There is no commuter train where I live in Bangkok so most people here take a taxi when they want to go into the center of town. Yesterday at noon I walked to the guard’s gate at the entrance to my development and asked him to call a cab to take me into the city. The conversation went something like this: [Read more...]
Those French. It really gets me how they cultivate that l’air superieur just because they can dress up the everyday, le quotidien, if you will, in that sing-song patois of theirs and all of a sudden, pouf! Tout le monde goes fou. It’s as if life, poured through the filter of French, suddenly becomes interesting. Un petit peu more exciting. [Read more...]
Death scenes hit me hard. Fictional or real, it doesn’t matter—I don’t do well when the eternal footman gets around to calling. [Read more...]
We were typecast. My sister Rachel–she of sunshine and light–was always the pilgrim, newly arrived in a wild land and looking for warm food. I was the Indian, with a penchant for fringe and accessorizing, who just happened to have an outdoor repast of turkey and corn set for guests. It’s a reductive rendition of history they serve when you’re 9, but the idea is an awfully nice one: welcome others and share your bounty.
Over the years, the pilgrims have come from all over; and when they get here, they become a part of the native tribe. I know–it’s a reductive rendition of history. But it’s a nice one.
Happy Thanksgiving–whatever kind of American you are.
In elementary school, mine was not the party-pack lunch—the lunch you see in TV commercials that explodes with all sorts of crazy lunch fun. Kids in those commercials fall all over themselves in great pitches of joy over the party-in-a-lunch-box mom packed. Those little logs of cheese, that cup of O-shaped spaghetti, the bologna on white bread wonderfulness—so much lunching good times that, once unpacked, unleash storms and storms of fun. Just not for me. [Read more...]
In the early 1980s, Vienna’s airport was one small terminal, like a village train station. You could check in, get a coffee, and go through passport control in a matter of minutes, and you got to your gate while the coffee was still hot because your gate was just the other side of the room. Planes took off and landed on one runway. Aside from music prodigies and spies, no one went to Vienna, which stood like a remote, lonely outpost teetering on the edge of East and West–where no one except university students spoke English and people walked around like they were still a bit stunned at having lost the monarchy, even though that had happened all the way back, 62 years before. The Vienna airport reflected what Austria, in the 20th century, had become: a quaint little place with great coffee, but, on the whole, internationally overlooked. [Read more...]
There are people who walk into a grocery store and, instead of seeing thousands of individual food items, see complete dinners. They stride with purpose through the aisles and an hour later have pan-roasted chicken, sautéed chanterelles, and potato gnocchi on the table. [Read more...]