Saturday, December 26, 2015

Choose worship

This Christmas, choose worship. Carry that worship in your life throughout the year. God said, 'For I know the plans I have for you, to prosper you.' May you have a very prosperous new year.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Remember this Christmas

Remember those less fortunate, those in war torn countries.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Travel alone

Its tough, one has to suffer a lot of indignities like getting lost in the rain. I envy those travelers when I pass their expensive hotels to see hotel staff helping load and unload the cars in front of the hotel. Wow, No one has ever helped with my luggage, in fact, the day before this picture, someone helped themselves to my luggage and walked off with it. What irony! Here I am, getting off the train in Bath, England, in the rain, all wet and bedraggled, trying to locate the hostel. I must look quite a sight. Anyway I'm scheduled to leave again, alone, in April, for a short trip to Japan.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Friday, December 11, 2015

Nobel prize

Summer 2015, I'm sitting in the square in front of the Nobel hall. The Nobel prizes have just now been given out. We must live a life of serve to mankind.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Choose joy

'Joy to the world', says the carol. This season, choose joy, simple joy. Cafe in Stavanger, Norway where I found such joy.

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Choose adventure

Happy birthday, Vienna 150 years. Here, a few years ago at the Kunsthistorisches museum, having lunch. I returned to Vienna 2 months ago. This building is a gorgeous palace and house some of Vienna's most priceless art. If you do visit Vienna, take your time, there's so much to see and experience.

Friday, December 04, 2015

Choose beauty

An old wooden house, a yard full of tall grass and fading lupins, its summer time in Aland in the Turku archipelago of Finland. Who would have thought there was beauty here? The sun was hot and as I hiked alone that day I wished the day would never end. The summers here, albeit brief, is so beautiful here. Its a beautiful world. Cherish this beautiful world, Cherish this beautiful life.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Choose life

'I have come that they may have life and that they may have it more abundantly'. In light of the terror attacks in San Bernardino, choose life.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Jamie Oliver's restaurant

The restaurant was simply named 'Jamie' but everyone knows its a Jamie Oliver restaurant in Bath, England. It was very tastefully and simply decorated. I walked in the day of my arrival, it was raining as it does in England. I had a very pleasant experience, eating 'porchetta' or roast pork which was a recipe that belonged to Jamie's friend, the great Italian cook, Genaro.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Food abroad

Open face sandwiches is what they serve in Denmark, a little fish, hard boiled egg, some pate, all served on thin slices of rye bread. They are so delectable. You just go up and look at the cabinet and see what they offer, pick out what you want and presto, lunch! It wasn't expensive, I don't remember what I paid.

Friday, November 27, 2015

Peace on earth, goodwill towards man

After the turkey feast of last night, we, Americans, go and clamor for stuff in the malls. Why? Sometimes the lack of peace and joy in our hearts forces us to do it. We can't sit still, we need to be in constant action. We need new ideas for living, new gift ideas which does not require us to get into debt. The bible says, 'be still' just be still, have peace in our heart and joy will come and satisfy our soul. The wrappings and packaging from the stuff we just bought isn't going to give us peace or joy. In fact it will do the opposite.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Happy thanksgiving

Life is a feast or a salad. Pick and choose what you'll have or just heap it all onto your plate. Its been a fantastic year and if you really know what happened to me and my career exactly a year ago you won't understand why I've been so upbeat. My world crashed exactly a year ago but I had a great year and I'm thinking hard on how to make next year even better!

Saturday, November 21, 2015

It doesn't have to cost a lot

There are so many options these days where accommodations are concerned. One can always park an RV on the hillside. Here in Flam, Norway, that was a lot of people were doing. I slept in a dorm nearby.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Lets go somewhere

Lets go somewhere soon. I've been doing my writing at the Santa Monica public library because there's too much distractions at home. I've noticed someone is checking out the guidebooks on Scandinavia. Someone is planning a trip? Good for them.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Ode to Paris

At the cafe in Musee de la vie romantique, time for coffee and cake. I'm not afraid of returning.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Choose life

A tribute to Paris, a glorious summer day in the city of lights.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Tribute to Paris

