We Moved!

I mean just the blog of course. =)

We’re now at www.yogafoodtravel.com. Come visit us.

Challenge 1 – Cooking Equipment

I thought I should start a theme here regarding the challenges of the kind of life we have. Since we are making breakfast right now, here is the first one: cooking equipment.

As some of you already know, we rent furnished apartments in Vancouver & Paris (we always get the same ones). And since they are both rentals, shall we say, they don’t necessarily have the best cooking environment. Also to be fair, we are pretty picky with the kind of things we cook with. Pans have to be stainless steel or cast iron, knives (oh the knives) have to be good and sharp, containers have to be non-plastic, etc., etc. For the most part, these two apartments have what we need, but there are small challenges.

In this post I want to talk about the knife situation a little bit. If you’ve done any kind of cooking, you know the value of a good knife. For me, a bad knife can really turn a nice afternoon of cooking into a nightmare. When we lived in LA, we had found a Japanese hardware store in downtown (of course in Little Tokyo) that had some amazing knives, and we quickly got addicted to Japanese knives. Especially the ones that are stainless steel but have a carbon tip-they are VERY sharp and they stay sharp for a long time. Pretty soon I couldn’t do any chopping with any other kind of knife, but a 210mm Gyuto (this one doesn’t have a carbon tip and we have the non-hammered version).

One thing with the carbon tip, as you might know, is that you have to use, then wash and dry right away, otherwise they will get rusty at the tip. Which is a little pain, but definitely worth it.

About a month ago, we finally decided to buy a good knife to carry around with us after I read a blog entry. He was talking about taking good knives with him when he travels, and I thought “why not?” After looking around for a while, we picked this one:

Wusthof Classic

It’s been a pleasure to cook since. =)

Paris Train

As we ride the train from Paris’ city center out to the airport, it only takes a handful of stops before the epic architecture that Paris is known for is traded in for newer industrial complexes that are typical in the outskirts of most cities. As the heart rides high from a week’s worth of cafes, wine, and coffee, you can almost feel the warmth start to dissipate… that is of course, until a gentleman steps onto the train for the next two stops to remind all, why Paris is Paris until the very end – click on the link below to listen and enjoy!

Paris train

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: So how do you guys like traveling like this?
A: We like it so far. It has its challenges like trying to pack for different seasons, finding good hairdressers, doctors, etc. in different cities, packing so frequently, but we chose this, and we are happy so far.

Q: Where is your “base” base?
A: We don’t have a “base” base right now, but Istanbul is the closest thing to it. I basically have my extra shoes there. 🙂

Q: Where have you been since we saw you last?
A: Probably Istanbul, Paris, Vancouver and/or Zurich. Or maybe Hong Kong, Ankara or Bali.

Q: Where are you going next?
A: Probably Istanbul, Paris, Vancouver and/or Zurich. Or maybe Hong Kong, Ankara or Bali.

Q: It must be a really cool life?
A: Yeah, it is pretty cool.

Q: Do you miss LA?
A: Sometimes, some things about it. We miss our friends, the food, markets, etc. We are happy we did what we did though.

Q: How long have you been doing this for?
A: For about a year now.

Q: How long are you going to do this for?
A: We don’t have an end date yet.

Q: Where are you going to settle when you are done traveling?
A: No idea. We’ll see where this takes us to.

People are horny

Yes, I thought that would get your attention.

After spending many years in Istanbul, it occurred to me the other day that I have, in addition to learning a fair bit of Turkish, learned to speak “horn,” and here’s where this blog entry has potential to digress in a totally different direction!

What I mean when I say that people are horny, is that if you have ever lived in a city of 15 million people (give or take 5 million), you will agree that people use horns to communicate in all sorts of ways…based on my experience and observations while in an overcrowded city, I have put together a brief “Horn to English” dictionary… Enjoy!

Each category of vehicle has it’s own language so I shall separate them by class of transport. I will describe the action being emitted from the vehicle and follow it with what it is trying to communicate.

