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Three Days in Singapore

The Singapore Skyline At Night From The River
Chuck Sat, 2017-02-18 01:22
It’s mandatory to wear Bermuda shorts and those British colonial military hats that look like fried eggs whilst visiting the city of Singapore. It is also recommended you use words like “whilst” and that you proceed “chin-up” into the heat and humidity of this former British colony that still very much feels like a British colony. If you do not do these things, the British tourists you will inevitably find yourself surrounded by may regard you with a discomforting curiosity. All the global public image of an over-the-top strictly regulated city—no spitting in public, no chewing of gum, no jay...

Farewell (For Now), Philippines

Barangay Boat, Honda Bay, Philippines
Chuck Fri, 2017-02-10 20:00
There's something bizarrely appealing about a country where it's not uncommon to spot men peeing on fences as you drive by in the comfort of your Uber car. It'd be considerably more interesting if you could spot women doing the same, but a people can only be so appealing. By the time you read this, we'll have flown on to Singapore, our welcome--that is to say, our visa--in the Philippines having expired. We Americans are spoiled by relatively lengthy visas, but in the Philippines the standard tourist visa for Americans is 30 days. We've read it's not too challenging to get an extension, but...

Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines

Children in Puerto Princesa, Palawan, Philippines
Chuck Sat, 2017-02-04 00:40
Today’s blog is short on the normal array of pictures for such a visually interesting destination as we’ve experienced the last week and a half. The reason is that Internet service has been such that the approximately 1,000 pictures we’ve taken are stuck on our local devices, unable to sync to Dropbox on the Internet-over-hemp-vine service we are enjoying here on the island of Palawan in the Philippines. Dodgy Internet service, however, goes hand-in-hand with visually interesting destinations, so you will simply have to rely more than usual on my stunning wit to spark your imagination...

The Unspoken Rule(s) Of Travel

Chuck Fri, 2017-01-27 22:08
Our recent 5 hour layover in Tokyo notwithstanding, we've not spent time in Japan, but we understand that when you ride the Tokyo subway you are expected to maintain complete and respectful silence. If you utter as much as a snide harrumph , Japanese officials will forcibly remove you from the subway and brutally chastise you with chopsticks. For multiple offenses, you may be subjected to an even worse penalty: being made to watch Japanese television for an hour. The Japanese are renowned for their politeness. We joke about our own inexplicable behavior in thanking toll booth attendants who'...


Boat Cruise on Pasig River, Manila Philippines
Chuck Sat, 2017-01-21 05:32
We love Manila because they don’t charge us for plastic bags at the grocery. Just kidding. Well, maybe not really. “Love” of a city is a complex thing. People ask us all the time about our favorite places, and without thinking we typically respond, “Spain, Portugal, the Oregon coast, Paris, and Des Moines”. And maybe a few other favorite spots. Asian megacity Manila, capital of the Philippines, may never earn a ranking in our ad hoc list of favorite destinations in the world, but we can say we’ve been here, and it IS likely that we will return. And to be honest, we've never been to Des Moines...