GADLING’S TAKE FIVE: Week of August 26

August is over. The weather has cooled off a bit, everyone’s favorite season is near, and Gadling has another new writer on board. What could be better? Today kicked off a brand new series on Gadling called My Bloody Romania. Lonely Planet author Leif Pettersen (he penned LP’s Romania and Moldova guidebook) will be guiding us through Romania and rapping about “post-EU changes, food, drink, hitchhiking, and why you should never take directions from drunk dudes” — if he ever makes it out of JFK, that is. Let’s hope so.

Here are some no-particular-order Gadling highlights from this past week:

  • Neil went back to Alaska and hired a float plane to do some fishing. If this is something you’d be into as well, check out his how-to guide. He’s also got a great looking photo gallery to boot.
  • Our man in Japan, Matthew Firestone, explores the country’s “culture of cute” in this two part series.
  • Even though it’s been 14 years since Czechoslovakia broke up, Iva still gets the occasional person who forgets this when asking where she’s from. “Please, let the nonexistent country die a velvet death.”
  • Brook Silva-Braga’s month-long trip through northern Europe came to a close this week. “No one uses watches now and my cellphone doesn’t work in Europe so when the sun woke me in Iceland it might have been noon. But when I scrambled out of my tent and checked the clock at reception it was half past three in the morning.”
  • Brett asks, “who have you run into on your travels?” and our readers respond. My favorite? Nick says, “I sat next to the rapper, DMX, on a flight back from Paris. Let me tell you – that was more fun than the trip itself.”