This is the information James Taris shared with LETS groups all over the world on his international LETS tours between 2002-2004.
16th December 2003
On August 22, nearly 4 months ago (116 days exactly!), the hard-disk drive on my laptop crashed and I’ve been helplessly unable to update this web site. But thankfully, after getting expert attention from Francis, a computer technician from LETS Utrecht, I’m finally back to normal again.
So now I’m literally half way through my trip. 200 days down and 200 more to go! I’ve already visited 10 countries, with another 8 countries still ahead of me.
Since my last editorial, I’ve visited another 20 cities or towns. And I’ve had a feast of experiences, some related to LETS and some completely unrelated, but all very exciting.
Montelimar … visited a crocodile farm with over 350 crocodiles.
Sisteron … slept in Napoleon’s bed.
Aurillac … revisited my SEL hosts, Fran and Yaou, from last year.
Bressuire … stayed in a castle.
Paris … got filmed for a LETS documentary by a Chinese film crew.
Amsterdam … interviewed before a live audience ‘Operah style’, about LETS, for a lifestyle magazine.
Rotterdam … visited the LETS shops.
Utrecht … accompanied the bell-ringers of the Dom (Holland's tallest cathedral).
Dundee … hosted by Betty, the sweetest li’l ol’ LETS lady in the world.
Fife … introduced to the LETS Hit Squad.
Edinburgh … shared a house with 3 ferrets.
Marrakech … posed for a photo with 2 snakes around my neck!
Casablanca … visited the largest Mosque in the world.
London … gave my London Premier performance of The Glory Of Athens (a play I wrote in China at the start of my tour) in a little London theatre over 2 nights.
Kingsbridge … met Conrad Born, the first western man to declare non use of conventional money in 2001.
Falmouth … saw a cob house (mud house) being built by LETS members.
Bradford-On-Avon and Bath … visited the ancient Roman (Hot) Baths.
Milton Keynes … helped prepare meals for the Milton Keynes LETS Christmas Dinner.
Bridgend … introduced to School LETS (LETS for schoolchildren).
Brecon … attended a seminar on Time Banks with Prof. Edgar Cahn (founder of Time Banks).
I’ve written accounts of my travel stories up to the end of my Morocco trip (soon to be added to my book, 400 Day LETS Odyssey, on www.JamesTaris.com) and I’m hoping to complete the balance of my stories before the end of the year while I’m in Toronto, Canada.
If you’ve sent me notices regarding updates for your LETS group entries, rest assured that I’ll make those updates shortly.
So stay tuned for some interesting LETS stories.
The Nun That Swore
A nun was sitting with her Mother Superior chatting.
'I used some horrible language this week and feel absolutely terrible about it.'
'When did you use this awful language?' asked the elder.
'Well, I was golfing and hit an incredible drive that looked like
'Is that when you swore?'
'No, Mother,' said the nun. 'After that, a squirrel ran out of the bushes and grabbed my ball in its mouth and began to run away.'
'Is THAT when you swore?' asked the Mother Superior again.
'Well, no.' said the nun. 'You see, as the squirrel was running, an
eagle came down out of the sky, grabbed the squirrel in his talons
'Is THAT when you swore?' asked the amazed elder nun.
'No, not yet. As the eagle carried the squirrel away in its claws, it flew near the green and the squirrel dropped my ball.'
'Did you swear THEN?' asked Mother Superior, becoming impatient.
'No, because the ball fell on a big rock, bounced over the sand trap, rolled onto the green, and stopped about a foot from the hole.'
The two nuns were silent for a moment.
Then Mother Superior sighed and asked, 'You missed the bloody putt, didn't you?'
Letter from Conrad B. Born "The first Western man to declare non use of conventional money in 2001"
Great visit and thank you. I just wish there were more of us, this poor yet absolutely magnificent planet needs it. I'm including the write ups from our local news letter, thought they might amuse you. (I've cut and paste instead of attachment in case you can't pick them up)
I hope you enjoyed that brief foray into clever stuff. The style is now going to deteriorate rapidly but lets hope the content doesn’t do the same. To begin with, of course, it has to be James Taris, the Aussie LETSaholic. I’ll hand over to Helen Loxton and then to Nola Bayliss to give you their impressions of this phenomonom.
we meet again sometime, especially if it is in a Charity shop.
LETSAHOLIC COMES TO KINGSBRIDGE - by Helen Loxton
Living with a LETSaholic for three days was quite an experience!
James was full of inspiring, stimulating and funny anecdotes about his LETS-life at home in Melbourne and on his world tour so far. We learned so much and also hope he’s got a few more stories to add to his collection after the whirlwind programme we organised for him here. We fairly raced from one LETS event to the next including:
- Afternoon tea at Orcheton Quay with John, Adrienne and Nick (King) whilst collecting veggie boxes.
- The LETS Bazaar and ‘doing’ Kingsbridge.
- His talk, ‘Improving Your Lifestyle Through LETS’ - well attended and some good ideas offered for improving Kingsbridge LETS.
- A circle dance afternoon, a first for James; he was a real star -hardly put a foot wrong!
- A performance of his one-man play, ‘The Glory Of Athens’ - those who didn’t come missed a real treat.
- A kinesiology balance, steam room session and much relaxation on the water bed at Nola & Brian’s - all for Bridges.
On Friday, magnificent but heavy seas prevented us from reaching Burgh Island, but this enabled a synchronistic and hilarious meeting between two great LETS characters. Having told James about Conrad, he was really looking forward to meeting him on Saturday evening. However, on driving through Modbury en route for Orcheton Quay, we spotted Conrad entering the charity shop. Whilst Michael parked the car and I hid behind the bookshelves, the following conversation took place amongst the men’s clothing,
Conrad: - trying to disguise puzzlement, "er -Hi!"
