Ken Jackson

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Pago Pago, American Samoa

On the soggy trail of Somerset Maugham.

A thick drizzle soaked me one Saturday afternoon in Pago Pago, American Samoa. (Pronounced something like “Pango Pango.) But the drizzle was a welcome relief from the Deluge of Heaven that had just raced across ...

Bombay beach party

India's Ganesh Chaturthi festival: a travel experience.

In India’s Vedic prehistory, the son of Shiva and Parvati began his journey toward immortality when his father mistakenly lopped off his head with a sword, and upon realizing his mistake, replaced his son’s head ...

The first English expats: Banten, Indonesia

"An arrack to them."

In 1603, at a place Europeans then called Bantam, an English fleet trading for spices left behind a few merchants to organize the pepper trade for the arrival of the next voyage – two years ...

Other people's luggage

A thought-provoking visit to the Unclaimed Baggage Center.

Imagine any Mr. and Mrs. Smith and their six-year-old daughter Suzie from Cairo, Illinois. They have just finished touring England on a bus. At Heathrow, they check in for their flight home. They give their ...

Up a Mangrove Channel in Micronesia

A "Heart of Darkness"–like kayaking experience.

“Whenever you come to a fork in the channel, go left,” the owner of my hotel said as he prepared a kayak for me to paddle into the Mutunnenea Channel in northeastern Kosrae, Micronesia. “Eventually ...

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 ...

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 ...

Thirsting for Knowledge in Macau

A visit to the city's Wine Museum.

In the former Portuguese colony of Macau, the tourist office pamphlet promoting the wine museum offered an incredible enticement. Admission with wine tasting costs 15 Macau patacas (U.S. $2), and “of the new wines, about ...

Hong Kong: The Number One Wanchai Rule

A cautionary tale about red light district etiquette.

A female undercover cop in Neptune, the notorious subterranean disco in Wanchai’s red light district, pulled out her badge and shouted over the band at my well-served friend. “Excuse me, sir. Did you just say, ...

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