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Social "The International Exchange" (Version 1.0) - closing

Discussion in 'FanForce Community' started by Pensivia, Feb 3, 2018.

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  1. darkspine10

    darkspine10 Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Dec 7, 2014
    First Foreign Travel Experience

    2005, I was 8. We had 2 weeks at a campsite in Switzerland, followed by a week in the French Jura. The former location was much more memorable, I only remember the pool of the second site. :p My defining memory is that we bought loads of Kinder Eggs, for the toys inside. Lots of Spongebob ones. We also rode on lots of trains (a defining feature of Switzerland is it's impeccable public transportation).

    Switzerland is probably the most beautiful country I've yet visited, for its stunning mountains and valleys (though Iceland has a certain silent desolation about it that sticks in my mind, and Italian cities are more diverse).

    I have some photos of last summer, when I was in Switzerland again (I've been every year since 2009 for 2 weeks), which I'll share:

    Lake Thun:
    [​IMG]

    Interlaken, the town we stay in. The campsite is on the left of the photo, at the base of the mountain. This is the opposite end of Lake Thun, from the same walk:
    [​IMG]

    A beautiful vista above Axalp:
    [​IMG]

    Panorama looking down from a little cafe at Axalp:
    [​IMG]

    Männlichen:
    [​IMG]

    Lake Geneva:
    [​IMG]

    Challenging/Difficult experience

    When me and my girlfriend visited Rome last summer, I got a horrible leg sweat rub, due to walking around all day in the sweltering heat. I got a hideous infected boil, that gave me intense pain constantly for a few days. We had a few more days lingering around the campsite instead of doing stuff than I would've liked, though lounging by the pool was alright. Luckily the campsite had a doctor, got a prescription from the nearby town (an agonising 40 minute walk along a road in the heat of the day, with every step hurting. My back started aching too from the awkward way I tried to walk to minimise the rubbing). Although the area on my leg where I had to be checked up was rather... sensitive... to say the least ;). I still have some faint scarring to this day though.

    But by the end of the week, it was basically healed, and we had an awesome day visiting Ostia and the Vatican. The former was surprisingly quiet for such a large archaeological site, and had a lovely atmosphere (didn't hurt that it was super cheap to get in ;)) . The Vatican on the other hand was quite expensive, though a lovely trip nonetheless. Ironically, our cheapest and most expensive visits were on the same day.

    Meaningful/Enriching experience

    Seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland on a school trip was incredible, doubly so as I was the first person at the campsite to notice them. I'd gone for an early shower at 6ish, while it was still light. Everyone else was in their cabins, settling in for the evening. When I got out the shower, I saw what looked like a faint wispy cloud, moving oddly. As I walked back, I slowly started realising it was the Aurora, and my pace quickened. I ran to nearest cabin, excitedly spreading the news, and the others ran around telling everyone.

    It was obscured somewhat by a full moon the same night, but was still a magical experience, sitting on the porch, watching the moon, stars, and Aurora.


    Can't really think of a defining funny moment that sticks out, there have been so many over the years.:D
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2018
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  2. Pensivia

    Pensivia Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2013
    great post, @darkspine10, thanks for dropping in!

    as i said, I'm going to be mainly away from the boards until next week...but in the meantime, hopefully others will be interested to drop by and discuss your and/or Kyber's posts

    March 13 edit:

    hey folks! (i.e., whoever might be reading this:p)

    been away from the boards but should be back more in a couple of days. will have some comments then...
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018
  3. Pensivia

    Pensivia Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2013
    ok, finally getting a chance to come back to these posts from a while back (!)

    I've had similar experiences in New York City, which is funny, since there's a common stereotype of "rude New Yorkers" (did you know about that stereotype before, Kyber?). During one of my visits, I was floored when someone stopped me in Grand Central Station to hand me my knit cap which I had unknowingly dropped...and I think the guy was a New Yorker (judging by his accent).

