May 30, 2015

Top five street food/fast food joints

As someone who tries to keep costs down when traveling, to free up money for more of it (or for spending on genuine, must-have luxuries while traveling), street and fast food are things I pay some attention to.

I will admit, I am also somewhat wary of certain street food in certain countries due to hygiene and disease considerations; in some cases, I’ve had to be, because of things like potentially being pregnant (and wanting to stay pregnant, should I have been). For that reason, while I wish I could say the samosas my husband ate in Kuala Lumpur could make this list, they can’t quite—I didn’t try them because if it’s a choice between being extra cautious about food because your doctor told you to, to avoid any risk to a potential pregnancy that you were told you would probably never be able to have, or tasting the samosa, you sacrifice the samosa. For the time being. I will go back to Kuala Lumpur and I will eat their samosas. And, I suspect, so will my kid. 

In any event, with the samosas disclaimer now being out of the way, here are my top five recommendations in terms of street food/fast food.

1. Pieminister, London (and elsewhere!)

Pieminister is phenomenally excellent. The food is high-quality. The selection is vast. They come with mash and mushy peas. What’s not to like?

My ability to sample Pieminister’s full range of pies is limited, as I cannot eat beef (for medical, not religious or ethical reasons). However, I have had the pleasure of sampling the Chicken of Aragon, Deerstalker and Thai green curry chicken pies.

Pie

(picture via pieminister.co.uk)...

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May 27, 2015

Liz’s Top Five Cities

As I do the promised travel blogging, I anticipate doing a lot of "top fives." This is partly laziness on my part, partly my thinking that this will help keep my writing semi-accessible and relevant to people. Anyway, here is the first-- my top five cities.

The top three on this list are obvious for me. The last two are less so, and in fairness, Damascus and Istanbul were also in pretty close contention. But here are some thoughts on the top five, in any event. 

1. Rome 

It’s probably easier to say what I don’t like about Rome than to list what I do. In truth, there is only one thing about Rome I don’t like, and that is that it’s big. Really big. A lot bigger than you would think, if you haven’t been there. That makes walking the city tougher than you might expect, which is unfortunate because there is a lot best seen on foot. That really just means you should allocate more time than you think necessary if visiting the Eternal City. 

So what’s to love in Rome? In no particular order…

The Vatican: OK, this works better if you are a) Catholic b) an art lover or c) both. In my case, as a Catholic, having been raised by artists, this is pretty much a no-brainer. If you are religious, see if you can manage to participate in Mass here. A friend and I were lucky enough to attend Mass on Easter Sunday, led by Pope John Paul II. It would be fair to say that was a highlight of my life to-date, but merely visiting St. Peter’s is a high point in itself. If you travel to Rome, be sure to do it, and do the Vatican Museums, also. It’s well worth the effort. ...

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May 27, 2015

Travel blogging

A long time ago, long before I ever got into politics professionally or indeed became a lawyer, I thought it would be cool to be a travel writer. For whatever reason, I never pursued it.

This has probably been to my financial benefit—my suspicion is that travel writers don’t make much, and the competition is pretty fierce. But with that being said, having undertaken a couple of trips with my infant son has got me thinking that there are some observations about the places I’ve been that others might find interesting, even if no one is prepared to pay me to write about these locales. So, since I have a blog, I use it too little, and I occasionally find myself bored of politics and all things political, but I rarely tire of thinking about places I’d like to visit—as well as those I have visited—and travel is about the only indulgence our family has (we don’t drink, we don’t smoke, we don’t do drugs, we don’t eat beef so no steakhouses, etc., etc.), I’ll be posting a few things. We shall see how many of you care to read them.

As a bit of background, I am fairly widely traveled, though still less widely than I would like. I began traveling very early in life, as my family moved from Seattle to just outside London (where, had I not been born on the early side and had my parents left Seattle just a little earlier than they did, I would have been born) and then back again. Maybe that’s why I like travel—it has seemed normal and natural to me from an early age. Or maybe I like it because I just like sampling other cultures, food, and because I love history. Maybe I just like taking a break from things by immersing myself in very different surroundings (I don’t fully understand the concept of a “staycation”)....

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