James: "It’s Conrad, isn’t it?"
Conrad: - no longer able to disguise puzzlement, "Yes it is."
James: -Shaking Conrad’s hand warmly, "Great to meet you, Conrad!"
Conrad: -embarrassment replacing puzzlement, "er, Look, you’ll have to give me a clue"
James: "I’m James!"
Conrad: - visibly searching through memory-banks, "Oh, hello, James! Er….James who?"
James: "James Taris - from Australia."
Conrad: - Jaw drops, but quick-thinkingly, "James! Hi! But you’re not wearing the same clothes as on your website - I didn’t recognise you! How the hell do you come to be here, of all places?"
At this moment, I emerge from my hiding place. Conrad’s face is a picture. Michael arrives and takes a photo.
CHANGING YOUR LIFESTYLE WITH LETS by Nola and Brian Bayliss
On Saturday 8th November, 20 members of LETS listened to a talk about making LETS schemes work and giving ideas to get trading moving more. James is on a world tour having left Australia five months ago, staying with LETS members around the world and doing talks and performing a one-man play called ‘The Glory Of Athens’ which is a comedy and was written whilst he had lots of spare time in China. His 400 day trip ends on 4th July 2004 via Hawaii. His website is very informative and gives a very good insight into his trip and ideas. It is www.JamesTaris.com for anyone who can access a computer and also www.Lets-Linkup.com . There are an amazing 1500 LETS groups in 39 countries now and the internet can bring ideas together.
James worked for 18 years as a photographer and started in his local LETS scheme by helping out on their newsletter. It opened up new training skills and within three months he was working on newsletters, business cards, desk top publishing, etc. After 7 years of experience he now does web page design which was self taught in 14 months.
James talked about ways to kick start the LETS scheme into life. His scheme had 15 members at the beginning and he tried to get more people to trade and give services. He phoned around everyone to try and get them to offer possibly six services. He gave members some ideas and tried to help them find something to offer which they enjoyed and loved doing. Everyone likes to be needed and it encourages a warm response.
James equates earning local currency with a community-minded spirit. If one member can’t do a certain job they can maybe suggest somebody else. When we all help each other our lifestyle changes. With restricted income but time on hand we can gather credits for extras that we wouldn’t normally have. It can build confidence with LETS members. Also the more you put in the more welcome you will be to other members. Just as important is to find out what services people would like so a new member can offer certain services and also have some idea what he would like to use his credit on.
After refreshments and socialising half way through, James opened it up to question time which stimulated further fascinating stories of his world tour and helpful ideas for improving and expanding our own local group.
James idea for the future is to endorse LOVE and UNITY. His mission is to share and show that the potential is huge. Life can be improved, as the more you help out, the more the help and services come back. He mentioned that in many schemes 30% never trade and LETS schemes are all about trading.
He is now on his way to Falmouth and then Bath and we wish him good luck for the rest of his trip and for the performance of his play in a London theatre later this month
FINALLY - your editors take on THE GLORY OF ATHENS
Written in Shanghai, first performed in Athens -the story of how TeliVision (or ‘little theatre boxes’) was invented, was a rare treat for the LETS members who attended on Sunday night, the 9th of November at Harbour House. It was all to do with Archimedes (or Archie), Pericles, the ruler of Athens, Socrates (aka Socks) one of the wisest people of all time, and Rupert Murdoch-akis (who isn’t).
Acropolis Now (or Never) was the theme, the story? - oh, I couldn’t begin to try and explain. Suffice it to say that James has a wonderful voice, he’s very funny and his acting is - well, excellent. It all goes to show.
What James wants it to show is that ‘EVERYTHING’S POSSIBLE IF YOU BELIEVE - TRULY BELIEVE.
Yes, James - it was good to see you. Very best wishes from all of us .
9th August 2003
Day 71 of my 400 Day LETS Odyssey
I'm into my third month already and I've been to 5 countries so far.
Each one is different in its own way, so if you go to www.JamesTaris.com you'll be able to read about those differences in the weekly entries I place in my free online book, 400 Day LETS Odyssey (a book in the making).
My first LETS Favours presentation was very well received by the Goteborg LETS group, which is run by Viktor Jonsson, an amazingly talented and determined young idealist.
His thoughts about LETS and how it could change the way we trade globally left me speechless.
He's even produced a LETS credit card which he hopes to get into operation at some stage in the future.
I'm sure he could use all the support he can get.
After all, if you're going to change the way things are done in this world, then it's a big ask for just one person.
And don't be afraid to get technical with him. He's done 3 years of law studies, and he can handle anything to do with the global economy, so there isn't much that'll faze him.
My story, Swedish Characters (in my 400 Day LETS Odyssey book - link from www.JamesTaris.com) tells you about a few places we went together and the interesting characters he introduced to me.
You CAN Take It With You!
There once was a rich man who was near death. He was very grieved because he had worked so hard for his money and wanted to be able to take it with him to heaven. So he began to pray that he might be able to take some of his wealth with him. An angel heard his plea and appeared to him.
"Sorry, but you can't take your wealth with you."
The man begged the angel to speak to God to see if He might bend the rules. The man continued to pray that his wealth could follow him. The angel reappeared and informed the man that God had decided to allow him to take one suitcase with him. Overjoyed, the man gathered his largest suitcase and filled it with pure gold bars and placed it beside his bed. Soon afterward, he died and showed up at the gates of heaven to greet St. Peter.
St. Peter, seeing the suitcase, said, "Hold on, you can't bring that in here!"
