Ten Cemeteries In The World To Visit Before You Die

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Ten Cemeteries In The World To Visit Before You Die

“Why’s that cemetery so popular? Everybody’s dying to get in!” unknown

Visiting a cemetery is a lot more interesting when you are alive. It is always a sometimes spooky, sometimes beautiful history lesson. Some of them are a resting place of famous people, some have really unusual memorials and others simply provide a surprisingly nice and tranquil walk. Here are some cemeteries to visit before you die.

Recoleta, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Recoleta Cemetery is the final resting place of the good, the bad, the beautiful and the rich people of Argentina’s past. It is a remarkable necropolis of tombs and mausoleums.  It is proportioned like a miniature village with its stately Greco-Roman crypts lining the narrow walkways. They believed “the bigger the mausoleum, the closer to God.“

It is less expensive to live your whole life in Buenos Aires than it is to be buried in Recoleta.When you enter the cemetery through the neoclassical gates (designed by  the Italian architect Juan Antonio Buschiazzo.)  There are two messages in Latin. The message on this inside is from the living to the dead and says rest in peace. On the outside, it is from the dead to the living and says Wait for God.

You have found Eva Peron’s flower strewn monument when you see people. She is buried among the rich people who did not like her.

There are approximately eighty cats who live at the Recoleta cemetery.  They say that they are the guardians/tour guides of  the 4800 tombs and have been taken care of for twenty years.  Everyone including me  takes photos of them.

Old Jewish Cemetery, Prague, Czech Republic

The Old Jewish Cemetery was established in the first half of the fifteenth century.  It is one of the most important historic sites in Prague´s Jewish Town. The oldest tombstone, which marks the grave of the poet and scholar Avigdor Karo, dates from the year 1439. Burials took place in the cemetery until 1787. Today it contains some 12,000 tombstones, al though the number of persons buried here is much greater. It is assumed that the cemetery contains several burial layers placed on top of each other.

Pere La Chaise, Paris, France

Cimetière du Père Lachaise is the most visited cemetery in the world. It is the hub of Paris’s dead rich and famous. The list of famous corpses now buried there includes Jim Morrison, Moiliere, Gertrude Stein, Oscar Wilde, Frederic Chopin, Marcel Proust, and Italian painter Amedeo Modigliani. Wilde’s tomb is one of the garden cemetery’s most famous and is covered in the lipstick kisses of admirers. It is no accident that all these famous people are buried here. Established in 1804, the cemetery was first used for reburials from other parts of the city. In a macabre (and involuntary) form of celebrity endorsement, officials had high-profile bodies moved in to boost popularity. I hope to go in the spring. (as a visitor).

Mount of Olives Jewish Cemetery, Jerusalem,  Israel

The Mount of Olives has been used as a Jewish cemetery for more than 3,000 years.Approximately 150,000 Jewish people are buried there including some of the greatest Jewish leaders, prophets, and rabbis of all time.Among the notable Jews buried here in biblical times were Zechariah, Haggai, Malachi and Absalom, the rebellious son of King David. In the modern era, Eliezer Ben-Yehuda, the father of modern Hebrew, author Shai Agnon, Hadassah founder Henrietta Szold and prime minister Menachem Begin and his wife Aliza were buried here as well.

Hollywood Forever Cemetery, Los Angeles, California

This place is the final act of studio founders, writers, directors, and performers in Hollywood history; it’s where the industry’s biggest players went to die like Mickey Rooney, Cecil B. De Mille and of course Toto. Appropriately, the scene here is full of gaudy tombstones, mausoleums, peacocks, palm trees, and reflecting pools. Live concerts and movie screenings aren’t uncommon on the cemetery’s manicured lawns.

Merry Cemetery, Sapanta, Romania

The “merry” cemetery features over 600 ornately carved, colorful wooden crosses, often with a dark or extremely literal take on the life of the body that lies beneath it. Each grave is adorned with a blue cross and a scene from the departed’s life – both good and bad. There is also a poem. The carpenter who carves the markers and composes the poems doesn’t hold back. There are references to drinking and cheating and even some mother-in-law jokes.

