Caught red-handed, uh, petaled (#expatriate #repatriate #travel)

If this doesn’t reflect expatriate, repatriate and/or travel life, I don’t know what does.

Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Flower and wall. (© image, all rights reserved, copyrighted. no permissions granted.) Can’t keep a good plant down.(© image)

Pssst.

Over here.

Don’t be so obvious.

Saunter this way. Casually.

 Red Flower and brick wall. (© image, all rights reserved, copyrighted. no permissions granted.) True beauty cannot be contained or held back.(© image)

Closer.

Need to plant a thought if you don’t mind.

Some are content to never see what is beyond the wall.

Some only wish to grow where they are planted.

Others know their roots and still want to make a break.

 Even if the outside isn’t exactly a rose garden.

Those that dare, encounter new adventures and unlikely acquaintances.

All the time hoping there will be no cutting remarks.

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Dog sniffing red flower sneaking under brick wall (© image, all rights reserved, copyrighted. no permissions granted.) Yes, red does look good on both of us. No matter how different, there’s always something in common if one actually looks for it. (© image)

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Turbulence. (#Algiers #Algeria)

Finally. It was time to go.

I booked this flight about 6 months before departure. Accommodation sorted. At least 1 tour sorted. Basic foundation was already set.

But since this is me we’re talking about, nothing goes smoothly. So of course, bulls*** started just a few hours before my flight. Money, of course, because why not. But I wouldn’t let it deter me. It’d been almost 2 years since my last proper vacation (and I still have to finish those blog posts from that trip… so ashamed of myself.). Yes, there have been a few short jaunts in between, but nothing as long and far away as this. So no matter what, I was leaving. I needed a break from work, from life.

From New York City to Paris, France; a 5 hour layover there; then from Paris to Algiers, Algeria. I know that going through customs in a different country is annoying, but it’s to be expected everywhere and I deal with it. However, I wasn’t expecting to be interrogated by Algerian police.

You read correctly. I was interrogated by Algerian police.

I handed over all of my travel documents at the customs desk and thought that all was well, until I was told to “hold on for a moment”. I knew that some bulls*** was bound to happen because again, that’s just my luck.

Here we f***ing go…

Along with being exhausted, tired/sleepy from limited sleep, and in some pain, I was also angry and kinda scared. My French language skills are very limited, despite my attempts to practice before I left for this trip, and I don’t have any Arabic language skills. So while an officer was telling me that I’d be fine, my face clearly showed that I knew otherwise.

(As an aside, it “helped” a bit that another American woman – a government worker at that! – was also being interrogated. She said to me, “This is terrible, isn’t it?” I nodded with a scowl on my face.)

They opted to interrogate me outside of the officers’ quarters. A female officer who spoke English interpreted & translated for her fellow officers, and asked surprisingly specific questions about why I was in Algeria, what I do for a living, who I see and the age range of the population, etc. ad nauseam. Thank goodness, I didn’t have any reason to lie and was also smart enough to have access to certain things on my mobile phone to prove myself.

TIP: if your mobile phone allows, store your most important documents on something like Google Drive, and make those documents available offline while traveling. It may make a big difference for you in case of emergency.

After what seemed like forever, they let me go. One of the officers hailed a taxi for me and I went to my hotel. But alas, as is my luck, there was more turbulence ahead.

To be continued…

Algiers, Algeria. (#Algiers #Algeria)

View from above. And don’t worry, blog posts are coming…

In the bubble

Travel, sport, fun, and exercise? Can’t beat it. Check out this new venue in Houston, Texas.

Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

Gotta find a new place where the kids are hip? Done.

Ain’t your chiffon-dressed granny’s ballroom dance hall, and you’d better be able to kick it

Venue features:

  • Beer
  • Extreme sports competition for laughs accolades and glory
  • Exercise without a breaking a nail (but knee pads might be advisable)
  • Wardrobe protection provided: Wear your best without worry of rips or mud or smelly locker rooms.
  • Did I say beer? Over 100 taps of mostly craft beer and wine. (The cocktail crowd should toddle elsewhere for fancy drinks featuring umbrellas and such)

Bubble soccer. (Screenshot ch 26Houston) No, it’s not a science class demonstration of amoeba division. (Screenshot ch26 Houston)

Houston Dynamo legend Brian Ching opened the area’s wildest sports entertainment venue: Pitch 25

Oh, there’s the usual 40+ TV’s, and plenty of room for indoor four on four soccer matches. Great bar food (Try the The Brian Ching burger which includes pineapple and fried spam…

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Another First. Battle of Kings

This is a coincidental post. Just yesterday, saw a neighbor carrying a huge “rosca de reyes” cake and wondered what it was all about. Seeing this post made me put 2+2 together with the Three Kings celebrations, and there you have it.

