Monthly Archive for: ‘August, 2012’

Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An, Vietnam

 

The place where love finds you and you embrace it. Hoi An is the town I fell in love with. It is the one place that wasn’t affected by the war. The buildings are ancient and have so much character. A city where you truly weave your way through it. Before I left most people spoke about Hoi An as the place to get things tailor made. Undoubtedly so they were correct, but I felt that they were so overwhelmed by being able to have clothes made within 24hours that they didn’t see that that the town was majestic and romantic and quaint. Once we arrived, we checked into Sunflower hotel which from just the warm reception received, I knew I was in for a wonderful time.

We rented bikes right across from the hotel. The last time I rode a bicycle was years ago so I was quite weary of driving it into something or better yet falling.   We would find a spot and park our bikes and then would wonder and explore the town. An ofcourse I would get on after a couple of beers later. Our first stop was at the Japenese Covered Bridge. The bridge is the main tourist attraction of Hoi An and most importantly thr symbol of Hoi An. We then decided to walk along the river taking in the heat and seeing what the town had in store. We then stumbled across a place called Cafe 43 that had a sign saying 4000 for a beer. There was no hesitation at all and it was ‘beer o’clock’ anyway. Its here where we met the Canadians. Lunch was on order and I tried their specialty which was fish, laid on a bed of leaves it was a generous sized portion which was fresh, spiced just right and perfect for the hot weather.

We spent the remainder of the day exploring the town. Walking the streets is when you really see the beauty of the Chinese, Japenese and European ancient architecture which the town is so desperately trying to preserve.  We found ourselves at the Handicraft market where I found myself doing pottery, something that I thought took time to master but it proved to be quite easy if you have the right teacher. It was soo hot that we decided to stay for one of the shows where you have dancing and a short skit is presented. There are tons of shops selling lanterns, so beautiful. Every second shop is a tailor so one would have no problems finding a place to get suit or dress made.

I loved the idea of getting lost in the street because every street had something different to offer. The streets were not packed, there weren’t motor bikes everywhere where you felt like you would get run over. Its quiet, calm and peaceful. Jono and I toyed over the fact of getting something made, but I wasn’t overly keen to get something made, perhaps because nothing came to mind and also because I realised that I wanted to have my own experience of Hoi An and not review it solely based on having clothes made for me. That’s the comforting thing about Hoi An, there isn’t that much to do which is what makes it great. Its a place to just be and take it all in. We walked and we walked and we spent a lot of time talking and taking beer breaks along the river.

In the day time the town is quaint and peaceful, in the evening its totally transformed to being romantic and magical. They light the lanterns which then float in the river. Just the perfect romantic setting. Janine and Paul told us that they went on a dinner boat cruise which was just absolutely beautiful.

We decided that dinner and the rest of the evening would be best spent if we left the bikes behind seeing we knew a great deal of alcohol would be consumed. We spent quite sometime trying to find the perfect restaurant which eventually was because Jono had had enough of comparing atmospheres and prices. It was small place we found on the corner of the street. The meal was refreshing and it was my first glass of wine since arriving in Asia. We ordered many dishes and decided to share amongst the four of us. After two bottles of wine, laughing, story telling, we decided we were good to go for a night out in the town. We ended up Nam Bar where we bumped into Janine, Paul and Mark again. Yip Hoi An is that small. After several boozy card games we decided to go check out another place. With about 6 scooter drivers parked outside, all the new people we made friends with that night we all hopped onto the bikes and weaved through the streets to get to the next bar. It felt like a scene from the movies, first bike off then the next and so it went on. What an experience. It was this night that I fell in love. For just that night, love felt beautiful, no judgements, no rules, just pure love.

