The universe conspires…  On my first Sunday in Paris, my plans and backup plans to castle-hop in the outskirts of Paris, visit a park, eat breakfast at Coutume Café, etc etc tanked one after the other and I was miserable. The thing about traveling solo is that the highs are really high and lows are really low. I didn’t have a friend to laugh off the day’s debacles or a book to bury my nose in (all bookshops were closed) or phone service to talk to anyone. I roamed around the Latin Quartier trying to find an empty restaurant, away from happy groups of friends. As I walked by this small restaurant in a narrow alley, the jolly owner waved a menu and ushered me in. I peered inside for signs of people and when I saw there was nobody, I ensconced myself in a seat next to the window…Continue Reading
The concept of cat café is not really novel; cat cafes have been around since 1998 in Taiwan. While Paris, Montreal, Copenhagen, NYC and other western countries opened their first cat cafés last year, Japan expanded its monkey business beyond the realm of cats and dogs. Today, Japan boasts of goat cafés (no kidding, goat cafés are a real thing), reptile cafes, rabbit cafes and what not. If you didn’t know already, I’m obsessed with cats. I spent a good chunk of my childhood in the company of many whiskered four-legged friends. I fed and befriended all the strays and pets I bumped into, and soon my apartment was swarming with cats of all tail-sizes. When word got around about this in the neighborhood, I was nominated the go-to cat whisperer and was called upon to solve any cat-a-clysms that arose. My parents put up a tough front initially but…Continue Reading