Category travel

That Tiny Dot on the Map

As an American living abroad and teaching English, I often get asked where I’m from. This is an unusually tricky question to answer, and not necessarily because so many people suck at geography. Technically speaking, I hail from Maryville, Illinois, which is a mild-mannered suburban village of the type where it’s big local news when […]

The Path to the Top (is lined with stairs): Annotated photographs

The Prague Apartment: The Kung Fu Palace

The clock was ticking. September was quickly coming to a close. My roommates and I had less than a week before we’d be out on the street. It was a chaotic rush to find new accommodations, especially since the three of us were teaching by this point, which didn’t leave a lot of extra time […]

The Prague Apartment: Part 2

We were back to square one on the apartment hunt and time was running out. We redoubled our search efforts. Eventually, we made contact with a middle-aged man named Charles. Charles had the look and gait of a retired tennis player. He had bushy eyebrows, cropped salt and pepper hair. He wore a brightly colored […]

The Prague Apartment: Part 1

About three-quarters through the experience of The Classroom, those of us who were determined to stay in Prague had the collective realization that we would need a place to live after our student housing contracts expired. Up until that point, we had been coddled like babies, but now it was time to take matters into […]

Tunisia, unfurled: Annotated photographs

A mosaic of Tunisia

The salesmen in the souks of Tunisia have been blessed with the gift of gab. The vast majority of them are multilingual and will try to snare potential customers by attempting to guess his or her nationality. The official language in Tunisia is Arabic, but I’ve heard them prattle on in English, German, Russian, and […]

The Pain of Choosing a Trip

By this time tomorrow I will be waking up on the Tunisian island of Djerba for a week of vacation. One of the things I take great pleasure in when taking a trip like this is the near total disconnect I have from the rest of the connected digital world. My phone is not smart, […]

On trains

Sweet & Lowdown is a Woody Allen movie from the late 90s that stars Sean Penn as the arrogant, narcissistic, and mercurial but talented Emmet Ray. Self-touted as the “second greatest guitar player in the world … after this gypsy in France,” Emmet plays jazz in a post-Gatsby, early-Depression era where fame and fortune were […]

Brussels, Belgium, Part 1: Voyages aux Passages

Back in April when my girlfriend and I visited Brussels, I had this idea that I would write about the trip and our experiences there differently from the sequential chronology of my Prague stories. My first instinct was to divide the trip into varying categories, by Belgian beer, food, architecture, or notable tourist spots, for […]