Category Archives: Experience

South East Asia Food Court Etiquette

South East Asia Food Court Etiquette

If you consider yourself a foodie, you should definitely consider making a pilgrimage to one of the many hawker centers that are hugely popular with the locals in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Hong Kong. Before you unbutton the top button on your pants and head out the door, I’d like to tell you about the rules at these establishments so you don’t look silly in front of the locals. Everyone is there to get yummy, cheap food so people will not tolerate a foreigner getting in the way of their goal.

Step One: Overcome your fears of street foods. Hawker centers are the source for very cheap meals that are often better than restaurants, where you will pay at least double. Hawker centers are open buildings without air-conditioning housing a few rows small food stalls that serve a various local specialties as well as favorites from neighboring nations. You can typically find your favorites from the following cuisines: Malay, Indonesian, Indian, Thai, Chinese, Japanese, and Middle Eastern. Also, you can find fresh juices, desserts. Everything is almost always prepared fresh after you order.

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The Sterile City

The Sterile City

Another huge change in environments for us: from Delhi, India to Singapore.  While much of India is known for being dirty, Singapore is known for quite the opposite. You can’t buy chewing gum because it is banned in the city.  Jaywalking is enforced extensively.  Caning is still a common form of punishment – remember Michael Fay from Ohio?

Singapore is an interesting mix of cultures.  It was once part of Malaysia, but because of fundamental political disagreements, Singapore became it’s own nation.  Since then, many British, Chinese, and Indian people have moved there.  They have four official languages and most signs are written in each of them!

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India: You Either Love It or Hate It.

India: You Either Love It or Hate It.

India. Wow, where do I begin? I jolted awake as we were coming in for the landing and saw endless lights of Mumbai pre-sunrise. I always get a rush of adrenaline and get really excited when we land in a new place. I long for being overly stimulated by all new sounds, views, temperatures and sights right as you step out of the airport. Mumbai definitely served up all that and more. As our taxi drove away from the airport, I was all eyes taking in this city before it woke up: endless buildings, people sleeping on the streets, piles of garbage and people drinking their first chais of the day. That’s when I thought:

We are not in the Greek Isles anymore.

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Greek Island Hopping

Greek Island Hopping

When first outlining our Itinerary we were planning to be in India in early to mid August. We thought the monsoon would be over with for the most part, especially in the south, where we were hoping to get started. However, while we were in Istanbul we had some time to plan our trip. While looking the weather over, we decided that it’d be wise to delay India by a few weeks. More on India in a future post, but, where would we go?

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Physical and Emotional State of Travel

Physical and Emotional State of Travel

Something that Colin Wright, one of my favorite travel bloggers, was discussing in his My Exile Lifestyle ebook about his travel lifestyle really resonated with me. He talks about a time in his life when he was feeling simply content – in the middle of the extremes of human potential. He describes it as this:

I never felt incredible euphoria or extreme pain. Instead of reaching peaks and valleys of human experience, my capacity was limited to a small region right in the center.

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