Category Archives: Characters and Friends

Lao Kids: Still Freakin Adorable

Not much has changed since I rode through Laos four months ago. That time, it was from the Chinese border (north-north) to the Thai border (central), and this time it’s Thai border (west-northwest) to Vietnam border (north-northeast), but I’ve still … Continue reading

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The Shaky Squad

Possible alternate titles include “New Beginnings”, “A Clean Start,” “On the Road Again,” “Three Rules, Two Years” and other puns, wordplays, and allusions that I have decided it’s better not to waste time trying to think up or write down. … Continue reading

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Even Fauxbos Have Families, Part 1

I generally try to act like a citizen of the world. Of course I want to be happy, and I want my friends from home to be happy, but not if it comes at the cost of the happiness of … Continue reading

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Gettin’ Religion on my way to Bangkok

Just as the ocean “waves,” the universe “peoples.” – Alan Watts, The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are Welcome to Thailand! Land of Smiles! Land of scams! Land of splendid sun! Land of endless rain! Land of … Continue reading

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A Day Abnormal By Any Other Standards

Editor’s Note: I wrote this about three weeks ago when I was still a Laos newbie. Might as well post it though. I don’t know why I’m writing this. Proud? Amazed? Baffled? Today was a day weirder than most, and … Continue reading

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China Tries Various Strategies to Prevent Me from Leaving

A few days ago, I woke up on the concrete floor in the back room of the restaurant where I had had a late lunch. The owner had been kind enough to grant me permission to take a nap, and … Continue reading

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You’re a Grand Old Flag

Do your best to squish the following into the appropriate melody: You’re a shabby old flag, you’re a tattered old flag, forever in one piece I pray you stay. You’re the emblem of some things I love like thrift, DIY, … Continue reading

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Burmese Days

Let this darkness be a bell tower and you the bell. As you ring, what batters you becomes your strength. – Rainer Maria Rilke I had heard from my anonymous tipster (I never asked his name) in Nuodeng that the … Continue reading

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A Day with the 49ers

Finally, it happened. One of those “bad things that hasn’t happened yet but is bound to happen eventually” that I listed way back in September after Mingyu and I had completed our first month on the road, getting away scot-free … Continue reading

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Two weeks in Shangri-la (A Vacation from my Vacation)

When I started this trip, Shangri-la was not among my must-sees. Why not? Because I didn’t know it was a real place. Actually, I didn’t know that it was a fake place either. Confused? Me too. I think I had … Continue reading

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