Okonoin Cemetery, Koya, Japan

This forested site on the side of Mount Koya is where Kobo Daishi — the founder of Shingon Buddhism — lies in eternal meditation and it’s where many devoted followers want to be buried. So many, in fact, that it’s the largest cemetery in Japan. Grave markers line the path to Daishi’s mausoleum, and each salvation-seeker’s tombstone is more unconventional and weirder than the last.

Two hundred thousand monks are buried there and waiting for the resurrection of the future Buddha. Look for the memorial dedicated by a local pesticide company to termites, and for statues that mimic monks and coffee cups.

St Andrews Cathedral Graveyard, St. Andrews, Scotland

St Andrews Cathedral is a ruined Roman Catholic cathedral in St Andrews, Scotland that was built in 1158. Most of the grave stones are so old and worn that there is no writing left. Many famous pioneers and champions of golf are buried here.The most famous grave of the nineteenth century was the golfer young Tom Morris. Sometimes people leave golf balls on his grave for luck.

Highgate Cemetery, London,  England

Highgate is one of seven garden-like cemeteries that were built in a ring around London in the nineteenth century, when inner-city burial grounds had become overcrowded. Gothic tombs and buildings are now overgrown with ivy. Obelisks tower over its crypt-lined Egyptian Avenue, which leads to the Circle of Lebanon, a set of tombs built around an ancient cedar tree. George Eliot and Karl Marx are buried here a long with a poisoned Russian spy who’s name I don’t know.

Arlington Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia, USA

As far as cemeteries in America go, there is none more famous or respected as the Arlington National Cemetery, where more than 400,000 active duty service members, veterans, and their families have been laid to rest. The sweeping rows of white marble headstones, and the constant guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, are sobering reminders of the ultimate sacrifice that many have made.Tomb
Soldiers who die while on active duty, retired members of the Armed Forces, and certain Veterans and Family members are eligible for burial at Arlington National Cemetery. So are Presidents.

 

Fly safe,

JAZ

 

 

Top Ten Reasons To Visit Tokyo

Top Ten Reasons To Visit Tokyo

“The overriding sense of Tokyo…is that it is a city devoted to the new, sped up in a subtle but profound way: a postmodern science-fiction story set ten minutes in the future.” David Rakoff

If you haven’t been to Japan you are missing out. I can’t wait to return.

1. It is so exciting. Whatever cool electronic experience or sleek new building we have in NY, they have ten of them.

2. Their subway system is crazy good, clean, efficient, on time, safe restrooms, vending machine heaven, huge shopping malls and delicious food.

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3. The food in Japan is outstanding and served beautifully. Everything is amazing but the sushi and sashimi will change your life.

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4. It is one of the safest cities. The Japanese aren’t big on scamming tourists. It doesn’t go with their mindset of politeness and duty.

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5. You can take a quick train and end up in an hour at a ryokan ( typical Japanese Inn and bath house) in Nikko and see the temples which is what we are doing. . Or go to Kamakura and see the giant outdoor Buddha if you haven’t already. (I have)

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6. Their museums have weird exteriors but interesting exhibits. There are a few exhibits I want to see this time.

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7. Tokyo street fashion is amazing and so entertaining to see. Even in this global society, it hits LA a few years later. Fashion changes so quickly in Japan that it is easy to find trendy inexpensive pieces. Fashion chain stores offer high-quality Japanese-made clothing in the latest styles — at reasonable prices. Halloween in Shibuya!!!!!

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8. Tokyo has the world’s best customer service and multi stage gift wrapping for anything you buy. It sometimes feels a little stalky as they follow you to the door carrying your beautifully wrapped purchase.

9.Tokyo has the most expansive sake list. Remember if you are drinking, Tokyo has very strict drunk driving rules for drivers and passengers so take one of the hundreds of cabs around at night.

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10. The most interesting thing about Tokyo is the juxtaposition of the old and the new. The unparalleled mass transit system and skyscrapers are next to shrines and paper lanterns. The fancy shopping malls are near small noodle shops and Japanese pastry stores. It is unbelievably crowded during the day, Nobody seems to sleep except on the train,  but it can also get very quiet late at night.

