Happen Only in India . . .

Source: Fabian B./Bing

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Taj Mahal – A Picture of Grandeur

India is a large & beautiful country, filled with warm, wonderful people. It is without doubt a land of great contrast. It has the second highest population next to China. Will probably overtake China by way of its high birth rate. From the Indian Ocean to the south to the Himalaya Mountains in the north, it is a land of variety and culture. That being said, it is also a country where some of the most amusingly odd things occur on a daily basis. Some of these pictures you may have seen in circulation before.

Here are 24 things you’ll only get to see in India…

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Venice – From Sinking To Shrinking


Paul Chong            Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Canals of Venice

That glorious unique exotic paradise with its romantic canals & gondolas, bridges & some of the most exquisite buildings still draws a tourist crowd of some 55,000 visitors per day, that is a staggering 20,000,000 in a year. However, the magic stops there & does not prevent an exodus of its inhabitants.

Gondolas in a Row

There was a time when Venetians were worried about their city sinking & eventually be lost to the surrounding water. Only this time, the threat is not from the rising tides & the subsiding foundations of the island city. The fear of sinking is now switched to shrinking with its population migrating rapidly to the mainland. This is Italian “arrivederci”!

Plazza San Marco

Venice population was 175,000 in 1961 but it has been falling to its present 59,992. This is worrying the City’s administrators as well as the loyal citizens that still remain. Venice though visited & renowned as tourist paradise is not lived in!

One of the Many Bridges

Contrary to popular belief, a popular city that attracts a relentless influx of tourists has generated rising costs in property, food & transport driving out its city’s inhabitants from their ancestral homes. Prices have soared and found to be higher than those in the mainland, so naturally the local Venetians are forced out of this historical city.

Rialto Bridge

A city without vitality or enough lived-in inhabitants could only mean its demise. With a population in decline, something must be done to prevent it from becoming a modern Pompei. This is indeed a far cry from way back in 1960 when we visited the vibrant city. Ladies were then being warned about the Venetians pinching their bottoms! I remember well the great Plazza San Marco (San Marco Square) with its teeming pigeons & Basillica, romantic bridges & canals, gondola rides on the Grand Canal, and endless delightful walking tours among the thousands of tourists.

How do you save a city in decline?

Superlative Facts About China

Superlative Facts About China

By Paul Chong

great-wall-china-2.jpgThe Ancient Great Wall of China

The Sleeping Dragon which Napoleon feared to rouse has finally emerged on the world stage & these facts will astound you:

The People’s Republic of China (comprises China, Hong Kong & Macau) with a teeming population of 1.3 billion is made up of 55 ethnic groups. Tibet is included as represented by one of the stars in the National Flag. It’s an ancient civilization & now

an ultra modern economy.

  • If the Chinese were to march past you 8-abreast, the line of parade will never end (because of reproduction).

  • For every living person on earth, one lives in China.

  • Never in the recorded history of mankind has the world seen such phenomenal industrial growth – an average of 8% over the last 30 years.

  • Coupled with this, growing simultaneously is the rate of urbanization never before happened in Europe or America or anywhere else. China is building a city of equivalent size to Sydney or Birmingham every 60- days.

    01 New Pudong panorama view with Huangpu river_thumb.jpg Pudong-Shanghai Skyline

  • A China with virtually no phone now possesses the single largest mobile network in the world. By the end of 2007, China had 370 million fixed-line subscribers and 530 million mobile subscribers.

  • Mandarin is by far the single largest spoken language & will supercede English globally. It is the official & unifying language.

  • The number of Chinese millionaires & the expanding middle class is swelling each day & fleeing the countryside for the big cities pushing up demand for everything . . . from American food . . . to modern housing . . . to Rolls-Royce Phantoms through the roof!

  • China is building at a frenzy speed . . . unstoppable despite the global economic downturn – perhaps now at a slower pace. Now China has the biggest, tallest, speediest of whatever nameable.

  • China is a unified, multi-national country, comprising 55 other minorities. The Han people make up 91.02 percent of the total population, leaving 8.98 percent for the other 55 ethnic minorities.

  • The yearly average net increase of population: 12.79 million.

  • Total Number of Military Service Personnel: 2.5 million.

  • The most populated administrative region: Henan Province (92.56 million).

  • The least populated administrative region: Tibet (Xizang) Autonomous Region (2.62 million).

  • It’s claimed that the only man-made structure visible from outer space is The Great Wall of China.

  • China said the number of Internet users in the country reached about 253 million (February 2009), helping China overtake the United States as the world’s biggest Internet market.

  • China is not communist – except for the political system.

  • China is BIG & there are 6,536 islands larger than 500 square meters, the largest is Taiwan, with a total area of about 36,000 square kilometers, and the second, Hainan. The South China Sea Islands are the southernmost island group of China.

  • The Chinese are known to be most assiduous in their economic pursuits, innovative & inventive – just that many went by unpublicised.

For example: a flush toilet was found in a tomb of a Western Han Dynasty (206 B.C. to A.D. 24) king — and they invented toilet paper in the 6th century.

Paul Chong

A Chinese by Descent

An Australian by Consent