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Discoveries while travelling - things you didn't know before

Discoveries while travelling - things you didn't know before

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Old Jun 11, 19, 10:16 am
  #16  
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Originally Posted by thebakaronis View Post
7. Colombia is nowhere as dangerous as people in North America think of it. Nor is Mexico. In fact Medellin today -- even the comunas that were the heartland of Escobar's activities -- is safer than lots of North American cities. Stop watching the news and just go.
Bogota is a bona fide creative, cultural, culinary destination at this point.

And while you're in the region, so is Lima. Some of the best seafood I've ever had. There are some great chefs in Lima doing amazing things.

I've worked with companies in both Colombia and Peru. Digital creative, software development, data analytics, etc. They're fantastic to work with and are eager to work in real-time with blended international teams, in part thanks to their better time-zone alignment with North America and Europe (as compared to Asian firms). Most of the people we've worked with in both places are skilled in the latest technologies and can fully engage in agile processes and more analytical/complex requests fully in English. It's a contrast to the traditional working relationship often had with India teams, which isn't very blended and often has a very send-and-receive, order-taker flow to it.
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Old Jun 14, 19, 4:49 pm
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Sleeping compartments in night trains in Iran are, unless you specifically book otherwise, mixed gender.

In Poland, cars will stop for you if you're waiting by a pedestrian crossing to cross the road.

Not that many people in Berlin speak English.

Australia is really big. I mean, I thought it was big. I was still surprised to find out how really big it is.

Humous and Falafel may appear to go together, but seem mutually exclusive in much of the world. In Iran there's plenty of falafel, but no hummus. In Poland, there's plenty of humous, albeit of seemingly poor quality, but no falafel. In Paris, some Arab guys selling crepes laughed at me (in a good way) trying to find a place that sells humous falafel wraps.

In Paris, in the late 1990s, I found absolutely loads of flavours of vegan yogurts that weren't even available in the UK.

Last edited by OccasionalFlyerPerson; Jun 14, 19 at 5:02 pm
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Old Jun 14, 19, 5:58 pm
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Originally Posted by OccasionalFlyerPerson View Post
In Paris, in the late 1990s, I found absolutely loads of flavours of vegan yogurts that weren't even available in the UK.
What's it made from?
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Old Jun 14, 19, 6:23 pm
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Originally Posted by OccasionalFlyerPerson View Post
Sleeping compartments in night trains in Iran are, unless you specifically book otherwise, mixed gender.

In Poland, cars will stop for you if you're waiting by a pedestrian crossing to cross the road.

Not that many people in Berlin speak English.

Australia is really big. I mean, I thought it was big. I was still surprised to find out how really big it is.

Humous and Falafel may appear to go together, but seem mutually exclusive in much of the world. In Iran there's plenty of falafel, but no hummus. In Poland, there's plenty of humous, albeit of seemingly poor quality, but no falafel. In Paris, some Arab guys selling crepes laughed at me (in a good way) trying to find a place that sells humous falafel wraps.

In Paris, in the late 1990s, I found absolutely loads of flavours of vegan yogurts that weren't even available in the UK.
Cars stopping at pedestrian crossings is the law in New Zealand - probably the same in Poland!

And yes, Aussie is huge. I remember doing a Sydney-Canberra trip. On the map I thought they were next to each other. Not quite. In NZ it's easy to forget you could probably drive the length of the country in less than 24 hours.

