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Thu Mar 17, 2016, 02:05 AM

 

I can understand going to North Korea for shits and giggles

But if you do that, you have to understand that, just like Disney World, it is a magic kingdom of illusion ruled by an exploitative and despotic rodent. You smile and nod, bow at whatever wants bowing at, look concerned and serious at appropriate times, don't ask difficult questions of your minders, act like you believe whatever they tell you, and save the shits and giggles until you are out of the country. You don't stand by the parade telling kids on Main Street, "It's just a guy in a mouse suit".

It's really not difficult to understand. And if you establish trust with the minders that you aren't going to cause any problems for them, then they will loosen up a little bit on a person-to-person level. Just don't talk politics.

Yes, their entire society is premised on bullshit. But I think anyone with the wherewithal to travel to China in order to then travel to Pyongyang should be somewhat informed about what they are getting into, or at least bone up on the subject of fundamental do's and dont's if they want to carve that notch on the "fucking weird places I've seen" bedpost.

They even have a bike tour that seems like it would be a hoot:

http://uritours.com/tours/north-korea-bike-tour

I would like to know how on earth it is possible for a college-educated person who has made a conscious decision and substantial investment in travel expenses to think it would be - in any conceivable reality - a neat idea to try to steal a propaganda banner?

Granted, that is what is merely alleged. But as was explained to me while being cited for "driving too fast for conditions" on a snowy turnpike one time, when I asked the officer the basis for his belief I had been in fact driving too fast for conditions - "You see that road up there? You see the cars up there driving on it? You are the only son of a bitch who slid off of it into this ditch."

A report on CNN suggested, on the basis of similar convictions, that he's going to be working on a farm and planting and sowing vegetables for as long as they decide to keep him. Fifteen years is clearly excessive - utterly and absolutely. But if the privileged circumstances of his upbringing, admission to a highly respected school, and apparent financial means were insufficient to provide him with an atmosphere in which he could develop any sense of good judgment - in circumstances entirely of his own choosing and volition - then a couple of months of digging potatoes might do him some good.

Visiting North Korea strikes me as one of those "don't laugh" contests, in which someone does outrageous things designed to make you laugh. If you think you might laugh, then it's probably not a good idea to attempt a visit to North Korea.

Next up: Let's pretend we're Muslim, go to Mecca during Hajj, and get a selfie next to the Kaaba making an obscene gesture.

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Reply I can understand going to North Korea for shits and giggles (Original post)
jberryhill Mar 2016 OP
Scootaloo Mar 2016 #1
jberryhill Mar 2016 #3
oneshooter Mar 2016 #17
Baobab Mar 2016 #26
DetlefK Mar 2016 #30
lagomorph777 Mar 2016 #29
Kalidurga Mar 2016 #2
jberryhill Mar 2016 #4
Paka Mar 2016 #5
Bad Dog Mar 2016 #6
Jim Lane Mar 2016 #7
hobbit709 Mar 2016 #8
Jim Lane Mar 2016 #13
hobbit709 Mar 2016 #14
Bad Dog Mar 2016 #27
awoke_in_2003 Mar 2016 #39
Bad Dog Mar 2016 #41
awoke_in_2003 Mar 2016 #42
Bad Dog Mar 2016 #46
awoke_in_2003 Mar 2016 #47
Bad Dog Mar 2016 #48
snooper2 Mar 2016 #9
Baobab Mar 2016 #35
Proud Liberal Dem Mar 2016 #10
Baobab Mar 2016 #28
B2G Mar 2016 #11
jberryhill Mar 2016 #19
B2G Mar 2016 #21
jberryhill Mar 2016 #23
B2G Mar 2016 #24
La Lioness Priyanka Mar 2016 #38
shanti Mar 2016 #49
B2G Mar 2016 #50
shanti Mar 2016 #53
B2G Mar 2016 #54
shanti Mar 2016 #55
B2G Mar 2016 #56
randome Mar 2016 #12
Tommy_Carcetti Mar 2016 #15
jberryhill Mar 2016 #22
ryan_cats Mar 2016 #16
leftyladyfrommo Mar 2016 #18
jberryhill Mar 2016 #20
leftyladyfrommo Mar 2016 #25
immoderate Mar 2016 #32
oldandhappy Mar 2016 #33
oldandhappy Mar 2016 #31
jberryhill Mar 2016 #34
liberaltrucker Mar 2016 #57
leftyladyfrommo Mar 2016 #45
Name removed Mar 2016 #36
Nye Bevan Mar 2016 #37
Rex Mar 2016 #40
msanthrope Mar 2016 #43
LeftishBrit Mar 2016 #44
dembotoz Mar 2016 #51
JonathanRackham Mar 2016 #52

Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 02:11 AM

1. Afraid I have to agree

 

When you travel to another nation, you are entering an agreement to obey their laws and norms for the duration of your stay. Even if those laws and norms are fucking psycho. You agree that if you violate those laws, you may face theri criminal justice system, which may also be fucking psycho.

