Suspended in Midair

Already I’m annoyed. There’s a group of about 30, strewn across the grassy area where the bridge ends (or in my case, begins). They’re Americans of course. I surmise this because they’re a little too excited – ‘enthusiastic’ if I were feeling more generous, ‘obnoxious’ because I am not. One by one, another of their […]

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Japan: Year Three

*drafted July 30, 2016 This seems appropriate. Three weeks before I’m to leave the country, I don’t know where my next destination is. In fact, there’s a decent chance that the answer to that question – and to that of the inextricably linked, “Did I get the job?” – actually reached my inbox sometime in […]

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On the Kumano Kodo

When I originally planned a trip on the Kumano Kodo pilgrimage trail (“the world’s best unknown hike”), what appealed to me was the combination of hiking and sightseeing, especially in a locale I hadn’t visited, one also generally unknown to foreigners. But as the date approached, I came to believe I genuinely needed the pilgrimage […]

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Japan: Year Two

An hour before the fateful pass, when I watched a man slip off a ridge and slide 20-30 feet down before righting himself, I had come across a guy under the shelter of an emergency hut while taking a breather for lunch. It was snowing a bit, which made for a gorgeous if intimidating backdrop. The […]

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Jesus Fucking Christ

I heard the unmistakable sound of give from the icy rocks. Shoes, crampons, and all – the guy’s grip was gone. He was skidding down the snowy ridge by the time I turned. It was maybe a 40 degree incline, thereabouts. I watched in horror for what seemed like forever. He slid 10-12 meters, his […]

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Revisiting Seoul

I’m a terrible storyteller.  Already uncomfortable with spotlights,  I find myself questioning the entertainment value of my own tales. I never dive in; instead I’m ready to trail off at a moment’s notice. Worse, I don’t have a repertoire. Ideally, I would have honed a select few go-to stories at social gatherings, each charming and […]

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