Lovers at the Musee de la vie romantique, oblivious to the world around them. To them there is only the two of them. C'est la vie! Every time there is a violent incident, we, immediately wonder if we should travel again. A friend of mine just mentioned that she'll not travel because its so dangerous. The planes were empty after 9-11 but I flew anyway, I went places anyway. That was 14 years ago. If we decide to stay at home, how long do we intend to do so? For decades? I'd go to Paris tomorrow if I hadn't been there in a while. I was there last August, very close to the places where the terror attacks took place. I was in between gate l'est and gate du nord, very close to Canal St Martin, I had dinner on the terraces a couple of nights. I had a great time. It doesn't matter what you do in Paris and you don't have to do anything, it'll still be fun. When Hitler first saw Paris, he decided not to destroy it. He said,'its going to belong to us anyway and besides we will build another to rival its beauty. The Nazi forces occupied Paris and it became the play ground for Nazi officers. Can you imagine a life with no Paris? I can't. I need Paris to heal my broken heart, to restore me after life's many disappointments. A trip to Europe always involve a swing into Paris, just to walk by the Seine, linger at any cafe and smile a lot.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


Fall is finally here. We've been so hot in Southern California. The heating in the house has just been turned on and the nights have been really cold. I have a few layers of bedding on the bed, it felt like sleeping under an armor. Its almost time till Thanksgiving and what a year it has been. I'm looking forward to next summer when I'll get out there again.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Flam, Norway

I've been busy writing about my trip getting ready to turn the information into Kindle ebooks. This means looking at photos I took and remembering the days spent on the trip. Norway in the summer is so beautiful and I regret having put off visiting till now. I'm forced into reading about the people who made this country great, Ibsen, the playwright whose house I visited while I was in Oslo. I'm now reading about the Norwegian shooter who killed 77 of his own people, Anders Breivik. The thing about this book is it gives an idea on the social system in Norway and its judicial and correctional system. When I wrote on Finland (its still a manuscript) I read the biography of Tove Jansson. It gives details on life in Finland for the common people during the war years. Finland went through a lot of wars. I would never care for these things if not for the fact that I'm writing about visiting these countries. Here in Flam at the end of the very long and deep Sognefjord, there's this beautiful river of rushing water. On the left side is Flam hostel and camp ground and on the right, the fjord, a big cruise ship can be seen docked there. You've got to visit Norway, try next summer.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Fika in Copenhagen

I miss it already, eating a cinnamon bun in the afternoon and drinking coffee. I need to get out there again next summer. It has ruined me forever!

Monday, November 09, 2015

Ainola, Finland

They don't call the Finns 'the silent man' for nothing. They like to find a remote spot, build a sauna, a house and an outhouse and lived there all alone. Families do it too. Artists and composers like Jean Sibelius moved his family to a remote spot outside of Helsinki. Other artists and writers followed him and before you know it there is this community outside of Helsinki. I had the pleasure of taking a commuter train one morning to head out to Ainola, out in the woods, where Jean Sibelius built his house, sauna and outhouse and where he and his wife lived out their years and were buried here. Even today it felt like the middle of nowhere but a beautiful 'middle of nowhere.' After a day or two in any congested city, I crave the sanity of the countryside. In Finland, one is never far from a country spot and that is so refreshing. If you are like me, and you find yourself in Helsinki, do take the commuter train out to Ainola. There is a stop for it, get off and follow the signs for Ainola. You might have to walk a bit but its well worth it. You'll come to a wooded spot that till today is a little 'far from the madding crowd.' In summer it is so pleasant and you'll wish you could stay forever. There will be people doing their morning walks, there are people who do live around there, not many. You will be envious. There's a beautiful garden and a cafe. You'll wish you live there.

Friday, November 06, 2015


I went out looking for ideas not realizing that ideas are inside of me.......

