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The Art of the Chinese Sale

  The Art of the Chinese Sale, also known as The Calculator Game, is actually a lot of fun! I never considered myself much of a bargainer or a haggler – it felt way too pushy – so what happened was a bit surprising.   Everyday in Beijing, I went somewhere on my own, but the Xiu Shui Silk Market was my favourite place to shop, and there were hundreds of tiny stalls lined up along alleyways with clothes and other goods hanging 8 feet high on the walls, lining the floors, and piled high on tables. Five levels filled to the … More…

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Dumbest Travel Gadgets

TRAVEL PILLOW – Total Travel Pillow Gone are the days of flying when you could expect to find a pillow and blanket on your seat. Now it’s more of a DIY experience. Functioning as a travel pillow and blanket in one, the Total Travel Pillow claims to keep you warm and reduce next compression.  $29.99 A More Practical Solution – buy a suede blow-up neck pillow and wear a cosy hooded sweater that you will also use in your travels. The pillow folds to a tiny flat pack so takes up less precious room in your carry on, and the sweater will serve many purposes, … More…

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Latest Gadgets For Travel

  SOLAR LAPTOP The world’s first truly solar-powered laptop. It never needs to be plugged in! It “plugs” into the sun. When the sun isn’t there at night you can run it all night long with its powerful battery. With a rugged design & durability, you can take SOL with you to the most remote places on earth. It has free software, too. You don’t need to purchase any more software to get started. There are thousands of free apps available online with UBUNTU. In a world where 1 in 4 people have little or no access to stable electricity, the device … More…

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Behave Yourself

  Courtesy, courtesy, courtesy. Respect, respect, respect.   How do you feel when a foreigner criticizes anything in your country? Or if a foreigner is demanding in any way?   Think about it.   “When in Rome…”  You’re in a different country, curb your ethnocentrism and try to fit in. Stop comparing everything to how it is at “home”. No one cares how it is in your home country. Consider that a different way to do things might actually work better in this country.  Accept a different culture as it is – new, unique, interesting.   Avoid being a typical … More…

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“Aw Sha, It Could Always Be Worse!”

  Lost luggage is a fact of life for most travellers. It has rarely happened to me but it did once, at the worst possible time. Travel misfortunes are just to be expected. Ireland   We had just arrived in Ireland, and I was given assurance that they would find my bags any day, and that they would be delivered to me. We moved on to stay in a perfectly enchanting castle (this is one of very few package deals I like – flight, car, and castle stay package for Ireland).     It was bad enough making do with the few … More…

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The End of That Little Road

I wonder what is at the end of that little road?! That question lead us to find some amazing places that tourists seldom get to see.  All the way through New Zealand, we slid off the main highway to see what was at the end of “that little road”.   Weeks later, we met a local couple and they invited us to their cottage at a famous New Zealand resort. She had gone on ahead and he wanted to show us some places that “tourists seldom get to see”. Turns out we had already seen all of them! He was … More…

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