Back in DC

“Why is it always up?”

– Me, Sa Pa, Vietnam

Hills, gradients, inclines, ascents, whatever you want to call or class them they hurt.


How on earth do people get used to this?

And more importantly, why is that wherever I am heading, it always seems like I’m going up!

Going to Jimmy T’s for breakfast?  yup, I’m going up.  Going to Union Market for lunch, yup, I’m still going up.  Arlington Cemetary? EVERYWHERE IS UP!

Up, up, up!  I should be on the moon by now!


Also, what is with the weather?  Last time I was here (Feb 2017) it was stone cold freezing.  And by freezing I mean that my lips were cracking!  When I arrived in Feb 2018?  16C (60F).  I was immediately regretting taking my raincoat with me.

The next day, and I was woken up by rain!  And tomorrow (at time of writing this section) it is forecast to snow apparently.

To be honest, I cannot complain about the rain too much.  It did allow me to find this photo opportunity with the US Capitol.



However, I am getting a little ahead of myself.


“Would Jim Tamangan please come to Airport Security”

Not going to lie, my heart jumped a bit when I heard that across the tannoy system.

Anyway,  every now and again you have to ask yourself the following:

“How spaced out am I?”  No?  Only me?  Crap… I am currently sitting having a coffee at Heathrow Airport, Terminal 5.


Look, Pret’s coffee is actually drinkable, so stop judging me!

And so far I have managed to:

  1. Drop my passport while going through security.
  2. Forget my laptop at security

In both cases, the items were returned to me.  The reason for the tannoy announcement was because of my laptop.  Never doubt the good nature of people!  Hopefully I will have the opportunity to “pay it forward” as the saying goes.

I’ll be honest, I’m not a fan of Heathrow Airport.   I always find it far too busy.  Also, getting here is a painful trip across London on the tube.

However, it is great for people watching.

And I now have a camera to stalk take pictures with.  I have my sister to thank for that.


Nikon D3100 in case you were not asking (oh, you weren’t).

And now let’s find food.

I found Wagamama’s

To be honest, the choices weren’t “great” here.  They weren’t bad, there’s Huxley’s (restaurant/bar), a Wetherspoon’s, and of course, Gordan Ramsey’s place.

However, Wagamama at least gives me a view to stare at (when I’m not typing away here, or browsing something silly on the interwebs)




I’ve missed this.  There used to be a stall at the food market on Leather Lane, that did this.  Sadly they have either shut down or just moved on.

I guess the competition of Vietnamese food bowls all around him was a bit harsh.

(also the burgers from the Italian guys there are also to die for).

I’ve REALLY missed Okonomiyaki.

Beyond that, I was subjected to airplane food.  Which was…IMG_20180215_130610.jpg

Unsurprisingly tasty.  Yes, I happen to think airplane food is not bad.  This is the Chicken in Ale casserole with kale mash.  I just wish the dessert they gave in economy class was a little bigger.

The flight itself was uneventful.  This is a good thing.  The last thing you want on a flight is drama.  However, the flight was packed with people heading to Katsucon.  Which I only found out right at the end of the flight.

It explained the higher percentage of teenagers on the flight.  And people playing Tekken 7 on a laptop.  Badly.  Next to me.

Unlike last year, I managed to get through security fairly quickly.  Although I did get slightly worried when the security officer started asking about my trip to Cuba.  But, I was out and on the way to my hostel without any awkward questions.

After getting settled into the hostel (City House Hostel), I went to find to find coffee (as usual).


Coffee was found at Ebenezers.  This allowed to figure out where I was going for dinner.

Dinner would be at Chiko’s

CHIKO is the first restaurant from The Fried Rice Collective. Chef’s Danny Lee and Scott Drewno pair modern cooking techniques with traditional Chinese and Korean flavors, while Drew Kim provides his passion for hospitality ensuring a unique dining experience.

They are a 30-minute walk away.  Long enough to stretch my legs, and justify the food I might be ordering.


Dinner was the chopped brisket for $18.  After finishing that I felt like getting some rest.


The Next Day:

Let’s talk Jimmy T’s.  I love getting breakfast here.  Not just because the people here are always fun to chat with.  Cindy’s still making food here, and I get a great start to the day.

And I’m not just biased because the place has more than a passing resemblance to my name.

Also, one of the things I love about here is the random things that happen to be on display.

Like this lamp.  Or the fuzzy dice, and can of Popeye spinach.



Food markets.

Just like back in London, I have a tendency to not find out about local food markets until much later.  Case in point, Union Market.  I have been to DC three times prior to this trip.  And only now do I find this place.


That bike is so cool!

Here’s the rub.  It was straight up the road from the hostel I like staying at, City House Hostel.  Just in the other direction.  So much for being some sort of intrepid explorer.  It did mean I tried going in the other direction of H Street during the evening, in the hope I would find something new.  Not yet.




I also found this lovely Shrimp Banh Mi with fries.


I promise there is a Banh Mi underneath those fries.

It is by the lovely people at The FishWife for $12.

Arlington Cemetary

Arlington National Cemetery is a United States military cemetery in Arlington County, Virginia, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., in whose 624 acres (253 ha) the dead of the nation’s conflicts have been buried, beginning with the Civil War, as well as reinterred dead from earlier wars

– Wikipedia



Later on in the day I got this ceviche poke bowlIMG_20180216_144306.jpg

From Poke Papa on H Street (near ChinaTown) for $14.  Hand on heart, I’m not sure if it was worth the $14, but I cannot deny that it was really tasty.




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