Undoubtedly we woke up with screeching heads, so we went to grab breakfast and then headed to Cua Dai Beach. It seemed like the better option in terms of distance and I don’t think my skinny legs were going to make it far out. It was approximately a 15minute cycle to the beach.  Peddling along the way felt so peaceful. There were a couple of times I thought I was going to fall over because I kept waving at the locals. Once you arrive at the beach, you have to pay to park your bike just before you enter. The beach was not crowded which was lovely and the water was warm. It was the perfect way to spend our last day in Hoi An.

We then stopped off into town for one last meal for lunch before catching our next bus to Hanoi. Hoi Cafe was just perfect. It had a variety of food. I realised though, that I was still rather hung over so a burger and chips was the order of the day. And I couldn’t resist having coffee. Vietnam has the best coffee. I think the coffee was what brought me back to my center.I really wish I had time to go to the fish market which apparently is superb because it isn’t flooded with tourists. But because I fell in love with Hoi An, I will definitely return.

The tranquility of this place puts your heart and soul at ease. It truly is my gem of Vietnam. Hoi An is truly a remarkable place, it combines culture, beach and tranquility together just perfectly. Its only a mad person that wont see the magic in this place.

 

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Nha Trang, Vietnam

Nha Trang, Vietnam

Thinking about my experience here makes me smile soo much. I met an amzing Irish man and at the same time broke another man’s heart. My philosophy was that I am here to go through experiences and not regret anything.

Arriving in Nha Trang was a breath of fresh air. From the buzzing and busy city to just pure serenity never felt so calming. After trying to figure out where to stay we eventually found a backpackers spot called The Backpackers house in the Backpackers area. It was situated 5 minutes from the beach with restaurants and shops along the way to the beach. All I wanted was a hearty breakfast and yes I said it, a gin and tonic to quench my thirst. Found this stunning restaurant right on the beach called Nha Trang Sailing Club. It’s just perfect. They have an area for lazing around as well as the restaurant section. Prices are reasonable.  We lazed there for some time before going to look for a bikini for myself.

I was having so much fun negotiating prices for the bikini, I wasn’t really focused on why I was there. Poor Jono had to sit there and tell me which one looked better on me. All bikinied up, we hit the beach. You have to pay $1 or something like that for a beach bed. Did I mention that you can drink on the beach and that there are people who walk around selling beer, ah I was in heaven. That’s not the end of it, we never had to get up for anything. A lady came around selling, prawns and lobster. I had the two things that made me smile, beer and seafood, and to end it off, I was basking in the sun on such a beautiful beach.

I met a fellow South African, Janine with her boyfriend Paul from Zimbabwe. They were off to Hoi An later that evening, so we decided to go looking for some sushi. We found the best spot about a 4 minute walk from the beach called Surai Sushi. The sushi was the freshest i’ve ever had. They had soo much variety. We were all sushied out. We exchanged numbers as we were also heading to Hoi An in the evening the next day.

My fun times were only just  beginning. We started off at The Red Apple bar where we made some new friends. I a bucket which the call ‘The Bucket’, what a lethal drink. With our new friends, we headed off to the next place called The Jolly Leprechaun Irish Pub where I drank the biggest fish bowl ever with total strangers I met on my way to the bathroom. Gotta love travelling alone, everyone wants you to share an experience with them.

Mark (The Irish man) and I decided to leave the rest at the pub and head off to a beach party at The Sailing Club. I can safely say that it was my first proper beach party. Shoo did I dance or what. It was so much fun being the only black person there I had shots flowing for DAYSSSS. Needless to say this night was the start of something exciting. What was lovely is that everything is in walking distance.

Word of advice, don’t pay to go scuba diving and drink the night before, because you and wake up late. Scuba Diving was the one reason I was excited to come to Nha Trang and I didn’t even make it. So my consolation was  to go on a booze boat and  just go snorkeling. And also don’t wake up with a hangover because the rocking of the boat will just shatter you and you which forces you to keep drinking.  Before we went snorkeling we stopped off at the Aquarium, which for me was a much needed stop over. Snorkeling was just bliss. The water was crystal clear and the weather just perfect. But what a lovely day on the boat eating fresh sea food, drinking beer and meeting amazing people.

