This is What Happened When I Recovered Deleted Photos

Beware, for what you are about to see is completely un”re”edited for content.

…which is to say, in September 2009 during a visit to Bogotá, Colombia, I accidentally deleted the photos from the memory card of my camera.  As soon as I realized my ignorance – maybe there was a delayed reaction due to the one hour time difference – I rushed over to a camera store and asked for help in recovering them.

As a result of my stout fingers I suppose, a great deal of photos were lost from my ’round-the-world trip in late 2008-early 2009, as well as those leading up to September 2009.

Or did I?  Mostly, yes.  But with the help of the Bogotá Kodak store, we were able (to) recuperar many others.

After doing a bit of cleaning, I rediscovered the memory card on which said photos were deleted and then recovered.  These are the end product of the recovery- completely unaltered by me.
Clearly, pixels make strange bedfellows:

Cuzco, Peru - Recuperada Self

Yours truly.  I guess I did spend a lot of time in East Asia… though, it’s rather peculiar, because it looks like I am drinking myself.  Taken in Cuzco, Peru.

Kuwait - Recuperada CCTV Bus

Cool, my very own CCTV camera.  Taken on a Kuwait City bus.

Malaysia - Recuperada South Indian Meal

For those of us who are avant-garde food photographers, I bring you “everything but the food.”

Karachi, Pakistan - Recuperada Quaid

The memory card must’ve had a beef with its owner.  No, it’s just an ex-girlfriend’s artful way of framing the mausoleum of Muhammad Ali Jinnah in Karachi, Pakistan.

Hiroshima, Japan - Recuperada Genbaku Dome

Surreal.  This building was formerly called as the Hiroshima Prefectural Industrial Promotion Hall, but has come to be known as the A-Bomb Dome.  It was just about the only structure left intact, and in case you were curious, it was designed by a Czech architect named Jan Letzel.

Aguascalientes, Peru - Recuperada Before & After

Before & After?  I’m rather fascinated by the photos that were randomly connected.  From the looks of it, the upper portion is Aguascalientes (near Machu Picchu) and the lower part is Kuwait.

Peru - Recuperada Shining Path

Since these were all taken in Peru, and the hue is overtly reddish, let’s name this tripartite image “Shining Path.”

Etihad AUH to CGK - Recuperada Jakarta & EY In-flight MealWhat a coincidence!  This in-flight meal was served on an Etihad flight from Abu Dhabi to Jakarta, and the photo spliced in between was taken in Jakarta.  As for the blank lower quarter of this image, I have no idea what is happening there.

How do we assess this stroll through my memory card’s vivid imagination?  BACK UP your photos!  Although you may get a few credible hybrids here and there, for the most part, you’ll get this:

Recuperada - Recuperadidn'tHas this happened to you too?  How did you cope?

My Nominee for Best Street Food Vendor

It is surprisingly easy to choose which restaurants are my favorites.  Whether or not it has cheap eats, waitstaff that sit down and awkwardly talk with customers, windows, soap and water or some combination of the four, is of minimal importance in the ranking system.  Ultimately, if I was limited to one city on each continent in which to have a 24-hour food marathon, including only those which I have visited, I’d go with Mexico City, Lima, Cairo, Istanbul, and Tokyo…except that the flight between Istanbul and Tokyo was diverted to Seoul due to nothing other than my inability to choose one city in Asia.

Not to mention, it is just as simple to do the reverse.  For example, Manhattan has an overabundance of restaurants that aren’t worth mentioning here or there, so I’ll offer vague descriptions in lieu of names.  Think- American cheese instead of paneer stuffed into naan, nacho cheese woefully added to tonkatsu sauce and (hmm, this theme is pure coincidence) a stiff rectangle of cheese that forgot to melt itself on pizza.

Street food, though?  Now I’m in trouble.

Or am I?

Alexandria, Egypt.  A Mediterranean metropolis best known for its library and its 19th century trams.  For me, it was a food, well what’s the word between mecca and paradise?  Don’t be alarmed, there’s no hidden meaning in that question. I’ll save myself by writing good food, good food.  Koshary, falafel, sugar cane juice, grilled eggplant, zabadi, ful (fava bean stew) – a breakfast staple, and cantaloupe ice cream.

Enter, my favorite street food vendor. located by Sidi Gaber train station.  I had an early morning ride to Cairo, so I hopped aboard one of the storied trams earlier than necessary, in the event that the boarding situation might be entropic.    Turns out that that the chaos that awaited my arrival at Cairo’s train station wasn’t present in Alexandria, so I wandered around with plenty of time but sadly (fortunately?) only one stomach.

