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Tracking the 6 best food trucks in San Francisco – why you should skip a restaurant

By on Apr 11, 2014 in City Guides | 0 comments

Restaurants are passe! Welcome to the world of food trucks. Armed with delicious, fresh fusion food, low prices,  super fast service and the allure of pop culture, –  the food trucks are a winner . No wonder there has been a  revolution in the last few years. The Bay area has its own share of innovative trucks catering to the people of San Francisco and its suburbs. Whether visiting the city for business or pleasure or a bit of both, it is worth checking some of these food trucks. We came up with our very own “must try” list. The Filipino Twist  in Burritos   Senor Sisig goes around the town selling flavors that come from Mexico and Philippines. Apart from the fact that the burritos are filled with Filipino style chicken/pork or tofu, what makes them unique is the french fries in it! They were featured in Food Network and seems to have a decent number of loyal...

The art of doing nothing – on travel

By on Mar 11, 2014 in Short Experiences | 0 comments

  The antithesis of ‘nothing’ is to ‘do everything’.   As travelers and tourists, there are many of us who have been victims of this habit. With practiced panache we preen and pose before famed monuments, click pictures of every little food bite we intake on our trip, and store the names of the places we go to in the corners of our brain so that we can happily name drop when we are among friends and family. The world is open to inquisitive eyes and little more of the mystery unravels every day. Like hungry vultures, we swoop in on our prey. Everyone has a bucket list of must do’s and must visit’s and they would happily walk, run, fly, canoe, row, bungee jump, hike, drive, dive, and walk some more to wrap up. Glory, after all, lies in having been to more places than the Joneses. Happiness is being the one with more number of travel pictures on social media sites. The quest for...

Visiting the Reindeer People in Mongolia

By on Mar 11, 2014 in Short Experiences | 0 comments

When I was a child, I remember playing this game where we moved around the house with pillows in our hands which were our bags. We often sat down and brought out food from our bags and ate a communal lunch. It was a very fascinating game for me, as I imagined climbing hills, crossing streams or even going to Japan. I guess that’s how I first fell in love with traveling. Little did I know of the real hardships of a nomadic life back then though, until I, in some fashion, lived through it, being an expat in three different continents. There are still many nomadic tribes all across the globe and each have their traditions, rituals, and deprivations. Most endure severe climatic conditions, and live through a constant struggle to retain their tribe’s ethnicity in the face of civilization. The Tsaatan people of Northern Mongolia is one such tribe, popularly known as the Reindeer...

Norwegian hangouts – places where Oslo’s locals play

By on Mar 6, 2014 in City Guides | 0 comments

In the last few months, I have covered a number of places that somehow was going under the rug as far as being on the travel radar goes. Read the story on Toronto if you want to find out what I mean (Is Toronto sexy yet?). The same search brings me to the Norwegian capital of Oslo. Over the years, Oslo has grown from being a country town into the sophisticated metropolis it is today. It’s a city fueled by oil money from the “black gold” of the North Sea. However, somehow, Oslo has been playing second-fiddle in the European travelers’ bucketlist. The city today though, is permeated with a Nordic joie de vivre in contrast to its staid, dull reputation of yesteryear.   Where does the Oslo local go to play then?     Out of all the neighborhoods, Grunerlokka sits on the banks of the Akerselva River but it was not always the hip new hangout area that it...

5 offbeat Indian coastal drives you might not have heard of

By on Feb 27, 2014 in Short Experiences | 0 comments

India’s long and wondrous coastline is a fact that books never tire of eulogizing. And yet, when remembering ‘coastal drives’ in the country, one normally thinks of the ever popular Mumbai to Goa drive or the backwaters of Kerala, and almost nothing else! An ignoramus could be forgiven for imagining the rest of the Indian peninsula as a smorgasbord of coconut trees and tiny hamlets, while in reality it is over 5700 kms of ocean side scenery and butter smooth roads (for most of the way at least!). So if the tides’ turning sounds like music to your ears and anathema for the popular your living mantra, ready your wheels to drive down these five highly recommended and fabulously ‘offbeat’ ocean hugging roads in the country.   Digha to Chandipur   Warren Hastings once called Digha the ‘Brighton of the East’, and Kolkata’s favorite beach resort has aptly lived up to the platitude....

