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13 months
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  buenos aires

black rhino
Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania; Oct 23, 2004

This is where we put anything that doesn’t really belong somewhere else. You probably guessed that from the heading. Or maybe you thought that this section actually created new random comment on-the-fly every time you clicked it. That would be neat, but we don’t know how to do that. Sorry. (New stuff is in blue.)
  -Latest average dinner time:
    11pm is about right in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
  -Place with smallest rolls of toilet paper:
  -Graffiti that somehow made it into our everyday vocabulary:
    "So is your face" (on a building in Cape Town) - try it, it works as a comeback, or simply a confusing thing to say to distract your conversation partner
  -Place we felt most comfortable as a mixed-race couple: Paris (France)
  -Place where we got the most stares: Ljubljana (Slovenia)
  -Worst bug bite:
    Susan's allergic to mosquitoes, but New Zealand sand flies are even worse!
  -Biggest grocery store:
    Continente (Lisbon) - and it was ALL groceries - no random extra items like in Walmart or Costco
  -Weirdest thing found (several days later) stuck to the bottom of Grace's shoe:
    Naan bread (Oxford, U.K.)
  -City with the most American tourists:
    Rome (in September)
  -City with the most aggressive grannies:
    Lisbon (they'll push you out of the way to get their seat on the train)
-Most flights to get from point A to point B:
5 (Foz do Iguazu, Brazil -> Curitiba, Brazil -> Rio, Brazil -> Madrid, Spain -> Barcelona, Spain -> Istanbul, Turkey), total travel time: 31 hours
-Most modes of transportation within one 24-hour period:
8, from Ayvali, Turkey to Istanbul, Turkey (rental car, van, bus, taxi, overnight train, ferry, tram, feet)
  -Journeys leaving Grace with the least left in his stomach:
    #1: Ferry ride back from Heron Island, Australia (an unparalleled nightmare)
    #2: Plane ride (16-seater) from Wilson Airport, Nairobi to Entebbe, Uganda
    #3: Ferry ride back from Colonia, Uruguay to Buenos Aires, Argentina
  -Number of flights cancelled to-date:
    1 (out 53: London -> Marrakech)
  -Most uncomfortable means of transportation:
    Dromedaries (like camels) in the Sahara Desert
  -Item we toted around the world, but didn't use, not even once:
    Hi-tech (folds into a tiny square) pack towel
  -Most expensive glass of beer:
    $9 (Florence), bought by our friend Spencer at about 10am
  -Countries that have given Susan stomach trouble:
    Tanzania, South Africa, Vietnam, Argentina, Brazil, Turkey, Portugal, France,
and Morocco
  -Place where we got the sickest:
    Morocco (when we returned to Marakesh after our Sahara Desert journey, we couldn't leave the hotel for days)
  -Most number of stairs from our accomodation to the nearest restaurant:
    516 (Dubrovnik, Croatia)
  -Craziest around-the-world trip we've heard about:
    A couple just starting a 10-year tandem bike trip (funding by the U.N.)
  -Favorite new activities:
    Surfing! (We both took a lesson in Sydney, and loved it!)
    Lawn bowling in New Zealand - yea, baby!
  First place we showed up with no guidebook, no money & no idea where to stay:
    Ljubljana, Slovenia
  -Worst-smelling accomodation:
    Heron Island, Australia (it was bird-nesting season and windows needed to be open for heat and ventilation reasons, but dang it stunk)
  -Place with the most high-powered bathroom hand-dryers:
  -Place where hand-washed clothes dry the fastest:
    Sahara Desert
-Cheapest internet connection:

Vietnam - 3,000 dong/hour - that's over 5 hours for $1

Brazil - a close second; we found a place that was 1 real/hour (that's about 40 cents US), though we had to weather a small army of loud, game-playing boys

-Most embarrasing moment:

Touching a Cambodian monk's hand - women aren't supposed to (Susan)

Handing the ticket attendant 30,000 yen ($300) for a movie in Tokyo (Grace)

-Song we've heard most around the world:

Girl from Ipanema by Antonia Carlos Jobim, but performed by just about everybody (runner up: In Da Club, by 50 Cent)

