From One Quarantine to Another to Another… + Carefree Travel Days Pre-COVID-19

A few days ago Manchit and I went to JFK International Airport so she could take her flight back to China. She queued beside travelers dressed in full Hazmat suits (lab-ready goggles down to their slip-resistant shoe booties), or in hodgepodges of plastic-wear (rain jackets, ponchos, pant protectors) Frankenstein-crafted together; or wearing whatever construction-site dust…

Happy Chinese New Virus New Year + Yunnan Snow-Capped Memories

No more theaters. No more KTV karaoke. (Almost) no faces on Guangzhou’s streets that are bare without face masks. Welcome to the new World Virus Order, courtesy of the kind of unsanitary health practices your mother has been warning you about for the past thirty years. We’re about 1500 kilometers (that’s about 932 miles/Freedom Units)…

More Desert, No More Problems – Goodbye Sweet, Sweet Tunisia

Not completely satisfied with the minor dunes of our day tour, we left Tozeur and headed south across the massive Chott el Djerid salt flat to the smaller town of Kibili, yet another “Gateway to the Desert,” where we stayed with Arafat and his family on their campsite. (We stayed in a room on the…

A Beach is a Desert to an Ant

The sea is flat, flat, flat. It’s a mirror and a window to another world. Gaze upon the placid distant shimmers and wonder where the sea ends and the sky begins. Closer to the beach the sun-soaked whites and blues merge into that tropical teal non-islanders have come to know best from Caribbean pirate films,…

Sea, Sand, and Sunshine in Tunisia… But Where are the Tourists?

Our final hours in Tunisia and our first country post. While Manny chops veggies and prepares some steaks for lunch in the kitchen, I annoy our neighbors by blaring some of the most intense Berlin techno I can find. (Therapeutic writing music as we sum up our days here.) Once upon a time, only about…

Marseille All Day (And All Week)

The final sunset of our holiday draws near. We awake on yet another brilliant, blue Tunisian morning, back in the capital of Tunis for a couple days before our separate flights to separate countries. Before that, let us at least finish words and images for one country! After our road-trip around southern France, we returned…

Delhi Sights, Smells, Sounds.

Greetings from a 15+ hour train ride through the heart of India. That’s 15 hours if all goes according to schedule – an unlikely event since trains in India are often delayed. A train that is an hour or two delayed near the beginning of its journey may end up arriving at its final destination…

Family, Friends, and Chinese New Year Across Three Countries (Part 2)

Guangzhou family time finished, Manny and I swept off to Belgrade to meet her international crew of friends, an event decidedly more terrifying than meeting her family since I would be without the protective barrier afforded by the lack of a common language. Manchit and I shared a huge flat in central Belgrade with her…

Family, Friends, and Chinese New Year Across Three Countries (Part 1)

It was a screeching, metallic cacophony that awoke Manchit and I last night/this morning during our first sleep in Delhi, India. Perhaps there was some sort of Indian metal studio (that’s metal as in grinding two pieces of steel together, not the metal found when blasting Slayer, Mastadon, or Lamb of God) beyond our bedroom…