How Soon is Now?

At risk of sounding curmudgeonly, the world is speeding up and I don’t like it.

Our human ancestors walked out of Africa, and eventually walked all over the entire planet. Or built boats and floated to the parts they couldn’t reach on foot. Granted, it wasn’t one continuous trip, it took millenia. But they were in no particular hurry. Those bipedal hominids’ feet were made for walking. And that’s just what they did. Today we express surprise when someone walks a 10K race for charity. Yet our earliest ancestors did nothing but walk. They had no alternative. Continue reading “How Soon is Now?”


The heat portends rain. It’s stifling, calm, sweltering. The kind of heat that leaves you with no recourse but to take a mid-day nap under a fan that languidly stirs thick simmering air but provides little relief. You wake up sweaty and confused. By late afternoon dark clouds loom on the eastern horizon; edging slowly closer, accompanied by the distant and low rumble of thunder and the far away flash of lightning against the gray-black sky. The sun is soon overpowered by the darkening sky, creating an early false sunset. Confused birds fly into the treetops to roost prematurely. A squawking ibis flies overhead announcing her displeasure. Soon the fanfare begins. Loud kettle drum crashes of thunder follow short on the heels of brilliant flashes of lightning that streak from sky to horizon. Continue reading “Pula”

I’m very disappointed in you, microfiber towel.

On a cold and wintery morning, I turn off the hot shower and reach for you through a fog of steam. You look so inviting, so warm and fluffy, like a flattened rectangular teddy bear hanging on a peg in the bathroom, waiting to wrap me in your warm embrace. Your deep, lush pilings, like intestinal villi, hold such promise for quick absorption. Quickly now, no time for delay, for with the shower off the room is already growing chilly, the cold air is rushing in. I grab you and rub vigorously. And rub some more. And yet I’m somehow no drier. And now colder than before. How could this be? This isn’t working. You’ve left me damp, chilled, heartbroken. The promise of absorption was a lie. You don’t absorb, you just push water from one place to the next. I wrap you around me, but instead of a warm dry embrace, you feel….plastickyContinue reading “I’m very disappointed in you, microfiber towel.”

Because Africa is an Adventure

Intrepid travelers experience an authentic African adventure when their bus gets stuck in a riverbed in Namibia.

Bring fancy quick-dry clothes made of rip-stop nylon (because the cruelest thorns in the world are found in Africa). The type of clothes that cost a lot of money in Patagonia catalogs. Preferably the pants that have legs that zip off and become shorts. Because you never know when you might have to zip down and run from a hungry hyena. Because Africa is an adventure. Continue reading “Because Africa is an Adventure”