Archive | November, 2011

12 Best Tracks for Airplane Take-offs

11 Nov

The seatbelt sign is flashing and yes! – you’ve totally scored a window seat. The stewardesses are shutting overhead compartments, the fat guy is situated in his aisle seat (thank God), and nobody is sitting in the middle seat to play elbow wars with! Life is pretty good. You’re just about to settle in and relax,but for some reason you can’t. Why not? Because there’s no soundtrack to kick off your flight. No, I’m not talking about Jock Jams. 

So, I have a secret confession to make. I know it’s against the rules, but sometimes I secretly put on my earbuds before take-off and camouflage them with my hair (tip for guys, you can hide them in your hoodie). I know, it’s so bad! But I only do it with an iPod shuffle, which to be honest, emits little to no radio wave frequencies.

Anyway, whether it’s for take-off or just after take-off – I have compiled a list of THE BEST airplane take-off songs for any situation you’re in. 

Scenario: You’ve been stranded in boringsville for awhile and had to move back home because you’re broke-ass from college. Luckily, you scored cheap plane tix and heading back to the city for the weekend! NYC, London, Paris, Tokyo, LA…
Track: City by Lo-Fi-Fnk
Best take-off moment: 00:30

Scenario: You’re off to a tropical destination and fantasizing about the prospect of meeting a latin lover.

Track: Rebel Rebel by Seu Jorge
Best take-off moment: any part of the song is good

Scenario:A great go-to song for a spontaneous, adventurous trips. I like to listen to this before a scuba diving trip or when I’ve just impulsively bought a plane ticket to a random destination.

Track: A-Punk by Vampire Weekend
Best take-off moment: beginning of the song

Scenario: We’ve all done it. Flying across the ocean, country, planet – to see that special someone. Seriously, if this song doesn’t make you feel love, then you’re dead inside.

Track: Helen by Nizlopi
Best take-off moment: 1:00

Scenario: It’s been a long day at work and you’re jumping on a red-eye flight and in need of some major Zzz’s. This 10-minute track will surely ease you into a peaceful slumber.

Track: Svefn-g-englar by Sigur Ros
Best take-off moment: 00:18

Scenario: You’ve totally hit baller status and somehow scored a seat on Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic spaceship ride to the Moon.

Track: Mr. Roboto by Styx
Best take-off moment: 00:42

Scenario: It’s 11AM and you’re still drunk from last night – you’ve already embarrassed yourself by yelling at people and you’re wearing hangover sunglasses. You are still enjoying the buzz but eventually, you’ll probably want to go to sleep. Shhh….just go to sleep.

Track: Chicago (Acoustic Version) by Sufjan Stevens
Best take-off moment: hopefully you’re sleeping by then

Scenario: You’ve been flying for what seems like 30 hours straight, with multiple connections in-between. Delays, blizzards, lost baggage. You name it.

Track: Geography by Thao
Best take-off moment: 00:27

Scenario: You’re spreading your wings, growing up, fleeing the comfort of mom’s home cooked meals. Off to college and you can’t wait to be on your own for the first time! You just said good-bye to your weeping mother and even now on the plane you can hear her last words, ”Come back home soon!”

Track: Come Back Home by Two Door Cinema Club
Best take-off moment: 1:16

Scenario: You’re embarking on an epic Euro trip with your buddies. Of course you’re going to need some awesome French music.

Track: Safari Disco Club by Yelle
Best take-off moment: Any part of the song but 1:40 is also excellent

Scenario: A great uplifting song for that time in your life where you say F IT, I’m leaving everything behind and starting over somewhere else.

Track: Seasun -Delorean
Best take-off moment:00:16 

Scenario: It’s probably the holidays and you’re coming home to visit the family – you have mixed feelings but it’s always good to see family. A lazy, half-hearted tune from the Royal Tenenbaums soundtrack.

