Where are the Basques?

After two weeks of living here in San Sebastian I’m finding myself in an unexpected predicament – I don’t have a single friend who is actually from San Sebastian. I’ve got tons of new friends, but every one of them is a foreigner.  Even my apartment has only one Spaniard, but she wasn’t born here … Continue reading

Carnival en Cádiz (Pt. 1)

I feel drastically unprepared for this. It’s 9:30 Saturday night and I’m drinking a calimocho in front of the station and watching the trains whisk thousands of people around the bay to Cádiz. I should have taken a siesta this afternoon. My costume is decent. I am dressed in loose pants and a shirt covered … Continue reading

The Anarchist’s Pad Pt. 3 (Lisbon, Portugal)

I am writing about this weekend in Lisbon for a reason.  In many ways, it was a turning point for my time in Europe.  The depressing monotony of Arevalo that had engulfed me in the past months was replaced by a new world of alternative lifestyles.  Small town life in Arevalo was boring, but I … Continue reading

The Anarchist’s Pad, Pt. 2 (Lisbon, Portugal)

When I returned to the Anarchist’s Pad I found a long-haired dark-skinned man sitting in the kitchen.  He introduced himself as a Peruvian named Shaman, “From the Jungle” he added in English. He pointed to a small painting on the kitchen wall of child-like depictions of trees, monkeys, a river and the words, Shaman From … Continue reading

The Anarchist’s Pad Pt. 1 (Lisbon, Portugal)

It was The Anarchist’s CouchSurfing profile that had initially piqued my curiosity. For one thing, he had an absurd number of friends and references – something like 300 compared to my 20.  But it was the contradictory statements in his profile that intrigued me more.  Despite all his positive reviews from other CouchSurfers (He’s awesome, … Continue reading

On The Road Again (Arévalo & Ávila, Spain)

I quickly discovered that the best thing about Arévalo is its proximity to other places.  Its central location was the source of its prosperity five hundred years ago and the key to maintaining my sanity today. For the rest of 2009 I traveled almost constantly.  I finished class on Thursday at 12:20 and by 2:00 … Continue reading

Couchsurfing in Lijang (Lijang, China)

Lijiang was far better than Dali.  Its old town was more charming and more authentic, and, once again, CouchSurfing had greatly enhanced my experience in Lijiang.  It was the first time I had actually surfed a couch, that is, the first time I had ever stayed with another CouchSurfer I had never met.  Until then, … Continue reading

Ballin’ on a Budget (Hong Kong)

Twelve hours later I emerged from the Metro in the middle of Hong Kong.   The city was modern, sleek, prosperous and energetic – it had that unmistakable electrifying buzz of a city that is on the move. Blackberry-toting businessmen and well-dressed women hurried around me as I tried to get my bearings amongst skyscrapers, BMWs … Continue reading

Swingin’ Through Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)

Saigon – Economic powerhouse – The Vietnamese work ethic – Regional differences – The American War – “Motorcycle for Sale”… I entered Saigon by bus, snuck past the motorcycle taxis and tuk tuk drivers, and caught a local bus to the center of town.  I passed through the sprawling city into its center and jumped … Continue reading