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There is wind where the rose was,
Cold rain where sweet grass was,
And clouds like sheep
Stream o'er the steep
Grey skies where the lark was.

Nought warm where your hand was,
Nought gold where your hair was,
But phantom, forlorn,
Beneath the thorn,
Your ghost where your face was.

Cold wind where your voice was,
Tears, tears where my heart was,
And ever with me,
Child, ever with me,
Silence where hope was.

November by Walter de la Mare
August
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If you were to choose another country, where would you like to live?

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Comments

  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,907 ✭✭✭✭
    That's interesting @ech0pandit. My friends in Kathmandu are celebrating today. But I think the south of Nepal celebrates tomorrow, like in India.
  • JanjardJanjard Posts: 2,065 ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 20
    I wrote about New Zealand yesterday. Is there anyone on this Forum who is from New Zealand?

    I also wonder if anyone has read my contribution yesterday on this unit. Of course I do it primarily to improve my English skills. But I have noticed that it is very encouraging when someone gives a response.

    But it is possible that my contribution is completely boring and substandard. Then I have to practice more.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,907 ✭✭✭✭
    @Janjard I am not from NZ but I have several Kiwi friends who have been truly devastated by the events there last week. I would however still call it one of the few countries that is safe. This is a one off and this sort of thing never has happened in the country before, unlike in most places where it isn't so unusual.

    I have the real pleasure to visit North Island for a couple of weeks a few years ago. It was winter and the weather was very 'British' with lots of rain, even snow. I would love to return in the summer and also visit South Island where there are even fewer people than in the sparsely populated North Island.

    I can understand how many young New Zealanders travel and work abroad for at least a few years or even leave however. It is a very quiet - and usually exceptionally safe place which isn't everyone's cup of tea.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 10,331 mod

    hahaha @mheredge very true and there is one more thing we have a ton of festivals which are celebrated in different ways,like tomorrow is Holi and we will play with colors and eat sweets.

    That sounds a lot of fun to me. I do wish we had more festivals like that where we could enjoy lots of nice food.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,907 ✭✭✭✭
    It can turn into a great big water fight @GemmaRowlands. It got a bit spiteful in Kathmandu a few years ago and a lot of employers allowed women to work from home on the day, to avoid going out and being a target. Worse still, the water was often dirty and many people used to get sick. I remember coming out of a hotel in the centre of Bangkok clutching my laptop (I'd been at a training course), and having to beg the waiting youngsters not to drench me and my computer. They were quite nice as they only squirted a bit of water at my back once I'd passed.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 10,331 mod
    mheredge said:

    It can turn into a great big water fight @GemmaRowlands. It got a bit spiteful in Kathmandu a few years ago and a lot of employers allowed women to work from home on the day, to avoid going out and being a target. Worse still, the water was often dirty and many people used to get sick. I remember coming out of a hotel in the centre of Bangkok clutching my laptop (I'd been at a training course), and having to beg the waiting youngsters not to drench me and my computer. They were quite nice as they only squirted a bit of water at my back once I'd passed.

    I have seen festivals where people end up throwing paint at each other, but I'm not sure whether the festival was supposed to be like that or not. Dirty water being thrown everywhere doesn't sound very fun, though.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,907 ✭✭✭✭
    Maybe not paint, but coloured water @GemmaRowlands.
  • Shishio13Shishio13 Posts: 156 ✭✭✭
    I was living in NZ and I can say that it's a very safe place to stay. You can walk late at nigth or leave open your house's doors without problem. Even there police officers don't use guns. I don't like the weather there because I'm more tropical guy jajajaja
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,907 ✭✭✭✭
    @Shishio13 the weather is very similar to that in the UK and I agree with you (even though I am originally from Britain), the weather is the one big drawback and I wouldn't want to live there because of this.

    I like very much that the New Zealand prime minister is banning guns in the country, following the very sad attacked last week.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 10,331 mod
    Shishio13 said:

    I was living in NZ and I can say that it's a very safe place to stay. You can walk late at nigth or leave open your house's doors without problem. Even there police officers don't use guns. I don't like the weather there because I'm more tropical guy jajajaja

    I would love to live somewhere like that. Unfortunately, I wouldn't feel safe walking around at night on my own here.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,907 ✭✭✭✭
    Nice is fairly safe and you can walk around most of it safely at night. I'm not so sure I'd leave my door unlocked though. I have heard that cellars and garages are often broken into.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 10,331 mod
    mheredge said:

    Nice is fairly safe and you can walk around most of it safely at night. I'm not so sure I'd leave my door unlocked though. I have heard that cellars and garages are often broken into.

