While I usually blog about language learning, I know a lot of you enjoy my travel and cultural updates as much or more. I’ve been travelling the world since 2003, but even forgetting the time involved, I have lived in twenty three countries (and counting); that’s lived as in, spent at least a month (usually […]MORE
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with a pretty successful Polish mini-mission behind me, tomorrow I am flying to Oslo!
Of course I plan to be a respectful tourist and be fully capable of ordering food, asking directions, being polite, and giving basic info about myself, all in Norwegian.
However, since I am not under any pressure to do something else (my trip to Warsaw was specifically to speak at TEDx, and preparing for that talk took time out of the 5 hours I had planned for polish, knocking it down to only 2! The talk went well, and you can see a cool visual representation of what I was saying in the image above that was drawn while I was saying it!) I think I will actually manage to do five full hours of preparation this time! 🙂MORE
After I got back from Siwa, I got on the train to Cairo for my flight to Sharm el Sheikh. Unlike the previous occasion that I had gotten the train, I arrived with plenty of time!
But I had a completely different problem this time! After I got on the train, I was a little weary of anything happening to my window after rocks had been thrown at it on the Luxor-Cairo leg, and the sun was shining in on my face, so I thought I should pull down the blind of course.MORE
(Today’s video is in English, but has a brief segment in Arabic when I chat to my jeep driver).
Don’t worry, next week I’ll get back to language updates, including a video where I do most of the talking, all spontaneous, so you can hear what my level truly is. For now, I wanted to share my favourite place on my travels in Egypt: the Siwa Oasis!
It’s a 10 hour or so bus ride from Alexandria (where I ended the first leg of my travels), through a road that has only been paved in recent decades, and as you can see it’s a huge area of fertile land covered by palm trees, rather than our stereotypical image of an oasis being a single watering hole.MORE
When you leave the chaos of Cairo, you are instantly hit by how peaceful Aswan is. No constant horns and no polluted skyline. As you can see in the start of the video, you also get the more typical view of the Nile we expect with huge sand dunes right by the bank of the river.
While in Aswan, I got to learn about Nubian culture, as most of those I would speak to were Nubians. This included the Felucca boat and sailor that I hired for the day through a local company. The captain picked me up and brought me as far downstream as we could go for the first half of the day before we turned back.MORE
After leaving Cairo, the first stop on my Egyptian travels was Aswan, the furthest south in the country where you can find a major settled area, and where the Egyptian part of the Nile begins after Lake “Nasser” and the High Dam.
By far, the most interesting part of my time there was discovering things about the ethnic group known as the Nubians, which at one point in history were able to overpower the Pharaohs of Egypt, but have had an unfortunate history of displacement and migration, especially in the last century.
To share that story, I let Gasser M. Anwar, a Nubian working in the tourist industry, take the microphone to share his perspective on it all with us. With subtitles in English and Arabic as always!MORE
In the last five months, I have definitely received the most double takes of my life whenever I said that I had been learning all my Egyptian Arabic in Brazil.
It’s just such an unlikely combination! Brazil has never had a huge or even tiny wave of Egyptian immigration. While there, I only managed to meet one single Egyptian in person in my entire 3 months. This was partially the reason I did it – to prove that even if there are no natives nearby, you can learn to speak the language entirely online.MORE
Don’t worry, video updates in Arabic are coming soon 😉 Today I’ve just recorded the first of many videos to document my time in this country, and it should be on my Youtube channel by Monday (need time to upload HD videos on slow connections, as well as subtitling). But first, it’s time for another […]MORE
I woke up groggy, still trying to snooze off a sleepless night of New Year’s parties, looked out my window and could see that we had just flown over a small bay of some sort that showed the Mediterranean sea part of my journey was done. Our flight had just entered Egypt, and it […]MORE
Edit: I wasn’t expecting this post to cause so much debate, but like the one linked just below, the reason I wrote it isn’t to be “anti-American” as far too many crybabies are claiming, but because you guys need to read a different perspective and understand how us non-Americans think for a retrospective look at […]MORE
Today, I want to mention one of the most important points in my life, when my destiny changed and my faith in the traditional system of study hard, get a job, work up the ladder, and retire with as much money as possible, was absolutely shattered and I decided to start over from scratch, and why I’m really glad that I did.
Sorry it’s a little long, but I do want to give the full picture so you have the context of how my philosophy on life evolved dramatically in a very short time.MORE
This video was recorded just before I left Brussels. I had the chance to finally meet up with Christine Schmit in person – she is the one who translated the Language Hacking Guide to French (here is the sales page in French for “Domptez les langues étrangères”). She is from Luxembourg, but made the trip to spend a few hours with me.MORE
As you all know, I’m a huge fan of Quebec and especially of its French dialect (here’s a video of me in French, interviewing a Quebec girl about the differences) and the wonderful people there. Because I genuinely tried to speak like them while living in Montréal, rather than rigidly sticking to the French I […]MORE
One of the most prominent myths in language learning is that you have to go to the country to successfully learn it. This is so untrue!! I have always said that it depends on your attitude not your latitude and moving to the country may not help at all in some cases. This topic will […]MORE