Blog Archive for Jan 2014

Tea Party

    Are you a tea drinker? If so, I want you to check your cupboards and see where that orange pekoe was grown. Chances are, it will say Ceylon or Sri Lanka somewhere on the packaging. Lipto

Noel and the ancient sites of Sri Lanka

We left Kandy to return to the hill country to visit my old friend and language teacher from the Peace Corps, Noel Sylvester. He lives in a small town named Kotagala, a name that confuses Sri Lankans

It’s a good day when you bicycle in the rain

And then there are days like this.   The three of us on bicycles, riding through a light rain on a one-lane road of red packed dirt alongside a canal that directs water into the rice fields sprea

Only One Son, Madam?

Sri Lankans are a curious bunch. Today, while riding a bicycle along a red dirt road, a young man on a motorcycle pulled up alongside me and asked, “Where you from, Madam?” America. “How long yo

Sri Lanka, coming to an end

We tend to leave a country before we leave a country.   These are our last three days in Sri Lanka, and sure enough, a large part of our psyche is floating over the Indian Ocean on its way to our

The End of Lanka

  I think a lot about my father while in Hikkaduwa. It was 23 years ago when he visited me in the Peace Corps, such a remarkable thing for an older man to do on his own. He ended his month-long v


And now: Bangkok.   Our impressions of a place are shaped by the places we’ve recently visited. Since early November we’ve been in the thick of the Indian subcontinent: India itself, Nepal, S

Protests in Bangkok

In the days before coming to Bangkok the report in the New York Times sounded dire. An anti-government protest had escalated into violence, and with a plan to shut down the entire city looming in the

Speed Blog: Sri Lanka

    Dolora: Yesterday our tuk tuk driver pulled out a rolled up laminated paper showing all the tours he could take us on. When that didn’t go over, he showed Liam a white plaster Buddha w

Only 1 Son, Madam?

Sri Lankans are a curious bunch. Today, while riding a bicycle along a red dirt road, a young man on a motorcycle pulled up alongside me and asked, “Where you from, Madam?” America. “How long yo

The Secret Life of…

Liam and I went to the movies in Bangkok. This is noted in many “Top Things To Do In Bangkok” lists. You purchase not only your tickets, but you choose the location and type of seats you want too.

Wandering Bangkok

It’s afternoon in Bangkok, 5pm, the streets and sidewalks clogged with people heading home from work. I’m at an open-air patio at Starbucks overlooking the scene. Half of the sidewalks are for wal


We have spent a week in Bangkok. We arrived one day before the big anti-government protests began. “Take Back Bangkok” the signs and t-shirts read. Immediately, the opportunity to make money off o

Leaving Bangkok

Monday morning in Bangkok, our last day here before heading south to the beach. While writing I have another screen open, an ESPN Gamecast of the 49ers against Seattle. The easy life, the modern life

Lonely (Not) Planet

    You would think access to the Internet would solve any travel confusion you could possibly encounter. On this blog someone commented that we should check TripAdvisor and then we wouldn

The beaches of Thailand (part 1)

The SkyTrain over Bangkok is efficient and German, spotless and punctual. The SkyTrain connects many of Bangkok’s malls, that are modern and chrome and with names like Armani and Gap.   Thus we

Phi Phi

We should’ve known better.   We boarded the ferry to Phi Phi island along with a hundred other whiteys like us, nearly all with backpacks that were tossed onto a tower of luggage. The tower gre

To digress…

I’ll get to an update of our recent days in Thailand in a moment. But first, here’s a link to an article in yesterday’s New York Times about the air pollution in India:   http://sinosphere.


  We’ve entered the Vortex of Delight, and we’re not leaving.   It began a few days ago. We’d returned from a couple of days on Phi Phi, an island on the southwestern coast of Thailand