Thursday, 20th July 2017

Paul Spencer Sochaczewski

Why travel far?

Posted on 06. Apr, 2017 by in Curious Travel

Why travel far?

IN SEARCH OF A “MORE VIRGIN” DESTINATION A traveler’s dream — being the first foreigner to trek in Nagaland. LAHE, Myanmar My travel agent friend in Yangon sent me an itinerary for a trek to Nagaland, with a comment every traveler dreams of: “This place is more virgin; you will be first to visit.” […]






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On the yeti trail

Posted on 06. Apr, 2017 by in Curious Travel

On the yeti trail

ON THE YETI TRAIL Chasing a wisp, a legend, a key to who we are. OGYEN CHOLING, Tang Valley, Bhutan “If you want to look for a yeti just climb the mountain behind the village. That’s where they’ve been sighted.” I was enjoying a post-dinner whiskey with Kunzang Choden and her husband Walter Roder, […]






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Civet coffee – do you know where that coffee’s been?

Posted on 06. Apr, 2017 by in Curious Travel

Civet coffee – do you know where that coffee’s been?

YOU KNOW WHERE THAT COFFEE’S BEEN? Searching for the perfect fecalicious civet coffee. BUON MA THUOT, Vietnam Oysters. Termites. Camembert. Snake blood. Brains. Broccoli. On the long list of strange things that people voluntarily ingest, one might add civet coffee. Civet coffee, called café chon in Vietnam and kopi luwak in Indonesia, is probably […]






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Almost last shaman

Posted on 06. Apr, 2017 by in Curious Travel

Almost last shaman

THE (ALMOST) LAST SHAMAN It’s been a good ride, but Iban healer doesn’t expect many others to follow his path. SERUBAH ULU, Sarawak To the untrained eye he seems an unlikely magician.  Frail, but with a hundred-watt smile. He has two wispy whiskers, short grey hair, and holes in his earlobes where he once […]






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Unusual critters

Posted on 05. Apr, 2017 by in Alfred Russel Wallace

Unusual critters

WALLACE’S CRITTERS Some intriguing Southeast Asian critters inspired by Alfred Russel Wallace’s The Malay Archipelago Alfred Russel Wallace (1823-1912) explored Southeast Asia for eight years in the mid-19th century, collecting some 125,000 specimens which included thousands of new species. His observations, compiled in his classic The Malay Archipelago, contributed to the fields of biology, evolutionary […]






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Why do boys leave home?

Posted on 05. Apr, 2017 by in Alfred Russel Wallace

Why do boys leave home?

WHY DO BOYS LEAVE HOME? The rite of passage and the teenage imperative BATANG AI, Sarawak, Malaysia I stood on a ridge near the border between Malaysian Sarawak and Indonesian Kalimantan.  I had been gone half the day and had not brought food.  Time to return to camp, a damp grouping of leaky impromptu […]






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Golf and Environment – can golf be good for nature?

Posted on 05. Apr, 2017 by in Golf

Golf and Environment – can golf be good for nature?

CAN GOLF BE GOOD FOR NATURE? Solving the conundrum. BANGKOK, Thailand I play golf. And I am committed to nature conservation. Is this an insolvable conundrum, or can the two passions be reconciled? “Golf development is becoming one of the most unsustainable and damaging activities to people and the environment,” notes Chee Yoke Ling, […]






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Cheating – if a golfer cheats in the forest …

Posted on 05. Apr, 2017 by in Golf

Cheating – if a golfer cheats in the forest …

IF A GOLFER CHEATS IN THE FOREST, DOES IT COUNT? Rule abuse is rampant among amateurs, yet professionals exhibit saint-like ethics BANGKOK, Thailand “Put me down for a six.” My friend Dan and I looked at each other? “You sure?” we asked. We were playing at a Bangkok-area course in a friendly competition (loser […]






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Need/Fear Relationship with Nature

Posted on 05. Apr, 2017 by in Environment

Need/Fear Relationship with Nature

WHY DO WE LOVE AND NEED NATURE YET TREAT NATURE SO BADLY? Our yin/yang relationship with the natural world is ancient and deep, and understanding the connection could be key in conservation efforts. SARAWAK, Malaysia I’ve written numerous articles and books about the plight of the Penan tribe in Sarawak — human rights abuses […]






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Uncle Joe and Aunt Anisoara

Posted on 05. Apr, 2017 by in Personal essays

Uncle Joe and Aunt Anisoara

UNCLE JOE AND AUNT ANISOARA Dreaming Eccentric Meets Complicated Sentimentalist CLUJ, Transylvania, Romania The love affair of my uncle and aunt shows us the pitfalls of trying to decipher a relationship. How could I not love an uncle who, when he babysat for me, let me stay up well past my bedtime to watch […]






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We vs Them

Posted on 05. Apr, 2017 by in Personal essays

We vs Them

WHEREVER I TRAVEL I’LL REMAIN AN “OUTSIDER” The “we vs them” reality is ancient and universal. BANGKOK, Thailand Since forever, groups of people have recognized the difference between their “own kind” and “outsiders.” In a best case scenario, the welcoming of “other” ideas can be positive — strengthening of the gene pool primarily, also […]






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Negativity Land

Posted on 28. Mar, 2017 by in Golf

Negativity Land

NEGATIVITY LAND Why do we take such delight in golf’s screw-ups instead of the great moments of success? EVERY COURSE, Everywhere A golfer faces more Dark Side moments than Luke Skywalker. We take a morbid delight when golf legends screw up. And we wallow in our own masochistic moments of crash and burn. Why […]






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Flying Phallus Fights Forces of Evil

Posted on 11. Mar, 2014 by in Curious Travel

FLYING PHALLUS FIGHTS FORCES OF EVIL How does the male reproductive organ, “exuberant, slightly askew and sometimes frothy,” protect villagers?   NABJI, Bhutan “I can make you a new phallus, no problem.” “But we’re leaving in the morning.” “Trust me.” Figuring that we could always use a bit more protection against demons in our house […]






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Napalm Be Gone

Posted on 08. Sep, 2013 by in Golf

NAPALM BE GONE That boom you hear in Vietnam is an explosion of golf courses DALAT, Vietnam My favorite golf course in Vietnam owes its existence to a puppet king, a French architect who restored Roman ruins, and a rich American who craved virgins. * * * I spent part of the Vietnam War period […]






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“Trust Us. We Know Better Than You Do”

Posted on 19. Jul, 2011 by in Environment

“Trust Us. We Know Better Than You Do”

“TRUST US, WE KNOW BETTER THAN YOU DO” Brown-brown arrogance is the new standard LOIKAW, Burma Bishop Sotero Phamo argues that “the only way for our rural people to join modern society is through education.”  Speaking enthusiastically in his diocese headquarters, which houses what is certainly the best school in the region, Bishop Sotero adds […]






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