i'm scared to ask this but what happened in chile today?
I usually don’t discuss drama openly on this blog and will typically ask you guys to personally message me off anon, but this is way too important.
So apparently “fans” were bothering BTS at their hotel (i.e. screaming for them, making lots of noise) and they couldn’t even rest. Then when they left the hotel to try to relax and eat at a restaurant, the fans followed them there… They were again being loud and disturbing the boys. According to @we-breathe-bangtan-sonyeondan, there were videos of someone explaining to these “fans” that “the boys were tired and needed to eat and then to rest for the concert. However, a group of 20-30 people were arguing that they just wanted to see them or greet them. They even said that BTS were artists and that they owed(?) the fans some sort of greeting or recognition. The person tried to explain that there were fans screaming and disturbing BTS all day and that they just wanted to rest, but the “fans” kept demanding some sort of recognition.”
I really cannot stress how ridiculous this situation is. Yes, not all fans are like this, but these fans are the fans BTS were first greeted with upon their arrival to Chile. Imagine how stunned BTS is right now. So called “fans” are not even letting them eat or sleep? Are BTS not humans like us?
This is not exclusive to Chile, as we all know from Bon Voyage, this happened in Europe as well. Fans chased after BTS, forced them to give signatures, recorded them, followed them to hotels, and many more horrifying things. BTS has no obligation or reason to interact with fans during their “free-time” and that’s that. Imagine if you were on a plane for hours, were tired, jetlagged, hungry, exhausted, and were then greeted with screams, groups of people following you, acting like YOU owed them something. How would you feel? Frustrated? Mad? Irritated? That’s probably exactly what BTS is feeling right now.
I know not all of us are seeing BTS in concert even though they are visiting our countries or cities, but that gives you absolutely no right to treat them the way they were treated today.
Furthermore, if you guys don’t want to treat BTS like human beings and respect them, don’t call yourself a fan or an ARMY. Also don’t expect BTS to come to your country again and don’t complain if they don’t return. - Kylie
I wanna travel with you. I wanna lay and walk with you on the beach, watching the sunset, kiss you and hear the sound of waves. I wanna visit hand in hand cities with you. I wanna take 1000 pictures with you at the prettiest places of the world.
I don’t think I’ve seen any posts that went over what the water system in Palestine was like for each house, so I’ll try to go over it as best I can without any pictures -
Israel controls all of our water resources, and has allocated the resources of the Jordan river in an 83%/17% split, meaning that Israelis get 83% of its water while Palestinians are only allowed the remaining 17%.
Israel also routinely shuts of Palestinian water in order to supply Israeli settlements, which feature lavish swimming pools and well-kept community gardens - something we as Palestinians cannot have due to our limited water allowance and uncertainty regarding water availability.
What this leads to is a situation in which farmers cannot expand their crops or grow their gardens, because to do so would require time, money, and most of all, water. Because water is only allocated to us in an infrequent basis, how is a farmer to know that he has the water security required in order to expand his crops without worrying about having his water shut off for two weeks as all his crops die?
Each house in Palestine generally contains either a beir [well], large plastic containers, or both, meant to hold water. These are automatically filled when Israel turns on our water, with the house itself using the Israeli water before tapping into the beir or the other water reserves.
Motors in the house pump the water into the wells when Israel turns the water on, and then another motor pumps the water of the well into the house.
What makes things even worse is that if there’s no electricity and your well is empty, then it’s not going to fill with water, and if the well is full and there’s no Israeli water or electricity, then the water is not going to make it from the well to your house.
Aside from cutting off our water and only supplying it to us on set days, Israel also frequently cuts out electricity, especially on the hottest days of the year when Israeli settlers are blasting their ACs and creating a huge spike in electricity demand.
This is just one small aspect of life under Israeli occupation that I feel many don’t actually realize or consider.
