Frog and Toad are Friends

My memory is embarrassingly terrible. It seems to run in my family, and to my future children: I apologize if this attribute is passed along in any way. My most glaring deficiency is recalling things from my childhood. My memories of those times are spotty at best; however there are a few seemingly random elements that I can easily think back on. One such memory is a cherished childhood story that I loved and read often. I believe my eldest sister passed-down a book of hers to me, which was called Frog and Toad are Friends. I think the lesson of the book is how critical friendship can be, and how important it is to be nice to your friends. I just hope that even as I bit into the face of a frog and tore the moist meat from its back, it died having a loving and lasting friendship with a toad friend, who I was hopefully going to eat next.

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Shenzhen View Pano

I can’t help but wonder how the other half of the world perceives a person like myself. I was asking this very question on Friday while I performed my near-sacred morning ritual at the hotel buffet. For anyone who knows me, it is almost universally understood that I enjoy my opportunities to overeat and consume large quantities of coffee. This very fact makes me a true sucker for any hotel buffet, especially the “fancy” ones, which are quite the common occurrence when I travel for work.

Well, my introspective query came soon after sitting down with my first plate of food. I had never really seen what maple syrup looked like mid-flight before, but as soon as my fork broke free from the mystery cosmic force in the center of one of the triangles of french toast on my plate, I was provided front row seats to that very sight. I swear the syrup quadrupled in volume as it rocketed towards my half-shielded crotch, and somehow spread out into a giant ASL version of “screw you” before making contact with the lower left quadrant of my polo shirt and the entire uncovered section of my jeans. This picture perfect display of sticky, sugary staining power was like a heat seeking missile, fired with the most sophisticated targeting algorithm ever devised to hunt down portions of clothing unprotected by napkins.

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Kempinski Entrance

The mind is a muscle, which must be exercised like any other to get stronger. The stomach, on the other hand, is not a muscle; however that won’t stop me from pretending that it is.

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Construction in Shenzhen

24 hours ago I was in the Raleigh-Durham Airport. It was early Monday morning, and I was still trying to come down from the inexplicable emotional high that was felt watching my best friend of the past 15 years get married. I believe an apt description for my mental state would have been tattered, but honestly who’s keeping track these days?

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Yesterday was an interesting day. I will expand on this at a later point in time, but after a few ups and downs (mostly downs at first, then a lot of ups) we made our way out to the Yilan coastline for a day of surfing. It had been years since my last surfing experience in Costa Rica with my sister Joanna, and I was certainly anxious leading up to it. As soon as I first hopped on the board, paddled as hard as I could and caught that first wave, it all came rushing back to me as if I’d never stopped surfing. But that is not what I came here to tell you about. Instead I wanted to very quickly describe one of the greatest sites that I’ve ever seen in my entire life.

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Day 3.5 — Don’t Touch the Table

As I sat and watched a small brown cockroach run along the wall next to our table, I had a feeling that this night would be one worth writing about. I couldn’t have been more correct. After leaving the museum on Friday evening, we headed to the Shilin Night Market, which is the most famous in all of Taipei, and possibly even all of Taiwan.

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I hope you caught that, but just in case you missed the title above I’ll repeat it, adding emphasis. Six showers. Forty eight hours. I have taken exactly six showers in the past two days. I can’t even begin to describe how much I’ve been sweating during my time in Taiwan, so instead you’ll simply have to infer from those numbers how much my body has perspired. This is not a joke, nor is this a test. Actually, I lied — this is kind of a test. I’m trying out my first “abbreviated” post that is not necessarily a full write-up but will help to keep you up to date on my current travels. Let me know your thoughts, or if you prefer the truck loads of words that I usually dump on you in my write-ups, and ONLY the truck-loads of words.

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