Dec 142009
 
The Ethics of Unemployment

Due to the Recession, many folks I know have been laid off and are now collecting Unemployment. It’s lucky that we live in a country with safety nets! But how, exactly, do the ethics of Unemployment Benefits work?

Last week I overheard the following conversation on a bus in Southern Thailand:

British Carpenter: “So what do you do for work back in the States?”

American Woman: “Nothing now, but I used [...Read More!]

Dec 132009
 
I'm Too Old for This! Ko Phi Phi versus Ko Lanta

The moment I set foot off Ko Phi Phi and onto the ferry to beautiful Ko Lanta, my fever eased and my heart relaxed. But the final night in Phi Phi was quite the debacle!

It was four o’clock in the morning in our Phi Phi hostel dorm. Our new roommate, Andres, had finally stopped vomiting and was now presumably passed out on the floor of the communal bathroom in some [...Read More!]

Dec 122009
 
The Trouble With Ko Phi Phi

On December 26, 2004, two giant tsunami waves smashed into the tiny island of Ko Phi Phi from opposite sides, meeting in the middle and killing an estimated four thousand locals and tourists.

Five years later, there are now “Tsunami Evacuation Route” signs and a Tsunami Memorial. But the main thing you notice about the island is its exploding tourism: specifically of the drunk and stumbling type.

For some folks this is heaven, [...Read More!]

Dec 112009
 
Bangkok to Bus to Bus to Boat to Phi Phi

Dengue fever is also known as “Bone Break Fever”. There is no prevention for it except to avoid mosquito bites, and there is no cure for it except to sleep.

As I excused myself from dinner with new friends on Ko Phi Phi last night and passed out on my dorm bed at nine pm, I was pretty sure I had a case of dengue, and bad.

But back up: how did this [...Read More!]

Dec 092009
 
A New Update on Around the World!

Thrilling changes are blossoming in “Around the World” World!

The first set of shifts comes in the realm of this “Around the World” website itself, and the second takes place within the actual global itinerary.

Take a look at this latest update, while simultaneously gazing at photos from Bangkok’s nutso-to-the-max Kaohsan Road!

Change Set #1: This site now has a fancy new name: AroundTheWorldL.com !

Q: Stupendous! But… why the name change?

A: Turns out [...Read More!]

Dec 072009
 
Thailand Train: Yay! Another Holiday: Uh Oh...

In “Some Like it Hot”, the 1959 comedy ranked the #1 funniest movie of the past 100 years, Marilyn Monroe and her fellow busty “girl band” members have a rollicking party in the top bunk of a sleeper train.

Minute by minute, more ladies squeeze into the minuscule space, each hauling with them another batch of bootleg hooch and maraschino cherries. Poor Jack Lemmon is not only stuck in drag, but [...Read More!]

Dec 062009
 
Never Use the Word Bye in This Century

“Bye, Miss!!!!! Bye, Mister!!!!” students always holler at the end of each school year, throwing themselves on us teachers with melodramatic bear hugs.

“Not ‘Goodbye’!” I always scream, grabbing each student by the shoulders and looking them in the eye. “You never, ever need to lose touch with people you care about nowadays. I’ll stalk you forever on Facebook if you want!”

And I do. From Thailand, to Japan, [...Read More!]

Dec 032009
 
Dental Tourism!

“Yaaaay!” I typed to Paul, “You’re gonna have the best root canal ever!!!!”

Several weeks ago, my friend Paul was informed by his Manhattan dentist that he needs three root canals, seven crowns, and “various other stuff”. Total projected cost: over TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS.

Although Paul is a semi-famous politician, like most of us he does not have ten thousand dollars to fling towards one square inch of artificial tooth polymers. [...Read More!]

Dec 022009
 
Ways to Make Buddies While Traveling

I received a lovely email from an American backpacker in Mexico recently, requesting tips on finding pals while traveling. This article is a response. Keep those emails zinging my way, readers! I like them.

(Note: the photos in this article are street scenes from Chiang Mai, Thailand. What a livable, enjoyable place! Look at how pretty the disco ball temple walls look in the glow of night traffic!)

Before [...Read More!]

Nov 302009
 
Eating Insects at the Sunday Market

Ben was only two days into his new life in Chiang Mai, and he was already eating bugs.

I met Ben and Mike in a restaurant the day after they’d left everything they’d known in Australia to move their internet marketing enterprise to Thailand.

They were joining their friend, Paul, who had come to Chaing Mai fourteen months ago and spread the word that the curry here is cheap, and the living good.

“Was [...Read More!]