When Spice Isn’t

After living in Kunming China for eight years, I have built up a tolerance for what’s spicy. Not just the far-side foods, either, but the spice of life. The nine-year-old selling liquor in his parent’s store? At least he can see over the counter. Old women recylcers with huge bundles strapped to their backs? Walk faster! Freshly slaughtered carcasses hanging […]


In any Ma and Pa shop in Hanoi, you’ll find a shrine with tangles of incense and offerings of cigarettes, beer and moon pies. It’s the Vietnamese way of taking care of their loved ones in the after life.   I hope Anthony Bordain is one of those spirits as he loved this town. I say a prayer hoping he’ll […]

No pictures allowed

It’s a scene out of a Microsoft commercial. Divorced woman in the jungles of Vietnam approving a rental applicant for her condo in Wrigleyville, Chicago. Nice kid. Right out of school. Job at some tech firm. No credit record yet as he hasn’t used his credit cards. No record of him anywhere, not even on Facebook, which has sadly become […]