India Travel Stories, Page 14



Lights went off in my room. It was my fault... hehehe.

So small blog today.

I am in a great Guesthouse near Benalium Beach Goa. I took the bus into Margao to use the internet. Very cheap and very fast. Plus I am publishing 50 megs of that was down for the last year.....aaagh.

But it is up now.

I HAVE DECIDE - I go to Benalium Beach

Sitting here and working or typing on my computer I have finally got in touch with what I really want to do. I want to go see what is happening in Benalium Beach. I seem to in the back of my mind have some unfinished business or something I wish to do in Margao and do not want to jump too far away from this city.

I suppose you think I should go be a tourist and that is fine, but I am not a tourist. I am a traveler that goes to different places and stay around and lives, although I do a lot of tourist things, that is not my goal, my goal is to enjoy the day doing what is fun to me and to have a nice life. Looking at thing of beauty or history is fun, but not always that exciting. Sort of looking at home movies. After about a half hour you have had enough. The same is for tourist attractions, in can only look at things for a half hour and then I am kaput. But do realize that looking a culture is time consuming in itself. To just watch the people of India walk down the street is amusement park of thrills and chills. I am in a skuzzy part of the city and there are a lot of characters around. I have to be careful I keep my brain in balance and do not stupidly think this is the normal life. I am in living in an area that is maybe only 20 percent of the city. Not very normal in many ways, but it is normal for this part of the city. It is very easy to go see the skuzzy part of a life, but to find out how a good respectable person lives is extremely difficult. You cannot just walk down the street and look into their window. You have to be invited. They are respectable.

Note on the Hindu or temple thing. I have no understanding still of this Hindu religion or all the temples and archeology stuff of India. I am still researching and trying to learn. Not much fun looking at stuff when you have no idea why it is significant. In the end you go away saying,

“That was nice.”


I was talking with a woman the other day next to a large India business. She is the executive secretary for the head of what appears to be a very large business here in India. I think she was transferred here from Bombay or Mumbai as they wish us to call it.

But I asked her,

“I want to be fair, and I am trying to pay a boy. Well, he is not a boy, he is 24 years old, but appears awfully young to me. But back to the point, I want to pay him to do computer work. What is a fair wage for helping on my page?”

She said,

“I cannot tell you per day or per hour, but I can tell you per month. A good worker of this type would get 3500 Bucks per month.”

She then changed the word to Rupees, because they call a Rupee a buck here also. I then went over this price about 5 more minutes to be positive she said this amount of money. I think this is for a 6-day workweek also, but I forgot to ask her about that, although she is working 6 days. I asked another guy how much a few weeks earlier and he said 200 Rupees per day.

So I would guess that a fair wage for a computer programmer is starting is between 3500 and 5160 Rupee per month.

The 200 Rupees represents the 5160 number I cam up with. The boy said he wanted 500 Rupees and this is fair to me providing he does the work.

Let put that in to perspective, I will convert this to U.S. Dollars. The Euro is almost the same, so just think of it as the same.

3500 = 80.45 Dollars USA

5160 = 118.62

200 = 4.59

140 = 3.21

So if I paid him 500 Rupees a day. I would be paying right around double the normal wages to triple.

11.49 Per DAY

Now that is what I had to pay a worker per hour in the USA to just get them to show up, and they did not show up good for that amount.

It is not hard to understand why they are exporting or sending business to India. I know these sounds cheap, and it is, but there are a lot of miscellaneous costs involved here that should be thought about. I cannot talk to him the same as I can a person from the USA. They also have a quality concept that is different. The cost of dealing with another culture will at least double the time it takes to do this job.

But a lot of brilliance is more about perspiration and not brains. So I am looking for time spent on this project thinking. I believe that mentally the India people are just or somewhat the same in innate mathematical powers as the USA person. There is a difference, because all breeds of animals are different and have different aptitudes. We are not all the same. But thinking, planning, and considering all the possible problems is a computer. I am making what they or I think they are calling a “Vortal.” A Portal is like where it is everything to everyone. I am making a “Vortal” of travel. This is similar to but only has to do with travel. Now in some ways it would be easier to have a Portal because I can include everything. In a Vortal I must somehow draw the lines or explain the relationships of ideas.