The highlight though was swimming in the middle of the ocean with nothing in sight but water and boats passing by. Wait for it, we had a floating bar to continue the madness. The smartest idea ever, you don’t have to start and stop, there is a bar swimming with you. Ah, the sheer joy that was in my heart.

After soo much swimming, eating and drinking I wanted to have a calm rest of the day. So I headed back to the beach to nap and read a book and yes of course have a young beer. Had to freshen up for a quick dinner at the Green Apple restaurant before hoping onto the sleeper bus to make my way to Hoi An.  Thank goodness for smart Asians and their sleeper buses, otherwise I would have been a broken soul. We had one shot at the backpackers bar to say cheers to a lovely time in NhaTrang.

Nha Trang has the best beaches in Vietnam, is the best place for scuba diving, has the coolest nightlife, but of all, it was here where I met the most amazing people who made my stay unforgettable and memorable beyond words. I am definitely coming back here for memorable experiences.

 

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The Dopeness of This Photo!

The Dopeness of This Photo!

Dope.Pic FINAL

New York. July 2012.

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

So I received my passport in time just to leave Cambodia for gorgeous Vietnam. Got onto a bus for another couple of hours to get to the border of Ho chi minh City. Another border experience will make me an expert off crossing into borders. I was sidelined and then they searched my bag claiming there was something which after 20 minutes of making the bus wait for me, they eventually let me go because they couldn’t find anything. I wasn’t bothered its just that I had so much crap it was a mission repacking my bag. But I was in Vietnam, that was all that mattered, I was in Ho chi minh the capital of Vietnam.

After that we made our way to the city.  Now people were not lying when they said that the motor bikes there have taken over the place. They are everywhere, an invasion of the motor bike I tell you. Its another New York but on serious steroids, busy oh so busy. I met a guy by the name of Jon from New Zealand on the bus whom decided it would be a great idea to stay at the same place and mission together. We were dropped off at Mien Dong bus station and had to find our way. All we knew was that we wanted to be in District 1. I forgot to tell Jono that we need to be careful about the taxi’s. We were almost scammed by one of the taxi drivers.We got onto a private taxi which tried to rip us off. You should only take Mai Linh which is green and white or the yellow and green ones. The private ones will make you broke before your trip even begins. Sies on that man.That is the amazing thing about Ho chi minh city, there is accommodation everywhere ranging from dirt cheap to expensive.  We found a place that had only been running for 6 months tucked away in a tiny alley way. On your way to the hostel there a small shops, a salon, and a restaurant. It was then that I felt the heart of the place. Thank goodness Jono was attentive because with so many alley ways I was sure to get lost.

Done with freshening up we hit the streets. Now it was at this point that we realised that crossing a street was an adventure.”ok, 1,2,3 lets walk” You literally are walking while the bikes are weaving around you, its phenomenal. We decided to explore a bit of the Ben Thanh Market. We came across bottles of alcohol that had snakes and all sorts in them, not my kind of vibe. The market has clothes, jewellery, food, fresh fruit, its amazing. The knockoffs there are so on point you cant tell the difference.  Mind you I was keen to try anything, I was in Vietnam dammit but I was not going to drink something that had a snake in it. After lots of exploring and markets and stopping for beer breaks we decided we were famished and needed to have some Vietnamese cuisine. We found a place not too far from Saigon Square. Our meal was delicious, mouth watering and oh so cheap, my kinda stuff.

Jono thought it would be great to get full body massages which cost us a whole $7. I was like “get out of here, let me start getting undressed”. If you never thought there was value in a full head, body the whole shebang massage, my experience should get running to one. I was feeling rejuvenated, but it was time to go hit the nightlife. The city had such a buzz we did the bar hopping thing. Had dinner and went back to it.