The man explained to St. Peter that he had permission and asked him to verify his story with the Lord. Sure enough, St. Peter checked it out, came back and said, "You're right. You are allowed one carry-on bag, but I'm supposed to check its contents before letting it through." St. Peter opened the suitcase to inspect the worldly items that the man found too precious to leave behind and exclaimed, "You brought pavement?"
(taken from the Billionaire Jokes list on my www.RICH-Bastards.com web site.)
12th July 2003
Day 43 of my 400 Day LETS Odyssey
Wow! Has it been that long already? Less than 90% of my journey to go.
If you want to keep track of my travel adventures (?), just go to www.JamesTaris.com and click on the link next to '400 Day LETS Odyssey an e-book in the making)'.
My first stop was in Shanghai, China, where I spent 5 weeks, and while I was there, not one of their 16 million pop'n died of SARS. You can read my article, 'The SARS Farce' on the above link.
Now I'm in Athens and about to give the first reading of my play, 'The Glory Of Athens'.
Oh, that's just something I wrote while I was in Shanghai. I've always wanted to write a play, and I had so much free time in China that I thought it would be the ideal time to finally do it. And I did!
It's a humorous but inspirational one-man play based around 440 BC (most of the time). If you'd like to see a preview of it click here The Glory Of Athens.
Next stop will be Helsinki in Finland, followed by Stockholm and Goteborg in Sweden. I've never been to any of these countries before, so I'm really looking forward to it.
But talk about contrast! China then Greece then Scandinavia. Sometimes I've just got to stop and pinch myself, but I'd better stop doing that because I bruise very easily. :-)
Before You Meet With God
A billionaire died and went to The Judgment. St. Peter met him at the Gates of Heaven and said, "Before you meet with God, I thought I should tell you -- we've looked at your life, and your really didn't do anything particularly good or bad.
We're not at all sure what to do with you. Can you tell us anything you did that can help us make a decision?"
The billionaire thought for a moment and replied, "Yeah, once I was driving along in my ferrari and came upon a woman who was being harassed by a group of bikers. So I pulled over, got out my tire iron, and went up to the leader of the bikers. He was a big, muscular, hairy guy with tattoos all over his body and a ring pierced through his nose. Well, I tore the nose ring out of his nose, and told him he and his gang had better stop bothering the woman or they would have to deal with me!"
"I'm impressed," St. Peter responded, "When did this happen?"
"About two minutes ago," came the reply.
(taken from the Billionaire Jokes list on my www.RICH-Bastards.com web site.)
29th May 2003
Tomorrow I Start My 400 Day
World LETS Tour
When I prepared my proposed travel agenda, I just looked at the map, and chose the travel path which I thought was the shortest route from one city to the next. Unfortunately, that's not the way the airlines do it. So the travel agenda has changed rather considerably.
But the good news is that I'll get to visit just about everyone that offered to host me. And the other good news is that the seats have all been booked, and the travel itinerary is final, and I'm flying out of Melbourne tomorrow (Friday, May 30)!
Fortunately my travel dates can be changed without penalty (12 months is a long time to pre-plan such a complicated schedule), so if I get into a jam and need to get on an earlier or later flight, then I'll have the peace of mind that I'll be able to change my departure dates to suit.
So unless I have such an emergency, here's the countries I'll be visiting ...
Melbourne > China > Greece > Finland > Sweden > France > Holland > Scotland > North Ireland > England > Wales > Morocco > USA (New York) > Canada > USA (Chicago, Miami) > Peru > Brazil > USA (Los Angeles, Honolulu) > New Zealand > Australia (Brisbane)
... 17 countries in 400 days!
I'd like to thank all my LETS/Community Currency hosts for their generous offer to host me on my (now) 400 day World LETS Tour, and look forward to meeting them and helping them build stronger, and more efficient groups.
During this time I will ...
Give as many presentations as they can organise for LETS/Community Currency members and/or the general public.
Give as many newspaper, radio or TV interviews as they can organise.
Write at least one article/chapter about each of my hosts and their groups for my next book, (working title) 'Travelling to 17 countries on 6 continents for 400 days with funny money.'
I will be leaving tomorrow, May 30, and returning to Melbourne on July 9, completing my 400 day journey. (I think that's right. I'd hate to be off by a day, so that it becomes a 399 day trip!)
This time I'll have a laptop with me, so I'll still be able to update my LETS-Linkup web site and keep you informed of my travels.
Happy trading, and looking forward to seeing many more members of LETS and Community Currency systems.
50cents To Heaven
A billionaire died and arrived at the Pearly Gates. Saint Peter asked him, "What have you done to merit entrance into Heaven?" The billionaire thought a moment, then said, "A week ago, I gave a quarter to a homeless person on the street." Saint Peter asked Gabriel to check this out in the records, and after a moment Gabriel affirmed that it was true.
Saint Peter said, "Well , that's fine, but it's not really quite enough to get you into Heaven." The billionaire said, "Wait, wait! There's more! Three years ago, I also gave a homeless person a quarter." Saint Peter nodded to Gabriel, who, after a moment, nodded back to affirm that it was true.
Peter then whispered to Gabriel, "Well, what do you suggest we do
with this fellow?" Gabriel
gave the billionaire a sidelong glance, then said to Saint Peter,
"Let's give him back his 50 cents and tell him to go to Hell."
(taken from the Billionaire Jokes list on my www.RICH-Bastards.com web site.)
25th May 2003
World LETS Tour
Since August last year I've travelled to 9 countries (England, Spain, France, Germany, Holland, Norway, South Africa, Japan, New Zealand) speaking to LETS members on how to improve their lifestyle through LETS.
