Paris on my iPhone

La Tour EiffelI have just come back from Paris. Well, I haven’t just come back, but I have just uploaded the pictures from my iPhone. My Sony digital camera would have taken up too much space in my backpack, so I left it at home. I wish I’d left my cold at home. I was […]

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You’ll Never Walk Alone — at the Vatican

They all just want out.(If this post is cut off at the bottom by photos, try reloading the page. This usually works.) I do not like crowds. When I’m in one, I can think of six thousand reasons why I don’t like them, and each one of those six thousand reasons has a mind of […]

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Dobrou chut!

(Important! If this post is cut off at the bottom, reload the page. This usually solves the problem.) __________________________ As you can deduce from my first visit to Prague (below in Prague, Rain and Common Sense), I learned more about myself than I did about the city. My second trip, a year later, was like […]

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The Life and Times of Patricia, The Cheap Old Bag Part III

My dream is to one day trounce someone in Scrabble by playing the word trounce on a triple word score. Sadly, my dream did not bloom on the “extra” evening with my parents—a gift from the airline industry. Thank you, US Airways, American Airlines and, although your part in the gift of cancelled and delayed […]

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The Life and Times of Patricia, the Cheap Old Bag Part II

Like I said, I just knew the trip back to Munich would be smooth sailing. I was flying with US Airways—not the evil United Airlines who lost, then damaged, Patricia. I checked in online the night before, went to church with my parents, allowed a bunch of jolly Methodists to pray for my safe flight […]

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The Life and Times of Patricia, the Cheap Old Bag Part I

I bought Patricia last year for sixty dollars, which I recouped when Lufthansa poked a hole in her on her virgin voyage. Some folks would toss the bag and buy and sturdier, more stylish case; I taped that baby up and gloated to friends, “She might be ugly, but she’s paid for.” She? Patricia . […]

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The Glorious Guided Tour

The concept of the guided tour is simple—tell a throng of tourists the same thing at the same time and make more money. You’ve seen them: the groups of teenagers halfheartedly following a fusty old fart with a red umbrella, a gaggle of Japanese geriatrics huddling around a woman with a microphone . . . […]

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Don’t Pull the Finger at the Great Pyramids

Last year, a few months before I visited the Holy Land with my parents, I was on the phone to my mother discussing our plans for the trip. “We’re going to Alexandria and Jerusalem, and, let’s see,” she said. “I think Gaza is on the trip.” “Gaza?” I laughed. “I don’t think Gaza will be […]

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The Madding Crowd

If I were Muslim, I’d definitely lie to Allah and tell Him I was too poor and frail to go on the hajj. It would be a tricky lie since I’ve been to Egypt, Isreal, the United Arab Emirates and have Starbucks mugs—which, in my defense, I bought in Dubai—from Bahrain, Kuwait and, oops, Saudi […]

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Sacks, Boats, and Clots!

In New Zealand, there are tons of things to do. Imagine the most extreme outdoor activity, and the Kiwis do it, only better. You could camp, tramp, bike and surf; kayak, snowboard, heli-ski and scuba dive. We didn’t do any of that stuff, but we did find the fence with all the bras on it. […]

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