When we say that Israel controls every aspect of our lives, we mean it in the absolute most literal sense. We can’t shower unless they turn on our water, we can’t plant our crops unless they turn on our water, we can’t visit neighboring cities unless the soldiers at the checkpoint are feeling generous, we can’t pray at our holy sites in Jerusalem without special permits that they rarely hand out, We can’t build up our own infrastructure without them tearing it down and claiming it’s a “security concern”. We can’t build on our OWN land without getting approval from them first. We can’t use mobile data services because they continue to deny us the equipment and mobile spectrum required for it, so while Israelis and Israeli settlers enjoy all the 4G they want on their phones, Palestinians are still stuck with having text and the OCCASIONAL “Edge” signal on ours.
Background: the players have a main quest of overthrowing the king. They have to visit a ton of cities before that happens to try and unite the whole kingdom.
Rogue: We gotta take down the King
Barbarian: Fuck the king!
Elf: Yeah Let’s fuck the king!
Barbarian Fuck the king right in the ass
DM: Alright what do you guys want to do?
Barbarian: I wana roll to fuck the king in the ass
DM: no you absolutely cannot roll to do that
Another update from Stefán! Warning, I cried so much while reading this!
I have no words to describe how thankful I am to all of you, my friends. Your support and continuous thoughts, prayers and positive letters and encouragement have more to do with my success in the fight with cancer then you can imagine.
Let me tell you a little story.
During my travels around the US and North America with the Musical How The Grinch Stole Christmas, I got to meet children with cancer in almost every city we visited, more the 40 cities. I would dress up as the Grinch and visit the Children’s Hospital in each city and meet with very sick child that was strong enough to take a visit from the Grinch for a little story reading or just a short hello. Sometimes I could only wave to them through a glass window because they were too ill to make any contact to the outer world.
In my carrier I have also worked with “Make a Wish Foundation” and in Lazy Town we would have children visit the studio from all over the world and it felt so good to be able to make a difference.
But one girl will never leave my mind. We were playing “The Grinch” in Orlando, Florida 2015 and I had been asked by “Make a Wish Foundation” to meet with this girl, 12 years old, who had the dream of taking her family to Orlando and having a blast. She had gone to all the parks and seen a lot of shows during her stay but she really needed to meet The Grinch.
I asked her if she had had a good time with her family and friends in Florida and she said yes, it’s been great. And since I was in Character as The Grinch I asked her why she wanted to meet with me before the show, The Grinch of all people. Then she looked me in the eyes, smiled, stroked my hair and said:
“I just wanted to see if I could make your heart grow three sizes”.
My eyes filled up with tears and I really had nothing to say and I remember thinking to myself “Stop, Stop it, you can’t be The Grinch and cry in front of this child”. I looked at her and said; “You have made my heart grow, yes”. Then the girl said ; “Well, you too Mr. Grinch” and then she gave me the warmest hug I have ever felt.
This story is about all of us, all of us who are ready to give till the last moment in our lives, help others with as little as a word or two or just a hug.
You are giving and you are healing and just remember, it doesn’t matter how long I live because it about how I live. Life is not tomorrow, life is now.
Considering how much fanfiction gets written set in Japan. I thought I might just share some daily life details that may or may not be useful.
This comes from my own experiences of living in a bicultural household and living in the country for about a month every year of my life. Admittedly, I’ve only lived in a deep rural area and visited cities, but some of the pointers will still be relevant.
The first thing that come to mind when you’re trying to describe another place is to get to grips with the food culture.You know the saying, ‘To know a people, know the food that they’d willingly consume’? So, for this post, I’m going to talk about food details.
1.Food that you might have in the fridge:Old rice if you made rice in bulk + various rice toppings. Think of rice as the bread, and the fridge being full of the spreads you could put on it.
Pickles: Might not be so popular with the younger generation, but if they live with their parents, there will bound to be at least one kind of pickle in the fridge, because there are speciality pickles for almost every prefecture and you cannot escape them. In the same way as spreads, they usually taste very strong and its rare to eat them as they are, unless they’re just that tasty and you like pickles that much (think of somebody eating peanut butter with a spoon straight out of the jar). You would eat pickles with white rice. Here are three examples: Umeboshi - pickled plum, and it is sour and very salty! You can suck on stone for minutes afterwards, just savouring the salt taste. Usually one plum is sufficient for one bowl of rice. Takuwan - a smelly, giant horseradish pickle, which might look a bit yellow with age. When you see giant horseradishes drying in the sun around the back of the house, this is probably what they’re going to be made into. Rakkyo - little pickled onions.
