Monday, July 16, 2018

No Place on Earth Story on Galician Jews

Cave explorer Chris Nicola discovers a cave in Western Ukraine and asks what it's history is to which locals say maybe some jews used to hide out in there during the war. After heading back home to Queens, New York he finds that some of the few survivors (38 total) lived miles away from him. This film covers that story of the Galician Jews who survived.

Added to my places to visit in the Lyviv, Ulraine Region, Lokachi, Ukraine, Pryvitne ukraina and the other town of Świniuchy of which I visited the Lithuania Sviniche last summer. 

Interesting Crypto Piece

In depth write up from the Bank of International Settlements covering the Crypto market. While I do believe Crypto and de-centralization holds a large part of our future this points out a lot of great analysis.

Read the piece here:

Sunday, July 1, 2018

10 Things you notice that about Japan when you're there

After my second trip to Japan some of the things that I thought were rather "different" on my first trip there started to seem more normal as I got used to it while others still seem like they deserve to be pointed out for future travelers to there coming from the USA.

Here is a small list I compiled while in an Uber on the way back home.

  1. When you go into a restaurant to eat they have little lockers that are for not your belongings but rather for your shoes so you can change into a pair of designated slippers to wear in the restaurant. Also slippers are used for the bathrooms as well. 
  2. Speaking of restaurants you will find that the inside design of Japanese restaurants resemble their counterparts in the USA. If you were to be blind folded and put in one of the restaurants it would be hard to determine if you were in Japan or America as they've done a very good job re-created their restaurants state side. Same goes with bars in Ireland. 
  3. The toilets however are very high tech and come with seat warmers. Almost every toilet in Japan has a remote control with multiple options. 
  4. Taxi experiences are quite unique. First they drive on the left and are right hand drive Toyota's that have nice white cloths to keep the interior clean. The drivers wear white gloves and open the doors for you via a lever and close it without having to get out of the car. Oh and Ubers are crazy expensive and so are taxis compared to taking the train which is the major mode of transport for Tokyo. 
  5. Speaking of trains the train stations are large like New York Penn Station and have shopping malls, restaurants, and are mini cities in and of themselves. 
  6. Change trays are a thing. Every time you purchase something the change is returned to you on a nice tray as opposed to just put into your hand or onto the counter. 
  7. The city is massive. Off the top of my head I think its 13 times the size of NYC and is the most mega city in the world but yet feels like the safest and cleanest as they seem to not have a lot of trash cans but yet people just hold onto their trash instead of littering. 
  8. The Japanese are perhaps the nicest group of people in the world. Stories I've heard and in my own experience of being lost and having somebody walk us 2 KM to our destination only to Thank Us and to walk back 2 KM to get back on track is a commonality. They truly practice the golden rule. 
  9. Sushi isn't served on every corner and is actually harder to find than you may expect. Noodles and Japanese grills are actually much more popular dining choices. 
  10. They love lines and rules. Whether it's lining up to take photos or do not enter signs on a walking path they are very diligent about following rules. 
Official website