Like how does mobile or cellular phones relate to travel? Do I put them under communication or do I put them under gear? Is there a need? Yes there is a need, especially when we talk about Satellite telephones, but the lines all get fuzzy and the person doing the submitting has one goal and that it to convince that that company is special and provides some “World Class” service that really is needed by every travelers. The problem is 90 percent are lying. So how do I create a way to cull out the liars from the good pages quickly? How do I keep the serious and helpful people away from the spammers and slammers that wish to overwhelm with hyperbole and marketing slogans.

There is a way I believe and that is one of my projects here in India. To get the page up to third generation level.

I suppose I really do not know how many generations my webpage will have. I would think just a hotel webpage would be a first generation, and when the page is in someway interactive it would be second generation, and when I can by AUTOMATION not by manual labor delete, manage, and control the information it will be third generation.

Fourth would be when the categories grow independently of me.

I just went and put that into my collection of thoughts on my page. So here it is again maybe more clearly.

FIRST GENERATION - A business card type webpage.

SECOND GENERATION - Interactive a person looking at page can submit information.

THIRD GENERATION - I can by AUTOMATION not by manual labor delete, manage, and control the information.

FOURTH GENERATION - When the categories grow independently of me.


I am leaving my room today. I am trying to decide on whether to go to Benaulium or Garkarna. I have even considered Anjuna one of the famous party beaches. It would be nice to be in the center of the state of Goa near Panjim or Old Goa so I could see more Portuguese architecture


I cannot say the beach looks that interesting, sort of a long drawn out thing and with a lot of thatch restaurants. There appears to be 2 large sets of very nice house or resort development just off the beach. These are really nice houses and I expect they are expensive. The small village is quaint and very nice. I may go there for a couple of days. It is only 20 minutes from Margoa and only 5 Rupees by bus; I can live there and still come in and get some Internet work done for a few more days.

I also have my eye on a few more sample type packages to send home now that I know the system and also understand Margao.

The room at Benaulin is only 100 Rupees and I am paying 180. The room where I am in right now is real dodgy looking at night, and I do not like to walk around. Benaulin would allow me to roam around at night better.


Sometime I just go to the restroom to take a break and think. I miss the normal type. This squat has nothing to do with “Rest.”


I have so many little things to do, and Margao is very convenient to perform these tasks that I am having trouble leaving. I am still here doing all sorts of little items. I did go to a beach Colva just 8 kilometers away. It was very or extremely touristy and not a very interesting beach. I can almost tell how a town is constructed or laid out whether I will enjoy the situation. This place seemed to have resort type hotels more then Mom and Pop types. Palolem has the Mom and Pop type. All are small or say less then 50-meter or yards wide on the beach, or basically as wide as a large restaurant. This makes all the places close and cozy, but if they spread out then it is impossible to meet anyone and to know people. The social life comes down to only the bar scene and become boring. Koh Samui was the resort type in Thailand while Koh Pha Ngan was more the Mom and Pop type. The layout of Hotels is very important to my enjoyment of a place.

I want to talk and enjoy the place, and not just be there. The Hiltons, Sheratons and Holiday Inn type mentality is that you go to be in THAT hotel. Like the Hotel is the reason you go to a place, and in reality this is probably true for 90 percent of people. The visit a Hotel and not a place, or they visit a Resort and not a country. A resort is not the country, it is a resort where you get away from a countries problems. Where you are pampered, coddled and fed food. Oops and spend lots and lots of money.

Most of my great memories are about place where I have visited that groups of people sat around and had fun together. Like in La Paz in the Carretero Hostel, or Ecuador in the Grand Hotel Quito in the old part of Quito or in Pie De La Cuesta Mexico. I suppose I could say the same for the Barmy Badger in Earls Court of London. The fun was meeting a few people and the group going somewhere or sharing some laughs together.

Palolem beach could be a lot like that, but not good for me because I am not from England. Sort of a Brit thing.


I was sitting in my room here in Margao trying to arrange some of the old photos and WebPages. I cannot find some photos on my computer. I am getting very annoyed, frustrated and angry about this situation. I do not want to think about it much, but it all comes down to me trusting another person with information. I have lost so many photos because I trusted a person or company. I have a friend Brett that has helped out a lot and has always done a good job, but I can tell you anyone else or company that I have ever entrusted digital information with has deleted, erased, or improperly managed information.

