The Thai Motorbike Saga

The fuel gauge of your motorbike has read empty for the last two kilometers. You’re sweating, but not from the jungle heat. Under no circumstances can you get stranded. If a cop stops you, they’ll find out you’ve been driving without a license, and you don’t have enough bribe money on you…

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Pulag and Pork Adobo

I was sitting on a red plastic stool in a shack in the middle of the Philippine mountains of Northern Luzon, when a stray dog darted between my legs, licked my bare calf, and sent me into an existential crisis. “Why am I here?” I asked Kazuki, my roommate who loves Mendelssohn’s violin concertos and […]

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Day 5: The Final Stretch

  Dawn’s light filtered through the room, rousing me from a dreamless sleep. I slipped out of my futon, bleary-eyed and hungry. For breakfast I had a ham sandwich, two bananas, and the straggling bits of dried squid left in the bottom of the package. I was officially out of food. I quickly dressed, packed my […]

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Day 4: Ikeshima: The Island

The nuclear bomb museum was the reason I went to Nagasaki. I wanted to see history for myself. See the city that was once ash. I wanted to hear the stories of survivors and feel their suffering. I left that museum a changed person. Next, I wanted to go somewhere completely off the map—I was […]

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Day 3: Fat Man

I awoke startled and sweating. Performing a hip slapping concerto, I checked my pockets for the essentials: wallet, phone, pack of green apple flavored Hi-Chew candy, and key to my dorm back in Yamanashi. Tap, tap tap, tap. All there, all good. I grabbed my receipt from the cheap internet cafe desk. 8 hours, the […]

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Day 2.5: The Peace Statue

Nagasaki reminds me of San Francisco. Trams run up and down broad boulevards, parallel to massive expanses of salt water. Houses look like stairs as they climb comically steep hills into the skyline. The sound of fog horns and the smell of the sea is carried for miles by ocean breezes. At Nagasaki station, I […]

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Day 1: Okayama and Beef Tongue

From a View of Mt. Fuji to the Heart of Western Japan. There I was, standing on a curb at Futaba Service Area, sketchpad held close against my chest, left thumb outstretched. Wearing a green shirt dotted with blue pineapples, rose tinted sunglasses shading my eyes, I must have seemed more time traveler than hitchhiker. […]

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