KIDMAI DEATH CAFE

Another good friend of mine pointed to me this unusual cafe in Bangkok which she found online which she thought might be interesting to write about. And it certainly is!

If you have any interest in anything unusual and slightly obscure you will feel directly at home at Bangkok’s new “death awareness” cafe, a macabre, Buddhist spin on this themed-cafe where customers are confronted with their own mortality and hopefully…live better lives as a result.

With drinks called “death” and “painful” on the menu and a skeleton splayed out on a couch in the corner, the meet-your-maker theme is alive and well at this open-air lunch spot in the Thai capital.

But the centerpiece of the “Kid Mai (Think New) Death Cafe” experience is a decorated white coffin where customers are encouraged to lay down for a few minutes to contemplate their final moments and secure some a discount on a drink.

Curious customers take turns climbing into the wooden box as friends sealed the lid.

Things like “How you going to tell everyone that ‘I’m here and that I’m still alive?’ when you are sealed within the coffin, will most likely cross your mind.

Well…I think that’s probably the feeling you have when you know you’re going to die soon.

BUDDHIST CURE

The cafe’s owner said his restaurant is more than just a gimmick or dark take on the cute and cuddly coffee shops common in the Thai capital, boasting everything from cat, husky and meerkat cafes to unicorn and mermaid-themed eateries.

A professor and social researcher, Veeranut Rojanaprapa conceived the cafe as a way to teach Thai people, some 90% of whom identify as Buddhist, about the benefits of “death awareness”.

“We found that having an awareness of death decreases greed and anger,” said Dr Veeranut.

He believes the Buddhist concept, rooted in ideas of impermanence and selflessness, is the key to ridding Thai society of chronic problems like violence and corruption.

“When one is aware of their own death, they will do good. This is what our Lord Buddha teaches,” he said.

The casket experience is also a way to nudge the country’s technology-addicted youth to step back and reassess their personal lives.

“When teenagers go down to the coffin and our staff close the coffin, because of the darkness, because of the small space, they will be aware of themselves … they will recall the things that they still haven’t done,” said Dr Veeranut, adding that he makes a point of considering his own demise nightly.

The professor is not the first to offer a resurrection experience in Thailand, where a temple outside Bangkok is famous for hosting symbolic funerals for devotees looking to clear their souls of bad karma.

But his cafe and coffin sit squarely in the middle of a local community centre in northern Bangkok, offering a public, and morbid, reminder of mortality that not everybody in the neighborhood is happy about.

The cafe has also spread out to a public walkway, which is now posted with signs asking questions like: “What is the purpose of your life?”

“This is so disturbing. I feel really strange walking there and might avoid this shortcut,” one person wrote on a neighbourhood Facebook page.

Yet Dr Veeranut says he welcomes any controversy as a sign of success. “I love all of the complaints. Because if they are complaining it means they are thinking about death, they are aware of death.”

I guess another place to add to my endless list of strange and unusual places to visit….(can I win a lottery place…!)

☽ Lielo

CRYSTAL HEAVEN

My best friend (and fellow mineral enthusiast) and me we’re sitting on the terrace yesterday, having a drink in the sun and talking about the stones that we’ve recently bought. When she told me about this mystical place in Mexico that she heard off… She showed me a photo…and oh my god…my mind is blown! It looks like a true fantasy, dreamworld to me…this is so surreal…that I would really, really like to visit!

Click on pictures for a bigger preview.

In 1910, in the Naica Mine of Mexico, the Penoles mining company discovered what came to be known as “Cueva de Las Espadas” or better known as the Cave of Swords. The cave was a 80 meter hallway filled with gigantic selenite (gypsum) crystals up to two meters in length. Unfortunately the cave, 120 meters underground, was opened for exploration and eventually tourism, destroying many of the crystals.

