Khaos

Archive for the 'Travel' Category

Dear J

Monday, July 20th, 2015

Dear J, single of Manhattan,

I couldn’t help but overhear your conversation tonight and your contemplation as to why you might be still single in your 30s.  I know you didn’t ask for my advice, but here is some anyway.

  1. Asking your date questions about themselves is great but you really shouldn’t answer the questions for them.
  2. If you do decide to let your date speak, it’s a good idea to listen.
  3. When taking a date to a restaurant you should know something about either the restaurant or the cuisine.  Describing guacamole as “the stuff on green sushi” and using your phone to look up the other foods does make it seem that you put no effort into choosing the restaurant.
  4. Making racist comments and offending 1.2 billion people is probably not a good idea.
  5. Bringing up S.T.Ds and not seeming to understand that you get these from having sex is just odd. (You really can’t catch one just by visiting a country.)
  6. First dates are not the time to give a lecture on how you expect your future children to behave.
  7. Making comments about the speed that your date eats, and your concerns about how they will look in the future if they keep eating like that, is not endearing.

Yours, K, who wishes she could tune out background noise.

The Search for Nessy

Sunday, July 12th, 2015

I finally managed to get to the Highlands of Scotland.  It was remarkably beautiful. I had been told it was like Ireland, but the landscapes are vaster, the mountains are higher, and the glens are wilder.

I sold the trip to my friends by describing it as a hunt for Nessy, but she was notably absent during our trip.  Mind you, Loch Ness is impressive all by itself and doesn’t need a mythical monster for it to be worth a visit.

Loch Ness, on a beautiful summer afternoon

Loch Ness, on a beautiful summer afternoon

Niseko Trip

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

For the first time in years Marty isn’t working over Christmas so we thought we would go away.  I do love snow at Christmas time so we are spending a few days in Niseko village.  We plan to ski, snowboard, go snow shoeing, ride a snow mobile, and hopefully take a sleigh ride with a reindeer.

Reindeer at Niseko

Reindeer at Niseko

Unpacking

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

I travel a lot and have gotten really good at packing. But I still suck at unpacking. Mind you I’m not sure that there are unpacking tips.  It’s a boring task that involves making sure everything is put away properly so that I can be good at packing for my next trip.   I’ve been home nearly a week and I’m not finished.  The cables and chargers will have to wait until tomorrow as the six currencies that I sorted through this morning have killed my desire to sort out anything else.

I’m sure I’ll be finished before I have to fly again next Monday…

Still Travelling

Sunday, November 30th, 2014

I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up but I always knew that I wanted to travel.  Seeing new parts of the world is still as enjoyable as I imagined but I didn’t realise that travel would also be tiring.  I’m impatient to get home.

As I have just spent a month in Australia and New Zealand I keep getting asked what they are like but I haven’t been able to find a quick way to describe them.  They are beautiful though and I would certainly go back to both.

12 Apostles, Great Ocean Road

12 Apostles, Great Ocean Road

London Bridge, Great Ocean Road

London Bridge, Great Ocean Road

Tauranga, New Zealand

Tauranga, New Zealand

 

 

 

Windy City

Monday, June 9th, 2014

We’ve just spent a long weekend in Chicago.  We stayed on the Magnificent Mile, which is a rather grand name for a shopping street, but it does mean that we were central and could easily explore on foot.  We did more shopping than I expected but I also got to walk round the parks.  We had a small kitchen in our apartment, but we did eat out quite a bit.  I do enjoy the food in America but we are still trying to adjust to American sized food portions.  For breakfast we ate at Wildberry Pancakes and Cafe.  Making the most of our jetlag we were there to queue for it opening at 6:30am.  I managed to eat around half of what I was given, which was probably still too much food.  I have asked why food portions are so big but I get answers like “we pride ourselves in the size of our portions” which doesn’t make much sense to me.  Why not put quality over quantity?

On Saturday night we went to see Eddie Izzard!  It was such an unexpected treat.  We walked by the Chicago Theatre on the way back to our hotel on Saturday afternoon and saw the adverts for the show.  We weren’t expecting to be able to get tickets but there were a few left and we ended up with good seats just a few rows back from the stage.  I was a little worried when giants turned up to sit in front of us but we could still see clearly.  The theatre was huge and wonderfully old fashioned but the seats were small and crushed together.  This didn’t cause me a problem but the people around me were all super-sized.  They must put something in the water here to make them grow.  The men in the row in front of me were all more than a foot taller than me.

Eddie Izzard was amazing on stage.  He looked fanstastic.  His suit was beautiful and I loved the red nail polish he was wearing.  He was tired after flying in from the D-Day 70th anniversary celebrations in France, but he owned the stage.  He has such presence and his rambling speaking style was incredibly amusing and had Marty wiping tears of laughter from his face many times during the two hour performance.

