TourismHi, we’re Joshua Foer and Dylan Thuras. We co-founded a database of the world's 13,000 most hidden and obscure places, Atlas Obscura. Ask us anything!
Dec 21st 2017 by atlasobscura • 7 Questions • 78 Points
The conditions are horrible, the atmosphere is one of despair and desperation, basic necessities are difficult to come by and art supplies almost impossible to find.
People are often held here for years, sometimes for more than a decade, cut off from their families, from their jobs, from the world. It's especially hard during the holiday season with so many being kept from their familes, often with young kids who don't understand why daddy isn't at home.
I'm also the artist behind "Flowers For Bicutan", a fundraiser trying to supply food, medicine and legal aid to the detainees held in a third world detention center. I'll be donating artwork in exchange for donations.
Ask me about living here, about being an artist under these conditions, about the affects of "indefinite temporary detention" etc. Ask me anything.
Proof of location: https://truepic.com/search/?id=xz7ld6nn
Please note that I cannot reveal my identity as Immigration staff forbid us from using social media.
Can you explain a little bit about your business model and how it came to be what it is?
Why do some ride operators need to repeat the safety message every single ride, rather than just having a pre-recorded message to play?
You mentioned that your Christmas movies are
on tv non-fucking-stop right now.
What do you feel about how in-your-face Christmas movies/music/etc. are this time of year?
With the ban on social media, how are you able to access Reddit? And that would be the repercussions if they were to find out you’re doing this AMA?
It evolved really organically over time. Basically we started without one and blindly felt our way towards something that both worked as a business and we felt helped us accomplish our mission of spreading wonder! Now we are a mix of advertising, events, international trips, and book publishing. It's definitely nice to have the mix! -Dylan
It wouldn't a real theme park if you can't understand the safety instructions because they're talking fast and the mic quality is bad. A prerecorded message would take all that away.
I think all the hate that reddit/Facebook/twitter gives to Christmas culture is kinda dumb. I like all of it when I'm in the mood for it. When I'm not in the mood for it, I can listen to or watch something else. It's a fairly easy adjustment!
That being said, Santa shouldn't appear until the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I think it's dumb to start the Christmas stuff the day after Halloween. Going to the Macy's parade however? OVERRATED.
The ban isnt a ban per se. Nothing written, no clear directive. But.. for example if you post something derogatory towards the Immigration officials on facebook, they confiscate your phone. We had one guy whose x-wife put him here. He posted his story and it got thousands of followers. She complained to Immigration. They confiscated his phone. I expect they will confiscate my phone tomorrow or later this week. Only one artist here. Your phone is your lifeline. Its communication with the outside world, family, wife or girlfriend if you have one, friends, work, attorney, bank.... Its more than that. Its our mental escape. Its movies, games whatever you need to take your mind somewhere else. For me its music, art and ebooks. We have a few paperbacks. Ive read them. Numerous times. The Koreans and Taiwanese own mp3 soundsystems so we get a half dozen compilations of their music playing. Again and again and again... There is a tv which is sometimes on for a few hours, but the guards have the controls so not useful if you dont enjoy beauty contests or local soaps. It makes a world of difference to slip on a pair of earphones, close your eyes and escape into music. Its sanity. Its a very thin thread which can help you hold on to sanity. Without a phone this place is hell.
Hi guys! My question is: with all that Atlas Obscura is already doing, and how much the site/projects have grown...what's next? Are there any new projects or avenues on the horizon?
What ride do you operate, and what do you want to operate? Also, do you know the average number of trains/riders per hour TC on normal op days/any explanation on why it never really gets to duel?
Yeah, a whole host of stuff! We just launched Gastro Obscura which is our attempt to catalog the world's unusual and fascinating foods and food places, we are working on AO kids book for 2018, and maybe the most exciting thing is that in the last year we started running these real world international trips. So we just took a group to Ukraine and into Chernobyl, we took a group to the Amazon and everyone put a whip spider on their face, ha (not required) and we are going to Romania, Mexico City, the Arctic and like 20 more places next year! -Dylan
I mainly operate Justice League, but I think it would be fun to do Superman or one of those launch rides. Idk qbout twisted though, never worked there. My guess is that they want to launch the trains asap
What is the best thing that has happened to you this year?
Well, this is apparently the happiest house in the database: https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/happy-rizzi-house -Josh
I got to marry the love of my life! She’s a brilliant artist from Tasmania, and a total babe.