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31 January 2006 / / travel

“Haven’t you ever wondered why the Church doesn’t allow women to be preachers?”

“Not specifically,” I replied, throwing my pack on the bed. I sat down. Icelandic Pizza Chef sat down on the opposite bed.

“It makes God less attractive to women, so they all become whores and drug addicts.“

29 October 2005 / / travel

Hi Mom!

Remember when I called you from the post office in Ulaan Baatar? The conversation was short, and I probably sounded distracted. Here’s why:

28 October 2005 / / travel

It’s easier to handle the vastness of the Gobi desert if one approaches it through Siberia. The brainstuff is already properly tenderized, prepared to handle the gradient of bleak to bleaker.

23 October 2005 / / travel

Khuzhir is the only town on Olkhon, which is the only island on Lake Baikal, which is the only lake in the world that has no lakes older than it.

20 June 2005 / / travel

I took an unofficial break from my official tour in Woodstock, New York. Little did I know that I had picked the one place in the country that seemed wholly crafted, from its geology to its local culture, to be the perfect retreat. Janie took me in for a few days and gave me the best overview of Woodstock I could ever hope for.

15 June 2005 / / travel

I’ve been here for a fortieth of a millennium, and I still haven’t learned the formula governing my admiration for another person. Sometimes I recognize a certain grace, a magnanimous spirit, or perhaps simply an overwhelming congeniality. It’s the kind of quality that makes me lean back in my seat and say, “Now so-and-so, boy, what a character!“

07 June 2005 / / travel

If every city of the world was a flavor of icecream, I would describe Washington, DC as Neopolitan. It’s rather unextraordinary yet dependable, plain but accomodating, and if you have discerning taste, you chomp the hell out of that chocolate section, and leave the strawberry and vanilla for someone else. Leah and Carrie helped me do just that.

06 June 2005 / / travel

I continued my Kindness of Strangers tour, from Jacksonville up to Washington, DC. I posed the world a question, and it issued forth a resounding reply.

25 April 2005 / / travel

Down to my last few pesos, I spent my final two days in Cuba relaxing, recovering, and taking it all in one last time. I knew I wasn’t likely to return for years, and that when I did return, Cuba would be a very different place.

23 April 2005 / / travel

I spent the next few days in Trinidad, an old Spanish colonial town that was gussied up in the early 19th century when French planters arrived, having fled from a particularly unpleasant slave revolution in Haiti.

18 April 2005 / / travel

Escaping Havana, I spent the next three days in Viñales and the surrounding countryside. Full of new people and new scenery, my days became somehow more relaxing and more hectic at the same time – perhaps I was beginning to follow the rhythm I could feel in the land and its people.

17 April 2005 / / travel

I do not debauch. I certainly never cavort, save for the occasional quiet, metered cavort. So it was with some measure of surprise that I found myself swept away into Havana’s nightlife.