Sic Transit Gloria (Lisbon, Portugal)

I had come to Portugal out of curiosity. While traveling through Asia last year I had seen the footprints of Portugal everywhere from Goa to Macau, but never a single Portuguese.  I felt like some sheriff from a cheesy western movie, always on the heels of his man but never finding more than a smoldering … Continue reading

Tomfoolery in the Mekong Delta (Vinh Long, Vietnam)

I Abandon My Zen Training – Tropic Heat – Vinh Long – Bargaining – I Experiment With a “Homestay” – Three Conclusions It was in Southern Vietnam, somewhere in the middle of the Mekong Delta, that I finally abandoned my absurd goal of becoming The Ultimate Zen Traveler. I had no guidebook – ironically, by choice – … Continue reading

Machine Guns and Opium (Shan State, Burma)

History of Shan State – The Land of Poppies – Inle Lake – Travel Philosophy Burma.  This is the name political activists use to refer to this country.  The military junta (SLORC) calls it Myanmar, claiming that Burma is a vestige of colonialism.  Oddly, enough they are correct. Burma comes from an English mispronunciation of … Continue reading

Into the Jungle – Taman Negara/Melaka, Malaysia

I sat on the ground of my mud hut, my gaze alternating between the blood stains on the cement floor and the five leeches hanging out of my legs and ankles.  My socks were rolled down to my muddy shoes and stained with my own blood.  My shirt was yellowed with sweat and saturated with … Continue reading

Singapore Slingin’

500 miles from Singapore somewhere over the Gulf of Thailand I found myself in the lavatory dumping a bottle of Advil into the blue water of the airplane’s toilet. My around-the-world trip was about to begin, and I was really nervous.  The comfort of the airplane was the edge of my bubble of safety, and … Continue reading