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Optimistic Side of Life

I always like to look on the optimistic side of life, but I am realistic enough to know that life is a complex matter.

Walt Disney

Happy Easter everyone!

Travel/Stay Safe

Posted by
5405 posts

Happy Easter, Bob, to you and your family.

Optimism with realism is probably the best perspective right now!

Kim

Posted by
4964 posts

Sounds like "hope for the best; prepare for the worst".

Posted by
3987 posts

I am an incurable and unrepentant optimist.

Happy Easter, Bob, and everyone else. We will travel again.

Posted by
1419 posts

We too are optimistic about the future. We will come through this, not the same as we were before, but we will come through, what other choice do we have? We will definately be travelling as soon as the WHO decides it is okay. Like many people on this forum, time is not on our side. Each year we are healthy enough and physically able to travel, we will be on the road. Whether in the US, Canada, Europe, or Asia. We are both retiring July 1. Our daughters are on their own - married, have homes, careers, and children. We have waited a long time to be able to just pick up and go and that is just what we are going to do when it is safe.
PS Happy Easter

Posted by
6543 posts

Rome was there 2000 years ago. And it will be there next year, too.
And it will remain in our memories until we return again.

Posted by
10923 posts

Hope for the best, prepare for the worst, and keep getting up and hoping again.

Preparing for the worst in this scenario is stocking up on toilet paper.

Posted by
5239 posts

The sun will come up tomorrow...🎶

-Annie-

Tomorrow is another day.

-Scarlett O’Hara-

We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.

-Oscar Wilde-

Posted by
62 posts

Thank you for this shot of optimism and hope! I have been continually coming to the RS forum during this pandemic to find this, to be among "my people" - those who love to travel. Unfortunately, I have seen a lot of negativity, pessimistic predictions, and so on. Walt did say it quite well - live is complex but that doesn't mean we should give up hoping for the future and dreaming and planning to travel again. It may not look the same as before, but it will happen again and I'm going to be ready to go when it does! Happy Easter, Happy Spring, and as RS would say "Happy Travels" (virtually for now)!

Posted by
78 posts

This downturn makes you appreciate what you had before. And it will be great when things open up again!

Posted by
1933 posts

Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making plans.”- John Lennon

The world is full of suffering, it is also full of overcoming it.”- Helen Keller

I believe it’s hope that moves us forward.

Happy Spring, Happy Passover, Happy Easter and Happy upcoming Ramadan.

Posted by
935 posts

Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.

Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

Posted by
13933 posts

Would someone please explain the TP shortage to me. We have plenty here and most Israelis are full of s***. I stocked up on my favorite brand, but only because it was on sale and that's when I always stock up.

The stores here have been fully stocked except for a country-wide shortage of eggs last week, but that's a seasonal thing at the beginning of Passover. There were plenty of eggs for sale today. The only shortage right now is reagents for the virus tests.

On the bright side, the Holy Fire is scheduled to go Greece and other Orthodox communities by plane this coming Saturday (next Sunday is Easter) - special arrangements had to be made because there are no commercial flights these days. See this article for some details (and a photo of an egg-megaconsumer :-)
And the Sea of Galilee is filled nearly to the brim for the first time in a generation - enough rain this winter to compensate for years of draught. There will be white water rafting on the Jordan River through the fall . . . if we are allowed to go out by then.

Posted by
4964 posts

Chani, I can only report from observation that there seems to be a chain reaction to stockpile when you see or hear other people are doing it. A guy down the street (no kids) has a pallet load in his garage (I observed while walking the dog). I suspect some people sensed an opportunity to make a profit. Or they're actually preparing for our November election.

Posted by
38 posts

Gotta agree with Walt here. :) One lesson in all of this is to travel when you can; don't put things off. We visited family in France last year and then toured on our own. My husband wanted to wait until this May, when we'd both be retired, but I pushed for May 2019. So glad we did!