Alexandria, Egypt - Street Vendor (Foul, Eggplant, Falafel)

Ah, one of those soap-free joints. The welcome mat has been rolled out.

After already having tried out two nearby ful stands, I ended up at the one above.

Pickles, a tomato and cucumber salad, fries, ful, grilled eggplant, and falafel.  The mainstays of a breakfast vendor in Egypt.  All brilliant, but nothing out of the ordinary.

Except that no one seemed to mind that the customers freely picked away at the eggplant and falafel – the profit margins – sitting in buckets in plain sight.

Now that I think about it, I ought to buy this vendor dinner.


What are your nominees for best street food vendor?

Great Japanese Recipes


Japan is one of many countries with delicious dishes, as people constantly come up with new recipes and cooking ways to satisfy the hunger of the nation. In fact, many Japanese dishes comprise of local ingredients allowing them to have a greater taste. Some dishes in Japan are more of an adventure, which readily appeal to anyone with a good appetite. Also, Japan has some dishes recognized across the globe, making their recipes readily acceptable. Thus, this article explores some of the many wonderful Japanese recipes.

Fried Firm and Flavorful

The pan-fried noodles in Fujinomiya, Japan, are different because of their firm texture. Before cooking, there is a special steam treatment given to pan-fried noodles. The cooking is then done over a hotplate with the aid of slivers of cabbage and pork oil cake. You can gain extra flavor by pouring on Worcestershire sauce and accompanying the noodles with sprinkled mackerel or sardine.



Okonomi-yaki originated during the early 20th century in the Kansai region as a snack for the young ones. Initially, Okonomi-yaki comprised of sliced scallions and other local ingredients, mixed together with wheat-flour and cooked over a griddle. Today, this dish comprises a variety of ingredients, such as shellfish, cabbage, and meat in addition to scallions.

Soup Curry

It would be a hit in Japan whether it was a soup or a curry. The dish comprises of chicken legs cooked together with a variety of vegetables such as carrots, bell peppers, and potatoes. Finally, there is the addition of pork, chicken, beef, and vegetable broth. It is necessary to achieve the extra special zest with the additional of a spoonful of miso.


This dish, grilled beef tongue, compares with the beef sirloin; however, it is healthier because of lessened calories and fat content. First, cut thick slices and grill to softness. Then, there is the final seasoning of the meat by the use of salt.


This is a seafood stew with its name originating from its color. During the preparation of the dish, place the sea urchin and abalone in hot boiling water. Season with a little soy sauce and salt, and then sprinkle on some finely chopped green shiso. This is a common dish during formal occasions in Japan.


Mix wheat flour with water, knead it into dough and let it sit for one to two hours, then roll the dough into thin sheets. Then, tear the thin sheets into small pieces by hand and cook them together with seasonal vegetables. Finally, flavor the soup with soy sauce for additional taste.


This is a salmon dish usually using fish caught from the local rivers. First, cut salmon into thin slices and simmer them in a broth of a soy sauce, mirin, sake (sweet rice liquor), and sugar. Then, this broth cooks the salmon roe. Finally, you would then scatter the roe and salmon over the same savory broth cooked rice.


In order to prepare this Japanese porridge, one must boil buckwheat grains, dry them and then remove their husks. Finally, you would cook the buckwheat in order to produce a thick porridge.

Natsu Matsuri Cocktail

Natsu Matsuri Cocktail

This is a juicy shochu-based cocktail, mostly enjoyed during parties and summer evenings. Ingredients include a half measure of shochu (1 measure = 25 ml), three measures of champagne, a half measure each of raspberry liqueur and strawberry liqueur, and one measure of cranberry juice. Add all of the ingredients to a champagne flute and mix them well to make the drink.


Kim is a travel addict, avid reader and freelancer who loves to share his travel experiences on different blogs.  Presently he is working for Esta Visa which provides visa assistance to the USA. He has also worked for at least four years as a content writer.

Fascinating facts for travellers heading to Turkey

Turkey is the world’s melting pot, a spicy casserole of different influences from Europe, Asia and the Med. This is an enthralling destination which has plenty of surprises in store for the tens of millions of tourists that choose to visit every year! The country comprises of two unique regions split by the Bosphorus; Thrace, to the west, and Anatolia, to the east.

