Faster-Than-Walking 歩くよりは早く世界一周!?

Faster-Than-Walking

Taking the slow road round the world, on the cheap, on a postie-bike... 2-up.

"ファースター ザン ウォーキング""歩くより早い"
2008年4月30日オーストラリア・フリーマントルを110ccのちっちゃいバイク1台で出発。
期限なしお金尽きるまで世界一周目指すのーぷらんスローな旅。

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Road Report : Bangladesh


They are a hard working bunch the Bangladeshi's. You would think the political and temporal climate would make them quiet and lazy... You would think.
The reality is a constant transformation and flow that is a direct result of the unbridled energy you feel from the people throughout the country. Although it is somewhat unfocused at times and in Dhaka the buzz is just overpowering, things do get done and it is possible to find peace and solace if you are looking for it... Possible but very difficult.

You can see signs of their hard work everywhere and, its true, almost everyone over the age of 3 is put to work to do something. One of the most startling things is the huge brick making yards everywhere, sometimes stretching as far as the eye can see. Silt and mud that is created every monsoon is scooped up in the dry season, poured into molds and baked in enormous ovens. Considering most of the architecture outside the capital consists of bamboo and foliage the question begs to be asked why are all these country folk slogging away to produce the steaming blocks and where the hell are they being used?

It thickens.

Then you see armies of people (usually women) smashing the bricks, by hand, back into matter of varying degrees of coarseness, everything from pee sized to volume of fist. Why?
Well, its not (just?) some evil game of torture thought up by the powers to keep the general populace occupied, their hard labour actually serves a very important purpose.
Bangladesh soil over millennia has been stripped of stones and rocks, be it from annual flooding or from centuries of collective collection, so now there is nothing naturally solid for which to create foundations of any kind.
The roads that are constantly being made and repaired country-wide require these brick pieces so a certain robustness is reached to survive the climate and traffic they are exposed to, day in day out.
Although climate, for Bangladeshi's, is an ever increasing unpredictability, its certain that roads here will continually be subject to a severe battering from the traffic plying them for some time yet.

In the bigger cities, of the minions, you will find that the car drivers in particular are erratic and blind to compromise. Beware for these guys are not the owners of sane thought nor the vehicle in which they steer, merely drivers for people rich enough to own them. With importation tax at 200% owning a second hand foreign car, say a Toyota Camry requires an income VERY few people could dream of, western-logical thought comes at a much higher price too. Buses loaded with people and Trucks loaded with bricks relentlessly bore down the narrow streets, expectations of anything other than chaos and noise is plain stupidity.

In the rural areas things are a little more placid. The cars are replaced by animal drawn carts and the road surfaces sometimes change without warning, which slows things done in parts. The buses however are over-loaded with people and the trucks often lose their load of bricks so it's not entirely safe. On the whole the country roads are free from congestion and often very scenic.

Being such a flat, low lying country, any journey will bring you in contact with water, even if you try to avoid it. New bridges are being built all the time and even at the smallest of crossings there will be a vessel of some sort to take you to the other side. Obviously most vessels are of questionable quality and some bridges are screaming “Disaster”...



Wasn't sure who had right of way here, me or the train!
In some areas, waterways are so big, waiting times can stretch into days.



As I mentioned before, we were always surrounded by people when not on the bike. Sometimes it did get a bit much so we developed a code of dress, more akin to the local attire, in an effort to bade off attention.




This usually worked for about 5minutes!

Striking up conversations with strangers and meeting people at the roadside is a common occurrence even for locals. I hold particular experiences close to my heart, mostly centered around the little roadside stalls/shops that sell anything you can imagine...




Heavy Bearings and Light Snacks





Reworked Shruti's and Recycled Burners.





This guy repaired my money! And the other guys eventually sold us one of these things.



Looks much better on Aki!

The time had inevitably come to leave Bangladesh, however sad it was. Our Indian visa was ticking away and monsoon was fast approaching.
The bells of departure were ringing loudly in our ears!!!



We decided to exit at the far North West crossing of Burimari.
Our ever present farewell party was waiting outside the hotel in Patgram when we woke up...



Off towards the border but first you have to pay for your 300Taka Departure Tax token at the Bank in the village...