A new day and we went to the Vietnam War  museum. There is something about hearing about war, but seeing the impact of the cruelty of war just cuts at you and you feel numb. I could only stomach a few floors and skipped the section “Agent Orange” which affected children. I don’t deal well with seeing suffering. I did take away with me witnessing how a country rebuild their country to build it into one of the most beautiful countries. To ease my soul we went shopping for sidewalk food and more beer and we came across a place called Cafe lam. They sold Tiger beer for $1 that is freaking awesome. Because we had already snacked from the food we collected while walking, we couldn’t indulge in their cheap dishes, like $3 cheap.

Our last night was a bit of a blur, as according to Jono I drank lots of shots with random folk we met at La Habana. But we started off our evening having dinner at Lemon grass also in District 1 and then decided to go hit the streets. I had to rely on Jono to tell me how the evening ended up because I was rather pumped from free shots. He said, the minute you said “Hi I’m Kats” things got crazy. Everyone was buying me shots. Not remembering your evening, now that is what I call epic.

The city dubbed the heart and buzz point of Vietnam treated me well, oh soooo well. Ho chi minh is where ‘Beer o’clock’ came to life.

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Phnom Pen, Cambodia

Phnom Pen, Cambodia

On the morning of my journey to Phnom Penh I realised that I had lost my passport. After realising that, I went straight to the local convenience store, bought a beer and regained calmness. John decided to take me to the consulate. Lodged a report, left my copies and told them no matter what happens I’m on that bus to Phnom Penn. I told them I will start to panic when I have to make my way to Vietnam. Indeed I made my way to Phnom Penh. 6 hours later I arrived in Phnom Penh, the capital and biggest city of Cambodia, still without a passport. I had one of John’s friends waiting to pick me up. Off we went checking out hostels. I eventually negotiated a room. Can you believe you can negotiate accommodation. So much fun.
I roamed the streets of Phnom Penh which is completely different to Siem Reap. Another city full of loads of scooters and TU TUK’s. I just spent the first day drinking cocktails eating great food and meeting people. Had dinner on my own. I tumbled across a pub that had a $1 cocktail special. I was in the right place. With a band playing, the room filled with foreigners it was a relaxed evening. I think I went through 5 different pubs in one evening on my own. You would think a girl walking on her own in dark alley ways was not the smartest thing, well I did it. I had fun getting lost and not knowing where my hostel was. During trying to find my way back I met 3 Cuban boys drinking at this hidden spot. Without them I would have woken up without a hangover, but with them I had a blast.
I spent day two doing the touristy stuff. I visited the ‘Killing Fields’  which was such a heart breaking experience. It feels so strange to be walking through a place where thousands of people were killed. The section where women and children were killed was the most painful. This is where they encouraged you to leave a bracelet in memory of them. After that section I brought my visit to a quick end. I had heard and seen enough to make me disgusted. The Genocide museum wasn’t any different. There is that Eerie feeling when you visit the holding cells. Its different when you see numbers, but when you see faces of the people who suffered, its something else. When you stop and think about the amount of cruelty and pain that humans inflict on each other is disgusting. The quote “Power corrupts absolutely. Absolute power corrupts”  is so true. Through all of the suffering and pain that the Cambodian people had to endure they still rise, they are committed to building a better life for their country and making sure they never have to go through that again.

My Tuk Tuk driver thought I was that girl who likes shooting people, so he took me to a shooting range. I saw some serious guns there. I didn’t have the money to shoot any of the guns so I spent some time chatting to the people who run the place so that they can tell me about the guns. If I had enough money I would have opted for the grenade and some other gun that looked like it weighed more than I do.
After that experience I needed a pick me up, so I was dropped off at my hostel, freshened up and took to the streets again. I roamed the busy streets, popping into shops, stopping for fresh fruits. I loved the fact that I walked everywhere, everything is so accessible. With a mixture of boutiques, department stores and your cheap stores, Phnom Penn is lovely to go shopping. I spent the rest of the day and evening trying out different cocktails, roof top bars and sidewalk restaurants kept me occupied.

