Selected Travel Essays
The Minangkabau: Mixing Islam and Matriarchy
This matriarchal society of Muslims in Indonesia reminds us that religion and culture are never cut from whole cloth.
As Though We Were Immortal
Some travel impressions prompted by the living and the dead of Varanasi, India.
Some time ago, Ruchira brought to my attention an article about a village on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu, where the people believe Prince Philip of England is a god. Though it might sound preposterous ...
Divinity is Here
Bedouin, will travel. I am in the village of Rum in south Jordan, all signed-up for two days in
the desert. The clincher was the Bedouin honcho's sell job: "I have open
The Lost City of Ugarit
The road to Lattakia goes over the
Anti-Lebanon Range. I had left Aleppo under a blue sky at noon; now a
thick fog rolls in, tall conifers appear in the valleys, visibility drops.
The pop Arabic music ...
Asian Food for Thought
India and China offer a striking illustration of the vast range and malleability of the human palate, and the power of ideas in shaping it.
"Cuiabá is the city of mangoes. We don't buy them, just pluck and eat," says Rizardo, our wildlife guide. Riding in the bed of a pickup truck, we are going down the Transpantaneira, a dirt road that ...