Countries My Friends And Family Have Emigrated From To America

Countries My Friends And Family Have Emigrated From To America.

“No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark.” Warsan Shire

Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Colombia, Egypt, El Salvador, England, France, Germany, Ghana, Greece, Guatemala, Haiti, Hungary, India, Iran, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jamaica,  Japan, Lithuania, Mexico, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand,  Nicaragua, Pakistan, Panama, Philippines, Poland, Puerto Rico, Russia, Serbia, Scotland, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria, Turkey, Viet Nam, Zimbabwe.

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Growing up in New York, with immigrant grandparents, the Statue of Liberty meant something. “Tell us the story of when your parents saw the Statue of Liberty for the first time again” we asked.   My mother would say that to her parents and many like them, the statue meant freedom to live in a country where you could be whatever you wanted to be. America was the place to go to flee from oppression, racism, class-ism and poverty. We understood that it was something special to be born in a country with ideals like that.

America is not perfect. We have racism and poverty. But that doesn’t destroy the dreams it was built on. Millions of people came to America to build a better life for themselves and for their families and still do to this day.

On the Statue of Liberty, there are words I know so well: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free.” That’s the spirit that made me feel like an American.  I wouldn’t be here without that philosophy.

Fly safe.

JAZ

First Food That I Want To Eat When I Revisit A Country

First Food That I Want To Eat When I Revisit a Country

“Like I said before. Your body is not a temple, it’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.”Anthony Bourdain

 Japan Sushi at Tsukiji Market, any dessert made with yuzu or green tea.

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 Turkey Pide, fresh pomegranate juice, anything with eggplant, and any dessert made with semolina.

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 Croatia Fresh tuna and bean salad, grilled calamari and swiss chard.

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Cambodia Fresh coconut water and amok (I loved Cambodian food).

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 Greece Avgolemono soup, baklava and Greek salad (feta, tomatoes and olive oil don’t taste the same anywhere else).

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 Italy Pizza, pasta with fresh tomato sauce and basil.  (My dream is to go to Sicily and eat pizza).

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South Africa Biltong (Im not even a meateater and I love it).

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Israel  Falafel and Hummus.

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Colombia Guanabana juice and Arepa con Quisito.

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Spain Churros, hot chocolate and real gazpacho.

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 Panama Sancocho soup.

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Netherlands Pofferjes and poached egg on brioche with smoked salmon, (first time that I have had that).

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Brazil Tacaca with shrimp and fresh acai ( not the watered down sugary stuff we get here) in the Amazon.

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 Thailand Thai iced coffee.

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 Peru Ceviche with giant corn.

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Argentina Alfajores from Havanna.

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Mexico Tacos, guacamole, mole or really anything in Oaxaca. (except not a fan of the crickets every day)

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USA When I come home I want a turkey burger from Golden State in LA.

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Fly safe,
JAZ

Travel Things That You Will Probably Do Only Once In Your Lifetime

Travel Things that You Will Probably Do Only Do Once In A Lifetime.

“Like all great travelers, I have seen more than I remember, and remember more than I have seen.” – Benjamin Disraeli

There are many things I would like to do again in my lifetime, go back to Croatia and Turkey, spend more time in the Amazon, eat street food in Thailand and sushi at Tsukiji etc. Then there are things that I know I will only do once. (Croatia)

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Climb to the top of the Empire State Building, Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty, Washington Monument , etc. Any monument that you climb is a “one and done” for me. (Washington)

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Shop at Harrods in London or Ginza Mitsukoshi in Tokyo. The largest department store in the world is a one time visit – especially for the food areas. i can’t focus enough to buy anything. There are better places to be in these cities. (Tokyo)

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Climb to the top of some big mountain like Kilamanjaro, Everest or the Matterhorn. If you are capable of doing this, it is great for your quadriceps but words like summit and base camp are frightening to me. (Kilamanjaro)

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Visit the coffee shops in Amsterdam. If that is where you are spending all your time in Amsterdam, you have a problem.

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See the Aurora Borealis.

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Walk the Camino de Santiago.

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Take a gondola ride in Venice. I had every intention of doing this but after getting woken up every morning to gondoliers singing Volare, I felt like i had done it and took a boat instead.

