Curating Serendipity

Be open to the unexpected – what you find might be better than what you were looking for.

Foreign Street Scenes

Americans who travel abroad for the first time are often shocked to discover that, despite all the progress that has been made in the last 30 years, many foreign people still speak in foreign languages.
– Dave Barry –

America has solved the problem of foreign languages. Want to see the Eiffel Tower without the inconvenience of all those foreigners in France? Just go to Las Vegas!

How about raw meat hanging in front of a shop, cabbages wilting in the heat, and dead animals floating in the canal nearby? Seems foreign to me, but this scene was relatively common in Cairo, Egypt. (Except for the dead animals floating nearby. That was only if there was a canal for them to float in.)

This street in Doha, Qatar seemed foreign when I first encountered it, but became normal after living there for some time. (Well, not right there. A few miles away.)

This is a street in Munich, Germany. The buildings, the statues, the floral window boxes – all so foreign in my part of the world but absolutely beautiful!
Do you ever ask yourself why you live where you do, and not somewhere else? I do…

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Related Read Weekly Photo Challenge: Arranged

Post 369

27 comments on “Foreign Street Scenes

  1. Lorna's Voice
    November 3, 2012

    I love the street scenes–I get the flavor of the places I will probably never go–awnings, bicycles–people’s lives. Thanks!

    Like

    • Margie
      November 4, 2012

      Glad you enjoy the photos. I forget that I’ve been places that some people may never choose to visit!

      Like

  2. Cheryl
    November 3, 2012

    Sometimes we forget how big our own continent is as well and how diverse our own little slice of the planet earth is. The “information highway” certainly has made the world a smaller place. Love the photos Margie.

    Like

    • Margie
      November 4, 2012

      Thanks Cheryl. The world is a smaller place in so many ways, but very very big when you try to decide what bit of it you would like to travel to.

      Like

  3. composerinthegarden
    November 3, 2012

    Well, Disneyland will provide the same illusion as Vegas, but honestly, it is an illusion. There is nothing like traveling outside of your comfort zone to realize how different the world really is; it changes one’s perspective profoundly. And worth any price.

    Like

    • composerinthegarden
      November 3, 2012

      Oh, that sounded a little harsh, didn’t mean it that way. Maybe I need a trip soon!

      Like

      • Margie
        November 4, 2012

        I didn’t think you sounded harsh at all. I wish everyone could travel internationally.
        It is interesting that you should mention Disneyland. I absolutely love to spend time at Disney’s Epcot. I’ve been there twice – once before I had traveled to many of the countries represented there, and once after. Epcot captured the essence of the places very well, and brought back many happy memories of countries I may never get to again.
        I agree, there is nothing like traveling outside your comfort zone, but for those folks who may never have that opportunity, I’d highly recommend a trip to Florida to see Epcot.

        Like

  4. lagottocattleya
    November 3, 2012

    Lovely photos and reading…And, Yes, it really is important to travel outside your own sphere. To learn about other ways of living and to stay tolerant. You cannot love everybody, but you can always accept people as they are and be tolerant. As I´m a teacher it´s an essential thing.

    Like

    • Margie
      November 5, 2012

      Valuable advice. We aren’t all alike, but that is what makes the world work.

      Like

  5. Coming East
    November 3, 2012

    We went to Ireland once, and we couldn’t read the street signs because the were all in Irish. Loved visiting another country. I think I’d like to see Germany. Loved your pictures.

    Like

    • Margie
      November 5, 2012

      I’ve never been to Ireland, but the place names in Wales made for interesting signage – Penmaenmawr and Ystradgynlais, for example.

      Like

      • Coming East
        November 5, 2012

        My youngest was born in a town outside of Philadelphia with a Welsh name, Bryn Mawr.

        Like

  6. Curmudgeon-at-Large
    November 4, 2012

    I have often said that the only thing that keeps me from traveling is the fact that I am a very bad traveler, which is why I have parked myself in one spot for the majority of my life. I am reading about several people who are traveling the world and envy their ability to uproot themselves and move about.
    And yes, an old friend once told me that he didn’t need to go to Europe because he could see replicas in Orlando and Las Vegas!

    Like

    • Margie
      November 6, 2012

      I think it takes a special kind of person to travel the world. It sounds wonderful, but it isn’t necessarily all that easy. We found that after a few weeks of wandering in a very foreign place, we were glad to come home and rest – body and mind overload.

      Like

  7. dorannrule
    November 4, 2012

    Some Americans are disappointed that a real foreign country is not as colorful as the one replicated in Disneyland or Vegas. Sad, because the back streets and real neighborhoods and real people of the world are absolutely fascinating.

    Like

    • Margie
      November 5, 2012

      Your comment makes me think about all the wonderful photos we see in magazines of far flung places – photos we would never be able to take ourselves on our vacation because we can’t stage real life.

      Like

  8. pegoleg
    November 5, 2012

    Your photos are so sharp and crisp – I LOVE the Cairo street scene. I can practically smell the rotting stuff! Er, thanks for that.

    Like

    • Margie
      November 6, 2012

      You must have a wonderfully imaginative brain. Well, of course you do. That is why your blog posts are so interesting.

      Like

  9. 2e0mca
    November 5, 2012

    Excellent photos to ilustrate your ‘Foreign’ post :-) Anywhere can seem foreign – The Balls Pond Road just a few miles from me seems very alien. Yet sometimes I can feel very ‘at home’ in a foreign land – I was certainly comfortable in Perpignan when we visited a couple of years back. Nice post… Got me thinking :-)

    Like

    • Margie
      November 6, 2012

      You are so right – we had lunch in a local ethnic restaurant recently, and it really made us feel like we had been transported to a foreign land. We visited a cemetery in a field in France, and it felt like we were standing near a field close to our home.

      Like

  10. Mark Armstrong
    November 21, 2012

    Great shots, Margie. Really liked that Cairo storefront, but I don’t think I’m ready to shop there yet. Or go for a swim in that canal… : (

    I don’t like the inconvenience of traveling, but I’m usually fascinated when I finally get to where I’m going– always assuming I don’t get lost, of course… : P

    Like

    • Margie
      November 25, 2012

      Yes, the challenges of travel – I can remember many a ‘vacation’ that I came home from and needed some more holiday time to recover!

      Like

  11. That Doha picture looks familiar – I used to live there too!

    Like

    • Margie
      February 1, 2013

      We were in Qatar for 3 and a half years; lived in the UK (south of London) for two years prior to that. While in England, my husband worked at least one day a week in Scotland (and some of my family a few generations ago came from Scotland). Now, if you had just lived in Canada for most of your life, our lives would have an other worldly parallel!

      Like

      • My father lived in Canada for a while – does that count? ;) It was during the war, but it is a connection!
        When were you in Qatar?

        Like

        • Margie
          February 12, 2013

          Your father must have some fascinating stories to tell!
          We were in Qatar from 2001 to 2004.

          Like

          • I missed you by quite a few years! I was there in the mid 1980s. My father was a bit reticent about his time in the RAF/war. He talked about the places he’d been and people etc, but not so much about what he actually did.

            Like

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This entry was posted on November 2, 2012 by in Places and tagged , , , , .

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