Ninety years later, two miners working on an excavation tunnel 300 meters below the Earth’s surface discovered another, much larger, cave. Here, the crystals measured up to 12 meters long (over 36 feet) with a single crystal weighing approximately 55 tons. These were the largest crystals that anyone had ever seen in the cave. The cave came to be known as the “Cueva de Los Cristales” or Cave of Crystals.

Millions of years ago, volcanic activity filled the mountain with anhydrite, a waterless form of gypsum. As magma eventually cooled, the anhydrite began dissolving, enriching cave waters and allowing gigantic crystals to form. Amazingly enough, the size of the crystals has no limit and given enough time will grow to even larger proportions.

The air temperature is 50C with a relative humidity of over 90%, making the air feel like 105C (228F). This makes it impossible for the body to cool itself. Because of these harsh conditions, scientists and researchers need to wear special cooling suits, and can spend no longer than a 30 – 45 minutes within the cave. There are very few other places in the world where such crystals have been so well preserved in their purest of forms.

Unfortunately, the caves, including the shallowest Cave of Swords, are completely closed to visitors at this time due to the risk to both crystals and tourists, though some people with connections to the scientists or government have managed to get in.

So sadly enough (but much better for nature) not really a place that’s possible to visit…but definitely a beautiful place to dream about…

Water-clear selenite crystal “floater” from the Naica Mine. Size: 18×14×13 centimeters (7.1×5.5×5.1 in), weight 26 kilograms (57 lb). (Photo: Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com 

 

 

☽ Lielo

AN ORDINARY BUSINESSMAN WITH A ‘DEVELOPED IMAGINATION’

I like to look on the internet for strange houses with weird stories, that I would like to visit some day. A couple of weeks ago I found a photo of this house, which you can…definitely call…interesting…

I started searching for the background story behind this unusual construction, but it’s actually a little less creepy then expected, let’s say….a nice, slightly extravert home build by…an ordinary man with an ‘developed imagination’?

In the town of Ratomka, five kilometers from the Belorussian capital of Minsk, there is a house so creepy that some people try to avoid walking past it at all costs, especially at night. With skeletal hands coming out of the stone fence, devils decorating the roof and dozens of black skulls covering a domed structure on the property, this house can be seen as quite…extraordinary…

Photos of this strange house in Ratomka recently went viral in Belarus, with most people praising the owner for the bold artistic design. However, the only reason that the house even became famous in the first place was because people living in its vicinity had been complaining that it is too spooky. Some of them even filed complaints to the local authorities about it, claiming that the devils and skulls were scaring children and even adults walking by after dark, but they haven’t done anything about it yet.

With a small touch of…illuminati?

Neighbors say that the owner of the house is actually just an ordinary businessman. He started building the house a decade ago, but then went away for eight years and only came back 2 years ago and continued working on it. Now it’s almost finished, but the people in the neighborhood are slightly scared he might add even more dark and creepy elements to it before he’s done…

photos by: REALTY.TUT.BY

☽ Lielo

 

DEADLY WATERS & ALKALINE BIRDS

Besides creepy stuff, I also have huge fascination for birds. I saw a strange image coming by on Facebook, something I saw before but never looked into it what it was.

It turned out that there’s a truly fascinating, definitely obscure phenomenon behind this photo! Definitely another way of interpreting ‘post-mortem-photography’ 😉

ALKALINE BIRDS

photo’s by http://www.nickbrandt.com

Lake Natron in Tanzania is one of the most serene lakes in Africa, but it’s also the source of some of the most phantasmagorical photographs ever captured. The famous images that look as though living animals had instantly turned to stone.

The alkaline water in Lake Natron has a pH as high as 10.5 and is so caustic it can burn the skin and eyes of animals that aren’t adapted to it. The water’s alkalinity comes from the sodium carbonate and other minerals that flow into the lake from the surrounding hills. And deposits of sodium carbonate, which was once used in Egyptian mummification, also acts as a great type of preservative for those animals unlucky enough to die in the waters of Lake Natron.

