- Muhammad Lila at dotWorld6 mths ago
DELHI, India – In most American cities, seeing real-life monkeys usually involves a visit to the zoo.
In Delhi, the monkeys come to you.
“They’re everywhere,” one angry neighborhood resident explains. “My kids can’t even play outside because there’s so many of them.”
There are no official numbers, but estimates suggest there are tens of thousands of monkeys roaming Delhi’s streets. The city’s large tree canopy and forests offer the perfect natural habitat for the monkeys to live. But in several areas, particularly certain upscale neighborhoods, there are more monkeys than people.
Generally, the monkeys are harmless and don’t interact with humans, but in large numbers, they’re now causing serious problems. In Delhi, most houses store drinking water in rooftop water tanks. The monkeys, who climb walls and traverse from rooftop to rooftop with ease, have learned how to open the tanks. When they drink from the water, it contaminates the entire supply.
Other monkeys have grown more bold, entering houses, stealing food and clothing, breaking windows, defecating, and terrorizing residents.
- Muhammad Lila at dotWorld6 mths ago
Mumbai – It could be biggest thing since morning coffee.
Oprah Winfrey and Starbucks are spending millions to launch Oprah’s own brand of Indian-style chai tea. In a video she released to promote the brand, Oprah describes her first experience with aromatic , spiced Indian tea during a visit to India in 2012.
“I literally was sitting at the home of some people who had some really nice tea. And they said that’s masala chai, so that’s when I became a pursuant of good, strong chai.”
Parvati Hedge is the person who made the tea for Oprah. We tracked her down in a slum in Southern Mumbai, where she, her husband, and three daughters live in near squalor. To say they live in a one-bedroom home would be an understatement. The room is the home. One side has a small electric cooktop, and the barren floor doubles as a living space. The home is so small that if you stretched out your arms, you could practically touch the walls on either side. At night, Parvati and her daughters sleep crowded together on the floor, forcing her husband Rajesh, to sleep outside on the street because there isn’t space for him indoors. The neighborhood has a communal bathroom and kitchens.
- Joohee Cho at dotWorld6 mths ago
Iga, Japan - Hollywood has often portrayed ninjas as evil assassins like the characters in the film G.I. Joe: Retaliation. But for Motoharu Murai, they remain as heroes – professionals trained in skills of ninja, or ninjutsu. “It’s a misunderstanding,” he points out who has run a small ninja souvenir shop for 40 years in Iga city, a two-hour drive north of Osaka, Japan. “They were pure in spirit, devoted in loyalty, and masters of discipline.”
In fact, his late-grandfather was a real ninja who could stick fingers in a boiling pot of oil and not feel the heat just by concentrating in a meditating state of mind. “You know, he always slept sitting down,” the 61 year-old says in pride showing an old black-and-white photo of a man in a ninja suit making a peculiar finger sign. “If you sleep lying down, my grandfather used to say your energy will disperse.”
The Iga clan is from where the ninjas originated in the 1750s. This small town of just 100,000 people pride themselves as descendants of the mysterious ninjas. About 300,000 visitors – many dressed in ninja outfits - flock to the small city during the annual Ninja Festival held from April 1 to May 6.
- Joohee Cho at dotWorld6 mths ago
Kyoto, Japan - For over a thousand years, Kyoto has thrived as the cultural and imperial capital of Japan. Now a popular tourist destination, it is also the hometown of Japan’s mysterious geishas.
The word ‘geisha’ means a skilled artist highly trained in music, dance, and art of conversation. They were not paid to sell bodies; instead, geishas were considered beauty-obsessed elite.
The geisha culture rose to its peak in the 1750s and gradually disappeared before the Second World War. Now there are only 300 of them left in Kyoto entertaining at heavily expensive restaurants.
For average visitors even spotting one of those beautiful geishas is extremely difficult. But there are relatively new services that have become especially popular in recent years: geisha makeover.
Professional makeup artists and attendants transform visitors into a geisha complete with white foundation, wig and traditional kimono. The two full hours of applying makeup could be a bit too much to endure but the end result is well worth it.
Prices range from $100 to $2000 with optional services at an additional charge; for example, going out to the streets or taking rickshaw rides.
- Mark Ellwood at dotWorld7 mths ago
Margaret Dabbs is arguably the poshest pedicurist in the world, tending to celebrities, socialites and, of course, a few royals, from her discreet salon in the center of London. No wonder she has been nicknamed “The Queen of Feet.”
Of course, that jetset clientele won’t settle for anything less than first class foot care -- so Dabbs personally devised a signature treatment that will turn back time for tony toes. This four-stage process, the ultimate pro pedicure, costs $1250 per foot, or $2,500 in total.
Of course, not everyone can quite foot that bill, but don’t be discouraged. Dabbs has some suggestions for the ultimate at-home treatment, and how you can improve that DIY toe job in just three steps.
First, don’t ever soak the feet before treating them -- after all, once they’re wet, you can’t see where there’s hard skin to remove -- and invest in a professional file.
