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Around the World in 80 Plates: Miso Soup, Japan 3/80

Ever bought those little packets of instant miso soup? It’s mainly powder with a few pieces of dehydrated tofu and spring onions. Maybe some seaweed if you’re lucky.

It’s as easy to prepare as making a cup of tea but once you’ve made your own from scratch, you’ll never go back to the instant stuff again.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is the heartiest (and easiest) miso soup you can have at home, but you’ve got to make it yourself.

Don’t worry, once you know where to get the ingredients, it’s pretty simple to make.
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Sunset in İstanbul

Sunset in İstanbul

Take a ferry between Eminönü (on the European side of the Bosphorus) and Kadıköy (on the Anatolian side) near sunset and you’ll be rewarded with this view for 1.35 Turkish lira – about $1 USD, £0.60 GBP or €0.75. Not bad for a sunset cruise between two continents!

The crossing takes about 20 minutes – just enough time to snap some photos and have a cup of Turkish tea.

Check out my posts about Turkey.

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Feeding the birds near İstanbul’s spice market

Feeding the birds near İstanbul’s spice market

İstanbul, like most major cities, has no shortage of pigeons.

Despite the busy square outside the Yeni Cami, the New Mosque, near the busy spice market, the pigeons still gather and are regularly fed by children and tourists.

Check out my adventures in Turkey.

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İstanbul’s minarets and mosques

İstanbul’s minarets and mosques

Straddling not just the Bosphorus River, but also two continents, Istanbul is a city firmly pushing itself into the future while holding on to tradition and religion.

Everywhere you turn in the city, you are faced with a mosque or at least one minaret is visible in the distance.

The minarets are where the calls to prayer are made from (six times a day with bullhorn-like loudspeakers), so choose your hotel wisely or you won’t need to use your alarm clock! The first call to prayer is two hours before dawn!

See more of my adventures in Turkey here.

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There aren’t enough meals in the day

Two years ago when I started travelling, I was focused on museums, history and whatever else my trusty guidebook said was important. I spent most of my time on the tourist trail.

It was good. It was interesting. But I wasn’t getting the real feel for the place. I remembered each city by what I saw, not what I experienced.

Eventually, that turned into hanging out with new friends through CouchSurfing and I would remember the cities by what I did.

Now, I remember them by what I eat.
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Bring international luck to your Friday the 13th

Each country, culture and religion has an idea of what is lucky and what is unlucky.

In the US, having a black cat cross in front of you is bad luck (I had a black cat for years and had very good luck).

In Italy, being pooped on by a bird is buona fortuna – good fortune.

In Albania, having good dreams your first night in a new place is a sign you’ll enjoy your time there.

To many, Friday the 13th is unlucky, so why not bring some international luck to the day?
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