And I've been pleased to hear positive reports on how groups have increased membership, increased trading and increased their enthusiasm since my visits. In fact, Wellington LETS (New Zealand) even gave me credit for wiping off their group's G$4,500 debt, thus giving their LETS system a new lease of life!
So after due consideration, I've decided to extend my Americas LETS Tour into a World LETS Tour over the next 12 months. I'm getting a Round The World plane ticket, and I want to get as much mileage out of it as possible.
My itinerary is roughly outlined below, so if you'd like me to visit your LETS group, then let me know as soon as possible so I can fit you into my schedule.
As with my previous travels, this tour will also become a book, so my LETS hosts and their LETS groups will get a memorable mention.
You can find my FREE e-books ('Travelling The World With Funny Money', and 'The Land Of The Bright Green Dollar') through www.JamesTaris.com
I plan to leave Australia on June 2, so get back to me soon (especially my Japanese friends!).
My terms are the same as usual:
I will exchange my speaking services for ...
Accommodation (staying with a LETS member is fine - from 3-7 days)
I've had lots of interviews recently regarding LETS and my overseas travels 'using funny money', so I imagine you'll be able to use my arrival to promote your own group locally.
And if you can, invite the general public as well, because about half of these 'guests' end up joining as LETS members after they've heard my presentation.
So, if you'd like to ...
the membership of your group
Then I think I can help you.
Then again, if you'd just like to have a guest stay with you for a week or so, I'd appreciate your hospitality also. After all, I'm trying to fill 52 weeks of travel agenda, and I suspect that there will be a few gaps there somewhere.
Nevertheless, I'm keen to go travelling again. And I'm determined to prove that travelling through LETS is possible. But even more than that, it's preferable!
Looking forward to seeing you and your group on my travels.
Happy trading, James Taris www.LETS-Linkup.com www.JamesTaris.com
MY TRAVEL AGENDA
2003 - ASIA ... Japan, China
P.S. Just letting you know the countries where I've got ...
Hosting invitations so far:
If your country/city/town isn't listed above, and you'd like me to visit your LETS group (or simply host me as a guest for a short while), then please get back to me quickly ... I'll be buying my ticket in the next few days and hope to fly out of Melbourne on May 29-30.
Once my ticket is purchased, I'll amend my Travel Agenda so I can spend more time in the cities/towns where I'm being hosted.
Q. What's a specimen?
A. An Italian astronaut.
(Well, at least I thought it was funny!)
8th May 2003
New Zealand LETS Tour
My LETS Tour through New Zealand was a wonderful experience.
John Grant, from Wellington LETS, did a great job of organising my tour which enabled me to speak to 9 LETS groups throughout New Zealand's north and south islands.
All of my LETS hosts were wonderful, and treated me just like family. (But then, we are! Aren't we?)
I found New Zealand groups to be very different to other groups I'd visited around the world. They treated their Green Dollars (G$) more like cash than 'points', so it was quite a challenge for them to listen to this Aussie guy telling them that they were really only trading 'favours'.
Nevertheless, I'm sure some of them took my suggestion to heart. I was personally approached by several members who felt enlightened by the whole experience. In fact, I was specifically pleased by a report from Wellington LETS that said,
"As a result of James Taris' presentation, the Wellington LETS debit of G$4,500 has now been completely cleared!"
And the media exposure they arranged for me was an added bonus. I was interviewed on radio twice (in Masterton and Timaru) and had journalists (with photographers) come to 2 of my presentations (in Christchurch and Invercargill) to write lifestyle articles about me.
While I was on tour, I kept a travel diary of my experiences. This has been completed and will be published as a book, 'Land Of The Bright Green Dollar'. Soon I hope to have it available FREE from my web site www.JamesTaris.com, where you can find some other books I've written as well.
Looking forward to travelling around the world again ... very soon.
So no matter which country you live in, if you're interested in hearing my LETS presentation, I'll do whatever I can to visit you on my next tour.
Just send me an email on email@example.com
How To Speak Newzullinder
bist efict, rid these out aloud.
2nd March 2003
New Zealand LETS Speaking Tour
Plans are almost complete for my LETS Speaking Tour to New Zealand.
I'll start off in the North Island (Auckland or Wellington) and travel down through the South Island, visiting LETS groups, on my way to the New Zealand LETS Conference in Invercargill.
I won't be continuing on to North America as I'd hoped, because I've been cautioned about visiting there during the summer holidays, seeing everyone will be on vacation.
Nevertheless, I'll give it some more thought after my return from New Zealand and make my decision then. I've had keen interest from Canada and the USA, but still no response from my attempts to contact South American community currency groups.
If anyone has a South American contact who may be interested in hosting me sometime this year, then I'd appreciate the referral.
A lawyer and a blonde are sitting next to each other at the bar. The lawyer leans over to her and asks if she would like to play a fun game.
The blonde, drunk and dozing, just wants to take a nap, so she politely declines and rolls over to the window to catch a few winks.
The lawyer persists and explains that the game is really easy and a lot of fun. He explains: "I ask you a question, and if you don't know the answer, you pay me $5, and visa-versa."
Again, she politely declines and tries to get some sleep. The lawyer, now somewhat agitated, says, "Okay, if you don't know the answer you pay me $5, and if I don't know the answer, I will pay you $50" figuring that since she is a blonde that he will easily win the match.
This catches the blonde's attention and, figuring that there will be no end to this torment unless she plays, she agrees to the game.
The lawyer asks the first question: "What's the distance from the earth to the moon?" The blonde doesn't say a word, reaches into her purse, pulls out a five-dollar bill and hands it to the lawyer.
Now, it's the blonde's turn. She asks the lawyer: "What goes up a hill with three legs, and comes down with four?" The lawyer looks at her with a puzzled look.
