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Lessons Learned in our First 3 Hours in Turkey

Monday, June 23rd, 2008
  1. Being a blond western woman is an invitation to stare. Like 4 people at the same time,for a minute or longer, without any attempt to hide who and what they are staring at.
  2. Like other Muslim countries, the less skin shown, the better, even in 30 degree weather. Apparently long pants, shirts with sleeves and head scarves are the new black.
  3. Lamb is a food group here. Mel will certainly need to get over her moral aversion to it. Don’t tell Mary. Apparently eating lamb is not baaaaad here. (oh yea, I totally wrote that)
  4. Traveling with Spanish-speaking former Latin American tour guide is no longer an advantage. Note to B: be nicer to Mel.
  5. No need to learn Turkish swear words as even basic courtesies seem dirty. Allahaismarladik is not a reference to your mother, it just means goodbye.
  6. Be afraid of the toilets. They call them ‘squatters’ and while we haven’t yet experienced them here, word is they are essentially holes in the ground with a foot pad for flushing. Less water=less peeing.
  7. We’re actually in Asia. Only the south-western part of Turkey is considered to be in Europe. Who knew?
  8. Random music played numerous times per day is not actually for our entertainment. It’s a call from Allah to get your butt to the mosque.

We predict good times ahead. And some funny blogs.

Lessons Learned in South America´s Largest Artesan Market

Monday, June 2nd, 2008

We find ourselves in Otavalo, Ecuador, home to South America´s largest outdoor market. I should have anticipated this would be trouble.  

Lessons learned:

 1. Markets are a lot of fun. I actually hyperventilated a little when I saw it.

2. Bargaining makes me feel good. It doesn´t matter if I only save $1 on a $30 item- the thrill of winning is pretty fine.

3. Avoid the hammock and table cloth people at all costs. And it´s a good idea to learn how to say – ¨I don´t even have a house, let alone a table¨, in Spanish.

4. Think of a good story for crossing the Canadian border. It´s quite possible that Canada Customs will assume I am in the alpaca importing business.

5. When you can no longer carry what you´re buying, you should probably stop. Dumping your stuff at the hotel and going back can be an expensive idea.

Che Chicos! Lessons Learned on the Road Volume Cuatro

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2008
 Drowning in wine… 1. Unpacking your bags once and settling down for a month: brilliant. 2. Don’t mess with the farmers. See previous blogs on beef strike and field burning. 3. You can never buy too many leather coats, ... [Continue reading this entry]

Lessons learned on the road…Brazil

Saturday, March 22nd, 2008
sshhh… don’t tell Mel’s parents
  1.  Public displays of affection are not only the norm in Rio, they’re kinda expected.  Sadly for B, Mel still hasn’t come ‘round.
  2. When driving in Brazil, feel free to create your own lane ... [Continue reading this entry]

Lessons learned on the road…Volume Two, Mon…

Friday, February 15th, 2008
1. New underwear manoeuvre: Anticipation This strategy involves a pre-emptive strike: the application of any of the aforementioned underwear extension manoeuvres (continuation, double-dipping, inside-out and commando) in anticipation of the potential unavailability ... [Continue reading this entry]

Lessons learned on the road…Volume Uno…

Thursday, January 24th, 2008
Brel 1. When travelling with limited underpants, the following manoeuvres are permitted: • Continuation – the continued wearing of a pair of semi-clean undies, after for example, a shower or swim, if the undies have been ... [Continue reading this entry]