Track: Wig Wam- Bob Dylan (Royal Tenenbaums soundtrack)
Best take-off moment: the whole song

Go Big or Go Dutch

7 Nov

Oh just slap me in the face right now. I haven’t updated this blog for what, 5 months? Dude, I suck! So here’s a recap of my traveling adventures since Coachella 5 months ago:

  • ‘Nawlins (New Orleans, Louisiana). Stuffed my face with Po Boys (juicy sandwiches made with roast beef drippings) and beignets (fancy french name for hole-less donut). It was humid, sticky and had a hard time breathing with all that food in my belly.
  • Amsterdam, Netherlands. Interviewed w/ my current employer, rode bikes, ate lots of hotchpotch (hutspot), and almost died in a fire accident while riding in the canals because our boat caught on fire.
  • Truro, Cape Cod. Stayed at a lovely cottage called ‘The Wild Rose’ which made me feel like a giant. It was so tiny – a home for a hobbit. A typical yet cozy New England vacation where we basically ate, slept, drank, beached, and made S’mores.
  • Eindhoven, Netherlands. Dude, I totally moved here! Got a new job pushing that social media button and now I’m living the expat life in my big ol’ Dutch house.
  • Antwerp, Belgium. Such a beautiful city. Was taken here on a special surprise birthday trip (Thanks Davesaur)!

Wait whaaaat? Yeah. Letting it sink in. That’s right. I MOVED TO THE FRICKIN’ NETHERLANDS.

What is it like living in Holland Eindhoven as an American expat?

  • You’ll get sexy Dutch legs from all that biking.
  • You must focus on which arm is stronger and dedicate that arm to holding your umbrella while riding your bike. This is truly a Dutch skill.
  • You get traveling ADD because Europe is at your finger tips and you want to go somewhere new every weekend!
  • The Dutch proudly admit that they are direct & blunt. So I’ve learned to kill my inner human emotions in order to become more Dutch. And I’ve mastered the gutteral ‘gckkk’ sound.
  • Your English will deteriorate faster than Payless shoes. Say goodbye to knowing perfect English based off what ‘sounds right’ because you will be listening to questionable English 24/7 (not pointing fingers at the Dutch or any country in particular, JUST IN GENERAL).
  • Taxi cab drivers are allowed to yell at you. Your server will literally do their job title, and serve you food. Don’t expect anything greater than that in the customer service department. And if they go beyond that expectation, then you can tip them and it’s actually deserved, rather than out of obligation.
  • Planning errands is a must. On weeknights, shops close at or around 6PM. On Sundays, EVERYTHING IS CLOSED, except for coffee shops. The Dutch know how to take it easy that’s for sure.
  • As an expat, I’m constantly mourning these American luxuries: Trader Joe’s, cheap dry cleaning, dryer sheets, Amazon Prime, bank checks, NBA basketball, 24-hour stores, Target, delicious food in general, NETFLIX, not being banned from CBS, FOX and other tv channels online, bed sheets that don’t feel like paper,, cooking with a normal gas & stove oven, and El Palon burritos.
  • You’ll learn that biking everywhere is the best thing EVER. So much better than sitting in traffic!
  • As an expat you will be confused about EVERYTHING. ALL THE TIME. Just smile and nod.
  • Trash disposal is a puzzle to me. My cardboard boxes refuse to be picked up and are left to rot in the rain. Thus I have stored these cardboard boxes in my shed. Also, it appears that there’s no plastic recycling pick-up. Sadface.
  • It can be lonely moving to a foreign country all by yourself for a new job. Even if the city is teeming with expats and people who have gone through your experience, it doesn’t make it any easier.
  • Anti-perspirant doesn’t really exist here, or maybe people just don’t use it – I know this because everytime I go to the gym I want to vomit from the mixture of human stenches. Also, to destroy my capacity to breathe further, the B.O. is pathetically masked by 5 gallons of cologne from Abercrombie & Fitch.
  • R.I.P. STARBUCKS. It doesn’t exist in Eindhoven and I hear there’s only 2 in the entire country. The best coffee you can get is from Dowe Egberts, which opens at 1PM (wtf?!) on Mondays. *SOB*
  • As an expat you will end up with a lot of junk-mail. Everything that can’t be deciphered in English (99.9% of the mail) ends up going into the trash.
  • I AM CONSTANTLY THIRSTY. The beverage portions are the size of my thumb and cost as much as a 6-pack in the U.S. –  Like, 6-pack of 2-liter sodas! The only exception to this rule is BEER. 

Ok, perhaps I’m being a big baby and ranting (but I’m American damn it and I need my goods and convenience!). My experience as an expat in Holland has been very mixed so far, leaning towards extremely homesick for the US. But I know I have to give it time, and to be positive, blah blah blah. It’s amazing – I’ve traveled all over the world and have moved to different cities countless times – but backpacking, studying abroad, and vagabonding/couchsurfing have all been walks in the park compared to this experience of moving abroad for work and becoming an expat.

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