A fond farewell to a mentor, a friend, a kindred spirit, and one of the most memorable characters this writer ever had the pleasure to know.
Category Archives: Uncategorized
Here Comes the Year of the Cat
93. Year of the Tiger: A Collection
As the lunar calendar turns, I realize that what really matters in my life are the relationships that I create and nurture.
92. Travels with My Best Friend
Two old pals reunite for three weeks exploring some of Vietnam’s urban and rural environments — big city to beaches, highlands and history.
90. Adventures in Phnom Penh
John and Calvin, his buddy from America, take in the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of Cambodia’s colorful capital city.
88. Grist for the Vietnam Newcomer
Assorted advice and observations for first-timers venturing to this Southeast Asian country.
All About the Ao Dai
Sharing a link from the East-West News Service, which has just published my story on the ao dai, iconic fashion of Vietnamese women. (Click on the headline below to retrieve the full story.)
87. Me and Julio Down by the Ball Yard
The author reflects on his lifelong passion for the sport of baseball, largely unknown in Southeast Asia, as his favorite team finally has a winning season.
86. On the Street Where I Live
It’s not Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood, but the author reflects on the personality of his home turf in Ho Chi Minh City’s Tan Binh district.
72. Covid Is Not a Walk in Uncle Hô’s Park
“The fog comes on little cat feet,” American poet Carl Sandburg once famously wrote. Covid-19, it seems, has a similar agenda.
70. Hội An’s Chinese Flair
Colorful assembly halls and communal houses, the legacy of traders of yore, inject an element of exoticism in modern Hội An.
66. A Day in the Life: Ho Chi Minh City
A full day on the streets in Saigon doing absolutely nothing, or at least the next best thing: Stop, look and listen.
50. The Waiting to Be Vaccinated Blues
COVID-19 vaccinations haven’t yet arrived in the Central Highlands in any significant quantity. The author is more than ready.
49. Ten Things You Didn’t Know About Vietnam
There are contradictions galore in contemporary Vietnamese culture. “You can’t kiss in the street, but you can piss in the street,” one longtime resident noted.
45. Dear Vietnam: 10 Things I Love About You
Count on your fingers or toes. Here are two handfuls of reasons why Vietnam is a great country to be living in.
38. On Speaking Vietnamese
Learning to speak Vietnamese may be harder than it first appears, no thanks to 11 vowels, six tonal diacriticals and a handful of regional dialects.
36. A Father’s Day Tribute
Memories of a son who was born in Singapore, raised in Seattle, and who would have been at home anywhere. The melody lingers on.
34. Sometimes It Rains
“Sometimes you win. Sometimes you lose. Sometimes it rains.” — Tim Robbins as Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh in Bull Durham (1988)
33. On Dating (Chapter One)
Dating in a new culture is like finding one’s self as a Stranger in a Strange Land. As any local might tell you, it’s “same same … but different!”
Book Review: Angkor in Modern Cambodia
My review of John Burgess’ new book, Angkor’s Temple in the Modern Era, has been published by the East-West News Service. Angkor Wat: Cambodia’s 9th century temple complex fights to preserve its past | East-West News Service