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ktmoomau

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About ktmoomau

  • Rank
    Am I a Millennial?
  • Birthday 08/04/1983

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    http://www.KatelinTaylor.com
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  • Gender
    Female
  • Interests
    I am an attorney with the firm Rich, Rosenthal, Manitta, Dzubin and Kroeger who practices business law, employment law, real estate law, domestic relations and other civil litigation matters.

    I enjoy volunteering, eating, reading and other casual pursuits from time to time. I also love my bichon puppy Max, and my really sweet hubby, Matthew who indulges my foodie tendencies.
  • Location
    Arlington

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  1. When out of the country and having eaten pretty much solely Chinese food (a visit to Chinese KFC aside), coming home Lost Dog Cafe was a nice little welcome home. I got Chulita's madness pizza, Hubby got a bow wow sandwich and fries. Considering how much we both ate, it couldn't have been bad. I think the larger the size of pizza you get here, the better it is in terms of ratios, just mho. Last time I was here I got the chicken parm- it comes with sliced chicken pieces, but I kind of liked that, the chicken was very tender and it was easier to eat with spaghetti and the garlic bread- which was texas toast style in a good way. Anyway, when you are craving a good sandwich, sub or pizza that isn't Papa John's but isn't fancy either, you could do worse than Lost Dog.
  2. ktmoomau

    Chicken Wings

    McCormick has frozen, unseasoned wings that are pretty decent if you really don't want to cook your own. Otherwise you can get wings at pretty much any grocery store.
  3. I think they likely made it hard to find on purpose, not sure what the purpose is, but it seemed to be a purposeful move.
  4. ktmoomau

    Luggage and Suitcases

    Just FYI in China they banned this type of luggage, and I am sure you could take the battery out, but not sure how they would react still, so I would just be careful. They were very serious about luggage searches and etc.
  5. ktmoomau

