A Sports Fan’s Lament

I love the Olympics. The pure athleticism, the gorgeous bodies, the sweet outfits, the national pride, the usually hilarious opening ceremonies… I just can’t get enough. And since the US has tons of athletes competing in both the Winter and the Summer Olympics, I get a chance to watch them on television every two years. I was really looking forward to watching the Winter Olympics this year, a year where I didn’t have to worry about work getting in the way of my Olympic Obsession. So imagine my disappointment when I discovered I would not be able to watch them at all. If you are unable to imagine the full extent of my disappointment, I invite you to continue reading to explore the origin of my interest in all sports and to learn why Vietnam is now on my bad list. Continue reading

It’s Complicated: The Vietnamese-US Relationship

I must admit that I didn’t know what to expect from Vietnam. All I really knew before getting here was that we had fought a long, horrible and pointless war here, and that Vietnam was now one country with a Communist government. I figured we had a complicated relationship, as is to be expected given our history. But I don’t think I was really fully cognizant of how complicated it was until I visited the War Remnants Museum. Continue reading

Ho Chi Minh City: Land of Aggressive Motorbikes

We arrived in Vietnam a few days ago (Tuesday the 4th to be precise) and have spent the past few days in Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, the former capital of South Vietnam. The city is absolutely huge. 8 million people, 2 million Coffee Bean franchise locations (not really, it just felt like it) and what seemed like a hundred billion motorbikes. Again, I’m not one for research, but my observation is that everyone here drives a motorbike, including grandmothers, infants and farm animals. I saw a gecko last night at our restaurant and I could have sworn he had a tiny motorbike. (It’s faster than walking.) That said, this post is to tell you about the sport I just invented, in honor of the 2014 Winter Olympics: grand traffic slalom. Continue reading

Goodbye, Cambodia: A Retrospective

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Angkor Wat, iconic Cambodia

The first leg of our trip is now complete. We are now on our way to Vietnam (easiest border crossing ever, btw), having spent three weeks in Cambodia. We have seen an incredible amount of things here. From Angkor Wat, the world’s largest religious complex, to the Tuol Seng genocide museum, a monument to the horrific acts of the Khmer Rouge, to the beautiful tropical island of Koh Rong Saloem, we have experienced a great deal. Now we head to Vietnam for our next adventure, having learned a few things about Cambodia and ourselves. Continue reading

Under the Sea: Learning to Dive in Koh Rong Saloem, Cambodia

For as long as I can remember, I have had a fear of being underwater. Which is strange considering I spent all of my early years by the ocean, and most of my summers at the beach. I was convinced I could swim by the time I entered college, since I could theoretically move myself in water from point A to point B. It wasn’t until college that I learned that swimming meant sticking your face, and part of your head, underwater, where it was impossible for humans to breathe. So how did I get from there to diving? And what lessons, if any, did I learn from the whole experience? Continue reading