Taxis looking for customers:
Half a honk – hey! I’m a taxi!
One short honk – I see you walking and I could drive you where you want to go
Two short honks – really, I see you and I’m available
Two short followed by a double flash of the headlights – seriously, I know there are a thousand other taxis out here and you are still walking, so I can only assume that you haven’t found the right one… I’m your guy!
Three short but rapid honks – I’m fast, jump in and I will get you there in record time!

Taxis with customers:
Half a honk – watch out, I’m on a run, I can’t stop once I’ve started
One full honk – I’m a taxi and you’re a human crossing the road, you’re like a pigeon to me, either you get out of the way or I will run your a*s over… I’m not stopping!
One full honk at an intersection – I’m moving faster than you and if you can see the lack of concern in my eyes you will know…. I’m not going to stop, yield, or slow down!
One long honk – I was here first!
Two long honks, holding on the second – are you fuc**n’ kidding me!? Who parallel parks on a busy street at 6pm on a weeknight?!!!
One long honk AND HOLD – I don’t know what you 150 cars in front of me are stopped for… But if you can hear this, you will obviously take note of my urgent request and MOVE IT!!!!!
Two long honks AND HOLD – obviously you didn’t hear the first one…. Here’s another!!!!!!!

Regular cars (just average people driving around)
One short honk – hey!
One short honk followed by responding short honk – hey! hey back!
Two quick honks – hey you look good! Any chance that you would be attracted to a man that speeds past and acknowledges your beauty with the toot of a horn?

Well, these are just few of my horny experiences in a city of 18 million… I hope this entry has been informative and has satisfied you in some way:))

By the way, while writing this blog I have counted close to 40, wait… 41 honks!!!

Love!

New Page on the Blog

I’m working on a new page to add to the blog. I think you guys will like it. Stay tuned…

Lodos in Istanbul

IMG_0051

Lunch in Ankara

IMG_0053

From our balcony this past winter

IMG_0067

Do I need a caption here?

IMG_0072

Music club in Istanbul

IMG_0077

Park by our house at night

IMG_0078

Breakfast at Özlem's (owner of Yoga Darsan in Ankara) house

IMG_0080

I actually can't remember where this was. :"

Toronto in 8 hours

After passing through Toronto multiple times, this was my first time actually leaving the Toronto airport… With an 8 hour layover and nothing to do, I decided to take the city by storm… or shall I say by stroll:)

With no idea of where to go, I thought a good way to start would be to google “Organic Restaurants.” (When in doubt, let your stomach lead the way!)

I decided to take the subway in since the volunteer at the information booth convinced me that all modes of transportation would take equal time… and he seemed to be a subway man himself, since he grimaced each time I questioned if a taxi or the express bus would be easier… When you only have a few hours, you don’t want to spend them underground looking at all the different subway stops, of which I counted 20! (yes, I took a taxi on the way back:)

Arriving downtown, I exited the subway station and consulted my trusty iPhone and since it does not discriminate between north and south, I confidently walked in the wrong direction multiple times.

Ok… Right here I need to insert massive frustration!!!!! I had finished this entry and then lost it ALL from this point on…. It’s so frustrating when all of your wit and intelligent phrases for the past two hours goes to waste!!!

Perhaps I was not meant to share my 8 hours of wild and crazy Toronto experiences with you?!

So, let’s change it up a bit… Here is a list of words that, like spices in a dish, are the after-taste of my Toronto experience (in no particular order and for no particular reason):
UNICEF volunteers, burgers, Whole Foods, hand made chocolate, very short skirts, more Whole Foods, Save the Children volunteers (across the street from the Unicef volunteers), Italian coffee, outdoor patios, manicure & pedicure (nice hands and feet are part of the job description), high heels – really short skirts (yes, I know I already mentioned it) – and small dogs, a cigar cafe?!, Stella x 2, taxis, a slight breeze, public squares (as apposed to a square public:), more Italian coffee, Lululemon (of course), french fries with a tomato and avocado salad (very eclectic I know, but I didn’t think I was hungry:)

Well, that is my verbal-Toronto-aftertaste:)) I had a great eight hours in Toronto, looking forward to our next visit – soon!

Chris