Ben Winston

Not your average travel blog

Panda Porn and Umbrella Rage

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Walking twelve blocks in the rain to drop my backpack down, to then spend much of next hour trying to find a food stand which didn’t have a cue of at least twenty people wasn’t the best start to the morning. New York City is a place of food cues, and I’ve also never been anywhere else in the world where there are so many irresponsible wielders of umbrellas. Dodging the onslaught of mainly yellow traffic, and avoiding the constant eye stabbing of careless brolly bandits is pretty difficult as I write this and wander around New York. Sunglasses in the rain aren’t so stupid after all!

With a worthwhile trip to the sex museum which ironically and sadly, didn’t last long enough, a wander around the base of the Empire State Building and Times Square, and an underwhelming exploration of Grand Central Station, I’ve spent more money in four hours in New York, than I did in two months of my adventure last year.

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Without focusing too much on negatives, I think if you come from Europe, Grand Central is merely a fairly straight forward, marble building with plenty of dim lighting and basic decor. Size once again, America, doesn’t rank too highly when attempting to be beautiful. It is however, worthy of a visit, and after journeying on the filthy New York subway, it’s a very welcome and clean site in comparison. I was a little bemused by the insistent presence of dozens of very armed (but friendly), US military, and on speaking with them, found out that their job is to police the station. Marajuana may well be more accepted in US culture nowadays (it’s hard not to smell it on NYC side streets and in back alleys of hospitality outlets), but I don’t think it can be blamed for the assumed paranoia which has led to this sad overkill and badly placed power trip of the American army. I am reminded that they are “just doing their job, Sir”.

I may have spent most of my day’s budget on visiting the sex museum, yet watching some panda porn and checking out some vintage, as well as robot pornography was quite worth it. I then found a hole in the wall, selling pizza for a dollar a slice. I splurged, and the queue was only seven children deep.

I’m having a break from the rain and throwing some terrible New York coffee down my throat (I have to find a good cup before I leave)! I’ve a few miles to hike across town, to my evening couch, past the many accents and languages that add to the volume of the New York City streets. It is warming to hear and see though, that seemingly, many New Yorkers actually live pretty central to the city. In comparison to London’s central square mile, which is not only quite the housing dead zone, but also a place solely for tourists and commuters. After finding my couch and hopefully new friends for the night, I’m going for dinner with “The Monopoly Man” – A friendly lookalike from the monopoly game…not a man that owns much of New York. Having dinner with JD Rockefeller might be a tad tricky.

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Where am I now?

After extensive work and tours through Southern Africa, I’m now mainly in Malawi.
Go Untamed Safaris is now up and running.
Between work days and in the rainy season (December to April); I am planning some expeditions and seek out some experienced individuals keen to be involved.
I will be in the U.K. January to March 2018.

For safari and expedition details:

email: info@gountamed.com

http://www.gountamed.com

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