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Stavanger, Norway

From the restaurant window at the Petroleum museum in Stavanger, Norway, I watched the world go by. This was part of the huge harbor that stretched for miles. I see little sail boats on a weekend pleasure trip. I see this monster doing maneuvers on the water. It was fascinating to watch as how agile this ship was, quite like a car that could almost turn on a dime. The sea and shipping is so much a part of Norwegian life.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Norway, fjord and glacier

Its easy to put together a little trip to Norway and get most of the major experiences in. One can have a fjord experience, a glacier and a fantastic rail experience.Oslo, the capitol of Norway is easy to get around in, using trams and the underground and the trains. There are ferries to everywhere also.Oslo has some of the world's major museums, it has Munch! The Oslo-Bergen train is a fascinating experience going over some of the highest terrain. It is a very popular train and the first train sells out fast. Bergen is among the prettiest city in the world. Again it is compact enough as not to overwhelm but has enough sites as not to underwhelm. From Bergen, take the ferry up Sognefjord. There are many other fjords and ferries but if you are rushed for time, I think, Sognefjord is plenty. One can opt to stay the night at one of the small villages on the way before reaching Flam, at the end. I stopped for the night at Balestrand, a sizable village which is very popular. From Balestrand I was able to take another ferry to Fjaerland fjord and to the Jostalen glacier. The glacier is retreating up the mountain but it left behind a glacial lake. It was an incredible sight and a wonderful experience. A glacier and a fjord, what a trip!

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

I love England

I prefer the countryside in any country. Sometimes after a few days in the city, I have a deep longing to be out and about in the countryside. The English countryside is so sumptuous, its hard to beat. Here at the North sea coastal town of Whitby, near York, the day was so lovely. I came with a coach tour of the Yorkshire moors and ended up here for lunch. Its still a fishing village and the menu was fish in all ways.

Monday, November 02, 2015

Wild flower meadows

While this is not exactly a wild flower meadow, it is a trend in major gardens in England to leave a patch wild. But in other areas, huge swathes of land are left a wild flower meadows and it is possible to visit some of them. Just as hedgerows are important, wild flower meadows are increasing not just in popularity but in necessity. They form a habitat for butterflies and especially for bees. Successful and sustainable farming depends on having a healthy and vast bee population to pollinate the crops. In the USA farmers have to hire truckloads of bees in hives to come and pollinate the crop. This happens because we have eliminated the habitat for the bees and/or we have poisoned them with insecticides. During my visit to Europe in Summer, I came across so many bees, each time I tried to stick my nose into a flower, I find a bee has already beaten me to it. This never happens in the USA where I live. It was exciting to experience it and to see wild flower meadows.

Sunday, November 01, 2015

The Cezanne in the hedge

Its a story of the Bloomsbury group. While the second world war was raging, the French government was having a fire sale of some of their impressionist paintings. A few English officials went over to Paris to buy some paintings for the National gallery. John Maynard Keynes worked for the same department and he went with them to Paris. He tried to get them to include this painting but with no success. So he bought it with his own money, 500 pounds. Upon returning to England, he got a lift to Charleston farmhouse and was dropped off on the main road. He still had to walk the muddy lane up to Charleston. He couldn't carry all his stuff, so he left them including this painting on the hedge. Upon reaching the house, he told the occupants, mainly Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, that if they should walk down the lane to get his stuff, they would find, 'a Cezanne in the hedge.' This painting hung on the wall above his bed in Charleston. Upon his death it was bequeathed to the University of Cambridge. When I was in Cambridge in June this year, I had to go see it. Its at the Fitzwilliams museum in Cambridge and this is a photo I took of it.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

The Temple garden, London

Tucked in a little area and next to the Thames is an area of London called 'the Temple'. This was named after the Knights Templars, this was their headquarters when they were active. Today it is a very exclusive area, full of law offices and a law school. The lawyers who practice here are called Temple lawyers and they usually deal with human rights cases. Amal Clooney is a Temple lawyer. When I met my cousin Robert for lunch a few days after my visit here and told him, he said, 'I'm also a Temple lawyer!' I didn't know that because all my life, my aunt, his mother, has always joked that his human rights cases never got him rich. Anyway his wife is a corporate lawyer in London and he doesn't have to worry. But between those massive and impressive buildings is a sizable garden, with lush lawns, oak trees and some lovely herbaceous borders. After ploughing through all the magnificent sights in London, one longs for a little respite, a country garden, to sit and ponder, have tea or lunch and enjoy doing nothing, it is still possible to do this in the middle of London. The garden was actually closed at the time of my visit but they were in there preparing for an event and I snook in. I'm glad I did.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Musee de la vie romantique, Paris

