Category Archives: Vietnam

Going Native: a short story

Recently, I got a comment from a gentleman named “TimeTales” who mentioned he is turning 70 years old and would soon retire from blogging. I enjoy his posts about reminiscing over his time in the Korean War, so I wanted … Continue reading

Posted in Japan, Korea, Language, Vietnam | Leave a comment

Being a Foreigner is a Pain, anywhere

Think of it as plastic memory, this force within you which trends you and your fellows toward tribal forms. This plastic memory seeks to return to its ancient shape, the tribal society. It is all around you—the feudatory, the diocese, … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Hosso, Japan, Korea, Travel, Vietnam | 4 Comments

Memories of Hanoi, part two: the Perfume Pagoda

Following my recent post about Hanoi, I wanted to show some pictures from my little adventure at the time to the famous Perfume Pagoda, or Chùa Hương in Vietnamese.1 As mentioned previously, I took these in 2001, with a cheap … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Taoism, Travel, Vietnam | 2 Comments

Memories of Hanoi, part one

This is not a typical post for the blog, but recently, after obtaining a printer/scanner at home,1 I stumbled upon some old photos I took when I was a student studying abroad in Vietnam back in 2001. I scanned them … Continue reading

Posted in Confucius, Travel, Vietnam | Leave a comment

Solving a Chinese restaurant mystery

This is something that’s frequently piqued my interest, but I had nowhere to turn to solve this little mystery. In Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants here in the US, and certainly elsewhere, you’re likely to see an altar like this one: … Continue reading

Posted in China, Japan, Religion, Taoism, Vietnam | 8 Comments

The Rainy Season begins

Just a quick note that this week begins what in Japan is called the Rainy Season, written as 梅雨. You can read these characters one of two ways: tsuyu or baiyu, both are fine. The first character means “plum” (ume) … Continue reading

Posted in Ireland, Japan, Travel, Vietnam | 4 Comments

Japan and non-verbal communication

When dating someone of a different ethnicity, culture, you sure learn a lot about your own cultural assumptions. It’s a good opportunity to learn to compromise and to understand the other person. My experiences with my wife over the years … Continue reading

Posted in Japan, Japanese, Language, Vietnam | 7 Comments


Duke Leto: I’ll miss the sea, but a person needs new experiences. They jar something deep inside, allowing him to grow. Without change, something sleeps inside us and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken. –Dune, 1984 It occurred to me … Continue reading

Posted in Buddhism, Dune, General, Religion, Travel, Vietnam | 2 Comments