Alfama and the Azulejos Museum

I can’t begin to describe how much I love these colorful tiles. Similar styles exist in Mexico, and as I was growing up, my mother would buy pots, tiles, and other ceramics with a very similar aesthetic, really bringing the designs near and dear to my heart. Portugal is very proud of their tiling traditions, […]

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Livraria Lello in Porto

This is one of the most famous bookstores in the world, and for good reason. JK Rowling has cited this humble book purveyor as one of her inspirations for her book series, Harry Potter. While many people come here the capture some of that magic for themselves, to inspire their imaginations and realize the magic […]

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Sao Jorge Castle

Up one of the seven hills of Lisbon, you can find the ruins of the castle of Sao Jorge. Just past some gift shops, sloping past an outdoor urinal (oh how I wish I had taken a picture of it!), and in the sights of a statue of Saint George himself, you can step back […]

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Surgical/Medical Masks in Japan

Something that I thought would be appropriate to discuss was the use of surgical masks in Japan. I can’t speak for other Asian countries, but we tend to see lots of images of Asian people, in general, in surgical masks going about their daily routines. Many in the west scratch their head and ask “Why?” […]

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Valentine’s Day in Japan

If you’ve lived in Asia before, this may sound familiar. For those of you who have never been, particularly those in America, you may know Valentine’s Day as a holiday where, traditionally, it is expected that the man makes a grand gesture of sorts to show his love for his partner. That has changed a […]

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Healing Characters, Healing Women

When I started researching this post, my goal was to write and expand upon the Yuru-Kyara (mascot) article I had written before. That was before I upped my Japanese Google-fu and saw a ton of articles comparing the characteristics of healing characters with people, specifically, women, and how they can nurture those healing traits and […]

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