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The worst bout of humiliation I’ve ever suffered took place publicly in a parking lot, and it was all my own doing, and a little bit the other guy. I got angry and it completely overtook my ability to reason, communicate, and ride my motorbike. It was a shameful few moments in time.

I have a friend in Surabaya who lies awake at night, trapped beside high tension electrical wires that buzz and hum and encroach on an otherwise peaceful night’s sleep. I also live next to these wires, within this field of disquieted energy. The other night, near midnight, I sat pulled over on the side of the road on my motorbike, trying to come to a decision about something.

Hi All:

Confession time: I never learned how to ride a bike. How to go about learning it?

Well, over the weekend I attempted to learn to ride a bike for a bit, finding through my girlfriend what appeared to be the ideal scenario, a small group of adults learning together, led by an instructor.

As I slog up the stairs Monday morning, having just arrived at work, I feel my body in a way I never used to. My muscles ache slightly because I ran the previous day.

This past weekend I went to Taman Dayu with a friend, a large park about an hour and a half drive from Surabaya. We had registered to participate in a 12 km run/hike race at my friend’s suggestion. Funny actually, because he hates running and hiking and getting up early. The race started at 6:30 am on a Sunday morning.

Once you’ve seen the other side of something and it’s good, returning to the familiar can be difficult, even when it feels like a relief. Peeking over the fence or flying across the pond in search of something to rattle your bones and shake your worldview might actually do yourself a disservice, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.

Hi Everybody:

I had intended to post this earlier, but came back so late from seeing Bernie Sanders speak at Temple University. However, the idea for this post, and how to possibly harmonize the two themes in it, emerged from my thoughts during yesterday evening.

Disclaimer: I’ve dropped the F-bomb here several times.

When traveling, you are always bound to encounter cultural differences—it’s part of the fun of travel! For instance, I listened wide-eyed to my friend who spoke of eating pig brains while living in Samoa during his stint in the Peace Corps.


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