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Street View Cars in #India #Travel

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If you get to travel far enough away from home that you notice how different the cars are, well, then you’ve really gotten away. Used to be I hardly noticed vehicles, but whenever we moved my brother always asks about the makes and models of automobiles. So this is for you, big brother.

Certainly the most eye-catching vehicles are what locals call “electric rickshaws.” These are usually two-passengers wide narrowing to one driver in the front. Colorful and plentiful, you can catch one most anywhere. Thankfully, our hosts provided a driver for their car. The rickshaws are open to all the noise and dust of the road.

I only spotted one BMW, one Volvo, and one Audi (was that one with diplomatic plates?), but remember my son and I were visiting Bengaluru (aka Bangalore) rather than Dehli or Mumbai.

What else did we see?

  • Suzuki models such as Baleno, Swift (lots), Astor, Zen, Alto and Omni.
  • Hyundais such as the Santo
  • Toyota’s including Etios and Innova
  • Mahindra Bolero and tractor of what I assumed was a local brand
  • Micraq?
  • Renault Lodgy
  • Hondas such as Verna and Brio
  • Skodas
  • Eicher trucks as well as trucks by Tata
  • Tata cars like the Indica
  • Quails?

I’m sure you’re more familiar with all these car models than I am, or maybe you’d enjoy Googling them? Many were small. Some were surprising large. Screen Shot 2017-03-22 at 11.27.01 AM

Moving slowly through traffic to go only part way downtown took one and half hours each way, so you’d think my car list would be longer. Okay, I’ll admit I didn’t save the first list properly on my phone, and I lost it. Sorry about that. This gives you a good idea, though, about vehicles popular in one of the fastest growing markets in the world.

More about our India trip to come…

–Kristin

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Posted by on March 25, 2017 in Travel

 

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Classic McDonald’s? (February Foodie)

IMG_0435Chicken McNuggets have been around for a while, so I guess we can call them a McDonald’s Classic. In the US our sauce choices were Honey, Barbeque, Honey Mustard, Sweet & Sour, and (I think) Hot Mustard. When I shared nuggets with my youngest son while in France, I couldn’t help but wonder if these were the “original” sauces they served in that country.

In the US now there are as many as nine sauces (depending on your location).

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What other sauces are out there?

TravelingMcDs.com is dedicated to finding the difference in McDonald’s around the world. Here are some of his additional sauce discoveries:

French Cheese (Johor, Malaysia), Singapore Curry Sauce (Singapore), Korean Chilli & Sesame Miso (Hong Kong)

Part of the joy in travel is trying out local foods. I’ve noticed with children in tow though, that they frequently crave something familiar. We are blessed to have time for both while living abroad.

What’s your favorite sauce? Found any other options while traveling?

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Kristin King is an author, speaker and co-founder of Future Hope Africa, a 501(3)(c). She is giving away a Kindle to celebrate the release of her 4th book. You have 9 more days to enter to win.

 

 

 
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Posted by on February 4, 2016 in Food

 

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Sunrise Over Port de Pollenca, Spain

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My blog used to have the subtitle “Night Writer,” so you might not expect me to catch the sunrise on my Majorcan Writers Retreat, but I did. That’s what I call an Unexpected Blessing when you’re headed to the restroom.

 
 

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Is the Honeymoon Over? (Holland Expat)

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A Lion McFlurry…what’s that?

The mantra of an expat sounds something like this: “Discover. Explore. Learn. Appreciate.”

…at least for the first 6 months. This week I’ve spent a little more time contemplating indicators that the honeymoon period of our family’s culture shock is over. How do I know? It’s the little things, like longing for a drive-thru and for gargantuan lots with wide parking spots free of charge. I’m not one to dwell on the negative, so here are a few other indicators. Writing them down should be cathartic and perhaps help rid me of their influence.

Instead of saying “This cold will only boost your immune system and make you stronger” and believing it, I’m secretly contemplating boycotting the international school where new germs are imported and dispersed every day and even more so after each holiday break.