After Immigration ride on through the boom gate, past the smiling soldier hiding behind the wall...



Through no-mans-land to the other hut near the other boomgate. Get your paperwork signed by the fine bearded Customs Officer...



And you're in India!
First impressions are important when crossing international borders, that's why I always wear my best shirt. Looking around at India that first afternoon made me want to jump back over into the warm arms of mother Bangla. She was just 30meters away but I already missed her.
Rubbish was strewn allover, gone were the smiles of strangers, beggars seemingly came from everywhere, music blared from shop fronts, traffic lights, plastic, public phones, more plastic, t-shirts, jeans, beer, pork, street dogs, street kids, cars, vans and neon...

I felt cheated.

Such a great place that unfortunately is at the mercy of so many exterior forces.
Per capita Bangladeshi's have one of the lightest carbon footprints on the planet yet their country is the most affected by climate change. A nation full of bright ideas but empty of funds to implement them. The worlds image of them as a people broken couldn't be further from the truth.

If we stop the ice cap melting and start demanding better quality from our mid level consumables... With their skill in manufacturing and agricultural might...

In 30 years time Bangladesh may well be the next super power.



Total Time Taken = Just 25 Days
Total Kms Ridden = 1,346 Kms
Total Litres Purchased = 40 Litres
Total BDT Spent per Person = BDTaka 18,704

Book your tickets while you still can.

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バイバイ・バングラデシュ。
後ろ髪を引かれながらもバングラデシュにバイバイをして
インドはダージリンにたどり着きました。

バングラデシュほんとに名残惜しいです。
なんかこれがほんとのイノセントワールドなのでは!?
と思ってしまうような人達のピュアさに心打たれること約1ヶ月。
田舎町を歩けばまるでどっかのスターになったかのように
握手を求められるは、行くとこ行くとこぞろぞろ着いてこられるはで
なんかほんとに笑ってばっかの日々が早くも懐かしい。。。

必ずまた行きたい国・イノセントワールド・バングラデシュでした。

こっからはツーリスト大国インディア・・・
どんな試練が待ち受けているのやら。
こう御期待!!!

We were always surprised by the crowds that surrounded us whenever we took our helmets off in rural Bangladesh. Not because of the crowds size but because of how quiet, gentle and good natured they always were. Usually there was just one person confident enough to ask questions while the hundreds of others smiled and curiously looked on at a close distance. We never felt threatened and always shared a good laugh with these people living close to the land. We will miss them.

外を歩けばこの状態

They loved talking to Aki and shaking her hand.

売店でお菓子を買えばこの状態

They loved just staring at me! (Do I look pale?)


とにかく人だらけでまるで動物園の中に飼われている動物になった気分。
こんな気分に耐えれる人,イノセントを味わってみたい人にはぴったりな国では・・。


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バングラ寺院・遺跡巡り。
バングラにも観光名所はある?
今回行ったバングラの観光地といえる観光地。
北西部の遺跡郡。
私たちが行った日外国人観光客ゼロ。
(っていうより今の今まで外国人観光客にあってない。)
ほんとに観光客がいない。

プティアという村に寺院群がある。
シヴァ寺院にゴヴィンダ寺院。
そのどれもが煉瓦造りでその表面はテラコッタで覆われている
アンコールワットなどとは比較にならないくらい規模は小さいが
かなり小さい彫刻が施されている。


Shiva Temple, Puthia.



Aki in ceremony at Govinda Temple, Puthia.

どうしても着てみたかった念願のサリーで寺巡り♪
なんか着物を着たときの気分になるからピリッと背筋が伸びる感じ。
でもヒンドゥ寺院にバングラサリーを着ていったことを
後で知らされたのよね〜。。。
ちゃんと下調べすればよかったわ。。
まっ、サリーはサリーだし気にしない気にしない。


二箇所目に行ったのはボグラという町から北へ約20kmの場所にある
バングラ最古の地「モハスタン Mahasthangarh」仏教都市遺跡
城壁のような長い囲いがずーっと続きその囲いの中に町があったとか。


Oldest ruins in Bangladesh. Mahasthangarh.


