Wanderlust – @Virginia Beach, VA, Pondering the Duality of Life

My #Wanderlust weekend continues.

When I arrived at Virginia Beach, VA, last night, I saw large groups of teens hanging out by the cheap and gaudy tourist shops.  I saw the rows of chain hotels and motels lined the main stretch of Atlantic Ave, each standing on a lot that is smaller than a pimple.  I wanted so badly to fly out of there and never return.  But it was late and I was tired so I ended up settling in to a Hilton two miles away from the main stretch.

I am glad I did.  This morning, I went to the boardwalk for a run/jog/walk.  The scenery was still very disappointing. See below.But once I got off the boardwalk and got on the beach, it happened.  I was transformed and I was alone with the water, sand, and the birds.  I went for ~12 miles.  For runners, this was a great beach during the off-season.  Pristine sand where you sink down about 30% on each step so you get a great workout. I felt the forces of my muscles, my mind, and my heart, working together to move me toward the waves.

The alignment of the head, the heart and the body was strung together after mile 6.  The sun on my face, the wind in my hair, and the solitude!  Here is how I would describe this sensation since words often fail the experience.  Substitute any “you” with “myself.”  Complete happiness and empowerment.  Felt like I was dancing.

But then this came into my head as I was stretching my muscles out on the sand.  A complete breakdown of the serenity.

This is the duality of being human and I am arriving at a place of recognizing it.

Lastly, let me conclude Virginia Beach so this post does not turn into a public diary of Peilin Corbanese. This is a great spot for runners off-season.  If you are looking for a secluded beach or a nice beach for a family vacation, Virginia Beach is not for you.  If you are looking for a cheap carnival experience on the beach, this is it!  If you stumble upon this spot and have low expectations, then it will do.

This experience took place at

Virginia Beach, VA

 

 

Wanderlust – Solitude of the Road Trip

I ended up at Virginia Beach for the night after driving down from Wilmington, DE, stopping at D.C. for Ethiopian food.  I was amazed at how much traffic there is in this area.  Glad that I did not plan and still don’t have a plan.  The magic of #Wanderlust – Traffic became just cars going slowly.  Wanderlust took away my goal oriented nature.  I drove like a normal person today, no aggressive at all.

I also spoke to only three people today.  What a record!  Two from the Ethiopian restaurant and one when I checked in tonight at the hotel. I so thoroughly enjoyed the solitude this road trip is giving me.  With music and thoughts going in and out of my head for almost 12 hours straight, clarity comes and my headspace changes.  I smiled when I thought of this quote by Jean-Paul Sartre, “Hell is other people,” in his play of “No Exit.” Love the solitude.

Lastly, Mobilytrip mobile app is such a piece of crap that I have given up on tracking my trip with it.  The app crashed many times and refused to upload any of my photos nor sync with the site.  Further, even with the same log in, the information does not sync across devices.  What a pain.  Sorry, readers.  I will have to do this the old fashion way – just blog!

Thank you to all my friends who are checking in and making sure I am safe and sound. Good night.  🙂

 

Wanderlust – A Very Late Lunch at Dukem Ethiopian Restaurant in Washington D.C.

My wandering has taken me to D.C.  I cannot help but head toward major food destinations. Insert food and running and I am willing.  I did some running this morning, it’s time for some eating. #Wanderlust

D.C. is well-known for the Ethiopian cuisine.  I have tried multiple Ethiopian restaurants in the past but today I sought out a long-term former D.C. resident to give me a solid recommendation.  My Eritrean friend, Moses (or Musie in Eritrean), recommended Dukem on U Street.    Who would know Ethiopian food better than an Eritrean?

 I ordered the Vegetable Combo and Fish.  Came with spicy splint lentil, yellow peas, greens, cabbage, and salad.  Obvious, it also included the fish.  I over-ordered by a lot for a one-person lunch.  So all I could muster was the fish.  The fried fish was so crunchy and yummy it reminded me the red snapper my mom used to make for me as an after school snack back in Taiwan.

Needless to say, this was an outstanding food experience. The restaurant is not much to look at, the table-cloth simple and plastic.  But the food was superb.  I will be having the delicious veggie left-overs tonight at wherever I am going.  Thank you, Moses or Musie!

My wanderlust weekend continues.  Follow me at Mobilytrip.com.

This experience took place at

Dukem Ethiopian Restaurant

1114 – 1118 U Street Washington D.C. 20009
Tel: 202-667-8735
Fax: 202-667-2498
Email: info@dukemrestaurant.com

Wanderlust – Road Trip to Grow Up to Become Who I am Meant to Be

Dropped off my 11-year-old honey boo boo monkey bird for the two-week trip to France with her father at the JFK Terminal 8 yesterday. I decided to see which departure flight would suit my wanderlust needs.  #Wanderlust

Out of this list: London, Berlin, Abu Dhabi, Rio and São Paulo would’ve been of interest to me.  Have been to most of the other destinations on the list.  Considering the flight time and my four-day window, the only reasonable destinations were London and Berlin.  Checked the cost – $2500+ to leave last night!

