PHOTO: Paul Robb
Anthony Bourdain rarely travelled with an itinerary. Or kept a schedule. And that was a good thing. His work reflected the haphazard nature of the places he visited and the experiences he enjoyed, and shared with millions. Here are 13 ‘take-aways’ from Anthony Bourdain, who died in Paris at the age of 61 on June 8.
On having an open mind
1. “If you’re twenty-two, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel — as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them — wherever you go.”
2. “Do we really want to travel in hermetically sealed popemobiles through the rural provinces of France, Mexico and the Far East, eating only in Hard Rock Cafes and McDonald’s? Or do we want to eat without fear, tearing into the local stew, the humble taqueria’s mystery meat, the sincerely offered gift of a lightly grilled fish head? I know what I want. I want it all. I want to try everything once.”
3. “If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. The extent to which you can walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food, it’s a plus for everybody. Open your mind, get up off the couch, move.”
4. “Nothing unexpected and wonderful is going to happen if you have an itinerary in Paris filled with the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower.”
5. “I learned a long time ago that trying to micromanage the perfect vacation is always a disaster. That leads to terrible times.”
6. “I’m a big believer in winging it. I’m a big believer that you’re never going to find perfect city travel experience or the perfect meal without a constant willingness to experience a bad one. Letting the happy accident happen is what a lot of vacation itineraries miss, I think, and I’m always trying to push people to allow those things to happen rather than stick to some rigid itinerary.”
7. “When dealing with complex transportation issues, the best thing to do is pull up with a cold beer and let somebody else figure it out.”
On the world
8. “It’s an irritating reality that many places and events defy description. Angkor Wat and Machu Picchu, for instance, seem to demand silence, like a love affair you can never talk about. For a while after, you fumble for words, trying vainly to assemble a private narrative, an explanation, a comfortable way to frame where you’ve been and what’s happened. In the end, you’re just happy you were there — with your eyes open — and lived to see it.”
9. “It seems that the more places I see and experience, the bigger I realize the world to be. The more I become aware of, the more I realize how relatively little I know of it, how many places I still have to go, the more there is to learn. Maybe that’s enlightenment enough; to know that there is no final resting place of the mind; no smug clarity. Perhaps wisdom…is realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go.
10. It’s those little human moments that stick with you forever, the random acts of kindness.”
11. “To be treated well in places where you don’t expect to be treated well, to find things in common with people you thought previously you had very, very little in common with, well that can’t be a bad thing.”
On the journey
12. “As you move through this life and this world you change things slightly, you leave marks behind, however small. And in return, life — and travel — leaves marks on you. Most of the time, those marks — on your body or on your heart — are beautiful. Often, though, they hurt.”
13.“Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.”
Reprinted from Matador Network
Thai Cabinet extends waiver of Visa On Arrival fees
Thailand’s Cabinet has extended the waiver of the fees for ‘visa on arrival’ for some foreign tourists to Thailand. The waiver of the 2,000 baht VOA fee will be extended to at least October 31.
The fee had previously been waived until January 14 this year in a bid to boost tourism. It was then extended until April 30 and has now been extended again. According to the Ministry of Sports and Tourism, waiving the VOA fee had helped support the increase of foreign visitor numbers.
Between November 15, 2018 to March 31, 2019, 3.58 million foreigners visited Thailand, an increase of 83% compared to the 1.6 million visitors during the same period in the previous year.
Meanwhile, waiving the VOA fee resulted in the government losing 2.95 billion baht in revenue but the extra tourists generated an estimated 105 billion baht in tourism revenue.
The Visa On Arrival waiver is available to tourists from 21 countries and regions, including China and India.
Bangkok home prices among the cheapest in the Key Global Cities report
Hong Kong maintains its position as the world’s most expensive residential city, while Bangkok ranks at #33 out of 35 global cities surveyed.
In the fifth annual Global Living Report, CBRE profiles the property markets across 35 key global cities. The results highlight that investments in urban areas such as transport infrastructure, connectivity, retail, cultural centres and housing are key drivers of economic growth.
“In the fifth edition of the ‘Global Living’ report, we have expanded the number of cities we examine from 29 to 35. They include the most exciting cities in the world, from emerging technology-driven powerhouses like Shenzhen and Bangkok through more traditional capital cities such as Rome and Lisbon, to rapidly evolving modern urban centres like Dubai and Johannesburg,” according to Jennet Siebrits, Head of Residential Research at CBRE UK.
