Literate

Leonard Knight and His Mountain

Revisiting this labor of love in the Southern California desert.

Mahatma Gandhi believed that we should not let the idea of seeing individual actions as insignificant deter us from contributing to and participating in the changes we wish to see. Apparently, he isn’t alone in ...

Copalis Beach

On the road in Washington state.

There’s only one place to drink in Copalis Beach. The river winds through a short slough to the ocean and, just south (as "just south" as it could be), sits Green Lantern Tavern. The nondescript ...

Bulgaria in Translation

The wonders of scented toilet paper and much more.

“Wind of Change” by the Scorpions was on Bulgarian radio again. I listened while staring out the window at Sofia’s graffiti-speckled buildings on the taxi ride back to my downtown apartment. The next song sounded ...

Prague: A Vampire, a Sunset and an Electrocution

It was our second night in Prague, and the Old City shops were closing early and making me angry. Mark, my husband, and I were delayed by my dives into shops whose proprietors had not ...

An American in Dalat

(Before Americans were allowed in Dalat.)

“Welcome to Dalat. Please give me your passports. You are American? How do you come here?” Not an unusual greeting from the young female receptionist in a white ao dai local dress at the Dalat ...

Reality Shift in Hyderabad

As much as we see globalization happening on every continent, I have seen a place as-of-yet unaffected. Hyderabad, India, has yet to be conquered by McDonalds, Wal-Mart or Starbucks. You won't find much tourism there ...

Lopez Island, Washington

Z and I arrive by evening ferry at the nondescript dock of Lopez Island. A sign by the terminal advises that “All at large dogs will be detained” – curious, to say the least. We ...

How to Hunt a Lion

(As told by Moses, a Maasai tribesman.)

After two years of invitations, I finally made it to Africa to visit my friend Moses, a Maasai elder, at his village in Kenya. That first night, while sitting around a fire, he offered to ...

Into the Heart of Magic Realism Country

The world of García Márquez's novels.

There is a family somewhere near the Colombian Caribbean coast who have a novel way of caring for their elderly, infirm grandfather. Supposedly, along the banks of the river Magdalena, the very same river that ...

One Night in the French Quarter

Before Katrina devastated New Orleans, the State of Alabama sent me and two other newly appointed law clerks to attend a conference there. We were given a pre-paid twin room at the Hotel Monteleone (for ...

Giving Face in Kashgar

It was my final day in Kashgar, China. I had all the photos I needed and was ready for a good meal before catching my flight out, when I noticed a tiny man sitting outside, ...

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