Thursday, March 29, 2012

Siem Reap and the Temples of Angkor

The deck outside our first room in the guest house.
Eric and I got to Siem Reap after a long bus ride from Phnom Penh.  Eric worked and lived here in 2009, so it's been exciting to see a lot of the places I've heard him talk about before.  Siem Reap is a little more touristy than Phnom Penh, but in a good way.  There's a lot to see and do, and I've been trying to take in as much as possible.  I'm still working on writing down some stories and impressions of the city, but for now I have photos:

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Pictures from Phnom Penh

My first blog post from Cambodia was going to describe what it's like to take 21 hours worth of flights in one day.  After I began writing, I realized it can be described simply: it's long.  I got to watch "The Muppets," the Anchorage airport wasn't that exciting, the Taipei airport is huge with a lot of upscale shops, and it was a really long day.  When we got to our guesthouse in Phnom Penh, I curled up in bed and slept for about fourteen hours.

Today, Eric and I got up and began to walk around the city.  Here are photos from the temple Wat Phnom:

Looking down at the entrance to the temple

Monday, March 5, 2012

What I Will Miss in Philadelphia, Part II

Food.  I will miss the food dearly and in Philadelphia it is so good that it deserves its own post.  When I think of Pennsylvania, I imagine Amish farms with butter and doughnuts and Philly cheese steaks.  While Philadelphia does have these things, it has much more than I realized.  Even when you go to a pub for a burger, it's often well-made and fancier than you'd expect.  My taste buds will miss this place.

Food Trucks

When I mentioned the food trucks in Philadelphia to a coworker from New York, he responded, "Oh, yeah, like all the halal carts in Manhattan, right?"  No, not quite.  There are halal carts in Philadelphia, but Philly has taken its food trucks to a new level.  Many are also brightly decorated and distinctive.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Sunday, March 4, 2012

What I Will Miss in Philadelphia, Part I

Even though I'm very excited to get on the road, there are parts of Philadelphia I'm going to miss.  Here's the first half of the list!

West Philadelphia's Neighborhoods

Even though the residential feel of Philadelphia is not my favorite part of the city, I do love the neighborhood I live in.  The streets are lined with two-family houses with wide front porches.  Many people have decorated their porches and front gardens in unusual ways, and before Christmas there were lights everywhere, making the streets sparkle.  The houses make it feel more like a neighborhood than a collection of apartment buildings might, and they also remind me of wandering through residential streets in Ann Arbor.

The porches are often colorful and well-decorated.
In the spring and summer, many residents have bright gardens out front.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Panic Button

I had one moment of pure panic during the two months I lived in France.  There were smaller instances of concern, like when I pressed the wrong button and set my host family's washing machine on some kind of infinite rinse cycle and when I learned that the bulk of my internship would be answering phones to speak to nervous French students.  Though embarrassing and stressful, they were things I could deal with.  My panic moment was minor in retrospect, but at the time I freaked out and had no idea what to do.  Here's the story.

I had a long weekend in June, so I went to visit my friend Hope who was living in Roanne, a tiny town outside of Lyon.  She was an intern at Troisgros, which she wrote about here.  We had a very relaxing, very French weekend.  Hope introduced me to comté and Sancerre.  We found a Pirates of the Caribbean-themed local bar.  It was a great weekend, especially since I hadn't seen Hope in six months.

Our picnic of cheese, bread, cherries and wine - amazing!