Whether you’re planning on a city break in Istanbul or exploring the countryside, you’ll be surprised by the many unique experiences, Turkey holidays provide. First Choice offer many fantastic route options and package deals for that dream Turkish getaway!

First Choice - Turkey 1


Turkey has an eclectic range of cuisine to sample, thanks to a fusion of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean styles. The country is said to have introduced coffee to Italy, and from there, its popularity is thought to have spread across Europe.

Today, visitors can sample the best of Turkey’s cuisine in Istanbul; Purchase some top notch produce in the Grand Bazaar (which houses over 3000 shops!) or dine on local delicacies in the street. Chewy simit bread, spicy kofta or fresh yoghurt with globs of amber honey can all be bought inexpensively, from one of the many food stands in the city – Simply Devine!

First Choice - Turkey 2


Much like anything in Turkey, its buildings are hybrid beasts, born from the meeting of continents and cultures. The Blue Mosque is perhaps the most famous of these, fusing both Ottoman and Byzantine styles in its character.

Over 200 stained glass windows glaze its interior in rainbow light, while the bright azure of its exterior domes can be seen from almost anywhere in the city. Similarly, the Hagia Sophia has a myriad history, and has been used as a cathedral and a mosque, though is now a museum with both Christian and Islamic influences. Its giant dome is only slightly smaller than that of the Pantheon in Rome.

First Choice - Turkey 3


Turkey can lay claim to being the setting for many great moments in the legends of the world. It is the birthplace of Homer, who wrote The Iliad, and also the setting for the notorious Trojan War.

Today, visitors can travel to the archaeological site in north-western Turkey, where a giant replica wooden horse is clambered over by visitors. It’s also home to Mount Ararat, the Biblical setting for Noah’s landing after the flood.

First Choice - Turkey 4


While its native language is Turkish, Kurdish, Azeri and Dimli are also spoken throughout the region, as well as dozens of minority languages. The Turkish alphabet is Latinate, not Arabic, though does not contain the letters Q and X. It’s considered impolite to address people by their first name when you meet them in Turkey, instead, hanımefendi (madam) and beyefendi, (sir) should be used to avoid causing offence!

 There are also some common misconceptions about this marvellous country. Camels are not, in fact, native to Turkey, no-one in Turkey wears a fez (these were banned in 1925) and most Turkish people did not have surnames until 1934. For more surprising revelations, consider making Turkey your next holiday destination.


Images by Josiah Mackenzie, Miguel Virkkunen Carvalho, Nina Stössinger and Adam Jones used under creative commons license.


Before I went to live in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2008, I was already well-equipped to spin yarns about some particularly heady commutes.  Getting smushed into train carriages in Tokyo by station staff dressed better than me (or maybe that’s why I was being smushed); erroneously dashing into the women’s carriage in Mumbai only to quickly realize my mistake, then jumping off and falling onto the platform of Cotton Green station; trying to find space to blink in Rome’s metro system during the 2000 Great Jubilee.  I have to say that the last anecdote was by far the most crowded I’ve ever seen a subway, even more so than those in China.

At the same time, you could also say that I didn’t know Jakarta’s variegated transportation system well enough.  Let’s run through the list:

Jakarta, Pasar Minggu Station

Pasar Minggu Station, Jakarta

1) There’s a motorcycle taxi, called ojek.  Innocent enough, unless you’re the driver, passenger or anyone that gets in the way of said ojek.

2) Jakarta’s notorious tuk-tuk, called a Bajaj, named after its Indian parent company.  If internal organs freely took vacations… hmm, where I am I going with this?

3) Taxis.  The ones with four wheels.  Multiple brands, and lots of fakes.  What’s a fake taxi?  It still has four wheels, no?

4) Transjakarta, The most miserable bus system I’ve used.  I’ll give them one shred of credit for being extra efficient (surpassing legal speed limits) at night.  Take one of these though, and you won’t be treated to the buskers found on…

5) Kopaja buses.  I like them because they go everywhere, but despise them because they are smoker-friendly.  So, don’t forget your face mask and don’t forget that each time you board one you’ll be charged whatever.  If you couldn’t tell by now, Indonesia is a small bills country.  Make change for everything.

6) Mikrolet.  You’ll know that other foreigners have taken a mikrolet when their necks are tilted forward.  Don’t ride one unless you are shorter than the word “a.”  To be fair, they go everywhere the Kopaja do not.

7) Little trucks that sit outside of train stations such as Kota.  Haven’t been in one yet, so, minus one point for me.


