Monday, December 28, 2015

Devil's Food in Thailand

"This...this chocoleet...You sell this?
You can no sell! This is from devil!
You think to sell this chocoleet?!
This is fruit stand!
This...Why you laugh??
Stop!! Stop it to sell this choco -

Monday, December 21, 2015

A Thai Kid Working the Man

On Monday "Savvy Sean" told the people at Pepsi
about the BMX bicycle Coca-Cola gave him
for exclusive soft drink rights at his Tiki Tapa Cafe.
By Friday he was cruising the streets of Tha Chang
on his new 'Pepsico-motion' tandem.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Dogs Are Smart

and surprisingly tasty.


"It was freaky, man. I mean, it was like that dog knew exactly what happened to all his buddies..."

Monday, December 7, 2015

Overheard in Peru

"...And then I tell him 'Si, es coca, is natural for Viagra...'
"...he buy everything I have..."
"...and then I tell him taste of coca tea, tell him ees for women..."
           (hearty laughter)
"Ees really alapaca piss!..."
           (roaring, howling)
"...He spit out...but buy two big bottles!!"

Monday, November 30, 2015

Persist. Persevere. Never Give Up.

Hell-bent on proving to themselves
that the first time was not just a fluke,
Alim and Sal have been standing outside Daniel's
each Friday during Happy Hour for twelve years
saying to every woman who passes by
"Dark meat's juicier than white meat you know."

Monday, November 9, 2015

Ryan & The Snake

One Little Jerk's Come-Uppance


Ryan liked to call the other kids pussies for wearing helmets.

The other kids liked not telling Ryan that there was a snake about to bite him in the ankle.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Lost in Perfect translation

Standing Him Up by Sitting Down


Frankie thought it was just Birgit's quirky English when she said she'd wait for him in the corner.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Here, Wear This Nice Blue Shirt...

...Meine Kleine Schweinhund.


He wasn't sure why, but Clayton always had this weird feeling that he was adopted.

Monday, October 12, 2015

War of the Worlds: Produce Section Episode

"White Man No Match For Yellow Fever"

The guy in the blue shirt, feeling like his bowel thing had passed, went out to find Ping Zhao and kick his ass for selling him that rotten melon the day before.

Lucky for Ping the guy with the blue shirt, upon the mere sight of him peeling another melon, lost his shit again.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Blistering Work in Hoi An, Vietnam

The gloves? Because I'm doing all the fricking work
while Jean back there's like, 'I'm steeeeering!'
I think the chick's part Cambodian.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Sisterly Bra-therly Advice

"No, Sheila, that's not what I'm saying.
It's not that you don't
look good in yellow..."

Monday, September 14, 2015

Gone, Baby, Gone

Jenny's mom screamed when she got back.
Jenny just played dumb.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Monday, August 31, 2015

You're Not Funny, You're a Lunatic

The thing about trying to be funny is,
if you're not real good at it
people just think you're a mental case.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Peru Child Protection Service

You can get away with it now, kid.
But that hat
will get you beaten up in kindergarten.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Cheese Tasting in Annecy, France

"What kind did you just try?"
"This one. The uh... Excusez moi monsieur, umm...
Le fromage...uh, this, quel nom?"
"Ah! You have just eaten ze fromage de vache* testicule!
You like?..."

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Meanwhile, in Shanghai...

"Dude, that watermelon you sold me
gave me the shits, man.
Hey! ... HEY!! (Ugh!...)
Don't act like you don't (ugh!) remember me!..."

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Meanwhile, in Vinh Long, Vietnam...

One more question about the war, Pinkie,
and this hat's going right up your ass.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Meanwhile, In Shanghai...

"...And then, kids, after Mickey Mouse does this,
Minnie Mouse will have little baby mice..."

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Meanwhile, in Hanoi, Vietnam...

"Look, how many times do I have to say this?
I'm an American, either make me a cheeseburger
or tell me where I can go get one!"

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Sunday, June 14, 2015

In Japan, Where Bad English Is Fashionable...

Kid looks like he's been buttered on both sides.
I couldn't believe this when I saw it.
Not a single word misspelled.
(If you've spent time in Japan you understand.)

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Think These Guys Are Tough?

"Wait, whose turn is it to sweep up again?..."
Stonecutters in Cusco, Peru earning their Neuvo Sols.
You'd think the older guy on the left, after years of this, would be tough enough to chip away at those rocks with his fists.

Monday, May 25, 2015

That There's Some Serious Sign Language


People who read Malay or English get a warning.

Everyone else gets shot in the head.

Monday, May 18, 2015

The Nature of Cycling These Lands

Bordering on Utopia

This unassuming path along the Danube River runs from Passau, Germany to Vienna, Austria and beyond. For cyclists both avid and occasional it is a 300-kilometer exercise in pure two-wheeled pleasure. For those traveling this way it is a close-up view of the political beauty of Europe.

That oval sign behind our tandem bicycle is a simple pronouncement of one's entry into Germany. That green railing is keeping our tandem from falling over into the narrow, non-descript Dantlbach River which, without the signs, could hardly be taken seriously as an international border.

