Cherry Tops (Yangoon, Burma)

Cherry Tops – First impressions – The streets of Yangon – Taboo conversations – Gestapo arrives – Wake-up call “Cherry tops.” At first I didn’t understand what my Irish friend meant.  It took me a few seconds to translate his cockney rhyming slang, but then I got it: Cherry tops was slang for Cops, referring … Continue reading

A Strange Introduction – Yala Province, Thailand

The train started with a lurch, then slowly gained speed as the soldiers in my cabin gripped their M-16 assault rifles, stuck their head out the windows, and scanned the horizon for trouble. I was in the southern Thai province of Yala, where a Muslim uprising has been simmering for decades.  Of all the places … Continue reading