Other toppings: Shirasu - tiny little white fish, each fish is about two centimetres long, and you sprinkle (or heap them, if you really like them) over rice. Delicious. Again, may not be popular with the younger generations who have grown up accustomed to more Western flavours. Gohandesuyo - seaweed paste in a jar. It’s salty like Marmite and like Marmite the name of the food is the name of the brand. You put a tablespoon or so on one bowl of rice.
Spring onions. We are never out of spring onions. Ever. Chopped up fine.
Sauces: Soy sauce, mirin, su (rice wine vinegar), yakiniku sauce (sauce specifically for yakiniku), mayonnaise, yakisoba sauce, ketchup, mustard in a tube, wasabi in a tube.
A tub of miso: of which there are red and white variants, and there is constant family clash over which tastes better!
If the household eats bread, you’re more likely to get a vegetable oil spread than butter. I think a few years ago there was a butter shortage. It was just too expensive to buy or not on the shelves, but there were so many different brands of vegetable spread made from different flower seeds!
Egg is a fridge staple. If you’re in doubt and you need a quick breakfast or lunch, you could crack an egg raw over hot rice, spritz a dash of soy sauce on top, shovel it down and go.
Natto - fermented beans, its sticky and when you pull it apart it stretches with sticky web-like strands just like melted cheese. It’s famously an acquired taste but I love it on rice, in curry and in miso soup. Sold in wee cups, with sachets of sauce and mustard.
Also in the pantry: Katsuobushi - tuna flakes, often used to make tuna stock; Stick dashi - powdered stock, usually seaweed or tuna; wakame - seaweed; ginger; taka no tsume - dried hot chilli peppers, prettily named ‘hawk talons’; sesame seeds; sesame oil. Furikake - literally, ‘sprinkles’ for rice, when you have no other option. Maybe tofu. Panko for frying things. Golden curry roux blocks. Cream stew insta-kits.
Instant foods: Cup ramen, cup noodles, instant ramen, instant yakisoba, freeze-dried instant soups, instant corn soup.
The primary oil used for cooking is so-called ‘salad oil’: I don’t actually know what it’s made of, but it’s a vegetable oil of some kind.
2. Where I might buy food:Supermarkets for the fruit, veg, meat and fish, but for the best read-made fare, drinks and snack foods (kashi pan, onigiri, yoghurt, and depending on where you go there might be salads and bentos), you would head to a 24/7 open convenience store (e.g. Seven-Eleven, Lawsons’), where they also might do hot steamed pork buns and, lately, really good coffee to go. If you want to buy somebody a nice cake or box of tea-time sweets as an omiyage you might go to the basement floor of a department store.
Vending machines - there is a vending machine everywhere. I am not kidding. Even in the deep countryside, I found a couple of vending machines up a mountain which smelled as if they had been scent-marked by raccoon dogs and bears. And at these vending machines, you can not only buy cold juice, but several different kinds of hot and cold Japanese teas, a very sweet milk tea, several different brands of hot and cold coffees, corn soup, potato chowder, hot shiruko (a sweet azuki drink), hot chocolate, hot and cold lemon…You’d honestly never go thirsty.
For sushi, we’d call up a sushi restaurant. The same goes for ramen. Unless you’re using an instant ramen kit, making ramen broth is hard. The tonkotsu variant is pretty much impossible at home. Likewise, you just can’t make good sushi at home. It’s not really a family meal or something that can be casually made. Typically sushi is brought out for celebrations or special occasions as it can be quite pricey but conveyor belt sushi places are more accessible.
3. Bread: You will find white bread (fluffy, gorgeous, pillowy white bread, that’s basically like cake) but it’s really difficult to find brown bread. In the rural supermarket, it was non-existent and for bread with a crust, you’d have to go to the little street-corner artisan bakeries.
On the topic of bread and kashipan, I’ve often seen references in fanfiction of characters baking kashipan for each other, or kashipan just like their grandmother made it (e.g. anpan, melonpan, creampan). As much I like the sentiment behind these scenes, I’m not saying they’re impossible, but in most cases they are a little jarring.
