Food Roulette

Walking into a restaurant in a foreign country with no English menu and only a few pictures scattered around you and must make a decision by pointing and hoping for the best.

This is a photo in Hong Kong at a window kitchen from the bottom floor of a large apartment building in Kawloon. There were different shops and other selling food out the window. The window I picked had a few people waiting in the line for the while I watched it. As one person walked away, another stepped up to wait, so I felt it was a popular and trusted enough place to eat random and in some cases unknown selections. I walked to the counter with money in hand trying to order in English to Chinese only speaking locals. After I failed at asking for whatever they will give me for $20. Finally the woman running the cashbox told a man something as she pointed to the back and then she called for the person behind me to come forward to select fried goodies and pay. As I thought this wasn’t the way to order foot and I should go back to the pointing and grunting method, then a younger man came forward from the rear of the kitchen. He spoke in very good broken English and asked what I wanted and with a smile, he filled bags and bowls full of things on sticks and some fried balls of something with spicy sauce on them. I could figure out what some items were and others I didn’t have a clue. I sat in the hostel balcony and tried everything loving some and not too sure on others, but it was amazing gamble that I think is a great way to try local foods.

If anyone knows what I was eating in the photo above please let me know, because I still do not know.

This amazing dish is kangaroo and I can’t rave enough about it.

Bracelets of travelers

Have you ever been sitting in a hostel and looked around to notice that there were a lot of people wearing mulitable bracelets of different colors and materials. I noticed this shortly after landing in Auckland. Is this a backpacking trend? In short, yes. I wasn’t on board at first, yet I understood it. Backpackers can’t carry much and it’s marking the places on the  journey. When I first arrived I didn’t buy into the hype or trend. Four and a half months later I was wandering threw a craft sale down by the water in Queensland, Australia on an early Sunday morning and bought a beautiful stone in beaded waxes hemp. Which was handmade by the local that was making her craft as I walked by the glance on her wares neatly arranged on her table. This was the first on many countries on this trip and the first of many brackets. The next country for me was a short flight over to Sydney from Auckland where I spent the next few months exploring. On my way down the east coast I stopped at the capital Canberra. While I spent my week in a YHA in the main part of the city I learned something I did not realise. If and when you happen to lose your passport, you must make your way to the capital to get back out of the country. Interesting and amazing people are everywhere. I was out wandering around the city taking I’m the sites of wonderful public art all around the downtown area and found what the locals call bricker- brack sale or a rummage sale and probable ten other terms for locals selling stuff. Rounding a corner one weekend morning I found such a set up. There was a man with books, a woman with clothing, jewelry, and a few mixed tables and a street performer playing piano to set to tone. After digging threw a discount bin I found a turquoise colored Rock bracelet for fifty cents Australian!

More stops on my journey and more markers of those places on my wrist. I would buy a few and break one here and there. By the time I returned home I only had about three or four left but as the wooden beads of Nepal wear against my arm I am reminded of amazing stories every time. I love it and I won’t be taking them off anytime soon.

Thailand ◇ Temples

With a few shoes out front and a warm breeze blowing down the center on the small temple off the busy road filled with tourist. This line could describe many small temples all over Thailand. Taking the side roads is part of how I travel and I am able to get a better feel for the area I am in. I have walked many miles and found some unbelievable places hidden from the guidebooks.

There is so much more wonder for me personally when I simply glance at a tourist map and explore,better know as getting lost, in back roads and alleys. Wondering where the mass of daily commuter and travels aren’t going gives a better feel for what the real city is like. I was given some advice before I left to get off of the well traveled sight seeing path. Even if you are a backpacker, there are still common hot spots a majority  of them end up finding. The advice I received was simple, get off the beaten path. Whether  it is going to the next town over, or going a few blocks down from where you are right now.  You can literally do this from everywhere, even your own home. Find a new bar, hidden shop, or local gem just behind your block.

Elephant Nature Park

The Elephant Nature Park in Chang Mai Thailand is a no ride all love animal park. Close to one hundred elephants, water buffalo, and countless dogs have been taken here for a better life. The staff is amazing to the animals and were able to answer all of the questions that came up. I stayed at the park for the 2 day – overnight in my own large room with shared back porch. The room was beautiful and large,not at all what I was thinking when the paperwork said I would be sleeping in a hut. For two days my group of new friends from all over the globe helped feed, river washed and loved on elephants on the large parcel of land. The elephants are locked up at night to protect them from things that go bump in the night in a secluded area of Chang Mai. Just an amazing place to be for a few days, I cant say enough good things. Elephant Nature Park Click on the link to set up your own amazing encounter.