Good Cop, Bad Cop

I had just stepped into line at immigration when I remembered my laptop left behind on the plane. It kind of pissed me off, but I’d left my phone behind on a plane once before and it had taken security less than 5 minutes to find it, so I stopped a nearby uniform and told…

One Night in Cairo

A stranger approaches you walking the streets of a foreign land speaking clever English and inviting you for tea. It’s a common scene played out in the tourist districts of cities and countries the world over, and your instincts make you bunch your shoulders and turn to walk the other way. But for once the…

All the Difference in the World

Thick crowds of stumbling drunks scream and chant their way through the streets and underground stations of Munich, their stomachs filled with delicious, but undeniably over-priced food and drink from the Oktoberfest. The ones who managed not to overdo it have their glazed eyes set on an after party at a bar hidden somewhere in…

A Beautiful Mess

The driver throws our shitty, little, 7-seater van around a hairpin corner and another slosh of rainwater pours through a hole in the roof and splashes down on my face. We’re 7 ½ hours into what was supposed to be a 6-hour journey across the southern coast of Java, Indonesia, and our driver had just…

Hitching a Ride

“Gringito! Tu vas acá!” called the bus driver. I could see a street sign out through the hazy glass indicating which town we were in, but it wasn’t where I wanted to be. I was trying to get to Laguna Quilotoa, an old, inactive volcano high in the Ecuadorian mountains that over the course of…

The Universal Language

“Entiendes?” I asked, trying to see if I’d been understood. I’d just finished a slow and careful monologue of broken Spanish in an attempt to explain why and how my patient needed to do a particular exercise. It was difficult, but I’m proud to say we got there. She asked a few clarifying questions that…

You Cancel you Flight

The departure board was enormous and it took me forever to find my flight. When I did I wasn’t impressed. Flight JK541 to Jakarta, Indonesia flashed up cancelled in bright red letters on the screen. Nice of them to tell me in advance. I was alone in Bangkok International Airport an hour after saying goodbye…