currylove

Posts Tagged ‘photography

This weekend, while I was battling the animals in urban Atlanta (mainly in the form of a frog that hitched a ride with me to the recycling center, at which point I then spent 20 minutes trying to figure out how to get it off my plastic bag so it didn’t get thrown into the bin and at the same time, not jump on me because I would’ve screamed like a banshee…), I had friends who were off on safari.

So because I’m insanely jealous that all I saw was a frog, and they saw some of the Big Five, I’m posting safari pictures of my own from a 2010 trip to Kruger.  This was one of my most favorite vacations ever, because my family went with me as well — we had the BEST time 🙂

To this day, my mom, dad, brother and aunt will say, “We can’t believe we saw all that!”

Enjoy! (click the first picture to open the gallery)

In honor of the O’s ending today and leaving me incredibly depressed – (no more shots of Hot Harry watching the games? No more amazing athletes? No more avoiding news sites during the day to avoid getting spoiled?? Sigh)…. here are some of my favorite pictures from my short time in London. See you in Rio!

(Click on the first pic for the gallery to open)

 

I feel like this picture sums up the night better than I can in words, but I’ll still try. We (my friend (C), who’s giving the ‘thumbs up’ in the pic and I) met the Brits on the tube. We chatted a bit on the train, and quite honestly, they didn’t seem like they wanted to talk to us, but  since they just happened to be alighting at the same stop as us, and we just happened to go to the same bar as them, we ended up spending a LOT of time together that night.

We started at a pub, where we all bought rounds of drinks – they boys were cute and fun to chat with and they were in London as part of the military brought in to help protect the games. So, I’m a sucker for military boys and when they told us they’re not treated as well as the guys (and girls) in the US military, I thought it was our duty to show some American hospitality. Honestly, I would’ve bought all the drinks if they let us!

BUT! Hurray for British chivalry and not letting us do that! (Because, come on, it’s fucking expensive with the conversion. I tried not to think about it the whole time and just pretended that that one £ equals 1 USD. According to my bank statement, it does not.)

Anyway, they ranged across ages and we had almost one fight, because boys will be boys, no matter where in the world they are.  But, I loved them because their crew leader kept telling me how pretty I was and how much he liked my face.  Yeah, I’m a sucker.  Whatever.

We drank at the pub, ate some crappy Chinese food, and then went to the club (where the shots were taken). SO MUCH FUN!! Music was awesome and Team Slovenia was there! They were the freaking tallest girls I’d ever seen. I totally wanted to take pictures, but they were drinking, having fun, hanging out… I didn’t think they’d want some random taking pictures of them like they’re in a zoo.

So we danced the night away. And drank the night away. We didn’t leave the club till 330am and didn’t realize we had no trains left to get home. The two boys who were left with us were super sweet and offered to walk us back to our hotel, which was literally an hour in the wrong direction from where they needed to be – we told them we’d be fine on our own, and they said: “Oh no! You can’t walk alone here! It’s LONDON! It’s not safe! If this was Somerset, you’d be ok.”

Which made me and C both giggle, because clearly they have no idea what it’s like to walk at night in the ATL. Although, honestly, neither do I because I refuse to do it for fear of being shot.

We parted ways in Trafalgar Square, and C and I weeble-wobbled our way home, getting lost and giggling the whole way back to our little room. We finally made it back at 430am. Yeah… we were not up so early the next day, but it was well worth it.

It was a chaste night, nobody made out… hell, actually, nobody made a move. Which is honestly refreshing and a little weird. I”m so used to “Nice tits! Wanna fuck?” that I get totally stunned when that’s not what’s said or what happens.

We kept in touch with them while we were there, and they even tried to get us into the stadium using their credentials. Nope, didn’t work out so well, but it was nice of them to even bother trying.  They even offered to take us site-seeing on Sunday, their day off. We declined because we had plans, but seriously – how nice is that!

