learn something new every day →
Always Take the Free Lunch
I have arrived in Buenos Aires! I’m staying in a tango-themed hostel in a historic, working class neighborhood this weekend before my study abroad program officially starts. I’ve been exploring the neighborhood parks, ducking into antique shops, and visiting city museums. Last night I took my Israeli roommate from my hostel with me to an Irish pub downtown for a CouchSurfing meetup. We...
Lessons in Love from a Buenos Aires Taxi Driver
Driver: Where in the US are you from?
Me: South Carolina, near Florida. The governor of my state came here a little while ago.
Driver: Ahhh, he has an Argentinean girlfriend?
Me: Yeah, but he also has a wife.
Driver: What a rascal governor.
Driver: Are girls in American universities free like they are in TV programs?
Me: (unsure if free means independent or promiscuous) Um, sure, more or less.
Driver: So if a girl likes a guy, she can, how you say, go for it?
Me: Maybe. In some places they're more religious and conservative, so they don't do that. Like in the South. Where I'm from.
Driver: Hahaha, I understand.
Traveling as a Mixed-Race Couple in Asia: No, Sir,... →
After seeing one too many pudgy, balding 50-year old foreign men in Jakarta walking hand in hand with gorgeous, 22 year-old Indonesian girls, I became pretty jaded. It’s easy to assume foreign men are just looking for trophy wives to bring home, and Indonesian girls are gold-diggers. Click the link above to read an eye-opening account by a mixed-race couple that are together for all the...
How to Have a Lucky Year: Chinese Style
If your New Year’s resolutions haven’t gone exactly as planned, or you’re just not satisfied with the way 2010 is going so far, don’t worry, you have a chance to start fresh! Today is Chinese New Year’s Eve, the most important holiday in China. Just follow the steps below to make sure you have good fortune this lunar year. 1) Gather your friends for a feast! Make...
Flying Halfway Around the World: By the Numbers
10458- miles from Jakarta to Columbia 226- pages of Australian Cosmo read 60- degree temperature difference between Jakarta and my current location, DC 18.5- hours spent on a plane today, 18 hours spent waiting in airports $5.99- cost of one-day wi-fi pass purchased at Dulles Airport 3- flights taken so far today 2- black snakeskin platform shoes with shiny gold heels purchased in Singapore...
Reflections on my last day in the Big Durian
Today was my last day in Jakarta for a very long time (if not forever). So, to honor the eight (!) months I spent there, here are my reflections: Things I’ll Miss about Jakarta 1) All the street life that made traffic jams bearable. Smoky food carts, performing monkeys, teenage hustlers strumming on cheap guitars, maniacal minibus drivers 2) Chasing little kids in the neighborhood...
A touch of blue to brighten your day →
Save Europe for when you’re old and rich. I promise it’ll still be...– Matt Harding, that dancing guy from “Where the Hell is Matt?”
Stuff White People Like: Food Trucks
Everytime I read another news article about the growing popularity of gourmet food trucks in American cities, I can’t help but grin. It seems I can’t go three days without reading about another group of hipsters in turbans renovating an old van, posting their van location on Twitter, and selling organic vegan sausages, ice cream sandwiches named after Frank Llyod Wright, or bizarre...
for your listening pleasure
I Live in the Jungle
Meet Angie. (Almost) every day, I go on a walk with her in the park across the street from our house. Come along on our journey! We walk along a stone path, lined by palm trees. Construction workers lay new bricks, pausing only to stare and call out “Hallo Mister!” as I walk past. The workers live in this temporary hut while they work on the path. Click below to continue and...
Battle of the Bulge
Every night around 8:30pm, I have a heated internal debate: should I lace up my Nikes and do an intense body circuit, or strap on an apron and bake yummy cookie creations? Last week, this body circuit won, but tonight, there was no hesitation. Behold, Nutella cookie bars, full of butter, chocolate, and deliciousness. Recipe here.
perfect timing: new york times travel section... →
Show Me the Money: Why is there no change in...
Call me crazy. When I pay for a 50 cent postcard with a $1 bill, I expect to receive 50 cents back. But in Indonesia, I’m just as likely to receive a lemon drop instead. Due to the lack of small change in circulation, retailers have started making change with hard candy. I have never been to a store and not been asked to pay with more exact bills. “I’m sorry Miss, do you have two...
But I want you to know something… You and me, it’s not gonna be a...– Tracy Jordan, 30 Rock
meet dave and jenny, the funniest travelers i've... →
8 Ways to Survive a Three Hour Traffic Jam
In Jakarta, people react to thunderstorms the same way South Carolinians react to half an inch of snow. Everyone runs inside (or under the nearest bridge), enterprising teenagers offer their services as personal umbrella holders, and traffic comes to a standstill. Luckily, in Jakarta there are more than enough sights outside the car to amuse passengers as they wait out the monsoons. 1. Sing...
Every day of my life
Stranger: Why India?
Me: My mom lived there for 7 years. It's also the name of a character in her favorite movie, Gone with the Wind.
Stranger: It's a pretty name.
Stranger: I bet no one ever misspells it. You're lucky you don't have to share your name with 100 other girls named Rachel. Do people ask you about it a lot?
I created this blog to share my adventures as I travel around the US, SE Asia, and South America. I’ll also post travel tips, funny links, recipes, and other amusing tidbits. Columbia, South Carolina is my collegiate home town, but right now I’m in Jakarta, Indonesia with my family for winter break. Next I’ll be flying to Buenos Aires, Argentina to study Spanish and...