Click on a label to read posts from that part of the world.
Oct 9th 2011 7:11PM Note to those who are interested: The class is not free. The cost is $29.
Aug 2nd 2011 12:01AM Tampons are very much in Europe and in the same brands we have at home. Bringing tampons to the EU is truly a waste of your luggage space. Just go to any pharmacy and there they are. Tampax. Playtex. OB. All there.
Also, if you are traveling to the EU, you can leave your scripts for UTIs and whatnot at home. The pharmacies there have different meds that - in my experience - work better than what you can get in the US. I truly prefer European allergy meds and antibiotics to what we have available in the US.
This list would work if you are going to a developing country, but you aren't roughing it in the wilds if you are in Milan, Italy, or Paris, France, so do (author) please take the time to specify where your advice is for.
Guess what, there are even razors, hair dryers, curling irons, Starbucks, and Krispy Kreme doughnuts in Europe. And HSBC bank.
Jul 3rd 2011 12:12AM If I recall the NPR story correctly, the reason there hasn't been a push by the government for the dollar coin is that the cost of printing a paper note vs minting a metal coin means that a paper dollar is cheaper to produce than a metal dollar.
In short, the paper dollars are cheaper for the government.
And with advances in the paper, the paper dollars are lasting long enough that the whole "but it will wear out and you'll have to make another one" still puts it at cheaper than minting a coin.
So I can see where the US Mint is coming from.
However, by that logic, we should have paper pennies. After all, what with paper being cheaper than metal.
Jun 6th 2011 9:27PM In my manner of travel, I try to observe and emulate rather than verbally communicate. You can learn much by watching, for example, an Italian on a subway respond to a beggar and then do the same. However, there are times when you do need to communicate verbally to learn something or solve a problem - for example determining and acquiring the amount of postage necessary to send home a postcard.
I have seen two different attitudes: distant/rude and friendly. I get distant/rude when having to ask questions to learn. I get friendly when I observe and emulate, even if in some part of the emulation process it goes wrong and we stumble through.
I find, also, that I am more likely to respond with enthusiasm to a person who starts initiating a transaction with me and then messes up somewhere in the middle, than with someone who walks up and asks a direct question. Not that I'd be rude to the questioner, but there wouldn't be a baseline by which I could judge their understanding so I would have trouble knowing how much is too much or too little to explain. If they start initiating the interaction, then I have a baseline which makes my role as cultural ambassador easier.
Or better put: It is easier to help someone figure out how to use the public transportation system when they have already got a ticket and know which bus to ride - you have to put your ticket into the machine and have it validated - as you know they already know about tickets and have a general idea of the bus routes, than it is to respond to someone who asks, "Do you speak XX? How can I use the bus to get to YY?" In the latter case, there is so much information to be divulged and you aren't sure if you need to start with explaining reading route maps and the fact that public transit costs money. And further more, it is then difficult for you to calculate their route plan to YY, especially if that isn't a location you are overly familiar with. As such, that may feel like an imposition, when really it is a language problem because they'd figured out as much as the people in the first scenario, but lacked the language to communicate that their true question is about making sure their ticket is validated.
Jun 6th 2011 1:19PM Aside from its name, it is super delicious in the way that a fruit cake wishes it were. Treacle is better, though.
Jun 6th 2011 1:16PM I had not heard that, but I do know that "no va" means "doesn't go" in Spanish.
Apr 23rd 2011 4:42PM Will it affect my decision to bring home my toiletries? Nope!
I bring them home and donate them to the local homeless or battered woman's shelter who are always in need of such things. This is something that anyone can do.
What exactly does "recycle" mean? Because by giving the bottles directly o the people who are using the toiletries, I feel that is much more green than having the toiletries or bottles undergo a chemical "recycle" process.
Apr 6th 2011 11:45PM I have yet to pay for wifi at a hotel. I once stayed with a woman who paid for wifi (in Philadelphia at a hotel called Lowes), but despite calling IT, we still couldn't get online. The username/password database refused the username and password we were entering, and IT claimed that we had the correct information. I just took my laptop down to the lobby and used the free wifi, there.
I have, however, paid for wifi at the airport while waiting to pick my mother up from a return from Israel. Despite having AT&T home internet - which promised to be free - I still couldn't get my username/password to work with the wifi connection, even after calling AT&T, so I just sucked it up and paid $3 for an hour.
Apr 2nd 2011 2:41AM I absolutely love the Reading Terminal Market. I first met it barely over a year ago, and now I've gotten the opportunity to return. There is absolutely nothing better than an Egg and Cheese Sandwich from my favorite shop. I wrote up the entire experience here @ http://theinfamousj.livejournal.com/414007.html
Mar 21st 2011 7:44PM I went to a conference where they had a Rent a Box. For $10, you got a medium-sized shipping box that stayed in a manned booth area and you could drop by throughout the conference and toss stuff in to it. Then, on the last day of the conference, they had UPS on site to tape up and ship the boxes wherever you needed them to go.
Useful for sending literature, handouts, and other goodies back to the office rather than having to lug pounds and pounds of paper on the plane.
Vegas Box seems to be in a similar vein.
Though given the cost of storage units around where I live, wouldn't it be cheaper to rent a storage closet than a box? Seems like you are paying a premium for such a small container.