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Whenever I think of Paris in the country of France, thoughts  come out like the City of Lights, where the Eiffel Tower stands tall, the city where haute couture originates from as well as Cordon Bleu cuisine,croissant. and foie gras,etc.

If I were to describe Paris as a person, I would think of the city as a woman specifically a femme fatale aka bombshell. I would envision her dressed in the latest Parisian haute couture, fully coiffed,wearing stiletto heels and displaying a voluptuous figure in spite of feasting on highly fattening French cuisine. She would appear worldy,sophisticated,assertive and displaying a mentality of joie de vivre(joy of life). In essence, she would appear as if she owns the world as her oyster.

In spite of this, she does maintain some degree of innocence beneath that exterior which unfortunately came out and was shaken when on Nov. 13, 2015(Friday the 13th in fact), some Islamic extremists groups began bombing and shooting throngs of people enjoying the essence of Parisian leisure in specific venues like the outdoor cafes,stadiums,theatres,restaurants,etc.

All the news updates that followed through were very unsettling which shows that we now live in a new normal that is, being aware that terrorism continues to exist.

I just hope that the country of France especially the city of Paris would pick up the pieces and soldier on. I would like to see the Eiffel Tower be lighted again and the mentality of joie de vivre return, perhaps not totally  the same as before ,but stronger and more refined for today’s times.

My prayers go out to them!

Vive le France,mon ami!

Josie

Josie

They say that lightning doesn’t strike twice on anyone nor anything.

Then why does another Asian airline get struck twice with 2 airliners missing without a trace in that part of Southeast Asia? It was deja vu once again for me once the saga of Asia Air QZ8501 came about on Dec. 28,2014.

I couldn’t help but remember the still mysterious disappearance of Malaysian Airlines MH370 on March 8,2014 which remains unsolved up to now.

With our high-tech world and the ability to track almost anything, I find it quite insane that we couldn’t even find 2 jumbo airliners with an adequate tracking system. GPS on a plane,anyone?

This QZ8501 apparently disappeared in the midst of heavy monsoon weather after an initial request from the pilot to fly to a higher altitude and a route change was rejected at air traffic control in Indonesia from where the plane flew out from.

As of this time, the search for the plane is still ongoing. The chain of events is similar to what had happened in Malaysia last March, that is,search teams, airline officials communicating to the media and the passengers’ families and friends waiting in angst  and despair for any developments.

These events of course bring back the events of what had  happened to MH370.

One thing’s for sure. Nothing has changed in terms of improving the airplane tracking system .Will it have to take a 3rd missing plane to get anything into action at all?

God help us all!

I just hope that QZ8501 will be found and would in a way after learning any details about how it disappeared would also help find MH370 .

In both cases,closure for the families and friends of the passengers would occur whatever the outcome would be.

 

Josie

July 17,2014 will go down in aviation history as the date when Malaysian Airlines Flight 17 aka MH17( flying from Amsterdam towards Kuala Lumpur)had flown over Ukrainian air space amidst an ongoing war zone between  eastern Ukraine and Russia. The airline unfortunately became collateral damage when alleged pro-Russian separatists shot the airline down, thinking that it was a Ukrainian plane,resulting in the sudden loss of lives of 295-298 lives(both passengers and crew),all because of politics and secession issues in the Russian/ eastern Ukrainian landscape. In my opinion, such a tragedy is a war crime.

Ongoing bickering and fingerpointing between Ukraine and Russian authorities/politicians naturally came out. This is a Shakespearean tragedy of utmost proportions with ensuing geopolitical implications as well as possible aviation changes in terms of flight rerouting and resulting airline navigational costs which probably will make the ongoing debate of the logic of flying over a war zone feasible/logical worth the cost of saving the airlines some money. Penny wise,pound foolish?

For Vladimir Putin, the tragedy of MH17 will  unfortunately be part of his legacy and it makes me wonder if he’ll ever survive or even talk his way out of this. It reminds me of Napoleon Bonaparte’s Waterloo. His notoriety will only be reinforced especially if he continues to support those pro-Russian rebels for his own political aspirations and survival. With his reputation as a political bully, I wouldn’t be surprised if this former KGB agent remains stubborn and defiant.

For Malaysian Airlines, its future in the aviation world only became more tenous with this current tragedy. It hasn’t solved the mystery of the still missing MH370 since March 8,2014. Being hit twice with 2 high-profile tragedies in the same year is really too much for this airline. Its reputation with a now wary flying public isn’t too good nor promising unless specific rectifying measures have been implemented to ensure future patronage or else,face probable financial demise.

For the families and friends of the deceased, it’s an unfortunate,senseless  and unexpected event which they will carry and mourn forever.

How all the governments of this world (especially for the various passengers of different nationalities and citizenships) will deal with this tragedy,we’ll only know in the coming hours,days,weeks and even months. Just watch out how the United Nations and the diplomatic corp of various countries will deal with Russia in the coming days.

For the European countries who have tight economic ties with Russia, it remains to be seen if they’ll have to reconsider if they’ll follow the United States’ initiative  for economic sanctions with Russia in light of this tragedy especially if it’ll be proven that  pro-Russian  separatists were really involved.