そして三つ目はバングラ世界遺産のうちの一つ
パハルプール僧院遺跡


Somapuri Vihara, Paharpur. Biggest Buddhist Monastery south of the Himalaya.

実はここ中に入らず外から見ただけ。。。
だって、だって、入場料100タカ!
これって140円ほどだけどローカルは10タカ。
外国人観光客ってだけで10倍の値段になってる。。。
外からでも十分見れるしいいやって事で
世界遺産見物終了。


そして最後、カンタナガル寺院。
ここもヒンドゥ寺院でなーんにもないところにポツンとたたずんでいる。
入場料はなかったけどバイクの駐車料5タカ
最初15タカって言ってきたけど。。。


Kantanagar Hindu Temple near Dinajpur.



そしてもれなく地元のガキンチョが行くとこ行くとこ着いてきて
かなりウザイ。「10タカ、10タカ」とか言ってくるし。
着いてこられるぶんには慣れたけどお金のこと言ってくるガキはきらい。
それさえなければみんなかわゆいのに。。。


めっちゃ感動!!っていう遺跡巡りじゃないけど
一応観光ってことで。
バングラの見どころは違う所にたっぷりあるのわかったしね。

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Concrete Petting Zoo.
Our trip northwest out of Dhaka into the wilds of Rajshahi Provence was an adventure from the get go.
Angry mobs demanding baksheesh in Aricha Ghat, police on our tail from Pabna, the exotic bazaars of the capital Rajshahi through the temples of Puthia and especially the zoo park of Bogra.

As we were looking for a place to eat we stumbled upon a small crowd of young couples going through a lollipop coloured gate. We decided to follow.
10 Taka entrance and we were thrown into a kitsch world of psychedelic concrete animals and charming haunted castles.
It didn't take us long to loosen up and perform for the ever present crowd of onlookers...



We were undecided about seeing the Taj when we hit India...



Now we are certain that we will make the effort to go!

We had a wander around the park and even dared to enter the haunted cave. It was pretty dark inside and once my eyes adjusted to the darkness the shapes hanging from the walls indeed did spook me a little. The lighting engineer needs to step up his game a little though.

He wasn't even manning his post...



Inexplicably there was a giant gramophone on the roof!



Rajshahi Provence is home to the best archeological sites of Bangladesh, empty almost abandoned places that if in any other country would be crawling with crowds of snap happy tourists.
Very remote and difficult to access but also very rewarding.
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Lost Wax
Bangladesh has a long history in metal work, some of the techniques still used today date back to the Mesopotamian period. The skill and knowledge is being lost at an alarming rate though. There are only just a handful of places countrywide that still practice the ancient craft.

Dhamrai on the outskirts of Dhaka is home to a few skilled craftsmen and being so close we decided to check it out while we were in town. Dhamrai itself is a storybook exotic town, well worth the visit alone, it was an extra bonus to be welcomed into Sukanta's Metal Craft workshop and meet all the people involved. They mainly do brass and bronze casting using the lost wax method, handed down over centuries.
The workshops building is an impressive colonial mansion deteriorating just enough but still being livable.

Sukanta took us around, introduced us to the craftsmen and explained each process in detail.

A straw core is first made and then coated in a thin layer of clay. It is air dried for a week or so then used as a boss over which paraffin wax is laid. This is where the real skill is involved. The piece is slowly constructed by heating, moulding, sculpting and cutting wax and fixing it to the base wax covered core.

The piece cant be solid wax as it wont support its own weight, plus this will make the finished object solid metal... Expensive and heavy.


職人が一つ一つ手作業で蝋を形どっていく

Wax work can take anywhere from a day to a month, depending on size and detail. When we were there they were just finishing off this pair of commissioned 1meter high Guard Horses. Super intricate, remember it's wax man...


出来上がった蝋人形

After the waxing is finished the pieces are first painted with a very thin layer of clay to get into all the recesses and undercuts. Two more successively thicker layers are then coated to completely encapsulate the wax.


