Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Five Foot Way of Georgetown Penang

The Five Foot Way of Georgetown Penang
Georgetown Penang in Malaysia is one of best preserved colonial cities in Asia. The city is dominated with shophouses from the 19th and early 20th century in varying states of conservation.

George Town Covered Walkway

Every shophouse has a five foot way (kaki-lima), which is a sheltered walkway in front of each shop front. As the name suggests the walkways are five foot across, providing shelter from the tropical heat (and downpours).

This style of architecture and also be found in Malacca, Singapore and other Asian cities.

George Town Covered Walkway Ramps

The shops are lined up continuously so the shelter runs uninterupted between streets. However the height of the shop floors can vary, so it is never an even walking surface.

George Town Covered Walkway Bike Parking

The walkways of the five foot way are a mixture of private and public space. Business activities spill out onto the walkways, from cafes and restaurants to wholesalers and metalworkers.

George Town Covered Walkway Industry

In front of private homes motorbikes are usually parked in the way. It is not uncommon to find the shop front open to reveal the living room of the home.

George Town Covered Walkway Open Gutter

Thankfully the historical city centre became a UNESCO world heritage site in 2008. So while many shophouses are slowly decaying in the tropical heat, many of the shophouses are being conserved and restored.

George Town Covered Walkway Shrines


Thursday, October 29, 2009

KIbale National park Uganda

KIbale National park Uganda
 Have breakfast and proceed to Fort portal.Gorilla safari  Have a tour at the ‘Amebere ga Nyinamwiru’ caves to see the stalactites and the stalagmite.  Then drive to Kibale National park   for supper and over night at Ndali lodge, Kanyankyu tourist centre or in Fort portal you can spend your night at Remora view guest ...

L'appel lance parle maire de Saint-Loup Les Luchons : la révélation ! [Article sponsorisé]

L'appel lance parle maire de Saint-Loup Les Luchons : la révélation ! [Article sponsorisé]
Article sponsorisé Ces dernières semaines, vous avez pu lire un article sur le blog ainsi que sur internet qu'un yéti aurait été aperçu dans les Pyrénées, dans un petit village, autour...

Tomate Joyeuse vous laisse découvrir son univers : ses diaporamas, ses surfs, ses découvertes sur Michael Jackson.

I’ve started a new blog!

I’ve started a new blog!
In a random fit of inspiration this afternoon (perhaps brought on by the terrible weather) I started a new blog. It’s different to this one in that it’s meant to be interactive, and its success depends on the participation and contributions of readers. The design is very basic and pared down. It’s called “I Wish I [...]

In a random fit of inspiration this afternoon (perhaps brought on by the terrible weather) I started a new blog. It’s different to this one in that it’s meant to be interactive, and its success depends on the participation and contributions of readers.

The design is very basic and pared down. It’s called “I Wish I Had Known

The blog invites people to write in about lessons, advice and tips they wish they had known when they were younger. Eventually, I hope the blog becomes a collective pool of shared wisdom, where readers can stumble upon life lessons that they maybe never thought of sharing with their families, friends, children…

New blog

I want as many people to come to the blog as possible, so please feel free to share the blog’s URL with as many people as possible! The full link is:


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Travel News and Deals - August 11, 2009 - Alternatives to Museums, Cheap Volunteering Experiences, Buenos Aires Beef, Visiting Ghana

Travel News and Deals - August 11, 2009 - Alternatives to Museums, Cheap Volunteering Experiences, Buenos Aires Beef, Visiting Ghana
Travel news and deals of interest to YOU from around the Web compiled and edited by

If you know any great travel stories or tips we all should read, please send it to me and I will put an acknowledgment of your contribution in the posting.

5 Reasons Living in a Less Developed Country is Better Than Living At Home

As quoted from the article, "Growth comes through new experiences." If you do decide to live in a different country, which I talked about in a previous post, here are some excellent reasons why. For those of who think this is only for single people, this is a family of 6 that has been living and traveling abroad for years.

Museums are Overrated: Here Are 8 Alternatives

Who said culture is located only in a museum? Culture not only comes in the florescent lighted halls in a large building but on the streets, anywhere where people can be found and live their lives. Museums just seem like the 'proper' place for culture. Look around and find it all around you.

At Louvre, Many Stop to Snap but Few Stay to Focus

Directly related to the previous post, in defense of the Louvre, I believe the stat is that if you look at every available item in the Louvre for just 30 seconds, it would take you 2 months. So people come to large museums to see what they want to see, get in and get out. It is really not practical to spend a whole lot of time looking at things you have no interest in, or to try to see everything.

