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Month: March, 2011

Culture in Ubud

I came to Ubud because it is touted as a Balinese cultural hub, and not just because it received such positive reviews from Elizabeth Gilbert. Bali is such a culture-filled destination because as the Hindu states fell all around Bali, many of the intelligentsia fled here along with artists, dancers, musicians, and actors. As the […]

The Balinese Calendar

I still remember on several of my family trips when breakfast conversation would include my dad’s explanation why that day was a lucky day—maybe the numbers made a palindrome, or summing the numbers in the date equaled someone’s age, or one number was overrepresented like on September 9, 1999. In a slightly more rigorous fashion, […]

Balinese Road Etiquette

After a week in Bali, I’ve both ridden in a car and on the back of a motorbike. (The down payment on one of these motorbikes is about $30 USD.) Most roads have one lane going in each direction, and sometimes not even that. Everyone drives at whatever speed they feel most comfortable, and therefore, […]


After 1 pool dive, 6 ocean dives, 4 quizzes, 1 exam, and numerous breaths underwater, I received my PADI Open Water Scuba Certification, and was ready for my next adventure. I wasn’t expecting the next adventure to come in the afternoon following my last dive. This was the afternoon that I hopped on the back […]

Tulamben and the USAT Liberty

Tulamben is a small town in Bali built around a “major” highway, and the town extends about one kilometer. The air is quiet and still and yet there is still an excitement in the town for scuba diving. People come here from all over, and especially Australia, to dive. While in Tulamben, I learned to […]

Come of Age in Bali

When I hear about a coming of age ritual, I naturally imagine a 13-year-old memorizing a Torah portion in preparation for his or her Bar or Bat Mitzvah. After all, that is when I made the transition from boyhood to manhood. I still wasn’t ready to drive, join the army, vote, drink or smoke, but […]

Under The Sea

Darling it’s better, down where it’s wetter. Take it from me. Up on the shore they work all day. Out in the sun they slave away. While we devotin’ full time to floatin’ under the sea. Down here all the fish is happy, as off through the waves they roll. We got no troubles, life […]

Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur has a recognizable skyline with its bridge-connected twin towers and its telecommunications tower. Although I wandered to this part of town so that I could take a few too many photos of these famous landmarks and so that I could walk through nightlife-heavy streets, I stayed near Chinatown, where the price of hostels […]

Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

In a setting that is cooler in temperature than most of Malaysia, the Cameron Highlands offer many a tourist activity. While there, I stayed at the very nice Father’s Guest House, just a couple minutes away from the center of town, where one night I witnessed a Hindu procession down the middle of the street. […]

Invest More in Chicken

While listening to the radio in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the same news story was repeated multiple times in an hour segment. The price of chicken in Malaysia has reached a 10-year high. Chicken now costs more than 6 ringgit ($2 USD) per kilogram, which surpasses the 1999 record price of more than 5 ringgit ($1.70 […]