Archive for the ‘NOT-FULLY NON-CAUCASIAN-FRIENDLY’ Category

Why the tag “NOT-FULLY NON-CAUCASIAN-FRIENDLY” in some of   my blog posts?

This tag may sound controversial in circles where Caucasian people are celebrated and the rest of the world is ignored.

DO NOT GET ME WRONG: I love Caucasian  people , as much as I love NON-Caucasians, but Caucasians  are NOT  the only people on planet earth!

On Planet earth, there are actually way more NON- caucasians than caucasians!

The  reason why the NOT-FULLY NON-CAUCASIAN-FRIENDLY attitude is tolerated is because of a lack of education,  the pre-eminence of easy ignorance and of course, the belief that NON-CAUCASIANS are economically poorer. And above all, BECAUSE …TRUTH BE TOLD … IT is EASIER TO BE STUPID…THAN NOT!

With many non Caucasians becoming richer and travelling more and more, it is important that NON-CAUCASIANS get the right time about what awaits them.

Again, we ALL ALREADY know that most blogs  and online sources are CAUCASIAN-FRIENDLY (or ..trying HARD to be …politically correct .., therefore HIDING SUCH REALITY TO NON CAUCASIANS …) and there is nothing wrong about that (They are doing what they have got to do…!, LOL) – But I owe no one anything and find  that it is useful for NON CAUCASIANS to know what is IN for them.

I mean no offence here, BUT if YOU ARE STUPID ENOUGH TO TAKE OFFENCE WITH THAT, THEN .. BE MY  GUEST!

 

Mykonos was exactly like in the postal cards. No one will argue with you if you saw better island in your life, but Mykonos was as pretty as the hype wants you to believe. It was about the exact same omnipresent whitewashed houses, colorful doors, and eye candy waterfronts that we can all see in the ads. If you like beaches and whitewashed houses, there you go. 

I stayed at Platis Gialos, to enjoy both its beach as well as its restaurants (it is a beach area with an effective night life, mini food markets, spas, etc). Its beach does not have the soft white sand of some of the islands of the carribean, but it is very clean, its golden sand and blue water certainly easy on the eyes.

At Platis Gialos, I paid a visit to 3 of their most popular restaurants: Nikos Gallop, Yialo Yialo as well as Avli Tou Thodori. Avli was the best of the trio, followed by Yialo. As for Nikos, my meal, there, will not help you to understand its popularity. The effect of the free drink they offer to their patrons, at the end of the meal, could, perhaps, better explain that exploit (of being popular).

At 15 mins drive from Platis Gialos, you will find Mykonos town. From some angles, its waterfront is very easy on the eyes, although, to be fair, some parts of it is also utterly ugly. Regardless, this town deserves a detour while you are on the island. In Mykonos town, I ate at the very popular Fato o Mano, which I reviewed here.

All in all, Mykonos being touristy, one might expect average food. In that regard, Avli and Yialo fought back and proved that a touristy location can offer serious cooking too. I learned, while I was there, that Avli and Yialo are not alone, in that fight, as at  least 10 other restaurants are cooking food that are superior to what most of the local restaurants are offering. If that is true, Good, then, for Mykonos.

From the beaches of Mykonos, I took a ferry for a stopover in Santorini, the other famous island of Greece. 

The hype, there, is on such things such as the fabled caldera views with its sunset, the emblematic blue domes, particularly the mother of all blue domes, the one of the city of oia. All of them will be as impressive as your imagination will want them to be, but please do not be too picky about the blue domes…they are just blue domes and it is certainly not their fault if our imagination have elevated them to what they can’t be.

Imagination, overhype, it does not matter: Santorini worths a detour. They just have to work on their 3rd world airport, an airport that is simply a shame by western standards (poorly trained staff that are as confused as the system they are working for). 

In Santorini, I ate at Argo  as well as Ouzeri, two of their best restaurants in the capital city of Fira. Argo  has a Chef whose cooking was almost as amazing as watching the nearby caldera view. Ouzeri was on par as far as food is concerned. I also tried Restaurant 41 on the beach of Perivolos, reviewed here.

That Santorini had its caldera views marketed  as one of  the things to see once in your life,  virtually anyone who did not live under a rock … got that. But who knew that such a touristy location could hide great kitchen brigades such as the ones of Argo, Ouzeri, and many more. 

My last stop was in Athens. 

Historically, Athens is, obviously, a giant. But it also has a beautiful coastline that is easy to access using public transportation. 

In Athens, do what the tourist trapping advertisements are suggesting: stay in central Athens in the vincinity of Plaka. As a tourist, you will be trapped, anyways, so you may as well get the most out of it.

Outside of Athens, if the gorgeous mountainous landscapes on your way to Delphi does not seduce, then you know you are in an advanced stage of personal depression. 

Delphi will stun you as much as you love mountains and are a fan of the oracle, the twins of argos, apollo, etc…obviously, and for someone like me who qualifies as a fan of all of that, I certainly did not leave the site in a bad mood.