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #1)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 02:32 AM

3. Yep

 


China is spooky enough, and it's infinitely more open.

There's this really bizarre feature of the Beijing subway system. The automated ticket machines operate just like a lot of farecard machines elsewhere - you punch in your destination, it shows the fare, you pay, and get your ticket. The weird thing is that there's only one fare for any trip in the system, and its the same fare for every destination. There's really no point in selecting a destination, since it's going to be the same fare.

Maybe it's designed to accommodate possible future fare changes, but it made me curious. Since the fare was the same, what would happen if I punched in a destination, got the card, but then got off at another destination? But following on the heels of that curiosity, I thought "Fuck if I want to find out."

Hey, do you REALLY think they'd arrest you for badmouthing the king in Thailand? Go find out for us.

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #1)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 09:18 AM

17. And if you enter with out a Visa or Passport

What then?

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Response to oneshooter (Reply #17)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 10:38 AM

26. People shouldn't give their money to a genocidal regime

Period.

Also, North Korea is no more of a joke than America is. It may seem funny but its not a joke when real people's lives are being wasted in such quantity, is it?

The deaths they die for no reason.

Somebody might be able to take a tour now and visit recently opened up Hoeryong where they have Food Street, which is reputed to have delicious produce. But until just a few years ago, that produce was grown by slave laborers right over the next mountain who would be executed if they took even a single apple. In order to make the area ready for tourism, perhaps 10,000 people likely were intentionally starved to death.

See the problem?

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Response to oneshooter (Reply #17)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 10:53 AM

30. Then you are obviously a spy and get 20 years of jail. Duh.

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #1)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 10:53 AM

29. Yeah, I thought "Why would anybody even go there who doesn't HAVE to?"








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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 02:17 AM

2. Guess, the but in my country argument didn't work huh.

Weird I would be okay with all that. Wandering into a place like that and just smile and nod. It would be just like being home for the holidays.

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Response to Kalidurga (Reply #2)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 02:37 AM

4. "like being home for the holidays"

 


You have my condolences.

Like I asked my sons when they were young, "How is it you cuss like sailors with me, when I know your mom doesn't tolerate that. Do you ever slip up?" and one of them said, "No, we have a little switch between our brains and our mouths, and we just turn it off when we're at mom's house."

There are enough documentaries that give anyone a good idea what to expect, but some of the travel there has turned into a one-upmanship contest of "Hey, looky what I managed to film when the guides thought my camera was off" sort of stuff. It's like kids trying to outdo each other in stupid-stunt YouTube videos.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 04:51 AM

5. I'm a lifelong committed traveler...

and you don't go to countries for "shits & giggles." I learned during my first trip abroad, "Do in Rome...." and you know the rest of it I believe. If you can't accept the restrictions, don't travel there.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 05:06 AM

6. When you go somewhere like that you need to keep your nose clean.

N Korea is an extreme example, but people have got into all sorts of scrapes in Dubai, Thailand, Malaysia and a host of other countries. You need to read up before you go anywhere.

Get caught with a packet of these in Dubai and you could go to prison.

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Response to Bad Dog (Reply #6)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 08:19 AM

7. Quite tangent to the OP, but why are those crackers illegal in Dubai? (n/t)

 

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Response to Jim Lane (Reply #7)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 08:22 AM

8. see the word "poppy"?

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Response to hobbit709 (Reply #8)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 08:57 AM

13. What's the issue -- the connection to drugs, or some prohibition in Islamic dietary law? (n/t)

 

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Response to Jim Lane (Reply #13)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 08:59 AM

14. Poppy seeds are a no no because of the link to opium, etc.

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Response to Jim Lane (Reply #7)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 10:42 AM

27. Poppy seeds.

They can be used to cultivate heroin. It doesn't matter what variety of poppy or if they're baked in a cracker, they're illegal.

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Response to Bad Dog (Reply #6)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 11:26 AM

39. North Korea and Muslim countries

 

are on my no travel list.

