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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Dress Code Etiquettes Around The World - (Part 3)

What you have to wear when you're on the street in:

DUBAI: usually, it's on the mall (not the street) is the place;. Women can wear T-shirts that cover shoulders out of respect and as a protection against freezing AC's in the mall. They carry tote - Louis Vuittons! Shawls are being carried as well for a quick conservative look, although some wear shorts or mini's Men wear reflective avaiators and Gucci sandals. Here, you need a signature brand or two to be big ;).

EGYPT: Men always wear undershirts beneath polos, even on warm days. Women should wear ankle-length jeans or long skirts. Khaki cargo styles are popular. Shorts are only preferred to be worn when you're playing at a sports club.

IRAN: Islamic dress code are strictly enforced which requires women (including non-Muslims) to cover their head to toe. Those working wear chadors, although manteau over jeans is accepted! Hijabs are often pinned with pretty brooches. Minimal make up, recommended, NO bright lipstick but flawless eyebrows is a must!

ISRAEL: Cotton shorts and tank tops are commonly worn in places like Tel Aviv and Ellat during hot season. Everywhere is fairly casual. Jerusalem, Galilee and Tiberias get colder winters so they wear more conservative dress. Long skirts are ideal for women and everyone should be covered up in religious sites with high necks and long sleeves.

JORDAN: Rich red embroidery in popular, so western women can choose to have detailed tunics over loose trousers, while many locals also wear pants. Also black cotton dresses with embellished and with traditional needle work are worn. Men wear khakis and collared shirts.

LEBANON: Beirut is considered fashionable but since majority are poor, they wear more conservative look. Women wear light dresses or caftans, while men wear belts and loafers and carry crisp bills folded in money clips. This style however is not recommended in the capital city.

MOROCCO: Styles are modern urban wear when strolling. Some women still wear head scarves but mostly wear trendy tops and jeans.

SYRIA: Most older women (40 and above) still wear hijabs or scarves on their head when shopping, tourists aren't required to do so. But do cover arms and legs before going out as a sign of respect.

CHINA: Some Chinese women still wear conservative cuts, but many are wearing shirts that are sometimes transparent, making the bra in full view. Wearing flip-flops in China are considered cheap!

INDIA: Designer clothes aren't right in the city streets. Wear drawstring pants, leather toe sandals, and a cotton T-shirt. Men can wear knee-length tunic with cotton or linen bottoms.

INODNESIA: Flip-flops are only worn in the bathroom! Gladiator sandals are ideal, sneakers or ballet flats, with jeans. Any tops with collar like polo shirt is also recommended as a sign of respect.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A Break-Sweating Vacation, Anyone?

Perhaps, it's time to consider some heart-pumping excitement for a vacation. Why not? Just imagine after that daylong hike, there's a 90-minute massage waiting for you! :).

You might wanna check these places:
  1. Canada: - How about a 3-day trek starting at Bobbie Burns Lodge - home to the region's best-stocked wine cellar. Try the zip lines, foot bridges and iron axes needed to reach your 10,000-foot date with destiny :).
  2. Brazil: - Alpha Adventure experience, anyone? It's a car-free island 100 miles from Rio de Janiero. It's an experience of aggro-sounding, week long guy retreat with spiking activities such as rappelling and machete-hacking. More refined male pursuits are also options such as yoga and samba lessons.
  3. Portugal: - Offers some of the best surfing in Europe such as Nomad Surfer's near Praia de Amado. There, you can get instruction and gear plus chilled-out yoga lessons.
  4. Tanzania: - Go horse back riding and explore its 350,000 square-acre Singita Grumeti Reserve. Consists of 4 nights convoys - 6 riders maximum, with 25 miles passing herd of giraffees, zebras and wildebeests.
  5. Maldives: It's more than 20 hours flight from the US, but worth it! Check the boat ride offers that connects five nearby islands to form a 12-mile biking and hiking path for visiting villages along the coasts.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Dress Code Etiquettes Around The World - (Part 2)

In JAPAN, basic black suits are recommended for men.

