Welcome to the official website for Orlando Gibson

•28 October, 2008 • Comments Off on Welcome to the official website for Orlando Gibson

‘Orlando Gibson speaks’ is a weekly magazine website

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This site offers a sometimes humorous, but always thought provoking look at the news of today, and the issues of tomorrow, across the world

The magazine, like myself, has relocated to Australia, where I will to give you an insight into the flavour of a life ‘down under’. However contributors to the magazine are worldwide giving this site a broad international prospective.

So grab a drink, settle back into your chair and enjoy this regularly updated site.

If any of the topics are of particular interest to you, bookmark my site and call again.

Feel free to sign the guest book

If you have an article, an essay, a rant, or even if you want to respond to any of the articles published in this magazine, then send it to me and I will publish it

Contact me at the usual email address

Enjoy

All articles, editorials, and commentary on this site are the copyright of Orlando Gibson.

Reproduction of any part of the website must first have the permission of Orlando Gibson.

Copyright ©

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Tips and tricks for enjoying Seminyak, Bali

•18 February, 2018 • Leave a Comment

Seminyak is lively, vibrant and based north of Dempasar airport. It is a go-to destination for Australians to party, be loud, and scream “wo-wo” when a song they like is played.

Before arrival I would recommend downloading this offline map: https://maps.me/

It will allow you to find locations, suggest routes, and direct you to locations without the need for international roaming, or access to mobile data.

When booking your accommodation, check that there are no building works or renovations planned for your residence or the adjoining properties. If so, ensure that they price the accommodation accordingly, or compensate you in other ways.

You should never go anywhere without local currency, however I would suggest that you only get a small amount before you arrive. There are a number of reputable money changers in Seminyak and the exchange rates are considerably better locally and without commission.

However, check the rate that is advertised is the rate that you are getting; ensure that the teller counts the money out and then steps away from the money, allowing you to pick it up yourself to count it; watch for the slight of hand as they count out your money; watch for slight of hand as they replace your money with damaged or torn money; and watch out for different rates for different denominations of currency.

When you exit the airport, you will be confronted with taxi drivers wanting to take you to your destination. If you choose to use one of these drivers it is important to arrange the price before beginning your journey with them.

The journey from the airport should cost no more than 175,000 rupees as an upper limit normally charged by hotels. Return journeys should be considerably less, and should be negotiated in the hours before your departure for the airport.

The journey to and from the airport under normal circumstances should take about 20 minutes, however the government is building an underpass at a critical junction near the airport, and it now takes from forty-five minutes, up to an hour and a half. These roadworks are likely to take up to one year to complete, at the time of this article.

Blue-bird taxis are the official metered taxis, and if you wish to avoid bartering, you should take one of these, however be aware of other taxis that also paint their cars blue that do not have a meter. If you use an unmetered taxi, be sure to negotiate a price prior to setting out.

There is a public bus service that runs every half an hour from Seminyak Square that will take you to a number of locations. Prices for each one way ticket on various lines that go to and from a main hub, vary from 20,000 to 50,000 rupees.

None of the prices advertised in shops, bars, massage parlours and restaurants include the 15% government tax and 5% service charge. You should always consider these additional amounts when gauging the price of your purchase.

Seminyak is not cheap. Cocktails ate around 100,000 rupees and Bingtang beer is between 25,000 and 45,000, Fanta is 10,000, Crisps are between 17,000 and 35,000, Breakfast menus are around 90,000, 450 grams of pork ribs is 175,000, and a whole roasted pig is 2.7million. Massages are very reasonably priced and can cost 100,000 rupees for one hour.

Always check that the amount that you are being charged for drinks, meals and goods, are the same amount that are being advertised on the menu.

You should budget for about $50 per day between food, drinks, activities and taxis.

If you wish to hire a van to take you to Jimbaran, wait for 5 hours while you enjoy the beach and get some seafood and bring you back, this will cost between 250,000 and 300,000 rupees.

Work under the assumption that all prices are suggestions and that negotiations are a part of everyday business.

A lot of plastic rubbish washes up on the beaches of Seminyak, so you will see groups of volunteers clearing the beaches as you go for your morning walk.

