Tuesday, September 22, 2015

China's toilet revolution

China’s tourism association has started a new campaign for travelers to the country’s most scenic spots. It's called the “toilet revolution.”

This toilet at a nice Deqin, Yunnan province, restaurant is actually not too bad by current standards. No distinctions made here between the men's and women's side. I'm not sure the significance of the different colors on the baskets. If you need to ask how the baskets are used, please email me privately. Peoples Republic of China

The first goal is making sure sufficient supply to meet demand.  

If visitors have to wait in lines, claim the Chinese tourist officials, it can try their patience and detract from their travel experience. The campaign goal is to make sure waiting times at the country’s top scenic attractions do not exceed 10 minutes.

To help shorten those trying lines, China will build 33-thousand new restrooms and renovate another 24-thousand around the country by the year 2017.

The doors are wide open to a public toilet in Fukang.  Asia, China, Xinjiang Province, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, Changji Hui Autonomous Prefecture.

To ensure compliance, China’s official Xinhua News Agency reports that over the next month, groups will conduct random inspections throughout the country. No mention of job qualifications for the inspectors.
Local governments are also getting involved.  Fortunately my favorite province, Yunnan, plans to spend about 10-million dollars over the next couple of years to build or upgrade 600 restrooms to what government officials call  “three-star rated.”

Personally, I am relieved at news of China's toilet revolution.

I wonder if this is part of China's "toilet revolution"? This was a prominent feature in the men's bathroom of the nicest hotel in ShangriLa, Yunnan Province, People's Republic of China.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The grapevine learns from the earth's darkness

Through companionship with the ground 
a grapevine grows. It opens
into the earth's darkness and flies.

It becomes selfless in the presence 
of its origin and learns what it really is.
Rumi, translated by Coleman Barks

Pinot noir vines of a Premier Cru vineyard in Gevrey Chambertin, Burgundy, France.
Worker harvests pinot noir in vineyard near Eguisheim, Alsace province, France.
Even though it has nine highly-regarded Grand Cru vineyards, the village of Gevrey-Chambertin in Burgundy, France's Côte de Nuits appellation has many village-level vineyards such as this one in full harvest just outside of town.

Harvest near Gevrey-Chambertin in Burgundy, France's Côte de Nuits appellation.

Harvesting pinot noir in vineyard near Eguisheim, Alsace province, France.

Signature cross in front of world-famous Romanée-Conti vineyard above Vosne-Romanée village, Burgundy province, France.
Vineyard inside of Pinot noir glass.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Shopping with no Costco in Jinka, Ethiopia

Before heading out for a couple of weeks with Ethiopia's Mursi tribe in Mago National Park, my guide and I wanted to stock up. So we stopped in the tiny market town of Jinka, Ethiopia. Please note that Costco and Walmart have not yet arrived in Jinka, Ethiopia.

The main road through Jinka's shopping district.
Since Costco has not made it to Jinka yet, this is the general store. Jinka, Ethiopia, Africa
Here you can buy your tobacco, other smoking grasses and a few spices.
And if you need furniture, this is the place in Jinka, Ethiopia.

President Obama advertises an auto repair garage in Jinka, Ethiopia

On my way to revisit Ethiopia's Mursi tribe in Mago National Park, I found President Obama in the tiny market town of Jinka. Well, not actually the President, just his name and spirit. 
I found this sign outside a busy auto repair garage in the tiny Ethiopian road-junction town of Jinka. Ethiopia, Omo region, Africa.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Is there more than we can see in Haleakala?

It is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (Author of The Little Prince)

A lone hiker stops to photograph the maturing volcanic landscape of Haleakala on the most remote major island group on earth. Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii

Storm over the volcanic landscape of 10,000 foot high Haleakala. Haleakala National Park, Maui, Hawaii

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Discover the real difference between a Mercedes and Chevrolet

At what age do we learn the difference between a Mercedes and Chevrolet car, between a Muslim and Christian person?

A young bare-bottomed Hamar boy leads the family cattle to the water hole. Hamar (Hamer) tribe, Omo region, Ethiopia, Africa.

Monday, August 31, 2015