Asia

Bagan, Myanmar: eBikes, Scooters, Tuk Tuks, and Taxis — By Jennifer Shipp
AsiaMyanmarSoutheast Asia

Bagan, Myanmar: eBikes, Scooters, Tuk Tuks, and Taxis — By Jennifer Shipp

The transportation options in Bagan and in Myanmar are important. In Guanajuato, Mexico, where we’ve lived for the past 3 years, taxis and buses are available, but most of the time we walk everywhere. In Bagan, Myanmar though, the hot weather makes walking unpleasant. Climbing on an ebike and having the breeze blow through my hair is a lot nicer than walking when it’s 100 degrees outside. So we’ve all ...
Adventures in Burmese — By Jennifer Shipp
AsiaMyanmarSoutheast Asia

Adventures in Burmese — By Jennifer Shipp

Yesterday was a long day. We’d decided to try to get air conditioning installed in John’s and Naing Naing’s office space, a necessity in a country that hits over 90 degrees+ every day of the year. We’d put it off as long as we could because John and I needed a break from all the inconsistencies of our daily lives. We’d spent about a week dealing with the heat in order to avoid dealing with people. But we ...
Lydian and Naing Naing: In Myanmar — By Jennifer Shipp
AsiaMyanmarSoutheast Asia

Lydian and Naing Naing: In Myanmar — By Jennifer Shipp

Some stories are like lotus flowers; they bloom in layers with each new set of petals adding a transformative shape to the whole. It’s hard to tell these stories, because they aren’t linear. They’re like Indian epics--Ramayanan characters engaged in famous battles but meanwhile imagining new worlds or earnestly wishing new beings into existence that cast off on digressive journeys of their own. Over the ...
Bagan, Myanmar: Notes on Learning Burmese…
AsiaMyanmarSoutheast Asia

Bagan, Myanmar: Notes on Learning Burmese…

So it looks like we’ll be spending quite a lot of time in Myanmar which means that it could be helpful to learn Burmese. The language, so far, has not been totally impossible to learn, at least the 27 words or so that I know right now. It’s a tonal language, but the tones have proven to be less straightforward than those in the Mandarin language. Some Burmese language systems say that there are three tones, ...
Bagan, Myanmar: Housing and High-Speed Internet — By Jennifer Shipp
AsiaMyanmarSoutheast Asia

Bagan, Myanmar: Housing and High-Speed Internet — By Jennifer Shipp

During the first two weeks of our time here in Bagan, Myanmar, we needed to find a house to live in, furnish it, get Internet (we hoped for higher speed Internet than what was available at the hotel) locate food to cook with, and figure out how to get around the city easily in the heat. We were staying in the Crown Prince Hotel in New Bagan, which had adequate Internet services in the lobby, but we had only ...
Bagan, Myanmar: The Inner and Outer Realities of Place — By Jennifer Shipp
AsiaMyanmarSoutheast Asia

Bagan, Myanmar: The Inner and Outer Realities of Place — By Jennifer Shipp

When John and I were here in Bagan, Myanmar in January, before we knew that Lydian was going to fall in love and get married to Naing Naing, we loved it here. There was something about this place that was just really comfortable to us. It felt like a small town in Nebraska, but not a modern small town...a small town before there were color TV’s, Netflix, and a hundred plus channels in every home. A small ...
Dear Lydian: The Politics of Love — A Short Tutorial on Visas and Immigration  — By Jennifer Shipp
MyanmarSoutheast Asia

Dear Lydian: The Politics of Love — A Short Tutorial on Visas and Immigration — By Jennifer Shipp

Burmese citizens can only travel to a small selection of countries visa-free. And getting a visa isn’t always easy. Often, in fact, for Burmese citizens it’s a process that involves an interview and the final determination can take months. As American citizens, Lydian, John, and I had never really considered how this fact could affect our lives. In fact, systemic political oppression like this affects a LOT ...
Happy Valentine’s Day from Singapore – By Lydian Shipp
AsiaMyanmarSoutheast Asia

Happy Valentine’s Day from Singapore – By Lydian Shipp

Meeting and falling in love with a Burmese boy was not in my plans for this trip. Totally unexpected. I didn’t think in a million years that I’d be going home a married woman. But at the same time that I’m totally shocked, it makes sense. And I’m happy about it. Very happy.

When we started this trip, I was unsure of why the hell I was even going to Southeast Asia in the first place. On ...
MalaysiaSoutheast Asia

Malacca, Malaysia: Coworking Spaces — By Jennifer Shipp

For the past year, we’ve been feverishly working to build a coliving/coworking space in Guanajuato, Mexico. That’s right. Mexico (NOT Malaysia). And needless to say, the project did not follow a linear course. We finished our small apartment complex at the beginning of October and then Lydian spearheaded the marketing of the Guanajuato apartments as vacation rentals on AirBnB and Expedia. And so far, as of ...
The State of Bother-dom: Meteorological Parables from Malaysia — By Jennifer Shipp
AsiaMalaysiaSoutheast Asia

The State of Bother-dom: Meteorological Parables from Malaysia — By Jennifer Shipp