Despite some media reports, the animal didn’t simply turn to stone and die after coming into contact with the lake’s water. In fact, Lake Natron’s alkaline waters support a thriving ecosystem of salt marshes, freshwater wetlands, flamingos and other wetland birds, tilapia and the algae on which large flocks of flamingos feed.

Well known photographer Nick Brandt has captured haunting images of the lake and its dead in a book titled “Across the Ravaged Land“.

Brandt discovered the remains of flamingos and other animals with chalky sodium carbonate deposits outlining their bodies in sharp relief. “I unexpectedly found the creatures, all manner of birds and bats, washed up along the shoreline of Lake Natron,” Brandt wrote in his book. “No one knows for certain exactly how they die, but … the water has an extremely high soda and salt content, so high that it would strip the ink off my Kodak film boxes within a few seconds.”

“I took these creatures as I found them on the shoreline, and then placed them in ‘living’ positions, bringing them back to ‘life,’ as it were,” Brandt wrote, referring to the way he repositioned the animals. “Reanimated, alive again in death.”  

During breeding season, more than 2 million lesser flamingos (Phoenicopterus minor) use the shallow lake as their primary breeding ground in Africa. The flamingos’ nests are built on small islands that form in the lake during the dry season.

Lake Natron is one of two alkaline lakes in that area of East Africa; the other is Lake Bahi. Both are terminal lakes that do not drain out to any river or sea; they are fed by hot springs and small rivers. As shallow lakes in a hot climate, their water temperatures can reach as high as 106 degrees Fahrenheit (41 degrees Celsius).

The serenity of Lake Natron and its flamingo population are threatened by a proposed hydroelectric power plant on the Ewaso Ngiro River, the main river feeding the lake. As isolated as the lake is (it wasn’t even discovered by Europeans until 1954), there are no protections in place for the lake or its threatened flamingo population.

☽ Lielo

HAPPY FRIDAY THE 13TH!

I was planning to write a blogpost about this but I’ve been so busy with moving, unpacking and settling the last 2 weeks, I didn’t find the time.

But I want to wish you all a happy friday the 13th! 

Oh and watch out for black cats crossing! Cuddle them if they do…;)

☽ Lielo

 

NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS – DUTCH COMIC CON

This weekend the Dutch Comic Con 2018 will take place in Utrecht again. A weekend full of anything comic / movie related, with all kinds of entertainment, special guests and workshops! If you are into comics, Marvel / DC / Harry Potter or anything anime related, it’s definitely an event you need to check out!

That’s why I think this is a great moment to highlight one of my favorite characters Jack Skellington from the stop motion-movie The Nightmare Before Christmas by Tim Burton!

If you didn’t see this movie yet, I can only say 1 thing…go watch it!

If you did see the movie, here are 20 fun facts about this movie you probably didn’t know yet!

1. The stop-motion musical had 24 frames to a second, meaning they had to pose characters 24 times for each second of the completed film.

They had to move a character, take a picture, move the character, take a picture, and so on.

 

They had to move a character, take a picture, move the character, take a picture, and so on.

2. The complete film consisted of roughly 110,000 frames.

3. 1 minute of the movie required an entire week of filming.

4. And the movie therefore took more than 3 years to complete.

5. There are as many as 60 individual characters, with 3 or 4 duplicates each.

6. Each puppet had an armature inside it, enabling flexible movement.

 

7. The sculpture department consisted of only 4 people.

8. More than 400 distinctly different Jack Skellington heads were used.

9. And Sally had a mask for every expression change.

They couldn't give her different heads because of her long red hair, which is why they created the masks.

They couldn’t give her different heads because of her long red hair, which is why they created the masks.

10. To make Jack blink, replacement series were wedged into his eyes, which took up three frames per blink.

11. Set designer Gregg Olsson built a quarter-scale mock-up of Halloween Town as a model for the real set.

Parts of the set also broke off into smaller pieces because the real-size set wouldn't all fit in one space.

Parts of the set also broke off into smaller pieces because the real-size set wouldn’t all fit in one space.