He takes out his laptop computer and searches all his references. He taps into the digital cellphone via infra-red wireless connection to his modem port and searches the Net and the Library of Congress. Frustrated, he sends E-mail to all his co-workers, friends, clients, and suppliers that he knows. And then some. All to no avail.
After over an hour, he wakes the blonde and hands her $50. The blonde politely takes the $50 and turns away to get back to sleep.
The lawyer, who is more than a little miffed, wakes the blonde and asks, "Well, so what IS the answer?" Without a word, the blonde reaches into her purse, hands the lawyer $5, and goes back to sleep.
21 December 2002
Travelling The World With Funny Money
[Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Peru, Uruguay, USA (incl. Alaska and Hawaii), Venezuela.]
While I was in China last month, I received an invitation to speak to community currency groups in Japan and New Zealand. This resulted in a very successful 9 day trip to Kyushu Island (Western Japan) which was a great follow-up to my European LETS Speaking Tour (August 4 - October 19) where I gave my 'LETS Favours - Improving Your Lifestyle Through LETS' presentation in 7 countries (UK, Spain, France, Germany, Holland, Norway and South Africa).
My New Zealand presentation has now been scheduled to be given at their 2003 National LETS Convention in April. I've already spoken to community currency groups on 4 continents around the world (Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia), so I'm taking advantage of this overseas engagement to meet other community currency groups in the other 2 world continents - North America and South America. (I'd go to Antarctica as well if there were any people there!)
My goal is to become well versed in community currency systems all around the world, and this trip will complete that mission. You can read about some of my overseas travel experiences by registering (for free) as a LETS-Linkup group member (top right hand corner of my home page www.LETS-Linkup.com), and browsing through the list of messages posted (after August 4, 2002).
Travelling through the Americas has always been something I've dearly wanted to do. So I'll be going to North and South America from May to June and using this time to meet community currency members and speaking to their groups about local trading.
I will also make myself available for a Question & Answer Time and Brainstorming Session. Community currency audiences will enjoy my presentation, as I include a number of relevant, but humorous, stories and anecdotes for their entertainment. My presentation also focuses on the benefits to members from increased trading, so I would expect an increase in local trade afterwards.
My aim is to give my presentation in a number of countries during May and June. My travel diary and LETS experiences will ultimately be recorded on my LETS-Linkup web site under the theme of 'Travelling The World With Funny Money'.
So, if you're in the Pacific, North America or South America, I'd like to speak to your HOURS/ LETS/ Community Currency group. I'm very flexible with my presentation which can be delivered as a 45-60 minute speech, a 2 hour presentation (speech and Q&A) or a 3-4 hour workshop (speech, Q&A, brainstorming session).
In order to make this trip possible, I'm looking to speak to community currency groups that will trade with me. That is �
speaking fee, in exchange for:
Of course, I'm happy for all these services to be provided by community currency members. And I am also interested in staying with community currency members in between speaking engagements.
So if you're able to help me with my tour, please let me know as soon as possible by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org
One For The Ladies
A woman was sitting at a bar, enjoying an after work drink with her girlfriends, when an exceptionally tall, handsome, extremely sexy, young man entered.
He was so striking that the woman could not take her eyes off him. The young man noticed her overly attentive stare and walked directly toward her.
Before she could offer her apologies for staring so rudely, he leaned over and whispered to her, "I'll do anything, absolutely anything, that you want me to do, no matter how kinky, for $20 - on one condition."
Flabbergasted, the woman asked what the condition was.
The young man replied, " You have to tell me what you want me to do in just three words."
The woman considered his proposition for a moment, then slowly removed from her purse a $20 note, which she pressed into the young man's hand, along with her address.
She looked deeply into his eyes and slowly, meaningfully whispered...... . . . . . . . . . . .
"Clean my house!"
11 December 2002
James Taris Talks To Japan LETSystems
On Tuesday, Nov. 26, I flew into Fukuoka, Japan at the invitation of LETS Groups on Kyushu Island (Western Japan).
This visit came as a surprise to me. But seeing I was in China at the time, I thought I'd take advantage of the close proximity to Japan, and see them straight away.
And they didn't muck around there. They put me to work straight away, and kept me working every day. In the 9 days I spent there, I had 12 meetings and 6 of them
included my 'LETS Favours - Improving Your Lifestyle Through LETS' presentation which I gave in Europe in the previous 4 months.
But it was all very worthwhile. In fact, I made an immediate impact on Japan.
On my 3rd day in Japan, I was emailed a copy of my 'LETS Favours - Improving Your Lifestyle Through LETS' presentation translated into Japanese.
So now it's been translated into 3 languages: German, Norwegian and Japanese.
THE BAT JOKE
There were 2 bats in a cave. And it was freezing cold outside. Lots of lightning, thunder, storms ... the works!
One bat turned to the other and said, "I'm starving. I haven't had a feed for 2 whole days. I can't stand it any more. I'm going outside to find myself a meal."
Then his friend said, "Don't be so foolish. Remember, we're Vampire Bats. We need blood. And you won't find any animals out there. They're all in hiding just like we are.
In fact, if you're out there for more than a minute, you'll freeze to death. So just be patient until the storm dies down. You're much safer in here."
But the first bat wasn't convinced. "I said I'm starving, not stupid! If I don't find something to eat straight away, I'll be back here in less than a minute."
And with that parting comment, he flew out of the cave.
Sure enough, 58 ... 59 seconds later, he was back in the cave. And his friend was amazed to see a tell-tale trickle of blood coming from the corner of the first bat's mouth.
So he asked, "How did you go out in such treacherous conditions, find yourself a meal, and get back here in less than a minute?"
