Subject: Re: Thanks to Fellow Travelziners
Hi Johannes,

Sorry I'm so slow responding. Have been having blankety-blank computer problems. I was so impressed with your response to my earlier post. Since I barely learn the basic words (only a few phrases) before traveling in another country, I'm blown away by someone like yourself who can express themselves so beautifully in a language other than their own. Never apologize for your English.

>As a German member of the group I am feeling a bit responsible for answering questions related to Germany, this way I am feeling I have two roles within the group<

If we are doing it right, each of us has two roles within the group (that's what makes it so neat), and our input can only be as good as our individual experiences. Ziners will know that the information you give about Germany is first-hand and more reliable than any in a guide book.

>I have been subscribed to several newsgroups (...not moderated) and was shocked about bad manners of many of the group members<

I think Ziners are all agreed that the quality and content of TheTravelzine is far superior to any other travel group site, and we know who to thank for that. Bad manners are far too common, and the web makes it easy for malcontents to vent on people they will never encounter on a personal level. We just have to feel sorry for them and revel in being part of a fantastic group.

I loved your comparison to the salons of earlier centuries. I can picture Linda sitting on a brocaded chaise, with her long blonde curls (a wig, of course, and there wouldn't be room for it in her carry-on) and long, bouffant skirt, holding court for hours, as we all sat at her feet, hanging on every word. Don, in his velvet breeches, would be taking copious notes so that he could document it all in time. Come to think of it, he may need the wig rather than Linda. Well, I can only hope I'd be included in the group. I love the campfire idea, too.

>I must admit: I am more a listener than somebody who talks in the group. This will change with growing travel experiences on my side.<

I hope you understand that Linda will not allow you to just lurk, especially knowing, as we do now, how much you have to contribute and how well you do it.

>...the tourists paradox: being a tourist you destroy what you are looking for<

Yes, we all must be aware of this from time to time. I try to think there is a distinction between travelers, who behave as guests in a country not their home and appreciate the privilege of being there, and tourists, who are mostly interested in satisfying their own wants and wishes, often in a rude, obnoxious way. I always hope I come across as the former. I leave for France on May 30, and am looking forward to two GTG's and another wonderful experience there.

Thanks again for your contributions to the Zine experience, and all please forgive my rambling. If you are paying for E-mail by the minute, send me a bill.

Regards to all,

Lou (TX)