Fortunately the cost of backing up information has become cheaper, easier and quicker so no I can do all my own. In the past 50 Megs of information was a tremendous amount, but now it is nothing.

I am not sure where is safe?

I have lost tons of information backed up on the internet because a company has went out of business or just deleted it.

I have lots tons of information that I paid to have copied because the techies did a sloppy job.

I have lost information burning a CD Rom because the recorder in Cuczo did not record the data.

I have lost information I sent to the Internet because a satellite connection glitched the files.

I must have 4 locations for all information or I would never feel safe.

1. Internet

2. CD Rom (2-3 copies minimum in different locations - different houses)

3. My compute.

4. A friends, family, or second computer.

Note: Copying a hard drive is not done perfectly. If it stops for any reason there will be a problem. If you have a lot of information it will stop. A corrupt file will stop it. You must be there the whole time.


I am learning that writing in a journal is beneficial for writing skills, but I do not believe in the past it was as much as it is now, the computer grammar checker is teaching me grammar.

I think in the past it helped a person to create a style and a voice. But I truly believe that 90 percent of people that journalize all their lives are excellent writers and do not feel any shame on their abilities. If I had shame or felt guilty for being less then at writing I would probably not write this, but I really do not aspire to be the worlds greatest writer. That is not my bag. I just like to collect ideas. I am idea collector, and have realized yearly that it is truly possible that the worlds knowledge can be accessible to the average person. It will someday be easy to find information on anything. The internet is just a jumble of crap right now, but eventually they will suss it out and they will make a great indexing system that solves all the confusion.

I read the encyclopedia daily to learn.


I have been having problems with mailing this package back to the USA. I hate to mail things, and normally refuse to do so, but the idea of making money to travel is spurring me on, and making me continue. But yesterday it occurred to me to read my guidebook to see what it said, and it told me what has taken some frustration to learn. I normally have a guidebook and sit around and peruse the thing to learn idle facts. This guidebook has only been in my hands for a week and I have not sat around and looked at the things, although I am pretty much bored with reading guidebooks. Sort of an necessary annoyance. But I do need a guidebook and would not travel without one, just seems ridiculous to not have one, when inside I am provided with a guide through 50 percent of my problems. Why reinvent the wheel?


I wonder how many of my readers are now becoming bored with the normal travel problems? I started this blog before going to Iraq so that was a lot of political problems and current events. Now my life is more preoccupied with just normal travel problems and situations.


I have discovered a small curious difference in 220 plugs in the world. 220 plugs have round prongs instead of flat, but the India ones seem to be shorter and fatter, but the problem or probably a good thing is they fit into the other size slot. So they appear to be interchangeable but in a very sloppy way.

I have notice this for maybe a year in different places the plug were loose, but just blamed it on being an old outlet and bad quality, but now I realize there is really a problem with the sizes.

All plugs and outlets in the world cause some problems, but I am learning all the time about the electricity of the world. They sell these universal adapters in some travel or baggage outlets. I look at them and think they would maybe work, but I am realizing that they would not work for long. They would do fine until one of these plugs welds or burns up the prongs inside the adapter and then what you have is a 25 Dollars Universal piece of trash.

I have never bought one because although it appears convenient, it also seemed way too expensive for the situation. It also misses the whole point. I better check and look at one of these adapters again, but I am 90 percent sure they do not have adapters that fit into light bulb sockets. This is where I need an adapter the most. There are lots of rooms in the world with no plugs. Maybe 20-30 percent have no plugs and I must put an adapter inside the light outlet. In the very worse situation they have a florescent light and I am totally in trouble. Almost, not completely and still know a way, but this gets to be ridiculous. I have only been in one Hotel or Hostel in 7 years where there was zero ways to connect. The El Lobo in La Paz Bolivia. They just had the place completed sealed off from allowing residents to monkey with the electricity in any way, but it was owned by an Israeli person and this would make sense. They are very smart and could think of every possible way a resident could use electricity.

I was just thinking to myself how they should change the laptops. I can often find an plug outside my room and could charge this newer computer and they use inside the room for a couple of hours.

But it is too dangerous to leave my computer outside the room charging. Someone would steal it. But if I could remove the battery and plug the battery only into an outlet, they would not steal the battery.