The signs that tourism is their bread and butter are numerous: well maintained buses for tourists, plenty of areas thought for tourists (Plaka, is an example), a subway system that is as easy to navigate as it is easy on the eyes, roads in great condition as well as an effort to post signs in english/french at some touristic sites. 

In Athens, I ate at the old tavern of Psaras, as well as Manas Kouzina-Kouzina. At the former, some Greek families were eating next to tourists, and I hope the tourists did realize that they were eating true traditional Greek food, done really well, because the Greek families felt like eating at home. The old tavern cooks superb Greek food. As for Manas Kouzina-Kouzina, I suspect it is not bad at all. I mentioned “I suspect it is not bad”…for reasons explained here. I also ate at taverna vizantino, which seemed to think that, because it is in a touristy area, where people just pass by, it can serve whatever it wants to people.  That shameful meal  is reviewed here. 

For North Americans: keep in mind that patrons at restaurants  are allowed to smoke on the terrace, but not inside. So you know where to sit if you want your food not to smell of smoke..

***Why the tag “NOT-FULLY NON-CAUCASIAN-FRIENDLY” ?  This tag may sound controversial in circles where Caucasians people are celebrated and the rest of the world is ignored. I love Caucasians people as equally as I love non Caucasians, so this is not about drama, but with the intent to be pragmatic. So, as I said, I have nothing against  Caucasians   but they are NOT  the only people on planet earth! On Planet earth, there are actually way more NON- caucasians than caucasians! The only reason why the NOT-FULLY NON-CAUCASIAN-FRIENDLY attitude is tolerated is because of a lack of education,  the pre-eminence of easy ignorance and of course, the ignorant  impression that NON-CAUCASIAN are economically poorer. With many non Caucasians becoming richer and travelling more and more, it is important that NON-CAUCASIANS get the right time about what awaits them when they travel. Again, we ALL ALREADY know that most blogs  and online sources are CAUCASIAN-FRIENDLY (or ..trying HARD to be …politically correct ..) and there is nothing wrong about that. They are doing what they have got to do, Rfaol…! – But I owe no one anything and find  that it is useful for NON CAUCASIANS to know what is IN for them. So in GREECE, SOMETIMES, based of my experience, there  (I am non a CAUCASIAN), 90% of the time, it was  NON-CAUCASIAN FRIENDLY, INDEED, and it may be unfair, in such circumstance, to tag this post as NOT-FULLY NON-CAUCASIAN-FRIENDLY…but there are places in the world where it seemed 100% NON-CAUCASIAN-FRIENDLY..hence, the tag! DOES NOT MEAN THAT IT GENUINELY WAS, LOL. BUT WHAT MATTERS, AT THE END OF THE DAY, IS TO BE civilized.  Anyways,  I was as fair as I could …actually WAY more  ….. FAIR than the usual BS you see online….. as I did not state that it was FULLY NON-CAUCASIAN-FRIENDLY (WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN STUPID, TO SUBMIT, AS…AS I HAVE STATED, 95% OF THE PLACES WE HAVE BEEN TO IN GREECE WERE OF 1ST CLASS  MENTION. In Greece, the third-rate attitude that I am railing against was mainly felt at the Airport of Santorini (a true 3rd class airport, btw), and at some of the travel agencies facing the harbor in Mykonos city as well as AT some  random odd loose cannon we stumbled upon near Plaka (Athens). They definitely took nothing away from our superb journey in Greece, and I perfectly understand that these were not the norm (far from that! ) but it is important for non caucasians to be informed about such things.

 

Agadir, Morocco – April 2004
We spent two weeks in 2004 in Morocco for tourism (4 days in Agadir, 3 in Marrakech, then couple of days in the southern desertic belts of this beautiful land), camels and escapades in the deserts (try sleeping at night in the desert. If you never experienced that, it is a must!)

Agadir is, as most already know, a city that was completely destroyed by an earthquake decades back. It is rebuilt into a brand new modern city. It’s main attraction is it’s beach, that you see behind me on this pic (notice the camel on the beach behind me: camel-riding was one of the attraction of the beach):

From the seaside (where all hotels are located), you see a mountain with the instructions “God, the king, the country”:

Agadir, being a relatively new city (since it was rebuilt) does not attract by any historical nor architectural wonders, but it’ s a cool city I recommend to hang out (the beach, the night clubs, sea side eaterings). I was curious about camel riding (in preparation for my journey in the desert couple of days later on the back of camels), so I picked a ride (be careful: they sometimes have this trick to scam you: in the middle of the ride, they change guides…):

Bottom line: to visit if like me, you like beaches. It can also turn into a romantic city if you exploit that side of it (Alongside the beach, the walk can be scenic, peaceful and full of romance feel + lots of terraces face the sea). The sea is not crystal clear though (thick in texture) + the beach is not white sand (lightly browny).

