Thursday, October 14, 2010

23 Points Of Interest

I've learned a thing or two about a thing or two these past months on the move. Some of the lessons are not so new, but certainly illustrated in a different context than I recognized previously. Rather, instead of lessons let us refer to these as points of interest that apply to my life traveling extensively -on a budget- but are inextricably related to my life as a professional "food cooker" (title coined in the broken English of a jovial German bloke I met). These tid-bits and truisms are no more than silly observations I've made, most of them no doubt in a moment of utter folly on my part, but they join none the less to many aspects of life because, as I've always believed there are connections to be seen in the meaningless jumble so long as you take the sage advice of that visionary Bill Hicks, and squeegee your third eye (paraphrased and used to fit my own analogy - Thanks Bill!). So, I've compiled a list of twenty-three petite epiphanies experienced while traveling that relate directly to being a professional food cooker and maybe not so direct to other things. Why 23? No reason that I can think of....

Always do your conversions ahead of time. Weights, volumes, distance and especially currency.

Getting lost can lead to the most worthwhile discoveries, but it is important to recognize when you are about to cross into the realm of being hopelessly lost, and turn back.

This is not all fun and games (and getting lost)! Managing costs is central to continuing the show. Master it.

As a tourist you can flit from attraction to attraction in a city or really explore it, get to know it and "take it's pulse" so to speak. If you don't dig in, then you haven't really been there.

Have a tasting spoon with you at all times...

Make sure you keep your eye on the big picture. Why am I here? What do I want to walk away with? But don't focus so intently on it you loose sight of the small, unexpected details as they pass by.

Screwups are unavoidable. Don't repeat them.

Always have a quality, comfortable pair of shoes.

The simplest route to your next destination is usually the best.

Pork is simply the undisputed champion of meat worldwide...hands down! the same thing. Everyone has their own approach and it can be a polarizing topic. All I can say is, make sure you've got one handy, just in case.

Technology makes life easier and can enhance your experience. Use it, but don't be consumed by it.

There is always time for a coffee break.

Frustrating situations are inevitable. How you deal with them makes all the difference.

You get what you pay for.

Fresh food markets are fascinating and not to be missed. Fresh and seasonal fruits and vegetables are central to understanding where you are and how people there live, eat and love.

Don't take anything - especially yourself - too seriously.

Only bring what you can carry. Don't bring what you can't afford to loose.

Getting angry and yelling at people who don't speak your language is an exercise in futility.

Seeing grandeur day after day may get monotonous once in a while, but that doesn't make it any less magical.

More fancy and expensive gear doesn't make you better at what you do.

There is a reason why some things and places are "touristy." Don't forswear that which has been proven through time and trial just for the sake of being different. It will be your loss.

Planning is overrated. The perils of not planning are understated.


  1. All of this is in direct conflict with my Prime Directive:
    Don't believe anything you read.

  2. "Getting lost is not a waste of time."
    - Jack Johnson

  3. I like the penultimate post. I went to Paris once and was not going to do the tourist-y thing and go up the Eiffel Tower until I turned the corner and saw it at the end of the park. I was drawn to it like a magnet and it was fantastic. It was almost my loss.

  4. Pork as the champion of meat. I love it.