Tucked in a little corner in the Montmatre district of Paris is this old house. It is very unusual to find a free standing old house in Paris. Paris is so built up but if you look and try very hard to find it, you'll happen upon it. I walked up and down, asking everyone I bump into. They (the Locals) don't even where it is but I did find it. It is a very pretty house, full of momentous of the original owner, Ary Scheffer and his friends. He was a Dutch painter and he held a salon in this house and famous people like Eugene de la croix, George Sand and Chopin used to attend. The tiny front garden is very pretty. Its like this little gem in a huge city of Paris, quite refreshing to visit and spend a little time, in the garden and the cafe.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Sundborn, Sweden

This was the Lake district of Sweden and Sundborn, a few miles from Falun is a tiny little village. The attraction here is Carl Larsson's house. He was a painter and together with his wife and kids lived here. Today the family still owns it but is opened to the public. A bus from Falun takes you there and its a short walk from the center of town. Its a sweet little village. Inside one can see the areas where he painted, like a daughter watering the geraniums at the big front window. It was a fascinating visit.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Dove cottage, Grasmere, the Lake district

Besides Hill Top farm in the Lake district of England, there is William Wordsworth's Dove cottage in Grasmere, also in the Lake district. He grew up nearby, played in the area as a young lad, walked the whole Lake district area, wrote poetry about it. A visit here makes it easy to know how this area has influenced so many English writers. It is so beautiful, the sun is always gentle, the birds are always singing, the flowers grow in abundance without much coaxing. In the Summer, this area is inundated with tourists from everywhere in the world, from Asia predominantly. They come with their own guidebooks and check off everything that is mentioned in those books. There's ample transportation, buses and shuttles run almost none stop between most of the villages. There are tea rooms everywhere. It is like a festival here in summer and it is a festival, celebrating the beauty of the English Lake district.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Hill top farm, the English lake district

A visit to the English Lake district always means a visit to Hill Top farm, the former home of Beatrix Potter. But it was not opened the day of my visit. However I was allowed to roam in the garden outside the house. The whole area is so beautiful. There's a shuttle that comes up here from Hawkshead, one of the many cute villages of the Lake district.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Stavanger, Norway

If you are just now following this blog, I took a 3 month trip starting June 3rd, 2015 and finishing at the end of August. I posted everyday during those 3 months from wherever I was. I had my computer with me and my camera. I'm now revisiting the places I went to in no particular order. I knew it will be expensive in the summer months and also crowded. It wasn't anymore costly or anymore crowded. I did get locked out of hostels because of the crowds but there were always hotels. So by using a mixture of hotels and hostels I was able to bring the cost of travel down even though I went to some of the world's most expensive places and at the peak of the tourist season. The sun shone for most days but in between it rained. The best thing for the rain is a rain poncho, it covered my back pack which had my camera equipment, it covered my camera but I was able to expose it to take pictures even through the rain. I went through 5 cheap rain ponchos. I lost the one I brought with me, a gift from a friend who bought it in Seattle, Washington, I left that on a bench at a Finnish train station. The rest ripped but I still brought one home with me which is sturdier and I will use that for my next trip. I spent a few days in Stavanger, Norway. There's no easy way to go to Stavanger. I took the bus from Bergen, a 5 hour trip which I thought would be boring. There's nothing boring about Norway even on the longest train or bus ride! I was never bored. We had 2 ferry crossings on this bus, I met a girl from England and we kept each other company. We had to get out of the bus and wait in the upstairs sitting room that also had a restaurant, we ate lunch on the ferry before finally reaching Stavanger. You have to go to Stavanger if you want to climb Preikestolen or Pulpit rock.It is a very laid back city with a stunning old town.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Norway, the beautiful

It has been voted the most beautiful country in Europe by the London Telegraph. It is beautiful all year round though I was only in summer. Every place I've been in Norway is so spectacular, its plains (not much of that), its mountains and its waterways, it has a lot of both. Its cities are beautiful and its wild areas are beautiful. It is my most favorite place in the world.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Fjord view

