I’m thankful for grandma’s bloomers

The Italian Grandma next door is hanging her bloomers on the laundry line, the clouds are preposterously beautiful in painting-perfect colors and curves, and I am delighted that I didn’t have to sleep… Continue reading

Sweaty streets and Chinese imperialism in Mandalay, Myanmar

I was in a bad way when I got to Myanmar, two years ago. Mental, emotional, spiritual, I was a wreck at every level of the human totem pole. In Mandalay I walked… Continue reading

It’s always a good time for a French vineyard

“You are going to Beaune?” said the French sisters, their fine Parisian brows lifting in Gallic surprise. “Yes. Why? Is it…not nice?” My slight trepidation. “Non non non!” They reassured. “It is very… Continue reading

Love that street art

I reckon I’ve seen “F_ck the police” spelled with darn near every vowel in the English language, in one country or another. On the one hand, it’s nice to see something bringing us… Continue reading

Savory memories from a Malaysian Ramadan

Another bustling day, doing this and that but leaving those these and the other them for tomorrow, and there’s another quick peanut butter & jelly sandwich on my proximal horizon. Wouldn’t it be… Continue reading

Romanticism, revolution, and Riesling, in Bacharach, Germany

The most interesting thing about the Hotel Kranenturm is not that a very active German railway line passes a few meters from your room, periodically shaking the building with the thunder of gargantuan… Continue reading

On the right bus, in Florence

“The Tuscan Frying Pan” had been in fine frying form all week, but at 8:00 AM the air was the sort of warmthy and goldeny and pillowy that makes so many people write… Continue reading

Turns out I like Germany after all, in Munich

“Put your hand up, put your damn hands up! Tonight is my life, because tonight I’m a sinner! Keep your hands up, keep your damn hands up! Tonight is my life, it’s an… Continue reading

I’d seen Switzerland, but not like this.

…the clear plexiglass lets you look straight down, only hazily encumbered, into the vertiginous expanse of glacial geologic debauchery.

Playing French, eating like a Bourgondier

Belgians consider themselves quite the lovers of good food and drink. So much so, that they created a term for that side of themselves. Know what they chose? “Burgondiers.” That is, people from… Continue reading