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Everything posted by IslandThyme

  1. Fantastic education I'm getting here! If I should happen to run into any dropbears I'll do my best to tame them with Vegemite treats. OskarNZ, thanks for that link. That's such a clear and well-done explanation. I'm going to post the link on the roll call for my trip, so we can all benefit from it.
  2. Those people are whack jobs who have adopted an egregious "interpretation" of our Constitution. But religion, no. I have no religion, want no religion, and am not interested in hearing about religion. That said, I love visiting beautiful cathedrals and temples, just for the art and architecture. Perhaps I should be less frank?
  3. Well, I passionately detest Trump, and am beyond appalled at what our absurd gun laws have wrought, so I will applaud those who agree with me (while zipping my lip politely when in the presence of those who disagree). I totally agree about the volume thing. I lived in France for several years, and learned there how to make very little noise at all (unless excoriating Trump, then I'm inclined to raise my voice!). I had to Google the Treaty of Waitangi, and would be thrilled if someone would give me a proper education in those issues while I'm in NZ.
  4. Ok then! We're currently having what I think of as perfect weather up here in the Seattle area - about 23 C daytime and 12 C nighttime temps. I think I'll love your weather next month.
  5. Drat, I am always interested in discussing politics wherever I go, and am sorry to hear that it might be considered intrusive. On the one hand I feel inspired to apologize for the inanity and insanity of our so-called President, and on the other hand I'm always very curious to learn about the world views of people in the countries I visit. So I should steer clear of all that in your part of the world?
  6. It's easily obtained. I had mine within ten minutes of starting the process.
  7. Oh no, I didn't take it personally at all, because I already know you to be a friendly and helpful person, at least on CC 😉. Thanks for the heads-up, because yes, if I handed money to a server, expecting change, and that person said thank you before what I viewed as the end of the transaction, I would be confused too.
  8. Such a sad commentary on the world today when we have to tell each other to be nice!
  9. Of course I'll be myself, who else would I be? But, just for example, if you speak to a person in France without first saying bonjour they will be mightily insulted and take you for a boor. If you say ni hao to a person in China they will be pleased that you made the effort. That's what I'm talking about here. The little niceties that make travel more gratifying.
  10. When I spoke to an Air NZ guy I specifically asked him to pronounce it for me, since I didn't hear that first a and I wanted to make sure that it is meant to be silent. I love that little video because I was unaware of the deeper meanings. Is there no tipping at all, under any circumstance, or is it just for exceptional service?
  11. I will be down in your part of the world in a few weeks, and am wondering how to be a good guest. Often a simple thing like learning to say terima kasih to your Indonesian cabin steward, or sumimasen when you need help or directions in Japan, can change your whole experience for the better. Are there words or phrases, like the kia ora greeting I get from Air New Zealand, that I can use during my visit to show respect for AU and NZ cultures and people? It's hard to live down the ignominy of being American at this point in history, but I try to do my best.
  12. Fascinating! And made me remember that my very first foreign language was two years of Latin, which I have found to be invaluable ever since. And so interesting how many kids are apparently learning Japanese, since I don't think it's much on the radar here. I think American kids with parents that have an eye to the future are more likely to study Chinese. I think I'll start a language thread.
  13. I hope this isn't a contentious question, but would you all say that Australians in general are interested in other languages and cultures? Americans being infamously indifferent to other languages, I'm something of an oddity in that I have learned French to near-fluency, studied Spanish and a little German, and dabbled in Swedish, Russian, and Hebrew for purposes of visiting and being somewhat on the ball. Sorry this is so off-topic, but since I'm the OP, I give myself permission to stray.
  14. Thanks for the interesting link, GUT2407. Not being a linguist myself, just a person who loves languages, it's a bit heavy going, but still very interesting.
  15. An amazing story, and news to me as well. We sure didn't learn about that when I was growing up.
  16. Ah so. Thanks! So just a few remain. We have a similar situation in the US, because normally only a few of the elders still speak their native tongue, although many of the tribes are making a concerted effort to teach the languages to the children in order to preserve their culture.
  17. Interesting how many of those names begin with W, which is not a super-common letter in English. I'm assuming those are aboriginal names, although I confess to total ignorance about whether one or many languages are spoken by aboriginal peoples across Australia.
  18. How cold has it been? I'm arriving in Sydney on 9/23 and am wondering whether it might not really be spring yet.
  19. Thanks for the link, Bellair. It's a beautiful part of the world.
  20. Thanks, Copper! You're always so helpful
  21. Copper, do you ever get tired of these eternal questions? Just in case you don't, what can you tell me about who the officers will be on Maasdam for my Sept. 26-Oct. 17 voyage? I might be the only person here who cares about the Housekeeping Manager, but could you include that, if possible? Thanks so much in advance! A more general question - I was on the 89 day grand Asia on Amsterdam last fall and would love to see some of that crew again. Do crew members tend to stay with one ship, or might I find some of those same folks on Maasdam now?
  22. Here in the native language from the area, Walla Walla means approximately "many waters." And yes, I was referring to this place https://www.australias.guide/nsw/location/walla-walla/
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