I was walking down the street in Jhalakthi, Bangladesh, when an elephant asked me for a dollar bill.
The elephant’s snout was smeared with red paint and two smiling locals sat atop his back. The crowded streets managed to make way for the elephant. Kids smiled and pointed. Rickshaw drivers piled on the sidewalk.
They all stared at me. The tiny proboscis at the end of the elephant’s trunk wiggled with anticipation.
I reached into my pocket, pulled out some money, and the elephant ever so gently picked it from my hand.
I pitied the elephant. She was trapped in a life of cheap tricks and crowded streets. I can still see the coarse black hairs bristling her trunk. I can hear her breath and see her snotty snout.
I’ve been watching/listening/browsing the news a lot lately for updates on Honduras. Usually after talks of Michael Jackson and Iran the coup gets a brief mention. When I hear the stories, I think back to my time in the country in 2005, which I briefly mention in my book, and I see faces.
When I stood at Dracula’s grave in Romania my head was filled with one thought: “Michael Jackson was here.”
Vlad Tepes is the Dracula of history. He wasn’t a vampire, just a ruler who believed in corporal punishment, namely driving huge stakes through people and letting them slowly die. For this he earned his nickname The Impaler. Bram Stoker based his novel on Vlad.
Michael Jackson is Michael Jackson.
Vlad’s tomb is famous for two things: it’s empty and Michael Jackson visited it when he came to Romania on his Dangerous World Tour.
To get to the Snagov monastery where Vlad’s empty grave is I had to paddle two other tourists and my cab driver in a rowboat to the island where it sits. A family lives on the island and runs tours…
When I was in Bangladesh trying to track down the factory that made my Jingle These Christmas Boxers, I reluctantly went undercover as an underwear buyer. I’ve never shared some of the photos I took from the experience, until now…
Update (6/1): Okay, basically the blog has disappeared. Don’t worry it will be back and better than ever. I’ll take this downtime to write some killer posts for the relaunch, which will probably be next Thursday. Stop back then and you could win an iPod Nano among other things. (Note: If you win the iPod, don’t run it through the washer and dryer. I just did that with mine. It’s now useless…clean…but utterly useless.)
This blog is not performing the best right now. It loads slow on the front end and even slower on the back end. I’m not sure if it has something to do with the move to my shiny new blog or not, which is in process (the address will be the same). Anyhow, posts will be…