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#544967 - Sun Aug 15 2010 09:30 PM Interview with Sypher
Pagiedamon Offline
Moderator

Registered: Sun Jun 15 2008
Posts: 2592
Loc: North Carolina USA
gtho4
You joined FT back in September 1999. Did you expect to still be here 11 years later...how many members from back then are still members today?


Actually I think I joined before that but Terry never had a joined date at the creation of this site, so I think 30th Sept. 1999 was when that feature came into existence. I would have never expected to still be coming to this site 11 years on and most of the members I knew back at the start are still here except for a splinter group that moved onto another site about six years ago. The members who have been here the longest are mostly FT editors, moderators or admin for this site.

gtho4 and ren33
Sypher is an unusual choice of username...is it connected with your love of comic book characters? How did you choose it?


Back when I was a kid and not that far back, me and my brother collected comic books especially Marvel X titles such as X-Men, X-Factor and New Mutants. There was this one character called Cipher, who didn't have such an offensive power but more of a creative power, he was able to decipher and decrypt languages. I thought that was kind of cool. There was also this one story where he feels for this girl at the local school dance, liked her a lot but never told her he was a mutant. What he didn't know was she was also a mutant (her power was making light sculptures) but she was too afraid to tell anyone as mutants were outcasts and hunted. Anyway, some of her school friends thought it might be fun to play a joke on her and threaten to tell the authorities she was a mutant (even though they didn't know she was). The girl was so scared that in the end she took her own life. Cipher made a speech at her funeral (I can't remember exactly what the words were) but I do remember the spirit of it and it must have some kind of impact as I still remember the story 25 years on. Just in case anyone else thought I might have got this name from The Matrix, look at my start date, it was way before the films were ever made.

Ozzz2002
You spend most of your time in the Tipping Comp threads, and you are quite successful. What is your secret? Do you study form, or is it all just luck?


I used to visit most of the forums but I somehow ended up in the Tipping comps which is quite appropriate as I am very competitive and I hate to lose (according to my wife and family). I don't really have a secret for my success as most comps I just guess (especially the US ones such as MLB, NBA and NHL). I must admit that I do have some knowledge of who is who now in the NRL and AFL after playing these comps for soo long. I don't really study form but I do look at how the tables stand to see if they are on a winning streak or a losing one.

sue943
One of your bright ideas in the early days of the forums was Snake. Can you tell us about the game: where you got the idea from and why did you give it up?


Back in the very early days of the forums, there wasn't much traffic in the areas I moderated. That area was called 'Fun and Games'. Originally that forum was going to be about computer games, board games etc but I only managed to get a few posts a day so I thought I would bring Snake to the forum to build up traffic. I was first introduced to the game when I was 11 where after the children’s service at the local synagogue, the person in charge (not the Rabbi) would get all of us to play this game.
For those who don’t know the rules, it is very similar to all of the Chain games except each week there would be a different topic which was suggested by the previous week winner. You got a point for every letter in your word but it must start with the last letter of the previous posted answer. After running the game for 75 straight weeks I thought it would be a good idea to finish it as other forums were now playing the game but in ‘Chain’ form and not for points. Snake done what it needed which was to boost traffic to my little area of this site.

Ozzz2002
The last quiz you wrote was way back in 2001. Any plans for any more?


I wrote most of my quizzes when it first started after Terry asked if the moderators could supply a few. If I was going to write any more than they would probably be about comic characters as I have a vast collection and know quite a bit, but I’m not sure if I would write any more as I don’t really have any spare time at work like I used to in the past.

Ozzz2002
Staying with quizzes- you do not seem to play many. Too busy, or does the trivia side not interest you?


I played most of the quizzes when I’m at work when I have nothing to do but that pretty much changed about four years ago when I started a new job (still there today). I’m lucky if I have time to get up and stretch my legs, let alone play any quizzes, but I do try to fit one in here and there. The trivia side to this site was never the main reason why I kept coming back day after day; it was the members and how much fun the forums were.

sue943
I would think that you hold the record for the maximum number of FT members that have been met in the flesh, so to speak. Do you have any idea of just how many of us that you have met? Were we all as you expected?


You could be right about me holding the record. I think I have met about eight members In Australia, one in Hong Kong and several when we had that meet up in London about five years ago where you and I met for the first time. That was a scary experience because I always thought you were like this school head teacher (what with being the Head Admin here) and I didn’t know whether you were going to talk to me as I was affiliated with the splinter group from years ago, but you were kind and sweet to chat too and it was a great day.