12. The set also had trapdoors so animators could pop up and do the animation from beneath.

13. Although the sets were built in miniature, they were lit as if they were full-size movie sets.

They just used smaller lighting instruments.

14. Many of the sets required as many as 20-30 lights to create dramatic effects.

15. If there was ever a problem with a frame, they would have to go back and re-photograph the entire thing.

16. Composer and lyricist Danny Elfman didn’t have a script to write the songs from.

He asked Tim Burton to describe a scene and then Elfman would compose the song.

He asked Tim Burton to describe a scene and then Elfman would compose the song.

17. The entire production required 13 animators.

18. It also included over 100 specially trained camera operators, puppet makers, set builders, and prop makers.

19. There was a total of 8 camera crews.

20. And 19 sound stages with 230 sets total.

For more information about the Dutch Comic Con check: http://www.dutchcomiccon.com/

See you guys there? ?

☽ Lielo

 

HAUNTED AMSTERDAM

This week my organizing skills are being put to the test, by moving out from my old house to my new house within a WEEK (yes, it’s possible people…) but I didn’t want to neglect my blog by being so busy. So to stay in the ‘theme’ here are some nice, strange stories, you might never have heard off, about some so-called ‘haunted houses’ in Amsterdam.

So who’s up for a nightly ghost-hunt with me?

HAUNTED AMSTERDAM

A trip through the darkest alleys of Amsterdam. This is where tortured souls of past lives wander around restlessly at Amsterdam’s most haunted places. After all, the history of Amsterdam stretches almost 800 years back and these old and narrow streets hold many spooky stories.

☠ Spooksteeg (Ghost Alley)

The Spooksteeg, the oldest part of Amsterdam in the area of the Red Light District. Here one of the city’s oldest ghosts is said to reside. It’s the ghost of a woman called Helena who lived here in the 18th century with her sister Dina and her father. One day a sailor fell in love with Dina, which infuriated Helena. Out of jealousy she threw her sister into the family’s tannery cellar making it seem like an accident when in reality, she killed her. She then went on to marry the sailor but in 1753 she admitted to the murder on her deathbed begging her husband for forgiveness. He was outraged to hear this and cursed her soul to roam restlessly in misery for all eternity.

One hundred years after her death screams were heard at Spooksteeg and sights of Helena’s ghost were reported in the dark alley whining and moaning.

☠ Bloedstraat (Blood Street)

Further up in the Red Light District and walking you will find the Bloedstraat, which connects the market square Nieuwmarkt to one of the oldest canals of the city, Oudezijds Achterburgwal. Rumours go that the name of the street stems from the blood of executed prisoners draining down to the canal from Nieuwmarkt. Another legend has it that ghost sightings are linked to the Franciscan monastery that was located on this site in the 16th century where the famous Bloedraad (Blood Council) took place under the reign of the Duke of Alba. Many claim that the spirits of those accused of being heretics and subsequently killed are still roaming this street.

☠ Dam Square

The Dam Square in the centre of Amsterdam. During the day you can enjoy all the things to see on this busy square. There are lots of tourists taking pictures and creative street artists trying to earn a bit of money. At night however, this historic square has a different vibe to it. During the Spanish Inquisition many public executions took place here and thousands were accused of witchcraft and burned at the Dam. Many believe that some tortured souls still haunt this place in the heart of Amsterdam. They remind visitors as well as locals of its gruesome past. The Amsterdam Dungeon, built on site of a 16th century cemetery, is located nearby and shining light on this topic.

☠ The Spinhuis

If you take a short walk further to Singel you can find the old spinning house (Het Spinhuis). It was founded in 1597 as a penitentiary for women. Today it is a popular hotel but back then convicted women were kept there and forced to sew garments. The most famous story surrounding this place is that of the priest and the young girl, who were not able to see each other after falling in love. The priest was devastated and committed suicide – the girl had to spend the rest of her life at the Spinhuis. It is said that one of the hotel rooms is haunted by the priest’s ghost. Even staff members are spooked by this and refuse to enter it.

