Posts in category "LIfe"

Strip For a Real Education About Vietnam

Outside the airplane window is Ho Chi Minh City, what my generation called Saigon. Everywhere are massive structures that house humongous clothing manufacturers, with stacked containers awaiting product for shipment. You’re probably wearing Vietnamese products now, but hopefully not the running shoes our local guide saw whiz by one day.  At one end the shoes... Read more »

The End of Civilization; The Khmer of Angkor Wat

Angkor et. al.  Cambodia is justifiably proud of its crown jewel masterpiece. Built between 800 to 1200 AD by the Khmer Empire, the empire encompassed parts of Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. Given the religious use of Angkor, local guides liken it to the Vatican. Usage is the only similarity given the Vatican is a petite 0.2 square... Read more »

The Face of Cambodia

Exiting the Phnom Penh Airport, our bus takes a right turn toward the city via a four-lane road. It’s like Fairfield County US-1 (a.k.a. the Connecticut Post Road), jammed. The famous names of worldwide businesses line the streets amid tumbledown shops that a Chicago rainstorm would blow over. Though a stifling 95 degrees Fahrenheit afternoon,... Read more »
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The Buddha, Healthy Bar Snacks and Cluster Bombs

Another day, another Laotian city. In Vientiane, we are off to the Great Sacred Stupa (Pha That Luang) and Victory Gate Monument (a local raspberry to the French, with the nickname Lao’s Arc de Triomphe). The Monument was begun years before being finished in 1969 using CIA money, thus the nickname, The Vertical Runway. Monk... Read more »

They call it Lao (not Laos)

So leave off the ‘S’ tacked on by French colonists our local tour guide I nicknamed Short Round said. “Call 1-800-MATTRES and leave of the last S for savings,” as the ad said in 1989 when I bought my first mattress set. Such an earworm, I bought a second set in 2001. Now that’s what... Read more »

King of Siam, is still taken seriously in Thailand

After Myanmar, we arrive at Bangkok, Thailand’s airport, a shrine to efficiency and modernity. Opened in 2006 after 45 years of governmental wrangles, The Chicago Tribune ran John Hilkevitch’s article explaining why Thailand’s taxi line is so user-friendly compared to Chicago O’Hare’s dangerously cold, up to hour wait, in a long outdoor taxi line. Technology. While Chicago still... Read more »
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Myanmar & Buddha, and Asthma Makes Three

Off to Bagan. At the Yangon airport security asks, “Do you have any scissors?” Scissors, in the carry-on? Us? You’re kidding. Whoops, we did. The free first aid kit I’d put into the backpack included a plastic handle, 1-inch dull-bladed scissor. So let me say aloud, Yangon may be Third World, but their airport security is... Read more »

My Road to Burma-Lovely people; Dust Bowl environment

Arriving after midnight at  the Yangon Airport, there were the usual immigration lines. I foggily read in English; “Locals”, “Foreigners”, “Diplomats” and “Seamen”. Seamen? Yangon is a port. With a lack of good hotels, 4-star hotels command a premium price of US$240. More hotels are to be built, someday. Advised by our tour company that... Read more »

Stations of the Cross, the GOP Road to The White House

With their eyes on the prize of The White House, the declared and expected to declare Republican candidates have begun their mandatory peregrination to the various Stations of the GOP Cross to power. If this sounds like the Roman Catholic stations of the cross, it’s stunningly similar. How else could GOP candidates prove their conservative... Read more »
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Don't Believe Your Eyes (they don't see all)

Why do we still attribute reality to what we see with our very own eyes? Especially given we live in a world where the unseen, is the norm. When did you last cellphone signals zap through the air? During my recent volunteer gig at the members’ lounge at The Art Institute, I casually thumbed through the... Read more »
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    Candace Drimmer

    I was an accidental expatriate; love and marriage led me to it. One day I was a bandy-legged kid sitting atop my dogwood tree looking out of my small backyard world in 1950s New Jersey, wanting to move somewhere--anywhere, different. Next thing I knew my father had accepted a job in Houston TX. I was ecstatic, it was a foreign land in 1961 America. After high school graduation, my parents’ gave me a matched set of fawn-colored hardsided American Tourister luggage. Taking the hint, I went to college; well four colleges in five years--it was the 60s after all. Meeting a young hirsute anti-war, soon-to-be-Peace Corps volunteer, I fell in love. After finishing up college coursework for my degree, but before I even walking a graduation stage, I grabbed the paper airline ticket my boyfriend had sent me, my brand-new passport, and was off to the airport and Lima, Peru.

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