Apart from you (sue943), I never really judge someone until I meet them and I had no idea what to expect, but at least no one turned out to be a crazed axe-wielding fanatic. Out of all the members I have met, only two of them have I seen twice – gtho4 and Ren. Both were exactly as they sounded (only spoke to them on the phone before meeting them) and I still keep in regular contact with gtho4.

ren33
Tell us about your love of sports. I know you love soccer; what other sports do you enjoy?


Yes, I love football (soccer to the Americans) and my range of sports dramatically increased when I started to play and host the tipping comps. Out of all the sports I tip on, I do enjoy watching any kind of rugby as I’m not bothered if it’s Union or League. I’m partial to a bit of tennis but only when a Brit is playing, so that’s not very often. Anytime a British or English team is competing against the Australians, then I watch and usually ring gtho4 for a good old chuckle about how naff both teams are doing. When I was younger, I used to play a lot of sports including Rugby, football, basketball and baseball but I picked up one too many injuries which kind of ended my sports. Now, I ten pin bowl every week in a local league.

gtho4
How long have you been a Spurs supporter?


I’ve been a Tottenham Hotspur fan since I was a kid at school. You know how it is, you are either told by your parents or siblings that this is the team you will support because they support them or you follow the crowd at school and pick the best team in the league. Unfortunately I did neither as each member of my family support a different team. My dad supports Chelsea, my brother is a West Ham fan whilst my sister supports Arsenal.

Copago
What big sporting event would you like to go to and why?


I would love to see the opening ceremony of either the World Cup or the Olympics. I doubt I will get a chance to see the World Cup but at least the Olympics are coming to London in 2012. I’m hoping that I will be able to afford the tickets when they become available. As to why, those two events to me are the biggest you are ever going to see, anything else would be small in comparison. The only other event that would eclipse those two would be if Spurs ever made it to the Champions League Final.

sue943
Who will be number one in F1 this season?


Tough question considering you don’t have the best drivers in the best cars. I believe the fastest cars this year are from Red Bull but their drivers are not the best. That honour lies with Lewis Hamilton. I also don’t like the new points system as I don’t think this shows a true reflection of how good a driver has been.

gtho4
Have you always lived in London?


Yes, I was born in Barking, East London. I grew up in Barkingside and when I finally moved out from my parents’ house, I went to Romford, Essex. My parents were not the travelling type and as such I grew up in the same house all of my life. I once considered that I had enough of England when I was 16 and that by the time I was 24 I would be living in Toronto, Canada. I don’t know why Canada, but that never happened as I met Julie (my wife). If I was going to move anywhere now, it would be Australia. The lifestyle is so much more relaxed then it is here in London.

gtho4
Apart from the day you watched the NSW Waratahs play, saw Sydney, and met ozzz2002 and gtho4; what was the biggest day in your life?


My wife would kill me if I didn’t say my wedding day, but I would have to agree that it was. I’ve never really had any grand events but I do have lots of smaller days. Every holiday to a new location is a great day and meeting up with people who you have only spoken to but never seen is always cool.

Ozzz2002
Do you have any plans to return to Australia. We had a great time when you were here last!


I would love to go back to Australia but I would have to convince the wife that the travelling is not such a big deal considering how far she has flown when we went to Hawaii. Isn’t it time for you and gtho4 to make your way to London considering I have been twice to your country?

ren33
You are a much travelled lad. What countries have you enjoyed and where do you want to go next?


I loved New Zealand, the scenery was beautiful and so peaceful but I’m a city boy and the isolation would drive me insane. Australia is everything I would love. It has the weather, nightlife and great people. I’m going to have to mention that Hong Kong was an experience but that is greatly due to you Ren for showing me the sites and once more when my parents were with me.

I tend to consider a holiday is not a holiday unless I have to fly at least five hours out from London. I’m hoping next year to return to Hawaii, but on a cruise which will take in all of the islands unlike my previous visit where we only stayed in Waikiki. My most visited place has been Las Vegas, USA. This town seems to change with every visit and I expect I will never get tired of travelling to this wonderful place. My next holiday is with my father and brother, as my dad wanted a boy’s holiday. We are off to India and Sri Lanka to see the sites and where my dad grew up.

gtho4
Shipwrecked on a desert island - name the five songs or albums and five DVDs you'd take along.


