Nov 242009
Thai Massage's Sexy Reputation

“A question, please,” said my classmate Olivia shyly. “In Brazil we don’t have this idea, but I hear that in America and Europe, Thai massage sometimes is, um… well… how you say…” “Linked with prostitution?” I asked. Olivia’s face lit up and then flushed bright red. “Um, yes.” “Oh absolutely!” I said, thinking of all the joke emails from friends I currently have in my Inbox in reaction to the news that [...Read More!]

Nov 222009
An Ode to Me-Cation Hermit Time

“We’d take a last embrace, she whispering to me, “Jesus, what am I going to do now?” …But the moment I left her my head cleared. It was another kind of music, not so croony but good just the same.”(p. 170 in Henry Miller’s “Tropic of Cancer“)

  Partially in celebration of Miller’s wise words, and partly because I really freaking needed it after three months of hardcore travel, I have been a [...Read More!]
Nov 212009
Budget Travel Tip: Uber-Expensive Hotels

A gloriously counter-intuitive budget travel secret: crazy expensive hotels are your friends!

Have you ever woken up in your perfectly comfortable but not exactly luxurious $7 hotel room (pictured, right) and thought, “Geez, man, I could stand to feel bit more like a Prince/Princess today.”? Of course you have.

(Okay, literally, as I was just sitting on my $7 bed writing that last paragraph, an ant crawled up the mattress and onto [...Read More!]

Nov 202009
Chuckle-ish Signs from Chiang Mai

It’s fun to mish and mush the English language and see what happens! For language-twisting lovers, it is a particular delight to ponder signs in foreign countries.

I was strolling in Chiang Mai’s hot sun for too long today, and after a while the local signposts began to conjure up hilarious scenes in my head. See if you giggle as much as I did at these examples, or if I [...Read More!]

Nov 192009
...And Then the British Lass Stole his Passport

(Note: This is a seedy, spicy, shocking story that happened a few weeks ago in Laos, which I am only now at liberty to recount. Be assured, though, that the end comes with a wholesome lesson. The accompanying photos are utterly unrelated (sorry, but I couldn’t really have photos of the folks in this sketchy story!), and were taken tonight at the gorgeous Night Bazaar in Chiang Mai, Thailand: my current [...Read More!]

Nov 172009
Recession Hideout? Moats and Disco Ball Walls in Chiang Mai!

Several folks have written with the following query:

“I’ve been laid off and am looking for an inexpensive, enjoyable place to weather the recession abroad. Got any thoughts?” Indeed I do, though it’s just a humble suggestion from four days here paired with numerous raves from other travelers: Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Why? Though not as postcard gorgeous and tranquil as Luang Prabang, Laos, and though not as crackling with energy [...Read More!]
Nov 172009
On Cabbages and Condoms

“Ew, miss,” said the straight-A student from the table across the classroom, “No one uses condoms anymore.”

“WHAT?!” I screamed, choking on my tea. “NO!!!”

The conversation had started innocently enough. Two sweet students had lingered after school to catch up on homework and (let’s face it) flirt with each other. The topic of our school’s endless teen pregnancies came up, and I began to inquire about current safer sex [...Read More!]

Nov 162009
It's a Photographic Objectification Party!

It was hour nine of day two on the Mekong river boat. I was deep into a crossword puzzle, lying half off my seat, feet high on the bench in front. Suddenly I heard a gasp.

“Psst, Lil!” hissed the eccentric Australian computer programmer, her hand on her heart, “That Korean guy has been secretly taking photos of your legs!”

I glanced back and the man hurriedly hid his camera and [...Read More!]

Nov 152009
Why Tropic of Cancer is Perfect Backpacking Literature

(Note: All photos accompanying this article are from the two-day Mekong Riverboat journey from Luang Prabang, Laos, to Huay Xai on the Thai border… including some serious elephant action at one pit-stop. Yeah, I have no idea why they were there, either, but they’re awesome!)

“Ah, I see you just finished “Tropic of Cancer”!” said Rebecca from across the aisle of the Mekong riverboat. “Shall we swap books? I’ve got [...Read More!]