Posted by
5019 posts

There's an analysis going around that the great "TP shortage" is not (as commonly believed to be) due to hoarding. Rather, it's because:

  • Under normal circumstances, most folks are using a lot of TP at work, at restaurants, etc. - outside the home. That usage has now declined to near-zero.
  • Now, folks are only using it at home. That usage has spiked tremendously.
  • TP for commercial locations (at work, at restaurants, at institutions, at places outside the home) is actually produced by different mills, and goes through different supply chains. TP for home use is produced by separate mills and shipped via separate channels.
  • The TP products used in homes versus those used elsewhere are actually different products, and can not be easily/quickly interchanged.
  • The combined result: people are actually using more at home now, they're buying more, the supply lines are simply not capable of adapting quickly.

I can see some of that being true. I'm less convinced that there two channels are so different that they couldn't be adjusted over time. So I think there's at least some validity to this argument, though it looks to me like panic-buying is also a significant factor.

I'll add that where I live (Seattle) most places I've been to seem to have at least some TP in stock, at least some of the time.

And, as part of the Good News theme...

After my first trip to Asia, we did a bathroom remodel at home, and we installed exotic plumbing that allows users to get cleaner and enjoy and overall better bathroom experience, while greatly reducing toilet paper usage. Anyone who has visited Japan should be able to appreciate this. And just before the COVID19 era hit us, we remodeled our other bathroom with similar exotic plumbing. Now, throughout our house, the bathroom experience is so much better, and our TP consumption has declined further. Better Living Through Plumbing.

Posted by
10923 posts

Chani, I think I told you that one of the apartments came with a cold war atomic fall out shelter. I had been trying to sell it, but now I have changed my mind. I am having a 6 month supply of toilet paper, water and food delivered this week. I have changed the locks so not even Houdini could get in (fitting since he was Hungarian). I have also ordered a cold war surplus air filtering system; should be perfect for viruses. The new generator will work perfect for the communications and entertainment systems. I am even putting in a Jacuzzi. Chani, there is room for two.

Posted by
5019 posts

After my visit to Istanbul I put in Turkish Toilets.

There are Turkish Toilets, and then there are Turkish Toilets. I'm not kidding.

On my first visit to Europe in the 1980s, in Paris I stayed at a little place recommended in a blue guidebook written by some hippie from Seattle. While waiting to check in for my first overnight there, I was a bit shocked when I stepped into the bathroom for the first time and was confronted by a hole in the floor flanked by two large footpads. Oh.... This was the first time I had encountered what I was later told was a "Turkish Toilet." Took me a while to get the hang of that, but I was a young man back then, quite flexible, and I managed.

Flash forward to the first week of March 2020. After a long, long slog from home, I arrived in Izmir, a medium-sized city on Turkey's Aegean coast. We checked into our room in a pleasant, modern business hotel; we even were upgraded to a mini suite (I guess they weren't busy). It was quite nice. The bathroom was all marble all over, with some sort of extra, special sink vessel for (I think) doing ablutions (an Islamic ritual cleansing procedure, I'm told), a new thing to me. It was a lovely, modern, spotlessly clean and luxurious place. I was seated on the porcelain throne, reviewing my copy of Rick Steves Istanbul. I looked around the loo, and noticed something puzzling. There were the usual controls for the toilet, but next to it there was an extra lever. Hmm, what did that thing do? I had no idea. So I tried it, and whoa!!! hey, what's THAT!?

