NoBull Travel: The Week of 18 September
As a spirited cow mooving through this chaotic world, I decided to take livestock of myself and go on a grand journey around the world. A journey that would take me to places old and new, a journey to discover and most importantly a journey without any bull(s)
In this weekly humour travelogue, expect to see travel tips, misadventures, chewing of cud, food recommendations and reflections as this lone cow navigates her life outside the proverbial cow shed.
Monday: #MondayMisadventure at New York, USA
Today’s #mondaymisadventure comes from Moo York. I have been to Moo York many times in my life and somehow the subway never fails to cause brain bends. As one moo Yorker told me once “Don’t worry, every line goes everywhere so you’ll get where you’re going, it just depends on how much time you have”
After a pleasing dinner and drink in charming JC, I make my way back to the island of Manhattan. Here I am, armed with my metro card and some misplaced confidence in my ability to read a colourful map. The first mistake I made was to be that confident because as I depart from JC, I step onto the first “Manhattan bound” train that reaches the station. Aha! This train isn’t going to the station I’m going to and is a few million blocks south of that! A few moonites of wander around the giant oculus station has me conmoosed, is this how I got here? I think I can trace my steps back to Chambers street. I get a vote of confidence from the security guard and onward I go! I jump on the next train gingerly and await my fate, three stops later. Success! I have arrived at Chambers and now with foolish abandon, cross tracks and jump onto the next train. Ah! Now I can settle in for a few minutes of moosic and people watching! I decide I’ll have my plan confirmed with my neighbour, I mean what’s the harm right? “This train is headed downtown, and you’re going to Brooklyn!” Words you never want to hear if its 9 PM and you are definitely headed uptown. And so here I am, lost again. Subway - 1, Me - 0. Maybe its time to give up? Maybe its time to call a moober? Pictured here is the map I looked at before telling myself that I will not allow a subway system to defeat me, its the eye of the rider. I take the next train back to Chambers. Switch to an express uptown train and make my way back up the island with deep breaths and a little bit a of patience. Just a cow and her will to survive! As I reached my stop on 79th street, I couldn’t help but feel ebullient at having reached my destination by myself, albeit an hour over scheduled time!
Tuesday: #Cowaboutthat? at Toronto, Canada
Today’s amazing discovery is about the evergreen Yonge street in Toronto, Canada.
Every city has its landmarks and things-to-be-proud-of beyond the obvious and touristy (CN Tower, you know who you are) My favourite urban legend that I have encowntered is how Yonge Street is the longest road in the world. It is said with much pride and enthusiasm and I for one cownt myself as a believer. For one, I love how every location is Yonge and “something” which helps the directionally challenged like mooself. Second, it lends itself to so many delightful wordplays. And as you might have gathered, I enjoy the occasional cow pun. So imagine how amoosing I would find that the “Yonge and Englinton” is nicknamed “Young and Eligible” for its trendy stores and clientele.
So who cares that Yonge street is only 84 km long and just a long city road and not a Guinness record holder? Not I said the cow. Close that #wikipedia page and go for a walk down #yongestreet and be sure to pass on that alternative fact to the next unsuspecting Toronto visitor! #Cowabouthat?
Wednesday: #DutyfreeforHumpDay at JFK International Airport, New York
We have now reached the speed bump of the week! Brake slightly and go over the hump in the road! It's Wednesday aka #DutyFreeforHumpDay. Something to remind you that the important things of life should be availabull without the burden of local taxes.
Today we transit through the land of plenty for a shot of Duty Free! Welcome to JFK airport where wait and annoyance is in abundance but the free wifi is availabull only for 30 minutes.
Pictured here are the rolling fields of consumerism, complete with lukewarm lighting and an enveloping stale breeze. Get back to your capitalist nature and cownsider buying high fashion brands under the wonderful misapprehension that you are saving!
Show the counter your boarding pass and feel #bullessed
Thursday: #4TummyThursday at Toronto, Canada
A moment on the lips and a lifetime on the hips with #4TummyThursday!
In this age of fast travel and faster food, there is such a tendency to eat synthetic, internationally sourced and machine-made fare! So I ensure that wherever possible I hoof-make a meal or two for my #4tummies to partake in! Today I show off my cowlinary skills!
Today’s meal is a handcrafted Italian delight entirely home-made and cownsumed! A salami pizza with an assortment of knocowt toppings that made my 4 tummies sing! Here is the recipe for interested cownoiseuirs:
1. A sauce made with choicest tomatoes, garlic, basil and a glug of olive oil simmered for over an hour for proper cowhesion!