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Response to awoke_in_2003 (Reply #39)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 12:03 PM

41. Depends on the country.

I had a good time in Senegal and I really want to go to Morocco.

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Response to Bad Dog (Reply #41)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 12:07 PM

42. The atheist in me

 

makes me skittish about being surrounded by people who would consider me an apostate

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Response to awoke_in_2003 (Reply #42)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 02:45 PM

46. It can't be much fun living in America then.

Most Moslems aren't nutters, they're quite normal. Don't let the doom merchants freak you out.

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Response to Bad Dog (Reply #46)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 03:07 PM

47. Yeah, Texas is great fun

 

If xtian fundies had their way I have no doubt what they would do to people like me. Madalyn Murray O'Hair was killed in our most progressive city- Austin.

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Response to awoke_in_2003 (Reply #47)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 03:19 PM

48. It's not a problem here.

I live in the least religious country in the World. We do get the odd gobby Atheist, who are just as bad as the religious types, but that's about it.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 08:23 AM

9. It would be easier to go to Siberia and get banners, North Korean Logging camps in Russia

 

Skip to 3:00 to see what I'm talking about-

Or, watch all the segments on VICE Youtube


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Response to snooper2 (Reply #9)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 11:10 AM

35. Those logging camps are basically for members of the "core" elite caste

They are a coveted overseas job - NOT comparable to a North Korean prison or concentration camp.

If you want to know what a North Korean political prisoners camp is like I suggest you watch the videos I just linked to or go to a web site like Rimjingang the first- or some of the other URLs listed below

http://www.asiapress.org/rimjingang/english/index.html (Rimjingang - Journalism by North Koreans living there risking their lives to write about it while still there - really interesting)

Some of the links below are old and the content may have moved - they may require some searching, but do it, highly recommended

http://nkwatch.org

http://nofence.netlive.ne.jp/english/testimony.html

http://en.nknet.org/

http://www.northkoreanrefugees.com

http://north-korea.narod.ru/control_lankov.htm

http://north-korea.narod.ru/propaganda_lankov.htm

http://eng.nkgulag.org/bbs/board.php?bo_table=b_01&wr_id=10

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/CoIDPRK/Pages/ReportoftheCommissionofInquiryDPRK.aspx

http://www.hrnk.org/publications/hrnk-publications.php

http://www.eahrnk.org/

http://monthly.chosun.com/client/dataroom/databoardread.asp?idx=12&cPage=2&table=dataroom

http://www.aidanfc.net/a_year_in_pyongyang_p.html

http://hrnk.trycomp.net/

http://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/collection/116/north-korea-august-1956-plenum-incident

http://monthly.chosun.com/client/dataroom/databoardread.asp?idx=5

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 08:37 AM

10. Why would ANYBODY voluntarily go to N. Korea for ANY reason?

Last edited Thu Mar 17, 2016, 09:14 AM - Edit history (1)

I don't get it. *smh*


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Response to Proud Liberal Dem (Reply #10)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 10:50 AM

28. People can 'go to North Korea' by watching these videos

http://www.ohchr.org/EN/HRBodies/HRC/CoIDPRK/Pages/CommissionInquiryonHRinDPRK.aspx

There you will find links to testimony- there are a great many videos which contain testimony of North Korean defectors. This is the real North Korea. Not the theme park version.

Or to just see the videos, go to http://webtv.un.org and type dprk + (any one - just one of Seoul, Tokyo, London or Washington) into the search window.

The hearings were all in the summer and fall of 2013. The videos all have English translations in real time available (the UN is good for that) most are in Korean with English translation with some Japanese spoken in the Tokyo ones.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 08:46 AM

11. You are assuming he actually tried to steal it.

 

North Korea has a long history of detaining Westerners to suit their purposes.

And I don't think you quite grasp what 'hard labor' in that country entails.

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Response to B2G (Reply #11)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 10:15 AM

19. That's odd

 


Because I said "Granted, that is what is merely alleged".

As far as what a prized western captive does, I defer to the expert that CNN had on who surmised it would be vegetable farming.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #19)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 10:19 AM

21. Your entire OP seems to be giving NK the benefit of the doubt,

 

not him.

But that's just what I took from your post.

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Response to B2G (Reply #21)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 10:26 AM

23. Was he there by accident?

 


Did he get on the wrong bus on his way to class one morning?

I have no idea what he did. I'm pretty sure how he got there.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #23)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 10:35 AM

24. I am not disputing that he was there.

 

Further, I don't think it was a wise choice to go.

