I’ll be back in the US in two weeks (!), and my return will, in all likelihood, end a series of dietary experiments that I’ve been conducting for the past year or so. It’s been more than a year since I’ve cooked anything. It’s been almost as long since I’ve eaten more than once a day. And it’s been nearly five months since I stopped eating meat. […]
I’m sitting and reading on Varkala Beach in the far south of India. A group of five Indian boys in their late teens are swimming and horsing around nearby. One of them comes up to me and starts talking, and eventually all five of them are gathered around me. Below is a truncated account of our exchange. […]
I heard someone say once that the only big tourist attractions in the world that are not overrated are the America’s Grand Canyon, China’s Great Wall, and Cambodia’s Angkor Wat. While I might not agree with that completely, it’s true that the Angkorian temples are amazing. I’ve visited them twice: the first time was during the dry season in January, and the second was during the rainy season in August. Angkor Wat itself is big and beautiful, but it’s also crowded and empty. It reminded me of Beijing’s Forbidden City in that regard. It’s the other temples, especially the ones that are falling down, that I think really make the place worth visiting. Below are more than 40 photos of Angkor Wat and a handful of other temples in the area.
My friend Dayna just finished thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, a 2,160-mile trail that goes from Maine to Georgia in the eastern United States. I’ve been following along with her blog posts throughout the summer and fall, and they’ve always been fun to read, but the last one was spectacular. In it she talks about fear. She hiked the trail alone, and she talks in that final blog post about how afraid other people were for her safety when they found out that she was hiking alone. […]
I’ve had a passing interest in vegetarianism for many years now. I can remember attempting to actively pursue a vegetarian diet 4 or 5 years ago while in school. I went to Costco and bought granola bars, muesli, a bunch of beans, and organic Pop Tarts. I thought that would be enough to last me for a while. It wasn’t. I grew bored of the diet about a day and a half into the endeavor and abandoned it. Those cans of beans are still probably sitting uneaten on the shelf in that apartment. […]
The customs desk that I walked up to to get my passport stamped in Singapore’s Changi Airport had a little box of free candy on top of it. I took a few moments to choose the flavor I wanted before pocketing a piece. The lady that was inspecting my passport commented on how I had taken a long time to choose a piece of candy, and I replied that I take my candy seriously and that I didn’t want to make a choice that I would later regret. The woman smiled broadly and handed me my passport back. It was the first time that I’d ever been welcomed to a country with either a piece of candy or a smile.
That experience kind of sums up Singapore. I don’t think I saw or did anything that was without precedent anywhere else in the world, but the Singaporean version is just more better, nicer, more efficient, or more impressive in some way. […]
Going to Nepal the first time was something of an accident. India was my intended destination, but I had no Indian visa and no time to get one. I figured that I could fly to Nepal and get an Indian visa there. Instead, after a month in Nepal, I decided that what I really wanted was a good Internet connection so that I could get a lot of work done, so I bypassed India and flew to Bangkok. […]
It had been a long day of sitting in front of my computer, and I was hungry. I left the apartment and started walking down the street to a favorite Indian restaurant.
I passed a teenager pulling a wooden cart down the side of the road. Lying sprawled out on top of the cart was what appeared to be a slightly older young man. His brother, maybe? The older brother was bent and contorted in unnatural ways. His limbs stuck out at odd angles, and he was twitching, jerking. He looked like he was having a seizure. It was a scene out of a New Testament movie, pre-miracle. […]