Cheap Volunteering Experiences: How to Find Volunteer Programs That Suit the Financially Challenged

I've read about programs that charge thousands of dollars to send you somewhere to volunteer anywhere from a week to a month. Something about that just doesn't feel right. Should you have to pay large amounts of money to help someone? The organizations use the money to fund programs to get more volunteers so I understand the need to collect money. Fortunately if you don't want to go that route there are alternatives to spending the cash and still helping your fellow man, woman or child.

Tweet Your Way To Cheaper Airfare

Are you on Twitter? My twitter name is @brianepeters. Follow me! I know I need to post it prominently on the blog but when I started it was more of an experiment. I'm sticking with it, so I'll push it more.

Most companies have Twitter pages that they use to post special deals and information not available to anyone else. If you have a special or particular airline, cruise line, car rental agency, whatever, sign up for their Twitter page.

The Two Faces of Ghana

Whenever there is an article about an African country, I promote it to get people to think about visiting the Continent. I visited Ghana a few years ago and it was a great experience. I encourage everyone, not just folks of African descent, to take a look at Ghana and the West Coast of Africa. Africa is not just Egypt and Morocco.

Virgin Atlantic Safety Video
Last week it was Virgin America, this week it is sister company Virgin Atlantic. I saw this video on the way from London to New York and it had my attention the entire time. I have never said that I have enjoyed a flight safety video before, but I guess there is a first time for everything.

Frommer's Favorite Experiences from Buenos Aires

I keep hearing stories about the fantastic beef that is served in Argentina. As a hard core carnivore, I keep thinking about flying down and eating my way through Buenos Aires for a week.

New York Food Trucks Go Gourmet

When people come to New York they always ask where to eat. I would contend that some of the best food experiences come from the food trucks you see all around the city. I'm not talking about the simple hot dog and pretzel carts. I'm talking about the trucks that can drive from street corner to street corner, serving up all kinds of food. Indian to Italian to Mexican, anything you can get at a sit down restaurant you can get from trucks. Tastes just as good and much cheaper in price.


Monday, October 26, 2009

New Ride Coming To Disney Hollywood Studios?

New Ride Coming To Disney Hollywood Studios?


Saturday, October 24, 2009

More Nominees for the Republican Rogues Gallery

More Nominees for the Republican Rogues Gallery
A number of Republicans embarrassed themselves and their party during President Obama’s speech on health care reform to the joint session of Congress tonight.

The most egregious example was the arrogant buffoon from South Carolina, Joe Wilson (above, center, at the infamous moment), who shouted, “You lie!” when Obama said illegal immigrants would not be covered under health care reforms being proposed.

For the record, several non-partisan organizations have researched the proposals and said that Obama’s statement is correct. So Wilson is not just a boor, he is an ignorant boor.

But other Republican members held up signs and made derogatory comments during the speech … comments loud enough to be heard and reported by the media ... behavior that was reprehensible and unprecedented.

These are the same smarmy hypocrites who demand a bipartisan approach to this issue in the media, then tell constituents at their town hall meetings that their mission in life – well, for this year anyway – is to defeat “Obama-care.” Among others, that would be Republican Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa (above).

Senator Jim Demint, also a Republican and, like Congressman Wilson, is also from South Carolina, is on the record saying that Republicans should defeat Obama on this health care issue, because it would damage him politically.

In other words, screw all you people who can’t get or can’t afford health insurance. And screw all the rest of us who are paying twice what we should be paying for whatever health insurance we do have. Politics, not us, is what’s really important to Demint and the others of his Republican ilk.

And what a miserable, petty, selfish, callous, pathetic bunch they are, too.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Ottawa River

Ottawa River

Jersey Iggy viewing Ottawa River from behind the Parliament Building. See the small islet over there? This river is shared by the Canadian provinces of Quebec and Ontario.

Miss Iggy sailed through Ottawa River on board the "Lady Dive" amphibian tour bus!


Birds Of Prey Show At Jurong Bird Park

Birds Of Prey Show At Jurong Bird Park


Botulimic Toxin Type A

Botulimic Toxin Type A

Dr. Leslie Ortner will answer all your questions about this non- invasive treatment.

Just call for an appointment :


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Travel Photo: The Sultan Abdul Samad Building, Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia

Travel Photo: The Sultan Abdul Samad Building, Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia
Location: Kuala Lumpur - Malaysia
Photo: The Sultan Abdul Samad Building

The Sultan Abdul Samad Building Clock Tower

The clock tower of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Travel Photo Gallery: Kuala Lumpur Photo Gallery

To Spa or Not to Spa

To Spa or Not to Spa
That is NOT even a question!

