Oct 182009
Adoration of African American Culture Abroad

“Danny,” I typed to my former student via Facebook Chat, “They’re playing Chris Brown in this restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand!”

“On dogs??” Danny asked, aghast, from his apartment in Boston.

“On dogs,” I affirmed.

Throughout the two months so far of my year-long journey across the world, I have been stunned at the level of awe and adoration that people have for African-American culture. In the African-American music realm, Japanese twenty-somethings sport Tupac [...Read More!]

Oct 182009
12 Hours on a Sleeping Bus from Nha Trang to Hoi An!

“Be prepared for a long journey,” warns the Lonely Planet guidebook, “As the twelve-hour bus ride between Nha Trang and Hoi An is typically described as “prison” or “hell”.”

Look at these photos of the “sleeping bus”… It’s like you’ve tragically stumbled into a seething warren of dentist chairs from the 70s, ready to attack you!

There is a toilet, but it is locked and chained with a sign that reads, “Not to [...Read More!]

Oct 172009
Nha Trang’s Fantastic $6 Boat Escapade

Nha Trang is rightly considered the biggest beach destination of Vietnam. Miles of sandy beaches, soothingly warm ocean waves, a huge range of hotels and restaurants for any budget… Nha Trang is a good time. To enhance your experience here, any traveler will tell you: take the six dollar all-day boat trip. Let’s hop aboard and see all the goodies this escapade entails!

1. The boat trip may be [...Read More!]

Oct 172009
Magic Bridges

Vietnam has, in many ways, kicked my butt. It has also, incidentally, grabbed my butt. Despite all the stresses of traveling in this country, though, I declare that Vietnam is my favorite country that I have been in so far this trip. Why? Because it has BACKBONE. It is pulsingly alive with its own culture and with a fire to keep on rising.

Now, praise be to [...Read More!]

Oct 162009
Dealing With Periods During Hardcore Traveling

Men and folks uncomfortable with womanly body issues: Skip this post. Everyone else, keep reading because at some point you’ll need these tips, especially if you’re traveling in the Developing World. (Former students, don’t even start to freak out about this article because I have heard enough graphic period emergency details from you to last a lifetime– normally on the day you’re scheduled to take a big test!)

If you [...Read More!]

Oct 152009
The Hot Woman Fondle-Rob of Nha Trang

Let’s continue this groping theme for one more article, shall we? This time with a gender role flip!

Carey, a New Zealander who has been traveling the world for many months, sauntered home to his Nha Trang hotel late the other night. He had just had a riotously fun evening with friends at a beach cafe, and was ready for sleep.

Suddenly, a sexy Vietnamese woman blocked his path.

“Hello,” she said, [...Read More!]

Oct 142009
Being Groped on a Moving Motorcycle: Central Highlands, Part 8

Well. I hope you all have been reading parts one through seven of this Central Highlands motorcycle saga, because that context is important to understand the full dimensions of what happened next.

It was the evening of day three of Lulu and my four days on a motorcycle across Vietnam. I had just cried from exhaustion after traipsing through four jungle waterfalls by the border with Cambodia, and Lulu was [...Read More!]

Oct 142009
Central Highlands 7: Fury and Waterfalls

This is the point of the four day motorcycle ride through Vietnam’s Central Highlands (see my expression to the right) where things started to go downhill.

For hours, Lulu and I drove deeper and deeper into the Vietnamese jungle, towards the famed four waterfalls. The day wore on and the sun pounded down. Lulu pointed, as we drove, to a clearing in the thick green. “Cambodia just over there,” [...Read More!]

Oct 142009
Central Highlands 6: Granite Work, Paprika, and Pepper

From Lak Lac, our motorcycle purred Northwest, towards the Vietnamese border with Cambodia. We were getting deep into the countryside, headed steadily towards the jungle and waterfall-filled Yok Don National Park.

One of the most touching moments of the trip occurred as we pulled over on a mountain shoulder near a towering heap of granite blocks. A lone man swung a weighty hammer over and over in the sun, and [...Read More!]

Oct 142009
Central Highlands 5: Lak Lac

“You want do homestay for first night?” Lulu asked as we wound down the mountain road. We had left Dalat at eight in the morning, and it was now five pm. My motorcycle-sore rear and I said simultaneously, “Any bed is fine!”

On the edge of a mountain we pulled over and Lulu pointed to a sparkle amid the green far below. “Lak Lac down there,” he said. [...Read More!]