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

York: Tradition Running Amuck

  “So this is where that miserable old hunchback seduced the widow over her murdered husband’s coffin?” I mused into the rainy morning.   “Huh?”  Andy muttered between her clattering teeth.   “I said, ‘So this is where—‘”   “I heard what you said,” she snapped, “but tell me said you said.”   Don’t judge… Continue reading York: Tradition Running Amuck

Penang: Billy’s Ghosts

Midnight seeped down from sweating stars, and the streetlights twinkled dirty halos on the streets.  Billy scowled his wrinkled eyes and flicked across his iPhone with battered fingers. “Look at it!  Right ‘ere!  Ya see he’s wearing a crown fulla skulls, and that part up over there, it’s just like a scythe!  And if I… Continue reading Penang: Billy’s Ghosts

East Java: Bromo’s Maw to Ijen’s Ghosts

“Right now,” I sighed, “right here, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a dinosaur strut around that corner.” Everyone nodded in agreement. “I mean, seriously: a Stegosaurus, or a Brontosaurus, or… or something. Or at least their ghosts, you know. At least their ghosts are here. “For sure, at least their ghosts.” By now they… Continue reading East Java: Bromo’s Maw to Ijen’s Ghosts

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

The Road to Mandalay

  “We’re not lost,” Seinn smiled at us from the front seat of the SUV. “There’s some construction, so we have to take this ro—” a huge crater slammed the front wheel down to the substrata of the earth’s crust and tossed Seinn from her seat and into the troposphere. She landed with a hopeless… Continue reading The Road to Mandalay

Sri Lanka 7: Kandy Botanical Gardens

I’ve witnessed a million bats tear-drop from limbs of a hundred ancient trees, and I’ve heard their godless squawking ringing through mid-morning’s breeze, and I’ve turned to my wife and said I thought these crazy guys belonged to the night.  Why won’t they shut up? I’ve strolled beneath the zig-limbs’-zag of squat trees growing themselves… Continue reading Sri Lanka 7: Kandy Botanical Gardens

Sri Lanka 2: James Taylor’s Legacy

His plaster bust watches over the entrance to the Hanthana Tea Museum: James Taylor, Scotsman, emigrant to Ceylon, promulgator of tea, father of the island’s most famous and marketable commodity. The placard at his cold, white side lists basic biographical data: the guy stood 6’4”, weighed two-sixty-something, and died at the relatively young age of… Continue reading Sri Lanka 2: James Taylor’s Legacy

I Swear It’s Not Another Food Blog

For a guy moving himself off to Jakarta in a month, I’ve eaten surprisingly little Indonesian food—none, in fact, because Google knows of no place within a hundred miles serving such fare.  So it was a fateful day indeed when Andy and I stumbled across a some-assembly-required salsa packet for Nasi Goreng. And so this… Continue reading I Swear It’s Not Another Food Blog