Category Archive: better conversations

Reassured in Dharamsala

When a Buddhist monk in Myanmar sprawled out over several seats in the train, or one on the bus in Malaysia blasted a radio no one else wanted to hear, or a third… Continue reading

Scared to go to Turkey

The walls were solid and strong, despite the detritus of old neglect in the corners, the spray painted confusion, and the sense of old cigarettes. And everywhere, the kind of shadows you’re supposed… Continue reading

Would you rather…feel good?

The playground game was simple. Ask “Would you rather…” followed by two options, probably one that’s physically unlikely and one that’s gastronomically inadvisable. Both options were reliably horrendous. It was a “choose your… Continue reading

How do we talk about this?

The woman had clearly had enough. She scanned our groceries with aggressive speed, and manifested stunning levels of boredom, irritation, and scorn when it came time to pronounce our total. In the parlance… Continue reading

Trump is exactly what America needs

Equal Pay Day yesterday deserved a post. Something to address the crushing idiocy that women would have to work these extra months into 2018 to earn as much as men did in 2017.… Continue reading

Ghosts in the grocery store

Waiting in line at the grocery store made me think about torture and secret police. Around me shoppers huffed their indignation at slow cashiers, one of whom looked ready to cry, but my… Continue reading

Dentists, razor blades, and new friends

I didn’t know yet that another layer of institutional bureaucratic chicanery was going to keep me from getting my teeth cleaned yesterday afternoon, so I sat in the waiting room with the other… Continue reading

Krishna and friends

Somewhere along the line I stopped buying things. Friends back home were accustomed to my travel and didn’t need more stuff, but when some of my dearest folks found challenges early in 2017,… 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

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