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Visit the Grand Canyon – still have not done this

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Walk the Great Wall of China.

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Visit the Acropolis, Stonehenge, the Colosseum, Ephesus, Delphi, the Moabs or other famous ruins. They stay the same just a bit older.

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Go to Oktoberfest in Munich, Carnaval In Rio, Running With the Bulls In Pamplona, La Tomatina in Spain, Kumbh Mela in India ,Burning Man in Nevada, Dia De Los Muertos in Mexico, Chinese New Year in China and the International Balloon Festival in New Mexico.

I still have a lot to do.

Fly Safe,
JAZ

Around The World With Beaded Bracelets

Around The World With Beaded Bracelets

“I learned that you should feel when writing, not like Lord Byron on a mountain top, but like a child stringing beads in kindergarten, – happy, absorbed and quietly putting one bead on after another.” Brenda Ueland

That should really be the name of my blog. I don’t know when it started but I buy cheap ethnic bracelets in different countries around the world for myself and gifts. People like them. (temple cedar bracelets – Viet Nam)

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I try to spend under five dollars a bracelet and buy them in markets or from street vendors. A dollar or two is even better. (ceramic – Mexico)

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It is an easy to pack gift and a nice memory for me of a country I have been to. I mix them all up and wear them almost every day. Today I am wearing Argentina, Mexico, Myanmar and Thailand. (Myanmar, Thailand)

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It’s good to buy indigenous jewelry because it helps the local communities. Many countries have stores or markets that feature local artisans. The bracelets are made from wood from local trees, nuts, seeds, glass, silver, tin, brass, bamboo, woven, pottery and even plastic. Sometimes they have religious significance and sometimes only decorative.(Peru)

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My favorite one comes from Panama and is made from a tagua nut which is known as vegetable ivory. Due to tagua’s properties in color, appearance, hardness and feel like those of natural ivory, it is being substituted for the latter one. This helps in the depredation of elephants while at the same time keeps rain forests from being deforested which in turn favors the ecosystems and the environment.

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I also buy ethnic designed bracelets for myself. When I wear them, they remind of the special day in the country where I bought them. (Myanmar, Cambodia, Murano glass – Italy, Argentina, real coral-Croatia)

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Another important factor to consider is that making things by hand provides work to thousands of people in these poor countries giving them and their families a better life and the opportunity of offering their children a better education. (shells-Panama)

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Shopping for bracelets is perfect street consumerism for me.(Coca nut -Argentina)

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There is the thrill of finding the bracelet among the crafts and tourist crap. I know these look touristy but there was a beach in Panama that was covered in these pinkish orange shells so they remind me of that beautiful beach. Yes I brought home a bag of the shells also.  (Panama)

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Then there is the delicate negotiation of getting the right price without insulting anyone.There is the danger of going too low and the stupidity of paying too much. (plastic- Turkey or anywhere that has real Turquoise)

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Finally we have the adrenalin rush of the purchase. (Aborigine – Australia)

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It makes my world better and their world better. It’s a win – win situation.

Fly safe,

JAZ

30 Songs That Inspired Me To Travel

30 Songs That Inspired Me To Travel

“There must be some kind of way out of here,’ said the joker to the thief..” Bob Dylan

Music is called the universal language. Songs are successful in communicating ideas and feelings to everyone who hears them. I listen to different songs depending on my moods. A song resonates with me when I hear it and I think, how did they know that is how I was feeling?

These songs always took me somewhere else. Sometimes it was the poetry in the lyrics or music that made me want to travel. Other times it was the foreign language and melody.   I picked a few to play. They are in order of my memory of the titles. i have them all on iTunes.  Enjoy them.