    That is really funny...I would think Kiwis might get confused for Aussies by Americans...but not for Dutch!

    Though I've certainly embarrassed myself in the past by trying to guess what country someone is from and being way off, so I probably shouldn't be so amused:p

    How many languages do you speak, Kyber?
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018
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  4. Pensivia

    Pensivia Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2013
    (Note: I edited my previous posts above to condense them and so that I could put my responses to Kyber and darsk in separate posts...I had forgotten I have an unlimited edit window as thread host!):

    Wow, those pics of Switzerland are soooo lovely, @darkspine10 ! How nice that you have been able to go there regularly! I haven't made it there myself yet but would love to go of course...

    ^wow, that sounds so awful! my visit to Rome was also in the height of summer, and, yeah, it can be so uncomfortable then (and I say that as a Floridian well familiar with intense heat:p). i've had incidences of massive foot blisters in the midst of various European travels, but nothing quite as bad as what you're describing! i know that feeling of frustration from having to pull back from a planned itinerary due to these unexpected issues. my husband and I ended up getting a 24-hour stomach bug while in Rome (we think it was from some water we drank out of one of the public fountains) and it was so frustrating because we ended up spending most of a whole day in our hotel room when we had planned to visit the catacombs there that day. all part of extended international travel, though!

    ^i bet! those kinds of moments you never forget!
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018
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  5. Kyber Acyk

    Kyber Acyk Jedi Master star 3

    Registered:
    Nov 30, 2017
    #1. Mum and myself were the last people on the minivan coming back from Disney in Florida during our 2010 trip, and then the driver did not let us get off at the last stop on his route. He virtually dropped us off at the front door of the hotel we were at, and said he would tell his boss he got caught up in a traffic jam. We tipped him $50 - he refused, but we said he had been more than kind to us Kiwis (he was British by the way).

    #2. The guy was like "No way!! You're kidding me!!" lol

    #3. I only speak New Zealand English, but I would really love to learn Japanese :)
     
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  6. Pensivia

    Pensivia Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2013
    *tests mic*

    "Is this thing still on?":p

    Well, it seems more than time to perhaps introduce a new question/topic for discussion:p. So...here goes:

    NEW DISCUSSION TOPIC:
    • Why is the focus of this thread (talking with people from other countries and learning about other places and cultures) of particular interest to you?

      No background in language study or foreign travel required...if you feel that "international exchange" is a particular interest of yours, just tell us why!

    (Edit: I've put in a mod request to edit the "Now Discussing" part of the thread title to reflect this new topic.)
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2018
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  7. Pensivia

    Pensivia Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2013
    I'll take the liberty of starting us off again:p:

    My interest in international cultures goes back a lonnnnggg way...to the late 70s/early 80s, when I was a kid watching the show "Big Blue Marble." Here's a brief description of the show:

    I was totally in love with the show, and I wrote away to the address twice to find pen pals. My first pen pal was from South Korea and my second one was from Australia. I think the correspondence with each lasted only about a year or so before fizzling out, but I can remember being oh-so-excited when I would get a letter in the mail from one of them:p

    And now I will indulge my middle-aged nostalgia by posting the old opening to the show (with lyrics to the song copied underneath:p):



    and...for overkill:p...here's the promo for the show's pen pal service:



    *gets slightly misty-eyed over the innocent simplicity and idealism of youth*:p
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2018
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  8. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    I too credit PBS for sparking my interest in international travel. In my case, it was Rick Steve's Europe. However, although I love the idea of international travel, I unfortunately find actual international travel to be fiscally prohibitive. Therefore I must satisfy my wanderlust by living vicariously through the travel stories of others.
     
