Sunday, 9th December 2018

Paul Spencer Sochaczewski

Prayer Flags Over Rio

Posted on 25. Jun, 2010 by in Articles, Environment

Prayer Flags Over Rio

Should we trust the eco-bureaucrats or the farmer in Bhutan for eco-solutions? JANGTSIKHA, Bhutan I was cleaning up my office and stubbed my toe against the printed version of Agenda 21, some 700 pages, 2,079 recommendations, guidelines and treaties resulting from the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio — the largest eco–bureaucratic gathering ever held.  I […]

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Uzi Fever

Posted on 25. Jun, 2010 by in Articles, Curious Travel

Letting the macho urges go out with a bang in Cambodia PHNOM PENH, Cambodia In this uncertain world of drive-by killings, high school massacres and gonzo postal workers, is there nowhere a guy can go to blast an Uzi for fun without being labeled a politically-incorrect barbarian? Well, there’s always Cambodia, where Taiwanese entrepreneur Victor […]

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The God Who Flew Off With a Mountain

Posted on 25. Jun, 2010 by in Articles, Curious Travel

The God Who Flew Off With a Mountain

It takes chutzpah for an Indian villager to stay angry at one of the most popular gods in the Hindu pantheon, but Padhan Patti wants her mountain back DUNAGIRI, India It takes a bit of Hindu chutzpah for a remote Indian villager to stay angry at one of the most popular gods in the pantheon, […]

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The Sultan and the Mermaid Queen

Posted on 25. Jun, 2010 by in Articles, Curious Travel

The Sultan and the Mermaid Queen

A love story for the ages SOLO, Indonesia The instructions, given by a friend of Javanese nobility, were tantalizingly vague. If you look really carefully, and if the wind is blowing right and you are of good heart and you let yourself “switch mode” into a semi-trance, you just might see a tenth dancer.  That […]

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Searching for Small Folk at the End of the Trail

Posted on 25. Jun, 2010 by in Articles, Curious Travel

Searching for Small Folk at the End of the Trail

A visit with three types of Hobbits on the isolated Indonesian island of Flores FLORES, Indonesia Imaginary short people fascinate us, and they take up an inordinate amount of space in literature and mythology.  We’re all familiar with the Lilliputians who entrapped Gulliver, Snow White’s pals Dopey, Sleepy, Grumpy and the rest of the Seven […]

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Moses Dreams of Reversing Jewish Exodus in Burma

Posted on 25. Jun, 2010 by in Articles, Curious Travel

Moses Dreams of Reversing Jewish Exodus in Burma

Caretaker of Rangoon’s only synagogue dares to dream. Will his children go forth and multiply? RANGOON, Burma “Ah, you want to see Moses Samuels,” says R., the front desk manager at a Rangoon guest house.  “He’s an old school friend.  He’s a Jew and I’m a Moslem, but we all got along just fine.  Give […]

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Searching for Orwell

Posted on 25. Jun, 2010 by in Articles, Curious Travel

Searching for Orwell

A backwater town in Upper Burma was the site for Orwell’s Burmese Days, a book that takes no prisoners KATHA, Burma There are worse travel strategies than to visit places with evocative names. There’s Timbuktu, Congo and Okavango in Africa; and Salvador de Bahia, Darien and Patagonia in Latin America, names which purr with history […]

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Burma’s Generals Hope White Elephants Provide Jumbo Support

Posted on 25. Jun, 2010 by in Articles, Curious Travel

Burma’s Generals Hope White Elephants Provide Jumbo Support

Burma’s Generals Hope White Elephants Provide Jumbo Support Trying to restore some of the good vibes that come with rare pale pachyderms RANGOON, Burma Most new national capitals feature monumental architecture, statues to independence heroes, broad boulevards, cultural centers and shopping malls. Burma’s new, deliberately-isolated and rarely-visited capital, Naypyidaw (which means “royal capital” in Burmese), […]

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The Skies are Alive in Lanka

Posted on 30. May, 2010 by in Curious Travel

The Skies are Alive in Lanka

Sri Lanka is Ground Zero for hard-to-explain aerial phenomena ANGULLUGAHA, Galle, Sri Lanka I was swimming, just after sunset one night, with my friends Dhanapala and his daughter Vidhisha.  One of us, I forget who, pointed to the clear sky and said: “Is that a plane?” No, it seemed, it wasn’t.  Nor were about ten […]

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The Girl by the Side of the Road

Posted on 07. Apr, 2010 by in Articles, Personal essays

The Girl by the Side of the Road Thirty years on, searching for the girl whose eyes said “I’m going to surprise you.” LADAKH, India In 1979 I took a black and white photo of a young girl in Ladakh.  She was perhaps ten. She wore a rough robe of homespun wool, she carried a […]

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China’s Emperor is Tanned, Rested and Ready

Posted on 07. Apr, 2010 by in Articles, Personal essays

China’s Emperor is Tanned, Rested and Ready Homeless Hawaiian heir to the throne seeks financial support to restore Ming Dynasty greatness HONOLULU, Hawai’i I had naively thought that China’s 2,000 year old imperial system ended when 12-year-old Pu Yi, the last emperor, was overthrown in 1912. “Not so,” declares Elmer.  “I’m the last emperor.” I […]

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Almost a Knight to Remember

Posted on 07. Apr, 2010 by in Articles, Personal essays

Almost a Knight to Remember I rather liked being called “Sir Paul” SOON-TO-BE-NATION OF SAVANTIS, Can’t-tell-you-where I turned down a knighthood recently. It was a tough decision – I liked the sound of “Sir Paul.” I had replied to a notice in the International Herald Tribune that had offered “an economically available, State Sanctioned Hereditary […]

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Aunt Sarah Rather Liked Her Original Childhood Name

Posted on 07. Apr, 2010 by in Articles, Personal essays

Aunt Sarah Rather Liked Her Original Childhood Name Popping  balloons instead of Chinese firecrackers; “mystic influence to the center” HONOLULU, Hawai’i I filled out the forms and wished my ancestors had been Burmese or Chinese.  I was changing my name to my grandfather’s original, and Win or Wong would have been a lot easier to […]

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Searching for Enigmas

Posted on 07. Apr, 2010 by in Articles, Personal essays

Searching for Enigmas It’s everywhere, it’s nowhere, it’s dancing in three-quarter time EN-ROUTE TO PULAU VALSE PISANG, Indonesia Some people with stardust in their eyes and too much red wine in their veins spend their lives searching for Atlantis or Eldorado.  Other adventurers windsurf across the Pacific.  Yet other men and women seek an elusive […]

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Mona Lisa On My Mind

Posted on 30. Mar, 2010 by in Curious Travel

Mona Lisa On My Mind

Vietnamese artists search for that enigmatic smile HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam ______________ She has many identities and genders. She was kidnapped, maybe by Picasso. She lived in the Palace of Versailles. She spent time in Bonaparte’s bedroom. Nat King Cole, Cole Porter, Santana, Bob Dylan and Britney Spears sang about her. She appeared, twice, […]

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