☠ The ghost of Black Matthew – the robber who made a pact with the devil

Another known haunted place in Amsterdam is the one of the notorious spirit of Black Matthew! This creepy story dates back to the 13th century when a shady character called ‘Black Matthew’ was  a 13th-century bandit and magician who is said to have made a pact with the devil he spent his days gambling and using dark magic and trickery to make sure he’d always win. His luck lasted until one faithful day when he met his match in form of the devil. Now his ghost is roaming the narrow streets of Amsterdam hoping for some luck. You better watch out, because you don’t want to bump into on your way home from the pub…

☠ The doomed family of the Montelbaan Tower

Looming over the water of the Oudeschans moat, the Montelbaan Tower was erected in the early 1500s as a defense tower protecting the city from attacks. It’s believed that an entire family was killed whilst fleeing to the safety of the tower and every year on 2 June the ghosts of the doomed family are said to reappear, reliving their last tragic moments before disappearing at the top of the tower stairs.

And to capture the complete ‘feeling’ of these extraordinary places, I recommend to visit them at night!

Happy exploring!

☽ Lielo

 

CROW FUNERALS

I love birds, all kind of birds, but yes, as you might already could have guessed, especially black birds. Besides that ravens and crows are super intelligent they have some mysterious side…

CROW FUNERALS

There’s an unusual but known behavior among crows, that they gather around the bodies of their dead. A crow dead on the street or in a field will be surrounded by a few to a dozen or more crows, all seeming to contemplate their fallen comrade. In groups of maybe eight, ten, twelve, they would walk around that individual that was on the ground. And then they would fly off, and over a fifteen, twenty-minute period, eventually all the crows flew off, leaving that corpse of the crow in the road.

The notion of crow funerals has been documented but not necessarily understood, so University of Washington biologists Kaeli Swift and John Marzluff decided to create experiments to find out what exactly is happening.

If you’ve ever read about experiments with crow behavior, you might the experiments often involve researchers wearing incredibly creepy masks. Crows learn to recognize individual faces and teach their offspring who (or what) to be concerned about. And because crows have a long memory, a researcher could be disliked by local crows for decades.

An article about a face-recognizing test they did with crows.

Man Behind the Mask

At the start of her two-year experiment, Swift put out food at over a hundred sites where in Washington State, which attracted breeding and nesting crows.

Swift then had about 25 human volunteers don masks and asked them to stand near the food for 30 minutes, in clear view of the crows. The masks obscured the volunteers’ facial expressions, as well as allowed a rotating cast of people to be involved in the experiment.

Each volunteer was either holding a dead crow, standing near a dead red-tailed hawk—a crow predator—or standing near a dead red-tailed hawk holding the dead crow. (All the birds used in the experiment were taxidermied.) As the control variable in the experiment—the element that’s unchanged—there was either no volunteer present or one who was empty-handed.

Almost universally, the crows responded to seeing the people and dead birds by “scolding”—or putting out an alert call to other crows. Of the four situations, the hawk-and-dead-crow combination provoked the most reaction. The crows did not react to the empty-handed control volunteer.

The volunteers to whom the crows reacted returned to the site periodically for six weeks, though they went empty-handed. Even so, the crows continued to scold that person the entire length of the experiment, and were more wary of the area for several days—suggesting they consider people handling dead crows a threat.

In a second experiment, Swift also found the crows had a much milder response to a masked person holding a taxidermied pigeon, indicating “that crows are more sensitive to dead crows than to other kinds of birds,” Swift says.

Overall, the research showed that just the inference of danger was enough to make the crows skeptical of people.

Forget You Not

Other experiments have revealed that American crows never forget a (human) face—even for nine-and-a-half years and counting, John Marzluff, a biologist at the University of Washington and co-author on the new study, (Also see “Clever New Caledonian Crows Use One Tool to Acquire Another.)

