Now accepting donations for the Justine Needs a Vacation Fund
The federal government is still shut down, and thus, I am no closer to receiving an invitation to the Peace Corps because the Placement Office is apparently nonessential to people who aren’t living with their mothers waiting to hear from them. (John Boehner: If you are reading this, please know that I am very upset with you over this.) To distract myself from the hopelessness and despair of an extended stay in Troy, I’ve decided to write a post about the miscellaneous cool things I’ve encountered in the various places that I’ve been that haven’t made it onto the blog.
- Plastic bags are illegal. I can’t recall whether or not I’ve mentioned this on here before, but regardless I think it’s cool. I certainly did not suffer from a lack of landfill clogging, non-recyclable flimsy shopping bags while I lived there.
- Decorations on public transportation. I prefer to travel in style. Therefore, the Rick Ross themed bus/matatu was my favorite to catch in the morning. Any vehicle with neon lights has my approval, and those that blast pop music earn extra points. And who doesn’t want to ride around on a moto with Barack Obama’s face plastered on its front?
- Passion fruit juice is readily available. Not so much in other places.
- Designated women-only sections on train platforms for female passengers traveling at night. Yes, the entire world should be a sexual assault and violence free zone for people of any gender identity, but at least it’s being acknowledged in Taiwanese train stations. Putting all of the ladies in one section of the platforms probably wouldn’t be my first plan to solve the problems, but it’s something.
- High Speed Rail. Yes it was godawful expensive compared to the bus but Taichung to Taipei in 45 minutes? Pretty nice. The trains also run really frequently, so you can show up to that station ~15 minutes in advance and reasonably expect to get a seat. USA: please consider diverting some of your highway funds for a similar project.
- An apparent lack of open container laws. I can’t promise that this is accurate, but when we tried to ask the Family Mart cashier who spoke very little English about it he seemed to say that drinking on the street was fine. And then he pulled out a bottle opener and he was not afraid to use it.
- Flight Attendants. I was really only in Amsterdam for about 4.5 hours so I can’t say much about it, but all of my KLM flight attendants were Dutch and they were the nicest, happiest, most enthusiastic flight attendants I’ve ever encountered, and they really enjoyed feeding me.
- Coffee shops are cool too. Everyone says this. Who am I to disagree?
- The Indian Ocean is there. And it happens to be my favorite body of water.
- Good hot sauce is everywhere. I don’t know what they put in that stuff but every time I had hot sauce of some sort in Tanzania it was delicious.
- There are no helmet laws. The bodaboda/moto drivers don’t provide head protection. Being the danger loving individual that I am, I find that this enhances the experience.
- Obama marketing. I saw things/businesses named for Barack in Rwanda, Uganda and Tanzania, but I definitely saw the largest concentration in the shortest time while driving through Kampala. Who wouldn’t choose the Obama car wash for a quick rinse, or the Obama Salon for a new ‘do? Most importantly, the Obama Pub is there for all your alcohol-related needs.
- Celine Dion. Need I say more?
- Stonehenge. I say this without ever having been to Stonehenge. I spent a week in London with my mother when I was 13 and the only thing I really wanted to see was Stonehenge but she vetoed that. I can only assume that it was as cool as I had imagined it to be.