Searching for Havana: An Ice Cream Parlor, A Dive Bar, and Streets That Stink of Onions

It is a typically rainy night in Havana. Taka and I linger near the doorway, out of the rain, of Hotel Sevilla – one of those grand, colonial buildings that Cuba is known for – as Lori, a smartly-dressed young Cuban woman, asks the doormen to direct us to the dining room. Her friends willContinue reading “Searching for Havana: An Ice Cream Parlor, A Dive Bar, and Streets That Stink of Onions”

Noodle Soup and a Few Laughs

The pre-colonial capital is overflowing with motorbikes, dust, and construction. The old palace, with its huge moat, sits monumental in the middle of a bustling and mostly monochrome cityscape. Temples and Pagodas stand out from the drab landscape. I find something about Mandalay charming. It’s dirty (though not like Yangon), noisy, and most of theContinue reading “Noodle Soup and a Few Laughs”

Ruined Temples and Smoking Drinking Spirits

I’m on top of an old temple, waiting around for the sunset with a bunch of German and French. About 20 minutes before, I am on top of a different temple, with a bunch of German and French. They are digging in early for the sunset views of Bagan. When the sun finally starts toContinue reading “Ruined Temples and Smoking Drinking Spirits”

It’s Just Livin’ in Leon

A motorcycle passes me by as I walk to my accommodations. The woman on the back passenger seat daintily holds a cake with one hand, like a server carrying a tray of drinks. Earlier, in my taxi to the center of town, we maneuver through the outskirts. Bicycle taxies roam the streets, juice vendors squeezeContinue reading “It’s Just Livin’ in Leon”

We Were Promised Lava

It is sometime around midnight and I’m on a volcano. There are 40 of us, some with headlamps, others without. The light of the full moon seems sufficient, save the millions of stones and rocks that we trip over going up. Most of the hike, however, it doesn’t feel like we’re going up at all.Continue reading “We Were Promised Lava”