Abby and I just completed the first segment of our flight to Thailand and are now sitting in the Taipei airport waiting for the food court to open (it’s 6:00am here). The flight was pretty uneventful, though we had a classic “what is it??” moment after I ordered porridge for breakfast on the plane. My food came with “Flavored Tuna Floss”. Sounds delicious, but What is it??
After a brief hiatus, Allison springs back into action and wins the eighth round of “What is it??”. Yes, the delicacy being produced here is Yomogi Mochi, also known as Kusa Mochi. We found this machine in Nara, Japan with an audience of spectators and patrons. As Allison noted, Yomogi Mochi is infused with mugwort, which gives it its green color, and inside was a sweet red bean paste. Tasty!
Also note that this machine represents a huge advancement in the production of Yomogi Mochi, and is far safer and less tiring than the traditional method:
Courtesy of japanvisitor.com
As we have entered the final week of our 18-week journey, we thought we would kick it up a notch and introduce the first video installment of What is it??. Same rules apply. Best of luck.
P.S. We are purposely not revealing our current location to make things a bit trickier.
While we thought this was a tricky one and wanted to give all of our loyal readers a chance to chime in, it turns out that the winning response was submitted less than nine hours after the original posting. This round’s congratulations goes to Dani! As her research proves, these are the phone numbers of concrete drillers offering their services. So if you’re interested in a good Skype prank-call, one of these may be a good choice.
We learned a lot about our readers this round as we saw guesses roll in related to gangs, “professional women,” and illegal business. It’s not that these activities do not occur, but they are advertised in different ways.
This week’s congratulations goes out to Bob! It’s a sand-crab hole. Unfortunately, the judges have reason to believe that more than one “Bob” may be following this blog and thus they have requested a last name or other identifying information to ensure tallies are properly recorded.
We’d also like to recognize Dani for the research she posted related to these sand-crabs. We were positively fascinated by the patterns these little animals create. Our first half-hour on the beach was spent hunched over the sand inspecting these and trying to figure out what exactly they were. We knew that if we posted to the blog someone would help out with that task.
For further proof, here is a shot of one of the many resident sand-crabs.
Travel Status Update:
We are in Bangkok right now, delighting in the frenetic energy, hot/dirty air, and ample street food. We are getting up at 5:30a.m. tomorrow to watch the election returns roll in from a restaurant where we hear other Americans are gathering. Our votes are in. Our hopes are high. Expect a more detailed Bangkok post soon.
The results are finally in! This is a picture of a Balinese banten, or offering. Store and restaurant owners, guesthouse owners, and many other people we saw in Ubud put these out, sometimes several times a day.
Rose is the winner with her quick response, less than three hours after we posted the challenge. Congratulations, Rose!
We are impressed that we actually have a winner this round. We thought this was a pretty tough one, but Senior Beller (a.k.a. my dad, Dave) pulled through with the correct answer of fairy circles. This photo was taken from the tiny Cessna that transported us from Windhoek to the desert on our first day in Namibia. We saw all sorts of different interesting landscapes, but this was the most striking by far. In certain spots, the Namib desert is covered with these circles of brush that are called “fairy circles” and make the ground look polka-dotted from the air.
No one really knows what causes the circles, but theories range from fungus to termites to radioactive soil. We’re pretty sure it’s aliens.
We’re going to pull a Palin and also give a “shout-out” to Deanna, who correctly identified the photo as a view of the desert from a plane. But Senior Beller is our sole winner this round for correctly identifying the fairy circles. Great job, Dave! And thanks to all who participated in this round of What Is It??
Note: Now that we have a faster internet connection, we’ve replaced the original picture with a higher resolution version. (See the original post)