What’s Holding Up the World

We were driving over a bridge on a highway. Trees painted the broad valley below us in rich shades of green. It was then, looking at the trees, that I realized the reality of what was happening to me, optically speaking. I shouldn't have been able to see the trees. Vertical supports lined the length … Continue reading What’s Holding Up the World

Bakit’s Chinese Restaurant

It'd be kind of like naming an Italian restaurant "Mike's." The name of our favorite Chinese restaurant in Bishkek is Bakit, a name as common in Kyrgyz as Mike is in English. Bakit means "happiness." Our current working theory is that Bakit, or happiness, is the translation of the yellow Chinese characters above the door … Continue reading Bakit’s Chinese Restaurant

From Mere Illusions to Real Magic

We stood in the customs line at Rome's Fiumicino International Airport. A sign said E.U. citizens to the left. Visa holders to the right. Everyone else in the middle. We were in the middleβ€”and longestβ€”line. Ahead of us stood a young Korean American couple. They were chatting with two middle-aged women who were just ahead … Continue reading From Mere Illusions to Real Magic

Driving Up South

We live on the northern side of the capital, literally on the last street before you find yourself outside city limits. Because of the fact that a mountain range rests just south of the city, here to drive south is to drive up since you're literally increasing your elevation the more south you go. And … Continue reading Driving Up South

The Old Car at the Bazaar

I parked the car at the construction bazaar near our house. I clutched my phone where I had made my list. I was focused. I was unstoppable. My black coat was zipped and my signature checkered hat was pulled low. I was prepared to argue in the local language over prices if I had to. … Continue reading The Old Car at the Bazaar