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Some New York Snaps

Here are some pics from my night and day in New York so far. Lots of walking today on a beautiful sunny day. Including around the 18 miles of books that the amazing Strand bookstore claims to have.

 

I discovered Flying Tiger today. if Ikea, Daiso, Smiggle and Kikki k opened a store together, i think this would be it. Crazy times!
  
Making amazing tunes with buckets, pots and pans.
 
Shortly after I took this snap, a mouse chased this squirrel away in Central Park. Bullies are everywhere.
 
Not even physically present? Wow, this psychic near Central Park must be very very good.
 

Hello Kitty store in Times Square.
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All business

I have found my new tribe. Well, they were my people for about 24 hours, at least. You can recognise us by our uniform, a pair of grey pyjamas with a black kangaroo emblazoned on the front of the shirt. (One of life’s great equalisers – truly, everyone looks terrible when they return from the bathroom with these pjs on.)

imageYou may also spot our HQ, we call it a lounge, far from the busy airport food courts, where it is perfectly acceptable to pop the champagne – even though it’s not quite 8am. That’s just how we roll. When in transit, this pyjama’d tribe resides in the upstairs cabin, while the normal folk cram in downstairs. And it was a big bus this time – an A380 from Sydney to LA.

I was fortunate to be able to use frequent flyer points to upgrade to the dizzy heights of business class, where the beds are flat, the cutlery is metal, and the menu is totes fancy. Except vegetarians don’t get to choose from the menu, so lunch was an entree of felafel bathed in hommus and surrounded by baby spinach, followed by tandoori tofu (yep), Dahl and cauliflower and other assorted veges. An interesting choice of strong flavours and daring ingredients for people cooped up in this plane for the next 12 hours… Oh, and dessert was a chocolate mousse sort of thing with churros. Well played, Qantas.

[Image from the amazing Dallas Clayton]
[Image from the amazing Dallas Clayton]
Then they switch the lights out in an elaborate trick to get you to sleep, even though your brain is screaming, IT’S ONLY MIDDAY, MAN! Yet most of the tribe seem to sleep, with only one snorer and a little baby to break the silence. And even they seemed to do so in a dignified, restrained sort of manner. There’s an interesting mix of humanity here, as there was in the lounge. Young children who are clearly seasoned travellers don’t bat an eye as they settle back and enjoy travelling in style. If you kids only knew how the rest of us normally travel…

This is the life, I tell you – hopefully I get upgraded on the way home too, or I might have to wear these pjs in Economy and reminisce.

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A little packing tip

I don’t really like packing. It might have something to do with the mean discrimination required – that’s in, that’s out – or the forward thinking about the possible clothing options required for activities that might occur on the trip. However, when packing my backpack for the Camino, the key focus is pretty simple: keep the weight down to around 6kg (uh huh) and as for the activities that might occur – well, that’s pretty much just A LOT OF WALKING.

That’s a part of the journey that I’m looking forward to, actually – no more standing in front of the wardrobe deciding what to wear, instead it will be a case of which of the two options in my pack is cleanest and away we go. As I packed some things in my bag this morning, I thought I’d share a tip that I read somewhere a while ago – in case you didn’t read it too. It’s a trick with the humble hotel shower cap – fits perfectly around shoes to keep the soles from dirtying everything else in your bag. A ShoeCap, if you like. You’re welcome!

The ShoeCap for my gorgeous granny-style trekking sandals.
The ShoeCap for my gorgeous granny-style trekking sandals.

Speaking of shoes, I am on to my fourth pair of Camino shoes – it has been quite the experience, I tell you. Luckily the good folk at The Athlete’s Foot give you 30 days to trial your new shoes in the outside world (as opposed to the outdoors stores that give you 48 hours to trial your shoes in your own lounge room, which isn’t exactly a trial). So technically, the last two pairs are the same purchase – I really wanted the third pair to work as they looked quite cool, but they did not like my ankles. Let’s hope this trekking version of the pinkies is up to the challenge!

Fingers crossed these will do the trick...
Fingers crossed these will do the trick…
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Something to think about…

I’m aware that today’s post will definitely not be everyone’s cup of tea, but that might kinda even be the point. Most of us are so busy, busy, busy that we don’t really stop and think about things. I mean big picture things, not what type of lettuce to buy or what time bus to catch or what colour top to wear. Stumble Upon recently steered me towards an amazing site called Thought Questions. It’s based on a very cool idea (or, at least, an idea that really appeals to me): “A question that makes you think is worth asking…So we ask one new thought-provoking question every day”. I like it a lot. And if you feel like sharing, you can enter your answer to the daily question or tell your story.

But back to the actual questions – the creators of the site suggest that “the questions posted here should be reviewed regularly when you have some quiet time to think. After all, reflection is the key to progression.” Amen to that. They remind visitors that there are no right or wrong answers to the questions asked. Anyways, enough jibber jabbering, here are some examples for you…

 

They use cool images with their thought-provoking questions. Looking through the archives was an interesting experience – I rolled my eyes at some, wanted to wallpaper my apartment with others, and considered sending a few on to different people I know. If you’re interested, you can like Thought Questions on Facebook or sign up for the daily question to be emailed to you. The website is here if you’d like to check it out.