Marrakech, Morocco – April 2004
Marrakech, the red city: Red because most housings have a reddish color (really omnipresent in the city ;p particularly the newer part of the city):

The newer part of Marrakesh (Gueliz) is vast with hotels, bars, markets, theaters:

In Marrakesh, we lodged at a small decent hotel, Hotel Oudaya:

Among their numerous touristic sites, La Menara (they used to have a show at night there and that was beautiful):

Visited, the Saadian tombs:

Do not miss their classic touristic main spot: the old city with it’s souk (market). I didn’t take pics there since I felt uncomfortable and insecured (felt like I could get my camera stolen every second my heart was beating..lol. Not saying that I was right to feel that way, but that was the feeling I got);[

Bottom line: Marrakesh is a fun city to visit. I’d recommend 1 week only since it’s not that huge of a city. In the day time, walk in the old medina and it’s souk and try their numerous local eateries (food was just ok for me there). On one night, I recommend that you try the Fantasia chez Ali show (it’s an amazing night show with spectacular settings, but I was disgusted during diner — you have a diner included — when I saw them just wiping the dishes with towels instead of washing the dishes. I hope this has changed! ).

CONSUMER ALERT: I am usually not one to jump on negative notes unless they are necessary to avoid unecessary/unpleasant experiences and this alert  needs to be passed on -> For our touristic trip to Morocco of  April 2004, we booked,  months in advance, two rooms for my 65 yrs old aunt, our two 5,6 yrs old daughter and my wife. Following several confirmations via email and over the phones, the bookings were going fine as according. We arrived at Hotel Nassim, and were shocked to learn that there was not 1 room booked for us. We presented proofs of the bookings (printout of the emails), with proofs + reference number of confirmations …but in vain. When I asked the name of the manager, he refused to answer. I knew right away that he was a scam artist. We had to roam around the city and find a hotel ourselves.  In May 2004, I filed a complaint to the Moroccan Ministry of Tourism. They were kind in calming down the issue by simply re-assuring me that it was not the same Management anymore: within a few weeks apart…a new management??…coincidence…coincidence..Anyways, the (new) management had offered compensation to me upon the complaint to the Ministry of Tourism (well…at least that Ministry does something! Which cannot be said of most governments!), but oddly…the name of that laughable pathetic joker who was the owner of Hotel Nassim in April 2004 was silenced despite all my efforts to get the name of that prick! So, be very careful: make sure you are not dealing with that low life who was manager/owner of Marrakesh’s Hotel Nassim in May 2004 (Remember: The management may have changed by now, so this has nothing to do with Hotel Nassim which I am sure is doing great and does an honest job by now. My warning concerns only whoever was the manager/owner of Hotel Nassim in April 2004!).

***Why the tag “NOT-FULLY NON-CAUCASIAN-FRIENDLY” ?   This tag may sound controversial in circles where Caucasian people are celebrated and the rest of the world is ignored. I love Caucasian  people but they are NOT  the only people on planet earth! On Planet earth, there are actually way more NON- caucasians than caucasians! The only reason why the NOT-FULLY NON-CAUCASIAN-FRIENDLY attitude is tolerated is because of a lack of education,  the pre-eminence of easy ignorance , the impression that NON-CAUCASIAN are economically poorer,. With many non Caucasians becoming richer and travelling more and more, it is important that NON-CAUCASIANS get the right time about what awaits them. Again, we ALL ALREADY know that most blogs  and online sources are CAUCASIAN-FRIENDLY (or ..trying HARD to be …politically correct ..) and there is nothing wrong about that. They are doing what they have got to do, Lol…! – But I I owe no one anything and find  that it is useful for NON CAUCASIANS to know what is IN for them. So in MOROCCO, based of my experience, there  (I am non CAUCASIAN), 95% of the time, it was  NON-CAUCASIAN FRIENDLY, INDEED, and it may ,,relatively…be unfair, in such circumstance, to tag this post as NOT-FULLY NON-CAUCASIAN-FRIENDLY…but there are places in the world where it seemed 100% NON-CAUCASIAN-FRIENDLY..hence, the tag!  DOES NOT MEAN THAT IT GENUINELY WAS, LOL. BUT WHAT MATTERS, AT THE END OF THE DAY, IS TO BE civilized.   After all, I was as fair as I could …actually ..Far more …FAIR than the usual BS you see online….. as I did not state that it was FULLY NON-CAUCASIAN-FRIENDLY (IT WAS NOT, OBVIOUSLY). JUST NOT-FULLY NON-CAUCASIAN-FRIENDLY! In the case of Morrocco, during my visit there, the cab drivers outside the big cities would turn me down in favor of caucasians +  my adventure at Hotel Nassim would have never happened if I was caucasian … That definitely took nothing away from our superb journey in Morocco , and I perfectly understand that these were not the norm (far from that! ) but it is important for non caucasians to be informed about such things.