The beach has no shade and the sun and humidity become oppressive after 09.00am, so get your morning exercise in early, or wait until the sun goes down in the evening.

There are a lot of stray dogs on the beach and roads. Generally they are harmless, however they can turn aggressive very quickly, so either walk with a stick on the beach or back away very slowly maintaining eye contact if you are confronted.

If you are unfortunate enough to get sick and require medical or hospital attention, there are a few things of which you should be aware.

Always have the details of your travel medical insurance provider about your person, either in your phone, purse or wallet.

No hospital or medical facility will admit you without knowing how the bill will be paid. Often you will be required to provide a credit card until you can identify your travel medical insurance provider and the coverage it provides.

Know your excess liability on your policy and ensure that is the only amount that you pay when you are being discharged.

Hospitals have been known to say that your medical insurance only covers so much of the treatment, and that you have to pay as much as an additional $2500. This is where having your medical insurance provider on speed dial is useful, to clarify any misunderstandings.

Even once the correct excess has been identified, look out for the further slight of hand, as your excess may be increased by $100 or more, due to exchange rate differences or administration costs. Stand your ground. The only out of pocket expense that you should pay is the exact amount of the excess on your policy.

When you are returning back at the airport, you must have access to your boarding pass in order to get into the check-in area. This can be electronic or paper, but the guards to the check-in area will require sight of the flight number, date and time of the flights, along with your name. This seems to be an increasing protocol across a lot of Asian countries.

It is best to download these before you get to the airport as wifi access at the airport dose not appear to cater for downloading boarding passes or emails.

These are 100ml liquid checks at the gates before boarding the plane throughout Asian airports so drink your water or throw it away, and ask about your duty free allocation coming in and leaving.

If you watch out for these pitfalls you will have a great time in Seminyak. The people are friendly and everyone is looking out for an opportunity.

Enjoy.

Masking a WordPress URL with a GoDaddy URL

•14 October, 2017 • Leave a Comment

I have just started using a WordPress platform for business rather than pleasure.

Many WordPress administrators who use GoDaddy for their Web hosting company create their sites and then mask the actual URL with a domain name.

The administrator redirects the domain name to the WordPress URL and the domain name hides the actual URL of the site.

When the user types the specified domain name into a Web browser’s address bar, the WordPress site with the hidden URL opens in their browser and the domain name displays in the browser address bar.

GoDaddy provides this function through the Web hosting dashboard.

 

1. Open a Web browser and log in to your GoDaddy Web hosting dashboard.

2. Click the “Launch” option next to the Domains category header. The Domain Manager opens in the browser.
3. Click the domain name that will be used to mask the WordPress URL.
4. Click the “Forward” option, then click “Forward Domain.”
5. Click the “http://” drop-down box, then click “http://,” or click “https://” if your WordPress site uses SSL.
6. Type the URL of the WordPress site into the “Forward” input box.
7. Click the “Advanced Options” link.
8. Click the radio button next to the “Forward and Masking” option. Type a title for the WordPress site into the “Title” input box and add a description, if desired. Type keywords into the “Keyword” input box, if desired.
9. Click “OK.” The domain name is forwarded to the WordPress site, and the URL of the WordPress site is masked by the specified domain name.

Warning

  • The forwarding and masking process may take up to 48 hours to fully propagate through domain name servers.

01.02.17 – Rising tide

•2 February, 2017 • Leave a Comment

The tides are higher than normal at 16.00hrs these days, and the beaches are looking more deserted.

I am trying to work out whether it is because the tide is high and therefore the beach tourists are trying to avoid getting wet, or whether there is a natural lull in the number of tourists to the island.

Either way I benefit, as I now regularly have the waters to myself, observed only by another die hard local who braves these now choppier waters.

As my time comes to a close I find myself reflecting on how I underestimated the impact of being a Black man, in a Black country.

Yes, Barbados is not immune to the ‘shades of Black’ colour politics, but at the end of the day, I have found myself much more relaxed in my surroundings.

I find that I do not factor in whether someone is being racist when treating be badly or well.