Such a skill is beneficial for these long-lived, social birds, partly because they have to deal with unpredictable people.

If you’re a crow “some people will kill you, other people will feed you,” and that can switch if, say, a bird lover moves out of a house and someone less bird friendly moves in, Marzluff notes.

So crows have to be “nimble” in their interactions with us—and the study supports the idea “that these crows do pay attention” to individual people.

In previous research, Marzluff and his team have imaged brains of American crows and shown that the hippocampus—a part of the brain associated with learning and memory is activated by the sight of a person holding a dead crow..

“These associations may be renewed” if the threat is seen again, he says.

For instance, in 2008 Marzluff had researchers in caveman masks capture crows while others in a control mask—Dick Cheney—let the birds be. Afterward the birds ignored the harmless Cheneys but scolded and chased the cavemen, and did so for years.

So now you know; you can’t fool a crow!

☽ Lielo

 

MOURNING CLOTHING

I wear black 99% of the time, my wardrobe mostly contains out of black dresses, black t-shirts, black leggings, black vests, with maybe…maybe…a small hint of bordeaux red or grey…

People keep telling me things like..’cheer up! maybe try something…more…colorful…?’

Nope, sorry people, black is my happy color…

But wearing all-black on a regular base, isn’t actually that strange, it’s something people are doing already for over hundreds of years. For a slightly different reason than me…but definitely with a fashionable touch and for a while…only for the richest.

MOURNING CLOTHING

Elderly woman possibly dressed in mourning clothes between 1890-1900. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Public domain.

SOCIAL SIGNIFICANCE OF BLACK CLOTHING

For over 500 years, wearing black signified grief. In Europe and America, black was the color of mourning, worn at funerals and for some time after the death of a loved one. Originally a custom for royalty and aristocracy who were experiencing grief, mourning dress eventually became a fashion statement worn by people who wished to imitate the elite.

Wearing black clothing has often taken on a social significance. During the Middle Ages, wealthy Spanish gentlemen wore black velvet to display status as black dyes were expensive.

In the mid 20th century, nonconformists in the United States wore black to separate themselves from the rest, as a sort of counterculture trademark. And many years later, certain groups of young people wore black to distinguish themselves as so called Goths.

Black clothing has long been associated with the clergy and asceticism.

Some famous people claimed to wear black for political and social reasons, for the poor, and people living troubled lives.

ELITE IN THE MIDDLE AGE

During the Middle Ages, royalty and the aristocracy wore mourning dresses during periods of grief. Mourning dresses we’re regulated by law and strict protocol was observed in the kind of clothing worn at funerals and following the death of people in high social position.

During the Middle Ages, funeral processions followed guidelines based on social hierarchy. While all wore black, the procession that followed the hearse included; first the grieving family, then royalty and the aristocracy, followed by clergy, military, then the merchant class.

Black coded clothing made it clear to observers who was who in a funeral procession. High ranking mourners wore long trains and hoods made of expensive, dull shaded black wool with black or white crepe or linen trim.

Widows, in particular, wore mourning dresses, called widow’s weeds, complete with a veil when out in public for a long period of time.

In times of national mourning following the death of a sovereign, important figures wore black for specific time periods to formal events, in public, and in the company of royalty.

Mourning dresses where limited to people of the highest social strata. Sumptuary laws established rules for dresses and the practice of wearing black during grieving  was not followed by the lower classes until much later. Constraints against the wearing of black mourning attire was thought to prevent people from aping their betters. In any event, the expense of black dye prevented the common people from wearing black mourning dress.

18TH CENTURY

As the Western European economy created new wealth for the merchant class, the ability to afford expensive fabrics and fashions was no longer limited to the aristocracy.

The wealthy European merchant class hoped to copy the aristocracy in matters of dress and fashion, including the custom of mourning dresses. The new moneyed class began to defy sumptuary laws as they attempted to incorporate aristocratic etiquette into their own lives. The desire to follow the fashions of the elite encouraged them to pay fines for breaking sumptuary laws and dress like the elite.