America – Simon and Garfunkel

Bamboleo – Gypsy Kings

Marilou Sous La Niege – Serge Gainsbourg

Scatterlings of Africa – Johnny Clegg and Juluka

Leaving On A Jet Plane – Peter Paul and Mary

Guantanamera – Lucca Feliciano

A Rainy Night In Soho – Pogues

One Night In Bangkok – Murray Head

Hopeless Wanderer – Mumford and Sons

New York State Of Mind – Billy Joel

Sorrow (Your Heart) – Trevor Rabin

Jerusalem – Matisyahu

Les Champs-Elysees – Joe Dassin

City of New Orleans – Arlo Guthrie

Where Do You Go To (My Lovely) – Peter Sarstedt

Africa – Toto

Budapest – George Ezra

Carolina Day – Livingston Taylor

Diablo Rojo – Rodrigo and Gabriela

99 Luftballons – Nena

Rubylove – Cat Stevens

Mexico James Taylor

Walking in Memphis – Marc Cohn

Chan Chan – Buena Vista Social Club

Ca Plane Pour Moi – Plastic Bertrand

Sweet Home Alabama – Lynyrd Skynyrd

Mozambique – Bob Dylan

Here There And Everywhere – Beatles

Fly Safe,

JAZ

Food Rules I Have Learned While Traveling

Food  Rules I Have Learned While Traveling.

“Travelers never think that they are the foreigners.’  ~Mason Cooley

You can eat sushi with your hands.

Sashimi is always eaten as a first course before sushi. You can’t eat sashimi with your hands.

Don’t eat anything with your hands in Chile.

You can eat with your hands in Burma (Myanmar). People eat food with their hands in Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. People eat with their hands in other countries in Africa and Asia also.

Always keep your hands above the table in Mexico.

Eat only with your right hand in Egypt. (This is true for many Middle Eastern countries) Salting your food is a huge insult.

In Germany, eat your meat with a fork. Use a knife only if it is necessary. If you eat meat with a fork, it lets the cook know the meat is tender.

Pad Thai is always eaten with a fork and a spoon. 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.

Mezze (small plates) come before a meal.

Pasta is not a main course.

In Uganda, eat fried grasshoppers with your hands like chips. In Mexico eat them on a taco with guacamole and cheese. In Thailand eat them on a stick. In Burma, peel off the head and wings and gulp.

In Burma, they say that anything that walks on the ground can be eaten.

Margherita Pizza is really the only thing Italians consider pizza and should  be eaten with a knife a fork.  The pies are usually served unsliced. It is not a hard and fast role like never cut your spaghetti with a knife and fork.

In Mexico, never eat tacos with a knife and fork.

In France, don’t eat the bread before the meal.

Never turn down vodka in Russia or tea in Turkey.

In France, eat frogs legs like you would eat fried chicken –with your hands in a casual setting, with a knife and fork in a formal restaurant.

In Kenya drinking cows blood mixed with milk is a special treat.

Chinese people do not eat fortune cookies for dessert but oranges for good luck.  It is illegal to eat an orange in a bathtub in California.

In China you are expected to leave a small amount of food uneaten on your plate. If you finish everything, you are sending the insulting message that not enough food was served to you.

It is rude to burp at a table in Japan. It is not rude to burp at a table in China.

In Singapore gum chewing is illegal.

In Mexico Men make toasts, women do not.

In Russia, Do not drink until a toast has been made.

In Armenia, if you empty a bottle into someone’s glass, it obliges them to buy the next bottle.

In restaurants in Portugal don’t ask for salt and pepper if it is not already on the table. Asking for any kind of seasoning or condiment is to cast aspersions on the cook. Cooks are highly respected people in Portugal.

Eating from individual plates strikes most people in Ethiopia as hilarious, bizarre, and wasteful. Food is always shared from a single plate without the use of cutlery.

In Japan it is acceptable to loudly slurp noodles and similar foods. In fact, it is considered flattering to do so, because it indicates that you are enjoying the food.

Do not eat fugu from  an unlicensed chef. The Japanese pufferfish, or fugu, is a delicacy in Japan. It’s also potentially one of the most poisonous foods in the world, with no known antidote.  Japanese chefs train for years to remove the deadly portion of the fish before serving it, though generally the goal is not to fully remove it, but to leave just enough of a trace to generate a tingling sensation in the mouth, so the customer knows how close he came to the edge.  This was one of my best meals in Japan and I have lived to write this.

At this moment,  someone is making a food etiquette mistake.

Fly safe,

JAZ

M and M in Mexico -Mt Alban and Mitla

M and M  in Mexico – Mount Alban and Mitla ‘

It’s a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no knowing where you might be swept off to.” — J.R.R. Tolkien

Monte Alban is a large pre-Columbian archaeological site in the Santa Cruz Xoxocotlan Municipality in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca. Besides being one of the earliest cities of Mesoamerica, Monte Albán’s importance stems also from its role as the pre-eminent Zapotec sociopolitical and economic center for close to a thousand years.

