Tag Archive: Culture

Buenos Aires, Argentina

I’ve fallen in love with more cities than I have fingers to count with. But with only a handful of those cities was there a feeling of that instantaneous movie moment with blurred… Continue reading

Foodcation: Buenos Aires, Argentina

What comes to mind when you hear “Buenos Aires”? Tango or Evita, perhaps? Wine? Steak? Dulce de leche? You may have made many of these associations, though I suspect your preferred search engine is… Continue reading

Buenos Aires: Cementerio de la Recoleta

  On a gray day in Buenos Aires, we find ourselves exploring an elaborate stone city in search of a crypt – that of la familia Duarte. Why, you ask? Duarte was the family name of… Continue reading

Buenos Aires: Casa Rosada

  At the edge of Plaza de Mayo sits the seat of the Argentine government. In a distinct shade of pink. Don’t cry for me, Argenti-naaahhh. No seriously, don’t. Because I’m having such… Continue reading

Long Layovers: Miami, Florida

10 hours in Miami. That’s all we have. Or is it enough? The moment we land, it feels like a leisurely episode of The Amazing Race. A quick jaunt through the Fort Lauderdale… Continue reading

Long Layovers: Nagoya, Japan

Long ago, when airlines still provided hotel and transportation for passengers on overnight layovers (i.e. airfare included accommodation by default, and not because of a flight delay), I occasionally found myself observing polite bus drivers… Continue reading

Airport Curiosities

A Swarovski tree. Airport aquariums. Language Delay. Humorous, peculiar, frustrating, memorable – most everyone who has ever flown has a tale or two (or several) from the airport. For instance, despite how much… Continue reading

Long Layovers: São Paulo, Brazil

Anthony Bourdain will tell you this: Head to Mercado Municipal first and have a mortadella sandwich. Or, at least, he’ll tell the camera on an episode of “The Layover.” Which is exactly why… Continue reading

São Paulo: Beco do Batman

  Yes, you read that title right. Beco do Batman. Batman’s Alley. Don’t believe me? Check out the street sign.     The “alley,” aptly situated in São Paulo’s artsy Vila Madalena neighborhood, doesn’t… Continue reading

Lima, Peru

Have you ever heard that familiarity breeds liking? It’s normally in reference to interpersonal relations, but I think it could be said of most anything, including places. Lima is one of those cities… Continue reading

Machu Picchu

Quick Recap: In the previous post, we hopped of the train at a station-less KM 104 to hike a part of the Inca Trail towards Machu Picchu. It felt like we’d gone rogue.… Continue reading

Hope lives in Pompeii, Italy

In the southern Italian region of Campania, the remnants of an ancient city yet stand. Withstanding the direct path of destruction during the tragic Mount Vesuvius eruption in 79AD, its ruins continue to provide… Continue reading

Washington, DC: Wonder at The Renwick

  This reminds me of a Taylor Swift song. “Are we out of the woods yet?” Or perhaps we’re heading Into the Woods of a whimsical movie set.   Inside a fashionable, yet… Continue reading

Cappadocia, Turkey

Kapadokya, Türkiye (a.k.a. Cappadocia, Turkey) is most often associated with hot-air balloons and fairy chimneys. While this is a fine claim to fame, there is more to the Turkish heartland.     At… Continue reading

The Real Turkish Delight

I’m at Pasaport Kontrolü (Passport Control) in Ataturk Airport, Istanbul, patiently answering questions from the immigration officer…while also observing that said officer’s colleague, seated beside him in the very same kiosk, has already… Continue reading

Istanbul: The Grand Bazaar & The Bosphorus

Efficient porters deftly weave through the crowds, bearing trays of hot, caffeinated goodness. It’s always a good time for çay, Turkish tea, or Türk kahvesi, Turkish coffee. Shop after shop, stall after stall,… Continue reading

The Pura Vida Experience

Pura Vida  /poo-ruh vee-duh/ Spanish for “pure life.” Costa Ricans use this expression to mean many things: Hello! How are you? You only live once, eh? What bad luck. Have a nice day!… Continue reading

Resort Report: Las Casas

  Yes, it’s a resort…but Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, or simply Las Casas, isn’t what you’d typically think of when you hear “resort.” It’s a blast from the past, with a mixed… Continue reading

A Foreign Perspective

It’s a tad cliché to talk about taking things for granted, but that doesn’t make it any less true. Sometimes you have to be reminded of beauty around you. In all its forms.… Continue reading

The Return, Part III: The (Italian) Hangover

I like California, I do. But over a month after coming back to the Bay Area, I’m still on an Italian hangover. I miss it all – the vibrant greens of the rolling countryside,… Continue reading

Meet an Italian, Make a Friend

As a sequel to my post on Italian Warmth, here are a few more examples of why the culture is so appealing. These experiences are much less personal than the anecdotes I shared… Continue reading

Italian Warmth

I’ve long said that Italians are some of the warmest people. They’re welcoming and inclusive, and they’re generous regardless of economic status. They are quick to befriend, quick to love. Quick to temper,… Continue reading

My Favorite (Italian) Things

When Maria sings about her favorite things in The Sound of Music, it’s a marvel nothing on her list is Italian…especially considering how close Austria is to Italy. So, I’ve made up my… Continue reading

The Art of Faith

It’s almost impossible to avoid churches in Italy. They’re everywhere. They’re art; they’re landmarks; they’re history. They’re an intrinsic part of the culture. It’s no secret that Italy has countless beautiful churches. Sweeping… Continue reading

Dude, Where’s My Train?

It’s not uncommon to grumble about the Italian train system because it’s not uncommon for trains to be late. It’s not uncommon to be on a train, mid-commute, and experience delays. It’s not… Continue reading

Oh, Those Italians!

I’ve often said that Italians are among some of the warmest people. There are, however, many other quirks and interesting aspects of their culture that are endearing. *These are just my personal observations,… Continue reading

Becoming Italian

Everything reminded me of Italy. Prior to this trip, I somehow managed to frequently find an Italian connection in names, words, places, people, and restaurants. In California, I got excited over a “Tuscany… Continue reading

The (Nonexistent) International Driving Standard

They say if you can drive in Manila, you can drive anywhere else in the world…. A fellow blogger commented on one of my recent posts, saying that “Folks always let you move on… Continue reading

One Sweet Holiday

The familiar scent of freshly baked, coconut-topped bibinka wafts toward me as I wend my way to the overly laden dessert table. My lusty sweet tooth kicks into overdrive, and suddenly, all I… Continue reading