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Travel Talk

Philippines, A Memorable Escape

September 5, 2015

Have you ever reached that point where you really need a holiday? Not just that ‘itchy feet desperate to explore’ point, but that point where you’re completely exhausted. That point where you spend almost all your waking hours in the office, your flatmates have forgotten what you look like, and you fear your eyesight fading away with every extra minute you stare at your screen. That’s when you know you really need that holiday. We have.

The plan was to go somewhere hot, affordable, and preferably with a beach; our top choices were fairly easy, somewhere in Thailand or Indonesia. However, in typical last minute fashion, it was nearing the end of November, we were planning to go at the end of December, and as it happens, a lot of other overworked New Zealanders also plan to go somewhere hot, affordable and beachy over their Christmas holidays. Plan A was either all booked out or criminally expensive so we went to Plan B – google something else.

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Travel Talk

Sometimes Things Get Lost In Translation

March 5, 2015

If I’m being really ambitious I can claim to be trilingual. I have a firm grasp of one language (hopefully you’ll agree it’s English) and a passable conversational grasp of the others- Mandarin and Cantonese. Much to a certain someone’s amusement, conversations in my family are a mish-mash of the three languages in a strange symphony of accents. You might think that this, combined with my love of travel means I have quite the knack for picking up languages but you would be wrong. Any German or Japanese I learnt during high school has deserted me; I could barely order a beer on our recent weekend in Nuremberg and let’s face it, my Japanese is sadly now limited to types of sushi.

We attempted to learn Spanish before our trip to Mexico and Cuba but that plan was swiftly abandoned after only 2 lessons from a ‘Learn Spanish’ CD. There were some accusatory conversations over who was practising the phrases too loudly and therefore making it hard for the other to hear the CD; we stopped for the sake of our relationship. We did pick up some basics by the end of our month long jaunt but that wasn’t before some taxi-ordering difficulties in Havana, and that time in Mexico City when our ‘enchilada’ was not rolled and covered in mole as expected but tacos filled with the spiciest of porks. But when it really came to haunt me was during a long weekend in Barcelona when all my orders of ‘te con leche’ resulted in cups of scalding hot milk with tea bags in them. I’m sure we can all agree that milk is not great for brewing tea.

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