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Stories by Dominic Carrillo

About the beer: Oktoberfest in Munich

An American's take on the world's biggest beer festival.

I took another swig of crisp, clean German lager as I spied the nascent Oktoberfest fairgrounds across the street. Only the steel frames and brewery names were up – the stark beginnings of the world’s ...

Five reasons to visit Slovenia

Off-track Eastern European gem.

Preface: I do not usually gush about entire countries. I do not work for the Slovenian office of tourism. 1) Ljubljana (pronounced "lube-ee-ana") is a beautiful city with a central old town and a river ...

Sofia, Bulgaria: rakia with Boris

Straight talk and homemade booze in the Eastern Bloc.

I hung out the other day with a 50-something-year-old Bulgarian bus driver named Boris. He'd taken one of my classes on a field trip, and I’d offered to buy him and the tour guide a ...

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 ...

Moving Sale

When I went to bed Saturday night, I’d almost forgot that my girlfriend had posted a Sunday morning yard sale on Craigslist earlier that week. She wrote that it would start at 9am, which meant ...

An American in Dublin

(as well as Galway)

"Just pretend they’re all leprechauns, and I bet it’ll start to get much better." That’s what we temporarily agreed on after our first few cold, terse encounters with Dubliners, as the light rain poured down ...

Getting Over the Hump

Dominic Carrillo had to get sick before he started his novel.

Who Tipped Over the Cats?

Another Pacific Beach day was coming to an end on the scenic sidewalk that hugged the bay. People were walking their dogs. On my right was a five-story condo built in the 1970’s, worth less ...

Notes on American Freedom

My first 2 hours on American soil — Dallas Ft. Worth airport to be exact — were spent in long lines: ‘Freedom’ lines. Because I’d complained about the wait to the person next to me, ...

An Absolutely True Story of Being Deported at Age 14

At first, I was scared to share this story about me getting deported. First of all, I am not a good writer yet. I am only 16 years old. English is my second language. Spanish ...

Confessions of a One-Time PB Bum

Vomiting near a loading dock on a rainy night in a Pacific Beach alley isn’t the best feeling in the world. In fact, just the thought of it brings back the acidic, post-puke taste in ...

Man Without a Neighborhood

I suppose I am a man without a neighborhood. As a life-long San Diegan, I have called many neighborhoods “home.” Often I find myself in the minority and my native claim second only to the ...