Things I've learned
1. Often you can't learn as much about the history of the country as you think because, unsurprisingly, all the museums are in the native tongue... and heaps of the locals don't care about their history either!
2. Croatia (Dalmatia) and Greece (islands) look similar from the sky, have similar weather, similar ingredients, but completely different foods and culture.
3. You can muddle through most of eastern Europe with a generic "Slavish" lingo, until you hit Hungary (non Indo European language)
4. The civilisation level of a country is directly correlated to their queueing etiquette
5. Bakeries in Europe are much more willing to put Nutella (or "Eurocreme") on pastries, which is something bakeries in NZ need to emulate more
6. Everyone who doesn't speak English natively learns English, embarrassing those of us who are largely monolingual (I always feel terrible when some Polish academic can analyse my papers and yet I can barely say "hello")
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Old Jun 15, 19, 10:21 am
  #20  
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My travels have uncovered this:
Smiles are universal. So are shrugs, nods, thumbs ups, etc.
Whether you can talk to them or not, most people are pretty nice.
Yet, as my friend used to say, "There's one [jerk] in every crowd."
Regardless of culture, most people complain to some degree by the way the country is run/the people in charge, and fundamentally, just want the chance to live peacefully with the ones they love and have the best for their children.
Go with it. Not getting exactly what you want when you travel, such as in restaurants, generally doesn't matter in the long run.
Travel has made me a better person.
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Old Jun 15, 19, 12:45 pm
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Finnish urinals with automatic flushers flush once when you approach them and again when you leave.
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Old Jun 16, 19, 9:26 pm
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-Traffic is humbling.
-Tokyo is the closest thing to a city of my dreams.
-Singapore really doesn’t do street food.
-The world has stricter rules about alcohol than smoking.
-There’s a Chuck-E-Cheese in Mecca.
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Old Jun 16, 19, 10:11 pm
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Originally Posted by StartinSanDiego View Post
My travels have uncovered this:
Smiles are universal. So are shrugs, nods, thumbs ups, etc.
Travel has made me a better person.
Nods and head-shakes could mean different things than you'd expect in places like Bulgaria and parts of India.

I agree that travel makes us (in general) better people. Not traveling would be akin to death for me.

Originally Posted by BuildingMyBento View Post
-Singapore really doesn’t do street food.
-The world has stricter rules about alcohol than smoking.


I guess I'm not a foodie, so I never understood the fuss around food in Singapore. But speaking of food, I recently had a surprisingly wonderful black pepper chicken dish (ayam black pepper) in a food court in Jakarta recently.

As for rules about alcohol, they're not strict enough, if you ask me! Of course, it's easy for me to hold that view as someone who doesn't drink.
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Old Jun 16, 19, 10:53 pm
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Europe. Public water closets frequently require you pay a small fee. It is a good idea to obtain local coins soon after arrival. Restaurants are usually free.

I also agree travel makes you a better person, as you cannot absorb local personalities and culture in any other way.
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Old Jun 17, 19, 5:26 pm
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Originally Posted by BuildingMyBento View Post
-Singapore really doesn’t do street food.
If you're talking about street cart food, I would mostly agree... But "food truck" or hawker food, they have plenty.
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Old Jun 17, 19, 5:50 pm
  #26  
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Originally Posted by OskiBear View Post
I love return trips to favorite destinations. Once I've hit all the main tourist spots/attractions, I love the freedom of simply being there, not having a specific agenda (other than, perhaps, a few good meals each day), and generally wandering among the local people. In the understandable rush to experience the main attractions, I feel that I miss out sometimes on the "soul" of the place. So, it's nice to have trips where there's the initial "tick the box" kind of touring and then later have the generally unstructured type of trip.
This is my relationship with Hong Kong. Went for the first time last year, and did all the tourist stuff. Returned less than a year later (a few weeks ago) and just chilled at the FS hotel, and took some walks in Kowloon / Central. I will be going back again for sure.
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Old Jun 17, 19, 6:34 pm
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Originally Posted by thebakaronis View Post
Here are a few of mine:


2. Buenos Aires, on the other hand, loves dogs. It is full of dogs and dog parks. And dog poop on the sidewalks. If I were a pooch, that's where I'd want to live.
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Thanks for the tip...I won't be going there. One of my pet peeves in life.
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Old Jun 18, 19, 1:43 pm
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You got to hit the tourist spots, check the been there and done that like the hordes, but really plan 50% time live, eat, and travel like a local. Yeah you got to do the bucket list in the blogs, in a tour guide, Rick Steves, etc., but expect it to be over-run with instagram/snapchat/facebook selfie stick tourists.

Actually after the bucket list, really enjoy living like a local when I return.
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Old Jun 18, 19, 1:53 pm
  #29  
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Originally Posted by smf_ltn View Post
Europe. Public water closets frequently require you pay a small fee. It is a good idea to obtain local coins soon after arrival. Restaurants are usually free.
.
But the one I used in France (in the Avignon TGV station) took Apple Pay too!

Originally Posted by mhy View Post
A friend of mine spent several months in Medellin and was a live witness to multiple gang shootings on the street (some during broad daylight) - I would definitely not travel there if I had a choice...
In the 80s?
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Old Jun 18, 19, 2:31 pm
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Originally Posted by gfunkdave View Post
In the 80s?
2017...
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