Damn, that’s a tough question but here I go with my all time Top Five songs.
1. In Your Eyes – Peter Gabriel
2. Your Latest Trick – Dire Straits
3. In the Air Tonight – Phil Collins
4. Power of Love – Huey Lewis and the News
5. Paradise by a Dashboard Light – Meatloaf

Top Five DVDs
1. Back to the Future Trilogy
2. Star Wars Trilogy (IV to VI)
3. The Forbidden Kingdom
4. Ferris Bueller’s Day off
5. Say Anthing

ren33
You lead a busy life with a full-time day job and night time as a DJ. How do you juggle these, and will you ever choose one of these occupations exclusively (I mean drop one occupation)?


If I was able to secure a regular gig for at least four nights a week on a permanent basis then my day job would have to go as I love to DJ. In the meantime, I only seem to have gigs at weekends with the occasional one during the week, which isn’t so bad as I survive easily on five hours sleep a night. The juggling gets easier but you forgot to throw in the wife. Any spare time I have I usually spend it with the Julie.

sue943
How did you get into DJ-ing and how long have you been doing it?


I fell into DJing by luck. When I was 13, I was at my local youth club and one night no-one was behind the decks (turntables) and as such no music was being played. This task is usually performed by one of the senior members but no-one wanted to do it that night, so I stepped in and after that night ended up DJing there for the next five years. I started my own mobile discos company when I was 18 using a loan from my dad and have been playing ever since. The answer is 25 years, but 20 years as Unforgettable Discos.

Copago
As a DJ, what is your kind of music? Do you get to play it much in your work or do you have to play other music and is that hard to do?


I love soul especially from the 80s and Motown but as a Mobile DJ you have to cater for everyone’s taste. There will always be a time at the function that I will be able to play one of my favourites but you do have to play what the crowd wants especially the people who have hired you. When I DJ at nightclubs, my style changes as I need to play more club music rather than party tunes.

The hardest gigs I have had was when I DJ for an Indian Cricket team. They handed me some CDs with Bangra music on and I was told that they would like this and that track played . It’s hard enough to mix music in English but I had no idea if I was mixing one tune to another in the middle of a sentence as it was not in English. The gig went well and they all loved it!

gtho4
How many records/albums are there in your collection? Can you name all of them, lol?


Can I name all of them? - No chance as I have over a few thousand albums. I do know that I have about 1000 7” vinyl singles and at least 800 12” vinyl records. I take about 1000 CDs with me to each gig and that is only a third of my collection. I also own an mp3 player which at the last count had over 10,000 tracks.

gtho4
When do we get to hear the pitty-patter of little feet around your house?


That, my friend, will be never as my wife and I have decided to have none. We love our nieces and nephews and they are always welcome to stay, but it’s so nice to hand them back afterwards.

Thanks to everyone who participated.

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#544994 - Sun Aug 15 2010 11:12 PM Re: Interview with Sypher
ren33 Offline
Moderator

Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 12434
Loc: Kowloon Tong  Hong Kong      
That's a really great interview, Pagie and Joe! I really felt I know him better, even though we met twice already.
Well done all!
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#544996 - Sun Aug 15 2010 11:18 PM Re: Interview with Sypher
ozzz2002 Offline
Moderator

Registered: Mon Dec 03 2001
Posts: 20129
Loc: Sydney
NSW Australia
Great stuff, Joe, and well orchestrated by Paige. I may get to England one day- who knows?
_________________________
The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not smashing it.

Ex-Editor, Hobbies and Sports, and Forum Moderator

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#545003 - Mon Aug 16 2010 12:06 AM Re: Interview with Sypher
Terry Offline
Head Honcho

Registered: Wed Dec 31 1969
Posts: 20771
Loc: USA
Was fun meeting you a couple of yrs ago Joe smile Hope that wobbly bridge doesn't fall down wink

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#545010 - Mon Aug 16 2010 12:47 AM Re: Interview with Sypher
gtho4 Online   FT-blank
Administrator

Registered: Sun Dec 26 1999
Posts: 51368
Loc: Sydney
oz downunder
great interview!

mate,
would you like to adopt two boys .. they always do what they're told, they never answer back or give you any lip, clean 'n tidy, they don;t chuck wheelies when they borrow the car, and they don't throw their clothes down the hallway when they come home. No charge, zilch .. they're yours for free.

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#545013 - Mon Aug 16 2010 01:01 AM Re: Interview with Sypher
Sypher Offline
Moderator

Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 15933
Loc: East London
England UK    
LOL....They seem better behaved then myself !!
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#545038 - Mon Aug 16 2010 02:55 AM Re: Interview with Sypher
srini701 Offline
Star Poster

Registered: Wed Jan 04 2006
Posts: 10164
Loc: Hyderabad India           
Great and nice interview, Sypher....nice knowing a little more about you...
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"Don't use a lot where a little will do" -- Proverb

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#545041 - Mon Aug 16 2010 03:29 AM Re: Interview with Sypher
sue943 Offline
Administrator

Registered: Sun Dec 19 1999
Posts: 37422
Loc: Jersey
Channel Islands    
Great interview Joe.
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Many a child has been spoiled because you can't spank a Grandma!