"Come with me," the first bat said, "and I'll show you."
So they went to the mouth of the cave and the first bat said to his friend, "Do you see that pile of rocks over there?"
"Yes," replied his friend.
And the first bat confessed, "Well, I didn't!"
22 October 2002
Amazing LETS Speaking Tour!
Just got back to Melbourne, Australia, 2 days ago.
But first of all I'd like to thank all my LETS hosts in the 7 countries I visited. I was treated like family by everyone. And many solid friendships were formed.
Much of my time was spent writing articles about my travel and speaking experiences, some of which have already been sent to my LETS-Linkup Update Newsletter members (currently over 400 members).
So if you haven't registered yet (top right hand corner of this homepage) then you've been missing out on some pretty interesting and amusing articles.
I'll be off to China in a couple of days, so I won't be giving you a full review until I get back after November 26.
But I've already written over 20 articles and taken over 500 photos. So you'll be getting a very thorough picture once it's completed.
P.S. If you're in Australia, try to make it to the National LETS Conference 2002 in Maleny QLD. It sounds like it'll be quite a 'do'. Details on www.lets.org.au )
After a hectic week, my European LETS Tour schedule has now been booked up, flight ticket purchased, and I'll be on a plane this Sunday (Aug 4) bound for London, the first leg of my tour.
I've had a fantastic response from LETS members in Europe, so I thank everyone for showing an interest in hearing me share my thoughts and ideas about LETS with their groups.
In total, I'll be away for 11 weeks, and visiting 7 countries � U.K., Spain, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Norway and South Africa.
As you can imagine, there'll be a lot of time spent travelling, but whenever I get the chance, I'll endeavour to keep you informed about my experiences in each country.
Anyway, there's a million things to do and organise before I leave, so I'm off!
of the Month"
A woman was walking along the beach when she stumbled upon a Genie's lamp. She picked it up and rubbed it, and lo-and-behold a Genie appeared.
The amazed woman asked if she got three wishes. The Genie said, "Nope... due to inflation, constant downsizing, low wages in third-world countries, and fierce global competition, I can only grant you one wish.
So...what'll it be?" The woman didn't hesitate. She said, "I want peace in the Middle East. See this map? I want these countries to stop fighting with each other."
The Genie looked at the map and exclaimed, "Gadzooks, lady! These countries have been at war for thousands of years. I'm good but not THAT good! I don't think it can be done. Make another wish."
The woman thought for a minute and said, "Well, I've never been able to find the right man.You know, one that's considerate and fun, likes to cook and helps with the housework, is good in bed and gets along with my family, doesn't watch football all the time, and is faithful. That's what I wish for ..."
The Genie let out a long sigh and said, "Let me see that bloody map again!"
23 July 2002
LETS SPEAKING TOUR IN EUROPE
by JAMES TARIS
While I was in China last month, I received an invitation to attend the LETS 2002 Convention in Annecy, France.
As you can imagine, it's very costly to travel from Australia to France. However, a few days ago I was offered a business project to do in Frankfurt, Germany (all expenses paid) from August 30 to September 30.
So now it makes my presence possible.
Travelling through Europe has always been something I dearly wanted to do. So I'll be going to Europe from August to October and using the extra time to meet LETS people and speak to their groups about LETS. I will also make myself available for a Question & Answer Time and Brainstorming Session.
LETS audiences will enjoy my presentation, as I include a number of relevant, but humorous, stories and anecdotes for their entertainment. My presentation also focuses on the benefits to members from increased trading, so I would expect an increase in LETS trade afterwards.
My aim is to give a LETS presentation in a number of countries during August and/or October. My travel diary and LETS experiences will ultimately be recorded on my LETS-Linkup web site under the theme of Travelling Europe on LETS.
So, if you're in Europe, I'd like to speak to your LETS / SEL / TAUSCHRINGE / RUILKING / BYTTERING / BYTESRING group. I'm very flexible with my presentation which can be delivered as a 45-60 minute speech, a 2 hour presentation (speech and Q&A) or a 3-4 hour workshop (speech, Q&A, brainstorming session).
In order to make this trip possible, I'm looking to speak to LETS groups that will trade with me.
That is �
speaking fee, in exchange for:
Of course, I'm happy for all of these services to be provided by your LETS group members.
And I am also interested in staying with LETS members in between speaking engagements. So if you're able to help me with my tour, please let me know as soon as possible by writing to email@example.com
"Joke of the Month"
An Email to the Wrong Wife
After being nearly snowbound for two weeks last winter, a Seattle man departed for his vacation in Miami Beach, where he was to meet his wife the next day at the conclusion of her business trip to Minneapolis.
They were looking forward to pleasant weather and a nice time together. Unfortunately, there was some sort of mix up at the boarding gate and the man was told he would have to wait for a later flight. He tried to appeal to a supervisor but was told the airline was not responsible for the problem and it would do no good to complain.
Upon arrival at the hotel the next day, he discovered that Miami Beach was having a heat wave, and its weather was almost as uncomfortably hot as Seattle's was cold. The desk clerk gave him a message that his wife would arrive as planned.
He could hardly wait to get to the pool area to cool off, and quickly sent his wife an e-mail, but due to his haste, he made an error in the e-mail address. His message therefore arrived at the home of an elderly preacher's wife whose even older husband had died only the day before.
When the grieving widow opened her e-mail, she took one look at the monitor, let out an anguished scream and fell to the floor dead. Her family rushed to her room where they saw this message on the screen:
Departed yesterday as you know. Just now got checked in. Some confusion at the gate. Appeal was denied. Received confirmation of your arrival tomorrow.