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  9. Pensivia

    Pensivia Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Oh, I love Rick Steves too @Cowgirl Jedi 1701 !...such a glorious example of a PBS nerd (like myself lol):p

    Even though I have been fortunate enough to have had several international trips in the past (and anticipate having at least a few more in upcoming years), I am not able to do it _nearly_ as often as I would like to, for reasons of both time and money. *sigh*

    If you're a Rick Steves fan, you're probably familiar with his "European Christmas" show...I always particularly liked the footage of the people sledding down a dark mountainside holding lighted torches (after having selected a Christmas tree) (starts at around the 47:00 minute mark):

     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2018
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  10. darkspine10

    darkspine10 Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Dec 7, 2014
    A lot of my interest in foreign cultures actually stems from Assassin's Creed.

    The series takes a variety of historical settings, and translates them as accurately as an AAA video game can, creating incredible landscapes and stories, and immersing you directly into history.

    It makes history come alive in a way. Visiting San Gimigniano for the first time last summer was an amazing experience, as I knew my way around the town from playing ACII since 2010. I knew the names of the most famous landmarks, and their history. It was like I'd time travelled while playing the game, and now I was comparing the modern place. It's an incredibly fascinating feeling, of experiencing a place for the first time, while intimately knowing it.

    In general, it's just interesting to learn about cultures other than the one we come from, seeing different points of view, different ways of doing things, different environments.

    Often a great part of any AC game is the wiki walk I take afterwards, learning more about the actual history, learning to separate the historical facts from the fictional narrative.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2018
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  11. Pensivia

    Pensivia Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2013
    That's very interesting @darkspine10 ...I have very little experience with video games, so I had never thought of it having the effect you described! That's really :cool:.

    I would say that my school studies (in combination with reading things of interest on my own outside of school) played a similar role for me (in terms of preparing me for international travel and shaping my experience of it). By the time I finally made abroad for the first time (in my late 20s), I had so thoroughly immersed myself in some of the places I visited that I had this powerful feeling of "recognition/connection/familiarity" combined with the excitement of how new it was to me to be in another country (sort of a paradox I guess!)

    Edit:

    what's a "wiki walk" btw? do you just mean reading stuff on Wikipedia?
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2018
  12. Ananta Chetan

    Ananta Chetan Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 11, 2013


    The title/ concept Big Blue Marble reminded me of the final scene of the movie Men In Black. :p
     
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  13. Pensivia

    Pensivia Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2013
    I've never seen that movie:p (but I see the connection from the clip!)
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2018
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  14. Ananta Chetan

    Ananta Chetan Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Aug 11, 2013
    [​IMG]

    Becoming familiar with those outside of one's own culture/ set of conditioning can serve as a mirror to better see and understand ourselves, while simultaneously allowing us to get to know others and make new friends.
     
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  15. Pensivia

    Pensivia Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2013
    ^Well said, @Ananta Chetan!

    It's always fascinating to hear an "outsider's" perspective on aspects of one's own culture and mode of living and thus to see what has sometimes become invisible through familiarity in a whole new way...
     
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  16. Skiara

    Skiara ~• RSA FFC •~ star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 5, 2002
    When I was younger, I realized that every country/culture has its own special things, which one can’t learn about in school or by books. You need to talk to people. That’s one part and the other part is, that one can find so many lies on the internet and so many news shows / newspapers are focusing on only a few hot topics that a foreign don’t know, if the topic is really dominating everything over there or is it just drama. Plus, if one reads negative/positive things, do the average people think the same about their country/politic/whatever.

    So in short: To learn more!
     
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  17. Jedi Knight Fett

    Jedi Knight Fett PT Interview Host/All-Around Good Guy star 10 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2014
    For me, it all boils down to making your perspective on life bigger and more enriched. The only way we can continue to grow as people and as an individual is if we learn about other people. Interacting with other people and talking about similar experiences is vital in this ever-changing world. Also on top of that, hearing about someone's experience in a place that you may not have gone to yet is a great way to get a taste of what that country can give you.
     
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  18. Pensivia

    Pensivia Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Oops...somehow I never got (or saw) the alerts for the last two posts (?)

    Thanks for chiming in, @Skiara and @Jedi Knight Fett ! I agree of course (no surprise there I guess lol). I just wish there were more ways for people to make these connections more easily, in the right kind of environment.

