End of July 2014, marks 2 full months into my 2014 journey. So far I have traveled to Turkey, Greece, Germany and Switzerland.
As much as the fact that traveling opens my mind, my heart and my eyes to new culture, new thoughts, new beliefs and new experiences. Traveling also makes me reflect and appreciate what I already have and allows me to share with others my past experiences.
The word “Compare” can be viewed in different ways… Compare can lead to degradation. Compare can cause inspiration. Compare can cause insecurity. Compare can create motivation. Compare can create competition.
Coming from Toronto, Canada – I am constantly reminded all the goodness that Toronto offered – which I have taken for granted!
The saying, “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone” – is very true.
This time “compare” has made me sentimental and home sick!!
Spending 25 days in Greece with a low to moderate budget for food led to limited offerings. Gyros can be found for 1.5€. Moussaka is filling and delicious. Greek Salad. Eggplant Salad. Souvlakis. Kebaps. All delicious in moderation, when that is all you find in every restaurant… I craved variety. However, it was difficult to find cuisine from other cultures within the touristic citiess of Greece. Aside from the smattering of Italian pasta and pizzas – I had a hard time.
I cannot be in a monogamous relationship with Greek food or really any specific food in that matter!!! I’m SORRY! I need variety. I have been spoiled rotten. I suppose if I really really have to be in a monogamous relationship with only one type of cuisine, it will probably be one of the Asian countries.
Hands down though, Toronto with its diverse population has lots to offer. This includes restaurants with chefs from around the world, cooking cuisines from around the world. All these dishes offered at different price points to suit everyone’s need. Also, I rarely have to travel far to fulfill my desire. Some of my favourite meals from Toronto include the following…
CREDIT CARD USE
Back in Toronto I’m know to my friends that I pay for every purchase with my Visa card. This is how I accumulate my frequent flyer miles and eventually pay for my flights. I haven’t been able to do what I like to do while in Europe.
Cash is King when I’m outside of Toronto. It was hard to find businesses who would accept credit card as payment without a surcharge in Greece. Even the hotel in Athens wanted a 5% surcharge if I was to pay with my Visa card. While in Germany, the only places that would accept my credit card was at the supermarkets and the offices of Deutsche Bahn. Restaurants in Hamburg only wanted cash.
Do they not understand I want to collect points?!
Switzerland, Germany and Greece respect Sundays as a family day, a day of rest. Just about all the shops are closed for business with the exception of some restaurants and some souvenirs shops in tourist areas. Churches are open though!
In Toronto, businesses are open! Despite the reduced hours of operations in Toronto, most shops are open, especially in the downtown area. Though I still remember the day when the City had to vote whether to allow shopping malls to be open, in addition to those which receive the most attention from tourists.
If you are visiting Toronto, if all else fails, Chinatown will always have a shop and a restaurant open for you and your money.
When I know my first day in a city is a Sunday, I either plan to do something extremely touristic or enjoy what nature has to offer. This way I do not have to worry about hours of operation.
Food wise, I’m eating everything non-Turkish while I’m in Western Europe. This is in preparation for my return to Turkey in a few weeks’ time. Funny enough, when I return to Turkey, I won’t have to worry about the Sunday rule. The ringing of church bells will then be replaced by the call for prayer.
This exchange reminds me life is about finding balance.