-Country with the best town names:
Australia (we didn't visit any of these, but to quote Bill Bryson's Down Under, these “…all are real places: Wee Waa, Poowong, Burrumbuttock, Suggan Buggan, Boomahnoomoonah, Waaia, Mullumbimby, Ewlyamartup, Jiggalong and the supremely satisfying Tittybong.”)
-Biggest book read on the trip:
The Long Walk to Freedom (768 pages) by Nelson Mandela (Susan)
-Spookiest book read on the trip:
The Hot Zone by Richard Preston (both of us) - documents the true stories of several virus outbreaks (Ebola, etc.) in Africa and in the U.S. - a scary read at any time, but especially so if you happen to be in Africa
-Cutest thing we didn't buy (but it was a struggle):
Tiny puppy for sale on the beach in Salvador, Brazil - a bargain at 40 reis ($16)
-Best mass-production yogurt:
Danone Bio natural flavor with soja additive (found in Portugal & France so far)
  -Strangest foods eaten:
    warthog ribs (Cape Town)
    grilled chicken cartilage (Tokyo)
    tofu donut (Tokyo)
    kangaroo (Cape Tribulation, Australia)
    licking ant butt for a vitamin C booster (Daintree Rainforest, Australia)
    grilled chicken hearts (at a churrascaria in Rio, Brazil)
    pig's ear, feet and tongue in feijoada, a traditional black bean stew (Rio, Brazil)
    cashew juice - it's a fruit, after all (Salvador, Brazil)
    black pudding - a sausage made by cooking down the blood of an animal withmeat or fat until it is thick enough to congeal when cooled (Paris, France)
    goat's milk icecream with fresh berries (Rome, Italy)
    tripe Firenze - tripe (cow stomach lining) stewed with tomatoes and
cheese (Florence, Italy)
-Favorite new discovered food:

aloe plant yogurt, with aloe chunks (Japan)

lembu, a delicious pear-like fruit (Vietnam & Taiwan)

"cubano" - hotdog in a bun w/ guacamole, chopped tomatos, thousand
island dressing, banana chips, and bacon (Vina del Mar, Chile)

Danone Bio natural flavor yogurt w/ soja additive (found in Portugal & France)

    fresh figs, and we mean *really* fresh (Jelsa, Croatia)
    fresh lemon ricotta as dessert (Montone, Italy)
  -Cheapest ice cream cone:
    Budapest - 50 forints (about 25 cents US) if you buy it at the McDonalds
    take-away window, but 100 forints if you buy it inside
-Blandest food:

pastries, no matter how many we tried (Croatia)

    bread, even though everything else is so tasty (Italy)
  -Thing we’d like to have more of:
    Duct tape (we gave it away to some people trying to re-attach their muffler)
  -Smallest thing we're glad we brought:
    headphone splitter so we can both listen to the iPod
-Things we wish we hadn't brought:
    Outdated guide books

Flash attachment for camera (too big, and we just don't use it - sent home)

  -Thing we wish we hadn’t lost:
    Shoes (they were accidentally carted off in the back of a Land Cruiser at the end of our stay in Uganda)
  -Running score in the longest Gin Rummy game ever:
    Susan 3185 to Grace 1965 [update: we met a couple on the plane that had
been playing the same game for several years straight - we concede.]
© 2004-2012 susan & grace, all rights reserved

-- comments from readers --


Yes, I remember those cheap internet connections in Vietnam, however I also remember it seemed to take nearly five hours just to open up my email... maybe not such a bargain!!!

--Jo; Jun 24, 2006

We didn't have to wait that long, so hopefully the average speed is a bit better now. :)

--Grace & Susan; Jun 28, 2006


It is night duty in the land of the long white cloud in a small emergency department. the best time to catch up on your adventures. i love your randoms. Keep it coming

--Kawyn M. (New Zealand); Oct 23, 2005

[Kawyn was one of our companions for our first day of hiking into Bwindi Impenatrable Forest in Uganda to see the gorillas - way back at the beginning of our trip!]


i just read about your affinity for aloe yogurt and now my itch is like poison oak. i LOVE that stuff. i had forgotten all about it. i want aloe!

--Ben R. (San Francisco, CA, USA); Aug 12, 2005

We want aloe, too! Maybe we should import it!

--Grace & Susan; Aug 13, 2005