East meets West in MA

Whilst in MA April 2014, I went to a Japanese restaurant in Billerica.

Rather bizarrely there was a replica of a terracotta warrior, in the entrance, when terracotta warriors are from China not Japan.

Our food was cooked in front of us.

After eating, we had saki bombs. Basically it was set up like picture. Then everyone had to bang hands on the table. The vibrations, make chopsticks 🥢 collapse and drop shot into beer 🍺 You have to try and down the drink; sure not done in Japan!

A couple of days later, I went to China town in MA.

A day out in Boston, MA

I have spent from about 10am to 5pm in Boston April 2014, it is long way to go for a day. I had flown out there for business in Billerica, just outside Boston. Then I stayed on the Friday night, so I could see Boston.

It was a very wet day! I checked bag into left luggage at the train station. Of course I carried my work laptop that should never, leave anywhere around. That left luggage closed about 5.30 so, had to clock watch. Would not have wanted to have to fly back without luggage including laptop!

As wanted to stay dry and see as much as possible, I booked on to a bus tour. I first got off the bus to go on a duck boat! A boat turned; into boat on hitting water!

I next got off bus to do some of Freedom trail. The Freedom trail is about slavery and holocaust. There is a Holocaust memorial where walk through clear chambers. Gas floats up from floor, mimicking gas chambers. The clear walls have the numbers of everyone killed in Holocaust etched on them.

I also got, off the bus to see Cheers bar. Inside it does not look like does in tv programme.

At the end of the tour, I went looking for China town because, I had just read a Tess Gerritsen set in Boston’s China town.

I then walked to the train station and retrieved bag and got the shuttle to airport. I was really early, so after checking in my bag, I got to sit in a rocking chair overlooking a runway.

Unfortunately, I seem to have lost lots of pics from the trip, lucky that I have memories!

Another day to remember the holocaust and some places dedicated to remembering (Boston, Prague, Austwich, Laxton)

Tomorrow is National Holocaust Memorial Day. 27th January marks the day that the largest concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberarted. Holocaust Memorial Day also remembers those affected by genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.  Of course, every day we should be observant about groups being victimized. At different times I have been to three holocaust memorials around the globe. I have been to Krakov in Poland but, could not seriously consider going to Austwich from there although it is theoretically possible, because it is a 3 – 4 hour round trip, just to get there and I did not have a whole day spare. I’m not sure I would have wanted to go, it seems a rather morbid activity and perhaps rather voyeuristc.

Appropriately the Holocaust memorial in Boston, Massachusetts is part of the Freedom trial which also. commemorates those denied freedom due to slavery. It features a line of six, tall glass towers. Each tower represents a major Nazi death camp: Majdanek, Chelmno, Sobibor, Treblinka, Belzec, and Auschwitz-Birkenau. The glass is etched with 6 million random numbers to represent the 6million Jews in  concentration camps. You can walk in line through one tower to the next like a tunnel. At the bases of each tower steam rises, from the grate below, therefore it is very eerie to walk though and brings to mind walking into gas chambers.

More personal than the numbers on the Boston memorial, the walls of the Pinknova synagogue in Prague features handwritten names of the 78thousand Czech and Moravian victims. So many names and no the only details being, if known their data of birth and date of death; no information about them as a person. Although upstairs in the synagogue is an exhibition of Child Holocaust victims art, so the loss creativity can be seen. Downstairs I zoned in on someone who shared the same first name as me and I’m trying to find out more about her, which is not proving easy so far.

The Berlin memorial close to the Brandberg gate (which was once part of the the Berlin wal) features no lists of names or numbers. It is a collection of large square blocks of granite. It covers a relatively large area with most blocks been too high to see over as you walk though. Some of the paths roll like waves rather,than being flat. Therefore it feels a bit like being in a maze and disorirntated, whether this makes you think about about holocaust victims or taking pictures in a different location is debatable. I believe there is just one explanatory board on the site. The blocks darkness makes the place rather bleak.

Upon realising I have not been to a Holocaust museum in the  I did a google search. I found there is National Holocaust Centre in Laxton near Newark, which features exhibits about the holocaust and outside a rose garden to contemplate in Additionally a Holocaust memorial for London is currently been designed, echoing the Freedom trial in Boston it will be displayed im Victoria Tower Gardens next to the Thames and Westminster; alongside monuments to suffragettes, abolishment of slavery and civic service.

The theme of this year’s Holocaust Memorial Day is ‘How can life go on’ i.e. after the genocide; something to consider today.