Travel The World In Style – Learn As You Go

When you fly around the world, given the opportunity to, and I beg you, if you have the means, you should not dilly-dally and pick some place like Tokyo, Paris, London, Berlin, Israel (I fear their security apparatus, but have amazing accommodations and beaches), Egypt or Rome to see. I guarantee your mind will be blown when you see the rest of the world. So many people live in countries that are completely modernized that you thought were still 3rd world (like Thailand, Malaysia). The fun part about Europe is in most cities their trams and busses are FREE, beer is cheaper than soda, and the food is SO GOOD. Kick back with them as they enjoy their enormous amounts of paid leisure time.
Speaking of a place where the food is good, Singapore is small, somewhat quiet, unnervingly industrious (work, work work), but very pleasant. They don’t have much in the way of great places to see, but dang if the food isn’t the best – you might even catch concert act you missed in the States – everybody plays there. Singapore has cultural exchange and trade with Cuba.
Japan is so ergonomic, you will never experience discomfort there, whether riding on their subways and speed trains or walking as fast as they do in Tokyo down sidewalks. When it comes to things to do, Japan will leave you needing a return visit. There is no way to see it all, even just one section of Tokyo you will be disappointed about never getting to see certain things you hoped you could have seen. Since one doesn’t make it all the way to Japan often (it is quite a ways away from the USA mainland), eat Japanese while there. =You can’t find good Japanese food anywhere else but there. Japan’s only drawback: not friendly to those in poorer health or the handicapped/disabled. If you are such, just be prepared to be given some grief. I saw nobody with walking canes, in wheelchairs while there – commonplace here in America, we have here a FAR more accommodating culture.
People are very proper in the Asian countries, but it’s easy and quick to learn what they expect of you. Just be polite. Nonetheless, when you let your hair down, there are so many faux paus you will commit while there. NEVER order a beer during daylight. They will laugh at you! Alcohol is strictly only for after dark. Then, by all means, drink all you want. The fun part is you must speak at least a few Japanese phrases – it’s expected. They will teach you “thank you, hello, goodbye.” O-HAI-YO, Go-ZAI-mastah!! DOH-mo Ari-ga-to, Sayonara! And then you have to/get to use that a lot. All the other countries don’t make you speak their language, which kind of sucks. Only Japan gives you that pleasure.
The Japanese have a lot English phrases and words they use every day, but it is not the kind of English you ever heard before. it’s a Japanese-English pigeon that sounds like badly pronounced English. While there we saw a great game show. Su-PAHHH Dod-jaa-ball! The contestants: several Japanese, one white, one big black guy who was nailed with a dodgeball almost immediately! Everybody was speaking Japanese on the show “Suuu-PA Dod-jaa-ball!”
If you can get a deal, pick a 5-star airline. Even in economy class, you will be treated like you matter and leave the airport smiling! But the price might stun you. But getting stuck on tarmacs is unheard of with these carriers. If you want to fly more cheaply, 4-star JAL Japanese Air Lines is a great airline – we really enjoy our economy class flights on JAL. American, Delta, United, British Airways, Lufthansa – all have lost our luggage before, but are generally nice airlines. The only bad airline I’ve ever been on is Air Canada. It’s messy on board, the attendants never respond to your calls, and if they do, make no effort to see you ever got what you asked for. They never treat you like you’re familiar to them. Hold tight onto your tickets, passport. Tight. And if you are asleep when the meal tray comes by, too bad. Create a scene, you’ll be arrested. One of their attendants even bumped me and said “C’mon! We have to get through here!” We were waiting in a queue to board the aircraft, so that’s how they treat their own passengers. On the other hand, there was some freedom in their crappiness. They didn’t give a flip if you filmed take-offs and landings with electronic devices, and you could jam out on your walkman (i mean iPod – it’s iPod now, isn’t it) all the way to touchdown and keep it on during take-off. Also good about Air Canada: always new airplanes, clean restrooms, and they get you there!
Biggest surprise: flying domestic within India. They feed you a meal you would not believe, even on a mere 2 hour long hop-skip from Agra to Udaipur. All the states of India are very different from one another. I know Uttar Pradesh, and it is a heavily populated, poor state, with very messy cities. But neighboring Rajasthan is clean, open, with good roads, and places everywhere serve great Indian food.

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