
United State Dollars to be transfer to your account for investment in your
country, if you are ready to assist me get
back to me, I will give you full details on how the fund will be transfer to
you.

Be rest assured that everything will be handled confidentially because, this is
a great opportunity we cannot afford to
miss, as it will make our family profit a lot.

It has been 6 years go, that most of the greedy African Politicians used our
bank to launder money overseas through the
help of their Political advisers.
Most of the funds which they transferred out of the shores of Africa were gold
and oil money that was supposed to have
been used to develop the continent.

The Political advisers always inflated the amounts before transfer to foreign
accounts so I also used the opportunity to
divert part of the fund worth five million five hundred united state dollars I
told you about and I am aware that there
is no official trace of how much was transferred as all the accounts used for
such transfers of fund at that particle
time were closed after transfer.

I am the account officer to most of the politicians and when I discovered that
they were using me to succeed in their
greedy act, I also cleaned some of their banking records from the Bank files and
no one cared to ask me for the money
was too much for them to control, as I am sending this message to you, I was
able to divert five point five Millions
Dollars ($5.5M) which is in an escrow transit account belonging to no one in the
bank, and now my bank is very anxious
to know the real beneficiary of the funds is for they have made a lot of profits
with the fund.

It has been more than five years ago and most of the politicians are no longer
in power again and they don’t use our
bank to transfer funds overseas anymore since their tenure had expired.

The $5.5 Million United State Dollars has been lying in the bank as unclaimed
fund and i will soon retire from the bank
immediately the fund is transfer into your account over there.

Immediately the fund has been successfully transfer into your account i will
come to your country for the sharing of the
fund, the fund will be shared 50% for me and 40% for you, and the other 10% for
the orphanages home and poor with
less-privilege people.
Please know that there is no one that is going to question you about the fund if
you will comply with me and follow my
instruction which will help us a lot to achieve this goal for everything is well
secured.

Please indicate your interest in this transaction my replying back and if you
are not interested do not waste your time
to reply kindly delete my message from your box ok.

Waiting to hear from you soon.

Yours Faithfully,
Mrs Marina Parma
parmamarina@voila.fr

March 16, 2013 Posted by | Crime, Cross Cultural, Cultural, ExPat Life, Financial Issues, Scams | Leave a comment

Green Tea and Coffee Really Do Cut Stroke Risk!

I found the report of this newest survey on National Public Radio’s The Salt:

A Daily Habit Of Green Tea Or Coffee Cuts Stroke Risk
by ALLISON AUBREY
March 15, 2013

05 Coffee and Tea

Whether it’s green tea that warms you up, or coffee that gives you that morning lift, a new study finds both can help cut the risk of suffering a stroke.

The study, published in the American Heart Association journal Stroke, included 82,369 men and women in Japan.

Researchers found that the more green tea a person drank, the more it reduced the risk of suffering a stroke.

“It’s almost a 20 percent lower risk of stroke in the green tea drinkers” who drank four cups a day, compared with those who rarely drank green tea, explains Dr. Ralph Sacco of the University of Miami. (He’s the past president of the American Heart Association, and we asked him to review the study for us.)

And with coffee, researchers found just one cup per day was also associated with about a 20 percent decreased risk of stroke during a 13-year follow-up period.

“I was still feeling rather surprised” about the findings, Dr. Yoshihiro Kokubo, the study’s lead author, tells The Salt in an email. Kokubo is a researcher at the Department of Preventive Cardiology, National Cerebra and Cardiovascular Center in Osaka, Japan.

Kokubo says that green tea contains compounds known as catechins, which help regulate blood pressure and help improve blood flow. The compounds also seem to promote an anti-inflammatory effect. Kokubo says coffee, which contains caffeine and compounds known as quinides, likely influences our health through different mechanisms.

It’s not just the Japanese who seem to benefit from drinking coffee and green tea. Over the past few years, researchers in the U.S. have documented similar reductions in heart disease risk among Americans.

“The accumulating evidence from a variety of studies is suggesting that green tea and coffee may be protective,” says Sacco.

And, in addition, recent studies have linked a regular coffee habit to a range of benefits β€” from a reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes to a protective effect against Parkinson’s disease.

It’s interesting to note how much the thinking about caffeine and coffee has changed.

In the 1980s, surveys found that many Americans were trying to avoid it; caffeine was thought to be harmful, even at moderate doses.

One reason? Meir Stampfer of the Harvard School of Public Health says back then, coffee drinkers also tended to be heavy smokers. And in early studies, it was very tough to disentangle the two habits.

“So it made coffee look bad in terms of health outcomes,” says Stampfer.

But as newer studies began to separate out the effects of coffee and tea, a new picture emerged suggesting benefits, not risks.

Researchers say there’s still a lot to learn here β€” they haven’t nailed down all the mechanisms by which coffee and tea influence our health. Nor have they ruled out that it may be other lifestyle habits among coffee and tea drinkers that’s leading to the reduced risk of disease.

And experts say when it comes to preventing strokes and heart attacks, no food or drink is a magic bullet. It’s our overall patterns of eating and exercise that are important.

“It’s a whole lifestyle approach, and we need to remember that,” says Sacco.

So if you are already in the habit of drinking coffee or green tea, this study is one more bit of evidence that you can go ahead and enjoy it.

March 16, 2013 Posted by | Experiment, Health Issues, Hot drinks, Statistics | Leave a comment

Hilarious Ad

Thank you, Hayfa, I am still laughing!

March 16, 2013 Posted by | Humor, Hygiene, Technical Issue | 2 Comments