NoBull Travel: Week of 11 December
A journey without any bull(s).
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 Destination Anywhere
Ah Monday, that constant crick in your neck, that pebble in your shoe, that small fibre in your soup! Today we celebrate the misfortune of Monday through retelling of misadventures had across the galaxy!
Today we discuss fliers that cause frequent suffering. In the quest for travel easy on the budget and body, one can make dodgy choices (Remember when I flew pacific route to Cownada?) Well misadventures happen when you least expect them! I booked a Singapore to Sydney on Scoot. Now I am well aware of what budget airlines and flights entail and I am always prepared with a sweater, neck pillow and granola bars! But Scoot’s service leaves even the most grounded traveller weary!
3 Cownundrums faced:
1. Scoot’s payment portal doesn’t work! Payments across cards, geographies and salary groups were deployed for this booking but none worked! At long last, a customer service rep picked up the call to book my flight!
2. Adding baggage or adding a seat or checking in? You better think again. The portal’s routinely crash and make you wish you had booked that Quantas flight at thrice the price
3. Calls that don’t connect, complaints that go unanswered! I raised about 3 complains (FB, Email, Phone) to highlight the issue, all to be impolitely ignored!
With less than 4 hours to go for my flight, I was unable to check in, add baggage, get a seat or any peace of mind! On the 20th try, a call went through and I was able to in the nick of time! I refuse to live in the 90s and check in at airports cowlings! Let us take advantage of living in 2017!
Budget travel needn’t be such a burden. Plenty of airlines do a excellent good job of it (Indigo for one!) for a fair penny and without raising stress levels of their customers! And I am a simple bovine with only a few asks like an easy check in, clear baggage guidelines and a small amount of cowstomer orientation!
Scoot Airlines, you get 4 hoofs down! The only thing you are good for is inspiration for a #mondaymisadventure
Tuesday: #Cowabouthat? at Paris, France
Mirror mirror, on the wall, are you frankly the best looking of them all?
Today we discower an interesting home addition and its designer. Cow fun it is to find interesting things on your journeys!
In the midst of my hourly ritual of climbing up to the top bunk and back down again in my Parisian hostel, I met punny South African designer Jen Bradley, who has a similar love for animal puns. (Her boxer is named George Foreman after all!) Jen is a designer of mirrors, home products, textiles and other reflective surfaces and was showing her current masterpiece, the Frank mirror from her Damn Good Looking collection (That is the name!) at Paris Design Week. As a bovine who loves clean lines and designs, I was cownsiderably impressed!
Pictured here is the Frank. This double framed mirror is slightly gold tinted, has space at the back for innumerabull belongings and is decowrated with textiles, gently printed with meaningful photographs, from around JBurg. Best of all, the Frank makes anyone looks irresistabull with its sleek finish! A cowlassy addition to any home or cowmmercial space! I’m just sad it couldn’t fit in my cowbin luggage!
An unplanned day spent appreciating design from another corner of the globe and exchanging banter with a cowndred spirit! #Cowabouthat!
Wednesday: #DutyfreeforHumpDay at Sydney Kingsford International Airport, Australia
Here we are right in the middle! Feel the enlightenment and brave the boredom! Its #DutyfreeforHumpDay
Today we travel to the other side of the world for an experience of cownsumerism sans duty. Something to remind you that the important things of life should be availabull without the burden of local taxes.
A truly global experience. Even when you go upside down or downside up on this blue marble of a world, you’ll always be sure to find chocolates, makeup and slightly cheaper alcohol.
Here in Sydney, you’ll find all the ingredients of a bright and sunny shopping experience keeping in tune with summer in the Southern Hemisphere! Splurge on that unnecessary bottle of Aperol for your next cocktail party and feel #bullessed!
Thursday: #4TummyThursday at Florence, Italy
Let’s start again with your favourite day and mine, #4tummythursday
In your travels and general living, you could develop a food phobia. A food that you enjoy in theory but fear eating in practice. A food that everyone around seems to fancy but you fear the hell out of. For some of you its wild insects or endangered animals, for me its seafood! I love the subtle flavours of the sea but I can’t face the surgery!
