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Welcome to Japan
Was there anything I was obsessed with as a teenager that could compare to Ken and Brian's fascination with the Japanese otaku (nerd) culture? I spent my teenage years planning for the next test, the next debate and speech tournament, the next college application. I was obsessed with the future, but only my future, not a Japan pop world of mechanized warriors.
Stranded in Motion
The difference between my lovely stay in Berlin and my experience in Frankfurt was intention. I actually wanted to be in Berlin—nobody wants to be in Frankfurt. The folks that I came across in the airport that night could smell my disgust, and they didn't like it.
But like I already mentioned, things hadn't gone as planned, and I was skint. So when I inquired about getting into town at the guesthouse's front desk, the woman looked at me as if I were an idiot when I asked about the bus. "Just take taxi," she said, bored, and went back to the game of computer solitaire she'd try to hide whenever someone walked by.
My Sister's Legacy
Nastassia left me in Antigua, Guatemala, after 21 days to trek the Canadian hills of Vancouver. My travel childhood was over. I had to take control of my trip. The first order of business was to fix my financial SNAFU. I left the United States with the very misguided notion that I could breeze through Central America with just one thousand dollars. After three weeks, alas, I had depleted half my funds.
The Mule That Got Away
I had bussed and hitched around much of the continent and felt the worst horrors must be behind me. Besides, I didn't have many bolivars or dollars left to rob. I wanted to visit my friend Marian in Trinidad, flights from Caracas to Port of Spain were expensive, and so hitching on a boat was the only option.
Arnaldo and Carmen Luisa Piñango are doctors. His family once ran the hacienda at Cepe. Her mother was a well-known Venezuelan author and the Ambassador to Uruguay. She is herself an authority on anticoagulants and has lectured in Asia, Europe, and throughout the Americas. She has shown us pictures of leeches from the Amazon the size of big fish and seemingly benign caterpillars from Brazilian rubber plantations whose little spiny projections cause you to hemorrhage to death.
William Reese Hamilton