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Lessons

 

 

As I've already mentioned, we might have seen more of the west coast of Hawaii - for example the Captain Cook obelisk - had we spent a night or two over there. 

Like the big island, there are obviously lots of out-of-town things to see on Oahu.  But it's difficult to get out of Waikiki / Honolulu without a car. 

Certainly public transport is cheap around town.  A day bus pass costs $2.50 (correct change only on busses) but the traffic is slow and the stops frequent and then there are the ponderous traffic lights. Why are the cycles so long?  So its interminable to get anywhere.  It's made more difficult to use the busses if you're unfamiliar with the routes.  There are no maps on the busses and several different providers. Using a mobile phone to check Google Maps is a solution but requires mobile data. 

So it's easy to spend an extra hour, beyond the actual travel time, waiting and/or walking to bus stops.  And unlike driving, riding a bus is boring and it's often uncomfortable, particularly if you have to stand.

Uber is an option if you can find an open Wi-Fi spot to call, but it's not really practical for a casual drive around to see what one can see or along the coast or to take a look at pineapples growing.

Looking back we agreed that it was a big mistake not to rent a car on both islands and to simply pay the additional cost of hotel parking in Oahu.  As it was our visit to Pearl Harbour was cut short due to our dependence on a shuttle bus to come and go.  And we would certainly have seen a lot more of the island with a car. 

 

 

 

 

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Travel

Romania

 

 

In October 2016 we flew from southern England to Romania.

Romania is a big country by European standards and not one to see by public transport if time is limited.  So to travel beyond Bucharest we hired a car and drove northwest to Brașov and on to Sighisiora, before looping southwest to Sibiu (European capital of culture 2007) and southeast through the Transylvanian Alps to Curtea de Arges on our way back to Bucharest. 

Driving in Romania was interesting.  There are some quite good motorways once out of the suburbs of Bucharest, where traffic lights are interminable trams rumble noisily, trolley-busses stop and start and progress can be slow.  In the countryside road surfaces are variable and the roads mostly narrow. This does not slow the locals who seem to ignore speed limits making it necessary to keep up to avoid holding up traffic. 

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Fiction, Recollections & News

A Digger’s Tale

- Introduction

 

 

The accompanying story is ‘warts and all’.  It is the actual memoirs (hand written and transcribed here; but with my headings added) of Corporal Ross Smith, a young Australian man, 18 years of age, from humble circumstances [read more...] who was drawn by World events into the Second World War.  He tells it as he saw it.  The action takes place near Rabaul in New Britain. 

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Opinions and Philosophy

Jihad

  

 

In my novella The Cloud I have given one of the characters an opinion about 'goodness' in which he dismisses 'original sin' as a cause of evil and suffering and proposes instead 'original goodness'.

Most sane people want to 'do good', in other words to follow that ethical system they were taught at their proverbial 'mother's knee' (all those family and extended influences that form our childhood world view).

That's the reason we now have jihadists raging, seemingly out of control, across areas of Syria and Iraq and threatening the entire Middle East with their version of 'goodness'. 

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