October 26

Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign…

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“There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign… The Bayeux Tapestry at Musée de la Tapisserie de Bayeux
Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign… Symbol of love is universal… What does the script mean? (Japan)
Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign… Lovers from everywhere share their hopes and prayers (Japan)

For this challenge, I chose to share things that struck me as fascinating (different from your normal environment) or that raised questions for me about the eclectic tchotchke we collect when we travel; the places we see; and the memories that linger of foreign lands – far and near.

The famous Bayeux Tapestry above is made of linen embroidered with colored wool yarn, and is about 230 feet long showcasing fifty scenes with Latin captions. It depicts events leading up to the Norman conquest of England concerning William, Duke of Normandy and Harold, Earl of Wessex, later King of England, and culminating in the Battle of Hastings (wiki). It was made in the 1070s and disappeared for a while then rediscovered in 1729.  When I saw it at the Bayeux Museum, it took my breath away.

At one of the temples we visited in Japan, there was the huge heart and sign above, an area to write about your love hopes and wishes, and then a place to hang them up for the heavens to bless you. The energy was light and uplifting and I enjoyed being there as people buzzed about writing and giggling with each other…

“The first condition of understanding a foreign country is to smell it.” – Rudyard Kipling

Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign… Market in France
Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign… A neighborhood in Stockholm, Sweden
Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign… Temple garden in Kyoto
Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign… Coke can in Japan with Sarah Jessica Parker

If we are to take Kipling’s words to heart, then nothing beats the smell of local french cuisine at an early morning market…. the soothing, incense filled air at a Kyoto temple, or try smelling the sweet, fresh air on a stroll in one Stockholm’s finest, tucked away neighborhoods. As I considered this one, food came to mind and, of course, language. Sarah Jessica Parker was on a Coke can in Japan (years ago) and I thought it was kinda interesting… and saved a can. 😆 More below!

“The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G. K. Chesterton

Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign… Halloween on its way in NY w/ tips and events in Japanese…
Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign… Fertility Doll… Popular in West Africa; especially Ghana
Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign… My rings are from India… What does the script say?

Since Halloween is upon us, I thought the first photo above would give us something to smile about. It speaks to Chesterton’s quote too.  One of my daughters studies/speaks Japanese and reads the local Japan newspaper at college; so I borrowed the Halloween page. The remaining two shots are pretty clear. There are stories attached to them but I’ll save them for another day.  😉 What are your thoughts? What photos did you share on Foreign to fit the challenge? Was it easy/hard to find photos that supported your perspective on the subject? Were you drawn to certain types of photos for the prompt? Do share? Thank you! 🙂 Have an awesome weekend!

*Please bear with me as I continue to catch up on reading and commenting on your blogs… I’m halfway there. Thank you all for your patience! 🙂

My fellow bloggers were equally creative with their selections. I will list some when Zemanta offers them up! I added a few from WP Daily Post below. (I will update it and add more). We all appreciate trackbacks/ping-backs and Likes from fellow bloggers too! Check out how others interpreted the theme – Foreign – also below. ***

This post was inspired by a prompt from WP Daily Post: Weekly Photo Challenge: Foreign. While foreign (rightly so) often brings up images of things outside of your own nation, it can also apply to things outside of or different from your normal environment, or even something which is out of place in general. I’m sure you’ll be able to find some great examples of this 🙂 My photo is from a recent trip to Bulgaria, where my inability to understand Cyrillic characters was one of the things which made *me* feel foreign. Share a picture which means FOREIGN to you!

Positive Motivation Tip: Follow the calling of your heart and see the world… How we treat others begins in our homes and our thoughts… Seeing the world clarifies it.  Keep an open mind. 😎

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos from my personal collection.

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet


foreign, Happiness, inspiration, life, Musings, nature, photography, postaday, reflections, travel, Weekly Photo Challenge

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  • What a special post, Elizabeth, I love it. Thank you for taking me on a trip around the world. Each photo is special.

    First I started to search for pictures of other countries when I saw the challenge, but then I changed my perspective 😉

  • LOve them!!! especially the ones on The Bayeux Tapestry at Musée de la Tapisserie de Bayeux … You put them on a perfect composition.. ^_^

    • TY Frizztext! I’ve been thinking about you lately and hope all is well.. will come by say hello on your blog. Danke! 😉

    • Ah Madhu! TY! 🙂 You are right on that one… The 2nd ring had more writing on it and I will verify the rest of the script before giving you the final answer… 🙂

    • Thanks again Madhu! 🙂 On Nama Shivaya! The 2nd ring had more writing on it and I will verify the rest of the script before giving the final answer… (updated) 😎

    • TY Terri! Glad to see you here too… It is quite the place to visit and the way it is displayed is equally fascinating. If you start from the top picture with the road signs and follow it clockwise, you will see the tapestry connected in full. I took photos of every section of it. TY! 😉

    • That first one came home to me too… It reminds me of the line that we all have accents not just the other “foreign person” standing in from of us… TY! 🙂

    • I loved that one as well. I love the idea of sharing such heartfelt wishes with the heavens and public in a romantic display. TY! 😉

  • Kipling was so right about the need to smell when visiting a foreign land. One really needs to breath in the aromas, as well as to drink in the sights. The fascination with all things foreign, is why we love to travel. It’s great to get away from the mundane, and sample the exotic. Hope you’re having a great weekend, Elizabeth. 🙂

    • I agree…. Travel is such an enriching experience. Sadly, the events of the last several years have made it a bit trying but we can travel locally, nationally, or internationally and connect with others. We are praying that Sandy will spare us this predicted stormy weekend… Hope all is well with you too! TY! 🙂

  • Hi Eliz,
    I wish I had time to participate, but I watch from afar and enjoy the awesome photos. My sister and hubby are missionaries in Japan. And along with their 3 children, they are fluent in Japanese. I visited Japan many, many years ago. It’s one of the best countries in the world.

