TOLUWALOPE KAREEM

The Punch - - SPORTS -

How of­ten do you travel?

I am not re­ally sure about that. It de­pends on what I have to do.

I would say Cam­bo­dia (a coun­try in South­east Asia). I re­ally en­joyed my time there. There is some­thing very au­then­tic about the place and it was un­ex­pected. I had a lot of fun; it is a de­vel­op­ing coun­try. The peo­ple are very warm and they were re­cep­tive to­wards me. I stayed at the Me­moire Palace Ho­tel Re­sort and Spa. It is a 5-star ho­tel lo­cated in Siem Reap, Cam­bo­dia. It was to­tally amaz­ing. The hospi­tal­ity was beau­ti­ful and us­ing the ameni­ties was spec­tac­u­lar. They had an amaz­ing masseuse and spa and peo­ple in that re­gion are very good at giv­ing mas­sages.

The food was su­perb as well. I ate at an amaz­ing restau­rant, the Stage Coach 1960s, and also the Grill Wine Café, which are both part of the ho­tel. The food in the restau­rant was so de­li­cious, every­thing was fresh, be­cause they are en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly and the ho­tel has re­ally creative ways of us­ing lemon grass straws. They don’t use any plas­tic straws. I thought that was so in­no­va­tive and in­ge­nious.

I think in gen­eral, peo­ple there are a bit more timid. They are re­served but they are kind, warm and wel­com­ing; un­like in Nige­ria, we are more out­go­ing.

How were you able to com­mu­ni­cate, con­sid­er­ing the lan­guage bar­rier?

Com­mu­ni­ca­tion was a bit of an is­sue be­cause they don’t speak English. If one wants to com­mu­ni­cate, one would have to use hand ges­tures or Google trans­la­tor. At the ho­tel, they were amaz­ing. They gave me a guide who of­ten went around with me and that per­son was able to trans­late for me.

I knew I was go­ing to be trav­el­ling, so I planned it.

I like to stay in re­ally nice ho­tels and sleep for the first day when I get there. Then, I would go out

I think it’s just the abil­ity to mar­ket our re­sources– our his­tory and cul­ture. Nige­ria has a rich cul­ture and we are very spe­cial peo­ple. It’s a shame that the world is not see­ing that. Imag­ine Nige­ria hav­ing a jollof rice vil­lage, just like Chi­na­town. Peo­ple go to China just to eat Asian food. Jollof rice is be­com­ing pop­u­lar. Why don’t we have a jollof rice vil­lage where we have peo­ple sell­ing dif­fer­ent types of jollof rice in an area? We should be able to cap­i­talise on things that we are good at. In Cam­bo­dia, they have a street where lo­cal foods were sold and peo­ple would walk on the street, try­ing dif­fer­ent food. I also ate scor­pion and spider (there). We need to do things that would at­tract peo­ple to our coun­try.

What do you think other climes could copy from Nige­ria?

Nige­ria is an amaz­ing place to have fun. When peo­ple come here, they al­ways have good times.

Did you ex­pe­ri­ence any cul­ture shock?

No, there was noth­ing. They were very friendly and wel­com­ing. I was very com­fort­able there.

You re­cently went to Cam­bo­dia and Thai­land, in which of th­ese coun­tries would you say you had your most mem­o­rable travel ex­pe­ri­ence? In what ways would you de­scribe the dif­fer­ence be­tween Cam­bo­di­ans and Nige­ri­ans? Did you plan to go on a travel tour last year? What are the things you like to do when you travel?

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