2. Toppings of salty oven-roasted peppers, seasonal mushrooms and memorabull salami
3. Organic basil to finish off a glorious pie
Spread onto glorious GF free dough, our pictured pizza is sent to its pre-heated home for cooking, for about 12 minutes. Settle down with a frosty beverage to enjoy this meal of the week! Best enjoyed with farmily and cownterparts from farm to table!
Friday: #TheCowShed at Montreal, Canada
Today we review the place where the cows come home, when they go home. Bottoms up for #TheCowShed on Fridays!
Now on the road, air and sea, you can stay in places that make you thrilled to experience something new, even places that don’t make you miss home that much. However to ensure the universe doesn’t collapse into itself, for every yin, there must also be a badly kept yang of a place that reminds you to never leave your home in the first place.
In Moontreal, I experienced this yin and yang of accommodations that made me truly understanding the cower of a balanced life. I stayed at two #airbnblistings that could make you wonder if one can really appreciate the good if you haven’t experienced the beer-can-strewn bad!
On the left is an dimly lit apartment near a characterless part of an otherwise character-full Moontreal, booked with too little time and too much stress on hoof. On the right is its exact opposite. A brightly lit, clean-as-a-barn flat in an uber chic part of town, walking distance from all the sights and moos!
The #NoBullTravel review of my duality cowsheds in moontreal:
* Location, Location, Location: In Travel, how you stay might be incidental but where you stay is critical! Stay next to the public transport and minimise your stay in the cowshed always!
* “Atmosphere”: You dont need to be at the Ritz to have a five star atmosphere, keep it clean, easy and have a short wifi password
* Dirt: Sure we’ve all had those moments when we get the laundry done a day later than needed, but unclean sheets, littler and extra critter guests? Cowmon! Buy a dustpan!
* Make it local always: A little recowmmendation and personalisation makes a cow feel welcome! So I’d like to see more of that wherever I go!
Final Recowmmendation: A 3-pronged scrutiny of pictures, price and reviews still can’t predict where your roommates will have wings, legs and antennae, so travel will always be a bit of a sweet and sour mix! Add to tequila, lime and soda and enjoy!
Saturday: #WeekendMilkTip at Adjala-Tosorontio, Canada
This week’s #weekendmilktip comes from my extended travels in that other cowmponent of North America, Cownada! Amidst all the cityscapes, buildings and concrete, you may find yourself lost in the jungle and yearning for a little green! Today we learn to get back to nature! Overheard In Toronto and seen in numerous Rogers millenial-targetted commercials, the Canadians do love their cottage time in the summer. Today, I cowncur!
Here you will find crispy fresh air, endless grassy fields and my favourite and yours, summery cocktails! Listen to nothing but the scurry of squirrels, the zing of day cicadas and in the distance, a neighbour's weed-whacker! Ah what a delight to take a break from man-made, focus on soul recowery and partake in a little rustic renewal! As an expert in my field, I recommend slow paced strolls, long naps on the grass and a few barn catchups with farmily!
Stay in the rolling hills of Orangeville or near one of the many thousands of lakes this great cowntry has to offer! An irresistabull lesson learned today, while in Canada for the summer, don’t forget to pencil in the cottage!
Sunday: #DayofGraze at New York City, USA
Today is the cowlloquial #dayofgraze. A day of pause and relaxation from the week before and ahead. Today we discover the art of brunch with friends.
Sit down with hungry friends over a large vodka cocktail and hearty meal. Brunch is the perfect excuse to eat strange on a Sunday and liquidate that Monday blues. Pictured here is my cocktail of choice, the Bloody Mary. The Bloody Mary is the gold standard of brunch cocktails and its therapeutic qualities include soothing your Sunday soul while ensuring your daily fruit requirement. That’s right tomato is a #fruit! Enjoy the dominant flavour of this seedy fruit/vegetable genus-bending wonder as you scarf down equal parts of breakfast, lunch and the weekly update from your pals. Several parts of the world have brunch traditions, some involve standing around in shades entirely on a liquid diet, moving indiscriminately to popular moosic and judging outfit choices, some involve food, brunch cocktails and conversations. I prefer the latter for #sungraze as it involves more cownversation, less vomit.
So grab your closest cowleagues and head on over to #brunch this weekend. Fill your #sungraze with laughter, french toast and lengthy discussions on whether scary clowns wear large comical shoes, as they chase people. I don’t think they would.