Good Points Andy! Well Put!! It's getting to the point where nobody on earth knows the truth nor is informed of the truth, nor can trust reported "factual data" as the truth or maybe it's always been this way throughout time. Like the saying goes something like, "the victors write history". An old friend based in Guam when not traveling the world and an old friend based in Hong Kong called me yesterday and we were talking about general public health and how brainwashed the whole subject has become serving private interests for profit. In the States the majority of diseases are largely diet related and the government does little to restrict unhealthy diets being promoted by the same corporations who finance their election campaigns. And the inter related profitable benefits of promoting unhealthy diets and lack of common sense advice network to other industries like health care, pharmaceuticals and insurance and government pension plans. The saying, "you ar what you eat" comes to mind it's almost like a diabolical scheme created and supported by the major spheres of powers profit from mankind's diet, then profit by the ill health and medical care, then profit by selling them "a pill for every ill", then hopefully they will die saving the government from supporting them in older age.
I've also been influenced by such one sided propaganda and didn't realize it or admit it til about 7 years ago when I was on an internet forum discussing the Vietnam war period of time and always thought that the an unusual percentage of the soldiers sent to Vietnam were Black aka African Americans and hispanics. I found out I was WRONG and then admitted that I too had been DUPED by the liberal media and journalism of the times and had held that opinion for 20 years without proof.
It's just like you said, once any topic is spoken about and not challenged it becomes "fact" and SO MANY people rely on verbal commnication as their sources of information rather than research various sources in print from a variety of sources. And as you have pointed out, especially in the Philippines among Expats who spend much of their time drinking with other expats and among Filipinos via gossip networks.
When you mention the Banaue Rice Terraces I say "Remember Julia".
I just finished reading the book Seven Years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer. I was struck by the honest-seeming descriptions of the difficulties he found in his first 2 years there. He tells how the place smells, noone washes, he's living on the cold ground and fears being robbed.
By the end, he has a very romanticised view of the place. However, he will still occasionally stick in a very scathing paragraph or two, explaining ho he struggled with some of Lhasa's more 'backward' customs.
Was refreshing to read a travel book that isn't all sunny days and beautiful views.
And That's definately why your site is so interesting and so useful. You tell the truth about facts, and you give your honest opinion. Lonely Planet doesn't tell me what the toilets are like in India. AndyHoboTraveler.com does.
AsiaBill said: *the government does little to restrict unhealthy diets being promoted by the same corporations who finance their election campaigns.*
I like the rest of what you said, but I don't get this statement. It does not fit in with the rest of what you said. You want the Government to restrict what we eat? You don't think good nutrition is taught in schools? You don't think that most people know what and how to eat? In my opinion, people are duped because they want to be. They want to take the easy way out. Eat whatever they want and take a pill to fix it. Sure, the advertising is out there to try to get you to eat crappy food, because that is where the profit is, but I think it is a small percentage of people that don't know how to eat. They just don't want to believe because it is inconvenient.
****I've also been influenced by such one sided propaganda and didn't realize it or admit it til about 7 years ago ****
Yes, we all go through this from time to time. We, as a species seem to be easily brain washed. We often do it to ourselves. We all, at one time or another, will *know* something, then, at some point we will be convinced of the opposite, then we will *know* that fact. As we get older, hopefuly we become better at filtering this, although I don't think it ever goes away. For some people it actually gets worse.
Don't blame the brainwashers, and don't blame the people that are making a profit off of our self brainwashing. We must blame ourselves when we let ourselves be easily fooled, and try to improve ourselves.
Ash, that line was good, wish it was not about Toilets.
"Lonely Planet doesn't tell me what the toilets are like in India. Andy HoboTraveler.com does."
I am proud when someone says something like that, I know I am doing my life goal correctly, which is to be an honest and good boy. I would hate to die one day thinking people would remember me as someone who told fantasy stories. Paul Theroux can be good, the just talks.
I am thinking about Ash, AsiaBill, Hoz and Bob L comments and the comments even when they disagree are trying to help clarify our world. I believe we all hide or close our eyes sometimes, and I know for me, sometimes I should just keep my mouth closed.
When I explain or maybe expose something as simple as the toilets in India to readers, the test needs done.
"Ahimsa." = No Injury.
I weigh this continually when I talk about countries, I believe all things should be brought from the dark into the light. While the world more or less try to enforce people to keep the dirty laundry in the closet and deny it exist.
Shame is a good thing, I think we should put people in stockade in the center of the town square. When I speak of India toilets, I am trying to shame the country, not a person, not one specific person. Shaming one specific person seldom does any good, the person only gets his or her epiphany from indirect correlations.
On the other hand, there is needs for boundaries and walls, a good glaring response by me can slow down and tell readers what is allowed and not allowed.
I have not delusions of changing the world, I try my best to be honest, open and instructional, sharing my experiences of how I see and feel my world.
I am responsible for me, not to how you react to words.
Writers who write glamorized stories of countries are natural born liars, I have no respect for these people.
There is hope for India, listen to this CBC radio feature
Part 3: Bindeshwar Pathak Feature
Across India, hundreds of millions of people don't have access to a toilet, or anything connected to a sewer system. So they defecate in bucket latrines or out in the open. And that means that every year, about 200 million tons of raw, human sewage is dumped into the environment, much of it ending up in rivers and water supplies.
