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.
Coming back after a extended trip can be hard for anyone. There are many emotions evolved in the days before you leave and the trip home. Weather it is a few hour car ride or a full day flight, the travel beings the emotions of home very real.
My latest trip was almost eight months long and I learned a lot about the world and about myself as cliche as that may sound. For me it was after the first few months I adjusted to life on the road and out of a pack. I started my trip in Auckland, New Zealand and stayed in most of the major area of the city for the first three weeks, and man did I ever get my bearings of a city then walking it everyday for three weeks for most of the daylight hours. After the innatinal first weeks my mother took the twenty something hour flight to come see her globe trotting daughter. My mother, being the planner she is, had all of our ten days filled with things to see and do on this once in a lifetime trip for both of us. We travled from north to south island and back again. When I finally had to tell my dear mum goodbye I had to be on my own again and for this trip my defining moment. Having to plan where you will sleep and how you will get to that bed you booked in the most beautiful picture the hostel can create, you learn how quickly judge pictures and rating. Which I feel I had learned from hostel hopping in Europe on a tight budget. After a few mad hostels in New Zealand and one or two in Australia I learned quickly that five US dollars could mean the difference between a small or out of the way compared to toilets soaked in drunken pee from the bar hostel downstairs. Reviews are worth the read and also worth the time to write.
- Www.Booking.com always gave me the most results generally in my International travels
- Www.hostelworld.com come up with much fewer results but are all on a backpacker/ budget level.
- Www.couchsurfing.com is a way to meet locals that are willing to open up their home to you after registering and filling in important details to the website and matching with locals that want to show you their city. You may have to do dishes or keep clean in exchange for a very local tour,home cooked local food, and a place to lay your head.
- Www.YHI.com comes at a price of a year membership at a very reasonable rate. I have found over many counties that this organisation have overall the best accomadation at comparative prices. The rooms are always clean and the location is usually near the things you came to that area for. I have nothing but nice things to say about Hostel International.
Like in most things, the people in each place can make or break even the nicest hostel. Community living isn’t for everyone.
After getting used to this life of everyday new city, new people, and new
After climbing up many, many steps to the top of Monkey Temple, right at the very top when you can see the end, there is a small ticket window where visitors pay a small fee. ($2-3 USD) I knew there was a fee, but on a hot sunny day and seeing the end so close I didn’t notice the office window off to the left and an officer flagged me down to directed me over to pay the fee.
After the ticket window, there are still a few more flights of stairs of the 365 step to make it to the temple at the top. When you do get to the to, buy a bottle of water to catch your breath. From the top of Swaymbhunath or monkey Temple, you can see most of Kathmandu valley and all the beautiful colors making up this vibrate city. As the name implies, there were hundreds of monkeys running and climbing around. Tibetan Buddhists and Hindus consider monkeys holy and offerings are left for them.
I didn’t have any trouble getting here. I could see the temple peeking up above the city and simply walked from my Zostel. It was a 30-minute walk from the city and just to make sure I asked a few locals along the way and followed the pointing fingers onward. Getting taxis are very easy is Kathmandu, usually getting ripped off a bit every time. The roads are narrow and wild in Nepal, especially after the recent earthquake. Piles of rubble still laying of street corners a year or so later. Riding in a taxi is a very exciting process but I generally walked because I felt safer and I saw more.
There is another way up to the top of Monkey Temple. When you walk up to the front of the temple there will be three statues and the start of the stairs leading up. If you walk all the way around to the other side, the back there is another shorter and much easier way to reach the top.
There is so much to take in around Kathmandu, Nepal.