All the situations I encounter in living would drive a person crazy. I realize why people do not use or carry their computers, or so many have a computer and it gets stolen, broke, or they stop using it because of the hassles. I would venture to guess that less then 50 percent of the business travelers use their laptops when traveling. But a Hilton or one of the real nice hotels make the use of electronic devices easy. But the world does need a universal electrical outlet. I am pretty sure that 110 electricity is the best, because it does not weld the plugs or destroy them as fast. I am not positive on this point.

Most people that use a laptop a lot stay in either 5 star hotels or stay in the same locations a long time. They do not have to adapt on a weekly basis. Figuring out how to make your computer work once every 3 months is easier then trying to make your computer work once every week.


The invention of the lithium battery has made the use of rechargeable batteries a great idea and not just usable The lithium battery is truly a rechargeable battery. I am now surrounded with travelers that are carrying cell or mobile telephones. They drive me crazy talking about these gadgets, because to me the last thing I need is a cell telephone, but they are getting closer and closer to being valuable. The use of CD Players is becoming rampant with the travelers as they need their music. The problem is batteries. It cost a small fortune for batteries for the CD players. The mobile phones are always rechargeable, but they are going to run into the plug problem. It is fortunate that people do not really travel around in a lot of countries like me, but really just in one area. Most tend to keep their adventures in the same general area. Say for example South America or South East Asia, but not all of them.


I bought this rechargeable flashlight yesterday. I has both a flashlight for pointing and another light on top for reading. It plugs into the wall and recharges, and it has a compass on the side. There is also an adapter to plug in your CD Rom player so you can use this as a battery. This all cost 2 Dollars or about 2 Euros. The cost was 90 Rupees. It is made in China and probably will fall apart quickly but for 90 Rupees it is worth the chance.

India electricity goes off about the same as Iraq. It is off and on, off and on, off and on, never a solid day. Not a big problem, but still annoying. Iraq was richer and everyone had a generator, but here the hotels are poorer so they do not have generators. So rechargeable flashlights or torches as the British call them is great. I do not want to pay a fortune for batteries. I am very good with gadgets, electronics, and all the devices of the world. Although the world believe they are good with these widgets I believe there is steadily becoming a gap between who is capable of understanding and using them and who is not. This is the real economic gap that is appearing to me. The people that have the innate ability to learn and those who do not. It is nothing to do with class that will separate the people. It is raw intelligence.

But there is hope for Bill Gates. If the computer industry invents a truly voice controlled world that understand human speech they will be rich and all these minor problem will be solved by the computer and the person will not have to learn.

Dealing with Beggars Rules

I normally only give to really old people, people with a body part missing, and to people that ask for food. I have found a few more people in India asking for food, so I am spending more money and time buying food.



I really love my creative camera that cost 35 dollars. I have started to carry with me my camera always. I did this in Iraq, but I am realizing that the best photos are when I do not expect them. This camera is very small and quick, plus it does not look like a camera so does not annoy or make people change their pose. Plus saves on all the questions that would arise if I had a normal large camera. The screen on my Sony Mavica gets way too much attention.

I am going to buy a backup Creative camera when I get a chance. I am worried thought they have changed the price and updated the models that in the end removes the value of the camera.


Woke up early to the notion that I really do not want to leave Margao today. I was already to go, then I found the hooks, so I want to complete my mailings before I leave. So I will stay another day, but there are lots of things to do, and this is my first real taste of normal culture in India. So it is still fresh and interesting. I have this feeling that Gokarna is a totally mixed up city, and not so real. I have heard too many tourists saying they are going to Gokarna.

I am going to take a day trip to Colva beach, I just hope soon.

Changing my mind is probably one of the best things about travel, and I am always wary of myself trying to regiment my travels. I think it is natural to plan or prioritize, but I have learned that free flow travel and life is better and more interesting. Plus I do not miss the best opportunities and best places to visit, but sticking to the plan. Most of the greatest times or most interesting experiences were because someone mentioned a strange place to visit and I went.


