A Walk in Vientiane, Laos

A wet pug dog, temple of red and gold. Bob Marley in my headphones. Busy street, balconies, streetlights, alleys, old unbalanced doors, sidewalk jammed with trash flowers, SUV’s on the curb, mini-mart, same peaceful breeze as last night. Special, bow tied and helpless baskets full of jellies or Nescafé. Finally the fruits. Mangoes, grapes, apples, starfruit, grapefruit, dragon fruit. The old, interchangeable ladies selling those cherries and avocados. Continue reading

Hiking Seoraksan (with a nightlight)

A crowd of friendly white people gathering outside the 8th exit of Seoul’s largest bus station waiting for a bus to drive us to Korea’s most popular hiking mountain, discussing small talk trying not to dive right into the triumvirate of expat questions. 1) Where are you from? 2) How long have you been here? 3) Where and what age do you teach? It’s not that these are bad questions; they are great questions and give a good bit of information about the person. But as go the inevitable, information gathering questions of global backpacking, these questions, if you are around the person long enough, may be answered through normal conversation or gleaned through accents and story settings. Continue reading