🍌 Menu Makeover, Frozen Frolics, and More in Pipeaway Newsletter #115

Pipeaway travel newsletter #115; AI image by Ivan Kralj / DALL-E.

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Hi from truly Asia!

That’s Malaysia. I traveled there in thought. Before the pandemic hit, Kuala Lumpur was a place to launch my Asian adventures.

Thaipusam Festival, this bizarre Hindu piercing ritual that sees fasting devotees penetrated by needles, took over Malaysian temples last week. I visited the event back in 2017, and then also in 2019.

Carrying jugs filled with milk and heavy kavadi altars, climbing up the 272 stairs to Batu Caves is not an easy feat. There are announcements that an escalator should be installed this year. While this might be great news for disabled and elderly visitors, for those capable of walking – I think that the hardship of the endeavor is what makes it special.

This reminded me of my visit to Ijen, an Indonesian volcano where underpaid local miners pulled the carts with XXL visitors up the mountain. I don’t know if these tourists were truly proud of their “hiking experience”.

There are no great rewards without at least some sacrifice. Isn’t that the whole point?

Find this in today’s newsletter:

  • Words: From yuzu to boozu.
  • Images: Freeze, you’re under arrest.
  • Numbers: Bananas, desserts, and Kobe beef.
  • P.S.: Foodie fun.

Have a rewarding week!

Ivan Kralj        


A concerned woman sitting next to a smiling fat passenger on a plane who limits her personal space; AI image by Ivan Kralj, Dall-E.


The Big Squeeze at 30,000 Feet

Airplane seats are like puzzle pieces, and fitting in can be a challenge, especially if you are a plus-size passenger. Sometimes, even buying an additional seat on a plane may not be enough to save you from confrontation. Was the woman who recently refused to give her paid extra seat to a toddler in the wrong? In our feature, discover the tips and tricks for sitting next to a fat person on a plane, without causing a scene.




The New York Times dissected restaurant menus and concluded that they shrunk, got brighter, cuter, and more informal. The trending food includes Caesar salad, caviar, fried chicken, dishes with yuzu, and some rather nostalgic desserts. But fulfilling guests’ requests is not always a piece of cake. Some restaurants ask you to sign a waiver if you want your burger medium.


After that Air Canada passenger fell out of the plane, another tried a door-opening stunt – mid-flight! The passengers of AeroMexico flight defended their fellow flyer’s emergency-exit walkout onto the wing, as it was really hot inside. In another incident, American Airlines passengers breathed a sigh of relief when their gassy neighbor was removed for excessive farting. Where are those missing door plugs when you need them?


While you can sneak mini-bottles of alcohol on board, it’s never smart to sip them in plain view. These merry ladies got away with a warning, but the drunken scene by Samantha Fox grounded the plane. Other passengers were put up in a hotel, and an 80s pop star – in jail.




Knoxville residents don’t just build snowmen; they craft entire winter sagas! From snow bunnies and ducks to snow motorcycles, witness their art creations dating back to the 1960s.


During Chicago’s brutal winters, people throw their jeans outside to freeze. In Japan, they toss their husbands into the snow.


Chinese people abroad can sometimes get very sensitive about the privacy of their image, even if they happen to stand on a busy train station in London. The police had to step in when Brendan Kavanagh live-streamed his piano playing in public. Well, that rang a bell. I had a privacy-related conflict with Chinese tourists in Ethiopia myself.




The monthly salary for the job position of a Monkey King who should entertain the tourists visiting the Wuzhishan Scenic Area in China. The 2-hour working shift involves spending time trapped in a cave and being fed bananas. Oh, if concerned about privacy, there’s no escaping cameras here.


The percentage of new restaurant openings in the USA in 2023, according to Yelp. Those 53,800 restaurants equaled 2% growth when compared with pre-pandemic 2019. On a year-to-year basis, the fastest-growing category was dessert shops (66%).


The number of years you’d have to wait to get your order of Kobe beef croquettes at Asahiya butcher shop in Japan. The ridiculous waiting list has 63,000 customers standing in line.

Eatwith logo.


Eat Your Way Around the World!

Eatwith is the largest global community for authentic gastronomic adventures. We’ve written a complete guide to this social dining app that lets you eat with locals. At the moment, among the most popular experiences, you can find a food and wine walking tour in Taormina, Sicily, a dinner cruise on a historic saloon boat in Amsterdam, and a rooftop paella cooking class in Barcelona. Discover your favorite local food experience on Eatwith!

How did you like Pipeaway Newsletter #115? Send your feedback.
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This is the archived version of our free weekly newsletter. To start receiving it in your mailbox on the send-out day, join the newsletter list!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning if you click on them and make a purchase, Pipeaway may make a small commission, at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting our work!
Ivan Kralj


Award-winning journalist and editor from Croatia

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the whistling signal for the ship about to
leave the harbor

Mapping the extraordinary since 2017.


Pipeaway is a travel blog mapping extraordinary people, places and passions.
Founded and run by Ivan Kralj, Croatian award-winning journalist and editor.
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