Your loving husband.
P.S. Things are not as we thought. You're going to be surprised at how hot it is down here.
TEACHING ENGLISH IN CHINA
Anyone can teach English in China.
First of all, you know more English than the Chinese do, so even if you don't do it well, it's still much better than what they already know.
Secondly, teaching is simply a matter of asking questions. You ask your students questions to see how much they know, or have just learned. And they ask you questions to indicate what they would like to learn from you.
With the beginners, you do all the asking. But with the advanced students, they do all the asking.
Let's get back to those beginners � They've only got a limited vocabulary, so they're simply looking to expand on this. When I was in China last month, I taught 4 young students (aged 7 - 12) and I only taught them about 5 new words and 2-3 sentences per one hour lesson (twice weekly).
So why did they come to me when English is taught at many schools throughout the city?
Because I was a "lao wai" (foreigner), and when it comes to pronunciation, they can only learn this from a "lao wai". So I was hot property over here.
All my students had adopted English names for themselves.
Alice was only 7. A pretty and petite little girl who, when she saw me for the first time, looked shocked, and immediately ran out of the classroom. She was expecting to see a Chinese teacher, but saw a tall, silver-haired foreigner instead. But she soon got over it as she greeted the other students with, "Lao wai, lao wai, lao wai!" as each one arrived.
Jack was also 7. He was a cool young guy, slim and energetic, with a cheeky smile. Probably the one least daunted by my presence. We got along well.
Mary was 12. Very tall and thin, and very shy. Her English was much better than that of the others. She has been learning English for 2 years, while the others had only had lessons for one year. Although she was also apprehensive before her first lesson, she overcame her initial shyness and, just before going home that evening, presented me with a pen as a gift.
Sky was a 7 year old boy, and his name was probably appropriate, because that's about how BIG he was! He was the classroom clown, and probably the slowest learner, but a great asset to the class environment.
me recall a typical scene with Sky �
James: My name is James. What is your name?
Sky: (confused look)
James: My name is James. Your name is Sky. What is your name?
Sky: I live in China.
James: No. You say, "My name is Sky". Say, "My name is Sky".
Sky: My � (eyes shift to right as he looks up and scratches his head)
James: Say, "My name is Sky".
Sky: My � (eyes shift to right as he looks up and scratches his head.)
James: (wondering what to do next.)
The children are all shouting out, "My name is Sky. My name is Sky.".)
Sky: My name is Sky.
James: Very good Sky.
sits down proudly.
So as you can see, I had a bit of fun there.
And the advanced students? They simply wanted to have a chat! They knew they couldn't get away with using the occasional Chinese word (because I didn't understand any), so they were challenged to speak 'perfect English', writing down each new word or new use of grammar whenever it cropped up.
They were all working in various government departments and saw English as being a way to stand out amongst their peers.
And me? I learned a few Chinese words too. But only the basics � ni hao (hello), xie xie (thank you) �
Uhmm. I think that's it!
"Joke of the Month"
Should Kids Witness a Birth?
It was late at night and Heidi, who was expecting her second child was home alone with her 3-year old daughter Katelyn.
When Heidi started going into labor, she called "911." Due to a power outage at the time, only one paramedic responded to the call.
The house was very, very dark, so the paramedic asked Katelyn to hold a flashlight high over her mommy so he could see while he helped deliver the baby.
Very diligently, Katelyn did as she was asked. Heidi pushed and pushed, and after a little while Connor was born.
The paramedic lifted him by his little feet and spanked him on his bottom. Connor began to cry.
The paramedic then thanked Katelyn for her help and asked the wide-eyed 3-year old what she thought about what she had just witnessed.
Katelyn quickly responded, "He shouldn't have crawled in there in the first place. Smack him again!"
9th May 2002
It's easier to keep going than to start from scratch.
Hi everyone. Just confirming that I'm back from my "Gone Troppo Holiday". I did come back on 2nd April (as planned) but it's taken me another 5 weeks to get back into the swing of things.
Which brings me to today's editorial topic.
No matter what you do in life, once you've got the ball rolling/ the wheels turning/ the gears in motion � DON'T STOP!!!
Because it's so bloody hard to get that momentum going for you again.
And it's the same with LETS. Once you break the habit of using LETS goods and services, it's hard to get back into it again. Then everything else stops as well.
You stop reading the newsletters.
But all is not lost! You can get back into the swing of things simply by determining to have something to do with your LETS group every week.
Even a small action, like reading your current LETS newsletter, can make a huge impact. In fact, this is an excellent place to start.
It'll tell you what events are coming up, what's being offered, and what other members are looking for. And if it doesn't � it should!
It'll also tell you who the new members are.
TRADING WITH NEW MEMBERS IS THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO.
gets the new member trading (something they find hard to instigate on
LETS is a local community exchange system which enables members to help each other out in a caring and friendly manner.
There is nothing in the 'cash economy' which can compare to this system of exchange.
P.S. There's a large back-log of work to do, so don't expect everything to be up-to-date for another week or two.
But then it's back to monthly updates again.
P.P.S. As from this month, I'll begin putting dates on each entry that's updated. That way you'll know how current the information is.
So if there's no date alongside your group's entry, please send me an email to let me know it's still accurate.
21st Jan. '02
Can you make James Taris a member of your LETS or Local Community Exchange System?
You are all aware of how much work I've put into building LETS-Linkup. And up until now I've been doing this for YOU � the worldwide population of LETS and local community exchange systems.
And I've received a lot of encouragement from people from all over the world, which has convinced me that this has truly been a worthwhile venture.
