Thursday, March 21, 2013


If your idea of soon is 90 days, we're on the same page. Ninety days from now I'll be on the western edge of the Ring of Fire: Indonesia, Malaysia, perhaps Borneo, little-visited places like that. My first stop will be the spider-shaped island of Sulawesi, whose central core is five active volcanoes. Unlike previous trips (Italy in the fall of 2011, for examaple, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa), I will be keeping you up to date on food, sights, food, sounds, food, smells (especially food), and how difficult it is to get to Torajaland. Among other places.
Other places? Singapore! Home of the famous hawker food stalls and of a cuture that lives to eat (my kind of culture). Much has been written about these open-air stalls, but not by me. It's the only reason I'm going there: the food. As Singapore re-invents itself every five years or so, there's not much history there except in the food. An amalgam of Nonya, Chinese, Indian, and every other cuisine of the immigrants who bilt this economic powerhouse.
Then off to Viet Nam, where in the north the incredible karst formations jut out of the placid waters of HaLong Bay (no doubt you've seen photos, they're on the wall of every Vietnamese restaurant in the country) and, in the central coast region, the ancient Imperial city of Hue (on the Perfume River, just gives me chills to think of it) will whisk us into the distant past.
And finally north and east to Japan, where I'll spend a lot of time in ancient Kyoto, and especially at a sushi bar I've heard of there.
Get ready for a lot of up-close-and-personal: sights, historic and modern; food, from street stalls to sit-down-with-tablecloths; natural beauty (under the water as well as above); indigenous cutltures and their arts and crafts. And who knows what else?
Stay tuned! Meanwhile, there's a new story about a day on the Italian trip you might get a chuckle out of.
Thanks for reading.

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I try to answer all comments, but when I'm on the road sometimes I'm not near internet cafes. Patience! Eat some chocolate! I will get back to you!