Vermont Vibes Spa Disclaimer: Please understand that a pure, "spa experience" that reflects the photos you see which describe a spa experience cost money! The facilities cost money, the wide array of treatments and their trained practitioners cost money, and to be able to operate them at resorts for day spa packages without the guarantee of hotel accommodations cost money as well! I will put it in terms Vermont Vibers can relate too - if you buy the cheap hiking boots or the cheap air mattress, they break and pop before you even have the chance to break them in. Cheap spa packages completely destroy the whole concept of a spa experience. Plus, if everyone had a spa day whenever they wanted, the experience would be dumb. Too many people, loud people, not enough cucumbers, and an annoying experience. That is counterproductive to the whole purpose of a spa experience.

With that said, I highly suggest all Vermont Vibers take the splurge and have a spa day! Save a couple hundred bucks per person and treat yourself to a day living on the other side of your daily routine. You will love it and then will be committed to budgeting for it so a spa experience becomes a cost item, not a complaint.

The Mitch and I did it!!! The weekend before The Mitch started both work and grad school we took to getting pampered. Every week is like the start of some new chaos for me, so the timing made no difference for my spa-ness. We booked our spa day at Stoweflake a few weeks prior so we wouldn't have to deal with any stress of not being able to have the treatment we wanted on the day we wanted.

Friday night we each did one of our favorite foot spas while watching Netflix (we give Netflix 100 stars - LOVE IT!). This way we classified our feet for being able to step foot into a Vermont spa and it got us in the mood. Saturday we took a hike, did garden work, and spent quality time out in the Vermont outdoors. Saturday night we listened to the spa channel on internet radio, made a very healthy dinner, and went to bed early so we could fully embrace our spa experience. Sunday morning we woke early, took a power walk, and had a healthy breakfast. These simple choices of making our weekend focused on our health and well being cost us no money to this point and we already felt wonderful and relaxed. We were ready to take it up a level and really indulge...

Off to Stowe - we arrived at Stoweflake several hours before our treatments so we could enjoy the facilities. We both enjoyed the lavish changing rooms and I rocked the cucumbers! We each spent quiet time by ourselves before meeting in the coed spa room. In addition to cucumbers, I enjoyed spending time in the hot tub, steam room, and my personal long time favorite - the sauna. There was no one in there and I had the whole facility to myself which was absolutely fantastic. The Mitch got a little lost in the men's area, but managed to find his way to the coed area where we both enjoyed the waterfall pool and then languished in the mineral bath. We both rested and neglected our reading on the lounge chairs and taking photos until it was time for our treatments...

The Mitch had the Men's Eucalyptus Wrap and I opted for the Reiki. Both treatments were amazing an while I know I should explore other treatments in the future, I really love reiki. The Mitch is a little more adventuresome than me - maybe he needs the Mountain Man Massage. Following our treatments, we both spent more time in the changing rooms for more hot tubbing, steam rooming and of course the sauna! I then fully enjoyed the women's shower facilities (The Mitch said he enjoyed the men's as well) and we met back in the lobby to head off for a spa dinner. After a cleansing weekend like that, the only food I can imagine eating is sushi, so we went to the Hani Hibachi Japanese Steak House in Stowe (The Mitch gets the steak - he is anti-sushi - sigh). Perfect ending to our spa weekend.

Spa Suggestions:

There are multiple levels of spa experiences in Vermont, but my suggestions for a true "spa" indulgence include:

The Spa at Stoweflake - With a side entrance solely to the spa and all of the facilities, Stoweflake is divine for a full day of spa and their treatment selections are fun to choose from and include fascinating options such as sound therapy.

Topnotch Resort & Spa - Located on it's own island of sorts deep in the mountains of Stowe, I would have to say an overnight experience would definitely enhance a spa day if for nothing else but to see the sun both set and rise in this glorious mountain notch.

The Spa at Equinox - While the treatment lists are not as extensive and diverse as those in Stowe, the Equinox completes the gentile Vermont image of a sprawling estate with the spa in its own building and is certainly the day spa outing option for those in Southern Vermont.

Spa at The Essex - Moving its way into Vermont's premier spa options with an amazing marketing force, The Essex offers some intriguing spa options with a unique culinary twist. I haven't checked out The Essex beyond large events, but it's definitely offering some performances on Vermont's spa channel.