Here I was on my way south in my car, watching the sun set. I have been fortunate enough to see the open skies in Mongolia and Colorado, to try the food offered in the Plaza Jemaa El Fna in Marrakech, to walk behind the men in the souks of Fès in Morocco, to sit by the fountains of Rome, to take the ferry on the canals of Venice, to fall asleep inside the Louvre in Paris, to drive through the Alps from Geneva to Besançon, France, to taste the fresh fish that came from docks in Marseille, France, and to drive in the urban sprawl of Bogotà, Colombia.

 

But I have not done so many things on my own.  I did those things with friends and a partner who spoke French, Spanish, and Italian. With my Mandarin, we adequately covered the world. I have done very little on my own: I flew across the Pacific to come to the US by myself without a word of English; found my way back to the host family via the police when I was lost three months after I landed in NJ; I went up the Machu Picchu; and I found my way to a hotel in the middle of the night in Barcelona.  Not too many at all.
 
I think it’s time to grow up to become the person I am meant to be.  It’s time to satisfy my wanderlust.
 
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Wanderlust – Begins Tomorrow, April 3, 2015

No destinations. No restrains. No limits.

Just pick up the bag. Sit my ass in the car, armed with my phone and my music.  And my passport, too.

Let the inspiration take me where ever they may in the next four days.  No planning, no booking and no thinking.  Maybe a little thinking?

Insert food and running, then I am willing.

Follow my #Wanderlust weekend journey on Mobilytrip.com.

Let’s go!

 

 

Krolewskie Jadlo (King’s Feast) in Ridgewood, Queens, NY – Hearty and Homey. My 100th Post!

This is my 100th post on this food blog. And I am glad it is written on Krolewskie Jadlo, a Polish restaurant in Ridgewood, Queens. Although I rarely eat Polish food, the restaurant offers very hearty and homey food that speaks to where I am from and how food should be regarded.

With all the French restaurants reviews I have written and all the various cuisines I have tried, the best kind of food is always the kind that simply satisfies my hunger and my need to feel at home. No need for elegant plating; no need for color contrast; no need for fancy or expensive ingredients. The food just needs to be good to the core and the restaurant in a casual atmosphere. Fresh sashimi, Algerian merguez, Taiwanese stinky tofu (臭豆腐), Korean bibimbap, Ethiopian injera with shiro wat, Vietnamese Phở, and a good cup of coffee with croissant are my definitions of outstanding food for the soul.

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When we arrived, there was a big party in the backroom of the restaurant. You could hear people singing, talking loudly and happily to each other. The restaurant was occupied by families, couples old and young, and groups of friends. You instantly felt comfortable.

This is the Hungarian pancake with sauerkraut.  It is stewed beef enclosed in a potato pancake.  For the beef stew lovers (me!), this is love wrapped in a warm blanket on a gray New York Sunday morning.  Lazy, comfy, fulfilling and happy.  The cut used was flank steak and the meat fell out the pancake easily. mmm.  mmm.  good.

The sauerkraut was excellent by the way.

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Polish Plate: Stuffed cabbage, pierogies, potato pancakes, sausage, veggies.  Since I am the novice to Polish food, I ordered something that covers the spectrum.  Stuffed cabbage was filled with ground beef.  The main character was the bland ground beef and the cabbage was over-steamed – not a fan.  Pierogies tasted good but was terribly fried, greasy and hard.  Reminded me of the cheap Chinese take-out fried dumplings – not a fan. Potato pancakes were the same as that from the Hungarian Pancake and were delicious. Sausages were good but a bit hard because they were over-cooked.  Veggies were done well – the best way to do vegetables, cooked and with sauce.  I ate all the veggies.

Due to the large party they had that night, we waited a seemingly very long time for our food (around 45 minutes) on very empty stomaches.  They apologized but it was still poorly managed. Although the Hungarian pancakes were good, I would not be surprised if we were too hungry to be objective.  In all fairness, the two dishes we had were limited in demonstrating the breadth of the Polish cuisine.  I will have to return and try the other ones on the menu.

Regardless, the food was fulfilling and simple.  Some of it was even good.  I love this aspect of the experience.  I felt right at home, kind of the purpose of me writing this blog, the semiotics of eating.

This experience took place at

Krolewskie Jadlo
66-21 Fresh Pond Rd and Palmetto St
Ridgewood, Queens, NY 11385
tel: 718 366 6226