We’ve had a fantastic time I do like the city but I can’t imagine living here.  During the weekend there were 4 people killed in shootings and another 27 people injured.  The streets of the city were also filled with homeless people. I find the contrasts in how different sections of the community live hard to reconcile.

Snow Monkeys

Sunday, May 25th, 2014

Last weekend we took a day trip to Jigokudani Yaen Koen to see the troop of wild Japanese macaques that live there.  We had a fantastic day.

Winter is over, so no snow, but lots of baby monkeys.

Winter is over, so no snow, but lots of baby monkeys.

Tour Guide

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

We have had visitors for a couple of weeks and I spent quite a bit of my time attempting to be a tour guide.  I’m not always good at it.  I walk too fast, walk too far, and sometimes walk to places that aren’t open.  But I had fun and I got to see some new places in Japan.

Hakone Open Air Museum

Hakone Open Air Museum

 

 

Recent Travel

Sunday, October 20th, 2013

It’s 7:19am on a Sunday.  Why am I awake?  I’ve been awake for over an hour and I’ve cleaned the kitchen.  Cleaning and Sunday mornings do not go together.  I cannot stress how much I hate jet lag.  Yesterday I was woken up when a friend rang at 11:42am.  I can’t decide which is worse but neither are right.  It wouldn’t be so bad if I actually felt normal when I woke up.  But my brain has been foggy for days and I find it hard to be productive if I end up being awake at 3am as happened on Thursday morning.

The cause of the jet lag was a two week trip to America.  Autumn is a great time to visit New York, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh.  It was much warmer than I expected but the good weather did mean that I was able to spend quite a bit of time outside.  I can see why it’s called “Fall” in America as there were fallen leaves everywhere.  To me they were beautiful but since I saw people using leaf blowers to blow these off their lawns I assume that there are some problems caused by the great number of trees in the region.

Autumn Leaves

Autumn Leaves

It was my first visit to Philadelphia and I was surprised by how much I liked the city.  I was only there for a couple of days, so didn’t get to see that much of it, but I liked how the city felt.  I had been staying in China Town in Manhattan and that was chaotic and smelly so I think I enjoyed the contrast in Philadelphia where the city felt fresher than Manhattan.  Of course Manhattan feels different depending on the part you stay in but I can see why someone described Philadelphia to me as Manhattan-lite.

Love Statue - the fountain has been dyed pink for breast cancer awareness

Love Statue – the fountain has been dyed pink for breast cancer awareness

For the first time I travelled in America by train and bus.  The train wasn’t that unlike travelling by train in Japan.  It wasn’t as clean, and I was a little unnerved by how little information you could get until 15 minutes before the train left, but it was much more pleasant than flying between New York and Philadelphia.  And unlike a plane you get to see the countryside as you are travelling. I also enjoyed travelling by megabus.  The trip from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh took nearly 7 hours but the bus was comfortable, had a bathroom and wifi on board, and made a stop at a rest stop half way through.  It also only cost $30 for the one-way trip.  It wasn’t without difficulty as it was hard to find the bus stop in Philadelphia.  There was construction going on outside the Philadelphia train station so it may be easier to find the bus stop when this is finished.

I got to spend a couple of days in Laurel Highlands in the Allegheny Mountains.  It was a great area to hike in and I was fortunate to be there when it was clear and sunny.

Laurel Highlands, early Saturday morning

Laurel Highlands, early Saturday morning

I spent a few days in Pittsburgh with friends.  I’ve been to the city many times and I always enjoy going back.  My friends do like me to experience new things when I visit and this time I got to see a giant rubber duck on the Allegheny River.  I think it’s leaving the city soon and I’m sure they will miss it as it’s surprising how happy watching a 40 foot rubber duck can make you feel.

Giant Rubber Duck

Giant Rubber Duck

I am going to be travelling again in just over a week and I’m not looking forward to adjusting to GMT but I am looking forward to seeing my family and friends.

Rubber Duck, at the end of the day.

Rubber Duck, at the end of the day.

Stay Puft Marshmallow Woman

Sunday, June 9th, 2013

I travelled to America for a couple of weeks and had a great time catching up with friends.   Yesterday I spent around 14 and half hours on a plane so that I could get back home.  Compared to some people I travel a lot but my body never seems to get any better at this.  This morning I am achy all over and my head is congested.  I feel like I’ve caught some sort of flu that makes your body swell.  The puffiness seems to fascinate Marty and he was wondering if it was dangerous and if I would eventually explode.  A cheery thought for my next trip.