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For more Tokyo blogs

https://travelwellflysafe.com/2012/08/06/things-i-have-learned-in-tokyo/

https://travelwellflysafe.com/2013/06/11/onsen-and-ryokan-in-japan/

https://travelwellflysafe.com/2012/08/25/japanese-food/

https://havefunflysafe.wordpress.com/2012/08/11/things-i-have-learned-in-japan/

yo I sorano tabi o,

JAZ

Things I Have Learned In Thailand

Things I Have Learned In Thailand

“If your mind is happy, then you are happy anywhere you go.  When wisdom awakens within you, you will see truth wherever you look. It’s like when you’ve learned how to read — you can then read 
 anywhere you go.”  Phra Ajarn Chah (Thai Buddhist monk)

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Bangkok has the longest city name in the world; written out it’s actually: Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahintharayutthaya Mahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Phiman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit.

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In Thailand, it is  required to  stand for the national anthem when it is played (in the street, in the  cinema, in the airport, in the train station, in the bathroom or at the beach etc, (Phu Quoc island location of “The Impossible”)

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The first case of HIV Aids was reported in Thailand. Thailand has the highest prevalence of HIV Aids in Asia.

Thailand has one of the worst child sex trafficking records in the world.

In Thailand it is deemed impolite to ask someone their age or salary.

Thailand is home to the world’s largest gold Buddha, the largest crocodile farm, the largest restaurant, the longest single-span suspension bridge, and the world’s tallest hotel.

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Several years ago, Bangkok was named the hottest city in the world by the World Meteorological Organization. Stay hydrated.

You can be jailed for not wearing underwear in Thailand.

Every Thai male has to become a monk  at some point in his life even if only for a short period, and at almost any age between completion of school and the beginning of a career or married life.  it is a period of about three months. The reason being is to do it for your mother so when she died she would hold on to your monk’s robe and go to heaven.

In Thai tradition,  touching the head is severely looked down upon. The Thai people believe that the soul resides in the head, which makes it an extremely sacred place that should not be touched.

The Kings head is on all Thai currency, therefore if you step on a banknote or coin, it is considered to be kicking the king in the face. They love this king. His face his everywhere.

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All Buddha images, no matter how small, tacky or ruined are sacred and should never be used as a backdrop for your photo. (Ayuthetta)

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In Thailand, the left hand is used for going to the bathroom and the right hand is used for eating and greeting. Unfortunately, I am left-handed so I am rude in Thailand.

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Thai boxing has a spiritual and ritualistic part.  There is music and sacred clothing decorated with Buddhist symbols, There are different significant bows and a dance. Then they try to beat the crap out of each other.

In Thailand, the children do everything for the parents.  They are grateful to them for being born, for  giving them  food , clothing, shelter and education. In America, the parents do everything for the children. They are grateful to them for being born and give them food, clothing ,shelter and education.

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The ‘King and I “ is banned in Thailand. Anyone caught smuggling in the “King and I” will be arrested.

The gold stupa in the Emerald Temple in Bangkok has a monkey and a giant on it to carry the world. Everyone must carry their own burdens in this world but the giant and the  monkey also carry all the human burdens.

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It is cheaper  to buy Chang Mai hillside tribe products in Chatuchak weekend market in Bangkok (biggest market ever)  than it is in Chang Mai.

Putting on sarong pants is more complicated than it looks. There are rules for the placement of the knots and folds. They are different for men and for women. Sexual orientation  is also shown by the placement of the knots.

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Ayutthaya was the old capital of the Thai kingdom  resembling a  graveyard of temples and headless Buddhas (beheaded by the Burmese in the thirteenth century) and ruins showing what it might have looked like.

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Thai people  greet and bow in the traditional way with palms touching. Most people great each other in this way and say “sa wat de kah”   It is based on the ancient Thai  culture. They were always working in the rice fields and their hands were dirty so this became the most polite greeting.

Thailand is the only country in Southeast Asia that has never been under foreign control. Burma and  Malaysia were part of the British empire. Laos and Cambodia were under French control. (Putthaya)

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Condensed milk is a staple in Thailand and Thai coffee. You can find it in every Seven Eleven and in bulk at Tesco.

An ice cream sandwich in Thailand is ice cream between two pieces of white bread. They don’t serve bread with meals but rice instead.