I for some reason had 2 extension cords in my pack. I decide to lose a little weight, plus I was having problems. So I changed to a larger gauge wire cord that was already in my bag. The heating of my water to disinfect the clothes was making the cord and switch too hot. The world likes to sell these 18-24 gauge wire extension cords. The just put on more insulation if for heavy-duty use. This is not the proper way to do this. I am looking presently for a 14-gauge wire to make my own. I am tired of all the problems I am having. It needs to be that twisted type of stranded copper. The big problem with that is that it makes a connection more difficult inside the plug. But a solid copper wire would not be flexible. I do not want a huge insulation on the outside like a treble light or such, because it would take up too much space and weigh a lot. I have a 3-plug end on my extension cord. I have all sorts of connectors to convert from the 2 prongs to the slotted and all that crap.


Today I played on the Internet for about 4 hours. The cost is cheap so I surfed around and cleaned up my Internet world.

Later in the day I found some fish hooks. Sort of irritated at another store because they either lied to me, or just ignorant. I tend to think they lied because at the other store the man said the hooks were for catching the Kingfisher fish. This is a very popular fish in restaurants so the idea of them not knowing about this hook is a little on the obscure side, and not really believable. I had purchase 10 of a funky brand that does not have an eyelet. Now tomorrow morning I will buy 50 to send back to the USA. I use these hooks for my backpack organizer and have had a devil of a time buying them in the USA. The cost is about 50 Cents U.S. or about 20 Rupees.

I have had trouble buying this hook. A sharp hook can cut into a wood wall and allow me to hang my organizer up in some really difficult rooms. Strange as it sound there are lots of room that are just 4 walls of concrete and very little in the way of cracks, crevice or places to hang my organizer.


Yesterday I worked too hard, and now I am thinking too much. I watch myself very carefully because I am an alcoholic. This is a habit that I have had for over 16 years. Nothing is wrong, but when I get too…





I HALT or slow the life down. Yesterday was a too much day, but then again India is a too much country. Every thing is too much, but when you have nothing to do it is too much also. So whenever I start to try to accomplish one of my little missions in a day. I know it will be too much of too much.

What happened yesterday was that I had a big mission and what I thought should have been a small mission to accomplish. Really the second mission was supposed to be so simple it was not a problem.


My big missions of the day were to finish my newsletter and send; mission accomplished. My second errand or baby mission was to mail my package of light-bulb-socket-plugs to the USA. I worked on this mission the day before, so I was 90 percent finished and this was just a straggler. But it turned into a real ordeal because of the lady at the post office.

The whole story is this.

I went to the post office a couple of days ago to find out the price to ship a kilo of anything to the USA. There was lot of very impolite, rude, and probably just normal Indian people inside the post office pushing and shoving for the stamp window. I tried to stand in line normally and in the end for fairness I became the line police and kept them at bay. They are very rude, but I am very big in comparison and if I wished, I can easily force myself to the front of the line, that is a no brainer, and in the back of their mind they know this also. So line strategies or a queue as the English calls them is always on my side. This line was a pain, but the bigger problem was the lady behind the desk. It was a dirty glass, with a hole. The noise level in the place was horrendous and impossible to understand here sloppy English.

The English of India is superb in comparison to other poorer countries but they are on the sloppy side of English. They speak too quietly, and the pronunciation is worse then the English. But they learned from the English so that “Stuff” does flow downhill, so it would make sense that their English is sloppier then the Brits.

So I am screaming at her that I want to know how much it cost to mail a kilo to the USA? She is not happy, and does not want to answer the question. I repeat the question and make her aware I was not leaving until I have an answer. I slowed down all the rude and bad mannered people in the line and this got them hollering for faster service. So I was the center of attention and holding up the line. I do not care, and am on the side of a just world. I stood in line, I waited my turn, and I asked my question. It was my turn for her to answer my questions and to provide service. She kept reaching around me to help the other. I reach around and stopped that after the first one go around me, but she was annoying and had a bad soul, not an evil soul, but just one of them that probably could be bribed.

I think she said it cost 375 Rupees for 1 kilo. I then asked about how much for 2 kilos? She said,

“You are wasting my time.”

I said,

“I am trying to export things out of your country so your people make money!”

She was a #%#hole.

I walked out and left. That number was in the ballpark, and ok. So I would proceed with my plan to send these light-plugs to the USA.

I went and packaged the box. I had to go buy tape. This cost me 55 rupees or about 1.25 dollars. I tape it up completely and return the next day, which was yesterday, or the 3rd of December. It was addressed and ready to go.

Note: I asked everyone that I could about what I had to do to mail a package. They just wiggle their heads and say nothing. I thing they are checking with the wiggle if something is inside.