    People's Republic of China

    Going to try to post some things, but will add to this later in terms of details of what we saw and food. Our friends might know some restaurant names, I will try to get some. We were in Chengdu, Kunming, Jianshui and Menghai (tiny village by the border with Myanmar along the Mekong River). Overall impression: 1) All the people we encountered were really warm and friendly. They genuinely wanted to help us with anything they could. 2)The food was just amazing, especially the diversity in food. I will post more on this. 3) Simul is right- the government is everywhere, our friends national IDs were constantly scanned, as were our passports, there was facial recognition everywhere- while it wasn't worrisome, it didn't feel good. We had just watched a program on how pervasive facial recognition was and how it was used, that probably didn't help. It wouldn't stop me from going, but as an American it just felt like a very obvious big brother watching and tracking everything you did. I realize between google, apple, etc, I am probably tracked just as much, but it didn't feel good for it to be so obvious and there to me so much social behavior propaganda around at all times. 4) Air China is a mess when flying through Beijing from somewhere else in China to get to the US, 3 hours was just enough time for us to run to make our connection because you have to pick up your bags, re-check in and go back through all the very thorough security checks. Our friends warned us about this and flying from DCA to Chengdu we didn't have to re-pick up our bags that way, but the way back was a hot mess, especially since it is really difficult to book your seat assignments online, so the check in desk was also assigning seats. Flying over we had an older plane, my screen didn't work. Flying back we had the new 747 and that was much nicer. You can bid to upgrade to business class, we didn't but our friends did. 5) Take cash, or pull a lot of ATMS at big hotels when you can. It is REALLY annoying that you can't use WeChat Pay or AliPay without a national ID card, as most all vendors, even really small ones take it. Without that you have to rely very heavily on cash, as in pretty much for almost everything, the big hotels will have ATMs that work though and things are fairly inexpensive when you get out of a big city, even in big cities we didn't find things to be crazy expensive. It did cut down on some shopping for me just because of limited access to an ATM in smaller places. Our credit cards only worked in some places, not because of transactions not going through, but they didn't have systems that were compatible with things other than the union pay system. They just aren't accustomed or well oriented for Western travelers yet, or it's just not a priority. 6) The VPN thing isn't as easy as it once was, they have cracked down on the apps, we bought a VPN router for our house, but that was fairly slow. Downloaded Google Translate worked well for us talking to someone, but since without internet we couldn't get the voice functioning to work, and on the chinese to english it doesn't bring up the characters, they often had to bring up their own app. We were not in the most Western traveler friendly type places though, and we made it work. You can't download a map for Chengdu from Google. It was hard to test their apps for transportation, mapping, translation, before we went, so just know that is going to be a struggle. 7) Dede in China is not Uber, the driver will call you wanting to know where to pick you up (despite the dot of where you are) and will want to know a landmark of where you are going (despite having an address) and will want to know which way to go (despite GPS, although to give them credit GPS in China didn't seem great.) So it isn't really easy to use if you don't speak Chinese. 8 Speaking of WeChat- everyone will want to friend you on Wechat if you have it. If you scan QR codes at different tourists exhibits some have English audio guides, although they need to be pretty high up on the tripadvisor scale for that. Wechat will translate posts, so this is a fun way to post pictures and keep up with people. Everyone has Wechat, it is the facebook/whatsapp of China. 9) Take toilet paper or take the little pack of napkins you get at nicer restaurants. Also, if your hotel has a small soap, consider stealing one, and putting it in an empty napkin plastic pack so you have soap. (Alternatively, I bought a pack of wet wipes (they were likely for your face oh well) that came in handy as soap isn't as prevalent as one would like. There are a lot more western toilets than once was (often look for the handicap one), but smaller restaurants are still likely squat toilets. 10) Hotels. The JW Marriott in Chengdu is really nice and very central, it wasn't that expensive when we went. They have nice big rooms, amazing toiletries, nice beds, etc. When eating a LOT of spicy food, a nice bathroom facility is very nice to have. We stayed at Wanda Vista (Wanda is kind of the Trump equivalent in China, although he actually has a lot of money, so maybe more the Steve Wynn without casinos?) in Kunming, not as nice as the JW Marriott, but very nice still and again not that expensive- there are Wanda hotels in a lot of cities, they are a good bet for a nice place if you are unsure. 11) Take prescription stomach medicine if you can. We weren't crazy sick like in India, but eating a lot of spicy food, and being in more rural areas where food preparation just isn't quite as clean, I was happy to have stomach medicine beyond pepto. We only got seriously sick one day, and the medicine meant that we weren't sick for even a whole day. I didn't take it the whole time, but it was nice to have it. Matt took his a little more than I did, and was happy to have had it too, and his stomach normally isn't as sensitive as mine. 12) Simul is also correct that very few people speak English. Many kids learn English, but as they normally use only their local dialect and mandarin, it is the equivalent of us learning foreign language here in the US, a lot of it just doesn't stick because it isn't used. But they do know some words from pop songs, tech things like iphone charger, and they are pretty good at figuring out some gestures sometimes, pointing at pictures works very well. And just like in the US when you are wandering in a restaurant they know you are looking for the bathroom. But a lot of people will say Hello to you! You can find English in subways and at chain places. 13) Chinese clothing is very small. I did get a few things at a dept store which had multiple sizes, and at a couple shops, but it wasn't a big clothes destination like Japan or Singapore for me. Which I found odd, because many of the women there were my size, but I think so many people get custom clothing made. They seem to be super big into sports clothing right now, tons of knock off sports stores selling knock of NB, Nike or their own brand knock offs of big companies. But there were lots of other fun things to buy. 14) All my presents were a hit (nice little perfume sets, soaps and lotions, local foodie stuff, wine, hand dipped candles and other stuff from Mount Vernon), but if you are traveling with friends that are local to where you are going, bring more small presents than you expect because everyone wanted to take us out to banquet dinners and I wished I had brought more presents- I didn't need to, but I wish I had, they took us to some really nice dinners with lots of alcohol and brought bottles of wine and nice liquor, they really pulled out all the stops for us. Anyway, all in all a very good trip and we saw sooo much, I was happy to get out of the big cities, and that was all possible thanks to our friends. Meeting their families was just incredibly special and we had a lot of fun. I think the lack of line culture got to Matt a little, but as a girl with a big purse, I just found if I stuck my American size hips one way and put my big purse on my other side I was just fine.
  6. If you go to your account on the main page (where your name is) you should have a dropdown box- your content has your books, your music has your music and your videos should have your videos? Does it not?
  7. ktmoomau

