Saturday, 25th November 2017

Paul Spencer Sochaczewski

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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Cheng Ho Gardens

Posted on 28. Jul, 2017 by in Personal essays

Cheng Ho Gardens

CHENG HO GARDENS China reveals an imaginative new tactic in its takeover of the South China Sea. NANYANG AUTONOMOUS REGION, China “I’m going to show you our plans.  I trust that you will be discrete with the information.” My host was Horace Wee, chief executive officer of Nanyang, the newest Special Administrative Region of […]

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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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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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Go For the Goals

Posted on 12. Feb, 2010 by in Articles, Personal essays

Go For the Goals

GO FOR THE GOALS A modest proposal to save football/soccer BANGKOK, Thailand I write this shortly after Luis Suarez of Uruguay was quoted as proudly declaring that his blatant handball, with which he deflected a certain last-second Ghana goal in the 2010 World Cup, exceeded Diego Maradona’s famous ‘Hand of God’ goal which helped eliminate […]

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Kill Mosquitoes ‘Til They’re Dead

Posted on 30. Aug, 2009 by in Personal essays

Choreographing the singing chicken, goat and twin rabbits JAKARTA, Indonesia Incense is far from a simple commodity. It’s an essential component of Indonesian meditation. But add a swig of insecticide, manufacture it into coils that emit an insect-defying smoke, and you get that wonderfully Asian invention dubbed the mosquito coil.  Ridding the world of little […]

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“Find ze kom-plee-ci-teh”

Posted on 30. Aug, 2009 by in Personal essays

Wearing a red nose helps business leaders love their inner warrior and avoid the “b” word NEW YORK “Take me out to the ball game…” I sing while approaching 17 other workshop participants who stare at me, partly in collegial encouragement, partly out of voyeuristic pleasure that it is me up on stage and not […]

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Immortality: The Kid Could be the Key

Posted on 30. Aug, 2008 by in Personal essays

Designer sperm banks; nature vs nurture DALAT, Vietnam The creation of Dolly the Cloned Sheep a few years ago stirred our imagination – we were suddenly closer to cloning people than anyone had imagined. Since Dolly, cloning technology has advanced with such staggering speed that she seems almost anachronistic. The latest news in the cloning […]

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The Detective, the Suburbanites, and the Kid who Failed Mugging 101

Posted on 30. Aug, 2006 by in Personal essays

WASHINGTON, D.C. I almost got mugged the other night. After dinner with a friend in the Washington, D.C. area, I took the Metro to Friendship Heights.  It was about midnight and I decided to walk back to the house where I was staying.  I strolled through one of the better neighborhoods of the well-heeled Northwest […]

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