Traipser Rule of Thumb: One Soul Salutes Another

You cannot embark on any daily traipse for more than a few steps before engaging in a universal social ritual: the act of greeting.  Customary though it be, this practice, full of possibility, possesses enormous significance whether in encounter with neighbor, stranger or even stray dog.  Echoing the Hippocratic oath, the rule of thumb for … More Traipser Rule of Thumb: One Soul Salutes Another

Helsingborg Hostel: Baltic Straits, Wedding Straits

In the city of Helsingborg, a ferry ride across from Helsingor (or, ‘Elsinore’, if you’re drafting a tragedy called ‘Hamlet, Prince of Denmark’), there was once a youth hostel on the northern edge of town midst wooded grounds.  It sat on a rise looking down on the city, on the straits to the Baltic Sea, … More Helsingborg Hostel: Baltic Straits, Wedding Straits

A City Called ‘Fair Winds’: What the Streets Are Saying

If, having been whisked to a secret southern metropolis and you were there set free on the streets, you’d be forgiven for believing you’d found yourself in Brussels, Vienna or Berlin.  In truth you would be in the Paris of Latin America, Buenos Aires, whose name translates as ‘Fair Winds’.  Famous for bumpy politics, for … More A City Called ‘Fair Winds’: What the Streets Are Saying

Weirdness in the Death Zone: A Tale of the Odd-Number Sardine

They’re up there still.  Hundreds of tents pitched in the rubble field at base camp on Everest.  Climbers – some, at best bricoleurs – and their Sherpa guides wait for that window of clear days before the monsoon that offers some chance of summiting the mother of all mountains, Chomolungma, 29,035’ of rock, icefall, crevasses, … More Weirdness in the Death Zone: A Tale of the Odd-Number Sardine

Saturday in Brussels: Waffles, Tintin, Godot … and Waffles

The city of Brussels takes itself pretty seriously.  It devotes itself to the tricky business of holding together a quarrelsome bilingual country, to projects like the 28-member European Union and to the colossus known as NATO.  The city bristles with all-work, no-play diplomats, soldiers, journalists and lobbyists. Whatever sunshine might be left under such dour … More Saturday in Brussels: Waffles, Tintin, Godot … and Waffles

Desert Tales: Of Rustlers and Saving Refreshment

A close friend of mine once served as a policeman in Kalahari ranching country.  As happens where cattle roam arid grazing land, rustlers find opportunity to lead away valuable critters on the hoof when no one is watching.  My friend was assigned to investigate just such a case. With a contingent of fellow officers he … More Desert Tales: Of Rustlers and Saving Refreshment