Nice piece of history to bite on. Enjoy.

Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge

You can shove the gym memberships and Mediterranean diet aside a bit longer. The parties are not over.

Happy FMNY! (First Monday of the New Year). Oh, let the Kings Battle on!

Couples at diner. Woman despairing. Movie still from The Payment/The Moving Picture World/ USPD. artist life, pub.date/Commons.wikimedia.org) “OMG. First she couldn’t eat the nachos because they weren’t on her diet, and now she’s broken her tooth on that darn baby in the cake.”(USPD/Commons.wikimedia.org)

Nope, not all about football’s chosen champions out to uphold the reputation of their towns.

I had to grin at Seattle’s coach’s comment after gazing around Dallas Cowboy’s cathedral of sports AT&T stadium.

Said playing there “was like playing in a night club”.

Astute comment: so loud people can’t hold normal conversations, lots of colorful flashing lights, big screens showing games, expensive foods, pretty girls in attention attracting outfits, lots of drinking, some men falling down…

Sounds a lot like Mardi Gras

Starting with Jan. 6th, the battle of King…

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Happy 2019. (#Happy2019) (#HappyNewYear)

May you travel overseas, and move wherever you please.

As for me, already have 1 trip booked, and hoping for at least 1 more. Stay tuned.

Cheers.

Anchorage, Alaska. (#Anchorage #Alaska)

Alaska is a state I’d wanted to visit for a long time. So when I found out about a flight that was somewhat affordable, I figured I’d pounce on it while I had a couple extra coins. I went from October 4-9, 2018 (arriving home October 10) and frankly, I wish I’d stayed longer. The nature and the history alone took up more than enough of my time and I wanted more time to explore. But alas… real life and reality.

Anyway, here are a few photos from my mobile phone. I took most of my photos with my real camera so sorry, folks… without a proper computer/laptop, I can’t share those at the moment. Those photos are even more amazing. (NOTE: all or most of the following photos are unedited and unfiltered.) However, whether by mobile phone or regular camera, photos don’t do this state any justice in showcasing its incredible beauty.

 

ChugachChugach
Potter MarshPotter Marsh
City view across Cook Inlet.City view across Cook Inlet.
Earthquake ParkEarthquake Park

 

 

Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center

Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center
Brown bear.Brown bear.

The state has some good food.

The state has some good food.

Like this spot.Like this spot.
Reindeer sausage.Reindeer sausage.
Halibut tacos.Halibut tacos.

 

I look forward to visiting again, hopefully sooner rather than later. And I hope you enjoyed this short post. May you soar into 2019.

Weekly Smile: An Act of Kindness

Good idea. Cheers.

Piglet in Portugal

Christmas is a-coming and the delivery men are in overdrive trying to deliver Christmas gifts. Finding our house is challenging enough, but when people do not provide our correct address, we are nigh on impossible to find. Needle and haystack springs to mind.

Our son ordered my Christmas present and told me it was on its way. It’s only a small lightweight parcel yet the delivery charge was almost half the value of the gift. I scratched my head as to why until I tracked the parcel online.
2 stops in the UK
1 in France
2 in Spain
1 in Lisbon
and then onto us.

I am not smiling at its carbon footprint, but I digress.

So what made me smile?

Now given vital details of the address were missing I am going to give the driver 10/10 for initiative!

When addressing packages we always ask people to include…

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This Sign Made Me Laugh!

Pure comedy.

Piglet in Portugal

We are plagued by wild campers who have no respect for the countryside. This sign near Praia da Amoreira made me laugh, and inspired me to write a poem which is also about crap!

Please Scoop Your Poop

Wild campers, (PLEASE) scoop your poop or dig a hole
we don’t want your faeces on our soles
nor your toilet paper strewn far and wide
PLEASE, I beg, respect our countryside.

Your pitch is priceless but we like to share
just leave no trace of your existence there.
And why take six parking lots when two would do?
Others also want to enjoy the view.

Indie Campers - Please Scoop Your Poop!

Check out Weekly Signs Meme at signs2.blogspot.com/ and/or why not join me and create your own fun A-Z of Pet Peeves.

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