Time to Lighten Up a Little

It’s important to talk about wars and rumors of wars, but CS&W was originally about travel, travel writing and photography. So today, back to that.

Wherever we go we collect photos of fun, strange, unusual, bewildering, sometimes incomprehensible signs. Here are a few for your amusement, and there are over 450 in the Signs Gallery at EarthPhotos.com. Go ahead, have some fun.

Click ’em to make them bigger.


 The venerable Miss Puke, Siam Square, Bangkok. She’s been there for years. Last confirmed last Christmas.



 Of course not. Seen in Hanoi.



 Whatever it says, it means it. Illimanaq, Greenland.



 Ad man at work, downtown Rangoon, Burma.



 Something lost in translation. At a shopping center on Hainan Island, China.



Making a living in Fort Portal, Uganda.



 Might want to click through on this one to make it bigger so you can read it. This restaurant in Lima, Peru offers real, fresh aborigines!


Click on through for a dozen more.

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Friday Bits

– This week’s EU hand wringing surrounds David Cameron’s decision to oppose Jean-Claude Juncker for the EC Presidency, and whether with decisions like that Cameron can be trusted not to inadvertently see the UK out of the EU with his proposed referendum in 2017.

Not to worry. If Scotland opts out of the UK on 18 September, 2014 David Cameron will have to resign by 19 September, 2014. Crisis over.

– This summer’s historic demise of the Sykes Picot adventure in map-making frames the inalienable fact that the Saudi kingdom will collapse, some say sooner than we think. How, as a nanogenarian potentate, how do you delay it?

– On the opaque-for-most and largely-avoided-by-the-American-press Thai military coup, Sean Thomas may be right when he observes, “bluntly speaking, democracy looks unappealing if you think poor people are going to vote themselves welfare that the state cannot afford — a big fear of the Thai Yellows.”

Don’t know your Yellow Shirts from your Reds? Here’s a primer.

– Literacy in pre-WWI Serbia ranged from 27% to as low as 12% in the southeast, and the rabble was roused beginning with the Rubicon moment 100 years ago tomorrow. I have high hopes for this site, which advertises that it will share a pertinent historical document every day, starting tomorrow. Let’s see how that goes.

– Three observations from The Consolations of the Forest by Sylvain Tesson:

The art of civilization: Combining the most delicate pleasures with the constant presence of danger.

The essential thing is to live one’s life with a brave hand on the tiller.

And this:

[M]y water holes have frozen over. I attack the lake with the ice ax, spending an hour and a half chopping out a handsome basin a yard wide and four feet deep. Water gushes up suddenly and I dip into it with pleasure. This feeling of having earned one’s water. My arm muscles ache. Once upon a time, in the fields and forests, living kept us in shape.

Tesson spent half a year in a cabin in Siberia. If hermitdom helps you write like he does, put me down for that.

– And finally, from : “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. In many cases this will mean showing up to the interview in a pirate suit.”

Happy Friday.

More Funny, Strange or Indecipherable Signs from All Over

signs1You can say that again. At a flea market in Moscow, Russia.

signs2Perhaps this makes sense to the egoist himself. Over a doorway in Sydney, Australia.

signs3All the important places. Restaurant in Helsinki, Finland.

signs4He’s got ’em all. On the road outside Lilongwe, Malawi.

signs5Instructions on how to summon the Erakor Island ferry. Just kilem the gong. Near Port Vila, Vanuatu.

signs6It figures Fairyland would be a long way from wherever you are. Turns out it’s on St. Helena Island, South Atlantic Ocean.

signs7I have no idea. Storefront in Yerevan, Armenia.

signs8Open curtains as navigational hazard. Sign in the owner’s cabin on the MV Ilala, Lake Malawi.

signs9Enough said. Sign in restaurant, Gangtok, Sikkim, India.

There’s lots more in the Signs Gallery at EarthPhotos.com.

Ten Funny, Sad, Strange Signs from All Over

Click ’em to make ’em bigger.

sign1The venerable Miss Puke was still massaging away last time we checked, in December.


sign2We wouldn’t think of charging you for taking your stuff. Sign in Hanoi, Vietnam.


sign3Don’t know what it says, but with an exclamation mark, it looks like they mean it. This is from Illiminaq, Greenland.


sign4Ad man working the account in Rangoon, Burma.


sign5Some things translate better than others, apparently. From Hainan Island, China.


sign6It takes all kinds. Sign in a village on the road from Kampala to the Queen Elizabeth Park, Uganda.


sign10Graffiti and bullet holes in Sarajevo, June, 2003.


sign7Click it to make it bigger and check out the first item. Vegetarian aborigines! Menu in Miraflores, Lima, Peru.


sign8Facade of the National Drama Theatre, Vilnius, Lithuania.


sign9Back of the driver’s seat in a cab in Hong Kong.


There’s lots more in the Signs Gallery at EarthPhotos.com.