I find that when I am in a position where I might make others feel uncomfortable, I know that it is because it is dark, or I am man, and not because I am Black.

Being Black, has been one less thing that I have needed to take into consideration, when going about my daily life.

It is not the same as growing up in a multicultural London, because although we were of many cultures and fought to be seen as equals, we were still identified as being Black and therefore categorised in that London multicultural, tossed salad of a society.

Living in Australia will take some adjustment again, as it is a country that is only now learning to live with its Black people. Australia has a history of killing off, breeding out, or annexing their indigenous Black population, and is only now learning to deal with a new generation of local and immigrant Blacks.

Even amongst the Black population in Australia there is conflict as some indigenous leaders refuse to accept their Black British, West Indian, African, Afro American, Pacific Islander and other Black cousins as being Black. These leaders instead prefer to non indigenous Blacks as ‘Other’ as if they are the only Blacks in the world.

I often am forced to remind them that even though they are the oldest culture an attachment to the same land mass, this does not make them the oldest culture, and certainly not the first Blacks.

The question of how Black someone is does not appear to be one that is raised much in Barbados.

These questions have been replaced by more practical everyday questions of political corruption, poor customer service and a lack of pride in ones pursuits. Unfortunately the energy we have save not having to actively be black, has not been channelled into resolving these other now pressing issues.

30.01.17 Rebellion

•31 January, 2017 • Leave a Comment

“I do not understand why young people rebel. If young people just listen to their parents, they would learn all they need to know” Guess how. “Rebellion only takes place in one parent families, or families that are unstable. Rebellion only takes place when children / people listen to external voices and influences rather than internal voices.

“I disagree”, I disagreed “Where as there are some people who are easily influenced and led like sheep, there are some who are driven to rebellion internally. The whole concept of rebelling against your parents is a method of learning to challenge authority now so that you have the skills to challenge authority safely and with desired results in the real world.”

I then stumbled through some bad examples of my good point such as challenging decisions made by your boss at work, challenging politicians when they are corrupt and challenging governments when they no longer reflect our best interests.

Then from my cousins mouth came the reason for this article.

“If the slaves had not rebelled, they would not have been killed. If they had prayed, God would have resolved their problem. Look at General Bassa, if he had got on his knees and prayed for freedom rather than taking up arms and leading the rebellion in Barbados, he would have a testimony to give to the Lord, instead he died.”

I could not contain my frustration any further.

“So you are saying that slaves should have waited to be freed by God rather than fighting for their freedom. You would be content to sit on you knees praying with the whip being broken across your back waiting for divine intervention, while others fought and died for your freedom.”

“My duty is to my family”, he responded “My job is to protect them not rebel and cause trouble”.

I interjected “By rebelling you are protecting them. You are standing up for their rights and their place in society. Look at Moses, he rebelled by taking the slaves out of Egypt. Look at Martin Luther King, he rebelled as one of the leader of the civil rights movement.”

This statement now enraged my cousin who sat up from his relaxed posture to a more defensive poise.

“Now stop it Orlando” he insisted “I will not have you besmirching the name of Doctor King. The man was a leader not a rebel”.

“He was a rebel to the white governors, politicians and racists who did not want to see black people get equal rights or vote.” I exclaimed.

My cousin rubbed his head in dismay, refusing the thought of Doctor King being a rebel and not analysing what it meant to lead a civil rights group in the sixties in America under Jim Crow.

He shot back, “Next you will be defiling the name of the peaceful leader in South Africa, you know, whose name begins with M”.

“Do you mean Mandela?” I bellowed, now loosing all patience and no longer caring that I was a guest in my cousin’s home. “He was a rebel in its most violent definition. He was branded such by the British government when he bombed railway stations and government offices. He turned to peaceful protest when he was locked up for his crimes, crimes carried out to free South Africa from apartheid. You need to read a book. You need to read another book other than the bible and expand your historical and philosophical references”.

By this point I had lost my composure and had started responding to his passive not so subtle insults of, “If you had read your bible you would see…” with my own “if you had read more widely you would see…”

At several points of clarity I tried to move the conversation away from is Deus Ex agenda, but each time was dragged back into an ‘actions of man verses waiting for God’ conversation.

