I visited Córdoba because I had no idea what I would find there. Places like this are my favorite (cp Bucharest, Belgrade, Ljulbljana). I spend four days over a weekend here in Argentina’s second largest city after Buenos Aires, exploring and conceptualizing. I found something a little different from other destinations I’ve so far cataloged across Europe and Asia. As in Buenos Aires the spaces, blocks and buildings are broad instead of tall (ancho, no alto) but less so pronounced in Cordoba than in BA. Since the largest universities in Argentina are in Córdoba, you see a lot of young people when walking through town. This gives it an energetic, diverse personality. On a stroll through a park I witnessed a rock climbing class, runners, BMX mountain bikers, Crossfitters and even a guy doing some pretty advanced static jumps with his mountain bike. Crazy! So much for my previous inclination that Argentinians have a predisposition to be lazy. Just as in Buenos Aires, Córdoba has great night life, restaurants and venues on par with any cool neighborhood in the United States. Also as in Palermo it is easy to forget you are not in the United States at times. Especially with being able to speak Spanish, the […]
Read More
South American summer has been a welcome change from 4 months in Asia. Ubiquitous beef has been an appreciated perk and during the month of February I’ve managed to average over one steak a day. My favorite cut is the bief de chorizo aka sirloin. An under appreciated cut in my opinion overshadowed by the more celebrated tenderloin, filet mignon or ribeye. Cheaper, with more fat and flavor (even if less tender) — a cheaper to boot. What’s not to love? Along with the beef I did my best to savor Malbec at every opportunity and did a 4 day trip to Mendoza to find it at its most authentic, local origin (and also McDonald’s). I spent most of the month of February living in Palermo, Buenos Aires, a posh neighborhood with restaurants, cafes and gringo tourists. There is a lot of graffiti and ‘street art’ and it’s not always entirely clear which is which. I started learning Spanish for the first time in my life. Five friends and I were together in a class with our sexy Argentinian teacher, Mariela, with classes twice a week. Surprisingly I love learning Spanish and hope to continue my learning during the next four months here in […]
Read More
The transition from Asia to South America afforded a new personal record for flight time – 40 hours of travel time spanning 4 flights : Tokyo->Hong Kong, Hong Kong -> New York, New York->Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo->Rio; it would have been a little shorter but my flight from New York to Rio was cancelled. Surprisingly it wasn’t so bad – the white noise of an airplane cabin is perfect for working (until your laptop battery expires). I had never been to Brazil before and in order to visit I had to venture to the Brazilian consulate in Nagoya, Japan, pay $220 and fill out some paper work. The visa is good for the next 10 years so I am excited to make further use of it. One thing I learned in my short trip to Rio is just how immense Brazil is (200 million people and a land area comparable to the United States); many varied ethnicities and regional cultures as well as geographies. My short 5 days in Rio served as an aperitif to the rest of Brazil. I stayed in Ipanema, between Leblon and Copacabana for most of my time. The last night I moved to an AirBnb in […]
Read More

Kyoto, Japan

by Reid Peryam· January 31, 2016· in Asia, Travel· 0 comments
Japan was the destination I have been most excited for over the past year. I’ve never been and from this American’s perspective everything about it seemed modern, unique and interesting. Kyoto contradicted my expectations. This city is hundreds of years older than the United States of America and based more on tradition more than the glitzy, crazy and humorous depictions publicized by western media. In fact I’ll go so far as to say things here in Kyoto are sort of Vanilla but I’ll stipulate that vanilla is one of my favorite flavors. The culture here is subdued, passive and extremely introverted. The city itself is far from the hyper-modern society I had (unfairly) expected (in ironic contrast to Seoul) — and really hangs its hat on the impressive array of historic monuments, temples, gardens and sites surrounding it. They are certainly wonderful to behold. I have never been to a place whose architecture is so strikingly, naturally beautiful, distinct and also unique within its style. This is a place where OCD can be at peace — the historical styles are classic and beautifully aesthetic. It is easily the most photogenic of destinations I have ever visited. I can stand or sit and simply stare at […]
Read More

Tokyo, Japan

by Reid Peryam· January 31, 2016· in Asia, Travel· 0 comments
In stark contrast to traditional Kyoto is modern, bustling Tokyo which embodies all of the western stereotypes of modern Japanese culture. Pachinko parlors, slot machines, video games, omnipresent karaoke, Godzilla — all here. When my friend Kevin and I ventured to Tokyo for five days though our favorite thing ended up being a small jazz bar called JBS (Jazz, Blues, Soul) operated by an older gentleman named Mr. Kobyashi. He serves top shelf Japanese whiskey for $4 dollars (comparable to a 16- 18 year old stateside). It only holds 10 people — most of the space is made to accommodate a very impressive vinyl record collection (10,000+) of jazz, blues and soul. We asked Mr. Kobyashi if there is an album he doesn’t own. He says “Two Headed Freap” by Ronnie Foster. We spend the subsequent day attempting to locate it in used vinyl stores in different neighborhoods around Tokyo to no avail. When I return to Tokyo next I will be bringing a copy of Two Headed Freap for Mr. Kobyashi.        
Read More