So here I was, on my last night in Firenze feeling awfully nostalgic for the place already and the rumble of my 4 tums. For my last pasta dish, I had to choose carefully. It couldn’t have been the oft repeated Amtriciana, nor the over-cownsumed cacio e Pepe, it had to be something new! I saw my deepest food fear on Page 2 of the menu, Seafood Pasta! Oh how I would relish carefully prepared prawns, delicately flavoured clams and gently seasoned mussels! In my mindless greed, I ordered in haste and spent the next few minutes dreaming of my incoming food coma.
Pictured here is what sat in front of me a few moonites later. In my gluttony, I had forgotten my food phobia! Now in the past, I have had trusted cownterparts or farmily dismantle the claws and tentacles. But now as a cow with no bulls around, I was on my own. How would I face this bowl of fear without tasting from the fountain of shame? How could I tell the server that I was too scared to dismember these sea cretins because it felt like their eyes were boring into my soul?
I decided something. I was not going to be undone by a bowl of marine life! I was going to conquer fear and eat it too.
And so prawn by prawn, shell by shell and claw by claw, I made my way through this bowl with slight trepidation but massive pride. At the end of fear is the sweet or garlic buttery, as the case may be, taste of victory. Don’t let your food phobias come in the way of tummy fulfilment
Friday: #TheCowShed at Florence, Italy
Get into your jammies and tie your hair into a big messy bun! Its #thecowshed for Friday! The day I review accommodation that I got comfy in, on my travels.
Today we review the golden rooster #hostelgallodoro , a fun and functional hostel in Florence. Located near everything you might want to see, eat or experience, Gallo D’oro wins major points for getting the basics right and making any stay, long or short, udderly cowmfortable!
I stayed at Gallo D’oro for 10 days in September. That’s right 10 days in a tiny town with a huge past! So I looked to my accowmmodation for cowmfort, peace and stable wifi!
The #NoBullTravel review featuring what I liked (The Moo) and What I didn’t (The Beef)
* Back to Basics: Gallo D’oro has a daily maid service, endless food, strong Wifi, charming staff and well designed rooms. Can’t cowmplain here!
* Location, Location, Location: Goldilocks achievement! Just far enough for you to get some exercise for those 4 tummies and close enough for you to enjoy the sights!
* Atmosphere: That common area could be better utilised to make the environment more social and lively. Sunset Yoga is a great feature but how about more?
Final Recowmendation: Beyond the garish coloured walls and floors, the hostel gets everything right. Definitely stay here while in renaissance town!
Saturday: #WeekendMilkTip at Paris, France
Today’s #weekendmilktip is about enjoying history any way you can get it!
When in Florence, city of renaissance glory, skip the books, guides and strolling tours for an immersive experience! Before the Kardashians, we had the Medicis! A far more power hungry, scandal-courting brood that captivated and controlled the florentine lands for centuries!
Medici Dynasty Show is an interesting way to learn about those fascinating Medicis through dialogue, story and drama. Seat yourself in a small courtyard away from the busy leather-selling streets and gain a new appreciation for the family that gave us so much! Patronage of the arts, ideas for the ages and even gelato. Brought alive by excellent actors and an expansive script, this is one reality show that’s worth the hype.
Don’t miss this show when you’re in Florence and keep up with those magnificent Medicis!
Sunday: #DayofGraze at New York City, USA
Today on this #dayofgraze, we discuss a literal and metaphorical sweet treat.
Eat icecream! As you unwind from a long hard week of travel, toil or tantrums, on this Sunday, make sure you end it all with a taste of sweet.
Through the week, you’ve kept away from those frozen calories, but today, indulge yourself.
Don’t think me so intolerant, I’m looking at you lactose, gluten and cruelty free individuals too and asking you to indulge yourselves! Pick a small delight and enjoy the feeling of small treat to yoself.
Sunday nights are usually spent in abject misery, mourning the loss of the weekend and in fearful anticipation of the week ahead. Stick a fork in the eye of your Monday misery and eat icecream instead! Gather farmily or counterparts and head on over to the nearest icecream shop, meet at your neighbourhood Belgian beer place for a girls/boys night or if you’re in a far less outgoing mood, enjoy a piece of chocolate and cold water in your jammies!
Make sure you balance that weekly P&L to show a slight profit as you head into the next week. Whatever your cheat, keep it sweet and simple on this #sungraze