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101 Tower

 

We returned via Taiwan’s longest tunnel 12.9 km and several shorter before re-entering the amazing network of flyovers elevated highways and cloverleaf’s that is Taipei’s road system. 

We were going to visit what was, when it was built, the world’s tallest building and in earthquake-prone Taiwan, the only really tall building: 101 Tower.  It stands alone. 

 

It's obviously a vanity project and can't be a viable business proposition.

But it is impressive.

 

Then we were taken to our last but not least hotel. 

The entrance was unimpressive – almost like entering a factory.

The corridor on our floor was fine but unusual.  There were two doors on the room an outer unlocked heavy sliding door screened off the corridor.

We were amazed when the bathroom was almost as big as the sizable bedroom and featured an elaborate shower with numerous jets and pressures a separate spa-bath and even a little garden.  There was an elaborate sound system in addition to a large screen TV and push button lighting controls.

 

 

At breakfast everyone in the group was abuzz.  It turned out to be a ‘sex hotel’, designed for lovers, illicit and otherwise. It was deliberately anonymous on the outside and apparently it could be entered directly from a secret car park.

But I was most annoyed to discover the others in our party had discovered much more interesting programs on TV than the CNN that we had watched.

C'est la vie.

 

 

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Travel

USA - middle bits

 

 

 

 

 

In September and October 2017 Wendy and I took another trip to the United States where we wanted to see some of the 'middle bits'.  Travel notes from earlier visits to the East coast and West Coast can also be found on this website.

For over six weeks we travelled through a dozen states and stayed for a night or more in 20 different cities, towns or locations. This involved six domestic flights for the longer legs; five car hires and many thousands of miles of driving on America's excellent National Highways and in between on many not so excellent local roads and streets.

We had decided to start in Chicago and 'head on down south' to New Orleans via: Tennessee; Georgia; Louisiana; and South Carolina. From there we would head west to: Texas; New Mexico; Arizona; Utah and Nevada; then to Los Angeles and home.  That's only a dozen states - so there are still lots of 'middle bits' left to be seen.

During the trip, disaster, in the form of three hurricanes and a mass shooting, seemed to precede us by a couple of days.

The United States is a fascinating country that has so much history, culture and language in common with us that it's extremely accessible. So these notes have turned out to be long and could easily have been much longer.

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Fiction, Recollections & News

Wedding

 

 

Jordan Baker and Jeff Purser were married on Saturday 3rd of December 2011. The ceremony took place on the cliff top at Clovelly.

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Opinions and Philosophy

A Dismal Science

 

 

Thomas Carlyle coined this epithet in 1839 while criticising  Malthus, who warned of what subsequently happened, exploding population.

According to Carlyle his economic theories: "are indeed sufficiently mournful. Dreary, stolid, dismal, without hope for this world or the next" and in 1894 he described economics as: 'quite abject and distressing... dismal science... led by the sacred cause of Black Emancipation.'  The label has stuck ever since.

This 'dismal' reputation has not been helped by repeated economic recessions and a Great Depression, together with continuously erroneous forecasts and contradictory solutions fuelled by opposing theories.  

This article reviews some of those competing paradigms and their effect on the economic progress of Australia.

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