Lessons from a Wise Sky: Number One

A Wise SkySince I’ll be flying quite a lot this year, I’ve decided to spend the next few weeks cataloguing all the knock-down-drag-out fights I’ve had on airplanes. I thought about starting with a sequence of stories entitled “Adorable Psycho Banned from Airline,” but I think I’ll save that story for my series “Adorable Psycho […]

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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 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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My Titicaca Troubles

Do you remember the story about Horst on Koh Samui? The one about great Thai food poisoning? Didn’t we have fun? In Peru it was my turn. Grab a Mate de Coca tea, pull up a floating reed island and join me as I revisit Lake Titicaca on the border between Peru and Bolivia. You’ll […]

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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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Venetian Jade and Ligurian Diamonds

Exactly one year ago, I vowed to myself and those around me that I would never ever ever return to the world’s largest, sinking tourist trap—Venice. Like the other Italian tourist meccas, Venice must have been beautiful once. Now, it’s a watery maze of trinket shops, bad restaurants and over-priced hotels. Who can we blame […]

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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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