Instead of learning more Dutch with enthusiasm, I am noting and discarding words and grammatical structures that will never become part of my lexicon.

Instead of cheering when I see the March Specials on the McDonald’s billboard, I am wondering how a country where restaurants stock fresh mint for the national hot infusion beverage missed the boat and has pistachio milkshakes instead of mint.

Not even tempted, not one little bit.

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Kristin King is an author who has been a bit under the weather and is closing her eyes to face the sun as often as possible.

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2015 in Living in Holland

 

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Wonder what she looks like?

Brut "Granny" cookies for the road at the Netherlands gas station.

“Brute Granny” cookies for the road at the Netherlands gas station.

 
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Posted by on February 7, 2015 in Brings a Smile, Travel

 

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Tops in Toilets (Congo Christmas Inspired)

Rwandan border facility

Rwandan border facility

For a squatter this Rwandan toilet at the border of Congo really wasn’t bad. The urinal disk worked as an air freshener and the view out the window as superb. Jokes about the porcelain throne abound. This elevated seating area fit that bill, though I had a small concern that the Congolese visitors of the rooftop next door who were handing their laundry might glimpse a white moon.

Squatter's view

Squatter’s view

The Minnesotan next to me on my flight home from Africa said his friends rate toilets on five criteria. Here they are in no particular order. The better toilet…

  1. …has a seat
  2. …has running water
  3. …has a door
  4. …has soap
  5. …has paper

If you’ve gone without any of these for a good length of time, you, like me, come to appreciate them like never before. To hear this list made me smile. I can delight in the smallest things and finding pleasure in simple ways is a great life practice highly recommended.

Of course, few toilets will top the one I saw inside an ambassador’s residence. In addition to the 5 Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 6.51.37 AMfundamentals, this accommodation had lotion, a fresh flower arrangement and a lovely fainting couch. Not only is this the top of the pops, it finally makes sense of the term “restroom.”

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Kristin King is an author, publisher and co-founder of the nonprofit Future Hope Africa which is based in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. She is from Kentucky (USA) and lives as an expat in Holland.

 
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Posted by on February 2, 2015 in Christmas in Congo, Travel

 

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Our Flight Did a 180 (Unexpected Blessings Series)

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 1.55.01 PMMoving is always included in the top ten stressors of life, a list including change of job, divorce, death of a loved one. At 37K feet, four hours into a transatlantic flight, during the dark quiet of night, our plane made a U-turn that was an Unexpected Blessing in so many ways that in the interest of time I will only list the top benefits thus far.

  • One of the best night’s rest I have had since before my husband’s last deployment to Afghanistan. I slept like vampire at high noon.
  • Time to write–no bags to pack, no house to organize, the children in the care of Dad with their new grandma-provided tablets in hand. No demands at all–beautiful.
  • A long soak in a hot bath reading  A Cast of Stones by Patrick W. Carr
  • Finding inspiration in a bar of soap (post)
  • Son befriending a Dutch student and learning about our new neighborhood, differences in the school system, and bits of teen intercultural insights as our family and 200+ others waited for hotel vouchers. Wish I could get my son to write a blog–or at least contribute content to mine.
  • Food Vendor Vouchers times six. I am normally so turned off by the prices in airports, I carry my own snacks–suddenly there are multiple use-em or lose-em vouchers with the airport my playground. Child says,”Mommy can I have one of those?” I glance at the $8 smoothie. Today’s response, “Of course, darling. Let’s see if everyone wants one.” Boy smiles, priceless.

(And the real kicker…)

  •  Upon texting our sponsor at the embassy we learned our family was not expected till the next day anyway. We would have arrived in Amsterdam after 26 hours of travel with 24 checked bags, a Golden Lab, our family of six’s carry-ons and personal items to no greeting, van or ride for the additional hours to our final destination.

 

Blessed beyond all expectation.

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Kristin King is an author, publisher and President of Future Hope Africa.

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2014 in Other

 

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