It was really a great first night and welcome to London. They did the city proud 🙂

 

Walking through London at night, with our bodyguards

 

The quintessential phone booth picture from our 100mile hike back to the hotel. I didn’t realize there was someone in the last booth. Turned out there were two someones, engaged in a make out session, because of course. I stunned them with the flash. Haha!  😉

 

There were a few more random things I forgot to mention in the previous post….

5) I couldn’t tell if it was the locals or visitors who were engaged in amorous displays of love, but the PDA was everywhere. Seriously. EVERY-FUCKING-WHERE. On the tube, in the park, while walking in front of you on the way to the tube or the park, early in the morning, late at night, at the bar, near the bar, in the bar… it didn’t seem to matter where or what time of day. Maybe seeing all those girls walk around with no pants puts everyone in the mood?

In any case, I’m a single, jaded, bitter, angry fuck-all of a human at times and basically wanted to punch everyone in the face for putting a love that I don’t have on display for me to see. It’s like the Universe is saying: “Oh! You dated a British guy and were supposed to be here with him? LOOK AT WHAT IT WOULD HAVE BEEN LIKE! It would’ve been awesome. You could’ve been loved up all over the city. You could’ve held hands on the tube! You could’ve kissed in Trafalgar Square!  But nope. You’re SINGLE. Sucks for you, CurryLove! SUCKS.FOR.YOU.”

Or you know, it’s just me being sensitive. Whatever.

6) The other thing I meant to discuss is the London love for Potato Wedges. Is this an overall British thing? An English thing? WHY do people choose to buy wedges of potatoes for a snack? Why are these sold instead of just chips (fries)? Aren’t wedges and chips(fries) the same thing, just different cuts of the potato? WHY have I put so much thought into this??

It’s strange, really. We were in Hyde Park to watch the games and there were food trucks everywhere. Lots of food trucks that had lots of meat (example pic below). And lots of people really like all that meat… But I am not one of them. I’m a veggie-eater only. So my options were limited since I didn’t want to have “Britain’s Best Gourmet Burgers.” Luckily, there was a Mexican food truck. And at that truck, I had two options: a veggie burrito (which honestly didn’t sound very good) or Potato Wedges with Cheese.  I chose the cheesey wedges.   Ok… I thought it was going to be the gooey melty cheese we get here. No. It was not. It was shredded some-type-of-cheese on top of wedges.  And since the wedges weren’t hot, the cheese didn’t melt, which essentially meant it just fell off the top of the wedges as we walked back to our seats. Not the best thing I’ve ever had. Not even close.

You know the other option for toppings for the wedges? Refried beans and sour cream… you know what that’s usually on top of??? NACHOS.  Why did they take YUMMY Mexican food and make it … not yummy English food? WHY?  And who actually wants beans on top of their potatoes? I don’t understand. At all.

On the bright side of all of this, the guy serving in the truck was incredibly fucking hot. I have no pictures to prove it, but just trust. He was.

 

Watching Andy Murray play on the BIG screen at Hyde Park

I tried to get my friend to pose with her mouth open underneath this sign, but she refused. Spoil sport.

 

 

 

 

I’m baaaaaaaaaaaack!

Not necessarily happily, though. If I had my way, I’d still be in London, still soaking in the rare sunny days and not getting my layering correct so that I’m either too hot and sweaty or too cold and shivering, still reveling in the Olympic atmosphere that was everywhere, and still enjoying the chants of “Team GB!!” all around.

A few random things I noticed while there:

1) British girls love to not wear pants.  Apparently, wearing a long shirt (they ARE NOT dresses) that barely covers the cha-cha area, and then donning black (always black. Always.) panty-hose is de-rigueur these days. Um… TIGHTS ARE NOT PANTS.  They are sheer pieces of fabric designed to help you stay warm, under dresses. THEY ARE NOT TO BE WORN ALONE. WITHOUT SOMETHING COVERING THEM. LIKE A DRESS.