    Japan

    Everything Simul said!!! If you can bring a wi-fi device and use google maps and google translate (you can download for offline use if you don't, but not as comprehensive) do!! It does make it a lot easier, and taking those stress points out means a lot more time for fun things- google maps also had the train schedules for all the lines and was amazing. Really, it makes traveling so much easier.
  8. Website: http://www.citykabobhouse.com/ They are on Amazon delivery, so I am a bit surprised the only mention is on a thread for another restaurant. We ordered one of the spiciest chicken vindaloos I have ever eaten from here. I like spicy food, normally food has to be pretty spicy for me to even register it- this was spicy. Not bad at all. We also got chicken kadal- which I really liked, it had a nice mix of chicken and veggies. We got a side of spinach- fine not special, but I like a little more veg- and some veggie samosas, which were very large, and had a nice filling. We also got some naan and kulcha- to be honest, I couldn't tell a difference and I think maybe we just got 3 naan, they weren't super light, more dense, but not bad. They delivered via Amazon very quickly inside Arlington. I would order from them again.
  9. ktmoomau

    Szechuan Boiled Fish (四川水煮魚)

    Penzey's has them. Normally their spices are very fresh? Note they spell them Szechuan.
  10. I had a weird feeling the other day. I was in blissfully happy Arlington. I was on the way home from my overpriced gym membership, the uber hipster farmer's market was going on across the street, where hipsters and millennials of every creed and color were lining up for Timber Pizza and Korean food, buying overpriced organic goods. It was warm out, people were walking their dogs, other people were jogging with strollers, it was the pure picture of Arlington. On my way home I saw what I would describe as a big redneck white guy with not quite shaved head, but super short buzzed hair scowling at life. I got a weird feeling. I took a couple glances to make sure I didn't see a gun- and more specifically an AR15. I grew up in bum-f^(& where rednecks are an everyday occasion and I am white. Now maybe he was scowling because he just lost his sunglasses or because the chic-fila is closed because of mall construction. But it gave me an uneasy feeling, I was glad I didn't see a gun on him, if he did I would have gone to the police, but if he has a carry permit- what can they do, or would they do. We don't know who the good or bad guys are at this point, but we haven't ever really known. It is just a lot scarier with guns that shoot so many so quickly, so easily available. I have shot guns, my family all own guns (for hunting and animal protection mainly)- I don't think people should own that type of gun.
  11. I like Pat's idea. Or you could separate out the shopping forum and make one under each area (although honestly, so many places are national now), and then have home cooking forum for all cooking/baking. Or you could leave it alone. I spend a lot of time in that thread, I don't know how many other people do- but making it easier to find the cookbook thread for instance, might be helpful.
  12. ktmoomau

    Building a Wall between the USA and Mexico

    On the drone thing- most drone manufacturers are required to put chips in drones that don't let them fly in specific airspace- I know this because you can get an exemption, but it is very hard, I know a place that has one and someone who has had tog o through this process for that place. Once you have that paperwork you then have to send it to the drone manufacturer who then can make you a drone that can fly in that airspace- there are still restrictions though. Now could someone do something to beat that programming- maybe, but currently that is how they keep most drones out of airspace they shouldn't be in. There is a LOT of airspace like that in DC.
  13. ktmoomau

    King Street Oyster Bar

    No, it was super bland- no idea what you are talking about, hahahahha, joking. I need the edit function to exist for about a week on my posts.
  14. ktmoomau

    Dinner - The Polyphonic Food Blog

    Last night was a salad with kale and other mixed greens, leftover cold sliced steak, hardboiled egg, roasted butternut squash, carrots and blue cheese dressing. It was kind of a use up everything in the fridge night. The next two weeks is use up everything in the fridge time since we will be going on vacay after that.
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