My stroll along the Mekong River was peaceful. I was soo hungry from all the walking I decided to stop for some fresh fruits and sit and watch the happy couples walking by, the kids playing so innocently.
The highlight of my evening was that I spent my evening chatting to a guy named Wayne who has been living between Vietnam, Cambodia, Bali and Thailand for the past 15 years. He is an Englishman who has never been married and his no intentions of doing so, but he believes in love and feels that you don’t need a certificate to prove your love. He believes that people are always expecting to get something in return, that we don’t do things from the bottom of our hearts. Reason why he loves Asia and never plans to leave is because the people in Asia are genuine, true, happy, they are just happy despite their plight they are happy.  His words of advice, “Be you, be happy, explore, take risks and never ever stop loving”. Needless to say we spoke about everything right till 4am. So much for wanting an early night.
I closed off my Cambodia experience with gratitude and a sense of rejuvenation. I realised I have soo much to be grateful for and so much living to still live.

 

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Siem Reap, Cambodia

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Siem Reap is where my traveling alone spirit really kicked in. At the crack of dawn, I joined people who were being taken to the border of Siem Reap. The shuttle was full of different people, couples, single travelers, and a group of friends, most of them also doing a trip right through Asia.
We arrived at the border of Siem Reap which took ages to get through. But once we were through, you could sense that you were in a different place. You welcome to the City is dirt roads and dilapidated homes. Off I went to be dropped off at a place where there were taxi drivers to take you were ever you wanted to go. Now mind you I hadn’t booked any accommodation. A guy by the name of John approached me and told me he can take me to a backpackers. My only criteria was that it was in the heart of the night life and that it was cheap.
I introduced myself to the City by being taken to a local bar. Now I was the only foreigner there and the only black person. AH what an experience. With drinking their home brewed toxic drink to sharing beers amongst 8 guys, it truly was a perfect evening. One of the traditions they taught me was that after some time you cheers, I was ‘cheersing’ every 8 minutes, soo cool.
Off I woke up at the crack of dawn to go see the sun rise at the magical Angkor Wat Temple. There isn’t a sight like that. The sun rises behind the temples. People from all over come to experience that moment. Just in that moment, its you that magical view and your thoughts, absolutely priceless.

After spending the day visiting temples, eating loads of pineapples John took me on a boat trip with him and his two friends. We stopped by another local spot to have beer with the locals, yet again I was the only girl and again we said ‘cheers’. Off we went bought chicken and prawns from the side of the road and a couple of beers to accompany us.We were floating between the “FLOATING VILLAGE”. A school on a boat, a church on a boat and an entire village on boats. When the high tide comes in, it washes them to another place. Amazing stuff.

I got a chance to ‘steer’ the boat, soo cool. I think its safe to say I’m an expert. I took us to the middle of nowhere, where we just floated, drank beer ate great food and enjoyed great company.
I was then taken to a Cambodian festival. Dancing, great Cambodian cuisine and lots of beer.
The city may be poor, the buildings may be dilapidated but the people, the people are full of so much life, humility and have a spirit to boot. I want to go back in a couple of years to see the progress that the City has made.

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One day in Bangkok

One day in Bangkok

My next journey was to Siem Reap. Not knowing which was the easiest route to get there,I made my way back to Bangkok to get to Siem Reap. I had left my bags at the Hua Lamphong train station for storing while I go grab something to eat. I found a place called 511 Cafe which was right across from the train station. He had only had the place opened for 2 months. The owner was soo welcoming and took an interest in my travels and gave advise on taking a shuttle instead of a train to Siem Reap border.  I had already bought a train ticket to the border to leave at 5pm that day. So he directed me back to the train station to book a shuttle instead and then I asked around for affordable accommodation that was around the corner. So I had to spend a night in Bangkok.

