"Go on, who knows what awaits you there, it's all opportunities in this place. Only of course some opportunities are too big to be taken advantage of, as it were; there are things that fail for no reason other than themselves. Oh yes, it's amazing."
The most important religious and popular party on the calendar takes place on the second Thursday in January. Dressed in traditional white garb and strings of beads, Bahianas (of the uniquely Brazilian, slave-descendant religion Candomble) lead an 8-kilometer (5-mile) procession of similarly white-attired and perfumed devotees and partyers from Comércio to the (Catholic) Igreja do Bonfim for the washing (lavagem) of the church steps.
Children yelling hello and giving high-fives in the street
Sandals and shorts are appropriate everywhere
The conspicuous absence of police
The variety of fruit
$3 hostel beds in every city
"Same same but different"
Unashamed plagiarism of everything: movies, music, books, brands, storefronts, designer clothes, jewelry, etc. A Vietnamese friend put it perfectly when another girl copied my jack-o-lantern design: “Vietnam very good at copy.”
There’s always a motorbike around when you need one
People will sleep anywhere, at any time
Cows are community lawnmowers
No coins! (except Thailand)
Monks doing normal people stuff - using cell phones, riding bikes, surfing the Internet. Always funny.
Being hungry after every meal
Blatant dishonesty of the tourism industry - “yes yes, no problem my friend.”
Lonely Planet refusing to admit that some cities just plain suck. Beware of code words “charming” and “acquired taste,” which translate to “stay away.”
There’s always a motorbike around when you don’t need one
Hot girls are sometimes not girls. Brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “hot or not.”
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.”—Mark Twain
The reversible, fashion-forward Ho Chi Minh sandal. Way #12,823 that Ho Chi Minh outsmarted a vaster, richer, more militarized army. (No footprints.) (Also kinda sexy-looking.) (And eco-friendly - made from truck tires.) (I want the baby one!)