The top three most expensive places to buy a residential property are all in Asia. Hong Kong remains the city with the highest value residential real estate, with an average property costing 39.52 million baht (USD 1.235 million), Singapore in second place, averaging 27.97 million baht (USD 874,372), and Shanghai third at 27.92 million baht (USD 872,555).
Bangkok stands at #33 position with an average residential property price of 3.4 million baht (USD 106,383), followed by Ho Chi Min City at 3.29 million baht (USD 103,057) and Istanbul at the bottom with average prices of 3.11 million baht (USD 97,396) amongst the 35 surveyed world cities.
The biggest year-on-year growth was experienced in double-digits by Barcelona (16.9%), Dublin (11.6%), Shanghai (11.2%) and Madrid (10.2%). London remains one of the top ten performing global cities, with the average property price of 20.7 million baht (USD 646,973) although growth was down by 1.1%.
You can read the full report HERE.
Find the largest list of Bangkok city properties for sale HERE.
Top 10 ways to save water at home
Hot weather and Thailand’s boom-or-bust water issues (floods in wet season and water shortages in the hot season) are a part of our life. And it’s predicted that there will be hotter hot seasons and wetter wet-seasons in the future. Even if we’re not sure what the future brings we should all be conscious of our water usage, be more self-sufficient and empower ourselves to do something positive to protect Thailand’s precious water reserves.
Here are a few ideas that may help you become more water-wise…
• Shower with a bucket. Don’t let all that water pour down the drain and stick a bucket next to you whilst you shower. The plants will be grateful for an extra drink on hot days and save you using the hose sometimes. Whilst you’re at it, cut your 5 minute shower down to three minutes. Really, you can sing somewhere else! And, really, do we absolutely have to have four showers a day? No. A fresh spray of the deodorant and a fresh shirt will be perfectly OK during water shortages. For couples, well, shower together!
• Leave the water running whilst brushing your teeth? Try turning it off until you want to rinse out your mouth. All that useable water flowing down the basic drain whilst you’re brushing isn’t making your teeth any whiter! Same when you’re washing your hands or washing your hair. Turn off the tap whilst you’re doing all the scrubbing. These little habits could end up saving tens of litres every time you do these common tasks.
• Boiling pasta? Rice? Eggs? Once the left-over water has cooled use it to water your indoor or outdoor plants. Just make sure the water has cooled first!
• Washing the car at a car wash is more efficient than doing it yourself at home. Car wash businesses recycle a lot of their water. Even better, drive around with a dirty car now and then – it’s not hurting you or the car and will save water by delaying your car wash.
• Lawns use lots of water and daily watering during the hot season can soak up hundreds of litres of valuable. Letting your lawn go brown, be assured it will come back in the wet season. And long-term, landscape accordingly with water wise ground covers, succulents, and other plants that thrive in drought conditions. Lawns may be a luxury we can’t afford in these water-conscious times.
• Only run the dishwasher when it’s full. Even better wash the dishes by hand. Dishwashing machines are notable water wasters. Grab you partner or a friend and have a chat or a laugh for the five minutes it will take you to wash the dishes by hand. You could save up to 50-100 litres of water! And fill up the sink once and do all the washing together without leaving the water running all the time.
• Whilst it hasn’t been a worry in the past, our useable potable water supplies around Thailand are becoming an issue that won’t be fixed immediately. Consider installing a simple rain catchment system. They can be cheap or expensive and should be considered if you’re building a new house as an integral part of the design. Your roof is an amazing water-catcher. Use it.
• Flush the toilet less often and with less water. Most modern toilets have a half-flush option and there are other tricks to reducing the re-fill in your toilet’s cistern – putting a brick into your cistern is one way (gently!).
• Water the plants early in the morning. You’ll need less water, since cooler morning temperatures mean less evaporation. It’s not a great idea to water in the evenings, since this can promote mould growth in the humid Thai weather and hot evenings. And you really don’t need to water the driveway. It’s not growing. No one is going to walk past your house and compliment you on your sparkling clean drive-way.
• The dog WILL survive without being washed every day, or week. Indeed our dogs used to survive perfectly well without being washed at all. If the family pooch does need a wash try and use some of the water you saved from the bucket in the shower and be careful not to leave the hose on whilst rubbing in the shampoo. As for the cat, it is genetically programmed to clean itself better than you could ever hope to. Leave the cat alone – it DOES NOT need to be washed.
Songkran Survival Guide – Top 10 Tips (2019)
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