Funniest travel moments of 2018

Oh 2018, you were a lot to handle.  The Manchurian Cantaloupe spent the year calling the free press the enemy of the people, changing cabinet members more than I change my sheets, putting babies in cages and licking the posteriors of authoritarian leaders.  I did my best to maintain a sense of humor (dicey at times) and I managed my fear of imminent global extinction through climate change through, well, global travel.

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Lisbon, Portugal

As usual, HOB and I stayed at a mix of budget hotels, guest houses and apartments.  The apartment we rented in the Alfama neighborhood of Lisbon was tiny and had an impossibly tricky shower.  It did, however, come with blue-jean themed espresso cups, so net win.


Pingyao, China

The weirdest thing we did this year was get in an airplane in Chicago and get out 13 hours later in Beijing.  Flying direct to China; that’s conceptually crazy!  And we start seeing signs showing dudes pulling rickshaws with their ankles—I mean, is this a normal occurrence in China because in Chicago we don’t even pull baby carriages with our ankles…


Church of the Atonement, Chicago, USA

Also, as you’ve come to expect, we spent a lot of time looking at religious art.  Inside a lovely Episcopal Church, for example, we were introduced to Our Lady of the Feathered Hair.


Igreja do Carmo, Porto, Portugal

Mary and Jesus were also well represented in the churches of Portugal.  Go ahead: hug a 16th century booby today.

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Igreja de São Francisco, Porto, Portugal

Portugal religious art is not just about the baby Jesus, though. Case in point, these most fabulous monks ever.


Da Xing Shan Temple, X’ian, China

I don’t always visit Chinese temples to look at religious statues, but when I do, eyebrows.


Pingyao, China

HOB and I ate ourselves silly in China, especially relishing Sichuan style food.  We didn’t always know what we were ordering, though.  Hmmm, could I please have a round mass of food to go?



Speaking of round masses of food….



Hold on to your donkey—-this is one spicy stir fry!



Wishing all my readers an engaging 2019.  I hope your travels bring you new friends and close encounters with thrilling art.

And may all your dip bowls be bald.


  1. We start by celebrating the New Year in Kansas, a short business trip somewhere (I haven’t found out yet where), a month in Bangladesh, and 12 days in Rome, and Mediterranean ports! Happy New Year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sounds like a perfect year! Weren’t you in Bangladesh before? What brings you there? I am so curious about their UNESCO sites.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We lived there from ’07 to ’15. This time for a visit, since a family member lives there! Of the three UNESCO sites, I have only visited the Sonderbans! It was right after Cyclone Sidr, so saw some of the devastation! It is a beautiful forest!

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  2. Thank you for another year of allowing me to vicariously travel with you. Are you sure that first sign doesn’t say “Beware of two-wheeled people-plows?” And, yes, English versions of Chinese food items are the best! Happy travels in 2019!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. People plows, LOL!

      Sometimes when I’m writing for travel information in a place where I don’t speak the language I’ll use google translate to make my email readable. I often wonder if my enquiry about bus routes is being translated as “Dear Sir or Madame, I wish to take the four wheeled people plow to the ugly church. Please send me money.”


  3. Humour: the best medicine. Even with a round mass of food…

    Hope you had (still are having?) a lovely Christmas, and best wishes from Wales, wishing you both a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am having a lovely Christmas, thank you. I hope you read many delicious books in 2019!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Looking forward to more of your travels – and discoveries – in the year to come. I thought the rickshaw sign was someone being shovelled up by a JCB….
    Chinese translations can be cryptic…or only too accurate as witness the restaurant off Leicester Square in London in my student days which advertised on its menu ‘long simmered orange flavoured ox penis’. No, none of us had the nerve to order it…

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    1. Why didn’t you order it? Afraid the orange simmering would make it too tenderized for your taste?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Not enough money…or nerve…
        I can just imagine this in the age of the selfie…this is me with an orange flavoured long simmered ox penis….that would wake up Facebook….

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  5. We also have a family member in Bangladesh!

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    1. Lucky you—they’ll know all the best spots for street food.


      1. Actually, I know where the best spots are better than he does, having lived there 7.5 years. And I spent a lot more time on the streets roaming the city, than he does!

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  6. Funny! Keep up the good work in 2019.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! Happy New Year, Guy.


      1. Happy New Year!

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Keep traveling! All the best to you and hubby, for a fantastic 2019!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wishing you happy travels in 2019 as well, Maurizio!

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Chinglish food. Nothing like it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not pictured “Manual Cat Ears” and “Cold Wrist Joe”.

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      1. Cold feet, is it? 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  9. In Italy the sign for snowplows is suspiciously similar to that Chinese one… So could it be that, should people commit the unspeakable crime described in those ideograms, they’ll be promptly attached to a truck and be used as snowplows?

    Thanks for a most entertaining year and post! At the sight of those eyebrows I almost choked on coffee… May your next year bring you to see the lovely Black Mary we’ve got in my neck of the woods! 🙂


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Which Mary are you talking about? I am so curious and now I want to see it!

      Liked by 1 person

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