Our grandmother’s generation were not bakers. Most of the houses that our grandmothers grew up in did not have ovens, since Japan doesn’t have a tradition of domestic baking, and even now, a lot of houses still don’t have ovens aside from a nifty little oven toaster, Cakes and kashipan were seen as Western and trendy luxuries to be eaten at cafes (a Western import in itself) or bought from specialist shops which had the equipment to make them. They weren’t ‘casual home-cooking’ so to speak, even if the history of the anpan and the castella date pretty far back into the past now.
Even now, unless you are a massive kashipan fanatic and dessert-making enthusiast, you probably wouldn’t bake a tray of kashipan at home when you could buy them perfectly made from a nearby convenience store.
Having said that, I have tried making anpan in an oven toaster. I made six, since that was all that could fit on the little toaster tray. They were each about 6cm in diameters, and my grandmother complained that it was a waste of perfectly good azuki.
You can, if you’re really into dessert making, make lots of things in an oven toaster, but if you’re looking to make something sentimental just like your grandmother made them, mochi might be a better option (e.g. warabimochi or ohagi), or maybe since sweet things historically tended to be more often bought from a specialist than made at home, quote a favourite wagashi that grandmother might have enjoyed from a particular shop e.g. the anko dama and imo youkan from Funawa; the chestnut manju from the shop by the station.
4. Omiyage: If you go away on a trip and you’re inconveniencing work colleagues with your absence (which you are), this is the souvenir that you buy to take back and share at your work place, often a food item, so boxes of sweets are often packaged in such a way that the sweets inside are individually wrapped for ease of splitting distribution.
This is also the word used for the gifts you bring back for family, either when you’re visiting relatives and you know that you will be encroaching upon their hospitality, potentially inconveniencing them, or if you’re coming back to the family and, in a way, again, it’s to make up for any inconveniences that might have been caused by absence -although largely for family, it’s also about the joy of giving to those you care about!
Likewise, students who go away on holiday on a trip might bring back omiyage for fellow members of their club, if they’re involved in club activities. If you think of club activities as training children up for work place social structure and customs, it makes some sense.
Not omiyage but an example of gift-giving, but if you move into a new neighbourhood, it’s usually expected that you visit your neighbours and take round gifts, as a gesture of courtesy and goodwill. There is, again, an element of asking forgiveness for inconvenience, because moving into the new home would have made a lot of noise and possibly caused a disturbance.
With omiyage in mind, each prefecture tends to advertise certain foods/sweets that are ‘unique’ to it that would make suitable omiyage. A famous example would be ‘Tokyo Banana’ and anything matcha from the Uji area in Kyoto.
5. Food is seasonal: Japan is hyperconscious of its seasons, so the fridge will likely contain seasonal fruits and veg. In a lot of Japanese poems, it was traditional to include a ‘kigo’, a word that encodes a season to set the poem in without explicitly saying ‘It is winter’, and some fruits are kigo. The persimmon is a kigo for autumn, peaches and cherries and plums for spring, and more recently the watermelon is a definite kigo for summer! Seasonal fruits also make good gifts for visiting friends’ houses, especially if you’re bringing them back from the countryside after visiting relatives.
Autumn’s a great time for food. Now is the time when all of the mushrooms are coming out - shiitake, matsutake, enoki, shimeji - and they’re dried and preserved for the year. People who cook might have dried shiitake in the pantry for rehydrating and eating or using in stock.
Foreign brands, aware of the seasonal sensitivity of their Japanese, often produce Japan only seasonal limited products. My favourite example of this is the Haagen-Daaz flavours. One autumn there was a pumpkin and cinnamon, and I’m pretty sure I saw a cherry blossom latte at Starbucks.
6. Food you might see at festival stalls: Taiyaki - fish-shaped pastries made with a pancake-like batter and filled with custard or azuki. Yakisoba - fried noodles. Yakitori - chicken skewers. Takoyaki - octopus batter balls. Hot dogs…With a shout-out to very rare diversity my local festival had a Turkish kebab stall last year. Kakikoori for the summer festivals - sweet ice, with typical syrups being red, green and yellow (strawberry, melon and lemon flavours respectively).