Taking no prisoners. Including herself.

I have Dengue Fever. Meanwhile, look at pictures.

Read more...

§383 · October 24, 2007 · Couch-hop, Location-Location · 3 comments ·


Bắc woke me up at 6am to go to Metro, a Costco-like Vietnamese supermarket. We “stocked-up” on a few items for her house, but buying in bulk takes on a new dimension of difficulty when you have to transport everything on a motorscooter. (Travel Tip: don’t buy pomelos — large oversized grapefruit — when riding […]

Read more...

§382 · October 21, 2007 · Couch-hop, Location-Location · (No comments) ·


Let there be white! My powercord, which was so inconventiently ‘misplaced’ during my Israeli security stint has finally been replaced! All it took was five broken English phone calls, two cyclo rides, a taxi ride, and $110USD to get my beautiful white MacBook’s battery charged. We’re back in business! This also means I can now […]

Read more...

§381 · October 14, 2007 · Couch-hop, Location-Location · 3 comments ·


Mysterious red bumps have formed along the length of each thigh, like red stiches. This part of my body, a softest skin, has never been exposed to open air, outside of a mosquito net. I consulted a resident Hanoian. They are classic bed bug bites. Sleep tight! * * * With a flash of thirst, […]

Read more...

§376 · October 4, 2007 · Couch-hop, Location-Location · (No comments) ·


Dinner at Hà’s If, by chance, you find yourself invited to dinner at a traditional Vietnamese home where a “Western” dinner has been prepared in your honor, it is highly advisable that you do not correct the cook that spagetti is typically served in America without fish sauce. If, by chance, you also happen to […]

Read more...

§377 · October 1, 2007 · Couch-hop, Location-Location · (No comments) ·


Tay Ho District & West Lake These past couple of days I’ve felt a bit like a child, a ‘kept’ woman, or a pet. Every morning, my generous friend and host, Bắc, goes to work, and every day I find myself behind the locked gates of her property. Yes, I have a key… but, frankly, […]

Read more...

§375 · September 30, 2007 · Couch-hop, Location-Location · (No comments) ·


How I thought I could go to Vietnam and write, I know not. There is an unfathomable energy, and noises to rattle the calmest nerves. There is an ever-present hum of traffic punctuated by the piercing blare of vehicle horns and sounds all through the night of creatures — cats in heat, dog-barking, pig squeals, and […]

Read more...

§374 · September 28, 2007 · Couch-hop, Location-Location · 1 comment ·


Typing furiously, with pearls of sweat upon her brow, Ms. deJong — a non-caffeine-drinker — remarks, “I’ve had one dainty cup of Turkish coffee and am atlamak-ing off the walls! She and her mother finally set off for Faralye, the original desination of their Turkish adventure, for a week of twice-a-day yoga, blue waters and […]

Read more...

§331 · June 29, 2007 · Couch-hop, Location-Location · (No comments) ·


The next morning I had early morning coffee with Özcan. He showed me his “treasures” — ancient Roman / Constantine artifacts he found while digging near his hometown. Interested in archeology, he tells me that ancient artifacts are property of the Turkish government, but for the most part they don’t take much interest in creating […]

Read more...

§336 · June 25, 2007 · Couch-hop, Location-Location · 1 comment ·


Our second-to-last night in Olüdeniz my mom and I ate dinner at a table decorated with fresh rose petals. Nehire, who does reception at Mellis Hill, entertained us with belly dancing and…. tried… to teach us a few moves. Things were going great until I tried to show off that, yes — I, too, can […]

Read more...

§333 · June 21, 2007 · Couch-hop, Location-Location · (No comments) ·


On getting lost: “Very easy to find — it’s right next to the mosque”

Read more...

§332 · June 19, 2007 · Couch-hop, Location-Location · (No comments) ·


Time for Turkish Lesson Number İki (two)! — keeping in mind Shannon may have spelled some things incorrectly… Yok Ba (Yohk bah) “I don’t believe it” Best when said to someone giving you a compliment and you want to reply (always while smiling) “stop it…” or “shucks…” Allahla! (Ah-la-la) “Come on!” as if in frustration or anger […]

Read more...

§330 · June 18, 2007 · Couch-hop, Location-Location · (No comments) ·


Now, I’ve gotten a deep tissue massage, Thai massage, Swedish massage, and countless sports injury massages — but a Turkish massage at the Hamam is somethıng else altogether. For 20 lire (about fourteen dollars) you can be hand washed… imagine that: personal lathering, and you don’t even have to sleep wıth the person. In your […]

Read more...

§328 · June 10, 2007 · Couch-hop, Location-Location · (No comments) ·


Modern Turkey (esp. Istanbul, European influenced and tourist towns) is much different than anticipated, I’m finding. In fact, after spending a couple of days dressing very conservatively, covering my head in mosques, and downplaying my instinctual forwardness – even I was shocked to see Brits waltzing around in crop-tops and short-shorts. I have made my […]

Read more...

§327 · June 10, 2007 · Couch-hop, Location-Location · 1 comment ·


Istanbul 5 minutes to show time I have to use the WC and oh dear! the line and so I get ushered into the men’s room (is this okay?!) to use the western toilet while three men stand at urinals. This, after Lonely Planet has instructed not even to sit next to a male, or […]

Read more...

§326 · June 9, 2007 · Couch-hop, Location-Location · 2 comments ·


Let’s just take a moment to appreciate breakfast: (shall we?) Bread with Rose Jam & Feta Cheese Plain (goaty) yogurt with Lychee sauce, dried apricots & figs Tomato & Cucumber with Swiss Cheese Triangle Cheese with Cream Cheese on Feta Cheese Egg in egg dish Then on to explore the Blue Mosque, the Grand Bazaar, Spice […]

Read more...

§324 · June 7, 2007 · Couch-hop, Location-Location · 2 comments ·


For those language freaks out there (I know I’m not the only one), I’m posting some “Turkish Basics” (the following half dozen words or so make up my entire working repatoire of Turkish. Very extensive.) Why are you finding a Turkish language lesson here on NKS? Because it’s fun to read. It’s fun to write; I […]

Read more...

§325 · June 7, 2007 · Couch-hop, Location-Location · (No comments) ·


London to Istanbul: the in-flight movie is some flick with Tim Allen and John Travolta (called “Wild Hogs” -?) with crude jokes and homosexual innuendo. I think: “Great. This is what we’re exporting to Turkey? No wonder relations are strained*.” (*Sidenote: A Pew Global Attitudes Report finds the U.S. has only a 12% approval rating in Turkey) I considered […]

Read more...

§323 · June 6, 2007 · Couch-hop, Location-Location · (No comments) ·


What day is this? Having successfully made the first leg of the trip to Istanbul, Mom and I stop in London. I hop on an internet cafe (ALL airports should be so equipped!) during our 4 hour layover. I try to write something clever (was there something about the flight that was interesting? Maybe that they were all […]

Read more...

§322 · June 6, 2007 · Couch-hop, Location-Location · (No comments) ·


Passport? Check. Lire? Check. Mosquito repellent? Check. Nap? Check. I had every intension of writing to tell all of you Lovliest of Readers about my newest Couch-hopping adventure… to Turkey! (Well, okay, I’m not really staying on anyone’s couch, but who’s keeping score?) But what does this silly yogi do just prior to her departure […]

Read more...

§321 · June 5, 2007 · Couch-hop, Location-Location · (No comments) ·