Seoul, South Korea

by Reid Peryam· January 01, 2016· in Asia, Travel· 0 comments
I arrived in Seoul on December 15th having no idea what to expect. I’ve never visited Korea before and I hardly know anything about its ancient or modern culture; but my perceptions led me here. It might seem silly to admit that part of my curiosity was piqued by the Samsung brand over the past 5 years. After inadvertently purchasing a new Samsung refrigerator, mobile phone and watching Samsung out work Apple, the richest company in the world — I came to respect the country that could harbor such a hard-working underdog — a country I had never really thought much about. All of a sudden I was thinking more about it and noticing other brands I liked – LG, Hyundai (I rented a Genesis, the upscale, under-priced rival to the BMW S3 four years ago — a really great car) and I decided there must be something in the water over in Seoul that was causing these guys to kick so much ass. My perceptions were not off base — South Korea is really a fascinating place that has been incredibly fun to explore. What’s most surprising is that historically, Korea hasn’t been in the market of winning, but losing (to Japan mostly). […]
Read More

Hanoi, Vietnam

by Reid Peryam· December 15, 2015· in Asia, Travel· 0 comments
Not my favorite destination upon arrival, Hanoi turned out to be a comfortable place to live for a couple of weeks after I became accustomed to the loud noises, smog and chaotic volume of unyielding traffic. I was in a three bedroom apartment across from the Daewoo Center, a skyscraper/department store/grocery store. The heart of Hanoi and the center which draws most of the tourism is about 20 minutes away from where I was. I joined a gym twenty minutes walk away and spent most of my time in Hanoi focused on cooking, eating and lifting. I got a new personal best on my back squat in Thailand the previous month and wanted to keep my momentum going. Highlights of Hanoi included the water puppet show (every time I say “water puppets” I smile — the concept itself is entertaining in and of itself), custom-ordering dress shirts and pants from a local tailor (they took 10 different measurements on my upper-body alone), doing Hatha yoga in a class of Vietnamese women, taught by an Indian instructor, in English and this incredibly strange interpretive dance performance that I attended. I’ve gotta say – for all the romanticism ascribed to Vietnam by post-war America […]
Read More
My most laid-back destination this year, Koh Phangan is an island off of the Thailand mainland. It’s a beachy place without an airport and lots of expatriates. I arrived early here with about 20 friends to attend the monthly Full Moon Party (and flee the toxic smog of Malaysia). We rented an AirBnb on the north side of the island for the week before the party and afterwards moved to the south side (near Haad Rin beach) for the rest of November. November begins the rainy season here and most days it rains hard. I have a scooter that I’ve rented for the month and use to cruise back and forth to the Muay Thai gym on the west side (other side) of the island (about a 25 minute scooter ride away). Afterwards I  do running and swimming intervals along Haad Rin Beach and try to dodge the jellyfish.
Read More
Penang was the first south east asian city I’ve visited. Unfortunately my arrival in early October coincided with the yearly jungle burnings in Malaysia and Indonesia. As the government of Indonesia attempts to create a cartel on palm oil, for months each year forested areas are burned to clear land for production. Unfortunately this results in an unhealthy, even toxic, cloud of pollution that sweeps across neighboring areas — including Penang. I didn’t see the sun for the entirety of the month I was there and many of the days the air quality index was “unhealthy” – smoggy, cloudy and disincentivizing outdoor activity. Luckily Uber is super inexpensive (and the currency, the ringgit is very weak to the US dollar) – so getting around was a snap, and everything else so inexpensive that weathering the toxic haze was at least economical. Penang is known as a foodie destination and is proud of its street food. I found the food generally terrific though the street food hit or miss. I ended up eating three entrees whenever I ate anywhere as the portions were modest and so were the prices. I found a wonderful Chinese restaurant around the corner from some coffee shops (affording a […]
Read More

Oktoberfest, Munich

by Reid Peryam· September 28, 2015· in Europe, Travel· 0 comments
Oktoberfest has been a highlight of 2015 for me and a complete surprise. I had no expectations of loving it as much as I did. A Bavarian tradition for over 180 years (Bavaria is a region of southern Germany unique from other regions in culture, dialect and other ways) Oktoberfest is the epitome of a unique, cultural immersion that should be experienced by everyone. And in Munich everyone does! The young, elderly, single and married — foreigners too — flock here once a year for an international celebration that lasts 18 wonderful, glorious, happy and blissful days. You might recognize Oktoberfest as a drinking festival and it largely is. German breweries erect massive tents holding up to 10,000 people (16 of these tents cover the Wiesn, or “grounds”) and serve their ice-cold brews in 1-liter glass steins for 10 euros apiece. This is actually quite a deal considering if Oktoberfest took place in the United States… well it wouldn’t be nearly as fun. For instance Bavaria is known for it’s hospitality and kindness to travelers (not exactly the same as the rest of Germany) — the tents take great pride in hosting its visitors and the service is second to none. You […]
Read More