Consume & Update: Gulf States, Piano Stairs and Home Again

A week at sea leaves Lindsay's RSS reader mighty, mighty full. Blame the straight day of transit yesterday for this late posting.

Don't forget about the Middle East!

Gary Arndt and AmateurTraveler.com presented a podcast this week about traveling to the gulf states that gives us an ear into a conversation on countries often left off the itinerary. I've only used the gulf states as transit points and scapegoats for complaining induced by the heat/humidity dual attack. Gary chats about the basics you probably aren't savvy to. It's the kind of conversation one would overhear in a hostel common room. Whets the travel tongue a tad.

The 20 Best Travel Books of the 20th Century

I'm a sucker for these travel book lists, and here's another one from the Times in the UK, one which immediately verified itself as quality with the inclusion of 19. The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton. Some of the others from the list that I hope to read in the future are:

14. The Silk Road: Beyond The Celestial Kingdom by Colin Thubron (1989)

11. In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin (1977)

4. The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux (1975)

Stairs + Piano

Intelligent Travel posted a video last week by Volkswagen, whom is apparently interested in either fun or fitness...or both (and since I'm now a VW owner, I guess that means I need to support my make). The objective here was to observe whether passers-by prefer fun stairs to a boring escalator. Volkswagen better not make sidewalks into xylophones, or they may find themselves out a few customers.

de Botton on Airline Food

Eva Holland of World Hum posted an excerpt by one of my favorite writers, Alain de Botton, this week on airline food and a refreshing manner in which its quality could be judged.

Naturally airline food is dismal when we compare it to what we’d get on the ground but this is to miss the point. The thrill of airline food lies in the interaction between the meal and the odd place in which one is eating it. Food that, if eaten in a kitchen, would have been banal or offensive, acquires a new taste in the presence of the clouds. With the in-flight tray, we make ourselves at home in an unhomely place: we appropriate the extraterrestrial skyscape with the help of a chilled bread roll and a plastic tray of potato salad.

Other Discoveries

Getting a Job When You Return (Day 29 on AlmostFearless.com)

Travel Blog Exchange Expo set for June 26-27, 2010 in New York City

Update on Nomadderwhere

I returned yesterday from a quite enjoyable cruise along Baja California in the choppy, foggy Pacific where we ported in Puerto Vallarta, Mazatlan and Cabo San Lucas. Expect some practical and entertaining posts in the coming future about cruise travel and Mexico with videos and photos galore. Apologies for the untimely posting of this week's Consume & Update, and I promise a higher level of quality for next week (when I won't be stranded at sea with $.50/minute internet fees).