After roaming the streets on my own and eating too much pineapple, I needed to take a nap before going out for dinner. The lady at reception at the hotel I was staying at told me to go visit the mall. It had 10 floors. I stopped at the 5th floor, it was just too much for me to handle. I managed to buy two handbags but it was all my luggage could handle. One of the guys who was asking me where I was from told me about an underground party  that he was going to after the mall. I told him where I stayed and they came to pick me up. So off we went. It was full of Asians and the odd four foreigners and I brightened up the place by adding some blackness to the mix.
Goodness do the Asians know how to party. What was great about this place is that it didn’t have a name, you have to be invited, there is no password, you don’t pay anything. All you have to do is give one reason why you are happy to be in Bangkok. I didn’t know why I was happy to be in Bagkok so I just said “Im happy to be in Bangkok because i’m going to party up a storm” So I got the nod. The guy who brought me there disappeared after we got inside.
The place was dark and not too packed, just the right sized crowd. Drinks were a tad bit pricey, I mean after paying 50c for mojitos anything after that is pricey. They had a live band all girl band performing. They say English songs which was great so I didn’t have to look like a fool dancing to songs I didn’t understand.
I met a young couple from Belize, South America. Gosh they made me feel so wack by their love stories. We decided to get a bite to eat at 3am.. A block away there was this place which was still opened to cater for those drunkies. I must say its not ideal to have an Asian dish after so much of drinking, what I needed was a burger and chips. It did me wonders. At 5am I had to cave in and go back to my hotel. I slept for an hour and half to get ready to leave for Cambodia. Those are the best days. Hungover, no sleep and off to another country on my own, I don’t know how different I would have done it otherwise.
One day, one night in Bangkok was one awesome experience. They were right that it’s the party capital. I do wish I could have turned one night into three nights. But I will be back very soon to do it over again.

 

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Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai, Thailand

My Asia journey began in Thailand. I arrived not knowing how to navigate myself round and the language barrier proved to be quite a challenge. Hailing a cab was not as simple as I thought, I had to get a ticket and had a cab driver assigned to me. Off I went to train station which was a 45 minute drive. I must say the driver wanted to try his luck by driving me himself to Chiang Mai for a hefty fee. “Ah ah i’m smarter than that”. It was another 12 hour trip to get to Chiang Mai by train. Met some lovely people from Hong Kong who were adamant to feed me their food.
It wasn’t so much the excitement of being in Chiang Mai but that I was going to see my brother who I hadn’t seen for over a year which is torture in itself. My interesting travels began when as I arrived there he wasn’t there. Oh golly this has already turned to be interesting.

As we hopped onto the TUK TUK with my two huge bags we weaved the buzzing streets of Chiang Mai. What an amazing atmosphere. So many scooters, no like sooo many scooters. We ended up renting a scooter for the days I was there.
I spent my first day there visiting the village where TK stays. The views as you make your way up the mountain are breathtaking. With beautiful Asian kids running around and the hospitality of the people, I felt just at home.
The food market made me feel like I was in heaven. We bought a couple fruits I have never heard of, mouth watering stuff that was. I cant say I was moved by the snake meat. It took us 40 minutes to get to the foot of the mountain and then another 12 minutes to get to the top. I realised when I got up there how beautiful nature is. You cant fault it. TK built a school right at the top of the mountain. He then took me to the village to go meet people who have been taking care of him. We were given boots to put on because of the heavy rains had resulted in lots of mud. So unfortunately we couldn’t the scooter but we had to hike. Ooooh boy was I out of breath. TK would say “sis this is shocking, when you get home please start running again”. It was tough I aint gonna lie. I was relieved once we got to his abode and school. Simple and basic. No TV, just him, his books the school and nature. A different way of living life. We rested and indulged in the fruits we bought at the market, and once we saw it was about to rain we made way back down.