    I would never be happy leaving my door unlocked at night, even if I was in the nicest area in the world, as I don't think there is anywhere that is completely crime free.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,907 ✭✭✭✭
    I have to say it doesn't worry me overmuch as I am not sure many burglars would try on the off-chance of finding an unlocked door! In hotels I confess I don't always remember to lock my door if I'm staying in a place a long time.
  • ArturArtur Posts: 7
    Now, I live in Russia. But lately life has become bad in this country. Authorities abolish and prohibit civil liberties. Authorities arrange persecution and torture of dissidents. Therefore, I would like to live in a country where I could freely communicate with different people without fear of expressing my point of view.
  • JanjardJanjard Posts: 2,065 ✭✭✭✭
    In which country did you live before coming to Russia?

    Too bad it has changed that way in Russia. A few decades ago it all seemed to be heading in the right direction.
  • JanjardJanjard Posts: 2,065 ✭✭✭✭
    mheredge said:

    @Janjard I am not from NZ but I have several Kiwi friends who have been truly devastated by the events there last week. I would however still call it one of the few countries that is safe. This is a one off and this sort of thing never has happened in the country before, unlike in most places where it isn't so unusual.

    I have the real pleasure to visit North Island for a couple of weeks a few years ago. It was winter and the weather was very 'British' with lots of rain, even snow. I would love to return in the summer and also visit South Island where there are even fewer people than in the sparsely populated North Island.

    I can understand how many young New Zealanders travel and work abroad for at least a few years or even leave however. It is a very quiet - and usually exceptionally safe place which isn't everyone's cup of tea.

    Thank you @mheredge.
    Thank you for reading my message. Sometimes I am afraid that nobody will read it!
    Just like you have already done, I also want to fly to New Zealand. But then financially better times must come. Things are not going so well in the Netherlands, despite the government always saying it is going great again.
    You wrote nice things about the country and nice to hear that it is so safe there, despite the terrible events in Christchurch. I also think the New Zealand prime minister is great.

    In recent decades, many young people spend a year or more going out to see more of the world. That also happens here with young people in the Netherlands. I can imagine that that's why young people leave New Zealand for a while. But out of boredom, because it is so quiet there, it is of course also possible.

    Do you know if it is an expensive country?
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,907 ✭✭✭✭
    @Artur I think this is not just in Russia. Many places are seeing increasing control and repression.

    It is always easy to think things are better elsewhere. I travel a lot, so I see that in fact most places have if not similar problems, then major issues of their own. Of course it is all relative and at the moment I wouldn't want to be living in the UK!

    If only there were more prime ministers like the New Zealand one @Janjard.

    I was there about three years ago and I found that it was a lot cheaper than Australia (not saying much there given Australia must one of the most expensive countries). I thought that it was a bit cheaper than the UK, though maybe this has changed (according to World Data). So it is not very cheap, but then not so expensive. There are websites that compare the cost of living between countries if you are interested to see how it compares with your own country.

    https://www.worlddata.info/cost-of-living.php
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 10,331 mod
    mheredge said:

    I have to say it doesn't worry me overmuch as I am not sure many burglars would try on the off-chance of finding an unlocked door! In hotels I confess I don't always remember to lock my door if I'm staying in a place a long time.

    People do actually walk around the streets where I live trying doors to see if they are unlocked. Car doors, too. It is a little scary, really.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,907 ✭✭✭✭
    Opportunists! But this suggests some people do leave doors unlocked if it is worth their while to even try.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 10,331 mod
    mheredge said:

    Opportunists! But this suggests some people do leave doors unlocked if it is worth their while to even try.

    Yes, a lot of people do. That's why I like the doors that lock as soon as you shut them, but they don't seem to make them as much anymore.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,907 ✭✭✭✭
    I actually prefer doors that I need to lock behind me, as this way I won't get locked out. My front door actually does lock behind me, but as it is a bit still, it makes a huge racket if I try to slam it behind me. I use the key to prevent the noise but also double-lock it.