Stepping Stone Spa & Wellness Center - I'm always intrigued by the Northeast Kingdom's twists on the rest of Vermont's intriguing experiences. And the spa department does not disappoint. I've come across the Stepping Stone Spa & Wellness Center and thought I would share. While I haven't been there in person, it does seem to offer the unique spa experience that is in line with the magical Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.

In closure, while the Vermont Vibes Blog is dedicated to backroad experiences in Vermont (including those at the Charlotte Farmhouse), sometimes a pampering is necessary to your well being no matter where you live and it's always an eye opener to see what the folks I pass in the Vibe spend their money on!

Love and Light!

Difficult times in the U.S. of A

Difficult times in the U.S. of A
To briefly paraphrase / plagiarize / Internetize Jon Stewart of The Daily Show, last week it seemed like things were getting a bit better for New Yorkers … Over the weekend the weather was beautiful, Central Park was full, mentions of protests on Wall Street had simmered down and Obama had survived his first [...]

To briefly paraphrase / plagiarize / Internetize Jon Stewart of The Daily Show, last week it seemed like things were getting a bit better for New Yorkers … Over the weekend the weather was beautiful, Central Park was full, mentions of protests on Wall Street had simmered down and Obama had survived his first 100 days in office and was doing reasonably well, according to the Pew Research Center at least.

daily-showDescribing an afternoon ‘disco blading’ through Central Park in his newly-cut ‘jean shorts’ Stewart says: “I gotta tell you, I really felt, you know what, we’re about to turn this thing around.”
Female presenter: “This is a FOX. NEWS. ALERT. The White House now declaring a public health emergency to deal with the threat of the SWINE FLU…” (You’ll understand the emphases if you listen to her talk)
The Silver Fox: “Breaking news. A fast moving new strain of the flu, and at this hour, the death toll is rising.” Another correspondent asks, is this a pandemic?
[Cut to Jon Stewart, lip stuck out next to a picture of a pig with the banner: SNOUTBREAK '09.]
Jon Stewart: “MOTHERF—!! A pandemic. Seriously?! You’re adding a pandemic?”

What I love about Stewart is how beautifully he captures the feelings of so many people with his “fake” nightly newscasts. It’s true. The mood of New York has improved slightly since the tremendous economic crash last year. The fact that several New York City children had contracted a mild form of the swine flu (several more have been found since but none have died) was really horrible. Just when we thought it couldn’t get worse, it did.

And then the Defense Force decided to do this:

It was quite possibly, the stupidest thing the Defense Force could’ve done – flying Air Force One low over Manhattan without making sure that the city, the Mayor and residents were informed on some level. Of course, people panicked and thousands self-evacuated their buildings. The spectre of 9/11 is still very present. Whenever I am evacuated from a building (last Tuesday at the BBC offices on 34th Street was the most recent incident) I think back on that time, and I’m not even a New Yorker. I can’t imagine what must have gone through the minds of people who saw the plane fly low over the skyscrapers of Manhattan. I accompanied the BBC correspondent on this a shoot near Ground Zero which was later added on to the 6pm news segement (Here is the story without the correspondent).

My day at the BBC also included packing some dust masks, AA batteries and equipment from Brooklyn and rushing it over to a correspondent who was about to leave for a flight to Mexico City. The BBC has done great coverage of the story as its developed, I much prefer them to network news, which I find quite panicky.

Talking of work, I also just submitted a freelance story for Women’s eNews, which you can find here: Visco Sets Her Own Pace in 9-Month Run Across U.S. That was a fun story to write!

Last weekend was really nice … on Saturday we celebrated Spring Festival at Sakura Park outside I-House in beautiful weather, and on Sunday we headed out to Central Park for a picnic and a very lazy afternoon. I really needed the break … most of this week has been spent working on our magazine, which will go to the printers on Sunday, and our project for Global Post on remittances, which is due on Monday. Hopefully after that, it’s the home stretch! At any rate it looks like I’ll have a Master’s degree in 2 1/2 weeks time! That’s just craziness.

So, that’s just a short update of where I am right now … lots of things happening but I’m going with the flow and doing what I (think) I do best, which is obsess over details and work on several million things at once. Tonight: a film screening of sex trafficking in New York City, tomorrow; work for the Alumni Office (more OCVD), time coding an interview with Arabic-speaking Yemenis, hopefully helping with website design, trying to write an overview for Global Post, sorting out interviewing for the weekend, etc etc etc. I’m incredibly excited to see the fam in a few weeks …

Missing you all! Lots of love Jax

p.s. I leave you with a strip of one of the best comics out there …