Cow Racing in Sumatra (Pacu Jawi)

Cow Racing in Sumatra (Pacu Jawi)

Grip tightened, throttle open, lowered helmet cutting through black diesel. I was the last in the three-motorbike convoy that left the Harau Valley at high speed. I kept up for maybe an hour or so before the mad tentacles of Sumatran traffic separated us. It came in...

Seeing the Dalai Lama in McLeod Ganj

I knew the Dalai Lama was coming when the photographers stood and the huddled Tibetans stooped lower. Murmuring hushed. From my front-row seat, I first saw his entourage of very watchful bodyguards with short-stock AK-47s; they scanned the crowd nervously enough to...

Bamboo Tattoo in Koh Tao, Thailand

Tap. Tap. Tap. I was lying flat on my back, watching two hungry geckos devour bug after bug on the thatched ceiling. Meanwhile, a man was driving a sharpened bamboo stick with a nail into the sensitive part of my inner arm. Bucket list goal of “Get a Traditional...

A Vagabond Halloween in China

Sim: “What is a good Halloween tradition in America?” Greg: “Hmmm…well carving faces into pumpkins is a very old tradition.” (I failed to mention that so is smashing them) Sim: “Really? Will you carve some pumpkins for the...

Halloween Party Sichuan Style

OK…so there were no ridiculously sexy adult costumes, no kids with bags, very little candy, and no goblins.. But there were some carved pumpkins. And bourbon. And coke. I was hanging out at Sim’s Guesthouse with some new friends, when David — a very...