The Achievable Dream 5-part series - the definitive guide on DVD for planning your motorcycle adventure. Get Ready! covers planning, paperwork, medical and many other topics! "Inspirational and Awesome!" See the trailer here!
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Ladies on the Loose! For the first time ever, a motorcycle travel DVD made for women, by women! These intrepid women share their tips to help you plan your own motorcycle adventure. They also answer the women-only questions, and entertain you with amazing tales from the road! Presented by Lois Pryce, veteran solo traveller through South America and Africa and author of 'Lois on the Loose', and 'Red Tape and White Knuckles.'
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If you believe that China should improve it’s human rights policy or you just want China to recognise Tibet’s right to maintain it’s cultural identity why not put some very effective pressure on the Chinese government.
Believe it or not you have way more power than you own government does when it comes to influencing foreign government policy. If you government tries to influence another government the issue turns in to a political bun fight and they typically achieve nothing.
You, on the other hand have the power to pressure the foreign government from within they own country. Stop buying goods made in that country and tell the retailer, distributor or even the manufacturer themselves that you are not going to purchase any goods made in their country because you disagree with their governments policy on . . . . . (insert appropriate issue here).
When manufacturer’s start to lose business and the know it is due to their own government policies they will very quickly start applying pressure to the government to change their policies.
By simply not buying goods made in China, even for 1 month, Chinese manufacturers lose a significant amount of revenue. Even if you delay purchasing goods made in China for a few weeks or even a couple of months it will have a big impact on their annual sales figures.
The key to making this work is giving some thought to where the goods you buy are made and telling the retailer, distributor or manufacturer that you didn’t buy their goods because of the Chinese government’s policies.
If you can avoid buying Chinese goods you actually achieve 2 significant things, 10 you give a clear message to the Chinese government that their polices are effecting their financial growth and 2) if you buy goods that are manufactured locally you are supporting you own countries economy and manufacturer’s.
A small amount of effort on your part can have a huge impact on other peoples lives, everyone has the right to live their life free from persecution.
So if you want to make a difference; stop, reduce, or delay, purchasing Chinese made goods and encourage you friends and families to do the same. You’ll be amazed how effective this can be.
I have never been fan of Chinese crap-goods but I don't think this kind of thinking will change the world. The idea is great and I like people who think that way but these 10000 people who think that way do not change anything in world scale.
It is very difficult to know where certain goods are made. Recent example of BMW motorcycle with Chinese engine. Or take any electronic goods, even if it is not "made in China", pobably large percentage of components used inside are made in China anyway. I like our Estonian-made chocolate and we like to think it is made in Estonia but the fact is that cocoa it is made of comes from an unknown country near equator.
Fair enough - but you would have to include a number of other repressive countries too. I can think of plenty.
So because the Tibetan cause is prominent/fashionable now, dont forget the other people who suffer - many of whom are in a bad way because of our Western governments' appalling foreign policies. I bet you can think of plenty too.
This is one of those posts, doesn't belong on this site. Get off the soapbox.
If you want to make a difference, don't play tourist in China.
So, no more postings for how do i get into China, cross china, buy a bike in china, anything else about China - pretend China doesn't exist.
I have emphathy with this, but it is a topic that could be in the HU bar.
Obviously a very topical subject at present and, therefore, difficult to avoid or ignore! Maybe those who are heading that way in 2008 might want to comment.
In the past couple of days even the politicians are starting to get the message and are declaring that they won't be at the opening ceremony, whenever it is in August.
Personally, I have not had a Chinese take-away meal or entered a Chinese restaurant in many years: I look for an Indian (a democracy!!) or some other theme - even British!!
The so called boycotts do very little - the dont buy USUK campaign fell flat after a few weeks into the Iraq occupation. Mind you I always struggle to find anything on supermarket shelves that have been made in the USA and flying in a Boeing jet is obligatory unless I boycott the airlines as well. I bought German made cars instead of Ford or GM. China invaded Tibet with less loss of life than when Iraq was invaded and occupied, why not a real boycott of the USUK?
The only boycott that actually worked was the sporting boycott against Apartheid in South Africa.