And beyond the health and environmental concerns, there are social consequences. The task of cleaning human excreta has traditionally fallen to the Untouchable class - the lower cast Dalits. And that work has added to their status as social pariahs.
So for Bindeshwar Pathak, a toilet isn't just a toilet. It's a tool for social change. He's a sociologist and the founder of the Sulabh Sanitation Movement ... a group that has been credited with improving sanitation, reducing the incidence of disease and restoring dignity to countless people.
Two weeks ago, Dr. Pathak was awarded the Stockholm Water Prize for his work ... work the nominating committee described as "one of the most amazing examples of how one person can impact the well-being of millions."
Thank you Jim for these two links, I truly appreciate the championing of people like this man "Bindeshwar Pathak." Sometimes, an indignant India person will get on this blog and berate me for talking about real situation.
A real problem can only be solved when it openly discussed. India covers up, refuses to admit, tries to pretend they are modern.
Thanks for showing a solution to problems.
I do not believe travelers should try to save another country. I do think higher developed countries should encourage the lower to develop.
More or less a Rich person can and should encourage people to have the same level as wealth.
I'm thinking you are not impressed with the rice terraces ?
How about them Coca Leaf terraces
in Peru ??
Ash on "Seven Years in Tibet". A movie was made of that book. (two in fact. ) The second starred Brad Pitt. Though Harrer complained about Tibet his companion, Peter Aufschnaiter must have enjoyed his time there,
"During his time in Tibet, Aufschnaiter played an important role as a geographer and cartographer for the Tibetan government and volunteered to map out numerous places throughout Tibet which had never been accurately drawn up. Aufschnaiter helped the Tibetan city of Lhasa plan a hydroelectric power plant and a system of canals. His extensive work is well documented in a book by Heinrich Harrer, Seven Years in Tibet. His own book Peter Aufschnaiter's: Eight Years in Tibet includes many of his own photographs and sketches.
After leaving Tibet, he arrived in Nepal in 1952 where he worked as a cartographer and then in New Delhi for the Indian Army. He eventually obtained a Nepalese passport which allowed him access to many restricted remote areas and he discovered valuable early Buddhist frescos. Aufschnaiter spent most of his remaining years in Nepal, working as an agricultural engineer. At first he worked for Swiss Technical Aid. From 1956 on he held a position as an agriculture expert for the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization. Every three years he went on leave to Europe, where he and Heinrich Harrer went mountaineering together."
Which is more productive? Carping and complaining about a country, or getting to work to help further change?
I prefer the latter.
Hmm, I would say "Complaining" is better than trying to work for further changes.
If I am in the USA, then working towards further change works.
If I am a foreigner say for example in the Philippines, then complaining is more effective.
Why, 99 percent of problems in a country are cultural. For example, the family and churches of the Philippines somehow convince Filipino people to have many children. The family are not good here, they are abusive, there is nothing good about the family here in the Philippines, small girls become prostitutes daily to send money to their parents. etc.
This is stupid, incredibly stupid.
If they stopped having babies, the creation of new jobs would reach parity and the whole quality of life would improve.
The Tibet people give all their money, energy and spirit to the the Dali Lama idiot, they prostrate themselves for miles as they give money to the Buddhist temples.
China came in an offered them medical, roads, infrastructure, I have been to Tibet, I do not think you can ever convince a Tibetan person to return to the OLD culture.
Yes, we love the old culture, however old cultures enslave people.
I can do my best to shame the WHOLE culture, I can change one persons life. I know the NGO, they spend their whole time getting drunk and screwing the countries.
I can help one person, if I am here, not from the USA.
President Obama will complain about an Africa country during his administration, this will shame the country, the country will change. Obama I doubt will change the USA, I know he will dramatically change a whole continent called Africa.
You cannot pay your way to change, you must change the culture.
Africa has "Hope." if one Black American in the USA can become leader of the free world, then they can do anything.
Complain, please do not be arrogant to think you understand a culture and get inside and waddle around like the truly in-business-for-money NGO's of the planet. They are raping whole countries and continents.
To have an educated person hang around with an uneducated person makes the mean education rise. In the end, television is going to improve the life of people more than anything else, they see the nice cars, they become envious and they want them.
We are what we hang around with, we become the people who we hang around with, and with that, .... Ooops, I should get the hell out of Dodge, before I become Filipino full of shame and non-effective ways.
Change happens one person at a time.
Complaints can change whole countries.
Thanks Obama, go after Kenya and work your way towards Niger and Mali, stop the French from continual raping of West Africa.
Germans, wow can they complain, but my gosh, they are developed. Now, trust me, happiness is up to the individual, not the country.
After the distress, anger and annoyance passes away I try to put myself in the position of the person or culture which caused it. Regarding the Philippine population EXPLOSION, for the poor people having 10 kids is similiar to buying lottery tickets in the States. It's a sign of acceptance of failure with the the only positive HOPE for the future is that just MAYBE one child will be either a genious and prosper, beautiful / handsome enough to hook up with a spouse with finacial assets and means or be hardworking and lucky enough to make enough money to support their parents. Since there's not much of a social security system and what there is doesn't pay enough to retirees to live well having 10 kids is like a built-in pension plan with each adult child sending you P1000 / month.
Having children to insure a pension plan is the number one problem on planet earth, almost all problems have this as the indirect, however essential cause of problems.
Thanks Bill, what wrote was clear, truly with the United Nations would get with the game plan.