Months in advance, my friend said “You’ll really want to see Shangri-La,” and I had never heard of it, but I looked online, and it looked beautiful. Doris Duke, one of the richest women ever to live, could buy anything she wanted. She had a good eye for art, good timing, and she bought much of what is in Shangri-La and her other residences at bargain prices after WWII. The value of her art holdings increased dramatically, and she ended up with an even bigger fortune than that with which she started.
How do I know? I am in the middle of my third book, reading about Doris Duke. The books are pretty bad. Each author seems to have an axe to grind, and one author took very little information and used it to speculate endlessly, full of gossip and mean-spirit. Altogether, Duke does not come off as a very kind person, but who can say which version of this very private person is the “real” Doris Duke?
To visit Shangri-La, you must go through the Honolulu Museum of Art. They have an online reservation system – the next two weeks are already fully booked. My friend booked months in advance so that we could attend. We got to the Museum, found a good parking place, entered the museum, receiving a lapel sticker and a wristband which later allowed us to visit the museum for as long as we liked.
We boarded a bus and watched a very romanticized movie about the life of Doris Duke, and then we were there! We were warned we could take no photos inside. What a pity! The interiors are magnificent, all marble, and tiles, gorgeous woodwork, and all kinds of Islamic Art that looks like it would go well in the Qatar Museum of Islamic Art. I couldn’t help but wonder if the newly rich aren’t trying to buy some of their cultural objects back?
Our guide ushered us into a beautiful entry, with meshribiyya and tiles and beautiful light fixtures inside. I wish I could show you.
About half way through the tour, we had a break on a terrace from which we had this spectacular view. I read in one of the books that Duke built this rock harbor without asking permission from the Hawaii government, just did it. It is lovely. The terrace also has gorgeous Persian tiles, the interior tiles are Persian and Iznik.
After visiting the Damascus Room and the Syrian Room and the Mogul Room, we visited Doris Duke’s bedroom, bare but for a couple couches. Then, out to the gardens.
We were allowed to take photos in the gardens 🙂
This is a tree at the entry to the house; the tree sends down those shoots that form new roots and new trees. It is magnificent!
After our visit to Shangri-La, we returned to the Honolulu Museum of Art, and had lunch. This is the market salad with salmon – Yumm.
As we lunched, a character went around taking selfies. I think this is a performance artist, and I think it may have been a guy.
Being three very independent kind of folk, we split up to see what we wanted to see at the museum. There was a special temporary exhibit on Japanese street fashion which I found fascinating. I loved some of these street fashions, which strike me as very imaginative. When I got to the Lolita section, however, little girl dresses for grown women, I found it too creepy and strange to photograph.
There is a section on Islamic Art with beautiful tiles and examples of several genres of art objects.
Out on one of the patios, I found this screen which reminded me of a very modern sort of tree-of-life.
Altogether, a grand day. My friend was right – we really enjoyed seeing this.
This kind of gives me the shivers. I guess it is supposed to make everyone safer, but it feels so intrusive. It may be a generational thing; my understanding is that people today have lower expectations of privacy . . . I wonder how their upkeep will be; sand and humidity being hard on security cameras, not to mention deliberate interference with their use?
With reporting from Ankita Menon
Qatar’s Ministry of Interior is apparently stepping up enforcement of a law that requires businesses around the country to install closed-circuit camera surveillance on their premises.
Law No. 9 of 2011 mandates that surveillance cameras be installed in residential compounds, hospitals, malls, banks, hotels, warehouses and other locations, and is enforced by the MOI’s Security Systems Department (SSD).
The SSD was not immediately available for comment, but Qatar Tribune reports that the MOI has recently made the widespread installation of these cameras a priority.
Speaking to Doha News, a staffer at Lulu Hypermarket on D-Ring said that the store was previously told to install CCTV in its parking lot, but has now been asked to increase the number of cameras to cover the entire parking area.
Meanwhile, an employee at Lulu Gharafa said they are still in the process of installing some 300 ministry-approved cameras, following an instruction from last year. When asked why the extra surveillance was needed, he said it could help aid police investigations into incidents such as thefts from vehicles.