Seriously, Brits, WTF? I don’t want to see the pantyhose thigh-line that doesn’t get covered. I don’t want to think of how you sit down at a restaurant or on the tube, in just tights, your nether regions being barely protected and how I might sit there after you. And what about when you get a run in those tights? Then what? Do you just take them off and stroll around London in your semi-long-ish shirt, that is still not a dress???   (Ha! I’m not the only one who feels this way.)

2) They take their cycling seriously. Super seriously. Not just in the Olympics, but in the bike lanes too. They will mow your ass down if you dare walk in the “bike only” lane. While I understand it’s bike-only (and no, this didn’t happen to me, but saw it plenty of times), given the influx of visitors from all over the world, you think they’d cut some slack on certain things. Yes, it’s annoying to have all these tourists in your country that don’t know the rules, I totally understand that, but is there a need to be so unpleasant about it? I think not.  I knew this from ‘dating’ British, but I didn’t realize it applied to the whole country. Now it totally makes sense how he had money for fixing his bike but not for taking me to dinner. Totally.

3) The Brits are among the most self-deprecating, self-flagellating group of people, ever.  The interviews by the BBC after the events were sort of amazing. The athletes can barely breathe, they just competed and won/lost/lost out on a gold by seconds/whatever, and the BBC pundits ask questions like: “Are you disappointed in yourself?” Listen, you little twat – they just competed in the Olympics. Yes, they’re upset if things didn’t go well, but don’t lead them on with those questions! And then… the responses. Most Americans would say something to the effect of : “Yeah, I’m disappointed — I tried my best, it just wasn’t good enough today.”

The Brits? You get this: “I’m so sad. I let myself down. My family down. All that training was a waste of time. I could’ve been spending time with my family instead of training for a match I would lose.”

Holy fuck, man. You didn’t kill someone. You just didn’t place in your event. It’s ok.  Really, it’s ok. (I tried to find this interview but couldn’t – if I find it, will update with a link. It was with the BBC’s Phil Jones and I don’t remember the runner, but it was in the Athletics competitions.)

On a personal note – I knew this from ‘dating’ British as well. We were chatting one night, and he, in a heavily drunken state made reference to the size of his “member” not being that impressive. And how I should know that up-front. Well, alrighty then. I mean, sure, it’s better to not lie about it, but isn’t that just odd? And totally so opposite of what an American boy would say, which would be something to the effect of: “Yeah, I need Magnums.”  (And no, it wasn’t impressive. Neither were his moobs.)

4) The stupid Olympics ticketing system was a piece of shit. We tried, with NO luck, to get tickets to anything, anywhere. You know what error message we kept getting? “Tickets for this event will be released on June 8.” IT’S AUGUST.  It was so annoying to be in Hyde Park, watching Andy Murray and Serena Williams play on the big screens (obviously, not each other), and see empty seats in the stands. We would’ve waited in queue for hours if we had to, but no. They decided that they only way people would get tickets was online, via a system that crashed continuously. Even the locals were complaining as they’d all had the same issues we had.

For all those little points, everyone was super proud and patriotic, regardless of what country they were from, and everyone was really welcoming. We had an amazing time – the city was clean and prepared for the tourists, they had hundreds of volunteers, all easily found in bright pink, who would answer any stupid question we had, and the signage everywhere was just fantastic – we couldn’t have got lost if we tried. I am so glad I had the experience. Will post pictures soon 🙂

For now, here’s London Bridge with the O-rings – a picture I took on our last day. Just awesome.

 

 

 

 

 

I’m tired of complaining about boys and life, so I thought I’d share some pictures of my very first safari ever. I was lucky enough, upon landing in Africa for the first time, for my coworker to say:  “I don’t need you at work just yet – go on safari first.” She (who is reading this) really helped me fall in love with the continent (at least the southern part), and we’ve had MANY adventures together.  🙂

I went to the Delta and stayed at Oddballs Camp in the Moremi Game Reserve – and if I knew then what I know about safaris and animals, I may have never gone. Ignorance is bliss!  I also didn’t know how lucky I was to be going to this amazingly beautiful place… I’d never heard of it before, but know now that it is one of the top and rare safari destinations in the world.  I hope you like these… the camera was just a Nikon Coolpix. Nothing special… I’ve had camera envy since then. I should’ve invested, but I never in my wildest dreams thought I’d travel the way I do. I know I’m lucky, even though I may bitch about it sometimes.

