I know, I said I didn’t take any pcitures. That is, I didn’t take any except for the Catacombes. I totally got pictures of the Catacombes. Continue reading
My story (That time I almost died from typhoid fever in Tanzania…) is now featured in the Life section.
It’s been edited severely – now focusing on my, ah, religious “confusion” (see tagline: “In an East African hospital, I battled a mysterious illness, but all anyone could ask was: Did I believe?”) and hospitalization in Nairobi – rather than how I got ill and managed not to realize for months Continue reading
“Do you believe in God?” She was earnest. She wielded a clipboard.
A grin skipped up beside. “Ca va?” He sounded young. A green mask covered half his face but I remember him grinning. From my back, on a bed, in a hallway, I replied automatically. “Comme ci, comme ca.”
The doors opened. “It is time, Miss Tankard.”
Lights, white tile, stainless steel. I remember the windows. It hurt, so they found another vein. An older voice told me to picture a happy place – to imagine my family – and they counted, backwards.
The grin on the left waggled a vial. “Maziwa…”
I swam upwards to translate. “Milk?” Split second having managed it, before she came in from the right, put her face to my ear, and whispered through her mask.
“Believe, Miss Tankard, believe. He is real.”
And then I was out. Continue reading
I was there when the Berlin Wall fell. I toured with the Rolling Stones. And I was in a stroller at the time.
I have a piece of the Berlin Wall to prove it.
My parents got it from the source – the wall itself. The wall had been built the year my mother was born; it fell the year I was. By the time we got there, there was still enough of it left that, as my mom tells it, half of Europe was there to party and hack off what they could. Continue reading
My brother has a “phobia” of looking like a foreigner. (He told me so himself.)
Now, I can almost understand. I hate looking like a tourist. I get self-conscious with my accent echoing in my own ears and all the wrong currencies falling out of my pockets. I feel single-handedly responsible for over-turning all the stereotypes about loud Americans. I refuse to patronise international chains and I’ve been known to duck into a doorway to surreptitiously peer at the directions that I’ve discretely scrawled on my hand. I don’t carry a guide-book in public. (Actually, I don’t carry one at all.) I pride myself on not standing out too painfully: I can, and enjoy, eating Continue reading
I’ve always tried to keep my travelling mixed up – a party here, a home-stay cultural immersion there; volunteer placement and aimless wandering – but, as I’m faced with a trip a bit different than what I’ve done before, I’m beginning to wonder about how to mix – authoritatively, presumptively, intentionally – work and pleasure. It’s one thing to step out of the office and into your social circle; it’s one thing to take your spontaneous adventure and twist it back, folding and editing, into a story – or even a study – when you realize in retrospect that there are larger ramifications; its wonderful to have a private room or two that isn’t fodder for analysis and its shielding to be fortified within a uniform as you work; it’s… Continue reading
So I was talking to a travel agent – actually, I was going to talk to a travel agent – when I realized that, in order to do so, I would have to chose dates. As in real, final, actual dates relating to when I intended to travel. (With a three day window to either side, of course.) So I did. (And I talked to the travel agent and she’s going to get back to me and I should probably talk to a second one to get a comparison and – long story short – no I do not actually have tickets yet. But I will soon.)
I decided to keep going and ended up with a rough (vague! evasive! incomplete!) plan. The sort of thing that