Welcome to Friday! Congratulations on making it to the end of the week.
I’m back from my quick trip to Chicago and spent the better part of the beginning of the week wrestling with Monday’s post… which, as a result, didn’t come out until Wednesday! The article has gone through innumerable revisions since I first started drafting it months ago, and it feels good to finally have it out for the world to see. I’m also incredibly grateful for the response it has gotten – clearly I’m not the only one who has felt the pressures of social media, and I truly appreciate all of you who have reached out to discuss your thoughts.
Now, for the first time in what feels like forever, I have a whole weekend without any concrete plans ahead of me! M is out and about, as usual, but I’m looking forward to a super productive and restful weekend. The two may seem mutually exclusive, but I’m determined to cross a lot off of my out of control to-do list while still taking some time for myself to relax and reenergize.
I hope you have some time to yourself this weekend, too, and I hope that the things below that I’ve been loving lately start your weekend off on the right foot!
It’s a bit of a joke in my family how I am hungry pretty much all the time. Even before getting pregnant, when it’s socially acceptable to have an increased appetite, I usually found myself ready for a meal every few hours. My stomach is rumbling within seconds of my eyes opening in the morning, I’m ready for a big meal by 10:30 AM, and that stretch between lunch and supper often seems interminable.
Food is also one of my favorite ways to experience culture. Whether I’m sampling homemade jams and jellies at a rural farm stand, enjoying a new regional cuisine on a work trip, or grabbing a cheap dish from a hawker stall in Southeast Asia, I love how food makes me feel more connected to local traditions and ways of life.
Lonely Planet recently published Ultimate Eats: The World’s Top 500 Food Experiences… Ranked, and as a teaser they shared the top ten on their website accompanied by dazzling photos and videos. Nabbing the top spot is the act of bar-hopping and enjoying pintxos (also known as tapas) in the Basque resort town of San Sebastián in northern Spain. Not far behind are such foodie gems as curry laksa from hawker stalls in Kuala Lumpur, sushi in Tokyo, and classic beef brisket in Texas. It’s a mouth-watering catalogue full of famous favorites and quieter powerhouses worth adding to your culinary bucket list.
A word to the wise, though – don’t click the link if you’re already hungry and your lunch break is still far away!
2.) When flying roundtrip to Berlin is cheaper than a one-way train ticket
Oh, Europe. How wonderful it must be to have such easy access to ultra low-cost airlines, quick flights to completely different countries, and excellent public transportation infrastructure! I’m not going to lie and say that the guy in this video is the most engaging narrator or talented filmmaker, but I’m sharing it anyway because it absolutely blew my mind how he found a loophole where it was less expensive to return to his hometown via Germany rather than simply taking the train. Our Stephen Merchant-cloned hero was able to fly roundtrip to Berlin and take in a few hours of sightseeing for a grand total of £44.07 (about $56 US), which was £7.72 ($10) less than he would have spent a one-way train ticket alone. For the expense of a few extra hours, he was able to visit one of Europe’s most popular cities and save money at the same time!
Talk about thinking outside of the box! Where would you go if you could use any city as a less expensive alternate route?
3.) Crazy Rich Asians!
On Sunday night, three girlfriends and I got together to catch an evening showing of Crazy Rich Asians, the much-lauded new romantic comedy based on the bestselling book by Kevin Kwan. Not only was it a nice treat to spend an evening with some of my favorite ladies, but this was the first time in a long while that I headed to the movies for something other than a superhero / action flick.
And folks – Crazy Rich Asians didn’t disappoint. It was cute and fun without being overly saccharine, the characters were well-developed and relatable, and I actually laughed out loud multiple times. The movie was also gorgeously filmed, with lavish sets (that wedding scene?!), delicious-looking local food, beautiful people, and the stunning backdrop of exotic Singapore providing plenty of eye candy.
Much has been said about how this movie is hugely significant in terms of representation for Asians in Hollywood, and I will admit that it made my heart happy when a big Asian family went past me into the theater while I waited for my friends. I’m sure that I, as someone who has grown up watching the lives of white people play out onscreen, can’t even imagine what it meant to that mom to be able to take her daughters to a big budget, mainstream, 93%-on-Rotten Tomatoes movie where the people looked and perhaps even sounded like them. Here’s hoping that Crazy Rich Asians is just the first of many steps toward increasingly inclusive wide-release filmmaking.
Thanks again, everyone! Have a great weekend!
What have you been loving lately?
What are some of the best local dishes you’ve eaten while traveling?
Have you seen any good movies lately?