Cuba Libre

Hey, there. Thanks for following. I’m not traveling as much these days, but if you want to read more, check out my normal-life blog at World’s Okayest Mom. “How was Cuba?” they ask. “What was it like?” And I struggle because I can’t distill the trip into a brief and pithy summary suitable for cocktail…

No One Told the Bakeries

Communism had fallen, but no one told the bakeries. It was the early, hopeful years of Yeltsin (before he devolved into a bloated drunk) and the news agencies were reporting that Russia was flowering, backed by B-roll footage of the first McDonalds near Red Square. I was 21, my first passport stiff in my money…

Worst-Case Scenarios

In honor of the one(ish) year anniversary of Eric’s free-diving accident, here is the full(er) story. I am in a taxi on my way to Hospital Mar Caribe.  It took longer than usual to find a taxi because it’s Good Friday, which appears to be a shut-the-city-down kind of holiday in Colombia.  The beaches have…

Red Flags and Inertia

I did something incredibly brave.  And terrifying.  I submitted a piece I (re-)wrote to So Say We All, and it was chosen and last night I stood up in front of a huge crowd of people and read it out loud to them.  And I didn’t throw up or anything. What was most interesting is how…

The Quest for Culinary Diversity: Island, City, Mountains

The food in Santa Marta is delicious: fresh, accessible, flavorful.  But it’s also a bit monotonous, an endless parade of fried fish, grilled chicken, patacon [plantain pancake] and arroz con coco [coconut rice, which locals in their charming, final-syllable-swallowing accent call arro-co-co].  Of course the universe of fruits is vast, with mangoes, papayas, avocados, lulos, guanabana, guayaba and coconuts,…