The hour grew late, and I said my farewells, even then dogging the well meant, but misjudged and misplaced comment from my cousin.

We should be left on better terms, we should have restrained our egos, but this is all too often where our debates take us.

19.10.17 – Hands on

•20 January, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Most days I walk down to the beach and I pass relatively newly developed houses on the lower plains of Maxwell.

Most people when building a house would leave the day to day construction of the house up to a site manager, however one new development has taken a different approach.

One development has the Indian owner onsite all day. He supervised as the foundation was being dug, and the sand being laid, he supervised as the walls were being measured and the steal and concrete being poured.

I even saw his rolling up his sleeves and carrying out final measurements while work took place around him.

I have no doubt that this has cut down on his waste and missing materials, as well as keeping the project on track.

If only everyone building a house could take the time off to supervise the building of the property in person.

16.01.17 – Estate Agents

•17 January, 2017 • Leave a Comment

I am in the process of renting out my house in Barbados. It consists of a tree bedroom flat downstairs and upstairs there is a two and one bedroom flat. It is not a small concern and is important for the self sustaining prospect of the estate.

Over the last couple of weeks I have seen a barrage of estate agents in different guises.

Some are hungry for the work and make every effort to take notes, look around the property and really listen to what I want. They also give of themselves by discussing there own experiences in this game and making useful suggestions on how the property could be rented quickly.

Others are full, either because they do not cater for the rental market that I would attract, or they are long in the tooth, or do not need to take on any more properties in order to live comfortably.

One agent set about telling me how the property should have been rebuilt from scratch in order to attract a rental prospect, while another discussed the moral dilemmas that he is forced to bare being an estate agent.

Once couple could not stop looking down their noses at me and made it clear in actions more than words that a person such as I should not be in possession of a property such as this, and they would have been much happier dealing with a lighter complexion.

Once thing that most of them stated, was that they met people from all walks of life in tenants and landlords, buyers and sellers, tourists and returning nationals.

16.01.17 – Better under whites

•17 January, 2017 • Leave a Comment

“Africa was better run when it was under the white people. Robert Mugabe went wrong by kicking out all the white people from Zimbabwe before they could teach the Blacks how to farm. The black farmers should have left the white farmers where they were, and set up in an adjoining farm so that they could learn from the whites.”

It was Wednesday night and I had swung by my cousin for our usual late night debate.

There was so much wrong with his sentence that I did not know where to start.

I wanted to talk about Mugabe starting off as a puppet for the British empire, even being rewarded with a knighthood for his role. I wanted to talk about how his decline into dictatorial madness was overlooked by the British because he provided the firm hand of stability in this once British region of Africa.

But I was not being heard. He was on a roll because at some point in his past he had read a book on this subject, although with these statements, I am not sure whether the author was not a person that longed for the return of the empire upon which the sun never sets.

He continued “Look at all the countries in the world. Those run by white people are prospering, and those run by blacks are struggling, and corrupt.”

His statement though unfortunately accurate, had not taken into consideration why this was the case. That centuries of self serving colonial interest in the Africas had raped the countries of there original government structure, civilisation, education, and natural resources, before leaving it without the trade contracts vital to sell to the western world, as well as deliberately destabilising the governments so that they would constantly war against each other, and not mobilise into the power cartel they could be.

His “white is right” outlook was no longer unusual to me, as this is one of many conversations that we have had on similar subjects.

Only recently in an evening promenade, I was forced to make him aware of the fact that he was only acknowledging the white tourists that were also enjoying and evening walk along the boardwalk, and not the Blacks.

He continued

“If we want to make political and economic change here in the Caribbean, if first needs to happen in Africa”

“I disagree” I interjected “I believe that we should not wait for others to make change and fro us to follow, I believe that we all change, wherever we are and the world follows.”

He allowed me to continue

“Change happens at a grass roots level and grows up through the political system as we demand more from our politicians and the people that we have elected to represent us. Politicians work for us, they are not doing us a favour.”

He continued to disagree and we continued to have a lively debate about a slowly rotating number of subjects, well into the evening.