Commuter rail.  As is the case in many cities, tourists are an uncommon sight on these trains.  How can you tell it’s a tourist?  If it’s me, or if the photographer produces a blurry photo so that no other commuter realizes that she (or in this case, he) is carrying a camera.

To answer your question, no I didn’t have the courage (that time) to ride atop the carriage.  Is it because station officials started spraying painting those particularly evasive passengers?  No, it certainly is not.

Have you ever ridden on top of a train?  Don’t be shy.


During My Last Visit to Japan, I Had Poisonous Fish

⊂I decided to keep the title simple this time in honor of imagination.  Am I talking about a recent vacation, or am I predicting the future?⊃


When we first traveled to Shimonoseki, Japan, we learned that locals took issue with those invaluable – unless you’re in the middle of a hurricane/typhoon, or hate carrying things or are in Seattle – objects known as umbrellas.

This time though, we’ll be having our last supper:

Shimonoseki - Sewer Cover

Blowfish.  Pufferfish.  Swellfish.  Delicacy.  Jimmy.  No matter what you call it, there are still…plenty of other words to call it.

River pig (河豚).   鰒/フグ, pronounced fuguふく fuku, which means “good fortune” and which serves as a pun on fugu, the official name for the venomous fish.


Hire me to remove the eyes, ovaries, and in particular the liver, and you won’t be around to read my next post.  Nor will I.  I’ll be in jail.  You really need to find the right chef at the right time.  Or, cower out and try the poison-free version.

Shimonoseki isn’t shy about its most famous resident.  I had never tried fugu before visiting that city, but a visit to one of Japan’s ubiquitous convenience stores changed all of that:

Shimonoseki - Konbini Fugu (Fuku)

There really was a slight tingling sensation after taking a bite

Do Japanese convenience stores keep humans in mind? Fugu, bread stuffed with chocolate and margarine and pocket-sized cans of sake really make you wonder if we are their main source of revenue.  Then again, have you ever had the displeasure of breathing in at a 7-11 in the US?  Those must be one of the many layers of Buddhist hell.


Hi, my name is Jonathan and I’ll be your unoriginal guidebook for today.

Shimonoseki - Karato Market 1

Japan’s most famous fish/wholesale market is undoubtedly Tsukiji Ichiba (市場/いちば market), located in Tokyo.  For a much more relaxing yet equally delicious market visit, check out Karato Ichiba in Shimonoseki.

For what marine product are they most famous?

Take a wild guess.

Shimonoseki - Karato Market 2 (Fugu-Fuku)

Is that a float? Imagine that during Mardi Gras

That’s English for fugu, and Japanese for fugu.


Shimonoseki - Fugu (Fuku) Meals

Someone went a little overboard here.  Fugu (Japanese-style) curry, boiled fugu in a can, raw fugu in a can, even whale curry tags along…who says Japan and China aren’t alike?

Would you try fugu?  What if it was a birthday gift?

Kidneys, Who Needs Those? PART TWO

In our last issue of The Daily Dialysis, we pondered over mysterious circumstances surrounding the presence of salt dishes in outside of some Japanese restaurantsHealth!  No, but you could say I wrote it only to fit another keyword into this blog post.

This time though, we’re entering the US, and it’s not going to be pretty..

I wouldn’t call Honolulu a great city in which to wander, as much of it has that everything-after-5pm-will-be-closed feel, but there are some redeeming factors.  One, if you’re originally from a place with more than two seasons, year-round t-shirting might be particularly welcoming.  Two, if you’re there on vacation, Hawai’i has some foods that you may not be able to find in much of the rest of the mainland, save for California and that one restaurant in Manhattan that I really should try one time.  Come to think of it, Japan might have more Hawaiian restaurants than Hawai’i, but…no.  That’s not bloody likely.

Three, this:

Honolulu - Salty, Salty Fish
Fermented mudfish, a specialty in Vietnam, South China and, considering the brand, Thailand.  Never mind the spelling error and the fact that it looks like someone drew in the word “Trans” next to “fat,” but does nutrition always take a backseat in Southeast Asian markets?  It’s interesting, because the US gets repeatedly ridiculed for harvesting and exporting obesity – I’ll save this argument for another day (possibly) – but have you seen the nutrition labels on ramen soups, juices, teas, wafers, and jarred flotsam in a Chinatown near you?

In any case, I have a challenge for you.  Find an item in any market that has a higher sodium content per serving than this fermented mudfish, and if you’d like I’ll mention you and your specimen in an update.