Amritsar 3: The Kulchas

Amritsar 3: The Kulchas In Britain’s strange medley of militarism and well-wishing and racism and white-man’s-burdening that it called its Empire, the story of Jallianwalla Bagh has to be one of the most head-shaking and tear-budding and somber.   It’s the story of a subcontinent asking for freedom, and its wealthy Punjab province spearheading the… Continue reading Amritsar 3: The Kulchas

Pulau Rhun: snorkel the microcosm

People do strange things to see fishes. Take, for example, our snorkel group. We dragged a reluctant captain from his slumber on the rainiest morning of our stay, loaded up his oversized canoe with fins and tubes and masks, threw in a little fried rice and smattering of fruit, and set out across the widest… Continue reading Pulau Rhun: snorkel the microcosm

Ambon: double edge

Murderous waves ripped across the white sand beach, hordes of screaming kids scampered to and fro across the rocks and sand, and the sun blistered its slanting rays through the palm leaves. I checked my watch again: almost four. Just two precious hours to cross forty kilometers of island glory, to grab the backpacks from… Continue reading Ambon: double edge

Gili Monsters

Gili Monsters   Late night, dark jungle, three foreigners under a dull yellow bulb in an un-walled bamboo hut—and they’re angry. They’ve been in sun all day, snorkeling, swimming, hiking, lounging—and now, with bellies full of seaside eats, with minds and bodies worn to a sunburned nub, they’ve come to their lodging, to a quiet… Continue reading Gili Monsters

I Heart Lombok

Two beauties beckon from the crystal seas. Bali calls from her jungle hills and her hollow temples; she draws you close in dazzling colors and wraps you in the wonder of her fabled name. Bali—a fading star who knows her dark charms: ricefields rife with stone demons scowling, gentle drip of water into rippling pools,… Continue reading I Heart Lombok

Bali’s Mount Batur

  Andy’s version goes this way:   Hiking a volcano peak at 4am with flash lights is like walking in sand on your treadmill on a 30 degree incline on a pitch dark winter morning! Mt./Volcano Batur 1750m / 5741ft has been conquered, but the renowned sunrise preferred to snooze in the fluffy clouds. Sigh**… Continue reading Bali’s Mount Batur

Snapshots of Nusa Lembongan

  If you believe clichés, a picture’s worth a thousand words.   That’s actually an old newsman’s quip about the power of photography in the press—that a publishable photo ought to tell a thousand words’ worth of narrative. Now, though, people toss the sentence around as if to suggest a picture is infinite in wordiness.… Continue reading Snapshots of Nusa Lembongan

Bangkok: The Idiot Tax

Nauseating, expensive, and incredibly inconvenient—it’s the Idiot Tax. I walked out of the flowing AC and pristine offices of the Indonesian embassy and into the chaos of Bangkok streets. Motorbikes whistled by, milk was rotting in a gutter, a street hawker was frying up unidentified meat in week-old grease, and I was already dripping in… Continue reading Bangkok: The Idiot Tax

Boon, Bond, and the Diva Nation

  We all know Mr. Bond—that charming assassin of Britain’s secret foes, that cold-hearted international killer, that well-groomed and deadly rascal in a tux—but let me introduce you to Mr. Boon, a shy man with a round face, a little English and a little car.   The sun had just risen, the dew was still… Continue reading Boon, Bond, and the Diva Nation

Pondering Phuket

  The Preconceptions: It’s Vegas without the casinos—Sin City when it stops believing sin exists. It’s a spring break bender on a golden beach where spring is endless, time immaterial, and there’s never any reality to return to. Liquor rains and cocaine snows and the bass beats the rhythm of flesh under it all.  … Continue reading Pondering Phuket

Letter to Bandung

  Feb 7, 2014   1 Jalan Raya Alun Alun Bandung, Jawa Barat Indonesia   Dear Bandung,   Don’t get the feeling that I’m stalking you or anything, but I can’t stop thinking about that weekend we had together—it was great to finally chat after having heard so much about you. If you don’t mind,… Continue reading Letter to Bandung

Sri Lanka 11: Colombo Daze

This was the city I almost forgot to photograph, the city of friends we’d vowed to visit, the city of whining motorbikes, scrambling tuk-tuks, and rainbows of fresh fruit swarming round busloads of elbows and shoulders hanging out windows barreling through intersections and coughing fog behind.   Colombo: city of such welcoming homes and such… Continue reading Sri Lanka 11: Colombo Daze