New Zealand, Los Angeles, New York, and Lots of Food

In today’s tight-lipped update, I’ll say that I’m still exhausted from weeks of hiking in New Zealand, eating in Los Angeles, and working in New York. Apparently I only travel to dual word places. Anyhow, I literally was on boats, buses, trains, planes, cars, and armadillos in the past 31 days. Minus the armadillos. I was only piggyback riding on one. It was full of so much food (the good food in LA, not NZ…puhlease), and some great hiking, and many stories. Did I mention I went to Cirque du Soleil, too? Well, I’ve got some tight deadlines but will post a few photos from this month’s adventures.

 

Advertisements

I’m in Myanmar

Yes, I’m in Myanmar, where internet is just about as bad as the acne all the oily food here is causing. Too much info, sorry. But I will be back in March to write an inevitably scathing review of this country. Just you wait! Until then, enjoy a small photo and get ready for some beautiful temple landscapes, sunrises, and more!

Nicaragua: Interpretations

img_0750-logo

It’s been a while since I wrote about how easy it is to travel abroad when given modern interpretations of signs, expressions, people, and the like. And given that most of my travel in 2016 was to Spanish-speaking countries—and no, I still don’t speak Spanish—you can imagine I had a very easy time getting around. How? It’s due to expressions and signs like these that made my life easier.

If you’re planning on going, or just want to catch up on the local lingo, here’s how to travel in Nicaragua:

“Express bus” [city edition] – A bus that can drive faster than you can walk, if your walking speed is measured in feet per hour, and that number does not exceed 500.

 

“Fan” – It is literally cooler to stand outside.

 

“Clean” – See that moving thing in the darkest corner of the bathroom closet? That’s no mop. That’s a mama cat and her 5 kittens you just discovered!

4n7a3005-ed

 

“Shared bathroom” – A bathroom that’s empty with the exception of 5:30 AM to 8:30 AM, when the sounds of the housekeeper splashing water and buckets around, the parrot squawking, the kittens mewing, and the whole family basically starting to party is only outweighed by the how-many-times-can-one-gag-per-minute-oh-that-many man.

 

“Wifi” – How can the connection be this good in such a seedy place? Literally, it is better than I get in ‘Murica, and I can’t even make a joke about it disconnecting. I’m pretty sure certain jail cells are nicer than the room I’m in in this seedy part of Managua, but this wifi is spectacular.

 

“Hop-on, hop-off bus” – There’s no need to even use leg muscles to hop if you go around a good turn.

4n7a1929-logo

 

“Volcano” – I seem to have been in many volcano-infested lands lately (Indonesia, Chile, Hawaii, Mexico), but here in Nicaragua you can literally drive your car to the top of one, walk 10 feet, and stare right down into a gaping hole of spewing orange lava and sulphuric smoke. What an awesome liability waiting to happen! [Taken on my cell phone just to show how close you can get]

img_20161027_112753784-ed

 

“Non-exclusive bus/taxi” – I hope you love butts and body odor.

 

“Did you hear the monkeys howling?” – No, because at 4:45 AM every morning, of COURSE I expect to hear a sound that can only be described as a dinosaur roar, dog bark, and woman being murdered scream all rolled into one, right outside my door! Completely not jarring. Oh, it’s kind of close.

4n7a3706-logo

 

“Express bus” [countryside edition] – Driving in the other lane, i.e. the lane with oncoming traffic, until said oncoming traffic is seen approaching and is within 50 feet. Hello again, India!

 

“Luggage” – This woman’s live chicken, which she carried next to me, squawking, in her hand throughout boarding the ferry, the hour-long ferry trip, and then the 2.5-hour-long bus trip after that.

img_20161101_100924840-ed

 

“Breakfast” – Rice and beans, fried plantains, and fried egg, drizzled with cheese

 

“Lunch” – Rice and beans, fried plantains, and fried cheese

 

“Dinner” – Rice, beans, fried plantains, and fried cheese

 

“Monkey who just ate something sour” – this (photo)

4n7a3678-logo

 

One day I’ll do a 2016 recap, but let’s be honest: That probably won’t happen until July. I’m hoping to travel soon, but until then, ta-ta!