What I am questioning is the validity of the charges against him. Your references to his 'privileged upbringing' and the fact that hard labor in a NK prison might do him some good, strikes me as extremely callous and an assumption of guilt. That is what I take issue with.

I think I've made my position clear and will now leave the thread.

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Response to B2G (Reply #11)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 11:23 AM

38. agreed

 

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Response to B2G (Reply #11)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 05:00 PM

49. in the story i read

he got caught by CCTV in a restricted part of the hotel he had been staying in. a friend of his asked him to cadge one for her, and stupidly, he did.

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Response to shanti (Reply #49)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 05:42 PM

50. , said the North Koreans. Nt

 

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Response to B2G (Reply #50)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 06:06 PM

53. there IS a photo n/t

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Response to shanti (Reply #53)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 06:14 PM

54. Where?

 

I have only read the statement. TIA.

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Response to shanti (Reply #55)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 06:28 PM

56. Thank you

 

While it's hard to tell if that's actually him, how stupid can you get.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 08:46 AM

12. I just started reading "The Orphan Master's Son" by Adam Johnson.

 

It's about North Korea and it's disturbing. The novel won the 2013 Pulitzer. Wow. What an eye-opener.
[hr][font color="blue"][center]I'm always right. When I'm wrong I admit it.
So then I'm right about being wrong.
[/center][/font][hr]

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 09:10 AM

15. "(A) magic kingdom of illusion ruled by an exploitative and despotic rodent"

A very funny hyperbole, but you have no idea how much there's a miniscule element of truth to that.

Disney does run its company and its workers like an authoritarian dictatorship with a sense of cult of personality. It's freakish.

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Response to Tommy_Carcetti (Reply #15)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 10:25 AM

22. And rides!

 

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 09:18 AM

16. Not to worry

Not to worry. I'm sure his teacher assured him it was a worker's paradise.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 09:23 AM

18. I read somewhere that it was a dare

By some elite social group at the University and something about getting a 10,000 car if he would steal the banner. But everyone at the school and the elite society deny ever even knowing about all this. Deny that he was even trying to join.

Poor kid. Who knows what the truth is. It's really hard to believe he would do something that dumb. But it's hard for me to believe any ordinary US citizen would even consider going to N Korea in the first place. Kids don't always really comprehend how dangerous things are.

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Response to leftyladyfrommo (Reply #18)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 10:16 AM

20. "hard for me to believe any ordinary US citizen would even consider"

 



Not even for the music?

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #20)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 10:37 AM

25. Boy, that was wonderful.

But it's not worth 15 years of hard labor.

I hate accordions so I am not a good judge.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #20)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 11:00 AM

32. Cowbell?

 

It's missing.

--imm

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Response to leftyladyfrommo (Reply #18)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 11:00 AM

33. Helicopter parents have always fixed things.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 10:59 AM

31. Every time this happens

I wonder what on earth possesses people to go there. Hello out there. We know this will happen. I wish State Dept would simply put a stop to all Americans traveling to North Korea. And advertise that there will be no extraction attempts. We work hard to retrieve our people and then they come home to interviews and hero treatment when really they were just inconsiderate and thoughtless and a long way from wise.

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Response to oldandhappy (Reply #31)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 11:01 AM

34. "put a stop to all Americans traveling to North Korea"

 


And how would they do that?

Our government is generally not in the business of telling people where they can and cannot go.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #34)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 06:40 PM

57. Cuba would like a word. nt

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Response to oldandhappy (Reply #31)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 01:39 PM

45. I wish they would, too.

Here the govt is putting more sanctions on November Korea over their nuclear tests and blatant threats and here is this kid caught right in the middle messing up the works.

Regular US citizens don't have any business over there or in the other hotshots where they get kidnapped or killed.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)


Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 11:22 AM

37. Any talk of Dennis Rodman intervening? (nt)

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 11:35 AM

40. You would have to be out of your mind to want to go to NK for shits and giggles.

 

Or just incredibly stupid about world events.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 01:26 PM

43. Do you want to know how many times I've sat across from this type of client

 

And pondered on the fact that money doesn't buy brains?

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 01:38 PM

44. I would never advise anyone to go to North Korea at all at present

It's bad enough for the people who were born there, and have no choice.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 06:03 PM

51. ultimate balls out answer to where ya going for vacation

friend of mine is going to moscow in sept
she has been to other out of the box places
i think she is nuts but its her money

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Thu Mar 17, 2016, 06:03 PM

52. Best viewed from Google Earth.

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