Monthly Archives:

February 2016

The-Fatness-of-the-Ass in Vietnam and Beyond — By Jennifer Shipp
AsiaSoutheast AsiaVietnam

The-Fatness-of-the-Ass in Vietnam and Beyond — By Jennifer Shipp



As we’ve traveled through Southeast Asia, I keep trying to ignore it, but it’s everywhere:THE VIETNAM WAR.Our first conversation about it with a Vietnamese person, took place when a Vietnamese man at My Son, near Hoi An and Da Nang (once the DMZ) turned around in the little tourist shuttle bus and asked us where we were from.

John said, “The United ...
On Being Greedy with Our Heaven — By Jennifer Shipp
AsiaSoutheast AsiaTipsVietnam

On Being Greedy with Our Heaven — By Jennifer Shipp

Today is our last day in Southeast Asia. We’re in a 7th floor apartment in Hanoi overlooking the city. The voices of kids playing at a school nearby floats in the air at a constant irritating pitch. There’s a comfortable leather couch in our vacation rental and we have enough tomatoes and potatoes to get us through lunch and dinner tomorrow. So we’re staying in today. We’ve had enough of everywhere except ...
Adventures Beyond the Comfort Zone — By Jennifer Shipp
AfricaEgyptNorth AfricaTrips

Adventures Beyond the Comfort Zone — By Jennifer Shipp

I have a love/hate relationship with tourist destinations. Everywhere could be a tourist destination if it were properly marketed. Most tourist destinations are places you go to, stare at for a few moments, and then leave behind without revelation. It’s helpful for our family to have a destination since we live out our human existence on a big sphere, but the destinations are never the most memorable or ...
A Little Bit Blind, a Little Bit Stupid — By Jennifer Shipp
AfricaEgyptNorth AfricaTrips

A Little Bit Blind, a Little Bit Stupid — By Jennifer Shipp

I can hardly believe that it’s time to leave Egypt. The time has gone by so quickly. Last night I looked out our bedroom window for the first time since we got here and wondered, Why is it so hard to look around and really see a place until it’s time to leave? On our second to last day of Arabic classes, roughly seven weeks after arriving here, I noticed for the first time, that we’ve been walking past an ...
Palm-Sized Storms and Precious Gems — By Jennifer Shipp
AsiaSoutheast AsiaTrips

Palm-Sized Storms and Precious Gems — By Jennifer Shipp

In a few days, we’ll pack up and fly to Bangkok, Thailand for our first-ever look at Southeast Asia. With our Arabic classes finished, we’re trying to reset now and ready ourselves for a completely different adventure in a new time zone and a new climate.

I packed up the warm-weather clothes today so that I could resurrect them again easily when it’s time to go back to the states. I’m ...
John’s Big Bad Day — By Jennifer Shipp
AfricaEgyptNorth AfricaTipsTrips

John’s Big Bad Day — By Jennifer Shipp

Today, at the Markaz where we go jogging at a fenced-in track several times a week, the man at the ticket counter tried to overcharge us for admission. When I realized that we were being swindled, I said (in Arabic, with a few grammatical errors, but he still understood me), “Normally we pay 60 pounds. Why are we paying more today?” The man looked back at me sheepishly. I’d called him out on his corruption. ...
Arabic Encounters at Orman Park in Cairo, Egypt — By Jennifer Shipp
AfricaEgyptNorth AfricaTrips

Arabic Encounters at Orman Park in Cairo, Egypt — By Jennifer Shipp

Yesterday, we went to Orman Park to meet up with a university student, Alee-ah’, who converses with us partly in English and partly in Arabic (she’s brushing up on her English while we fumble along in Arabic). We were to meet her at the gate that faces the university at 2:15 PM. Lydian and I arrived at the park at 1:50 and we started walking the outer perimeter to see if we could find a place to sit. On our ...
Not American. Just Human. — By Jennifer Shipp
AfricaEgyptNorth AfricaTipsTrips

Not American. Just Human. — By Jennifer Shipp



Today, January 25th, is Police Day in Egypt. The Internet is running slow. The streets are eerily quiet. And we’re staying in to avoid any accidental brush with demonstrations. But across the city, I see laundry hanging out to dry which reminds me that this city I’ve seen so many times in the news is a place inhabited by real people and not just sensationalized caricatures. Egyptians do ...
Bruised Banana