We’ve been in Mexico for two years this January. With the exception of three trips back and forth to the U.S. for various reasons, we’ve been stationed in one place for what seems like a long time. Yes, we’ve traveled within Mexico quite a bit. We’ve been to every state in the country except two, I think. I’m not really keeping track and I’m not really trying to see every state in Mexico. No one cares how ...
Assos, Turkey Ruins: Photo Gallery
AsiaMiddle EastTripsTurkey

Assos, Turkey Ruins: Photo Gallery

Assos, Turkey was a tiny little town on a hill overlooking the Aegean Sea and the island of Lesbos. Aristotle taught students in the area that's now in ruins. And St. Paul passed through this area on his travels in the early days of the church. We were concerned about driving the hills leading up to Assos, but they weren't that bad when we visited in 2010. ...
House of the Virgin Mary in Ephesus, Turkey: Photo Gallery
AsiaMiddle EastTripsTurkey

House of the Virgin Mary in Ephesus, Turkey: Photo Gallery

The House of the Virgin Mary at Ephesus in Turkey was a thought-provoking find. Is it really the house where Mary, Jesus' mother lived? According to a nun and visionary, Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, it is. And there were plenty of pilgrims who knelt on the floor of the house even during the short time that we were there, but who knows? The mere idea that Mary lived in this house was enough to inspire ...
Didyma, Turkey Ruins: Photo Gallery
AsiaMiddle EastTripsTurkey

Didyma, Turkey Ruins: Photo Gallery

The guidebooks raved about the Medusa face carved into the stone ruins at Didyma and on our first trip overseas, I thought that it would be something truly spectacular (otherwise, why would they talk about it?). We felt pressure and stress about getting to Didyma in time to see that Medusa face. But though the ruins were located in a beautiful landscape, they looked a lot like all the other ruins we'd seen ...
St. John’s Basilica and Isa Bey Mosque in Selçuk, Turkey: Photo Gallery
AsiaMiddle EastTripsTurkey

St. John’s Basilica and Isa Bey Mosque in Selçuk, Turkey: Photo Gallery

Related Posts:Didyma, Turkey Ruins: Photo GalleryPriene, Turkey Ruins: Photo Gallery Turkey Tourism: Travertine Terraces  (video) Pamukkale, Turkey - Travertine Terraces and the Hierapolis: Photo GalleryAncient Troy in Turkey: Photo Gallery Turkey Tourism: Coliseum Acoustics (video) The Ruins at Pergamon, Bergama, Turkey: Photo GalleryTurkey Tourism: Miletus Sheep Dog ...
The Ruins at Pergamon, Bergama, Turkey: Photo Gallery
AsiaMiddle EastTripsTurkey

The Ruins at Pergamon, Bergama, Turkey: Photo Gallery

When we visited Turkey in 2010, we drove from Istanbul to Cappadocia and back again. Along the way, we stopped to see the ruins at Pergamon in Bergama, Turkey. They were located up above the city, offering a spectacular view of Bergama down below.Bergama was a rough city and we were glad we didn't spend the night there after we saw a little bit of it. Though Pergamon itself was safe, Bergama was a ...
Pamukkale, Turkey – Travertine Terraces and the Hierapolis: Photo Gallery
AsiaMiddle EastTripsTurkey

Pamukkale, Turkey – Travertine Terraces and the Hierapolis: Photo Gallery

In 2010, we traveled across western Turkey by car, stopping in places like Pamukkale to see the Travertine Terraces and the Hierapolis. The Travertine Terraces was something I'd never heard of before we traveled to Turkey, which was surprising after we saw what a cool place it was. It looked like a giant snow drift, with water flowing down it and little idyllic bright blue pools of water on the way up, but ...
Priene, Turkey Ruins: Photo Gallery
AsiaMiddle EastTripsTurkey

Priene, Turkey Ruins: Photo Gallery

In 2010, our family drove from Istanbul to Cappadocia and back again, stopping along the way at places like Priene, Turkey to see some incredible sights like Ancient Troy, the Travertine Terraces, and Ephesus.Related Posts:Turkey Tourism: Travertine Terraces  (video) Pamukkale, Turkey - Travertine Terraces and the Hierapolis: Photo GalleryAncient Troy in Turkey: Photo Gallery Turkey ...
Pre-2016 Election: Interview with “Jay” in India about the U.S., Americans, and American Politics
AsiaIndiaSouth AsiaTips

Pre-2016 Election: Interview with “Jay” in India about the U.S., Americans, and American Politics

In August, before the 2016 elections, Jennifer interviewed people of different countries about their perception of America, Americans, and American politics. How do Indians view the United States (as of fall 2016)? Jay works in technology in Chennai, India and some of his views on Americans will probably surprise you. ...
Ancient Troy in Turkey: Photo Gallery
AsiaMiddle EastTripsTurkey

Ancient Troy in Turkey: Photo Gallery

When we traveled to Turkey on our first overseas trip in 2010, I was absolutely awed that ancient Troy was a real location and not just a mythological place. Seeing this place first hand made the stories about Troy seem so much more important and interesting. Why not include photos of the real place in school lessons when kids are reading about Troy?Related Posts:Priene, Turkey Ruins: Photo ...
Dubai International Airport in the United Arab Emirates: Photo Gallery
AsiaMiddle EastTripsUnited Arab Emirates

Dubai International Airport in the United Arab Emirates: Photo Gallery

Since we were just on a layover in Dubai, once we got near our ...
Bruised Banana