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Old 07-13-2012, 04:47 PM   #11 
lvandert
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Well I guess I do have a third home and Laki was talking about how great Rapid City is, I might as well give you guys something to like about it lol.

It's a tourist town for sure. Everyone mans up for the tourist season and works their butts off. Mount Rushmore is about 30 mins away. I can see the black hills from my backyard, and their beautiful. The city itself is small, for a city. there are only about 60,000 of us here. it's also a college town and a lot of employers know the kids want work. Skyline Dr goes up a hill and there is city on either side of the hill. Downtown is just charming. There is a "main st square" where there are different things every weekend. And every thursday the city throws a block party in the heart of downtown. Everyone has a gun here, if not in their house than in their truck. No lie. We like our weapons. But for all of our weapons we have very little crime involving them. You go a bit out of town and you either in the country or the mountains. Surprisingly enough the Black Hills are taller than the Appalachian mountains, and we're still called hills lol. There is a ton of wildlife all around, including the occasional rattle snake and cactus. (sat on one once, it hurt). If you haven't gotten your fix for wildlife in the wild you can go to bear country USA where there are pens of wild animals roaming around and you drive your car through them. Or if your a rock person there is a few abandoned mines around to investigate. It is beautiful land out here.
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Old 07-13-2012, 11:46 PM   #12 
indjo
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Pleeeeeease no pictures of nature .... makes me want to go .... LOL.

They all sound like great places. You guys are really lucky to (still) have them. Our nature is slowly, but surely being killed off.... either by exploitation or by pollution. But I had a chance of enjoying it all in the past. Unfortunately I seldom, if ever, take pictures.

I agree that Melbourne is a nice city ... I mean it's a city but not as busy as Sidney. Though I didn't have a chance to tour much, but around the hotel was very pleasant. Canberra is even better. LOL It was surrounded by nature (late 70's). But they say, it's different now.

Culture wise, my country has a different culture in almost every province and each has its own language/dialect which may sound similar to its neighboring province. I'm on The Java Island - in Jakarta (western part of Java), the capitol city, the biggest and busiest city in my country. All sorts of cultures, native and foreign, can be found here. But you can't feel/see our real culture in Jakarta - other than in theaters.

I'm originally West Javanese (Sundanese) by birth, from a small village (it's a town now) called Kuningan. It's at the northern part of the West-Central Java borders. It's known for it's mystical .... I don't know what it's called .... aspect(?). There is this place, made into a tourist area. There's a small stream and a swimming pool. Plus some old wells (so people say). The thing is - sometimes there are tons of fish in the pool and stream but then sometimes they all disappear. When there are tons of fish (big carp like fish), you will never touch then if you dive into the pool. You could feed them but you could never catch them..... don't even try. LOL

I loved the place because it was still natural - padi fields and small orchards everywhere. The streams and rivers were crystal clear. And the people were so very hospitable..... everyone knew each other - well most did. I used to spend whole days just wondering here and there, exploring the place.
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Old 07-14-2012, 03:34 AM   #13 
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Ivandert - oooh bear country!!! And mines!!! That is exactly the kind of place I'd want to visit if I ever made it to the US. It sounds like a great place to live, as well.

It seems strange to me that everyone has a gun - guns are illegal here, only criminals have them but most won't risk life in prison for carrying one. Gun crime is almost nil here as a result. But if I lived where bears and other people with guns lived, I'd probably not mind one, lol.

Indjo, I really regret never making it to Jakarta.. I tell everyone I know under 30 to --travel-- while they are young, because you never know what will happen and maybe you never will get to travel later on..

Your home sounds amazing - and if you can one day manage some pictures, I'd be so grateful. I'd want to visit those pools with the carp! And also the betta breeders over there.

