• Owl café in Tokyo
    Travel experiences

    Owls are not what they seem

    There is an owl sanctuary in the heart of Akihabara, Tokyo’s manga and anime Mecca. There are cat, rabbit and even reptile cafés in the city but Akiba Fukurou café stands out with its special inhabitants – around 36 owls, of different sizes and breeds, who meet visitors in half-asleep mode. The owls have very special names: Wizard, Peanuts, Squirrel, Shrimp, Snowman, Mr. President, Sweet Potato, Almond Caramel, Gorilla… The owner, Yasu, takes the owls home at night to feed them. Flash photography and video filming are not allowed in the café. Each owl is secured by a string on its legs. This ensures that the birds won’t fly around…

  • Wine region, Tuscany: San Gimignano
    Travel experiences

    Clichés can be wonderful

    I avoided visiting Italy for a long time. The Italian propaganda lurks from every corner: Italy is one of the most touristy destinations, everyone goes or has been to Italy, ”Italian” pizza is everywhere, there are famous Italian neighborhoods (Little Italy) around the world, literally, everything screams ITALY! in your face. We often eat pizza and pasta at home. Italy is so popular that it has become a kind of a classic. I visited Venice and Verona on a guided trip as a part of a European excursion when I was 16. Since then I  avoid guided tours like vampires avoid garlic unless a tour is the only way to see…

  • Travel experiences

    Monsters in Bangkok

    Bangkok. The airplane window is so sweaty that anything is barely visible outside. The feeling is as in a Turkish bath – steamy and sticky. Perfect conditions for my hard-to-tame hair. A promise for an adventure! We arrive during a dengue fever outbreak. Despite that we religiously apply and reapply a mosquito repellent throughout the day and wear long sleeves in the evening, we get our first bites from gigantic mosquitos. They bite through the clothes! While I wait for the agonizing symptoms, we get bitten a few more times until we stop counting the red skin swellings. It turns out not every mosquito carries the disease and even during…