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Called by the Sunday Market in Rome

Posted by on Nov 5, 2014 in All posts, Italy | 0 comments

I knew something was up when we woke to the sounds of banging metal bars at 6 am.  It was Sunday in Rome and that means Market Day. Every Sunday, it starts at around 6 am and ends at around 2 pm.   Peeking out the balcony from our flat onto the square of Largo Alesandro Toja in Trastevere, I saw market stalls popping up like mushrooms. The stands were lining adjacent streets for as far as my eyes could see.   The biggest market in Italy was rising to all its glory. I was excited and we got up way earlier than usual (which means that we managed to leave the house after noon).   We tried what has been claimed impossible – to see all of the market – and so first took a walk along Via...

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Lisbon – for the blind, antique collectors and the hungry

Posted by on Apr 27, 2014 in All posts, Portugal | 0 comments

Having just arrived in Lisbon (on the 6th of April, mind you), we dropped off our bags at the apartment in the historic western part of the capital, called  Belém. This district is most famous for the Jerónimos Monastery, the Tower of Belém and mouth-watering egg tarts, called pasteis de Belém. Resisting temptation, we took a close walk around our neighbourhood to the nearby Jardim Botânico da Ajuda. It is the oldest park in Portugal, dating back to 1768 and features a special area with various scented plants and flowers for blind people (and people with a nose for gardens). This is where I was introduced (by mum) to the curry plant – smells totally like curry sauce! Tomek facing scents. Did not get very close with this species. Apart from the (nicely-) smelly herbs and flowers garden, there is...

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Tour of the local market in Laos

Posted by on Oct 6, 2013 in All posts, Laos | 0 comments

This is not the blog post to chicken out. I am going to give you a (video) tour of a market in Luang Prabang. Not just on herbs and spices and the nice clean green stuff. Nope, we are going to go all the way to the meat section and zoom in on some of the more flashy fleshy food. A visit to a local market is an eye opener to culinary customs in Laos. You will see all the vegetables and greens, fragrant herbs and everything else to accompany traditional sticky rice. Above all, be prepared to see animals and animal parts that you will not find on western tables. Congealed blood, animal foetus, buffalo and pig uterus, buffalo skin, offal, bile, rodents, wild caught animals, farmed frogs, birds, bugs and insects… are just one too many reasons...

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Love is in the air at Seoul Tower, Ginseng at Namdaemun Market

Posted by on Jun 30, 2013 in All posts, South Korea | 0 comments

19th June. Today I am going to tell you all about Korean ginseng. Said to be the best in the world. And we will go up Seoul Tower… After unexpected events had brought us to Seoul’s ropeway station, we thought that luck has turned our way and we would be riding up the ropeway to Seoul’s Tower, located on top of Namsan mountain. Nope, we wouldn’t. But we would see all of Seoul – from Seoul’s tallest landmark.   People were suspiciously walking towards and then away from the ropeway.   Due to maintenance for two days in a year – the ropeway was closed. Today.   Cables were in need of repair.   If you ask me, these cables look just dandy – they could have taken on at least a few more rides.   We did made...

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Hands-on experience at the Greek market

Posted by on Nov 19, 2012 in All posts, Greece | 0 comments

For an earthy, organic Greek experience we spent some time at a LAIKI, the typical Greek outdoor market. Held once a week on a designated day and designated street, it can span several blocks. Most neighbourhoods in Athens have one. We followed Tomek’s auntie, a real (Polish) Greek , who brought us along to buy fresh ingredients at her market. Once you enter the Greek market, a crowd of busy housewives and shouting farmers awaits. This friendly merchant just stopped shouting for the picture.   Row after row of local vegetables and fruits. Organic lifestyles and smoking habits go well together in Athens.   Auntie Madga routinely started to assemble the ingredients for dinner. Spinach and rocket salad, radish and fresh herbs. And a lot of sweet and juicy Greek grapes.   Touching and checking is allowed and professionally...

