Bangkok gets a bad rap. Whenever I speak with other travelers they warn: Avoid Bangkok. It’s dirty, chaotic, and full of scammers and scum. But on my three-day visit to the city, I had a rather peaceful time. In part, in was because of my stay at the five-star, boutique hotel, Maduzi. But also because I didn’t run into any of the hassles that I have encountered in many other cities like Hanoi, San Jose, Athens, to name a few. Read more
In Cambodia, due to crippling unemployment, countless people are forced into becoming entrepreneurs, a difficult task even for the small percentage of business savvy individuals in first-world countries that plunge into the task. Therefore, tourists are constantly being solicited for their business.
“Tuk tuk, sir? Tuk tuk?” you’re asked ten times on each block of a major city like Phnom Penh, and maybe five times on each block in the quieter beach towns, like Sihanoukville. Read more
Our captain wore blue tight briefs and an Angry Birds hat as he accelerated and decelerated over the two foot swells that passed in between Kep, a town on mainland Cambodia, and Rabbit Island. The small waves moved parallel to the boat, running perpendicular to both shores, and subsequently rocking us violently. A little girl onboard was crying. We were all soaked. Read more
When I first started teaching in Queens in 2005, my high school students knew about the September 11th attacks. After all, they had lived it. They remembered the terror that filled their New York City classrooms, the fear in their parents’ eyes when they picked them up from school, the inescapable newscasters interrupting their regularly scheduled broadcasts.
We were barreling down the twisted railway tracks on a Cambodian bamboo train when up ahead, a blue truck came into view. Its big steel bumper hung over the rail line. I tried to shout something to prevent my wife from being decapitated, but fumbled the words and never got the chance to warn her. The driver of our bamboo train refused to slow down and the truck’s bumper grew bigger. Luckily, seconds before reaching the blunt guillotine, the truck driver went in reverse.