Image h.koppdelaneyWhen the surgeon took the golf ball sized tumor out of my father’s head he apologized and said my father would be lucky to see two more months.As a family we dug in for a fight to the finish that would last 500 long days. Slowly, the disease stole all my father’s faculties until he sat shuddering in a wheelchair, one arm limp around my shoulder as I hoisted him up and carefully walked him to the toilet.
Bargaining over prices is a time-honored tradition in the Middle East. Here are some key Arabic phrases that will help you haggle.If you venture to the Arab world and you’re not armed to the teeth (linguistically speaking), you’ll be taken as an easy mark by shopkeepers, touts and taxi drivers alike.
The cycling movement just keeps picking up steam.Right on the heels of my post about How To Be Good (Better) Drivers and Cyclists, I read this article in the Colorado Springs Gazette.Governor Bill Ritter just signed a bill, effective August 5, that should offer more protection to cyclists on the road.
For traveling in warm climates, a hammock is the way to go. There’s no cheaper, lighter, more comfortable and useful piece of gear. Here’s everything you need to know.Choosing your hammockFirst you need to decide on the material. Depending on where you are, you may have locally-harvested materials / options (ixtle hammocks—scratchy but beautiful—are available in Chiapas, for example), but the most common hammocks are either silk, nylon, or jute.
Photos courtesy of Alex Jouve.Between working on globetrotting shows and wanderlust-inducing series for the History Channel, Discovery Channel, and Travel Channel, TV producer Alex Jouve gives Matador a peek into his backpack.On a number of occasions, especially on a 130 degree day under the Egyptian sun, I’ve been asked by fellow crew members why I always have my bulky backpack stuck to me and what could possibly in there.
Is the decade-long conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo “Africa’s invisible war”?Some fascinating number-crunching from Social Design Notes compares the numbers of fatalities in Darfur and the Congo — roughly 500,000 and 5.5 million, respectively — and then notes the enormous disparity in the media coverage of the two.
Photo by sputnikrentA comprehensive guide to etiquette and what to expect when soaking in Traditional Chinese Hot Springs.When the Japanese occupied Taiwan from the late 1800s to the first half of the 1900s, they left an indelible social, cultural, and urban imprint on the island. Among the remnants are the continually popular Beitou Hot Springs facilities located in the northern portion of Taipei County.
Photos Courtesy of the Author Editor’s Note: Megan Kimble was a writer selected to travel with the Green Living Project to document environmental and community sustainability efforts in Guatemala and Belize. This is one of several dispatches she is filing for Matador. We arrived to the sweltering Guatemalan coast expecting to see a blazing sunset.
Don’t try this in downtown San Jose. Photo: Ed Yourdon Editor’s note: This note is an excerpt from the first chapter of Wanderjahr, an in-the-works narrative recounting the story of a young traveler’s explorations of place, people, and self during a research year abroad in Central and South America. At this point in the story, the narrator has recently landed in San Jose.
C. Noah Pelletier spends his 30th birthday trying (but failing) to write, checking his hometown friends’ lives on Facebook, and going easy on the wine.HONESTLY, I don’t expect to finish transcribing the band interview today. There’s too much excitement, too many distractions.A birthday present sits on the Chinese table here in the living room.
The following is from my previous personal blog, written just after the London tube bombings in summer 2005. I’m republishing it here because I felt it extended a previous post on irrational fears while traveling.I wonder about mortality.My friend confessed she has panic attacks while sitting on the tube in London.
Photo: mr. nightshadeThey don’t call it Burning Man for nothing. Virgin burner Joshua Johnson takes us for a walk beside the flames.Tonight the tents and RVs and camps are empty.Tonight ice melts in unattended coolers. Filthy lawn chairs hold silent counsel over vacant plots of dust.Tonight 43,000 burners gather in ever widening, concentric circles.