Anyway, enjoy the pics 🙂

The delta from the puddle jumper plane we were in – flew low enough to see elephants and giraffes from the air

The mokoros – wood canoes that take you through the vast water system. Hands and feet inside at all times, unless you want a croc to take you under….

The view from the mokoro – it’s beautiful, but deadly. Right below are hippos, snakes, crocs… if you get flipped, say goodbye.

A journey of giraffes 🙂 (Which leads me to my friend’s favorite joke: If a group of giraffes is called a journey, what’s a group of buffalo? …. an REO Speedwagon. HA HA HA. 80s/safari humor, all at once)

 

Peek-a-boo!

This poor buffalo had died the year before – our guide had seen the death/kill.

My version of Monet’s Water Lilies

A smaller animal, but just as pretty

We were REALLY close to these zebras. Know why they didn’t run? Because there were LIONS around that morning. And we’re traipsing through the bush like they won’t eat us. We got off the canoe, stepped on shore, and heard the lions roar. I almost peed my pants… we were able to get so close to the prey animals, because if they ran, the lions would’ve chased them. I was really scared that morning… the guide made SO much fun of me for being so worried*, but holy crap. I thought we were never going to make it back to camp.

Sunset

The camp’s sign 🙂

I paid $250 a night to sleep in a tent. It’s on steps to keep the animals out. Let’s just say I didn’t sleep well.

Elephant from above

*Ok, so when I first got to camp, I asked the director if lions came to our little island. He kind of smiled and said no. I realized on our last day he was lying, because we had lions in camp that morning that the guides scared off before most of us were awake. So, we get to the other island to walk around and I’m scared shitless of walking on this island with hungry lions. So the guide teased me A LOT for being so scared and then tells this ridiculous story about his cousin: His cousin was a guide for another camp, up the river. He’d taken a group out for breakfast in the bush, and had to ‘take care of business’  and went behind a (real) bush. He was gone for awhile, so the tourists went to go find him… A FUCKING LION WAS EATING HIM. The tourists freaked out, got in the range rover (they were at a much more expensive camp than me) and promptly got stuck in the river trying to cross it. They were found hours later when the safari camp started to worry about why they weren’t back yet.  AND YET! He made SO MUCH FUN OF ME FOR BEING SCARED.

Hmph.

Oh, also, my guide’s grandfather died when a hippo gored him while fishing in his mokoro.

Seriously… if I’d known any of this before I went, I may have never gone.  And I would’ve missed out on the experience of a lifetime. It’s one of my favorite memories from my travels, and one of my favorite trips. It definitely holds a special place in my heart. 🙂

Watched some Norwegian (I think) band play with local musicians at the Mtoni Palace. Completely surreal watching this concert in the ruins of an old palace.

 

 

The Anglican Church in Stone Town, with a mosque just behind it. The church was built on the site of the old slave trade. We went Sunday, so there were services - I couldn't get close to the altar where the old slave whipping post used to be. It was incredibly sad.

 

The chains that held the slaves. This was underneath the church (that was later built on top of the slave trade area) - I'm 5'2", and I had to stay stooped. There was a single slat to let light in, the opposing opening went to the sea. I had slight claustrophobia and I knew I'd be getting out. I cannot imagine what it must have been like for them.

 

The Slave Monument outside the church

 

Heartbreaking

 

A dhow in the House of Wonders - the middle opening is where slaves were held

 

A dhow coming in at sunset

 

Homemade flotation devices. This kid was awesome.

 

Eating at the night market near Stone Town - yummy food, great people and really nice chefs! There was a family that was on holiday, and they took the same route through the market my friend and I did - the wife and daughter would not eat anything. I will never understand people like that - how can you go somewhere so amazing and not even try the food???


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