Every man or woman eventually pines for the days of the past, at least occationally, and either marvels or shudders at the speed at which thing happen, change, and disappear. Unfortunately, most of these observations of culture are drowned in sentimentality and eventual contempt for “the crazy things kids do nowadays.” But our collective memory… Read More What is this?
As a slight break-away from my usual travel writing, I´ve published a piece in Huffington Post´s World Post about free speech and Islam. Free speech and the ability to debate intelligently and freely is extremely important, especially for writers. Thanks to Huffington Post´s blog team for plastering the giant photo of Reza Aslan below the headline.… Read More Dear Liberals: Being Critical of Islam is not Racism
In the village, more than in the city, there is a strict adherence to schedules – schedules dictated by inactivity. Certain things are only done at particular hours; any momentary deviation from the way things are done is considered at least a minor incident. In the winter, locals in villages move slower than ever, as if… Read More Morning Market
In La Granja de San Ildefonso, a once glorious playground for the royals just outside of Segovia, the chilled fall air slides down through the valleys from the tops of the hills, and the smell of fireplaces and roasting lamb wafts in the streets. The air is thin and cool, and the residents of Madrid… Read More La Granja de San Ildefonso
Languages take loan words and phrases for many reasons. Some languages, like English, sneak in the middle of the night and steal words, and bring them into a creepy woodshed in the backyard, and in a shakedown proceed to change their pronunciation to fit the toolbox of a long vowel-rich, dipthong-ridden tongue. And then, as… Read More Language Files Part 1: Spanish and Bullfighting
Last week I finished a short stint of volunteer English teaching with the International Rescue Committee in San Diego. First it must be said that the full-time teachers there are some of the most dedicated and effective professionals I have ever met. To me, it seems easy to congratulation one’s self in these types of… Read More IRC Volunteering (Re-post)
When the Fall season approaches, where ever I am, I always think of Alaska, at least for a while. It could be that I was at my most impressionable at that moment, in the autumn of 1992, when I wanted to be immersed in the extremes of nature at the ends of the earth. And… Read More Places in Retro, Part 4: Alaska