Imagine waking up to this. Here is a view of Sognefjord from Balestrand. My room did not have this view. I got up early and went down to the water front to take this pictures and many others. But there are hotel rooms that had this view. Norway is unforgettable.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Euro

Have you seen the exchange rate lately, the US dollar is higher, don't ask why. Just take advantage of it and book your ticket now. Fares are cheap too because its the low season. How about a few days in Paris, or Amsterdam or even Berlin? How about brunch at Roamers cafe in Berlin. Its a small place, serves good food and is always crowded. Take off and!

Flam, Norway

If you are like me, leave Norway till the last, you would have missed a lot. I've always been led to believe that Norway is so expensive that it is prohibitive. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is not anymore expensive than Rome, London or Paris. Besides there are loads of ways to save. But the people who are brave enough to venture there, the Chinese, principal among them, has discovered a whole different world. The sights and experiences are something that is so unique to Norway. The best time to visit is in summer. Even though it still rains, you'll get many spectacular days. Flam is a very little village at the trail head of Sognefjord, the fjord ends here and even though it is small, the huge cruise ships are still able to get in here. The Flamsbana train runs in and out of here a few times a day and every trip is packed. Here people are lining up to board the spectacular train that takes through those high and dangerous landscape.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Flam hostel, Norway

This is true 'maximum thrills on a budget'. Flam hostel is probably the most unusual hostel in the whole wide world. For one thing it is very close to the city center unlike most hostels. Location is very important to me, close to the train or bus station so I can make my exit easily. This one was and besides Flam is very small and it tis at the end of Sognefjord. It is a very lively place. The grounds of Flam hostel is so beautiful, wide open spaces with fields of wild flowers. In the apple orchard at the entrance is where tents can be pitched. In the middle of the compound are the common facilities like showers and toilets and kitchen, round them are the dorms. To one side are the private cabins and to the hillside in the rear is where one parks their RV's. They cater to everyone. Let me plan your trip to Norway.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A raspberry farm in Norway

I took a hike out of Flam the afternoon that I arrived and walked past cute little villages with their cute houses. I passed this raspberry farm. No fence is going to keep me out. I climbed over but the field was already picked over. Anyway I found a few ripe berries. I just wanted the experience of fruit picking and foraging. I popped a few of the ripe berries into my mouth, took a few pictures and I was satisfied. It takes very little to please me, not big mansions, jewels or cash in the bank.....just nature and she'll do the trick.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Mid summer celebration in Sweden

I went to Sweden specifically to observe their mid summer celebration. Instead of the lovely sunshine for most years, it was rained out. I went to Skansen, an open air museum in Stockholm and the ground was wet, muddy and soggy. It was a great disappointment but people tried to put on a brave face. The most important feature is to make and put on a flower crown. There was a stand where a few people tried to do that. ....I'm asking for a refund! and maybe a redo next year!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Royal Denmark

My hostel, the new Generator hostel, in Copenhagen was near the 'storget' a fancy shopping area. The Generator hostel chain is a series of very modern hostels popping up in the major capitals of Europe. All told I stayed in three of them, Copenhagen, Paris and London. I love the ones in Paris and Copenhagen. These are newly designed hostels and are really modern, with modern bunk beds, lockers, security, power and Internet hookups and shower/toilet facilities. Mixed dorms are beginning to gain popularity, not because of any hanky lanky, because there is none of that but it offers the opportunity of meeting a greater variety of people. Not only do hostels offer affordable lodgings, there is companionship, one is never alone, in fact, I have given my address to a few people that if they are ever in my part of the world, they can stay with me. We've become friends on Facebook. Having a hotel room to oneself has other advantages, I can do laundry and hang things around the room but I hide them during the day when the maids come to clean.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Copenhagen, Denmark

I had wanted to spend mid sommar on an island in Denmark but changed my mind. Instead I spent it in Skansen, Sweden. I had already booked my flight to Copenhagen and so from London I flew to Copenhagen to spend a few days there. ...and had some lovely and delicious buns.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Meanwhile back in London

