On honeymoon in Vietnam, the food was excellent throughout the trip. However, one dish was particularly memorable. It was a green papaya with pineapple dish at Orivy in Hoi An. Back home I recreated it for a lunch with colleagues, and people loved it. It is an even more tropical spin on a classic Thai spicy green papaya salad. In my book, it is a winner!
Ten years ago I went to Kolkata (Calcutta), India, for the first time, on one of my first work-related trips to India. There was a conference I would attend. My stay in Kolkata took an interesting course after I went sunbathing on my day off. Read on to find out what happened.
India: a country that tickles all the senses. From beautiful landscapes, bustling metropolises and iconical cultural sights to delightful food and colors. Indian women love colorful clothing; if you feel brave enough on your next visit to India, you may want to consider dressing in Indian style.
I have been visiting India every couple of years for the last decade. The first time was when I went to a conference in Hyderabad in 2007. It was a complete culture shock: the honking cars, the hordes of people everywhere, such a massive city! It took me a few days to get into the flow of things. The pivotal point for me came when a bunch of us conference attendees were waiting for a bus for about an hour and I realized I should just relax. If the bus comes now, fine, but if I have to wait here for a bit, it is also fine. Something clicked then and I connected with the Indian pace of life.
The decision to go to Vietnam for our honeymoon was mainly motivated by the prospect of excellent food. I also know from an earlier trip that people are very kind and smile easily, and the country boasts beautiful landscapes and bustling cities.
Japan is a diverse country: from big, bustling cities to secluded islands and everything in between. I dare you to get bored there. I find the country fascinating and have been lucky to have had two vacations there (so far!). A temple stay with the monks in Koya is one of the special experiences I had there.
If you ever get the chance to go to Japan: fantastic! It is one of my favorite destinations, maybe even the favorite. Japan is a very diverse country with regards to food, landscape and culture and the people are super friendly and will make you feel welcome. I’ve had the chance to visit Japan twice now in recent years and here I share a few of my observations, hoping it will help you if you’re a first-time visitor, or if you want to reminisce about how wonderful and quirky Japan and its inhabitants are.
Sushi, Wagyu beef, ramen and tempura are all well-known Japanese delicacies. The umami-packed pancake called okonomiyaki is perhaps lesser-known, but no less tasty! I was first introduced to this sumptuous treat in Hiroshima, during my first visit to Japan. Since then, I’ve had the chance to go to Japan again and explore more variations of the ‘cooked as you like’ (‘okonomi’ translates to ‘as you like/want’ and ‘yaki’ is ‘ grilled’) dish.