I was fortunate enough to spend time with a Monk who brought new perspective to the way I saw things. After that encounter I made sure that every experience made me a better person. He told me that I need to focus most of my time on nurturing my soul. If my soul is fed and looked after my life will be beautiful. He told me that I am the only person responsible for my life, my happiness, my joys, my successes and my failures. He told me that having strong beliefs and values will steer me in the right direction. Love is what we all need to have and give.

Every night in Chiang Mai was a blast. With celebrating one of Tk’s friends birthdays to just bar hopping. I hadn’t partied like that in ages. 50c Mojitos really was awesome. Chiang Mai really has a buzzing night life. There are bars and pubs everywhere. There is something for everyone.

I spent a day at a butterfly farm, and Elephant Sanctuary. Riding elephants, rafting, watching an elephant show was the order of that day. My brother is in love with elephants so we just had to go. It was great being one with nature.

I made new friends, heard about other peoples great adventures and their plans for their lives, it was refreshing. I was humbled to see how my brother has changed and to experience his refreshing outlook on life. He taught me soo much about being happy and living a life you want to live and not one that is dictated by what society deems to be right. The simpler your life is the more you focus on being a spiritual individual, because you realise that the things we think matter don’t really matter.

I know why its voted one of the top 25 destinations to visit, truly magical. Accommodation is cheap, partying is cheap, just living is affordable. The people are beautiful with such caring souls. I cant wait to be welcomed back by the people, eat mouth watering food, party until I don’t know what time it is and just make unforgettable memories. I am definitely coming back. I didn’t spend as much time as I should have. The year cannot end without me coming back here.

Our scooter we rented for the time I was there

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Why so fly?

Why so fly?

We fell in love over and over during our holiday. And every 4th guy was ‘the one’. This trip reminded us that the world is a beautiful place. And men are even more beautiful. Some extensive research went into compiling the content of this post, and we trust that you will appreciate this shortlist of the gorgeous people running around New York, unaware (well, for some we made things very obvious) of the effect they are having on a bunch of South African women. It’s a tough job – but someone had to (gladly) do it.


 

 

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So we missed our flight…

So we missed our flight…

Ya ne. After our ‘farewell’, which ended at about 7am, we got ready, finished packing, and then headed off to hail a cab (which is often a very quick process) to get to the airport.

We waited. 10 mins. 20 mins. Started slightly panicking at the 30min mark, especially as it was 9:40 and our flight was leaving at 11:20am. After waiting for 50 whole minutes, it started raining. HARD! This is when we knew, we were not going anywhere. Still holding out for a slight miracle, we finally found a cab and we set off to the airport at 9:55am. Lo and behold – we jumped into the cab with the slowest. driver. in. the. world. Not even a slight tinge of urgency as we went on the long traffic-filled trek to JFK, with the rain falling down and minimal hope in our eyes.As we entered the airport the hope in us rushed back, as we excitedly asked around for the Emirates check in counter. Our excitement was met with looks of shock, dismay, and horror, as one guy slowly pointed to the empty, desolate check-in desk. Our reaction – we immediately cracked up loud and hard! What else can you do when you miss a flight from New York to Johannesburg?!After sorting out the flight admin and luckily finding a flight the next morning with no extra charge, we set off on the streets, again. We thought what better way to deal with our situation than to enjoy a lovely lunch in the sun at one of our favourite Lower East Side restaurants, ‘Inoteca. Absolutely delicious bruschettas and crisp white wine for the “pain”, and a subsequent visit to a nail bar in Chinatown made us feel much better.By late afternoon, missed flight panic out the way, we saw this as a second chance at a farewell. So we had to end it big, and that we did. We danced like no one was watching at the Hotel on Rivington to the awesome sounds of DJ Moma, and ended the night/morning at our neighbourhood diner for some pancakes, eggs, and bacon. The only way New York nights should end :-)

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