“People use these devices that look like a kitchen saw,” she explains. “Please stay away from them, and you won’t have those fish scales that people get two or three days after taking off dry skin.”
- Angel Canales at dotWorld7 mths ago
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Visitors to the lush greenery of this island may notice a peculiar two-note sound similar to "co - key" and assume it comes from a bird.
But this sound is actually made by a tiny frog known as el coquí. Being a nocturnal frog, the coquí hides during the day and emerges at sundown to delight residents with its melody.
The common coquí or the Eleutherodactylus genus is an important aspect of Puerto Rican culture and many consider it the unofficial mascot of the island.
"It is not only a national symbol but also Puerto Ricans are very proud of the coquí. It defines what we are, our culture and our heart," says Danny Muñiz, deputy director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company.
When some Puerto Ricans want to express their nationality, they say: " Soy de aquí como el coquí " (I'm as Puerto Rican as a coquí).
"Some tourists think it's another type of animal. There are stories about people trying to shake a tree to see a little bird flying and they are always surprised when they find out it is a frog," added Muñiz.
- David Miller at dotWorld7 mths ago
When bats began migrating to Austin, Texas in the early 1980s, locals were afraid that the bats would be a rabies spreading menace. But in the three decades that they’ve been coming to Austin they’ve become a part of the city’s identity and an unofficial mascot.
Every summer evening at sunset, boats fill the water of Lady Bird Lake and people line the railings of the Congress Avenue Bridge to watch the bats fly from underneath the bridge to feed on bugs for the evening.
At the peak of summer there are more than 1.5 million bats that leave their home under the bridge all at once, filling the nights sky with a dark cloud of bats.
Around 750,000 mostly pregnant female bats migrate from Mexico every spring and colonize under the bridge to give birth in the summer. Once the bats have their pups, the number grows to more than 1.5 million.
The city of Austin never intended to become the summer home of the Mexican free-tailed bats. Without realizing it, a chance expansion to the Congress Avenue Bridge and the addition of expansion joints created the perfect home for the bats.
- Genevieve Shaw Brown at dotWorld7 mths ago
There are a million things to do in New York City, but chances are if you’re coming with kids, a visit to the American Museum of Natural History is at the top of your list. And sure, you could learn about dinosaurs and our solar system during regular visiting hours, but you might not know you can actually spend the night at the museum and do things they’d never let you do during the light of day.
But at $150 per person, it’s not a cheap adventure. Think about it: A family of four could easily spend the night in a five-star hotel for the same money. Here, you’re sleeping on cots and bringing your own sleeping bag. Director of Visitor Services Brad Harris said it’s roughly the same price as a Broadway show. True. And you get about six hours of nonstop activity included in the fun.
Actually, it turns out you can’t even squeeze all the activities on the schedule into the night. When a museum is the size of four city blocks, there’s plenty to see and do.
But I sure did try. I took my niece, 8, and nephew, 6, to the Night at the Museum. After we found our cots and dropped off our bags, we began our adventure at about 6 p.m.
- David Miller at dotWorld7 mths ago
It’s an 80-degree day in Homestead, Florida and we’re on an air-boat in the Florida Everglades looking for alligators. Moving slowly over the shallow and murky water, our guide Luke is confident that wild alligators don’t attack, but fears have a tendency to blur reality.
“These wild gators don’t know what we are and we’re too big,” he says. That’s comforting except that there are only a few inches of fiberglass preventing us from becoming the exception to a gator's jaws. These guys have a 2,000 pound per square inch bite, that's the weight of a small car.
We’re at the Everglades Alligator Farm, south Florida’s oldest alligator farm. It’s 250 acres of wetlands that butts up to the Everglades National Forest where visitors come to see alligators, snakes and birds in their natural habitat.
It was our first time on an air-boat and flying smoothly over the tall grass at high speeds was thrilling as we braced for bumps and chops that never came. Without warning, Luke would make sweeping turns, sloshing up old brown water into our shoes (Note: don’t wear leather).
- Alexander Marquardt at dotWorld7 mths ago
Forget Big Ben, red double-decker buses, even the royal family at Buckingham Palace. If you really want a quintessential English experience head to an English pub and order a pint of beer.
Pubs like the Mawson Arms, located in London are much more than just a place to grab a drink; many of them are practically social institutions. Some even consider their local pub, or public house, as their home away from home.
Used by people of all ages, classes, and occupations, pubs are among the few places in Britain where it’s acceptable to strike up a conversation with a stranger.
The main attraction, however, is the beer.
Every pub has a long line of beer levers with names, which most Americans would have a hard time recognizing. If you are expecting to be served a nice cold and refreshing pint of beer, you might be a little disappointed. Brits prefer their beer warm since it brings out more of the beer’s flavor.
And while most pubs are bringing food into the mix, there is no waiter service in English pubs. So don’t sit at an open table and wait to place your order or the only thing you’ll end up getting is funny looks.