I take the package back to the same ugly woman. She is not so ugly in looks, but ugly in spirit. She takes the package and tells me I have to wrap it in white paper. She is trying to point at a package. All they show me is paper, but there is something missing, but she does not speak English worth a hoot and she just cannot be bothered to do a good job. She does say something about it needing to be OK for stamps.

The white paper thing is OK, and I was already worried that the tape was not correct for shipping. I know they want special tapes in the USA sometimes, and they can be a large pain also. But like any bureaucracy you must learn the rules, and then repeat. So I am learning the rules of India.

I return at 6:00 pm to the office. The sign says it closes at 18:30 hours. This is 6:30 pm and I am calculating in my head. It looks closed, and she is sitting there by herself writing. She still cannot be bothered and I hand her the white package. She asked,

“What is in it?”

I say,


This is a lie. But I really do not care. I will have to think of a good truthful comment. Maybe I will say a sample. A sample of something I want to Export or Import to the USA. All those words will bring up red flags, bribes, and all sorts of red tape, and extra money. Better to just walk up to a window and send. Her asking question about what is inside was making me nervous. I felt like I was in Mexico. They are always on the lookout for a way to extort a bribe in Mexico. India seems on the same program. But Mexico for sure is a lot worse. It the worse I have encountered.

She says that I must put cloth around the bag. I am confused because cloth will not hold a stamp. I told her to write down in her language, or any language she pleased the instructions to the tailor to sew up this package inside a cloth bag.

She wrote them down, and I left without this errand accomplished.

I have made some real money in business transactions. I am constantly counting the minutes and the time to see if this is a good business deal. It is still a great business deal. But I still do not know the actual price to mail this to the USA. I think the cost of mailing will be twice the cost I paid for the items.

Everyone acts like exporting things is easy. I have only met one person that did this, and he probably spent weeks to make 2 dollars. I know he did not make real money. He just kept busy, and this is a good mission and a good reason. You need to have something to do while traveling.

I decided I need to add Import / Export to my page. Here is the new link:

PHOTOS Clarinet Margao India


I am sitting around today; Wednesday and completing my travel newsletter. I will e-mail it about 8-10 tonight here when the people in the USA are just waking up and/or at work, I a little confused on my travel plans because of reading my new (used) guidebook and learning different things of interest. There is a beach closed to Margao that is suppose to be very nice, and lots of fishermen by the name of Colva.

I want to go by bus for a day trip and look around. Beaches that are close to fishermen are interesting and fun because I can lay on the beach or walk around and look at thing. Looking at girls is fun, but actually more fun when there is some real distractions like fishermen, nets, and large boats.

I am also looking for some large fishing needles. I bought a couple last year in Thailand to sew up my bag. They seem to use them to repair nets or something like that, it is always hard to be sure in countries like Thailand because I do not speak Thai and their English is horrible. Here the English is excellent, but still they do not know why I ask silly questions, so are hesitant to answer.

What I did last year when my bag ripped along the seam is went into this fishermen supply store and bought really large needles and a fishing net cord. The cord was extremely cheap, but very strong so perfect to sew up my bag. It worked very well. Normal thread is not very good because it is weak.

I am thinking about putting together a backpack repair kit of the things I would recommend to carry.

Normally in cheap countries I use a shoe repair place and have my bag fixed. That works reasonably well here in India, but in East Asia where they do not where shoes it is very difficult to find a shoe repair person. In South America it is extremely easy.

In any real expensive place like the USA and Europe I would fix the bag myself, so in the end, I guess I would sell the repair kit mostly to people traveling to Eastern Asia, USA, or Europe. But not important, if they want it they want it.

This all started because I ripped my pocket on the large backpack pulling it off the bus. This is the second time a bus has cut or ripped my bag.



I think I lost my extra pair of reading glasses. I am pretty sure I lost them in England at the Hostel. It is really the most logical place, but not really that important, it was time to buy some new ones. That is how I discovered that they was gone I went to look for them because after I visited the eye doctor, I realized it would be good to show them my old glasses before I proceeded.

I do not like to lose things. It means to me something in my travel system has a hole. I do not lose many things, and I believe most travelers if they was honest or smarter would realize the lose more things then are stolen. I started a list of places for a future tip on where I lose things and why as a place to collect ideas.

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