Browsing: Down Under

Winter 2010 trip to Australia, the land Down Under, plus traveling in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. Lots of pictures and travel stories!

Down Under (Not) Fresh of the Plane
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On Mon­day night, we packed our bags again and returned to LAX to catch our flight to Syd­ney. The entire secu­rity process took about 5 minutes:no immi­gra­tion con­trol, no pass­port stamp, the bags were sim­ply x-rayed and we didn’t have to go through the body-scanner non-sense. Morale of the story: get­ting into the U.S.A is hard but get­ting out is piece of cake.

Down Under Santa Monica Pier
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I was curi­ous to see the other side of L.A, the glam­orous one. So far, I wasn’t too impressed: houses looked nice but noth­ing out of the ordi­nary. I cer­tainly couldn’t pic­ture all these movie stars and socialites liv­ing here, in Korea Town or in Lit­tle Armenia.

Down Under Venice (backwards because it looks artistic, right?)
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We headed to Venice Beach and had break­fast in a small side­walk restau­rant, from which we could observe peo­ple com­ing and going. This is one of the best spot I have ever seen for can­did por­traits and street photography—locals seemed obliv­i­ous to what was going on around them and sim­ply kept on rollerblad­ing, run­ning, singing or what­ever activ­ity they were into.

Down Under Palm Trees
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After Hol­ly­wood Hill, we headed back to Hol­ly­wood Boule­vard for a much-needed dose of tacky sou­venirs and postcards.

Being in L.A was very fun for me, the same way it is for an Amer­i­can going to Paris, I guess. I read so many mys­tery and thriller books tak­ing place in that city, includ­ing Jonathan Kellerman’s books, that I felt I knew it. Yet it sur­prised me.

Down Under Above the Grand Canyon
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We didn’t sleep much on Sat­ur­day night and get­ting up at 4:30 a.m. on Sun­day was bru­tal. I can barely remem­ber what we did at the Ottawa air­port, but we must have got it right because we landed in Toronto at 8 a.m., trans­ferred to another flight and landed in Los Ange­les six hours later.

Down Under Dreamcatcher at the Byward
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Many years ago, as I was head­ing to Aus­tralia, a friend of a friend tried to psy­cho­an­a­lyze me. “But, don’t you think you are run­ning away?” she said, wisely, at the ripe old age of 20. “Trav­el­ing so much… what are you escap­ing from?”
I quickly brushed her com­ment away, both because her supe­rior air of wis­dom annoyed me and because I quite didn’t know what to say.

Down Under Escaping The Winter
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The first list I made was by no means the last one. The more we travel, the more we learn. Times change too: up until our Latin Amer­ica trip two years ago, I car­ried… a Walk­man and a few home­made tapes. I finally bought an iPod nano and it lit­er­ally saved my san­ity dur­ing these long bus rides!

Down Under Somewhere in the Outback, Australia, Spring 2003
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We need to travel badly, like two junkies look­ing for a fix. We need to escape Canada and the cold win­ter. We need the free­dom and the care­free life of those who hit the road. I don’t know where this trip will take us. We have no plans, as usual.
We just bought the tick­ets a cou­ple of weeks ago, almost on a dare. It took us the whole evening to fig­ure out the best itin­er­ary and we decided to fly the Pacific route through L.A.

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