28 September 2010

Lessons Learned While Traveling Between Three Continents

Lessons Learned While Traveling Between Three Continents:

-Never pack multivitamins in their original container if their country of production uses a non-Latin alphabet -- not only will they be opened but will spill all over one's suitcase as a result of security agents' ability to open childproof lids and inability to close them.

-Combining a frequent flyer membership and the evil eye results in at least two seats to oneself on transatlantic flights, as well as the envy of all other passengers. Guard the seats carefully by getting up when everyone's passed out after the "meal."

-Speaking of which, always order "Vegetarian (Dairy-Free)." It's healthier, identifiable, and reduces looks from suspicious-looking passengers curious as to why one ordered the Kosher meal. Be prepared, however, to explain in the flight attendants' native language, whould they lose your request, why you cannot eat the Halal meal instead.

-Never order the Halal meal. Serving passengers half a raw jalapeño pepper is an airborne disaster waiting to happen that no accompanying packet of fennel seeds can prevent.

-Almost everything in Spain contains some part of a pig. Even the coffee.

-One of the greatest museums on The Mall in DC is the Hirshhorn. Not only are the installations spectacular, the museum as a whole has the highest level of tourist repellant.

-There is a connection between the names of Japanese restaurants in DC and their unintended meanings in Hebrew (examples include Sakana on P Street ("danger" in Hebrew) and this one on K Street (the "n word" in Hebrew). Luckily the latter serves a great Negroni.

-The Starbucks by the 110th Street downtown stop on the Upper West Side serves out sartorial compliments to uncaffeinated customers, leaving them speechless and starting the day on a positive note.

-The best meals are home-cooked, be it butternut squash mac-and cheese in Midtown, 14 pounds of the best beef brisket ever made in Ohio, or roasted brussel sprouts back home.

-It's always good to go back to the States for quality time with friends and family. And television.

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