    In France front doors need to have three locks or otherwise the insurance doesn't cover you.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 10,331 mod
    mheredge said:

    I actually prefer doors that I need to lock behind me, as this way I won't get locked out. My front door actually does lock behind me, but as it is a bit still, it makes a huge racket if I try to slam it behind me. I use the key to prevent the noise but also double-lock it.

    In France front doors need to have three locks or otherwise the insurance doesn't cover you.

    I suppose that's true, but in all the years I've had an auto locking door I've only been locked out once - and even that was only because I was putting the bin out and the wind blew it shut behind me.
  • VokVok Posts: 1,625 ✭✭✭✭
    I leave my car unlocked quite often and therefore I'm not going to share the numer of my registration plate.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,907 ✭✭✭✭
    Be careful @Vok! You're asking for trouble. Unless that is, you live in the countryside and things get rarely stolen. Even in the remote villages in the hills in Nepal however, I was very shocked at how people there have to lock their homes as they can be burgled while they are out in the fields working.
  • ArturArtur Posts: 7
    > @Janjard said:
    > In which country did you live before coming to Russia?
    >
    > Too bad it has changed that way in Russia. A few decades ago it all seemed to be heading in the right direction.

    I have been living in Russia for 48 years, and ten years ago it seemed to me that life would get better, but I was wrong. What I see now convinces me that Russia is at a dead end.
  • ArturArtur Posts: 7
    > @mheredge said:
    > @Artur I think this is not just in Russia. Many places are seeing increasing control and repression.
    >
    > It is always easy to think things are better elsewhere. I travel a lot, so I see that in fact most places have if not similar problems, then major issues of their own.

    In Russian there is a saying: "There is good, where we are not". I understand that in other countries it may be even worse than it is now in Russia. But I know for sure that there are countries where the human rights situation is better than where I live.
    hrw.org/world-report/2018/country-chapters/russia
    tbinternet.ohchr.org/Treaties/CERD/Shared%20Documents/RUS/CERD_C_RUS_CO_23-24_28705_E.pdf

    This does not mean that such countries are ideal countries, but in these countries people live by the Law, and in Russia, the authorities are guided primarily not by common sense and LAW, but by the CONCEPTS: "“The government does not respect the Constitution and the constitutional rights of citizens. Instead of acting according to the law, it acts according to the concepts, ”Gennady Gudkov, deputy of the State Duma of the fifth convocation, deputy head of the Fair Russia faction, said in an interview with the REGIONS.RU Federal Information Portal."

    I don’t know if there is an exact analogue of the Russian proverb in English: “The law is that the drawbar (a device between two horses, attached to the front axle of a carriage with a double harness and used to turn the carriage), where you turn there and go”.
    In Russian, this saying sounds like a poem, in rhyme. This is an ancient saying, and even children know it.
    " Peskov: We can’t operate with common-sense concepts for state purposes. First and foremost, we operate with CONCEPTS of legality and illegality......"
    meduza.io/en/feature/2019/02/07/we-can-t-operate-with-common-sense-concepts
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,907 ✭✭✭✭
    @Artur thank you for your explanation. The grass always looks greener on the other side of the fence but you are probably right thinking that there are places where the situation is better, but a lot of places too where conditions are worse.

    I find it amazing for example, that after China, Britain is reported to have the most CCTV cameras per head of population in the world. Big brother is spying on you there, for the good this does.
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 10,331 mod
    Vok said:

    I leave my car unlocked quite often and therefore I'm not going to share the numer of my registration plate.

    Some people will know how to start your car without losing a key, so I think you should start locking it, or you might go out to drive it one day and it won't be there.
  • mheredgemheredge Posts: 40,907 ✭✭✭✭
    Maybe that's the point @GemmaRowlands. Perhaps @Vok wants someone to steal it so he has a good excuse to get a new car!
  • GemmaRowlandsGemmaRowlands Moderator Posts: 10,331 mod
    mheredge said:

    Maybe that's the point @GemmaRowlands. Perhaps @Vok wants someone to steal it so he has a good excuse to get a new car!

    Ha ha, maybe! Although even if it is insured I doubt you would get enough money to get a really good new car, which would be a shame.
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