The best bread trail in Paris

By on Feb 25, 2014 in Short Experiences | 0 comments

When it comes to bread, the Parisians have taken it to another level. Every neighborhood in this city has its own Boulangerie and if you see a line snaking out of it, take the plunge and go in, chances are high of you being pleasantly surprised! Baking a bread is a form of art in Paris. With thousands of bakers competing against each other, the industry levels are higher than anywhere else. Most Parisians will probably not  be very happy with the white and brown squarish thing you and I have for breakfast. Though most boulangeries have good bread, it would be a good idea to befriend a local and ask him to show you around (you can do that on mygola locals). But if you are a discerning traveler, go ahead and take a look at what we found – in search of the best braid trail in Paris. Traditional and contemporary flavors First established in 1889 in the 10th Arrondissement, you will...

Lone Christmas Rituals – 4 ways to celebrate Christmas if you are away from family

By on Dec 26, 2013 in Event Guides | 0 comments

As the leaves start changing colors, as you feel a nip in the early morning air, you know it is time to gear up for the best time of the year. Soon it is time for Christmas shopping, house decorating, party planning and the list goes on. Suddenly everybody seems busy, excited and happy. Festivals are meant to make people happy, after all. The word itself is derived from Latin: “Festivus” meaning happiness. However, for some, who has to stay away from home, the festive season makes them even more lonesome. The chilly wintry nights sometimes do not mean cozy gathering of friends and family for dinner. Don’t spend it watching television and having Chinese take-out. Being an expatriate has its pros and cons. Few know it better that me, having been an expat in over three cities in three different continents over the last three years. I have some ideas for you –...

Holiday Road Trips – The boats of Flamingo – from Charleston to Florida

By on Dec 20, 2013 in Event Guides | 0 comments

A roadtrip guide for this holiday season to experience the subtle confluence of tar and boating. In this edition: a meandering route from Charleston, South Carolina to Flamingo on the tip of Florida.     A pungent, slightly salty smell permeates the air of the Low Country. Its source is the area’s pluff mud: the dark marsh soil left behind after the tide recedes. That smell is one of the area’s many distinctive qualities. Other features that tend to leave lasting impressions are the wide, flat expanses of marsh grass, the shrill songs of tree frogs and katydids, the silhouettes of live oak trees, their long, arching limbs shrouded in silvery clumps of Spanish moss. Then there’s the seemingly omnipresent water—tidal marshes, rivers, estuaries, and the Atlantic Ocean. This holiday season, take that old camper out, prop up some good kayaks or small boats if you...

Finding Year-round Surfing meccas – In Morocco and Indonesia

By on Dec 19, 2013 in Short Experiences | 0 comments

We asked some seasoned surfers from around the world about their favourite year-round surfing destinations and some tips for those who want to go noseriding. February and March are easily two of the best times of the year to go surfing. The temperatures are mild, specially in the coastal and temperate regions and the breeze soulful. But for anytime surfers, winter is no time to hang the boards. Where do you go to avoid the chill then? The usual list brings up names like Bondi beach, the Hawaii and other similar cliches. With little place left to park your board, let alone yourself, what are indeed the best locations? .. The Moroccan Shores Until recently, this was a small fishing village in the south of Morocco. Taghazoute now has come up as a prime spot on the surfing map. The tiny village is lined with numerous kitschy cafes, restaurants and shops to spend some post-surfing time...

Interview: Film, Street and Candid photography since 1970 – with Robert Herman

By on Dec 18, 2013 in Travel Feature | 0 comments

Michelangelo Antonioni made his film “Blow Up” partly based on photographer David Bailey’s “Swinging London” creation – the catch-all term applied to the fashion and cultural scene that flourished in London in the 1960s. Years later, it inspired an 11 year old to become a photographer. Robert Herman was a starry-eyed youth who watched as many Hollywood and international films as he could, a favourite being Antonioni’s Blow Up”. Brooklyn born Robert Herman began working as an usher at a movie theater owned by his parents. Soon, the stories took a backseat and instead, the images lingered on in his mind. A few years later he entered the world of street photography. After a successful Kickstarter campaign, Robert Herman has just released his monograph ‘The New Yorkers.’ He has been shooting on the street since the 1970s. With...

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