Additionally, the Peninsula reports the owner of a jewelry shop in the Gold Souq as saying:
“This year when I went for company registration renewal was asked of CCTV cameras are installed. Also inspectors are supposed to come to our shops and inspect if the surveillance cameras are functioning properly.
There are only very few places from which we should buy the CCTV cameras, they are very expensive and it cost me more than QR60,000 to purchase and fix the surveillance system,” he added.
However, City Center mall’s director told Doha News that though the SSD consistently comes to inspect the surveillance system, there have been no new requests for additional cameras in the past few months.
A law governing the use of CCTV surveillance was passed in 2011. According to the legislation:
- Businesses must have a control room and operate surveillance 24/7;
- Recordings must be kept for 120 days, and cannot be altered before being handed over to competent government departments upon request;
- Recording is prohibited in bedrooms, patient rooms, toilets and changing rooms for women; and
- Those who violate the law could face up to three years in jail and fines of QR50,000, as well as the suspension or cancellation of their business license.
Last year, the law was brought back into the spotlight when the Supreme Council of Health reminded healthcare facilities to comply with the legislation and install cameras within three months, or face the loss of their business licenses.
Yesterday I had my annual eye exam. This is the South. I could hear them all talking in the back, talking about personal things, and OTHER PEOPLE! I used to run a library, and one of the very very first things I would tell my library workers was NO PERSONAL CONVERSATIONS when we had the library open. Keep your private life private! I’m not all about the library being quiet, but I am about it being not-annoying. Hearing gossip, hearing details of your last medical procedure, hearing about Maizie, bless her heart, who just lost another husband – these things are not my business, nor the library customer and are not appropriate for a discussion where the public may be listening in, even when they don’t want to be.
OK, OK, I know these are dated professional standards, but I can’t help it. Please. Do not burden me with overhearing your latest disaster unless we are friends and sitting down together over a cup of coffee.
At 30 minutes past my appointment time, I went back to see if my paperwork had been misplaced only to be told they were just a little behind and I would be taken soon. Fifteen minutes later I was in the office.
Now, when they dilate your eyes, you can still drive yourself home. It was a little bright, but I managed. Things are a little blurry.
Fast forward to last night, driving home, WOW. Every streetlight, every headlight, even the beautiful thin crescent moon had a spiky halo. It was like I had that sparkle lens you can put on your camera, only this was on my eyes.
This morning when I got up, I thought it would be all over, but my eyes are still dilated, and still sensitive. They must have given me a wallop of a dose.
But for the drive home, it was all Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds . . . it was so incredibly beautiful, it felt sort of surreal.
I am not superstitious, yet I felt a little shudder when my Lucky Bamboo suddenly just died, and then on Chinese New Year’s, I shuddered again when I saw that my cookie, still in its little plastic shroud, was smooshed, not just broken a little, but broken a lot. (It turned out to be a good fortune.)
Things happen; as I said I am not superstitious. I’m a believer; I believe these things are in God’s hands.
So this week we were playing catch-up, and AdventureMan gathered all the materials for our taxes. He had a few extra minutes before our tax appointment, and made a phone call trying to straighten out a charge we had that was supposed to be removed, and we did not see that it had. While the customer service agent (who was really very good) was running through the list of charges, and I was saying “Yes.” “Yes” “Yes” she started running through a list of credits and I was saying “No, there is only a credit for X” and she is reading off a list that . . . is growing.
And then she says “I need to talk to a supervisor; I will be right back” and comes back very shortly and says there is some suspicious activity on my card and the bank will be sending us new cards immediately.
Just in time, because we have to go to the tax meeting. That meeting went well, except that there were a couple pieces of information our tax person needed and I knew I could get for her, so I would call her before the end of the day.
When I got home, I went to the file where I found two of the missing pieces of information, but not the third. I knew I could find it in my August credit card statement, but it was the only one I couldn’t locate.
Went online so I could download and print, but . . . there were only four months there. Call to the credit card company again, transfer to IT who says that once that card is cancelled, they can no longer “see” the information online, but that they can send me a copy. Yes, yes, good for documentation, but that doesn’t help me with the exact amount I need to provide to my tax lady. Aargh.
It wasn’t a big deal. AdventureMan tracks things through the year and the pieces of information are long-run things, not immediate tax things, but . . . all this happening on the same day.
