Sunday, December 28, 2014

Coffee and Company: The Year of the Cat

Thinking about where to travel, what to see in 2015?  New destinations?  New adventures?  
On the search I read the through the Los Angeles Time “Forecast for Travelers.”  It told me that airfares aren’t likely to come down, hotels may be increasingly family friendly, that a rental car may cost more and that I won’t be able to add pages to my (US) passport after 2015.  Useful predictions.  Except for the passport piece, not surprising.

But I was surprised to read that 2015 may be The Year of the Cat  - Not the Chinese zodiac calendar animal of the year but the little four legged furry feline, the one that is a popular pet with estimates of over 100 million kept as pets worldwide.  

Away form home and wishing for a little cuddle with a kitty?  Something to reduce the stress of the new place?  – look for a café that will offer coffee and a few minutes visiting with a cat.  Japan, New York, Paris, Vilnius, Madrid and Singapore  ( all are mentioned.  

Looking for others – check the article posted by CNBC.  You’ll find cafes and cats in Germany, Vienna, the UK and Budapest.

Will this new trend reach your city?

Sunday, December 14, 2014

When there's no Uber

In each new city there are things to learn.  How to unlock the door to our apartment or hotel room.  How to turn on the lights once you get in.  But it doesn’t stop there does it.  How to get around? to use their public transportation and if Uber isn’t available,  how to hail a cab. 

Must you be at a cab stand?   Can you wave one down on the street?  And if so, how do you know if a cab is available?  Light on?  Light off? Sometimes you need some advice from a friend.

And fortunately a friend recently sent the following short guide: 

In Paris, you (generally) must go to a taxi stand, get in, and instruct the driver.

In London you can hail a cab without going to a taxi stand -- but it is the custom to tell the driver through his window where you want to go and THEN get into the cab.

In Japan you do not open the doors, they open automatically!  And most drivers do not speak or understand English so if you do not speak Japanese it is wise to have your destination address written in Japanese on a card you can hand to the driver.  (That’s great advice in Hong Kong too).