• The Abkhazian Interlude

    My short time in the Republic of Abkhazia marks yet another of the post-Soviet “frozen conflict” states that I have visited. It was an impromptu stop on my travels, but one that I ended up being thankful for making. I […]

  • Azerbaijan Part VI: Baku Redux

    My original plan had been to work my way up Azerbaijan and then cross into Georgia. But after Quba, Xinaliq, Ismaili, and Lahic, I feel that I’ve had my fill of quaint Azerbaijani hinterland life, and decide to return to […]

  • Azerbaijan Part V: Lahic

    The minibus carries me and a handful of villagers through winding, bumpy mountain roads to Lahic. The minibus apparently doubles as the village school bus, as we stop to pick up a dozen or so uniformed school children on the […]

  • Azerbaijan Part IV: Ismaili

    I decide to try one more quaint mountain village in Azerbaijan: the town of Lahic. Although Lahic is just over the steep mountain range from Quba, there is, perhaps understandably, no road between them. Thus, one going from Quba to […]

  • Azerbaijan Part III: Xinaliq

    After my first night in Quba I catch a shared taxi to Xinaliq. The driver says he will take me for 40 manat, which for some reason breaks down to 30 manat to get there and 10 to get back. […]

  • Azerbaijan Part II: Quba

    I strike out for the northern town of Quba, catching an early morning minibus to get there. The guidebook describes a small mountain village called Xinaliq, near Quba, to be one of the most picturesque sites in Azerbaijan. I have […]

  • Azerbaijan Part I: Baku

    I arrive in the old city, Icharishahar, in downtown Baku and check into my hostel. I share a room full of bunk beds with several other people, but it’s clean and the price is far cheaper than anywhere else in […]

  • Journeys through Azerbaijan

    Intro: The Long and Winding Road I will here chronicle my trip to Azerbaijan, which in retrospect was one of the more bone-headed undertakings of my life. Here is the run-up: While training in a Muay Thai camp in Thailand, […]

  • He floats through the air, with the greatest of ease

    While in New Zealand recently, I checked off what is probably the most stereotypical bucket-list item. Skydiving was always something that I’d written off as too extreme for me. But I’d said the same thing about bungee jumping, and I’d […]

  • Disneyland for Beta Males

    Life in Pattaya In the 18th century, the South Pacific Polynesian islands offered European sailors a most welcome experience. After months spent cooped up on a ship filled with dozens of other restless, unwashed men, they disembarked at islands like […]


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