出来上がった蝋人形に三層にわけて泥を塗って乾かす

They are then air dried for up to a month.
After curing the pieces are put in a big oven and it is slowly heated up. At around 80C the wax melts and runs out of the base, at around 1200C the molten wax trapped inside the clay mold evaporates and leaves a cavity exactly equaling the wax model now lost...
While the mold is still hot, molten bronze is poured into it and left to slowly cool. We didn't see this process, but I think it would be both the most stressful and interesting.

The clay mold is smashed open to (hopefully) reveal an exact replica of the wax model, only this time in bronze! Bits of broken mold was strewn all over the firing pit.


釜で焼いた後蝋が溶けて空洞になった所にメタルを流し込み固めた後
外の土部分を叩き割ってメタルを磨く


Final finishing is done with sandpaper and filing. Small imperfections can be repaired at this time.



And what is left is an exquisitely detailed piece of artwork...



We had a great day and learned a lot.
Sukanta is passionate about metal work and is trying hard to keep the art alive in this mass manufactured nowism obsessed world. He will open a museum soon, housing his private collection of objects collected from around the country. A first for Bangladesh.

Definitely worth a visit.

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銀製品のワークショップへおじゃま。
ダッカ市内から40km程離れた場所にダムライという地区があって
そこでメタル製品のワークショップにおじゃましてきた。

築130年のコロニアル風のかなり年期のはいった建物。
全26部屋もあるその建物は今は数室のみワークショップとして使われていて
そこではオーナーのスカンタ氏と奥様と2歳の息子ちゃんが生活している。





メタルクラフトって?何?
金、銀、プラチナでできたオブジェやらポットやらのことで
よく寺院やらでみかける神様の置物とか。




まず作業場で作業工程を教えてもらったけど
ああいうメタル製品って「ろう」を使ってまず形を作るんですね。
そのあと三層にわけて土でろうを覆って釜で焼く。
そうすると中のろうが溶けて中に空洞ができその中にメタルを流し込む
っていう工程なんだけど、とにかくろうで形を作る作業が
細かいのなんのってすごい。





チャイをいただきながらスカンタ氏の話を聞いて
その日はとりあえず帰ったのだけど後日またおじゃますることに。
なんかすごい雰囲気のいい村にあってどうしてもダッカを出る前に
もう一度行きたかったから。
二度目も快く向かえてくれてさらに奥様の家庭料理まで御馳走になってしまった。
ちなみに奥様は絵描きさん。
スカンタ氏のポットコレクションや奥様の絵画の部屋
コンクリートの殺風景な部屋に置かれた作品が
歴史を語っているような。。。

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バングラの癒し。
タクルゴンという町からここランプールに来るとき
ニルパマリという町を経由して来た。
二通りの行き方があったけどここは迷わずローカルの人も
わざわざ通ろうとしない田舎道をえらんだ。
その方が大きなトラックやバスが少ないから逆にいいんよね。
この国も交通ルールは基本的になし。
まじめにルール守ってたら事故るハメになる。
基本、大きい車両がえばって車線関係なしに突っ込んでくるのでバイクや自転車は
はらはらのメインロードは出来る事なら遠慮したい。

そして通って来た道はちっちゃい集落がぽつりぽつりと
なんとも豪華な田園風景でここを通らずしてバングラは語れない
と言わんばかりのすてきな場所だらけだった。
そして極めつけは渡し船。
道なき道を進みながら村人にニルパマリはどこだ〜?って
聞きながら指差さす方向に見えてきたのは川。
ガビーン。ここまで来てまさか引返す???
と思ったのも束の間。
なんと渡し船があった〜!!
ここは地図にもガイドブックにも載っていない
来た者のみぞ知る秘境といっても過言では無い!
と勝手に決めつけたけど。。。
思わずひそひそ声で話してしまうあたりの静かさに胸うたれてしまった。
船はエンジンついてなく手漕ぎ!


River crossings in Bangladesh slow the pace right down.


Gives you plenty of time to meet real interesting people.


Propulsion by way of a long stick!


Its super quiet on deck, very relaxing too.


Stares by the riverbed seem less intense.


I almost felt guilty spoiling the silence.


Pay your fee in the hut... 5Taka


Rivers are everywhere in Bangladesh.


