Inle Lake – Fire, Rain, and the Mobile Internet

Perhaps no area of Myanmar touched me more than Inle Lake. The fishing village I visited on the lake, is neither pre-modern or post-modern, it is somewhere in between: all the trash from modern life, but few of the conveniences. In a mostly pre-modern world, much of life revolves around fire and rain: the wood-burning […]

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Mandalay – Capital of the Last King

At the conclusion of the third Anglo-Burmese war, the then ruler of Burma, King Thinbaw Min, and his wife, were exiled to India, never to return. While the execution of the annexation was done on schedule, by some accounts to assist a domestic election campaign in Britain, the aftermath did not go so well, with […]

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Bagan – The Ancient Capital

For those not yet worn down by “yet another temple”, Bagan is one of the best places to go. First, it was a pleasant country retreat from the bustle of Yangon, but the history on display and in spoken recounting is fascinating. While there is a large pagoda, what makes Bagan unique is the 3,000+ […]

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Buddhism IS a religion – or not

In Mandalay, a 33 old young lady, who converted from Islam to Buddhism 10 years earlier, made an insightful comment “My Buddhism is like the Buddhism of Americans, I learned it from a book, not from my parents.” The point she was making is when you learn religion from your parents, it is entangled with […]

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Yangon – The Colonial Capital

Background; Myanmar has had empires and been attacked/occupied by others building empires themselves, including: Mongolians, Chinese, Japanese, and the British. Myanmar has also experienced significant cultural influence from India, has had interaction on the border with Thailand, and from time to time been on trading routes in the ancient world. Homo Erectus may have been […]

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One more sleep before I take to the air

‘Twas the night before I be traveling, When all through the house, Not a creature was stirring, Not even a spouse. I start to think of distance that would be far, But before I finish packing, I read on my phone, With iron rods they have been whacking, Yangon women they had already been sacking, […]

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TS#10 – Arizona and Utah: You have to know who you are partnered with

[Travel snippets – TS – a series of reflections on past travels and adventures] Arizona and Utah is one of my favorite trips from the time before Margaret and I had children. We were newly married, in love, and had the freedom to just jump in a car, or on a plane, and do whatever. […]

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TS#9 – Egypt : Don’t eat the salad

[Travel snippets – TS – a series of reflections on past travels and adventures] I like salads, and at my age, you kind of have to. However, the first rule of traveling is don’t eat anything that is washed in the local water, and then not cooked. Unfortunately, salad falls into this category, and when […]

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TS#8 – Käfertal : You can’t go back

[Travel snippets – TS – a series of reflections on past travels and adventures] In 2008, I was in Germany for business. I decided to sneak down to Heidelberg for the weekend, one the way from one city to Frankfurt – yes, kind of out of the way I know, but on the upside, I […]

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TS#7 – Bread Crumbs in Bulgaria: We Should be Grateful for what We Have.

[Travel snippets – TS – a series of reflections on past travels and adventures] In 1990, I visited Bulgaria. The “wall” had fallen in Germany, Communism was on the run, but some countries, like Bulgaria, were behind the curve. They were still stricken by the modest living conditions that contributed to the downfall of communism. […]

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