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#545065 - Mon Aug 16 2010 06:22 AM Re: Interview with Sypher
PurpleFan Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Fri Oct 22 1999
Posts: 2249
Loc: New Westminster BC Canada
Have you ever considered coming to Canada?

We have some lovely sights and I think you will find that we are very polite and welcoming.

Very well done.It was a great interview.
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All Things Purple Are Relative!

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#545081 - Mon Aug 16 2010 07:01 AM Re: Interview with Sypher
Sypher Offline
Moderator

Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 15933
Loc: East London
England UK    
Originally Posted By: PurpleFan
Have you ever considered coming to Canada?

We have some lovely sights and I think you will find that we are very polite and welcoming.

Very well done.It was a great interview.



I've been to Toronto when I was 18 but that was just a flyby visit as Toronto International was the nearest airport for where I was staying in America. I thought Toronto was very clean and pleasant, in fact after that visit I really wanted to immigrate there but alas I did not as I met Julie. I would revisit and take in some more sites but like with everything else, I have to pass it with the boss (wife) as it would be her holiday as well.
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I'll get enough sleep when I'm dead !!

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#545082 - Mon Aug 16 2010 07:02 AM Re: Interview with Sypher
Sypher Offline
Moderator

Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 15933
Loc: East London
England UK    
The forum is now open to all sort of questions.....
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#545393 - Mon Aug 16 2010 09:14 PM Re: Interview with Sypher
ozfei Offline
Multiloquent

Registered: Mon Sep 25 2006
Posts: 2276
Loc: Deception Bay QLD�Australiaï...
Have you ever visited any part of Australia other than Sydney?
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#545402 - Mon Aug 16 2010 10:43 PM Re: Interview with Sypher
srini701 Offline
Star Poster

Registered: Wed Jan 04 2006
Posts: 10164
Loc: Hyderabad India           
Where in India are you planning to visit when you come in Nov? smile
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"Don't use a lot where a little will do" -- Proverb

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#545413 - Tue Aug 17 2010 01:56 AM Re: Interview with Sypher
Sypher Offline
Moderator

Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 15933
Loc: East London
England UK    
Originally Posted By: ozfei
Have you ever visited any part of Australia other than Sydney?


On my second trip to Australia I went to Cairns on the basis that I would be scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef, but just as luck went out of fashion a massive storm front arrived and washed out Cairns for 3 days and all boats were not going out. So, what did I see in Cairns - Rambo IV !! Needless to say we left Cannes a day early, met up with Gtho4 and Ozzz2002 and saw something so much better - NSW Waratahs !!

I'vs also been down the coast from Sydney to visit another FT member as well as Wollongong where we got a great behind the scenes tour at the Wollongong Science centre and Planetarium. Thank you Nannanut !!

Does the Blue mountains, Manly and Bondi Beach count as visiting somewhere else apart from Sydney?


Edited due to spelling Cairns as Cannes - Thanks Ozzz2002


Edited by Sypher (Tue Aug 17 2010 02:57 AM)
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I'll get enough sleep when I'm dead !!

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#545414 - Tue Aug 17 2010 02:00 AM Re: Interview with Sypher
Sypher Offline
Moderator

Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 15933
Loc: East London
England UK    
Originally Posted By: srini701
Where in India are you planning to visit when you come in Nov? smile


Well, we land in Delhi where after 1 day we will be doing the Golden Triangle -Jaipur and Agra then back to Delhi. After that exhausting trip, we will be flying to Mumbai and staying there for about 3 or 4 days (not sure). Then we (my dad, brother and myself) will be flying off to Sri Lanka for the remainder of the holiday.

Back to England and then it's my birthday !! Good Times !!
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I'll get enough sleep when I'm dead !!

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#545420 - Tue Aug 17 2010 02:32 AM Re: Interview with Sypher
ozzz2002 Offline
Moderator

Registered: Mon Dec 03 2001
Posts: 20129
Loc: Sydney
NSW Australia
Joe, Cannes is in France! Cairns is in Queensland smile
_________________________
The key to everything is patience. You get the chicken by hatching the egg, not smashing it.