まるで無理矢理つくられたかのような村の風景だけど
リアルなんだよなぁ。。。

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昔の日本ってこんな感じかな。
やっとインターネットにありつけました。
今はバングラデシュ北西部のランプールというところ。
ここに来るまでネット屋見かけることもなく
ようやくブログアップしてます。

バングラデシュってたぶん60ー70年前の日本みたいな感じだと思う。
60ー70年前の日本って見たことないけどたぶんそんな感じ。
機械で動いているものって数えれる程しかなくてみんな肉体労働なんよね。

ダッカから少し離れると見かける家も藁と土で出来たものが主流。
コンクリートで出来た建物は町にあるだけ。
町から町への移動中は田んぼが一面にひろがっていて
牛や人力で農業を営んでいる。

空気はきれいだし何もなくて結構好き。
ひとたび町に入るとごみ粉塵だらけで服が真っ黒だけど
今までの国できれいな方だとおもう。
きれいっていうかごみが少ない。
とにかくプラスティックのごみが無い!
そもそもバングラはプラスティックが違法なんだとか。
スーパーで買いものしても布袋か紙袋かネット袋。
結構エコな国です。
リデュース・リユーズ・リサイクル
ものは無駄にしないですね。


Super Draft!


Cow dung dried and repurposed as cooking fuel not tree insulation.

牛の糞。乾かして火をおこすのに使うのだそう。

あと数日ここでゆっくりします。
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Fuzzy Logic
You know the main reason I enjoy traveling so slowly is that the bright little jewels of information picked up along the way, the tiny sparks hiding in dimly lit crevices, make hobo-ing all the more interesting... Jems of knowledge that at first have no useful purpose end up being, at some later time, outdated or completely forgotten altogether. Compiling and linking these tidbits in all matter of ways is how I fill the down time, you'd be surprised at the patterns I've observed. There are welcomed quiet periods which is nice 'cos my brainium just couldn't take it full-time, especially if tired or unwell.
We over-slept a lot in Dhaka mainly because I was a little scared to tackle the traffic jams... I was also sick due completely to the spicy chewing tobacco bought off a guy sitting outside the market (on a broken crate), I should have known better really, it was wrapped in soggy newspaper. This mini adventure did teach me a thing or two though.

#1. Asian Chewing Tobacco makes your teeth and faeces red.
#2. Drinking fresh green coconut milk fixes an upset stomach double quick.
#3. Dhaka has an Internationally recognized Diarrhea Research Institute!
You see? Its all connected in'nit?

Actually the first thing that hits you is the shear amount of movement here. People are just everywhere, going in all different directions and always at full speed. Cars, buses, trucks, bikes, bicycles, auto-rickshaws, pedestrians and especially rickshaws. Critical mass, non-stop, full:volume, 24/7.
My first week in the worlds most densely populated country endowed me with some trinkets of wisdom.

#1. There are over 600 000 rickshaws in Dhaka.
#2. One rickshaw can be bought for about US$200
#3. Rickshaw riders (Wallahs) rent them for about US$1.50 a day, they don't own them.
#4. Rickshaw owner cartels control depots, routes and fees.
#5. Average fee is about 1Taka a minute.
#6. Rickshaw is an adaptation of the Japanese word, 人力車 Jin Riki Sha (Human Powered Car)
#7. They are shifty bastards so make sure price and destination is clear before getting on.



The area down by the Buriganga River (a Ganges offshoot) is where life is at its most desperate and chaotic. Old Dhaka is awash with dust and noise.
Dust yes but the streets are surprisingly free from rubbish.



Noise definitely but petrol vehicles in Old Dhaka are banned so the streets hum with more... ahem, organic sounds and smells.



Still we managed to sneak in on our bike somehow!
Bangladesh is a developing country but it's environmental policies put most developed nations completely to shame.

#1. Plastic shopping bags are prohibited.
#2. Many city centers are free from petrol powered vehicles.
#3. Over 3000 fully electric TukTuks are in active service.
#4. All other TukTuks run on CNG (Compressed Natural Gas).

Don't ask me where the natural gas comes from nor how its compressed but considering the population and diet of Bangladeshi's the mind does wander!

We did find some time between sleeps for sightseeing though.
Took a trip out to the National Monument. An impressive memorial for all the lives lost in the war for independence.