Mourning dresses for the rich was fashionable for men and women alike with finely made fabrics and handsome clothing styles.

The Industrial Revolution affected the practice of wearing mourning dresses, creating new rules of fashion that extended beyond the aristocracy. Technological advances created a new, growing middle class. Improved manufacturing techniques enabled mass production of dull black fabrics, crepe, and mourning jewelry.

By the mid 19th century, the wearing of appropriate mourning dresses was a sign of respectability.

Queen Victoria had a huge influence on the fashions of the mid to late 1800’s. After the death of her husband, Prince Albert in 1861, Queen Victoria wore black clothing until her own death in 1901.

During Victorian times, the type of mourning dresses and the length of time one wore it was circumscribed by etiquette instead of sumptuary laws. A widow wore mourning dress for 2 1/2 years.

Full mourning lasted a full year and consisted of clothing made of dull black fabrics without embellishment or jewelry. A women in full mourning wore a veil to cover her face when she left the house. She avoided balls and frivolous events during that time.

After a year had passed, the widow added small trimmings and simple jewelry. Later, that second year, the widow, now in 1/2 mourning, added some color. Gray, mauve, and duller shades of purple and violet were suitable at that time.

Marietta Johnson

COMMERCIALIZATION OF GRIEF

Royalty traveled with complete sets of mourning dresses, just in case.

The practice of mourning dresses bled down to the lower middle class who could afford second had or simple, inexpensive black clothing. People without a lot of money often had regular clothing dyed black in order to save money.

By 1900, the growth of the ready-to-war garment industry led to the wearing of mourning dresses by better off members of the working class.

By the 1920’s, the practice of wearing mourning dresses began to subside. However, heavily Catholic countries still adhered to the practice as did folks of the older generation.

Well into the 20th century, men often wore black arm bands; and black clothing was often worn at funerals.

The custom of mourning dresses impacted the garment industry in several ways. One could not wait for mourning dress but needed a quick delivery. The need for rapid delivery created a new system of efficiency and speed in the clothing trade, helped establish department stores, and increased demand on the wholesale manufacture of women’s clothing.

 

☽ Lielo

WHAT IF YOU DIE ON A BOAT?

Think about it….you’re planning to go on a vacation. This time a bit more luxury then the backpacking you did in Vietnam last year, something you never did before and online you find a good deal for a trip on a big cruise ship.

All having fun, sailing around on the Indian Ocean and then something unfortunate happens, you got severe food poisoning from the dinner you had last night…and you die…

But then? What will they do? Do they keep your body on the boat? Will they trow your body overboard? It’s not a very common situation right?

It’s quite hard to find some recent photo’s of morgues on a cruise-ship, but this is an example of a morgue on the SS UNITED STATES, photo by: Peter Knego 2012 

Sadly, this happens more often than you think. While no cruise line would give an exact number of deaths per year, but statistics say that, up to 3 people die per week on cruises world-wide, particularly on lines that typically carry older passengers.

Most cases of death on cruise ships are natural, with most the result of heart attacks. But even when death is not entirely unexpected, such as when someone with advanced-staged cancer chooses to cruise.

But no worries, most cruise-lines have procedures in place for dealing with these situations, including employees specifically trained to provide emotional and logistical support to grieving loved ones.

Bodies can be stored in shipboard morgues as needed. Each oceangoing cruise ship is required to carry body bags and maintain a morgue. Separate from food storage areas, most morgues are small, with room for three to six bodies.

On standard cruise-line, remains are typically kept in the onboard morgue until the ship returns to the mainland where a death certificate can be issued by the local medical examiner’s office. But when the ship is far from its homeport or doesn’t have a homeport, the body must be repatriated from somewhere.

But neither the consulate nor the cruise line pays for anything; they only help the family make arrangements. And repatriation, with all its necessary paperwork and hassle and is not inexpensive!

☽ Lielo