In 2012 we decided to do our first “giant” trip that involved planes, trains, and automobiles, multiple weeks, and multiple countries in Europe. We started out in Brussels, headed to a fifth floor (EUROPEAN fifth floor, so really sixth floor. Don’t let them try to fool you) walk-up with narrow curlicue stairs in the Gambetta in Paris, then went off to Madrid, Barcelona, and back to Brussels before flying back to Zambia.
There are many things you can’t plan ahead for while traveling, no matter how dedicated, resourceful, and thorough you try to be. Like, for instance, a rotovirus outbreak.
You can’t plan for a rotovirus outbreak, people. YOU CAN’T PLAN FOR THIS.
As promised – because I’m all about fulfilling promises – I’m about to give you the keys to the gates of culinary paradise. A recipe so profound, so life-changing that I had to translate the recipe into English from the very alphabet of the Heavenly Angels. A recipe that is the actual Platonic ideal of macaroni and cheese. A recipe that epitomizes everything that is good about pasta, bourbon, cheese and bacon by mixing them together.
The thing about being an expat living in Africa is that everyone brings you booze for every occasion. Plus there were all those times you passed through the Duty Frees in various transit airports (Pro-Tip: Big 5 Duty Free in Johannesburg’s OR Tambo. You can thank me later). And don’t get me wrong, a lot of it gets properly used in the imbibing process. However, it is inevitable that there will be a move that will come around just when you have reached maximum booze collection density .
We have a Facebook page associated with the From Fresno to Timbuktu site, but you know that, right? You know that, and YOU HAVE LIKED IT, right? Go ahead, you can do that now. I’ll wait for you.
Now that you have pressed the like button and are perusing our offerings of witticisms, pontificating, and moments of sheer ridiculousness (often brought to you by over-tired children, over-packed husbands, and a cat that finds car rides a better elimination help than Senekot tablets), you can start liking some of our stuff as well.
And by “like”, I mean, “pick an appropriate emoticon to tell us how engaged you are with all this hoo-dee-do.”
I’m not sure how many people visit Kuala Lumpur and don’t stop by the Batu Caves, but I’m pretty sure that it’s required by international travel law that you see them when you happen to be in the neighborhood. And they are lovely – just absolutely lovely!
I love Trip Advisor – I do. I really, really do. And I never make a hotel booking without first checking what Trip Advisor contributors have to say about that hotel. There are always the odd reviews out where people have an ax to grind, but if you read the reviews with a practiced eye, you will get a very good idea of what to expect.
I’m sure you’ve heard that what you do on the first day of the year will set the pattern for the year to come.
Actually, you may not have heard it, and I may have made it up. I did try searching that phrase, but I couldn’t find a Google link, which seems to indicate that I just randomly decided that it is a thing. Whatever. It’s a good thing.
So there I am, at the bottom of The Peak Tram in Hong Kong. I’m soaking wet. I’ve managed to wrench my back somehow and am in the sort of pain only someone whose back lived through a pregnancy resulting in a nearly twelve pound baby can be. It’s raining. And worst of all – the won ton soup I had ordered at the top of The Peak had smelled like someone took the shrimp for a sun-filled vacation in a rotting sewer. It was sent back, of course. And I got no won ton soup.
Sometimes you have these days when you travel. “But!” I told myself. “Hey! I’m in Hong Kong! That’s awesome! And we’ll just take a cab back to the hotel, chill and dry, then get some won ton soup somewhere else! Really, I’m totally ahead on this!”