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Amira last won the day on January 30 2017

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  1. I’ve seen incorrect or partial information from the Points Guy and other websites, especially about corona restrictions. Honestly, it’s impossible to keep up on every country with the shifting requirements and travel bans. But most countries have websites with current travel restrictions. So use something like the Points Guy for general info, but always check a country’s website before booking, and know that anything can change in a moment’s notice. And don’t just rely on articles that say Americans (or whatever nationality) can fly somewhere because it’s often more about where you’re coming from, not your passport country. I mentioned above that we’ve still been traveling internationally during corona. We just flew a few days ago but we’re still not using our usual pre-corona routes. If at all possible, I strongly recommend avoiding layovers outside your passport country. I know that’s often not possible, but sticking to direct flights will reduce potential problems.
  2. International travel never stopped in my world because so many of my friends live outside their passport countries. We flew internationally at Christmas and will fly again soon. The biggest hassles have been cancelled or rescheduled flights, delays in airports, and routes whose flights haven't restarted yet. It's just harder to travel right now. Budget in extra travel time and be ready for problems and delays. We've missed flights in the last year for the first time ever, even allowing for delays. As long as I'm not traveling with dh, we don't check luggage and that helps a lot. We wouldn't have missed one of our flights if I'd only been traveling with ds. I wouldn't travel for fun yet, but I don't consider visiting university children to be just be "fun" travel so that's why we've gone. Most of my friends flying right now are making international moves. I do have one friend who managed a trip to the UAE, Kenya, and France this summer. They had lots of extra expenses with tests and had to change their plans several times because of closed borders. She's just getting home and I haven't had a chance yet to ask her if the trip was worth it. Personally, I wouldn't have done that trip and we're just flying directly to and from the US even though I really could use a vacation in Europe right now. We have to be ready to get stuck at any leg of the trip, especially since we've seen that happen to multiple friends since last March. That all being said, travel is MUCH less stressful now that it was at the beginning of the year. More flights are coming back and if you're vaccinated, that removes a least a little bit of stress.
  3. Ha! My soy sauce bottles still do this, four countries and many apartments later. These zombie threads are so weird. Who would even find this topic from so many years ago?
  4. I love where I live and it checks off all your boxes, but I’m guessing that a megacity in Africa isn’t what you’re looking for.
  5. That’s what these boards are for. I have a Neat steam cleaner now...
  6. Thanks, this is helpful. I’m thinking that I can handle the weight right now, although I’m a bit concerned about that. Maybe I’ll have to work out my arms to make sure I can lift the steel. 😄
  7. The steel takes at least as long to heat and it’s heavier, at least 10 kilos. Those are definitely drawbacks, but ones I can live with.
  8. I’ve used a good stone and cast iron but neither really reproduces what a tandoor can do. A friend of mine who does Neapolitan pizza told me that he gets better results with the steel. I’m getting the 14x14 steel because it’ll fit better in the freezer. At least, I really hope it’ll fit. It might be tight.
  9. Do you use one? I’m reading that these do a better job with pizza and other flatbreads than baking stones, plus you can freeze them to make ice cream. Any experience with these? I’m looking at this one. https://www.amazon.com/Conductive-Cooking-Square-Deluxe-Version/dp/B085SW7PG6/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8
  10. I love The Reindeer People by Piers Vitebsky. Fifth Sun is a more recent book that was absolutely fascinating. Some other good ones are Destiny Disrupted, Hidden Valley Road, Unworthy Republic, A House Full of Females (and anything else by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich), Living in Historic Cairo, Vesper Flights, Caste, Apples of Uncommon Character, Jerusalem: The Biography, Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking, First Stop in the New World, The People’s Guide to Mexico, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Nothing to Envy, Logavina Street, An Everlasting Meal, The Corpse Walker, Still Alice, Confederates in the Attic, Country Driving (and anything else by Peter Hessler), Factory Girls, Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, Red Odyssey, Garlic and Sapphires (and anything else by Ruth Reichl), Half the Sky, Little Pink House, In an Antique Land, Left to Tell, When Everything Changed, Invisible China, China Road, Reading Lolita in Tehran, Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper, The Road from Coorain, Foreign Correspondence (and anything else by Geraldine Brooks), Women’s Work: The First 20,000 Years (and anything else by Elizabeth Wayland Barber), Forbidden Journey (and anything else by Ella Maillart), Guests of the Sheik, Veiled Empire, From Heaven Lake, The Year of Magical Thinking, Bury Me Standing, Volcano Cowboys, Longitude, and A Fish Caught in Time. I hadn’t gone through my book lists in a while. Thanks for bringing this up.
  11. We do this all the time, although it’s usually for months rather than weeks. Mostly, I’ve realized there’s very little that I can’t live without for a few weeks. We use small rolling suitcases for clothes/stuff. I usually take a few basic multipurpose kitchen items (a few knives, a cast iron pan for cooking or baking, a cheese grater, a couple of wooden spoons, a small pot) that I can cook a variety of things in. I’m always happier with less stuff though, and if you’re traveling around the US, you can always buy something if you really need it. By the time I’m finished getting the stuff packed up and out of the house, I’m just happy to not deal with it for a while.
  12. I have to wait for cooking moods too, which is why I’m trying to take advantage of this one.
  13. I was hoping you’d pop in, Rosie! Your post about youmian a while ago was what got me started on this again.
  14. I always make spätzle with freshly ground flour. It’s so good.
  15. The biang biang noodles were really, really good. And easy. Probably the easiest homemade noodle I’ve done. The recipe I posted above makes way more than 3 servings in my opinion. I divided the dough into 12 pieces that were about 65 grams each and three three of us ate half of it, so I’ll make the noodles again in a day or two.
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