This is what passes as a beach in Birmingham... a pile of sand, some lawnchairs and a giant screen that alternates between the BBC news and ocean scenes. All in the square in front of the Library. It's also a very multicultural area, you can see Sikhs in traditional garb, Muslim women wearing head scarves or the full hijab, and Arab men in their traditional robes, as well as the usual cross-section of Anglo/Celtic peoples.

The UK recently implemented a far-reaching smoking ban. Not only can you not smoke in any indoor public areas, but that also includes bus stops and train platforms. Right....

BTW, the silly orange knapsack contained the kids lunch for the day, and they were tired, so I got drafted to carry it. The Don King hair was a result of a windy day and roller coasters.

This was a more or less random English bloke we met in the pub, mugging for the camera with our gay-sian friend Adam. (In Britain, Asian refers to people from South Asia, not Oriental nationas like China and Japan. For example, Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, or Sri Lanka.) Another note: Oriental -- as applied to a people group -- is the accepted nomenclature in much of the world for the peoples of East Asia, and carries none of the slightly racist perjorative overtones that the word has in the US. For my American readers, Oriental should only be used to refer to objects, like a vase or rug, and the term Asian applies to peoples from Japan, the Koreas, etc. Sociology lesson complete.


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