Whats on offer for the Tibetans if the Chinese decide to walk away (as if) - a return to a theocracy where the whole population is there to serve the top few monks? Dont forget Tibet was not, nor has ever been a Shangri Lah, it was/is a feudal country with serfs and masters, it was 14th Century Europe at best.
The Chinese are actually doing a bit to improve the health and education of the Tibetans - much to the disgust of some Tibetans and some Chinese. Tibetans have historically suffered from iodine deficiencies (they use mountain salt which contains no iodine) which causes a decline in IQ (they average about 25 points below other remote dwelling people), it also causes goiters and various forms of cancers - The Chinese are addressing this problem and selling only sea salt/lowland salt which contains iodine, but the salt miners are fighting back as they lose their traditional way of life.
When you consider the way which most Western democracies emerged from the 18/19th Centuries, China and a whole lot of other countries are just going through the same evolutionary process, maybe a bit quicker and hopefully without the need for two world wars along the way.
How many countries had universal suffrage at the start of the 20th Century? Australia, France, any others? There's still a lot of "democracies" that have very dubious voting methods that make sure the "chosen" ones only get elected.
Some democracies still dont have checks about detention without trial, and since 2001 many countries have widened their detention without trial powers - not much different to China's.
I sympathise with our kiwi fellow traveller with respect of making a difference for the Tibetan people. However, the Tibetans are not the only people who are threatened of being wiped out, physically or culturally. The Palestinians are in a similar tragic position. And the people in Darfur. And others. I don’t want to turn away from the Tibetan tragedy nor from the one in Darfur but the tragedy of the Palestinians happens under our own nose and is carried out by a befriended state. I have travelled for quite a time in the Middle East and on several occasions I was asked “why is it that your people cares that much about human rights in many parts of the world but you don’t seem to care about us?”. If we, from that beautiful democratic human rights loving part of the world, want to be taken seriously in the rest of the world, it is necessary that we make a difference in our own garden of Eden.
How can we make a difference? We could stop buying goods from China or Israel or Sudan, as is suggested. But maybe we can make more difference by using our unique position, our position as a traveller. We have actually been there, in Israel and the occupied territories, in Iran, in Tibet. We have actually met people who told us their story and showed us their live and we shared it with them. We have seen the monuments for the massacres and the Indians murdered by our civilization (I visited Wounded Knee). Journalists fairly seldom meet ordinary people or take the time to meet them. Making news is business for news agencies and broadcasting companies. We however can make a difference by telling our friends, relatives, colleagues, neighbours about what people have told us and about what we have seen. We should not only talk about the excitement of travelling through the Middle East, crossing the Sahara, sailing the Amazone but also about the people who have no future, lost their land, have to fear about their lives, are imprisoned in ghetto’s, are humiliated or even raped. In this way we can contribute to the difference. Maybe our friends, relatives, colleagues, neighbours will stop buying goods from China, Israel or Sudan?
By the way, this thread really belongs in the "make a difference" section not in the HU bar!
"But maybe we can make more difference by using our unique position, our position as a traveller. "
And yes, so this I believe is in the right thread, though equally it could be in the bar. Not really worth debating this point in my opinion.
The point is, you don't have to volunteer for some agency to make a difference. Sharing experiences of our travels is VERY important, as many of our friends won't leave their backyard, or investigate news from other than mainstream forces.
After living/traveling in the Middle East for seven years, my Dad still thinks they're all terrorists there, but others I know do at least consider there might be another side. More of us who explore these countries, the better.
It's not huge scale change, but it's peaceful and fits into our lives as travelers.
Other ideas along these lines would be interesting to explore.
I respect your decision regarding Chinese products and I believe that every single person can and should make a difference.
For the same reason, I avoid US products and I don't travel to the US during the current regime.
Personally, I don't have a problem with the Chinese regime. On the contrary, I believe OVERALL they have been doing a great - and difficult - job for their people, creating many, many winners and very few losers. As a traveller, I gained first-hand experience in a dozen trips to China since 1993. My only objection is their use of death penalty.
I am dissapointed that so many people in the West symathize with the current mediatized "shitsteering" against China, to the detriment of the Olympic idea and the general Chinese population, without applying the same standards to the other (declining) superpower who are - rightfully - scared of the Chinese civilisation.
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