Also paid a visit to the Sitara Mosque, another special building with an interesting history.



Both these places appear on the 100Taka note which although not useful information to you still brings a proud smile to my face every-time a Rickshaw-wallah tries to relieve me of one.



What was special for me about the Sitara Mosque was that this group of kids followed me everywhere and continued to shout out “Osama Bin Laden”...



In my efforts to shake them off I tried to strike up a conversation with this guy...



But when he started to giggle and join in with the adolescent name callers I had no choice but to turn my attention to the wall behind him. I was cornered and confused, I had nowhere to hide. What else could I do?



Hey that's Mount Fuji... In a Bangla Mosque? Why, you ask?
I haven't the faintest idea, I didn't stick around to question it. With a small crowd amassing, all laughing and pointing, I was having trouble comprehending the irony of the situation.
Aki and I hightailed it out of there, I nervously looked back as we turned the corner and they were still waving and smiling!

If anyone can tell me why there are Japaneshi tiles in this Bangladeshi Mosque I would be most appreciative. I think I'll shave before my next visit.

The connections don't end there apparently, look at the national flag...



I know, I know but its just another link in one of the many chaotic patterns I have found, it's basically here to help me remember, I really am terrible with flags...
You are free to forget it though.

Something of a surprise to me was that even in Muslim countries you can still buy booze legally! This liquor shop is near Abba's Garden on New Airport road if you're interested.



The sign should read. “Only for locals with foreign friends”... That's why we were taken to the joint.

And finally something which completely baffles me yet potentially contains the answers to all the worlds problems. At least that's the way it appeared.



This guy was surrounded by a crowd 5deep. His boombox was blaring spoken word interlaced with short sitar ballads. Every now and again the crowd would cheer on queue and the guy would scoop a giant live slug out of a bucket, pour some liquid on it then stuff it in a labeled paper bag.
Sometimes money would be thrown at him and he would hand over a writhing paperbag in response.
Sometimes he would talk to the crowd.
Sometimes not.
Sometimes the crowd would just stare at him doing nothing. At least that's what they did until they noticed me, my presence ruined the magic for everyone.
Everyone except the slugs that is, they no longer ended up in a paperbag!

Voodoo witchdoctory?
I've been trying to iron it all out but I just cant seem to make the pieces fit.
I like his moustache but something tells me that has little to do with it.
This country weaves a rich tapestry.
My investigation continues.
| BANGLADESH バングラデシュ | comments(3) | trackbacks(57) |

にほんブログ村 旅行ブログ 世界一周へ
ブログランキング参加してます!それぞれ1日1回ワンクリック宜しくお願いします♪
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バングラ ロードパーミット
ロードパーミット取得について。
出入国の場所が異なる場合バングラデシュではロードパーミットが必要。
国境により条件は異なるが無料なので事前取得がベター
もしなければおそらく賄賂を要求されるかもしくは出国できない。

ダッカ市内にある
イミグレーション・パスポートオフィスの4階
AGARGAON ROAD
オートリキシャ・タクシーなどに通りの名前とパスポートセンター
ということを伝えるとたいていありつけます

If you fly into Bangladesh and want to leave via a land border you need to apply for a "Change Of Route Permit"


Immigration and Passport Office on Agargaon Road


4th floor interview and fill-out the form.


24-72hours later you will have to fill-out the form again and receive your permit... Easy!

窓口で用紙をもらい必要事項を記入、
トップオフィサーチックな女性の部屋に案内されサインをもらって
その後また窓口に戻り受け取り日を告げられるだけのシンプル作業だが
2時間くらいかかる。
午後1時〜3時は昼休みになるので注意。
受け取りまで通常2ー3日はかかる様子だったが、
トップオフィサーチックな女性に理由をつければ翌日受け取り可能でした。

必要なものは証明写真1枚。
費用は無料。
賄賂要求も一切なし。

| BANGLADESH バングラデシュ | comments(0) | trackbacks(0) |

にほんブログ村 旅行ブログ 世界一周へ
ブログランキング参加してます!それぞれ1日1回ワンクリック宜しくお願いします♪
Like this Post? One click on the buttons to vote. Thanks!
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