Tagged with markets

GalleryThe Vacation, Part Three: Provence and the Rhône

I can still remember coming in to Avignon during the final two days of the Festival d'Avignon, a month-long showcase of modern art, theatre and music. On paper a festival in an old Provençal city sounds intriguing. Yet when we drove into the city on Saturday night, we were underwhelmed by the generic festival glaze that coated the city. It was as though the cultural world had turned out its pockets of lint and change and bits of debris and with it all manner of musical and carnival fray clattered onto the cobblestone. View Gallery »

GalleryThe Vacation, Part Two: Toulouse and the Languedoc

architecture, languedoc, Languedoc, Pont du Gard, Roman, aqueduct

There's a practiced romance about France that's so suave and self-assured as to be intimidating. The most oft repeated association with Paris is love, after all. So while I felt both excited and oddly nostalgic walking through Paris, there was also a pressure building to maximize our experiences in such a short time.

In fact it wasn't until we left the harder greys and creams of the capital for the ochre and pinks of the south that we allowed France to have its way with us. Not soon after our arrival in Toulouse, Aus even wondered aloud if the trip was improving day upon day, or if it was just his image of it. A bit of both, I suppose. I also felt a little quieter and more relaxed. View Gallery »

GalleryThe Vacation, Part One: Paris

While Matt, Austin and I had read and planned and scrutinized the arrondissements on a map, in guidebooks, and in exchanges amongst friends, I felt somehow completely unprepared when Matt and I touched down at Charles de Gaulle on July 18th. My stomach was filled with butterflies as the captain announced that it was going to be a beautiful 35° C. Only on airplanes do they use words like beautiful to describe the weather.

Right away I felt out of sync with the surrounds. While waiting to buy tickets for the train, everyone was so polite to one another we could barely tell who was in line. A nice young Frenchman approached me while I was standing half in and half out of line and launched into three or four sentences before he trailed off, noticing my expression of confusion, and hearing the few words I half spat out and half swallowed when I told him I didn't speak French.

When we got up to the machine, we were lacking in both Euro coins and a chip-and-pin credit card, the only options for payment (!?). I forgot about paying to use the bathroom, and, once outside, we were wholly unprepared for the 90°+ F weather in our leather boots, jeans, and shirts. View Gallery »

ArticleAngry Birds invade Bangkok

These Angry Birds are everywhere - their scowling faces are on every type of product Bangkok has on offer. You name it, we found it. We've seen the plush "push me" versions back home, but nothing beats the variety here. Don't care much for stuffed animals? Do slippers, clocks, key fobs, shirts, pens, or aprons strike your fancy? How about a mini catapult? We braved more scowls from shop patrons to bring you a glimpse of the madness. The breadth of products and shops that sold them speaks volumes about the global domination of the Angry Birds brand. Only Paul Frank and Hello Kitty were better represented, and they have legacy.

As I type this, Matt is wreaking havoc on ice blocks and pig pens to my right. We're a long way from home and yet it feels like we haven't really traveled at ... View Article »

GuideGateway to the Amazon

Coca cigarettes.

A blurry montage of Iquitos - the butterfly farm, visiting a hospital and Belen. It was a whirlwind; there were many, many mototaxis. In some ways, it was our favorite town in Peru. While we scramble to pack for our trip to Brazil, enjoy these photos...

EssayOn the up and UP

Our tiny two burner propane stove where we make our meals.

Things were ebbing when we arrived in Cusco and are now flowing again as we near the end of our first week. It took a little while to find a good pad. On our first night there was a crazy amount of noise reverberating off the walls in our street-side room. On our second, the uncanny smell of sulfur which the lazy owner - who had yet to change out of her pajamas - claimed to be sewage from the street. Since we had no internet and have never known sewage to smell like a steamy hot spring, we strapped on our gear at 9:30pm, paid for a half day and left. We were tired of smelling shit - our bathroom for the last month had bad plumbing that smelled like dirty Chinese food and we had to shower in a toilet stall used by 40 women during the day.

But we're happy to report that since Tuesday ... View Essay »

Based on some of the merchandise we saw in the markets we visited today, "second hand" refers to the one taking the cell phone out of your pocket.

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Dad - we found something to shine your shoes. Much needed in Lima streets. My feet look almost black today.

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Outside the main market they were selling foods from Brazil - something I guess you don't see everyday. Something else you don't see everyday is a sign touting the virtues of the hoja sagrada, the sacred coca leaf. Yes, that coca leaf. As a dietary supplement it apparently helps with osteoporosis, depression, gastritis, amnesia, promoting digestion, colic (por el bebe, por supuesto), and of course it depresses hunger and consequently helps you get slim (riiiiight). The little stand was packed, but apparently they didn't have any coca, only stevia leaves to try. They just hook you in and…

A little farther down we bought honey from a vendor who had a delicious sample of local, raw miel. While the price was a bit inflated, it was worth every one of the 10 soles we paid.

EssayEl Mercado Central

<em>Este cerdito fue al mercado</em>...

Hoy fuimos al Mercado Central y el Barrio Chino en el centro de Lima. We've been to a number of markets in our travels together - Mexico City, on the side of the road in Swaziland, Osaka, Nishiki in Kyoto, Tokyo, Durban (South Africa), Lake Malawi, Bombay, Rajasthan, Madurai (Tamil Nadu, India) - but this one had the cleanest and most extensive meat market either of us have ever seen. 

It made you want to buy un cabrito (a kid) and take it home to roast it on a spit. The market is in a huge warehouse. If you're ever been outside of the US you've probably seen a warehouse with all these tiny tiendas organized in perfect little rows by type. They sell anything from bleach to pigs feet and everything in between. On nearby streets there were all sorts of electronics, but the main area of ... View Essay »