The original Javanese culture is so interesting, I'd like to learn more about it.
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Old 07-14-2012, 09:04 AM   #14 
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Yes Ivandert!! SD looks awesome! More homely and isolated (though there's must be a reason for everbody to have guns! lol) but it's scenic. I like it! I think I would like to visit SD and MN. My bf wants to see CA and NJ and being Flyers fans for hockey, we'd like to go to PA. (I think I got the abbreviations all right!)
Watching Breaking Bad and seeing the protagonists health bill really reminds me why I'd like to live in Canada (free health care). But I see the appeal :)
@aus, I have never eaten seal but since they're fatty animals surviving in frigid Atlantic waters I bet they're extremely greasy and fatty. I know during the hunt (which the HSUS and PETA have spun totally out of proportion and basically slander us about it using outdated and made-up facts) the hunters have no need for the flippers and there are some licensed hunters or friends of hunters or middle men or something who sell the seal flippers out of a truck on the harbour side! People come in from all across the island to buy them (unless they hunt seal out where they live) THATS a delicacy. I thought your friend said puffins were a delicacy in NL. In Finland they probably do.
Kangaroo! I bet it is healthier than steroid and hormone induced cow. To me , (and I'm a vegetarian), wild game seems like it should be healthier as a choice for meat. And since it's naturally lean I can see why people there would eat it! I doubt the kangaroo stocks are dying down, as long as its maintained I say go for it! It's why people eat moose here. Moose are an introduced species here and due to having no predators the population rivals or exceeds the human population. Needless to say if you ever want moose, there are people offering it! I just googled it, venison is deer. Moose I guess are deer but not considered venison. They're referred to as moose around here, menus offer it as such anyway.
Indonesia. Now. I would LOVE to visit Asia. We were actually seriously considering trying to get jobs in Singapore when we were done school. I would love to visit! The people seem great, though natural conservation seems to be an issue and that's sad. The lush rainforests are disappearing all over the globe. I wish more people would try to keep them. Jakarta, I would love to visit! Average annual temperatures there, is it high? I think Singapore is around 21-24*C year round (which is my dream temp!!)

Here's a moose. :)
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Old 07-14-2012, 10:10 AM   #15 
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I doubt the kangaroo stocks are dying down
There's actually annual culls in some areas, as since the dingo (the only large predator we have) has declined the populations can really spin out of control if there's a good grass season and then in the next dry they all starve.

There's also people 'farming' them (putting up big fences, basically, is all they have to do). Roos are probably the least endangered native animal besides the possum.

Our possums are quite different to yours, too.. This is a brushy-tail. They live all over the place, even in the parks in the city center. They're super cute and can be tamed quite easily (just don't ever let one get a fright if it's standing next to you - as you then become a sudden climbing-thing and their claws are really sharp!) but they can be a nuisance if they set up home in your roof. I guess they're our equivalent to raccoons.

The big males get to about the size of a really big persian cat. In mating sesaon they make sounds like a sack of warthogs being fed slowly through a mincer. Really terrifying noises, lol..




The babies are just ADORABLE. Look at this lil guy - nawww!:



We also have the ringtail, which sometimes looks a little bit more like the American opossum:




Baby one, super nawww! for this lil feller:




I really love Aussie wildlife.
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Old 07-14-2012, 10:11 AM   #16 
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Omg Aus I love you I have somewhere to ramble.. REALLY long post coming up.
Forgive me, I just realized none of my photography from Poland is on this computer, but I will post some photos later on. :)
I had a laugh at the restaurant- Borsch, Vodka and Tears. I thought to myself "must be Polish." Then I read the next line.
Even though I was born and raised in Canada, I'm going to talk about Poland. My whole family is Polish. I don't know, I just feel more at home there than I ever have in Canada.

As a country, it's a pretty historic place. Our land is scarred with remains of concentration camps, most of which are now turned into desolate, quiet tourist attractions. Old buildings from the era of communism still stand strong; windows barred, properties fenced off, painted those pastel colours one would typically associate with the tropics. Alongside that, huge castles hundreds of years old stand. Museums remind us of our pagan origins- where we had everything from vampires and werewolves, to mermaids, dragons, and sun gods. Painting Easter eggs is actually an Eastern European tradition that was originally pagan and then become Christian. Our Easter eggs are called "pisanki" and we mad]ke the patterns by putting hot wax along the eggs before dyeing them. As you can see, these hand painted eggs are much more complicated than Eastern eggs these days. I never mastered this art, but I do know of a few people who can produce similar eggs.