Dogs of Peru, Etc: Humans of New York for Pups

4N7A8994-KClogo

In the spirit of the wildly popular Humans of New York, commonly known as HONY, I’ve assembled a similar mix for the millions of dogs who want to inspire others or make it big in Hollywood: Dogs of Peru (Etc.), commonly known nowhere as DOPE. Where better to start than right where I lived as of earlier this year: Peru? For all of the hundreds of dog-on-the-street interviews I did, I asked each dog a question–though they had the option to make a statement of their choosing. The puppy above didn’t feel comfortable commenting in English, but the others were all trilingual. Here’s what they had to say.



 

IMG_9770-KClogo

Kathryn: “What’s your opinion on the presidential candidates? Do you think there will be any last-minute twist due to someone’s skeletons in the closet–or perhaps there will be a change once the vice president running mates are announced?”

Dog: “I gotta take a dump.”


 

 

IMG_9778-KClogo

Kathryn: “Wow, you’re cute! I pretty much never say this, but your eyes are…like…kinda dreamy.”

Dog: “Is that a question? Because I’m pretty sure it’s not professional to flirt with your interviewee.”


 

 

IMG_9803-KClogo

Kathryn: “I’m sorry, but I’ve gotta rehash this: If Trump is elected as the Republican representative, does Bernie or Hilary have a better chance?”

Dog: “Yawn. My vote doesn’t even matter, let alone my opinion. Time to whiz again.”


 

 

IMG_9963 (2)-KClogo

Kathryn: “In this self-obsessed era, it seems that people have forgotten many virtues: Generosity, considering differing viewpoints, pausing before saying potentially harmful words, avoiding stereotyping…how can we get to a better place?

Dog: “Is my breath okay? For the interview. I want it to be good for when the interview lady gets here.”


 

 

IMG_9977-KClogo

Kathryn: “Look at you, you adorable little nugget!”

Dog: “In dog years I’m way older than you, sweetie. Cut the baby talk.”

Kathryn: “Geesh, someone was born on the wrong side of bed this morning.”


 

 

IMG_9776-KClogo

Kathryn: “What’s your world philosophy?”

Dog: “Why does everyone think we’re obsessed with all things poop?”

Kathryn: “Wait, is that your world philosophy or were you ju–”

Dog: “Ummmm do you have one of those plastic bags to pick up…my…?”

Kathryn: “Pick up what?”

Dog: “I just…the spot looked nice to mark, and so I…OH COME ON, DON’T MAKE ME SAY IT!”

 


 

 

IMG_9913-KClogo

Kathryn: “You’re very needy. You’re supposed to be smart, but you can’t even control your own eating and exercise habits. Cats can. What do you have to say for your species?”

Dog: “I feel that slurping while licking my body makes for attractive sound effects.”


 

 

IMG_8680-KClogo

Kathryn: “Should paternity leave be equal to the time off that mothers get? And shouldn’t we keep fighting for longer leave for mothers in the first place?”

Dog: “Look, it seems obvious tha–CUY!”


 

 

IMG_8756-KClogo

Kathryn: “Do you think that beliefs in topics such as religion and politics aren’t inherently bad? That, for example, they only become dangerous once people or groups try to force their agendas on others?”

Dog: “Observing the Sabbath with joy is all I am doing.”


 

 

IMG_9731-KClogo

Kathryn: “I was told you wanted to make a statement?”

Dog: “It was 1941, and my brother and I were just enjoying a lazy Sunday. We–“

Kathryn: “Sorry, but aren’t y–“

Dog: “–were doing the dishes when the door just caved in and smoke, yelling, and sirens filled the house. I couldn’t…I couldn’t see anything. I barked but ran in circles–I didn’t even know where I was. It could have been minutes or an hour… (pauses, takes a lick) When silence set upon us, I peeked out and found him across the room. My brother. He was still alive. His eyes welled up when he saw me, but I couldn’t tell if he was crying or just needed to take a dump in the yard. I’m sorry, I (sobs), I’m done. No more questions.


 

 

IMG_9817 (2)-KClogo

Kathryn: “You just peed three times in the last mile, dude!”

Dog: “Instead of worrying about petty things, did it ever strike you to consider the fragility of the nuclear deal with Iran that everyone seems to have forgotten due to these clowns running for president? Don’t even get me started on what Putin has up his sleeve–that country has been stockpiling uranium for decades, and we don’t even know all the details. Then people concentrate so much on North Korea that they ignore the warning signs of Syria and the Assad regime. Meanwhile, we can’t logically deal with gun control on our own turf, so do we have the track record to poke our noses in other countries’ business? Don’t get me started, son.”

Kathryn: “Wanna play fetch?”