I spent the first 10 days of my 3 month trip in England because I knew when I return after a few months it will be a different season. So I saw England at its splendorous peak. While it is very expensive in London, there are lots of free things to do, most of the major museums from the British museum are free to enter. There are lots of park lands and gardens that are free. I had time for only one, Regent's park. I've heard about the Queen Mary rose garden inside Regent's park and I had to go visit. I was not disappointed, far from it. They are said to have at least 4,000 varieties. I especially adore the old fashioned English roses. If you are like me, this is where you are going to see them. There were so many. They say, 'smell the roses' you'd better be prepared because there are a lot to smell and you have to fight the bees. It was truly lovely. You must visit and best during the first two weeks of June.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Next stop, the Lake district

Its quite a huge area with lots of cute little villages dotting the lakes and in summer is at peak beauty. One can access it from the south or as I did from the North arriving at Penrith by train from London and taking the bus from Penrith to Keswick. I based myself at Keswick at a hostel. There are at least 2 hostels and that makes staying in the Lake district for a longer period of time affordable. In summer lots of buses link most of the villages. Buy a day pass and hop an and hop off any or all the buses. The days are so long and you can do many things. There are all sorts of walking trails like this one that goes round the lake in Buttermere. Its no wonder many writers and poets called the Lake district home like Beatrix Potter, William Wordsworth and John Ruskin just to name a few. It really is a must see.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Homemade blueberry juice

Blueberry juice is served on Finnair flights. I took a Finnair flight from Helsinki to Oslo and had this. I can't find it at home so I made my own. I bought some mushy blueberries and made this wonderful juice. Yeah!

Next stop Durham

I'm just reviewing here what I did last summer. I traveled alone for 3 months. Each day I uploaded my pictures and capture the trip almost in real time. So if you are just joining this conversation, search this site for the details. Before I took my trip I knew what I wanted out of it. One thing was English country gardens and a name popped up, Crook Hall and Gardens and it happened to be in Durham. I went to Durham to visit the grave of St Bede, an Anglican saint and the namesake of the church that I attend in Los Angeles. He is buried in Durham Cathedral. Durham Cathedral is massive and very beautiful. I was able also to pray at the tomb of St Cuthbert, another Anglican saint. Crook Hall and Garden is within walking distance from Durham Cathedral and it is very beautiful especially in June. If English country gardens are your thing then it is a must see. Its not huge but the owners have really made use of the space sectioning it off into various theme gardens. What a trip!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

First stop England

This past summer I traveled alone for 3 months.My first stop was England. I wanted to see it at its most glorious, wild flower meadows, old fashioned roses and bright sunshine and of course sprinkled with the occasional rain drops. I did fulfill all these and more. Its been so wonderful that I want to repeat this experience next year. This was the city of Cambridge, in a church yard among the ancient tomb stones. I took the train from London. I had wanted to stay the night there but I couldn't find cheaper lodgings so I went was a day trip from London. It was a bright sunny day and a sunday. All the church bells were ringing and there were a lot of churches and therefore a lot of church bells. I walked outside and listened in to hear the familiar liturgy of the Anglican church to which I'm so accustomed because I was raised as an Anglican. I paid for a guided tour and got the most informative tour which brought us into places we otherwise on our own couldn't go. It was quintessentially England.

Monday, October 12, 2015

I miss it already

Its been a month since I got back and am putting together the stories for the books I'm going to write. But writing is difficult because I get distracted. I keep checking the airlines for cheap fares to get back there, to any of the Nordic countries. I'm a basket case. Here is a colorful neighborhood in Copenhagen.

Sunday, October 11, 2015


Here in Christiania, Copenhagen, its citizens live free from the encroachment of the government of Denmark. Its a good place to b
'bug out' as they say. I was able to roam freely, poking my nose into people's yards and take pictures. The only place I wasn't allowed to take pictures was in Pusher street. No sooner have I lifted my camera to my face did I see a hooded person in front of me forbidding me to take any pictures. Its strictly enforced. But I could join them for a toke! I didn't, though my dorm mate chided me and said, I should! I'm glad I didn't. Its the only thing I never regret not doing.