In PAKISTAN, women can wear tunics and fitted jackets and even low-cut blouses, but must cover their legs with loose pants. Men wear ties and jackets for those in the corporate fields and banking but not for media.

In SINGAPORE, casual attires are preferred for business meetings (at least dresswise). Both men and women wear oxfords and slacks. Women can also wear trendy peg-leg pants.

In FRANCE, both men and women wear dark, tailored, unflashy suits, and no need to wear ties.

In GERMANY, men wear tweedy jackets while women of management positions strive to be staid in dark suits, discreet jewelery and loaferlike shoes.

In GREECE, men prefers to wear suits, pressed cotton shirt and Hermies tie, while women go with glitz and gold buttons like dark Armani suits, strappy heels, and smart leather bags.

In ITALY, men can wear low-cut shirts and vibrantly hued. Men's suits should be perfectly tailored.

In RUSSIA, for women, they'll be hard pressed to get hems higher or necklines lower than those of Muscovite businesswomen. They also spend time on their hair and make-up. Men wear double-breasted suits, preferrably pin-striped with mullets as accessory! Mullets are trendy!

In TURKEY, both men and women wear manicure because Turkish are known to be perfectly groomed. Hair should be perfectly trimmed, suits should be fitted but jackets and pants need not match, with button-downs left open and worn without undershirts showing. No matter the quality of tailoring is, suit should fit you well.

In UK, suits and tie are worn in downtown on weekdays, except Fridays! Execs would wear uniforms of the newest Nikes and skinny jeans.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A New Way To Book A Trip

One of the new add-on to MS Outlook is the Tripware wherein you can simply select the dates you want to travel and just click the tripware icon. You'll be taken to a separate window where you can then search for flights, hotels or rental cars. You can also purchase, make or cancel reservations or change dates right from your Outlook. Isn't that cool?

Tripware uses the same back-end system such as that of Orbitz and Expedia, so it offers the same deals.

The main good thing the next time you book your next trip is to use Tripware without even opening your web browser.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Dress Code Etiquettes Around The World - (Part 1)

When you are at a meeting:

In DUBAI, women usually wear pantsuits that are sheeny and glam, while men wear black, buffed and paired with slim ties.

In EGYPT, Ties and sports coats are almost obsolete. In formal meetings, long sleeve with button-down and slacks is acceptable. Women usually wear jackets over high-necked shell and loose pants.

In IRAN, a "chador" (hooded floor-length cloak) should be worn by women meeting a clerical group. In most gatherings, women should wear a black "manteau" (loose coatlike garment), a low-closed pumps, and an Iranian "hijab".

In ISRAEL, jeans are commonly worn than ties and jackets, and in business formal meetings, means no more than a button-down and khaki pants. For women who are attending meetings with religious colleagues, skirts are preferred than trousers. Liberal places such as Tel-Aviv, trendy dresses from boutiques are commonly worn by women.

In LEBANON, Men prefers a two-button Hugo Boss brand, navy or black. Women are fashionable with straight skirts and fuschia jackets. Hair ponytail is NOT recommended.

In MOROCCO, women and men are invariably formal in suits.

In SYRIA, men wear suits; women wear skirt ensembles. No trousers or slacks.

In CHINA, homogenous suits and ties are being worn even on hot summer days. Women going for business meetings don't wear any makeup or jewelry and everyone shies away from conspicuos consumption to show they're focused on the business at hand.

In INDIA, pantsuits are very well tolerated anywhere on the Indian subcontinent. Wear cotton or linen in summer, pair it with colored scarf or dangle earrings. Men can wear color, too ;).