Thai is a tonal language which means one word can have many meanings depending on how it is pronounced. Thai people think is very funny the way we pronounce Kwai in Bridge on the River Kwai. Apparently the way we say it, it means  male sex organ.

Thai people eat most of their food with a spoon in their dominant hand and a fork in the other. Chopsticks are only served for soup..

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95 per cent of the people are Buddhists.

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Thailand was called Siam until 1939.

Shopping at Siam Paragon and MBK are just like shopping in any other huge shopping mall.

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The first Thai massage school was started 417 years ago at the Pho temple in Bangkok. People today still learn the same techniques and the original drawings show that each part of the body has a meaning.

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In Bangkok, “best quality fakes” are near “best quality hotels.”  It does involve hidden stores behind other stores up staircases in back alleys  but one block from the Shangri La Hotel and Penninsula ferry stop.

In ballet, the shape of the feet is important, in Thai dancing it is the shape of the hands, the length of the fingers and if they are double jointed, that is the most important.

It is often nicknamed as the “Land Of Smiles,” because of the perceived gentleness of its people. The country is really populated by smiling, inviting, and receiving people. Thais are really gentle, polite, soft-spoken, friendly, and hospitable human beings. (great tour guide Gift  www.privatetourthailand.com)

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For more info go to Looking  For Buddha In Bangkok

https://havefunflysafe.wordpress.com/2012/07/14/looking-for-buddha-in-bangkok/

Sa Wat De Kah and Fly Safe

JAZ

Looking For Buddha In Bangkok

“it is better to travel well than to arrive”.   Buddha

Looking for Buddha in Bangkok

Day 1. I didn’t see Buddha today among all the Golden Buddhas. He wasn’t at the most famous Emerald Buddha where all Buddhists go to worship. He wasn’t around the ancient Buddhist scriptures or at the giant leaning Buddha or the Grand Palace. I heard he was on the sky train but I missed him. I thought I saw him in the night market eating fried crickets on a stick. It turned out to be an old man with a beautiful smile. (it might have been gas- crickets are apparently better for the digestive system when eaten raw).  I didn’t see him  at Starbucks, nor was he having the most fabulous Thai  Massage.  I thought I saw him at the flower market among the beautiful orchids but it was just another Buddha wanna be.  He wasn’t having Pad Thai , Thai Coffee and Thai Mango at the restaurant on the river. He was not on any of the riverboats that I have been on today. I will look again tomorrow.

Day 2. No, not today.

Day 3. He wasn’t at the floating market.  Someone swore he ate lunch there everyday.  He wasn’t at the train market either.   The train runs through the market to Bangkok eight times a day. Eight times a day, they pack up and put out their food. The people help each other do it.  It is not very tranquil. No one seems to mind. They all have their shrines to him and they all smile. I think he has been there before.

Day 4. Buddha is not shopping at Siam Paragon Mall or MBK.  However, there is a monk on a cell phone and two other monks with shopping bags. I hope he is not begging for rice in the food court.   He is not at Best Quality Fakes either. Though, I’m sure he would know how to find them.

Day 5. The real Buddha is not at the old  capital city of Ayuthetta. There are many Buddha statues and many more decapitated ones. It is the ruined city that is  left after the Burmese ravaged the old capital.  it must have been quite beautiful when Buddha was there. I couldn’t see him when I was riding the elephant and I was pretty high up.

Day 6. He was not at Chatuchak  Weekend Market . If he was there on a weekend, I would never see him because it is one of the largest and most crowded  markets in the world. It covers over 27 acres and has more than two  hundred thousand visitors per day.    Surprisingly, He was not at  (BIA) Buddhadasa Indapanno Archives. It is the  most beautifully decorated space combining art and nature dedicated to Thai Buddhism. When I meditated there , I didn’t find   Buddha but I did find peace.

  As I rode to the airport I wondered where was he in this very Buddhist country? Was he in the faces of the children, the kindness of the people, the quiet dignity of the elephants, the beautiful orchids, the peace at the meditation center?  Was he there all the time?  Or, will I just have to look harder on my next visit?

Sa wat dii kha, fly safe

JAZ