The Food Tourist

On my second day in Singapore David got me out of the hostel to explore the city. We had lunch with friends and, after a long walk in…

The Strong Support the Weak

The sign said it was 5.1 km to the top, fabulous views guaranteed! This was a chance to do something unusual so I decided to take it. Around…

Corruption in Indonesia

Agus and I were sitting on his front porch drinking Balinese coffee around midday. His three year old daughter had just wondered off and I had something on…

Olga at the Commune

Olga was my liaison when I moved to a commune in rural Ukraine. She made introductions and showed me how I would earn my keep. Weeding the garden,…

How to Break Your Bones

Like all the other tourists in Thailand we rented a fleet of scooters. I have a motorcycle license and I’ve been riding for years. I’m the exception. Most…

A boat driver in Thailand

Thai Boat Captains

Even the most challenging American skiffs look effortless compared to the boats in Thailand. The propeller, mounted ten feet behind the boat, is attached to a small car…

Max the Russian-American

I left Russia the same way I came, friendless. I’ve thought about that time often. Is the Russian culture non-conducive to friendship? Did I do something wrong? Do…

How to Get a Thai Tattoo

Every day hundreds of people, like Michael here, partake in a South East Asia ritual: they learn to drive a scooter. Like your first legal drink it’s a…

Thai Tree Cutter

The Tree Destruction Artist

It would be a mistake to assume that this guy is protected, the rope is there to lower tree limbs. This man’s life is in his own hands,…

We Don’t Smile

I met Joseph when he came over to use our WiFi. He brought some thank-you-beer and we kickstarted the night. Later, at the bar, Omri asked, So Joseph,…

Same Same But Different

There’s a cliche among people who travel in South East Asia. Same Same But Different. Or, more often, Same Same. The saying epitomizes a lack of appreciation for the local culture…

2.2 Liters a Day

Martin sat next to me on the bus from Bangkok. I knew he was German so when we introduced ourselves, I used his mother tongue. It’s nice to…

The Man Who Changed my Life

I met Sergej at a hostel in Kiev. He was the only other guy in the room when I got there so I introduced myself. Once I heard…

Working at the Dubai Dry Docks

The United Arab Emirates is a country of immigrants and expats. 80% of the population was born somewhere else. The men in this picture come from places like…

The Value of Following Through

Misha is a Ukrainian from the historic city of Lviv. We met online on a language exchange website. You find someone interesting, exchange your Skype names then practice…

The Ink is Permanent, the Friendship is Not

Sam has cool tattoos, I don’t think he’ll regret them when he’s fifty. But it’s impossible to know for certain because I’ll never see Sam again. He is…

Riding Dirt Bikes

Denmark is ranked as the happiest country often enough that they get to brag about it. The way Americans brag about their military or Brasil their football teams. Unfortunately,…

The Captain of Florida

Captain Major lives in Key Largo on a sailboat called Sea Remedy. He’s a retired airline mechanic, grandfather, and the man I wrote about in my college entrance…

The Missing Dutchmen

In the summer of 2015 I volunteered at a hostel in Kiev, Ukraine. Most guests arrived in groups so I was happy when Benny showed up alone. That…

A family on a scooter in Vietnam

The Family Minivan

My picture has one major failing: the scooter this family is packaged onto is a fancy model. The equivalent of picking up the kids from school in a…

Cambodian Tuk Tuk Driver

The Good, the Bad and the Handsome

This man is a ridiculously photogenic Cambodian Tuk Tuk driver. This puts him in a special class, as Cambodian Tuk Tuks are the most elegant. In Thailand they remind…