The main features on LETS-Linkup are:
International LETS Group Directory
But now, here's something that you can do for me �
SUPPORT MY EFFORTS BY MAKING ME A MEMBER OF YOUR GROUP AND PLACING A DONATION INTO MY ACCOUNT.
1) Open an account in your LETS System under the name of James Taris. (No fees on this account please.)
2) Then place a donation into that account to support my LETS-Linkup project. (This can be a group donation, or a collection from your membership.)
3) Send me a copy of the balance of my account.
4) Keep your eyes posted for my request to spend my credits IN YOUR COMMUNITY. (I understand that in many cases I won't be able to use my credits, but it's the thought that counts.)
All donations are welcome. No amount is too small.
Thanx for your support.
P.S. Don't worry if you can't help me out at this stage. You'll still get the same service and benefits you've grown accustomed to � and there's more on the way!
21st Jan. '02
International LETS Accommodation Directory gains momentum
Another 8 LETS Accommodation Offers were received last week. They included another 4 from Queensland (Australia), 3 from France, and one from New Zealand.
But I had 5 responses questioning the mechanics of intertrading - all with valid concerns, and some good ideas as well. My guess is that we'll get a much greater response to international trading once we feel more comfortable with how it all works.
The main concern seems to surround the fairness of international exchange rates. And this is a very valid concern.
So here are a couple of options which should solve the 'exchange rates' dilemma and make the trading of LETS Accommodation simple and fair �
1) From: Richard Douthwaite firstname.lastname@example.org
In my view, LETS intertrading is almost impossible to manage except on the basis that someone acts as broker.
He or she would become a member of two (or more) systems and have the responsibility of ensuring their account in each was handled properly.
They would set an exchange rate to ensure that this was the case, buying cheques or notes from members of both systems which were drawn on the other.
Fixed exchange rates between the two systems would be impossible.
2) From: Claire, Co-ordinator HamLETS NZ, Co-facilitator ZACS NZ
Personally, I think the best way to inter-trade is to educate ourselves to think outside the square and to trade as we travel without building up accounts of any kind.
If you are wanting to utilise accommodation, arrange payment by providing a meal for the home you are staying with.
If you have services you can offer, arrange in advance to offer those skills to members within the exchange you are visiting, instead of them paying you, they pay the member you are staying with or whose other goods/services you are utilising.
In some cases, the person traveling may be able to carry goods to trade to balance out goods and services they use - again not necessarily trading directly with the person but another member purchasing by paying that member of their exchange instead of the traveler.
From: John Turmel - Global Online UniLETS web: http://www.cyberclass.net/
There's nothing to work out once both accept the Time Standard of Money.
� Since they all have to always fall back in the unit as the hour of labor, their community currencies are always compatible.
know that many system have an Hour worth 1 hour. It's also worth:
Hopefully there's enough options now to encourage more people to offer LETS Accommodation for trading.
I'll keep you posted.
PLEASE LINK BACK TO THIS SITE
As a one-man show, I need your encouragement to keep me motivated with my mission.
One of the best ways of showing your support is by placing a link on your site, linking back to LETS-linkup.
Seeing I'm already linking to your site, then I think it's a fair exchange.
For suggested link text and banners click here.
Of course this site isn't created by "Australians", but only one person ...
14th Jan. '02
International LETS Accommodation Directory
I've just entered 3 Accommodation entries in the 'Swap Shop Goods and Services Offered' section of LETS-linkup. These are all located in sunny Queensland, Australia, and are all available for 100% LETS points. There is also accommodation currently being offered in Norway.
However, I am very aware that most countries offer accommodation through their LETS Systems.
It has been previously suggested that LETS-linkup would be a great site to host an International LETS Accommodation Directory. So I'm seeking to find out what level of interest there is for an International LETS Accommodation Directory. And I think it would probably work best if it catered for Accommodation Wanted as well.
1) If you have Accommodation to offer, please email me all the particulars at email@example.com
2) If you would like access LETS Accommodation, please email me your preferences at firstname.lastname@example.org
prompt replies can make the International LETS Directory a reality before
the end of this month!
I attended an interesting workshop at the recent Australian National LETS Conference (4th Nov'01). It was on Inter-Group Trading.
I'd just created LETS-linkup.com, and I was hoping to discover a way of trading between groups all over the world. And I wasn't disappointed.
This is what was proposed ...
1) Each LETS group opens an account for InterLETS trades.
2) Whenever one of their members makes a trade with another group, his account is debited or credited, and the opposing entry is registered in the InterLETS account.
And that's it!
If you notice that many transactions are happening with one particlar group, then it would be more practical to set up a separate account for that group only.
If you think you have a better system for trading between groups (internationally), then please let me know at email@example.com
11th Dec. '01
Free Computer Tutorials from The Newbie Club
I've noticed that most people in community exchange groups have either very little, or no experience with computers. Especially when it comes to the internet.
As I mentioned in my last editorial, I'm completely self-taught when it comes to computers. But to do that, I had to do a lot of researching on my own.
My greatest discovery came about earlier this year when I found The Newbie Club site. This is the only site I know of which tells you how to use your computer in simple to understand terms.
Tips, tutorials and advice on everything from how to get rid of the" >" symbols in your emails, to designing your own web site.
And the best part is that your membership is FREE. There's also stacks of FREE tutorials, so that before you know it, you'll be a computer wiz (like me?).
While you're here, have a look at their site The Newbie Club
Don't forget to go into their newsletter archives to get all of their
back-issues ... FREE!
You can help support LETS-Linkup.com (and James) by purchasing a copy of his book, The LETSaholic Twist, now available in hardcover, softcover and ebook.
Why not buy a printed copy and rotate it amongst your LETS members?
CLICK HERE for more information about The LETSaholic Twist.