December 26, 2008 § 1 Comment

Well, I’m back in France, in Basque Country for Christmas. This is going to be a small pit stop for me, so when an individual such as myself finds some idle time during holiday season and such, I thought it would be nice to provide a short recap on the past 3 months of traveling. So, 5 countries, over 30 cities, and approximately 19 episodes of couchsurfing later, here are some random highlights – the good, bad, and just plain stupid.

1. Wading around, pitch black, in the Arabian Gulf trying for one hour and catching just one crab.

2. Sandboarding in the desert at the border of Dubai and Oman, eating lovely sand.

3. Getting really excited about riding my first camel only to realize the camel walks really slowly about 10 meters back and forth, and the ride is over in 2 minutes.

4. Going to secret pork-eating establishment in Dubai in what looked like an abandoned building.

5. Hitch-hiking at Cairo Airport at 4am, then miraculously ended up staying with someone who shared with me the services of her private chauffeur and maid.

6. Attending a private soiree at a Parisian train station, got duped into eating blue cheese, and meeting Creepy Polish Guy who insisted chocolate was bad for one’s health. What nonsense.

7. Meeting a French bus driver who tried to invite me back to his apartment to ‘practice his English’. Yeah right, I wasn’t born yesterday.

8. Scootering along the coast of the Mediterranean, in the rain.

9. Hanging out in some Toulouse gay nightclub where a guy brought along his grandpa to party with him.

10. Arranging all of Charlene’s ornamental elephants on top of the sofa in Bordeaux and taking glamour shots of ourselves with them.

11. Feeling completely miserable and lonely in Madrid in an extremely cold hostel with no heating, no friends, and no motivation to do anything.

12. Watching my first flamenco show with the Alhambra as the backdrop.

13. Watching The Matrix entirely in Spanish because there was no remote control for the DVD player to change the audio settings.

14. Convinced by some new Spanish friends to say ‘un chupito me cago en la puta!’ to the barman in Seville, which apparently means ‘one shot, fuck it!’ or something in that manner. The barman gave me my shots.

15. Eating several ‘white chocolate’ sandwiches at 2am in Bilbao.

16. Having midnight dinners in Spain…I still can’t get used to their timetable.

17. Wandering the streets of Porto for 2 hours, completely lost, and ending up in a posh hotel rewarding myself with some super fancy fries.

18. Tasting 2000 vintage port from a 180 euro bottle.

19. Getting used to being the only solo Asian female traveler around, and being somewhat of a novelty because I come from neither Japan nor China. I did briefly contemplate learning Japanese for the hell of it so I can finally respond to all the ‘Konichiwa’s people have sputtered at me.

20. Feeling disgustingly emotional during one of my many road trips on the bus, as I pass incredible Spanish and Portugese landscapes. Everybody should be able to experience all these places and people during their lifetime.

There you go, the top 20. The next installment will inevitably come soon. Merry Christmas and Boxing Day.


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