About Oman

In the Sultanate of Oman, marketing seems more progressive than what I remember it being back in the United States. For instance, natural hairstyles are controversial in the US so it wasn’t always that models sporting natural hair were visible. However, in Oman, that’s not the case. Surely, there seems to be an abundance of…

Angkor What?

My former colleague, Ted, often wore a t-shirt he bought from Cambodia that read “Angkor What?”. Though I was aware of Angkor Wat, I thought his t-shirt was simply a play on the name especially for people unfamiliar with the historic Khmer site. Last night while strolling down Pub Street in Siem Reap, I happened…

What Would Koreans Do?

Throughout my time in Korea, which was nearly ten years, I observed Koreans doing things that my Western sensibilities misunderstood. Koreans would hike mountains at the summit of which they would toast their achievement with a bottle of Soju. At the time I thought this was a strange practice. Alcohol was the last thing one…

Alcohol, Food & Beverage, & The Internet

South Korea Once I lived in South Korea where I enjoyed high speed internet, a plethora of Korean food options, and copious amounts of alcohol available almost anywhere. Even the national alcoholic beverage, Soju, was advertised at the theater. This was surprising as this would not fly in the United States. I miss the soups…

International Ripoffs — The Philippines & Turkey

i To date, I have traveled to six Asian countries and the islands of Jeju and Taiwan. In this edition of International Ripoffs I will retell my experiences in China, The Philippines, Sri Lanka, and Turkey. It got real in all those countries. The Set Ups China — a helpful man approaches the mark and…

Bahla Fort

Walking the grounds of Bahla Fort I imagined myself among throngs of Muslim rich and poor who lived within its walls. Each room I entered I imagined a merchant, server, or family communing. I also imagined the rooms filled with goods for sale, or housing supplies. The many twists and turns inspired my inner child…

The “New” Ballad of Al Farid Ibn Battuta

Ibn Battuta was a 14th century traveler who was born in Tangiers, Morocco — a destination Al Farid visited last year. The significance of that visit was lost on him at that time. With his new awareness of the historical significance if that trip, he has come to identify with the legendary traveler, Ibn Battuta….

Alfredo Goes to Oman

Alfredo Sanchez traded in his Spanish ways for those of the Middle East. No longer does he need to greet others with “¿como estas?”. A-sallam-alai-kum is more appropriate. Alfredo’s been to these parts before over the past two years where he lived and worked in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. With his new work contract,…

¿Pura Vida o Vida Pura?

Pure Life — It’s the phrase that sums up Costa Rica. In Spanish it’s vida pura, because the adjective ‘pura’ goes after the noun. However, in Costa Rica, the Ticos and Ticas say Pira Vida. I even saw a store’s sign that read Pura Vida, so I think it works both ways. Though I’m thoroughly…