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Made in Budapest for Body and Soul

Posted by on Oct 23, 2012 in All posts, Hungary | 0 comments

Right after I finished the list of cool souvenirs from Hungary I thought: why so materialistic? Screw souvenir hunting. Budapest rewards with many sweet things that will pamper your body and soul. Here is what I enjoyed:     WATER WELLNESS Budapest is Spa capital of Hungary with an ancient bath culture. The Spa capital uses its underground springs of warm water with thermal quality, ranging from 21 to 76 °C degrees. How much is that in Fahrenheit? Well, let’s just say it is about as warm as piss. You can get some curative water treatments for about any physical complaint, the list ranges from damaged joints, all kinds of pains to degenerative diseases. Hell, it should make the blind see and the crippled walk. However, Kneipp and minerals are not the least impressive for a girl from Poland, the...

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shopping@ruin bar, great market, slow design week, art nouveau house

Posted by on Oct 14, 2012 in All posts, Hungary | 0 comments

Budapest is my dream capital come true. It has style. It has global-modern flair, yet isn’t a clone of repetitive European stores. It is fresh, individual and avant-garde, showing off a free spirited atmosphere, wonderfully framed by historical buildings. Just by walking through the city, you will breath in trends, fashion and mania. Add the overall tourist friendly pricing and Budapest will be on your must-do-before-I-die-list. Budapest has shops of the world-known brands, which are mainly to be found in malls, Vörösmarty square, Fashion Street and Andrássy Avenue. But that is not why you are going to Budapest. You are going to get a richer piece of the shopping capital by looking out for trendy showrooms, designer and vintage stores with creaky floors, markets and next-generation pop-up places. You will go crazy seeing what Budapest has to offer –...

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Koh Samui’s fun fair

Posted by on Jul 22, 2012 in All posts, Thailand | 2 comments

Koh Samui has got a hidden treasure that’s worth to discover.  This weekend it was mingling with locals and going for the probably most unpopular tourist spot, the fun fair market. With garish neon pole lights, uneven ground formed by the heavy monsoon rains, randomly placed steamy food stalls, balloon shooting stands, a bit of illegal gambling, Koh Samui’s girls dancing on a huge stage to a cheery, drunken crowd, it was village life at its best. The market is crammed with colourful merchandise, DVD rips, cheap jewellery and accessories, sunglasses for 50 Baht, shorts for 100 Baht (I don’t think it does get any cheaper than that), holy pictures and plastic toys. The food variety offers mouth sized snacks and is quite a sight to foreign eyes. Have a look! If you see that sign and these little...

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Art Deco Central Market

Posted by on Jul 18, 2012 in All posts, Malaysia | 0 comments

The nice thing about countries like Malaysia and Singapore is that they haven’t managed to demolish all of its bygone architecture of early Chinese and Indian immigrants and, that remnants of British colonial buildings are still standing. Malaysia, trying really hard to catch up with Singapore, pays little attention to beautiful but crumbling shophouses and old buildings that reveal Malaysia’s prosperous past. It is a miracle that the Central Market, a fine Art Deco original in Malaysia’s capital, survived plans of demolishment. Once the busy centre of wholesale and wet retail for local citizens and tin miners, it was renovated and reopened to function as a souvenir outlet for tourists. The construction of Kuala Lumpur’s Central Market began in 1888 under British rule and was completed in 1936, when it acquired its Art Deco style. The new features were...

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Idyllic Bangkok market

Posted by on Apr 22, 2012 in All posts, Thailand | 0 comments

Too lazy to get up at 4 am to see the popular floating market we did alternative market sightseeing. Far from the city centre traffic, Bangkok showed its calm side in the Thewet area. Set next to the river, surrounded by bridges and small family houses, this was a picturesque market. Walking through it after busy morning hours was more relaxing than having to push along with the crowd at market peek times. Splashing water, dripping stalls  – be prepared to get wet nevertheless – some Thais even wear rubber boots at the market. The olfactory sensations were all there. A concoction of smells suddenly changing from sweet and pleasant, passing by scents of lemon and fruit to stringent sharp odour around the fish passage is not for sensitive noses. Nor eyes, watching suffering fish cramped in plastic containers,...

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