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Travel: So Easy, Any Moron Can Do It

Air Asia A320 Loading
Chuck Thu, 2017-03-09 03:31
There used to be a time when you'd land in a foreign airport disoriented, jet lagged, unable to speak the language, where your precious greenbacks were pretty well useless, and the only way to let loved ones back home know you made it (at least without incurring a second mortgage to make a--gasp!--international call) was to mail a postcard that would arrive precisely two weeks after your return home. Travel sure has gotten easier. We noticed this recently when we landed in Bangkok--dude, that's in THAILAND, an oriental city where the city don't know that the city is getting the creme de la...

Time For Some Culture In Hong Kong, But Not What You Expect

View of Hong Kong from Victoria Peak
Chuck Tue, 2017-02-28 23:35
Does going to Hong Kong mean we can say we’ve been to China? A while back we decided that “going to” a country requires, among a few other qualifications, that we have a stamp in our passports from that country. This means, for example, that we can’t claim to have been to Japan since we only connected through the Tokyo airport on our way to the Philippines. But even though we spent four nights in Hong Kong and trekked around plenty of the city’s sights, we don’t have a stamp from China in our passports. The reasons for this go back a century and a half to Hong Kong’s days as a British colony...

Bali: So Many Bars, So Little Time

Barung Dancer, Bali
Chuck Sun, 2017-02-26 03:27
Travel is learning. And what we've learned this week is that Bali is actually an acronym for "Bunch of Australians on a Little Island". We're just joshing! If that were true, the acronym would really be BDALI, for "Bunch of Drunk Australians on a Little Island". All kidding--and our general fondness for Aussies--aside, life lessons learned while on the Indonesian island of Bali include the following: A pool with a swim-up bar is the true way God intended man to enjoy swimming. The best swim stroke for conveying a beer across a pool is the side stroke. Monkeys are not cute. They are evil, evil...

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...