Welcome to the latest installment in our five part series on Expat Senses. So far we’ve brought you some of the best sights, sounds and tastes from cross the globe. This week we get hands on and explore a variety of textures and surfaces from silk to mud!
Durian fruit, South East Asia
Believe it or not, this hostile looking object is in fact a fruit! It can be found in most South East Asian countries, such as Malaysia and Thailand where it’s commonly sold at markets and street stalls. If you can get to grips with its thorny outer shell you will be rewarded but be warned…it’s not only the exterior that packs a punch. The smell of this fruit is so repellent to some that it has been known to have been banned from public transport and hotels!
In the Aeolian Islands in Italy, one the volcanic island of Vulcano, you will find the famous Laghetto di Fanghi mud baths. Here you can cover yourself top to toe in mineral-rich sticky mud and relax as it dries - momentarily turning you into a statue - before washing it off in the hot springs. A brilliant excuse to get messy but also great for the skin!
Silk Street, China
Forget spikey or sticky, Beijing’s Silk Street in China is a treat for anyone’s hands. This market is home to 17,000 retailers selling a variety of luxurious, brightly coloured fabrics that will appeal to even the most discerning shopper. 20,000 visitors trek to Silk Street daily so why not join the crowds and treat yourself to a custom made suit or traditional qipao so you can take a memento of your trip home with you?
Rock climbing, Spain
The only way is up if you’re faced with a wall of rough, cold rock. If you’re a fan of rock climbing, or just fancy giving it a go, Spain is a great place to start. The region has a great climate as well as several popular crags located near to coastal towns and cities. Be sure to get a strong pair of gloves to help you navigate the nook and crannies and most importantly – don’t look down!
Furry hats, Russia
In the north of Russia, winter temperatures have been known to fall to -40 so it’s vital that you wrap up warm! The traditional Russian hat, or Ushanka, has been worn in the country for many years and was originally designed to keep troopers warm in the cold winter months.
Stay tuned for the last in the series – expat smells. If you have any favourite smells in your host country or smells that evoke memories of home let us know by tweeting us @expatexplorer.