On Getting Laid Over, Mayonnaise & Monkey Raids: Essay Ideas

  • Getting Laid (Over) in Hong Kong : An overnight flight from Kathmandu spit me out in Hong Kong for a long layover. I chopsticked drippy food court cabbage that I elbowed aggressive old ladies in line for and considered what foreign pharmaceuticals I might procure with my remaining $3.33 in HKD. Leftover blessings from prayer flags and offerings landed me a front row seat in business class at economy prices but I quickly found that the fish curry tastes the same and the passengers are just as classless.

 

  • Redefining Dietary Constraints: I work for a tour company and people have the opportunity to note dietary constraints for their leader’s information, though meals are rarely included. While the field is intended for fatal shellfish allergies or egg-induced projectile vomiting, people often specify details like “prefer light mayonnaise ONLY” or “mostly vegetarian but will eat sausage in emergencies”.  I’m not sure where they’ve been getting their phở but you will not likely be eating mayonnaise in Vietnam, and I can confidently say that if you get lost in the Bolivian salt flats, there won’t be an emergency ration of salami. Thought it could be funny to explore the trendiness of food allergies and how they are (not) accommodated while traveling.
  • Monkeys Exposed: Capuchin monkeys were the focus of my third grade “Habitats” diorama, crafted after a playful interaction on a class trip to the zoo. I was too young to realize the sins of which new world monkeys are capable. It wasn’t until 20 years later that the camera-stealing monkeys of Bali, the overweight monkeys of Koh Phi Phi and the compost-raiding monkeys of Dharamsala confirmed that monkeys were no longer my favorite creature. I  think it would be funny to discuss the way that tourism and development has shaped the behaviors of animals.

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