Travel Articles

Soviet Junk: Post-Communist Clean Up

May 20, 2016 9:00 am Published by 1 Comment

My recent visit to Azerbaijan inspired this blog. As I was being driven through Baku, my guide, Basran, would occasionally gesture at crumbly old buildings and say, “Soviet junk.” I’ve gained experience roaming through countries spewed by the cement mixer of communism: the Balkans (Romania, Bulgaria), Russia, Mongolia, and now... read more

Azerbaijan Architecture – a travel blog

May 16, 2016 9:00 am Published by 2 Comments

Title Image: Flame Towers, Baku, a spectacular example of Azerbaijan architecture. I left Malaysia, and after an 11-hour flight and a 4-hour layover in Istanbul followed by another 3-hour flight, I arrived in Azerbaijan. Although I was very tired and jet-lagged, I immediately perked up at sight of Baku, the... read more

Kuala Lumpur and Melaka, Malaysia

May 13, 2016 9:00 am Published by 1 Comment

The fourth stop in my trip around the world is Malaysia, landing in Kuala Lumpur. The first thing you need to know is that kuala means ‘confluence of two rivers, estuary’ and lumpur means ‘muddy’. Here I am (in the photo on the right) at the muddy confluence. Note: Everywhere in Asia... read more

Globalization Through The Lens of Malaysia

May 9, 2016 9:00 am Published by 2 Comments

Malaysia perfectly exemplifies today’s globalization. Kuala Lumpur’s Twin Towers seen from the Traders Hotel where I stayed.  Here I outline the way globalization is woven into Malaysia and the way Malaysia weaves itself into globalization. Some of my observations are not surprising. They are rather eyewitness confirmation of what we... read more

Further Observations on Japan

May 6, 2016 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Here is another listicle about Japan. This time the observations are random and in no particular order: 10. T-shirts/sweatshirts. Many people wear T-shirts or sweatshirts with names of U.S. states on them, like South Dakota or Maryland. Every now and then the shirt has the name of a college, often... read more

Kinosaki-onsen – a Japanese Spa Town

May 2, 2016 4:24 pm Published by 1 Comment

Making good on my own rating that the onsen is the height of Japanese culture, Gerard and I went to Kinosaki-onsen, a charming spa town on a northwestern coast of the main island, Honshu. The word onsen is even in the name of the town. We did it up big:... read more

Azumino: The Japanese Alps

April 26, 2016 9:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

This past weekend my son, Gerard, and I went to a most beautiful area of Japan, specifically Azumino City in Nagano Prefecture. The XVIII Winter Olympics were held in Nagano in 1998. So this event tells you the area is impressively mountainous. It also explains why the region is called... read more

Japanese Culture Ten Things – a travel blog

April 22, 2016 9:00 am Published by 1 Comment

 I’m in Japan for two weeks. It’s my second trip to visit my younger son, Gerard, who has lived in Koshien (outside of Osaka) for three and a half years. Here are the top ten things I love about Japanese culture: 10. Cool paper products. Not just origami, but complicated cards... read more