Tokyo to San Francisco: savouring suburban solitude

Everywhere I turn, people are speaking Spanish – America’s unofficial second language. I’m surprised that I can still understand the language fairly well – considering that I haven’t spoken it in some four years. I learnt a lot of new languages in my twenties – but Spanish is my still my favourite. I hear a whole plethora of other languages, too. Some I recognise. Others I don’t. I breathe in and out. It’s my first time in San Francisco, but I feel at home for the first time in a while. 

Ba Yi Restaurant: Xinjiang Cuisine in Hong Kong

Everyone who knows me knows I love food – but Xinjiang cuisine has a super special place in my heart. The food is SPICY, intense and packed with all kinds of indescribable flavours. And so I asked my trusty temporary housemate Fang if there’s a restaurant in Hong Kong that serves Xinjiang Cuisine… and… ding ding ding… she told me about Ba Yi. It’s one of those famous places where you have to book a time slot in advance. And yes – they will kick you out when your time is up. And no – they don’t care if you haven’t finished your meal. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Ireland BnB: the old school Airbnb experience

I love Airbnb. Most of my generation has used it at some point or another. But… before Airbnb showed up with its fancy algorithms to connect hosts with guests all over the world, there was the old school BnB. And Ireland is the perfect place to re-experience the traditional BnB. And before you worry about ratings and reviews, registered Irish BnBs are star rated by Fàilte Ireland: the National Tourism Development Authority. Whilst Booking.com has some BnB options, I found it fairly limited if you’re looking for something off the beaten path. A bit more Googling later, I found what I was looking for.