Wildlife wise, Poland remains another stronghold. Probably our most notable animal is the white stork, also familiar in modern culture as the bird that brings children to the world... lol. These birds are a sign of luck. We build special poles for them to nest on. Having a nest on your property or even your house is a sign of great luck.



A lesser known bird is the black stork. This shy bird isn't rare- but it's much harder to see. They prefer to live in the forest. Seeing one of these is an even greater sign of good luck.


Poland is also home to the oldest forest left in Europe. Białowieża Forest was preserved for centuries as an ancient hunting ground for kings. Today it exists as a wildlife preserve. It's the only part of Europe where the European bison- the wisent- still roams wild. Also a sanctuary for other animals that are becoming hard to find in Europe. Haven't gone yet but I plan to on my next trip.



Phew. That's all for now. O__O
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Old 07-14-2012, 10:30 AM   #17 
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Olympia.. Poland's another place I'd love to go. I used to do the garden for an elderly Polish lady here, who told me so much about it. She was a camp survivor and I still get teary every time I think of her recounting what things were like when she was just a little girl before the war.. it sure sounded like a great place to live, very rich traditions. She's where I got my taste for borsch (the vodka was my own doing.. lol).

I also met a very elderly Polish bee-keeper who at 80 climbed a very long ladder to get a hive of bees out of our chimney. He was telling me all the Polish myths about bees and beekeeping that he learned from his father as a child before the war - his whole family was in camps and he lost them all, unimaginable.. But his stories were so fascinating, he lived near a forest where there were bison.. maybe that one in your pics, I dunno!

Love the eggs! Thanks so much for sharing, I enjoyed your post.
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Old 07-14-2012, 10:36 AM   #18 
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See now I visited Europe and I would have loved to go to Poland! My sister kinda planed a trip for her girlfriend and herself and then brought me along. I'm grateful they brought me it was a great experience, but they made it seem like I would have been able to pick where we went. I would have totally loved to see the oldest forest! and meet an old bee keeper! lol
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Old 07-14-2012, 10:37 AM   #19 
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The whole world war two thing is so tragic. So much of our population was targeted. Maybe because we were so close to Germany, maybe because we had such a large Jewish population (at one point in the middle ages our king was the only person in Europe to truly welcome them to our country), maybe because we had just become a country after world war one and were still establishing ourselves. Maybe all of those reasons. :/

My great grandfather was a member of the Polish underground in WWII. You know, blowing up bridges and stuff. The soviets took him away after the war though. :(


My favourite thing (besides the amazing food in Europe) is the fact that Poland is such an old country, we have myths and tales about EVERYTHING. There's stories about every plant on the side of the road, every bug, every bird. Also a lot of our pagan still shines through. We still celebrate pagan festivals and everything.
None of that in Canada. :/
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Old 07-14-2012, 11:18 AM   #20 
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Up until I was about 4, I lived in New York, Queens to be exact. Near the big city. We lived in an apartment that was quite small, on a street full of houses like ours. Once our tenants moved out, we basically took residence in the whole house. I remember the backyard was terraced with concrete/little pebbles and we had planted gardens along these. Next door was a bratty girl who killed her hamster by dropping it in our garden....
ON A LIGHTER NOTE, I loved the house. My older sister loved school, her friends, my parents had good jobs, BUT we lived right next to an airport :P
So every now and then a huge plane would fire up and make a racket.... But we got used to it and didn't mind it eventually.
We sold our house for (how much I don't know....probably 300k) but now Google says that our house is worth 800k!!! Aahahahaha BOY do we wish we'd stayed there.....
But if we hadn't moved, I wouldn't have had even HALF of the pets I have now. Also meaning that I wouldn't have met any of these wonderful members on this forum ^___^
So I'm kind of glad we moved.... cities feel very claustrophobic to me, and I'm not a big fan of them.
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