In INDONESIA, men wear batik-button-downs with khaki pants and closed shoes, while women wear plain dresses, long sleeves and hair ponytails with lipsticks and blush ons. Notable jewelries are not recommended.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Maryland's Historic National Road

I must really admit, I've been to so many places around, but I didn't even notice how beautiful is my home based state; - Maryland! :)
The Historic National Road is said to be a journey full of nostalgia taking you from downtown Baltimore to the mountains of Western MD along the nation's first federally funded highway. I am looking forward to this trip.
But for those who are planning to do some worthwhile itineraries for your vacation, it might help to share some few backgrounds about what to expect, according to my reads ;).

You can enjoy the scenic and idyllic towns of yester years by following the route of the old National Road along Route 40, I-70 and I-68 from Baltimore to Grantsville.
You'll start your trip at the Baltimore Visitor Center located at Baltimore's Inner Harbor. In there, you can get maps and driving directions for the Historic National Road.

If you want to explore some exhibits, got to Ellicott City at the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum. You can also see the hand chiseled milestones that once marked the distance to Baltimore on the old National Pike in Mt. Airy, MD. Route 40 passing right through downtown will take you to the city of Frederick. Here is an ideal place for you to shop and dine, - a good place to spend the night as well.
Frederick, MD is also where you can find the monument of Francis Scott Key, the lyricist of the "Star-Spangled Banner," located at Mt. Olivet Cemetery.

On the west side of Frederick are the mountainous climbs of Maryland's often overlooked western edge, and the Historic National Road passes through the center of Hagerstown that has Gothic Revival and art deco architectures. You can visit Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum and the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts.
You can capture good photos of your poses in Wilson at the wayside park adjacent to one of the National Road's original stone and arched bridges over Conococheague Creek, then you can drop by and visit at the R.H. Wilson & Son General Merchandise & Post Office for old-fashioned barrel candy and a glass-bottled soda.

One of the trip highlights is the Town Hill Overlook, west of Hancock. You can get scenic shots to take in the view of long trapezoid-shaped mountains and rolling farmland and see where I-68 cuts through the gap in the Allegheny Mountains.

For those who have more time to spend, the historic industrial town of Cumberland will be a good stop. Here, the Historic National Road meets the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and the old Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.
The C & O Canal Natioanl Historical Park/Allegany County Visitor Center is located at the former Western Maryland Railroad station at the terminus of the C & O Canal. Here, a full-sized replica canal boat is located adjacent to the station, a part of the Canal Place Heritage Area.

Up the west of Garrett County is a high mountain plateau extending to the western edge of the state. In Grantsville, you can explore the Casselman River Bridge which the old road once passed; stop in at the Penn Alps Restaurant for a taste of Amish fare and explore handmade wares and studios of the Spruce Forest Artisan Village before going back home or continuing to follow Route 40 going Pennsylvania.

Have a nice, fun trip! :)

Monday, February 1, 2010

Modern Strategies of Travelling Today (Part 5)

Car Rentals.
  • Reserve the least expensive model. If the car you reserved isn't available, mostly they would give you a better car for the same price. You can as well negotiate an upgrade at the car rental counter.
  • Avoid extra-driver fees and additional paperworks by joining the loyalty club.
  • Don't pay double for car insurance. If you own a car and your owner's policy covers you no matter what car you're driving, including a rental, there's no need to give the rental car agency that extra $10-20 per day. Also, most credit cards cover the Collision Damage Waiver (CDW).

Tipping.
  • There are general rules to follow regarding tipping in the US.
  1. Bellmen: at least $1-2 per bag.
  2. Housekeepers: a couple bucks per day might not mean much to you but it will mean a lot to the housekeeper.
  3. Concierges: Snagging a theater ticket or restaurant reservation is at least $20.
  4. Waiters: Under 15% means you didn't like the service.
  5. Taxi drivers: tips are at least 15-20%, or at least $1 for every five dollars of fare. Round up to the nearest buck. No one likes to deal with change :).
  • Cruise ship tips are mostly automatically added to your bill. Don't be scared to let them know if you'd like to reduce the service fee and explain your reasons to the purser. The cruise line deserves the right to know when passengers are disappointed.
  • Customary tips vary from country to country so read the guidebook on the tipping part.