“It’s a good thing I have my back-up card,” I say to AdventureMan, reminding him of a card I got for just these circumstances (yes, I charged ONE item during the period from Thanksgiving to Christmas at Target, ONE item) so I always have back-up, as well as in case a hurricane hits our house and we have to live in a hotel while our home is rebuilt, yes, I am a planner . . .
And AdventureMan turns white. “Oh no,” he said, ruminatively, “I couldn’t figure out why we had that one, so I cancelled it yesterday . . . ” and then he got on the phone to straighten it out. LOL, a lot of small stuff, all of which ended well, but I couldn’t help thinking maybe I need to get better at growing Lucky Bamboo . . . all these dribbles had to do with money.
My Chinese friend just laughed when we talked today; I had told her I didn’t notify my bank about the Target charge because I figured with 12.5 million people affected, I was just a drop in the bucket. I’ve had this happen now four times, and I was tired of re-doing my automatic charges.
“Oh!” she laughed, “You think it’s like the lottery, that you only had one chance in 12.5 million,” and she is laughing like a crazy woman – at me. Yeh. She’s right. Sometimes,it’s better to bite that bullet right at the beginning, before things get worse.
The man in the next booth was pushing all my buttons. The truth is, we don’t want to hear about his personal life. I don’t want to hear about anyone’s personal lives unless it is me and one of my oldest bestest friends, and we keep our voices down. Private lives are PRIVATE!
He is talking with someone, maybe his co-worker, and his entire monologue is about his failing relationship with his wife. I really don’t want to hear this.
And then he says “I make three times what she makes, and she wants to talk about chore charts???” and please, I need a pat on the back, I didn’t say anything, I didn’t get up and clock him, I didn’t even blink. AdventureMan laughed, he knew I was choking mad on the inside.
It doesn’t matter what you make, big man. If you are both working, you share the household chores. You both live there. You clean up your own mess, you pick up your own dirty clothes and put them in the laundry basket. You rinse your own dishes. You change the baby, you drive your son to his soccer game. It’s called teamwork.
Sure, I totally get division of labor. What I don’t get is this attitude of entitlement; like the fifties are long gone and we all work and we all share the duties of home and children and making it all work out at the end of the day. It’s never giving 50% – 50% – It’s always giving at least 75% – 75%.
We call it the Well of Good Will. If we were perfect people we wouldn’t need it, but we are people who screw up. We need mercy. We need forgiveness. So you give a little extra every day and hope that on a day when you fall short, there is enough on deposit in the well of good will that you can get a pass on your shortcomings for today.
If you are having a problem with your primary relationship, have a straight talk with that person. It doesn’t do any good to bad-mouth your spouse to a co-worker, and it certainly is not amusing to those of us forced to overhear. Ugh.
Homer greets us with a beautiful sunrise over the beach, and we can’t wait to get started.
This was such a lovely place to spend some time. It didn’t hurt that from the time we left Kodiak, the weather has been gorgeous. Gorgeous is not something you can count on in Alaska. It was nice having a break from the boat, being on our own to explore, and having such a beautiful view to write notes while I did the laundry.
What was so totally cool is that while you do have to pay for the washer and the dryer, and I don’t mind that, it’s only fair, the management provides a big jar of detergent.
Have you ever been traveling and wanted to do laundry only to realize you needed to go buy some detergent, or to have change to use those machines that distribute detergent, but sometimes don’t work when you need them to? What an annoyance! I so appreciated their providing detergent; it may seem like a small thing, but it made doing the laundry so easy.
Cold country dressing is so totally different from warm weather dressing. In warm weather, you really have to do a lot more laundry, sweat makes clothes need washing more often. In cold weather, unless it is rainy, you can end up wearing the same outer clothes multiple times before they need washing. Most of what we needed to wash was socks and underwear, but also my favorite jeans and t-shirts. I had others, but you know how it is, you have your favorites 🙂
Our room, #26 upstairs in a cabin separate from the Driftwood Inn but a part of it.
View from balcony:
Living and reading room
noticeboard prompting us to look for resident eagle
Stairway going up to our room (note antlers!)
Washer and dryer – and detergent!
view from downstairs
full kitchen area and dining available for use
As promised, eagle on turret 🙂
Eagle totally unfazed by our photo-taking 🙂