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Large-scale scientific excavations were done under the direction of Mexican archaeologist Alfonso Caso . Much of what is visible today in areas open to the public was reconstructed at that time. (cool glasses!)

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One characteristic of Monte Albán is the large number of carved stone monuments one encounters throughout the plaza. The earliest examples are the so-called “Danzantes” (literally, dancers).  They represent naked men in contorted and twisted poses, some of them genitally mutilated. The figures are said to represent sacrificial victims, which explains the morbid characteristics of the figures.  The 19th century notion that they depict dancers is now largely discredited, and these monuments, dating to the earliest period of occupation  are now seen to clearly represent tortured, sacrificed war prisoners. Dancers, tortured prisoners – it is a common mistake.

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A different type of carved stones is found in the center of the Main Plaza.  You can see  inserted within the building walls are over 40 large carved slabs dating to Monte Albán II and depicting place-names, occasionally accompanied by more writing and often characterized by upside-down heads. Alfonso Caso was the first to identify these stones as “conquest slabs”, likely listing places the Monte Albán leaders claimed to have conquered and/or controlled. How strange this sounds to us in the present day – a Zapotec male talking about his conquests.

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The Mesoamerican ballgame or ōllamaliztli  was a sport with ritual associations played since 1,400 B.C. by the Pre-Columbian people of Ancient Mexico and Central America. The sport had different versions in different places during the millennia.  A modern version of the game, ulama, is still played in a few places by the local indigenous population. It was like racquetball. The ball was made of solid rubber and weighed as much as nine pounds. The ballgame served as a way to defuse or resolve conflicts without warfare –  to settle disputes through a ballgame instead of a battle. The game had ritual aspects including human sacrifice but was also played by women and children.  Human sacrifice? we havent had that yet at halftime at the Superbowl. ( playing field)

IMG_0039 Mitla is the second most important archeological site in the state of Oaxaca in Mexico, and the most important of the Zapotec culture.

safe_image-5.php Mitla is one of the areas which represents Mesoamerican attitudes towards death, as the most consequential part of life after birth. It was built as a gateway between the world of the living and the world of the dead. The lower world was not a bad place – it was where the dead went.   The word Mitla comes from the Náhuatl word Mictlan, meaning place of the dead or underworld. In the Zapotec language this place is called Lyobaa, meaning place of rest or burial-place.

The ancient people  of Mitla wanted to keep their dead buried near them. They believed the dead went into a different sphere.They took out the bones and dressed them up to share in special occasions. Archaeologists figured this out by the many bones that were in the wrong places when they put them back. You see a lot of this in Beverly Hills and Hollywood as well.

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Mitla was inhabited since 100CE by both  Mixtecs  and Zapotecs. It was still functioning as a religious site when the Spaniards arrived in 1520.The high priest, called the Uija-tào resided at Mitla, and the Spanish likened him to the pope. Nobles buried at Mitla were destined to become “cloud people” who would intercede for the population below.[

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The main distinguishing feature of Mitla is the intricate mosaic fretwork and geometric designs that profusely adorn the walls of both the Church and Columns groups None of the fretwork designs are repeated exactly anywhere in the complex. The fretwork here is unique in all of Mesoamerica.

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The two main concerns for the Mitla site are the eroding effects of wind, rain etc. and graffiti. The latter, which is mostly painted or etched, has been a serious problem at least since the early 20th century. To protect the ruins, especially the grecas, shelters have been constructed over a number of the rooms of the Palace or Columns Group. These shelters are palm thatched roofs supported by wooden beams and columns, and are intended to mimic roofs that were common in the Mesoamerican period.

The Spaniards though that the name meant hell. As it was an important site of religious significance, many of the buildings were destroyed by the Spanish. The remains were used as building materials for the churches that sit on top of the ruins.

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for more Oaxaca info go to https://havefunflysafe.wordpress.com/2013/04/01/foods-i-have-learned-in-oaxaca-mexico/

Viajen Con Cuidado,

JAZ