Without getting completely graphic, I had discovered that "Turkish Toilets" now come with a little extra surprise, making them almost as interesting as Japanese toilets. For those that have not visited Turkey in a while, it's just a teeny little nozzle just below the toilet seat, carefully aimed - sort of a built-in bidet embedded into the bowl. For the remainder of our 2-week trip, every hotel in which we stayed had a "Turkish Toilet" with this built-in nozzle. There's good news and bad news here. The good news is that this feature seems to be universally available on all modern toilets in Turkey (at least all that I saw). The bad news is that it's effectiveness is completely dependent on, um, aiming. On the toilet in our modern hotel in Izmir, the aim was spot-on (both literally and figuratively). But elsewhere, the "aim" varied from "close enough" to "shoot-the-moon useless". Alas, in most places, the squirter (as my wife came to refer to it) was ineffective at best. I suspect it's "aim" and volume (on which its effectiveness depends) may degrade over time without occasional maintenance. Many seem to not get that occasional maintenance.

Bottom line: if your "Turkish Toilet" is well-calibrated/well-aimed, using it will be a Turkish delight. If it's not, it may just leave you with unexpected parts (parts of yourself or parts of the room) getting irrigated and leaving you grasping for fistfuls of Charmin. At least that was my recent experience. YMMV and probably TMI, I know.

Posted by
1038 posts

Since we some how went from inspirational quotes back to toilet paper and its alternatives, in my small town the grocery store bought TP thru the restaurant on the other side of the street, they made 4 packs and wrapped it in deli plastic wrap, it was being snapped up as they put it on the shelf. So yes, people are willing to pay money for commercial grade if they can get their hands on it.

Posted by
10923 posts

And to be fair, my worst experiences with Turksih toilets was not in Turkey. It was in Bulgaria and Ukraine. And they had no little added niceties. But its part of the experience of travel. Love it.

Posted by
3987 posts

David, I'm laughing so hard!

James E and David, my first experience with a "Turkish" toilet was in Poland, circa late 1970s. I was a grad student, and a Polish udergrad who was helping me with my dissertation research insisted we needed a day off. He took me to a number of remarkable places outside the town where I lived, including a walk in the forest where I heard - for the first and only time - a cuckoo. And yes, they sound just like a cuckoo clock.

At some point in our excursion, I need to find the "facilities," and was directed to a rest stop. Well. It took me a while to figure out how the thing was supposed to work; the foot placement imprints helped. I will say that having used that toilet, I never balked again at the non-flushing toilets at US primitive campsites.

Posted by
3210 posts

The modern fixtures in Turkey, with a built-in spritz, sound like they could almost be a design to clean the bowl with each use, more than the user. A new twist on Ty-D-Bol?

Years ago, inspired, I think, by the foot platforms, a friend dubbed Turkish Toilets “Elephant Stands.”

Back to the Optimism theme, here’s a thought, as long as there’s porcelain, it could be worse!

Posted by
372 posts

Continuing on with porcelain devices and proper aim, it was interesting to see the little house fly painted in black on the back wall of the men's urinals in the the Lviv Arrivals hall. Presumably, this would be to encourage good aiming practices and minimize....drift

I think I saw these in the men's rooms at Schipol too, but can't exactly be sure.

Posted by
5019 posts

I've seen that too, can not recall exactly where though (someplace in the past couple of years). Possibly Lithuania or Latvia - maybe Poland? Is this (the painted fly in the urinals) an Eastern Europe thing?

Posted by
3210 posts

Maybe a subconscious reminder to zip your fly when finished?

Posted by
16771 posts

I encountered lot of Turkish toilets in the Ukraine in 2018. They were all clean; there was a to-be-tipped cleaner on the premises in every case. By far the vilest such toilet I've encountered was at a bus station in a relatively non-touristy town in Croatian Istria.

The biggest surprise was still finding Turkish toilets in southern France in 2017, including one in L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue.

Posted by
13933 posts

Which reminds me that my "typical western" toilet bowl was made in Turkey, so technically it's a Turkish toilet. Thanks for the news, James. Budapest is still at the top of my list.

Posted by
3987 posts

acraven, the one I encountered in rural Poland was definitely not clean. I have since seen others that were sparkling, so my first time was bad luck.

Posted by
1030 posts

“Oh, the places you will go." Dr Seuss.