The month before turning 29

These are thoughts and activities from August – September 2018 Our trip to Bangkok began with Trinh and I playing billiards in the Saigon Airport Bar. This is the only place where we ever play billiards, despite the fact that the ground floor of Trinh’s house is a billiards saloon. I guess that with the airport’s windows looking out on taxi-ing planes, fancy drinks served … Continue reading The month before turning 29

UNLEASH INNOVATION LAB 2018

What is UNLEASH? I’m going to be in Singapore for eight days for an Innovation Lab, UNLEASH, which unites and sponsors travel and accommodation for 1,000 young professionals from 106 countries and divides them into 8 large grouped-themes based on the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDGs) that the Talents are working towards in their careers and studies. The participants of UNLEASH are modestly called “talents” and … Continue reading UNLEASH INNOVATION LAB 2018

Impressions of Yangon

September 2017 The Shwedagon Pagoda dominants Yangon’s skyline and the city’s exotic and sleepy vibrations. Trinh and I could see the Pagoda in-full from the rooftop of the Lavender Hotel. The first time we rode our impatient elevator to the rooftop and rounded the corner to view the Pagoda was awe inspiring. Its perfect golden spire totally captures the imagination. The jungle trees growing between … Continue reading Impressions of Yangon

Lunar New Year 2018 in Penang & KL

This Lunar New Year, Trinh and I spent 5 days in Malaysia’s Penang (wiki) Island and Kuala Lumpur (KL) cities. It was Trinh’s first time in Malaysia and my second trip since visiting Lang Kawi Island and KL in 2013 before heading to India. (Quick blog on Lang Kawi Island, 2013) Living in Asia since 2012, I have normalized seeing surprising things, grown accustomed to being … Continue reading Lunar New Year 2018 in Penang & KL

Hong Kong | August 2017

Being in Hong Kong the last five days have been a thought-provoking experience and an exercise in patience. I’m on a package tour with Trinh’s family. Of course, package tours are not my style, but it’s a chance to get to know the family and experience being on one of those “matching hat wearing follow-the-flag” tours. This is my second trip to Hong Kong. My … Continue reading Hong Kong | August 2017

The First Day in Bangkok

~ the musings around moving into my new apartment At first I was not “in love” with my apartment. I had spent the last seven days in a marvelous AirBnB in Saigon and my simple dormitory-style room had potential to be comfortable, but wasn’t entirely ready for me. Fortunately, Andreas and I almost immediately left the room and went to the Thai version of Walmart; … Continue reading The First Day in Bangkok

Back in Southeast Asia

I felt a twinge of excitement in my heart when I arrived at Taipei International Airport. I was excited to be back in Asia. Surrounded by a sense of new adventure and familiarity. It was fun to order Taiwanese foods and rediscover items in the convenience stores while I waited for my flight to Vietnam.   And then I felt a thud in my heart … Continue reading Back in Southeast Asia

The Small Stories in Cambodia.

In June 2014, I spent roughly a week and a half in Cambodia. This was after visiting family in Turkey and before I moved to Vietnam. Memories from this trip are both scattered and vivid. Because my memory is hazy, I seem to just appear places already doing something. The way we appear in dreams already doing something, with no idea how we got there. … Continue reading The Small Stories in Cambodia.

Lessons from Singapore’s Global Schoolhouse

The following paper explores the motives, policies, and impact of the initial 2002-2011 phase of Singapore’s hub building Global Schoolhouse strategy (GSH) . It examines the economic, labor-market, and demographic concerns that motivated the Singaporean government to aggressively internationalize higher education. The paper argues that the political backlash that forced the Singaporean government to de-internationalize GSH’s targets has also been the catalyst for a firmer … Continue reading Lessons from Singapore’s Global Schoolhouse

Prostitution: Humanity vs. Economy

Bangkok is an infamous haven for the sex industry. Much like global warming, snakes, and all global conflicts this can be blamed on the USA. The US Army created the sex industry in Bangkok informally by having R&R for the soldiers of the Vietnam War in Bangkok. After the war ended, the industry was completely developed, the word was out, and the city’s inhabitants had … Continue reading Prostitution: Humanity vs. Economy

Langkawi: 99 Islands and One Clear Thought

  Langkawi was an amazing time. The tropical island had wild monkeys, geckos, snakes and eagles. There were random bouts of rain and electric storms over the ocean at night. The roads had free roaming oxen and lazy monkeys sauntering across. We rented a motorbike and spent a week riding between beaches, rain-forests  and night markets. The pace of Langkawi was slow and after nightfall there … Continue reading Langkawi: 99 Islands and One Clear Thought

Color in the Borders

Taking an overnight train from Thailand to Malaysia presented me with a unique part of travel missed when you fly; borders.  The border of Southern Thailand and Northern Malaysia had crisp contrast. The border began kilometers before the changing of the guard. It began when in the myriad of palm trees and banana groves the minarets of a mosque could be seen over the canopies. … Continue reading Color in the Borders

Bangkok: Old & New

Bangkok is divided into two sections both geographic and social: New Bangkok & Old Bangkok. Although both were beautiful, one in its modernity and one in its antiquity, this duplicity would characterize Bangkok as a city balancing on the razor’s edge between two worlds. On one edge of the blade I was impressed by how both New Bangkok and Old Bangkok displayed its marvels. On … Continue reading Bangkok: Old & New

The First Flavours of Singapore

Singapore is a humid oasis for all the Gods’ believers. Despite being encircled by a tense region, Singapura has bought itself a Pax Deos. I applaud Singapore for its remarkable achievement in social and religious harmony. Singapore is wildly diverse; [70% Chinese (Taoist/Buddhist) 20% Malay(Muslim) 8% Tamil (Hindu-Muslim). 2/5th  of the population are immigrants and yet the Singaporeans live in a tranquility their compatriots overseas pray … Continue reading The First Flavours of Singapore