Hopefully, recovery efforts will not be affected in that ongoing war zone so that even the investigators and rescue/recovery team’s lives will not become casualty figures as well. In addition, I hope that no tampering of forensic evidence from the crash site will occur (for purposes of a coverup) since that’s now one hell of a crime scene.

My thoughts and prayers are with the deceased. Hopefully , something good and substantial will come out from this and that they didn’t die in vain. I hope that justice will prevail. They were all just going about their daily lives and have no connection nor desire to get involved with Russian/Ukrainian politics before their lives were unfortunately snuffed out.

Josie

 

 

Ever since the ongoing saga of the still missing  Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 plane which started on March 8, 2014, the entire world had been constantly entranced with the ever constant changing details of a massive investigation / search  which involved at least 8 countries pooling together all their latest technology resources and agencies like the intelligence services,military,navy,etc.

The fight to run against the clock especially in trying to find a plane that’s  missing without a trace inspite of today’s high-tech world and possible survivors make this entire scenario look like  riveting episodes of a Hollywood movie thriller.

While the media coverage has been constantly updated as soon as available information comes in , all kinds of speculations,arm-chair experts,conspiracy theories,security concerns  also come into the mix.

In a post-Sept. 11 world , it’s to be expected now that all possibilities have to be ruled in .No stone will be left unturned especially when the plane isn’t found yet.

A lot will be learned from this very unfortunate episode and for sure, the entire airline industry and its security details will have to be modified and updated.

Another aspect that we have to consider is the ongoing grief,angst,anger and despair of the flight crew and passengers’ loved ones and friends dealing with this ongoing tragedy and the worst part is not knowing what really happened…no answer…no means of closure , affirmation nor reassurance which adds a huge salt on their emotional/mental wounds. They don’t deserve that nor even the flight victims.

I pray that the plane will be found. Only then will the process of closure whether good or bad will start for everyone’s sake.

I pray for everyone involved in their ongoing search for answers in this gripping mystery.

Josie

I recently was visited  by my brother and his family to my neck in the woods. I had a great time going around with them in taking some of the sights and sounds of a place that I had lived in for a considerably long period of time.

It’s funny how as I think back  now that I see my home turf with a new perspective, probably from a new set of eyes i.e., my family’s eyes. It made me know more of the place that I call home. Not only that, it also made me know more of myself as  a person especially as to what made me think in terms of my views and comfort level in living here.

Of course, as some say, before you travel around the world, you should travel as a tourist in your hometown first. I now could see the logic regarding this.

Traveling is a learning experience and it rings so true. When one has a sense of his home turf and goes traveling outside of it, it gives one a new appreciation of the whole world and one’s place in it, home turf or not.

Any place on this earth is a reflection of the folks who live in such places and its corresponding cultures/norms.

Food for thought!

Bonjour!

Josie

Here in Canada,mon ami,the first Monday of August is a holiday depending on which part of Canada one lives in.

It’s called either of the ff: Civic Holiday,Provincial Day  or the August Holiday.

Various low-key,local events celebrate each Canadian province and territories’ local culture. Many consider this as an extra summer holiday to catch up on one’s individual routine.

There’s no overt symbol for each province/territory for this particular holiday but they do each have its own flag and coat of arms. In terms of overall provincial/territorial symbols, each place has its own provincial/territorial tartan,trees,flowers,gemstones /minerals and birds.

The ff. provinces /territories consider the August Holiday as a statutory holidayBritish Columbia(BC Day),New Brunswick(NB Day),Saskatchewan (SK Day),Nunavut(Civic Holiday),Northwest Territories(Civic Holiday).

The ff. provinces/territories consider the August Holiday a holiday but not necessarily a statutory one depending on their locality: Alberta(Heritage Day),Manitoba(Civic Holiday),Newfoundland and Labrador(Civic Holiday),Nova Scotia(Natal Day),Prince Edward Island (Natal Day),Ontario(Civic Holiday,Simcoe Day or Colonel by Day).

Only the province of Quebec and the territory of Yukon do not celebrate this particular holiday.

Quebec has its own holiday called Quebec Day/National Holiday(La Fete nationale Du Quebec) which is celebrated every June 24,known as Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day or the Feast Day of Saint John the Baptist. it’s a paid statutory holiday celebrating French Canadian culture by holding festivals.

Yukon on the other hand, celebrates its special day every 3rd Monday of August ,known as Discovery Day aka Klondike Gold Discovery Day,commemorating the anniversary of the discovery of gold in the Yukon.

Wherever a Canuck lives in Canada(including moi), make the  most of this holiday and definitely enjoy it!

Josie

Both my sister and my niece had recently traveled abroad to attend an event there. For my niece specifically, it probably was a learning experience for her in more ways than one. Not only did she get to know a country by being physically there but also to meet some relatives from our side of the family still residing there as well. It’s like getting to know some branches of your family tree in a way.

I could tell from their travel pictures that both my sister and my niece enjoyed about the overall trip.
I have yet to talk to my niece about her specific viewpoints on this very recent overseas trip of hers.

One thing’s for sure. She is able not only to learn more about the world around her but also more about herself in relation to this world.

This particular viewpoint can also apply to all of us,not only to those bitten by the travel bug.

Josie