Oh, Morocco! Land of Elan & Citron!

I thought I had a pretty good handle on the African continent and the Middle East after all these years and therefore assumed that very little could surprise me. But Morocco took my handle and spanked me on the butt. This country does not care about your preconceived notions of beat-generation heydays and hashish or a certain film…

Beirut: My Favorite Worst Trip

I wish there had been a peep-hole in time and space on October 28, 2018, so that you could have had a glimpse of my favorite worst trip in recent years. There are several distinct scenes of which you could have viewed. None of which seem connected to the other, as if they happened to…

India in Monsoon Season

Want to have an incredible trip to India? When I went on an important work trip to the subcontinent in September, my dear friend Deb decided to join me the adventure – which coincided with the worst monsoon season India has seen in a decade. Anyone can have fun in stellar conditions, but have you…

Maasai on a Plane

Here’s a piece of seemingly random advice: Don’t take a Maasai Warrior on his first plane ride. Many of you are, no doubt, currently weighing the pros and cons of just such an endeavor or something vaguely similar. I had to learn this particular lesson the hard way — by actually taking my Maasai friend…

Field Notes from the Slopes of Kilimanjaro

There are squashed slug guts on the floor of my hut, which is located about one-third of the way up Mount Kilimanjaro. I feel bad for the slug, who just sort of exploded under my sneaker when I was looking at the drawings on the hut’s roughhewn walls. But I’m so damn happy about all…

Taking a Back Seat to Delhi

I had one overarching and recurring thought while I was stuck in traffic on Delhi’s roads Tuesday: Thank goodness I don’t have diarrhea. I must note that needing to use the bathroom — urinate, that is — doesn’t seem to be a problem for men on any street in India. They just pull over, pull…

Tenzing is Settled in Mumbai Now

Less than 72 hours after landing in Dubai from the USA, I got on a plane again. I must have had a very good reason to do so, right? I did. My beloved agent and friend, Priya Doraswamy, is celebrating the 5th Anniversary of her literary agency, Lotus Lane Lit. She’d had a party in…

Taco Bell in Sri Lanka

From Sri Lanka’s international airport to the Havelock Place Bungalows in Colombo, our cab driver pointed out what felt like every single landmark — the President’s home, Hercules’ Tailor shop, the Dutch hospital, the Portuguese fort, the Bristish architecture, the Hindu temples of the Tamil people, the Buddhist stupa of the Sinhalese people — on…

The Magic Carpet Ride

What we came to see: rugs, sea, food, art and architecture.  What we left with: rugs (and a rug-seller friend named Gonzales), bloated bellies, and these glorious photos of  Istanbul (not Constantinople).

Gut Instincts Over Good Manners in Lagos

There’s so much to say about my trip to Nigeria that I hardly know where to begin or end. Okay, I’ll jump right into the middle. I was in a car — in bumper to bumper traffic, on a bridge to Lagos Island from Lagos Mainland — when I realized that the petrol fumes coming…

Merry Christmas America, Love Arabia

Merry Christmas America! I bring tidings of great joy from the Arabian Peninsula (even though I’m currently in Vermont). These tidings come courtesy of my beloved colleague Dr. Abdulhaq, who is originally from Iraq but has been a resident of the U.A.E. for some time now. Dr. Abdulhaq and I traveled to Philadelphia for a conference in…

A Boy Named Godbless

In late September, I spent a week in East Africa recruiting Tanzanian and Kenyan students to pursue degrees at Ajman University. Studying in the UAE has become even more desirable now that getting visas for the U.S. is growing more problematic by the day. I’m proud that Ajman University offers an excellent and affordable education for…