When I was living in Madrid, I decided not to do much for New Year’s Eve. I made that decision partly because all of my friends had left for the holidays, but largely because all the clubs in the city were charging entrance fees upwards of 100 Euros when the standard 15 to 20 Euros […]
A Good Day in Hsipaw Spent With Kids, Cows and Trash
If you spend a reasonable amount of time in any country, visiting that country’s top tourist attraction will never be the most memorable thing you do while there and in many cases, it will actually be quite disappointing. Instead, the best moments are unplanned and generally come when you least expect them. Knowing this, I’ve […]
Don’t Let China Into Your Home!
The concepts of manners and personal hygiene are viewed very differently in China. In my two years in the country, I saw people clipping their toenails at their restaurant table, grown men defecating by the side of the road, a pretty violent brawl between two old men on a bus and virtually everybody smoking everywhere […]
Hurry Up and Eat Your Squid Before it Dies!
I know you’re not supposed to play with your food, but in this case, our food seemed to be playing with us. The two squid lying on the pile of ice before us pulsated and changed from a translucent white to a dark red with every heartbeat. Dark pupils jumped around in large eyes. Whenever […]
Karakul Lake in Xinjiang Province: Escaping China’s Tourist Hordes
Regular readers will know that I really enjoy traveling in China, despite the numerous frustrations, and so far, I’ve written more posts on this blog about the Middle Kingdom than any other country. I have not yet written anything about China’s westernmost province, the Xianjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, though. That needs [read more…]
Did You Know Hello Kitty Has an Evil Twin?
Japan has to be the world export leader of all things cute and among their cute exports, Hello Kitty is probably the most famous. Everyone knows her, but very few are familiar with her equally cute, but decidedly more evil, twin Hell Kitty. Surprisingly, it’s the good twin who seems to have set her sights […]
Homestay in Jiaju Where A Film Crew Steals our Feast
Once we had gotten rid of our drunk, lunatic driver, we had no choice but to walk around Jiaju village with all our bags until we found a place offering homestays that actually had rooms available. It took us about an hour, but we eventually ended up staying with a really nice family who had [read more…]
Even the Cows Demand Money in Pushkar
I though this photo pretty much perfectly sums up the town of Pushkar in the Indian state of Rajasthan: cows and demands on our money. To be fair, this donation box is obviously not aimed at foreign tourists and all cows have a tendency to look evil and angry when they stare straight into the […]
Exploring the Tibetan Villages of Zhonglu and Suopo
Last week, I wrote about our first afternoon and evening in Danba, which were spent getting a hotel room, arranging a car and driver for the next morning, eating an average meal, and buying fresh fruit and a giant bag of peanuts to supplement that meal. I created quite a little mountain of [read more…]>
Spring Themed Japanese Smoking Manners Posters
I figured it’s time for some spring-themed smoking manners posters. This first one refers to the pollen problem in Japan, which really does get pretty bad, thanks to the Japanese Cedar. Most visitors end up suffering quite a bit, even if they don’t generally get allergies in their home countries. Luckily I never had a […]