Ex-Editor, Hobbies and Sports, and Forum Moderator

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#545421 - Tue Aug 17 2010 02:56 AM Re: Interview with Sypher
Sypher Offline
Moderator

Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 15933
Loc: East London
England UK    
Might as well be in France !!
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I'll get enough sleep when I'm dead !!

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#545437 - Tue Aug 17 2010 04:22 AM Re: Interview with Sypher
Gatsby722 Offline
Pure Diamond

Registered: Fri May 18 2001
Posts: 123698
Loc: Canton
Ohio USA    
That was a real fun interview smile! I felt like I was sharing a beer with Mr. Sypher reading! A DJ-by-night? Who knew? I sure didn't. Which brings to mind a question:

Which musician that has died in the past 50 years, in your opinion, has left behind the greatest impact? Legacy? Which would you spin with the most honor?
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"The best teacher is not the one who knows most but the one who is most capable of reducing knowledge to that simple compound of the obvious and wonderful." ... H. L. Mencken


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#545441 - Tue Aug 17 2010 04:58 AM Re: Interview with Sypher
Sypher Offline
Moderator

Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 15933
Loc: East London
England UK    
Originally Posted By: Gatsby722
That was a real fun interview smile! I felt like I was sharing a beer with Mr. Sypher reading! A DJ-by-night? Who knew? I sure didn't. Which brings to mind a question:

Which musician that has died in the past 50 years, in your opinion, has left behind the greatest impact? Legacy? Which would you spin with the most honor?


Ahhhhh, I could go for the obvious ones but every musician from the past has left a little of themselves otherwise noone would remember them. I personally think some of the great soul artists and R'n'B (not today's RnB) left the most such as Marvin Gaye, James Brown and Ray Charles. I also think that there are some living legends which still inspire younger artists like Stevie Wonder. I do enjoy spinning the older tracks which have got heart and soul instead of today's run of the mill dance tracks.
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I'll get enough sleep when I'm dead !!

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#545443 - Tue Aug 17 2010 05:07 AM Re: Interview with Sypher
Gatsby722 Offline
Pure Diamond

Registered: Fri May 18 2001
Posts: 123698
Loc: Canton
Ohio USA    
Thank you, Sypher. And I agree with you. Little pieces of their heart(s) all over the place. That you mentioned Marvin Gaye made my day, though, especially smile!
_________________________
"The best teacher is not the one who knows most but the one who is most capable of reducing knowledge to that simple compound of the obvious and wonderful." ... H. L. Mencken


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#545534 - Tue Aug 17 2010 02:47 PM Re: Interview with Sypher
guitargoddess Offline
Moderator

Registered: Mon Jul 09 2007
Posts: 40102
Loc: Ottawa Ontario Canada         
Originally Posted By: Sypher

I've been to Toronto when I was 18 but that was just a flyby visit as Toronto International was the nearest airport for where I was staying in America. I thought Toronto was very clean and pleasant


lol you'll REALLY be impressed with other Canadian cities then.


Edited by guitargoddess (Tue Aug 17 2010 02:49 PM)
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#546101 - Fri Aug 20 2010 08:41 AM Re: Interview with Sypher
Sypher Offline
Moderator

Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 15933
Loc: East London
England UK    
No more questions?
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I'll get enough sleep when I'm dead !!

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#546311 - Sat Aug 21 2010 07:22 AM Re: Interview with Sypher
BxBarracuda Offline
Forum Champion

Registered: Wed Sep 05 2007
Posts: 5117
Loc: Bronx
New�York�USA�ï¿...
You have done a lot of travelling, what tricks do you have for helping to conquer the language barrier when visiting no english speaking countries?

Any good stories of misunderstandings in language translations, such as wanting to ask for "a glass of water" but actualy saying "a glass of fire"?

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#546365 - Sat Aug 21 2010 09:55 AM Re: Interview with Sypher
Sypher Offline
Moderator

Registered: Thu Sep 30 1999
Posts: 15933
Loc: East London
England UK    
A lot of my travels have actually been to English speaking countries but on a few occasions such as Israel, Egypt, France, Germany, Austria, Spain and Turkey, I've always managed to get by as I speak a little Hebrew, French and Spanish. I'm not fluent but I understand more than I can speak.

Tips for non English speaking countries - be very good at miming. Think charades !!
Best tip - visit a country where you know a local who speaks the lingo i.e. Ren in Hong Kong !! smile

I've never had a situation of being misunderstood but I do remember that I had turned down over 200 camels from an arab for my yet to be wife. I turned it down (of course) but found out that the deal was worth over $2,000,000. I should have taken it and then bought her back at 100 camels. Needless to say, Julie got the hump with me for even considering it.
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