Archive for the ‘Foreign Travel’ Category


Turtles for sale in an open air market near Oudong, Cambodia (December, 2006)

“At open-air markets and restaurants in Asian communities here and abroad, millions of turtles are being butchered for food and their alleged “medicinal qualities,” and conservationists note that this rapacious craving has already wiped out some wild turtle populations in China, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.  The international turtle trade is big business, and it’s conducted with little concern for the continuation of species.”

Eating Turtles to Extinction (via The Progressive Puppy)


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I have always used American Express, rather than VISA/Mastercard, whenever possible when traveling abroad but with AMEX fees now increased to 2.7% from 2.0%, well, now what do I do? Matt Gross, better known to readers of his New York Times articles and blog as “The Frugal Traveler,” offers advice to international travelers seeking to avoid the increasingly costly ATM and credit card fees charged by U.S. banks. (See: Frugal Traveler: Packing the Right Credit Card)

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“McDonald’s is planning to this year create 12,000 jobs and open 240 new restaurants across Europe, it emerged on Friday, as the fast-food chain shows signs of being one of the few global companies to benefit from the financial crisis.

In stark contrast to the multinational groups announcing record job cuts and losses, McDonald’s plans for expansion in Europe are its biggest in five years.

‘We’re certainly not slowing down,’ said Denis Hennequin, president of McDonald’s Europe as he outlined to the Financial Times his plans to hire 50 people at each of the 240 new restaurants, mostly in Spain, France, Italy, Russia, and Poland.”

McDonald’s defies downturn (via Financial Times)

[The only good news, as I see it, is the increased number of clean public toilets that tourists and locals will now be able to utilize. During various overseas travels, in need of a public toilet, I have been directed to the nearest McDonald’s which locals called “The American Embassy.”]

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Two of the many vendors encountered while cruising the crowded canals of Xochimilco in the south of the Mexico City D.F.

(Full photo)

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A “Doggie Bag” dispenser in the “Old Town” section of Prague (from our May, 2007 trip). (Full photo)

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Plans for “serious” writing while traveling, as usual, were reduced to scribbling notes and promising (to myself) to compose a diary of our trip from memory (and notes) once home. The current plan is to organize my diary thematically, rather than chronologically. Over the next several days I’ll begin by writing about our food experiences. Here, to whet the appetite, is a photo of our dinner in Eger, Hungary: pisztrangfile, or brook trout, a staple of the Hungarian diet, chosen in honor of our good friends the Pistrangs, who may or may not be descended from trout.

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dsc_0417We’re off tomorrow to Philadelphia, via DUMBO, to attend our niece’s graduation on Monday from PENN. On Tuesday, we fly from JFK to Budapest to begin a 15-day trip that will take us from Budapest to Eger to Vienna to Cesky Krumlov to Prague.

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