Crossing Borders: The Gentility of Traveling in Europe

Yet an international border is exactly what we are looking at. Turning from our view of Germany we see the Donauradweg rolling off into Austria, following the flow of the Danube, heading for Vienna.
No gates, no guards. No passport control. Not even a guy hawking postcards, or cold Apfelschorle. Just a modest, paved invitation to keep right on pedaling.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Time to Play 'Spot The Famous Archeological Site'

Pictured here is a world-famous historical point of interest.
Take a close look and try to guess what it is. (Excuse the poor quality of the photo since I didn't realize what it was either until later.)


Hint: It's in the top right corner.

Hint: It's in South America.

Got it yet?

Monday, May 4, 2015

Lost Appetite in Translation

Even Google Passes on This 

Whenever in the course of my travels I find myself in a new place one of the first things I do is seek out the local markets. I do this for two reasons.
1. There's a genuine vibe here. No menus in English. No matching furniture. No board of health. You want to get an authentic taste of a place - literally and figuratively - this is where you come.
2. Compared to most markets my kitchen looks pretty damn clean.
I love exploring these places. Taking in the unusual sights and the unidentifiable food. Soaking up the atmosphere, from the odor in the air to the squishy, sticky mess underfoot. And yes, eating. Always.
Although once in a while I have to pass.

This photo was taken in Chau Doc, Viet Nam, on my first day in country. I didn't have a dictionary or a phrase book with me. I am comfortable enough without one. Usually. Of course the woman manning this cart wasn't selling manure sandwiches, but a brief look beyond the bread and veggie display told me only that 'dùng' was likely a form of meat. I'm not a vegetarian but I am a know-what-I'm-eating-ian.

Back in 2007 I passed on the dùng. I just now tried to figure out what I missed. And I can't. The 'cha' up there means sausage...maybe. Or father. Jambon is French for the same isn't it? Sausage I mean, not father. But that dùng has got me stumped. Google translates it into a variety of words: use, employ, handle, manipulate and, among many others, consume.

So all I can gather is the woman is advertising the use of sausage. Which may or may not be your idea of lunch in public but like I said, you want a taste of the local culture, this is where to find it.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Police, Brought To You By...

What to make of this juxtaposition, spotted in 2006 in České Budějovice in the new Czech Republic?

A quick history lesson might help sort things out.

The brewing tradition in České Budějovice dates back to the 13th Century when the king, sick of having to drink wine coolers whenever he came to town, granted the town the right to start brewing beer. (Some historians also believe that the king, thirsty as hell, told the people to hurry the f--- up.)

Unfortunately for the people of České Budějovice they had no idea how to brew decent beer. Being cursed at wasn't helping either. Finally they went to their Braumeister neighbors in Germany for some help. The Germans, already fanatically nationalistic, said "Ja, das geht" but then later demanded that the beer be marketed according to the German name for České Budějovice, which is Budweis. And like a sausage from Frankfurt came to be known as a frankfurter, as another sausage from Wien (aka Vienna) came to be known as a Wiener, and as JFK came to be known as a jelly doughnut (a 'Berliner' in German), this beer from České Budějovice became known, in 1785, as Budweiser.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Crazytown , Japan

This is Shimamaki (pop. 4,000), a fishing village on the southwestern coast of Hokkaido, Japan.

Specifcally, this is outside the town's general store. I'm the tall guy in the back.

Shimamaki was having its annual summer festival when I rolled into town on my bicycle.

Things got pretty crazy for a small fishing village.

Fortunately there was a policeman guy on duty.

Unfortunately he was downing Sapporo beers.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Armed & Friendly

Who Says The Royal Thai Soldiers Are No Fun?

You don't get this when you go to the Hard Rock Cafe.

In the small southeastern Thai town of Trat I did what I always do. I found a room, locked up my bike, showered and headed out to grab some dinner somewhere the locals congregate.

I didn't seek these guys out. They came and sat at my table. They chatted me up - in Thai, I guess. They ordered food. We ate. Then the guy in the white/tan camo gave me his gun.

Notice that the magazine is locked in place. Notice also where he has his hand very firmly in place.

These guys were cool, but they weren't stupid.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

On the Road in Malaysia

3 Kids & Some Chicken

The road from Kuala Lumpur Airport to the coast is not a straight line so much as a flippin three-quarter circle.

Somewhere between Sepang and Sungai Pelek I got off my bike at this roadside stand run by these three electric teenagers. They spoke no English. I didn't even know what people spoke in Malaysia. But ordering five sticks of grilled chicken chunks doesn't take much more than a smile and a couple of gestures.

They went heavy on the spicy sauce for me. Then they started telling me "Three! Three!" This after negotiating a lower price in whatever funny money I was carrying on this, my first day in this new and, so far, perplexing country.

I could lie and say I'm too nice a guy to argue but really, I was just too tired. I dipped into my wallet for a couple of bills. They raised the decibel level. I looked up at their smiles.

And it hit me.

"Free," they were telling me. Free.

The rest of the ride to the coast, though in the dark, was a breeze.