Gentedimontagna Questionnaire

Meet the Traveler: Benjamin Ngooi

by Benjamin Ngooi

Ben at ramen bar  in London. Yes, that is a bib to protect from soup splashback.

Hometown: Perth, Australia.

Occupation: Hand therapist by day, bartender by night.

Favorite destinations: Berlin, Bologna, Seville, Hong Kong, Paris, and all of Iceland.

Dying to visit: Japan and the U.S. of A.

In-flight relaxation regime: Sleep during takeoff, wake up, read manga till I fall asleep again. Wake up on landing.

Always in carry-on: Camera, iPad, earphones, and a playlist of new music.

Concierge or DIY? DIY with the help of local blogs.

See it all or take it easy? Take it very easy.

Drive or be driven? Drive and ride.

Travel hero: Asterix. I became very interested in the Vikings after I went to Iceland.

Weirdest thing seen on travels: An exhibition at the modern art museum  in Paris. The exhibition was of a German surrealist photographer/sculptor named Hans Bellmer, and the particular sculpture was titled La poupée. He constructed life-size dolls portraying all sorts of imperfections. Google if you dare.

My favorite hotel is because I get to live in a home. I immediately feel less like a tourist, even if I’ve never been to the city before.

I dream about my meal at in Bologna (greatest pasta in the world), in Reykjavík, and in Seville.

Best hotel amenity: A harpsichord in an Airbnb in Genoa, Italy. A cat named Gatto also lived there. He liked to sleep on my belly.

Favorite childhood travel memory: Every year as a child, I'd go to Singapore with my family. The first stop without fail would be a local wanton noodle shop that was open 24/7. Twenty-six years on, that place is still there, so I make an effort to go back every time I'm in Singapore.

Everywhere I go, I check out the one specialty food of the land. I will then eat way too much of it and feel sick. And repeat the next day.

When I arrive in a new place, I learn the lay of the land by trying to find WiFi.

I always bring home too much travel weight.

If I never return to Verona, it'll be too soon because any romance associated with the city is instantly dispelled by the swarms of teenage girls and their cameras.

I travel for the food.

MORE BEN

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