    • Japan is truly a wonderful place to visit and the people we met were sincere and very helpful. One of my kids left a backpack in a cab with everything in it; money, game boy, music etc… and it was returned to our hotel with everything intact…. Plus, the cabbie had to call around to find our where my kid was registered as a guest because she didn’t have hotel contact info on her…. Amazing folk. TY! 🙂

    • Isn’t that quite the eclectic item? I don’t see that much here in the US, so I was glad to keep it as a souvenir… TY! 🙂

  • I must say that I am really not well-traveled, but I live in such a culturally diverse part of the United States that I often feel I’m an at-home tourist! I readily embrace the opportunity to learn about cultures different from my own, and my first exposure is often the food or art! I loved your photo of the Kyoto Temple Garden. That would be my favorite, I think! 🙂

    • TY Debra! I was even mentioning above that we can see wonderful things in our own locales and that travel could take place anywhere… California is truly a melting pot of ethnicity so you are not missing out on that one… I agree with you. 🙂

  • What an interesting collection of photos.
    The Rudyard Kipling quote
    The first condition of understanding a foreign country is to smell it.”
    is so true. Each country has its own particular smell.

    • Indeed they so… hen I travel, the minute i step off the plane, I am greeted by a new and particular spirit that welcomes me into a new world… Smell, sight, taste, sound, and touch; all are heightened for me too. TY! 🙂

    • TY! You will enjoy it if/when you visit as there is so much to see and learn about there… never a dull moment. 🙂

  • Nicely foreign Elizabeth. My son spent a couple of years in Japan studying for his Sensei licence in Judo and came back fluent. Apparently the spoken part is quite open. My youngest is also studying the language with hopes of working there for a while after she graduates uni.
    I love the quotes you’ve included, especially the RLS one. Sometimes, when I come to England, or come to Canada after months of being away I feel quite foreign until I get back into the swing of things.
    My great grandfather Horace Wilson wrote the first dictionary of English-Sanskrit. Wish I was able to know him and learn that language. Then I might have been able to help with the translation on your lovely rings. 🙂

    • TY Veronica… I really enjoyed your interpretation of the challenge… It was thought-provoking… As per the rings, I know what the writings mean but wanted an additional translation. Madhu gave me one above. I studied a bit of Sanskrit but cannot claim expertise at all. Grandpa Wilson wrote the book? Impressive. TY! 🙂

  • Such a lovely assortment of photos from foreign lands.
    but as stated, it’s the traveler who is foreign really 🙂
    I like that coke can… haven’t seen anything like that before

  • Each photo compliments the other wonderful collection of photo’s. I almost overlooked the elephant on the fertility doll. I also appreciate the quotes. The collection of photo’s makes me want to travel and see and smell a new places. :+) I thnk outdoor food markets are wonderful.
    I hope Sandy doesn’t cause too much difficulties.

  • Wow, you’ve really presented a nice interpretation of this week’s theme. 🙂 I wish I could travel as much as you do and to different countries too. You’ve given me more motivation to save up enough money for travel. 😀 I especially like the ring from India. 🙂

    • TY and I’d love to do more travel in the coming years… Praying for the grace too… Do travel and you can always do local stuff. 😉

  • Elizabeth, this is a beautiful post exposing your readers to the beauty of many lands. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy seeing your lovely comments on my blog when you play catch-up. Thank you!

    • TY Marcel… I enjoyed your post and appreciate the reciprocity…That is what blogging is about… I wish more will learn that too as we do need to support each others effort as bloggers. 🙂

      • I am now hoping all is well with you Elizabeth after Sandy…after I catch up here I hope to visit your spot…take care. 🙂

  • Jealous of your seeing the Bayeaux tapestry! I read a book about it this past summer, very interesting story. There are still a variety of interpretations on what parts of specific parts of it mean.

    • Thank you Marcia and glad to see you here and safe too. Condolences for the Hurricane losses in Jamaica… Hope the recovery process is on track.

  • Elizabeth, thanks for visiting my blog. What a pleasure to have discovered your blog through your visit. There’s lots to inspire me here, and now I need to go search out some of my favorite foreign pics. I love your insertion of quotes. Great idea! Mind if I try to copy your wonderful style? 🙂 Hope you’ll come back to visit soon.

  • Elizabeth,
    I love the Kipling quotation in combination with the photos. Maybe we could have virtual scratch and sniff photo challenge of our own. Imagining the smells in your photos enriched my experience, although I’m not sure what I was suppose to smell with the Sarah Jessica Parker coke can. haha.

    • A virtual sniff would be interesting , no? Maybe imagine the coke cola taste with Jessica smiling in the background… 😆 TY!

    • TY Isabella and that is why I love travel too… There is a humility we can learn when we visit new places and that humility opens doors to learning for us. TY! 🙂

    • TY for your feedback and hope all is well… I’ve been out of the loop dealing with my own struggles… God is good. TY! 🙂

  • Exciting images that celebrtates the fun and joy in experiencing something foreign. I think it is a great way to enrich ourselves from what’s out there particularly those that comes from other cultures. Makes the world smaller, more reacheable.

  • A great post, Elizabeth. I have a replica tapestry of a section of the Bayeux Tapestry hanging in my living room. (Of course, I chose a scene featuring my hero, Harold Godwinson, and NOT William the Conqueror.) I have been to see it twice, and every time it amazes me. My historical novel is immediately post-conquest, and that era is still very interesting to me.

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