My criminal friends (India)

My laughter started it. Affable vendors on Dharamsala’s winding streets hawk metal trinkets and colorful scarves and (if the press of Indian reality hasn’t driven you out of your mind) it’s a ton… Continue reading

Yes, Valentine’s Day kinda sucks. But.

Can we all agree: Valentine’s Day sucks? Okay, not completely. Some wonderful love stories will begin or advance today, some wonderful memories celebrated and refreshed. But outside of the outliers, it kinda blows.… Continue reading

Are you a peach or a coconut?

Belgians were a bunch of coconuts. Latin America was one big peach orchard. And I don’t know what the hell I am. The metaphor is new to me, but I heard the idea… Continue reading

The tongue caught me by surprise

The man in the van didn’t seem to like what I was telling him. Then again, I didn’t like having to say it. “Ja, zeker dat ik graag naar de hotel zou gaan,… Continue reading

The undesirability of heroism

Hearing Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) discuss fungal infections, abscess scars, and which diseases merit treatment was a trip in itself. But it took me a day or so to realize these are far… Continue reading

My myriad mosquital maladies

Malaria is easy. Everybody gets malaria. And zika, that’s assumed now too after all the press coverage. Then if you’ve traveled you’ve heard of dengue, and probably chikungunya too, even if you’re not… Continue reading

Moving into 2018

Yesterday, fifth of the thirteen flights I am or was booked on in these couple weeks, had a three year old named Noah across the aisle. He was wearing a pilot’s hat and… Continue reading

Christmas Eve in Vietnam

The food vendors stood out. But they’re a salient part of Vietnamese streets and downtown districts every other day of the year too. The piles of bright strawberries or tart green mangos, heaps… Continue reading

Nachos in Luxembourg

Have you ever eaten nachos in Luxembourg? If not, please don’t. Just trust me on this one. One biggish chip, subdivided into four quadrants, with a threadbare carpet of cheddarlike cheese under the… Continue reading

Working man’s Buddha

The street was the kind of dark you can’t find in America. But this was Ninh Binh, Vietnam, and the only thing to compete with the single tangerine street lamp were the blue… Continue reading