    Btw: I've got a new topic in mind for "round three" which I will post in another week or so (maybe even sooner!)
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2018
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  19. Pensivia

    Pensivia Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2013
    New topic time! (I've put in a request with Skiara to change the thread title since I don't have that editing capability)

    Topic #3: National Anthems


    Someone posted this vid for me recently (thanks, @Huttese 101 ! :) ) and it got me started thinking about national anthems:



    I enjoy seeing and hearing all the different languages and people, of course, and it's interesting to think about the individual lyrics of each different anthem and what their various similarities and differences are. And of course I would find studying the histories of all the anthems quite interesting as well (learning about their origins, how they relate to the larger histories of each country, how they have been "used" down through the years in each country, etc.).

    But then I started thinking about national anthems in general, and how I've never really been a huge fan of singing them at public events in the U.S. Starting during my teenage years, the whole "anthem singing" thing started to leave me cold. I'm sure it's related to how I've always disliked when Americans start talking about the US as "the greatest country on earth" (either in the past or present). Tbh, I've always found that kind of attitude embarrassingly arrogant. I also never liked the "social pressure" in some US environments where the anthem is played that requires you to stand in unison and place your hand over your heart. To me, it's always felt a little Orwellian or "fascist" or something I guess...

    Early on, I started to find myself wondering why some people are so "into" the idea of their particular country (whether it be the US or some other country) over others. I sort of wish that there was a general "human anthem" or an "Earth anthem" instead, I guess.:p ( Though really, I guess that's what some great pieces of music like the "Ode to Joy" lyrics from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony can be considered....)

    So that's the backstory of my initial thoughts leading to this new topic...Time for others to chime in!:

    What are your thoughts on the tradition of national anthems (and/or nationalism/"patriotism" in general) and why?

    And of course anyone is free to disagree with my viewpoint. I just ask that we all be as respectful/civil/friendly as possible in any disagreements. I'm also personally not interested in trying to get into a back and forth "debate" with anyone or in trying to get others to change their views if different from mine...I would just be interested to hear the perspectives of as many different people as possible.:) Thanks!
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2018
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  20. Pensivia

    Pensivia Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2013
    Also just a general reminder--though it may be difficult because this is a low-traffic part of the forums and there aren't that many people seeing/reading this thread, when at all possible, it would be great to get discussion going among a variety of posters who might respond to the topic.

    So there's absolutely NEVER any need for anyone to "wait" for me to respond to each subsequent poster before chiming in...hopefully we can get something more like a regular thread going, where people read and respond to or otherwise comment on the posts of more than just the thread host (me).:D
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2018
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  21. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    Honestly, I don't understand what people get so worked up about either. Like, we're all human beings, right? Like, national anthems could completely disappear from existence and I legit would not care.

    Interesting factoid though: Many people think that the song "Edelweiss" is Austria's national anthem, because of the way it is used in Rodgers' & Hammerstein's The Sound Of Music. This is not true.
     
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  22. Pensivia

    Pensivia Force Ghost star 5

    Registered:
    Apr 24, 2013
    I love the song "Edelweiss":p . I never thought about people assuming it was the national anthem, though I can see what you're talking about it from the way it's used in that scene in the film.

    Unfortunately, it seems like we are entering into another phase of rising nationalist feelings in many places across the globe. Honestly, I fear for what the consequences of this trend will be.:(
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
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  23. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Dec 21, 2016
    You don't have to tell me. I live in the USA. I'm bombarded with it almost daily. :(
     
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  24. Pensivia

    Pensivia Force Ghost star 5

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    Apr 24, 2013
    Oooh....it's a "likes" shower from @Chyntuck! Hooray!:p
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2018
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  25. Cowgirl Jedi 1701

    Cowgirl Jedi 1701 Jedi Grand Master star 4

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    Dec 21, 2016
    "Likes" from anybody are cool. :)
     
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